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Projects 1952 Pontiac Catalina Hardtop Build

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by 1959Nomad, Sep 8, 2021.

  1. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,821

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Before you go buy a new one, my headlight switch was intermittent, so I pulled it out the dash and discovered it can be taken apart and cleaned. Get one of those little sachets of bulb grease from your favorite auto parts place and spread that on the contacts before reassembly.

    Also clean the points on the back, that's the bimetal circuit breaker. It'll trip if the points are dirty and high resistance because that will generate heat - not from excess current though.

    Mine has been reliable since I cleaned it. Feels a lot better to operate also.
     
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  2. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,426

    Bruce A Lyke
    Member

    Winter has set in, and the Catalina is in the unheated garage while my slightly off topic car gets a few things done
    I removed the wrapper from the spring and have decided for now to leave the old ones as is.
    leaf spg wrap.JPG leaf spg wrap 2 .JPG spg wraper.JPG
     
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  3. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,426

    Bruce A Lyke
    Member

    it has reached the time of year where the snowblower gets out of the garage and the old cars wait for spring
    52 winter  view.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2022
    guthriesmith likes this.
  4. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,426

    Bruce A Lyke
    Member

    HELP WANTED:rolleyes:

    Getting ready to install the new set of Umbrella seals that came with the 52 Pontiac parts
    The man who built the 350 was in decline and suspect that they were omitted accidently
    Here are the questions for those of you that have performed this task using air pressure to hold the valves in place with the springs off
    • What PSI of compressed air did you used (have seen anywhere from 20-40 to 120+ online)?
    • What position do you have the piston at (up or down)?
    • Did the air cause the engine to rotate??
    Thanks in advance for those who have been down this path before and are willing to share their successful tales or cautionary warnings:cool:
     
  5. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 7,832

    guthriesmith
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    I have used full pressure of compressor (120ish psi) and done all 8 cylinders at one spot of rotation of the engine. However, the safest way to do it, would be to have each piston up when you change the seal to make sure a valve doesn’t fall a long ways down. :rolleyes: I have only had the pressure rotate an engine if it was low on compression. I leave the other seven plugs in to keep it from rotating when airing up the eighth cylinder.
     
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  6. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,836

    jaracer
    Member

    Small block Chevy's don't use umbrella seals. They use a small O-ring that goes in a groove just under the valve keepers.
     
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  7. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,426

    Bruce A Lyke
    Member

    jracer
    "Small block Chevy's don't use umbrella seals. They use a small O-ring that goes in a groove just under the valve keepers. [/QUOTE]​
    One more item to the list, many conflicting views.
    It's a newer OT, 1974 350 of unknown past life. will see if there are any O-rings once i pull the first springs
    thanks
     
  8. Super Streak
    Joined: Nov 22, 2011
    Posts: 285

    Super Streak
    Member
    from Florida

    That's an awesome Pontiac, you're fortunate to have found one in great shape. I like the way you are bringing it back to being a reliable driver. Best of luck with it.
     
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  9. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,426

    Bruce A Lyke
    Member

    Thanks, it is an interesting car and I'm trying to improve it from the "You are here" condition it was in when i got it.
    The body and paint are too nice to go back and rework it, at least for now.
     
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  10. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,426

    Bruce A Lyke
    Member

    I'm part of a car club that only the first year is HAMB friendly. But we did a Tech Session on straightening bumper dents (kind of making it up as we went along :rolleyes:)
    Actually, turned out pretty well and achieved my goal of "making it less bad".

    dents on bumper.JPG pressing the bumper.jpg NCC team.jpg
    better bumper.jpeg
     
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  11. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 7,832

    guthriesmith
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Looks better from here! With the cost of getting bumpers re-chromed anymore, I typically do the same and call it good enough. :)
     
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  12. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,426

    Bruce A Lyke
    Member

    Finally got around to addressing the brake pedal, turns out it is from a 90's Ford Truck
    the Pedal was ~1" from the gas pedal and on occasion I would hit the gas when braking (with a 5" wide tennis shoe)
    old Pedal.jpeg
    Pulled it out and straighten it and then repositioned the bottom of the pedal.
    pedal 1.jpeg

    pedal 2.jpeg
    Used an Induction heater to heat the bar.
    pedal 3.jpeg pedal 4.jpeg
    pedal new.jpeg

    Much better:cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023
  13. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,426

    Bruce A Lyke
    Member

    Decided that a Tach may be nice to have and i had a couple laying around, so...
    Took the one that was in the 59 Nomad when i got it and started modifying and cleaning it up. Thought was if it was a total disaster, I still have the nicer one left.
    had to rework the mount to properly fir the steering column image5 - Copy.jpeg
    Still need to mount after the paint of the bracket dries and then wire it up. :rolleyes:
     

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    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023

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