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Projects 1955 Cadiallac Convertible Conversion

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by grease4life, May 25, 2011.

  1. Knocking it dead! Well done!
     
  2. Reijer
    Joined: Oct 11, 2010
    Posts: 175

    Reijer
    Member

    Impressive project!
     
  3. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,320

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Great project, and really nice work. You were lucky to find the Buick donor, makes the job much easier and authentic. WAY back in the early 80's, I did a '56 Sedan DeVille (4 door hardtop), topless, shortened 16", chopped 4. Great car. No worries about the frame being stout enough, as you've found the hardtops share the same heavy "X" member frame with converts, it'll be fine.

    Have fun, keep up the good work!

    Brian
     
  4. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,127

    Squablow
    Member

    Awesome progress, no screwing around!
     
  5. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    Looking to sell my 331 well running engine and trans, (approx 65k miles). Description on page one of this thread. Just picked up this 6.2 Escalade engine with only 26k miles!

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  6. I'm hitching a ride on this bad boy!! Nice work, they sure look killer dragging the tail.

    Carry on!!

    Bill
     
  7. flynstone
    Joined: Aug 14, 2005
    Posts: 1,613

    flynstone
    Member

    good work nice car, so correct me if im wrong, but all that welding was you laying on the ground? no lift? if so wow good job...i hate laying on the ground welding lol
     
  8. Damn! I really liked this build until you got to this part. I understand the dependability and parts availability of the newer motor but that 331 would have been bitchin. Oh well, it's still going to look great. Good job, so far.
     
  9. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    Yup that's me... And yes welding from the floor sucks but I was just happy to be indoors!
     
  10. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    I've spent my whole life wrenching on old motors in unplesant conditions for myself or friends, and in my opinion it's worth it, because nothing beats the appearance and sound of nostalgic motors. Especially with a heavy cam gasping for more air and spitting gas out the tail pipes at idle. But for this build I decided to try something different and go the full distance and build a show winning car that can be driven all over So Cal without any worries or lack of horse power... and with a baby on the way, the reliability of this car will bring me a different kind of joy. Sharing this hobby with my new family.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  11. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,394

    40StudeDude
    Member

    I tend to agree with your thinking on this one...especially when you're 1633 miles from home and something takes a crap on your original 331"...like a waterpump. Ever try to find a 331" waterpump in East Timbuktu, Arkansas...??? There ain't one...prolly ain't even one in L.A.... and that takes the fun right out of rod running/traveling in a vintage car.....!!!

    With this engine, you can roll into a Cadillac dealer and have them check it out IF you can't figure it out or have the car flat-bedded to the dealer...and it allows the wife to breathe easier...

    R-
     
  12. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,048

    texasred
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Houston

    X 2 And it is still Cadillac, instead of shit block chevy
     
  13. I totally get it, guys.
     
  14. Yeah man, wouldn't want to put a shit block Chevy in there. No sir, a new GM corporate motor is a lot better. :confused:
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  15. oldcarfart
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,437

    oldcarfart
    Member

    can't be any worse than Pinto, Chevy pickup or Ford cop car, eh?
     
  16. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    Please don't use this thread to waste space about arguments and opinions of engine preference. I started it to simply document my own build and along the way meet some nice folks who wish to share ideas and support. Don't want to be rude but these discussions can go on without resolve for a life time. Please respect the purpose of this thread. Thank you for your consideration, Danny
     
  17. oldcarfart
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,437

    oldcarfart
    Member

    I buy flexible conduit from home supply stores and run it thru frame on starter side of car and then run #2 welding cable in it to insulate from any possible damage, then anouther run of conduit in opposite frame rail for other wiring and fuel lines, no road damage issues and looks great.
     
  18. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    I have been trying to figure out the best way to get all my wires as well as bag lines into the frame. I will look into that flexible conduit. Thanks!
     
  19. otas
    Joined: Aug 9, 2007
    Posts: 183

    otas
    Member

    totally love the caddi. i have a 55 as well. just redid the original 331 with the hydro. she still leaks out the front seal and rear main too. what a bummer....it runs great and i really like the car. my buddy down the street has a hot rod shop and he begged me to go 5.3 with electonic trans. cost a few more bucks but is totally user friendly by all in the family if you know what i mean. my wife can drive my car but the hydro leaves a little to be desired compared to the electronic transmissions. she doesn't like it much. i am doing a 58 apache short bed fleet side truck and it is getting the 6.0 with the elctronic trans. can't wait to get her finished up. hopefully for the lone star round up. good luck. Subscribed...
     
  20. FoxSpeed
    Joined: May 19, 2009
    Posts: 385

    FoxSpeed
    Member
    from NorCal

    Great stuff, you are very talented. Subscribed
     
  21. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    I'm pretty happy with the progress made the last couple weeks. No actual work done on the car BUT, I found a 6l80e transmission with 80 miles on it! Bought it on Wed and it arrived in from AZ on Fri. I also had a great conversation with Ron from RPM Engineering here in CA. From what I hear from some posts here on the HAMB, he is now in his mid 70's and still crankin out great stuff. He talked me into getting rid of the entire hydro vac and brake booster and replace with a custom master and disc brakes for the front and rear. I also purchased from him a custom rack and pinion to replace the stock power steering. This is designed to work perfectly with the drop uprights.

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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  22. Foppa
    Joined: Aug 18, 2008
    Posts: 168

    Foppa
    Member

    great work.. i like this conversion.. (since i'm converting a cadillac -61 myself)
     
  23. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    Probably should not have spent half the day at a car show. It took way longer than planned but with plenty of help from my buddy Randy (pictured below), the engine and trans are finally out!

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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  24. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    Progress for this weekend included a dreaded degrease of the cross member and front frame as well as assembly of new cherry picker on Saturday. After a few hours of scraping and wire brushing clean metal finally revealed itself.

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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  25. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    On Sunday my friend Randy was kind enough to come over for the day and help me hook the trans up to the engine and hoist into the car. This allowed me to check trans clearance and measure for engine mounts.

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  26. Woo Hoooo. Progress, looks like it fits well
     
  27. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    If this weekends work had a title it would be "A little progress and a lot of cursing". It started off great with several of my buddy's showing up to help with what they could.

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  28. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    My goals were to get new motor mounts installed, build out trunk, install new EFI gas tank, and fab mount for air bag valves and relays. That's not quite what happened... After wasting an hours and a half at Home Depot we finally got to work. My buddy John wrapped the board I had cut at HD with carpet, and began to install the wiring harness I built last week which will send power to the doors and air bags via remote fobs. He got everything laid out and then found while testing the set up off the battery, that one of the electric valves is dead. Once I replace the broken valve, I will clean up the rest of the wires and this set up, although will be hidden, should look really clean.

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    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  29. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    I got to work on building a frame to hold the trunk floor and mount the EFI gas tank to. I thought that since I had everything pre cut at the metal yard, this part would be quick. WRONG! I'm not sure what caused my error, but it was probably a perfect combo of amount of people with suggestions, beer, overconfidence in fabrication skills, beer, and the illusion that the trunk appears to be deeper than wide. Either way, I welded the gas tank supports facing the wrong direction. I then proceeded to finish and paint it!

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    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  30. grease4life
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 234

    grease4life
    Member

    Three perfectly good wasted hours of daylight and prime fab time later, I stripped, cut, ground, re-welded, and re-painted the piece.

    [​IMG]
     

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