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1954 Pontiac Pathfinder

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by TairyHesticles, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. I finally purchased my first car (I'm 17) and I have to say I'm pretty happy with it, she's obviously a project car and will take some time to complete but that's alright. I wanted something I could learn from and this is a prime car for that as far as I can figure. I'm the first one to admit my knowledge on cars is extremely limited, I don't know much outside the basics and that I love 'em but everybody had to start somewhere. I just figured I'd post some pictures and then ask a question or two down the road, as they come to mind.






    There she is! Its an inline 6 flathead, heres the engine.

    Looks rough, but I dont actually think it'll take all that much work to get 'er running. The man I bought it from said he had had it running the year before.

    I'm still torn on keeping it and getting it running the way it is, cause well flatheads of any sort are bad-ass. Or switching it out for a more "practical" engine from a more modern vehicle. Any ideas?

    If I was to pull that engine out, what would you suggest putting in it?
  2. 60galaxieJJ
    Joined: Dec 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,525


    the dash on those are killer!

    a hemi would look good in it:D
  3. Square One
    Joined: Aug 26, 2004
    Posts: 91

    Square One

    I dig it. Looks like you'll be learning the better side of the hammer and dolly set soon.

    Good luck. Take your time. And ask for help!
  4. 1964countrysedan
    Joined: Apr 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,131

    from Texas

    That's a cool first car. Get it running and safe and rive it many miles then decide what you want to change.

  5. That is the answer. Get the car running, stopping and steering right. Doing it is the best teacher. Don't waste money modifyiing stuff before you get the basics squared away.

    Get ahold of some friends with the proper basic knowledge, not some blowhard knowit alls, and start learning. Read up on all the fundimentals. and try stuff. Most of all, HAVE FUN WITH IT. This aint no test, it's a hobby. Don't rush it.-MIKE:cool:

    Oh ya, the fucker is tits, by the way!:D
  6. Thanks for the ideas, I'll probably do that. I have time to change things down the road if I decide to.

    And thanks for the compliments I'm hoping I'll do it justice. :D
  7. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,723


    Look for a Motors Repair Manual. They are easy to find on ebay and swap meets. It will have a ton of how to repair your car in it.
  8. Streight8
    Joined: Jun 12, 2012
    Posts: 125


    Great first car. Cool Tudor. and every custom guy loves that grille bar. Do some research on Canadian Pontiacs. Some Chevy and American Pontiac parts will interchange and are relativley common. Some of the stuff could be strictly Cdn Pontiac and tougher to find. I think the tail lights and trunk lid from a Chevy are the same. Motor is definetly Pontiac. Follow the previous advice of doing your basic get it running and safe. Good chance brake parts and steering are interchange with Chevy. Look for a parts car. Some of those dents are pretty deep and will be a challenge to fix so don't just jump right into those without some expert advice. It might work better to just change a door or fender if you can find something. What part of BC? There are some pretty decent bodies tucked away in the interior and lots of old car nuts. Try to find a Canadian Pontiac factory shop manual. Hit the swap meets. That is 50% of the fun, having a good excuse to go!
    You came to the right forum for help, good first move. I will pm you my contact. I have some parts books that cover both Cdn and American Pontiacs and I will try to get you some idea of what might interchange.
  9. JackdaRabbit
    Joined: Jul 15, 2008
    Posts: 498

    from WNC

    If that flathead gave me even a little sign of needing much I'd be shopping for a Chevy 235, 261 or 292 and back it up with a 4 speed or T5.
  10. I agree with the posters that suggested you get it running and functional first.
    That will teach you a lot! Also it is more likely that with it a driver that you will stay enthused about it. If you tear it down, at this stage in your life it probably won't get put back together, until you sell it.
    Get it running, drive it everywhere, and work on one fender or other small project, one piece at a time. That way it will not become overwhelming.
    With it running and you working on it a piece at a time it will become your trademark, and your friends and family will always be curious, "what have you done on your car lately?".

    Good luck and have fun!
  11. Pharouh
    Joined: Sep 18, 2008
    Posts: 437


    Great first car! That is a wild looking dash.
    I'd try to get it running. like they said ,if it's not worth saving,go to a Chevy engine.
    love the silver streaks!
  12. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,925


    NICE !
  13. plumfat40
    Joined: Jul 21, 2008
    Posts: 325

    from colorado

    not our first car but owned for 27 years, still my favorite car we have.... Great project keep us posted..

  14. RC Kid
    Joined: Jul 5, 2012
    Posts: 97

    RC Kid
    from Alabama

    Excellent first car. Congrats!
  15. Pontiac35
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 52

    from Wisconsin

    You can join POCI (Pontiac Oakland Club Int.) . It is a good source for parts and information and it is cheap, you even get a monthly magazine.
  16. Terrible Tom
    Joined: Feb 15, 2010
    Posts: 573

    Terrible Tom

    You have been given lots of good advice. I will offer some of the same. Whatever you do, don't take it all apart and try to do too much at once. There are plenty of those projects stuck in peoples garages that will never get finished. Get it running and driveable and then work on one area at a time. Nice car and pretty uncommon. At least around here.
  17. Streight8
    Joined: Jun 12, 2012
    Posts: 125


    Good advice on keping it together and trying not to tackle to much at once. But we know the challenges of getting something licensed for the road in Canada when it is not perfect, especially in Lotus Land. Here is a link to Canadian Pontiac forum might be some help available there as well.
  18. I'm from a small town not that far from the Alberta border, actually.

    Thanks for the offer and the info!

    Also, thanks for the link to the Pontiac forum!
  19. That car is all kinds of awesome!

    I'll post pictures as I go along. It might be slow going cause me and my father are doing it out of my back yard. :p
  20. And thanks to everyone else, any input is appreciated!
  21. 19blockhead72
    Joined: Feb 17, 2012
    Posts: 204


    Very cool. Like others have said get it running and driving then start the customizing.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  22. Butch11443
    Joined: Mar 26, 2003
    Posts: 353


    Get it running. Put some oil in the cylinders and let it sit a day or two. Put clean oil in it and spin it over with no plugs in it to get oil through the system. Clean gas, lines & filter and points & plugs. Good luck!!
  23. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    Your Tin Indian is a Canadian car. The one in Plumfat's post is a US model. The Canadian Poncho is a Chev with Pontiac stuff added. The front fenders off a Chevy should fit, and are easier to find. The headlight buckets look rough in your pics, but hat's a good excuse to find some '53 Ford rings and french the headlights!
    Cool that it's a two door, get her running and have fun, that's what its all about. I still have the '54 Bel Aire hardtop that I bought in 1968!
  24. Thanks for all of the advice guys, its appreciated.

    Today some work finally got done on the car, me and my dad pulled the seats out and I cleaned up a good portion of the rust, getting ready to clean it up and start patching it where it needs it.

    My uncle came over and figured he knew some older fellows here that would have parts for it, so hes on the hunt.

    I'll post some pictures as soon as I can. :D
  25. [​IMG]

    I have kind of a dumb question here but for some reason the window winder is giving me and my father troubles. How do you guys figure the winder comes off the spline?

    Thanks in advance!
  26. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,189

    dan c

    bet it's the same as late models--a snap ring holds it on. you should find the proper tool to remove it for a loon or two at the local parts store! you just slip the tool between the handle and the door panel to pop the snap ring off. to replace, put the snap ring in the slot and pop the handle back on.
  27. Thank you very much, I'll see what I can find tomorrow!
  28. deadgearhead
    Joined: Mar 14, 2009
    Posts: 315

    from Washington

    Keep the car and work on it as you come across time and money. Being so young you'll kick yourself for the rest of your life if you let it go (been there, done that).

    You can use a old t-shirt or rag to pop the snap ring/clip off by sliding it behind the crank like this and finagling it back and forth. (old junk yard trick)
  29. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,633

    from Chino, Ca

    Yeah, killer ugly. Not even a 30 pack will help,
  30. Its a good thing I didn't ask for your opinion on the dash then, isn't it?

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