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1954 Pontiac Pathfinder

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

  1. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,691


    The best builders are the ones that listen to good advice. Even in the very early days that we all are trying to recreate, you'd see cars that evolved slowly over time, most famous customs had early iterations and were updated or changed as time went on.

    Once you got your floors patched up and your seats put back in, focus on getting the engine running and the car driveable, with brakes and tires and a clean gas tank. Get the lights working. Little/None of that work will go to waste even if you do end up changing the suspension or drivetrain later. Then do some bodywork and/or mild customization.

    If you make it that far, you know you'll be able to follow through with some of the more challenging projects.

    And you might be surprised at how well these cars drive and handle on properly set up original brakes/suspension and engines. It's a whole different kind of driving experience.
  2. Cruiser
    Joined: May 29, 2006
    Posts: 2,240


    Whatever you do to the car, fix the grille bar and use it. Those grille bars are worth anywhere from $500. to $800. to custom guys, they put them in shoeboes, Merc's, Chevy's. Good luck on your first car.

    CRUISER :cool:
  3. I'll probably do just that, it makes a lot more sense.

    I'll just take it one step at a time and see how it goes!
  4. Yeah, I love the old Pontiac Grilles. I'd never change it.

    Thanks, I'll need lots of luck I'm sure.
  5. christopher 78
    Joined: Jun 24, 2012
    Posts: 136

    christopher 78

    what a killer dash! hell bad ass!!!!
  6. I thought it was pretty wicked too.

    I tore into it again today, cause I got my shipment of stuff. I'm taking the door panels apart to try my hand at dollying out some of these dents and see how it goes. I noticed the rust in the floor isnt half as bad as I thought it was either. Just the high traffic areas had worn through so it should be fairly easy to patch up I think. Then I'm gonna try and pick up a welder and get started on the patches sometime this weekend. Once theres some noticeable progress I'll throw some pictures up for ya guys.
  7. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,691


    There's a sweet Tech in the archives on how to put bead rolls in flat sheetmetal for floorpans using round rod and a dead blow hammer, no bead roller or special tools necessary. I tried it and it works fantastically, might be perfect for your floor pans if you've got any big areas to patch up. Flat sheetmetal in floopans often gives an 'oil can' effect.
  8. That would be handy, my Dad's friend (He has built a few cars over the years) said he'd let me use his bead roller if I needed it. But he lives an hour and a half away so that might be a good solution, I'll search it up and check it out, thanks! :D
  9. Well I finally decided to get going and started dollying out the dents in the roof. When I went to pull apart the doors I heard something scuffling around when I looked there was a damn pack rat sittin there lookin at me (it must've came with the car, some kind of bonus eh?). So I'm settin up a coyote trap to catch it tonight. So until its caught I'm afraid there wont be much progress. Shit on my parade a bit. :(:mad:
  10. But it does give me motivation to patch that floor as soon as possible, and replace that trunk so it closes properly.

    Some of you said that a '54 Chevy trunk should fit right? I thought the trunks on the Pathfinder are a bit shorter? Or am I wrong?
  11. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,691


    You might have to get someone with a Hollander manual to check, or have someone on the HAMB with a 53-54 Chevy measure it, but I'm fairly sure a 53-54 Chevy trunklid will fit your Pontiac. The Pathfinder trunk will be shorter than the American Pontiac trunk (Chieftain) but should be the same as the Chevy I believe.
  12. Streight8
    Joined: Jun 12, 2012
    Posts: 125


    Sorry to hear about the rat problem (obviously a car fan alla ratfink), not an issue in Alberta, hahaha.
    Anyway I also believe the chevy trunk should work as long as there is no recess in the lid for the silver streak.
  13. I'm pretty sure the rat is outsmarting us too, he watched us set the trap and he hasnt touched it yet. Maybe I should move to the prairie then! haha

    Well, I'll scrounge around locally and see if anyone has anything although I'm fairly doubtful. The Car show in Radium (Where I live) is coming up pretty quick so I might ask around there and see what I can find. Hopefully I find something. :p
  14. shivasdad
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 553

    from Texas

    Open the door that the rat lives in. Apply heat from a torch without warping the skin, of course. Rat leaves and then it's up to him where he goes. If you're dead set on making him dead, then some poison gum drops are in order. I read a study years and years ago where they tested the best bait to put on traps and the gum drops won because they stuck to the traps and the rats liked sugar like a fat kid likes cake.
  15. Streight8
    Joined: Jun 12, 2012
    Posts: 125


    Fall is often swap meet time check out the NorthWest Cruise calendar. Some coming in Maple Ridge , Red Deer and Monroe Wa, in October.
    Some guys make up a little sign or even a t-shirt or hat with what they need and you never know what will come up. Great way to meet a bunch of weirdos.
  16. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 213


    Cool first car ! Been playing with a 53 for a while.Ive changed mine up a bit, but have no intensions of messing with the dash !
    Good luck with it, I'll be checkin' on this one !
  17. I would have done that but my dad has his shop right beside my car, he has several motorcycles in there along with a disassembled 1916 Indian Powerplus, so that rat woulda probably moved in there and raised hell.

    My dad was planning on taking me to the Red Deer one, so I've been sorta scraping pennies together to start a "swap meet fund" hoping I'll find something cool.

    Thanks! :D The dash on the Pontiacs are wicked, I'm gonna check out your build thread right now. :D
  18. Rusty Heaps
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 671

    Rusty Heaps

    make it mechanically sound and drive it .
  19. I've been trying my best to do research and learn as much as I can but I figure I'm not gonna learn much unless I ask stupid questions. I'm not considering ripping into the engine at all, until the rest of the car is done. But I'd still like an idea for the future, when I have a better idea and feel for things. What are some things that can be done to a straight 6 to boost performance? Supplier names? Website recommendations? (I'm looking on my own of course) How do you choose a carb for such a car and know its for the right engine? I realize how dumb I sound right now but I just wanna make sure I got my facts straight. Not here to impress anyone anyways! haha
  20. Where the hell were these guys with their common sense when i got my first car?

    By the way cool poncho
  21. BabbitBeater
    Joined: Aug 18, 2009
    Posts: 160

    from Colorado

    The Chevy and Pontiac trunk lids are the same (as long as its from another sedan). The front clip is where the Pontiacs get their extra length. And if yours is a Canadian made Pontiac, the front clip is the same too, but I think those had OHV 235 cui 6 cylinders. For 6 Cylinder ideas, go to

    The only dumb question is the one that you don't ask. Give that rat an eviction notice and get back to work!
  22. Cant imagine what kind of mess I would of gotten myself into if they were't here for mine. I know I would have regretted getting myself in too deep.

  23. BabbitBeater
    Joined: Aug 18, 2009
    Posts: 160

    from Colorado

    Also, I would suggest getting it running, stopping and driving first. You will have so much fun driving it that it will keep you motivated. My first car was a 53 Chevy 210 Sedan, I'm pretty sure it had field mice still living in it for the first couple thousand miles I drove it. Just put some blankets over the old seats and drove.
  24. It's 110% Canadian.

    Sure would be easier to find a trunk lid but the issue is finding someone whos got an extra 54 Chevy trunk lid. Can't imagine its all that common. I was thinking of just cutting out the buckled spot with a die grinder and patching it. But I'm not sure if that'd work out.

    We got him with a coyote trap, just feeling out what welder to get before I rip into it. Winter will probably slow me a bit..

    Thanks for the link and advice.
  25. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,037


    Great car keep the posts coming. The rat, hit it with wasp spray the cans shoot 20 feet, or just shove a bug bomb house spray down in the door, either one is under $5. Make sure you neutralize urine /feces inside of the car where its been living. Very corrosive plus it will make you sick.
  26. I cleaned it all out, pulled the seats and stripped everything to clean it as best as I could. I learned that the hard way, made me sicker than a dog after I went through it. Couldn't stop coughing for a week!

    I'll remember that if I ever get a rat again (Sure hope I dont) cause it sounds like a way cleaner way to deal with it. :p
  27. SwedeVedette
    Joined: Feb 15, 2008
    Posts: 368


    Nice car you got, the first one is allways a great learning experience and you sure seem to have picked a nice one to start with!

    Myself I just bought a -53 Chieftain so Ill follow this thread
  28. I read through that thread the other day. It looks like it's in wicked shape, definitely a nice ride!

    Thanks man!
  29. kennkat
    Joined: Aug 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,383


    Love those Poncho's! Go "hairy"!
  30. BabbitBeater
    Joined: Aug 18, 2009
    Posts: 160

    from Colorado

    54 sedan trunk lids will work as well. Hard top, convertible, and business coupe trunks are longer, but the 53-54 2 and 4 door sedan lids were all the same. I see these come up around here a lot, but shipping to BC would cut into your funds. I say try fixing it, but keep an eye out for another. If you can't get the one you have fixed, you can always change it out then.

    That's cool that it is a Canadian built Pontiac. Will it take the 235 OHV engine from a Chevy? Their are a lot of aftermarket options on those.

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