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Projects 1955 Olds Rocket 88 Patina Machina

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Godsmobile, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Since I already started a thread for my engine related questions about the rocket V8 I got and kept collecting parts and engines, I also would like to start a build thread about my 55 Olds project. I started a few weeks ago with some serious rust repair work on the floor. Most of the right front floor was already gone and the left front floor was really bad too. So first steps were getting all of the old crap out of the car and start cutting shit up.

    Here are some pics after it was delivered with a trailer on an monday evening in february 2016.

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  2. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    First the interior was disassembled. I did that right after buying it.

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  3. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    And here are the first pics of what I did to the floor:

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  4. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    [​IMG]

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    Everything you will see in here is happening in northern germany/Bremen where I do live for the past twenty years now. I will post more pics, probably right now or maybe tomorrow.
    Plans are that this pretty thing will keep its patina and will first get a 371 rocket V8 from 1959 combined with a 1956 Jetaway autotrans. Beside that there is a 324 and a 303 cui in the shop that will receive some love related to other plans. Maybe the 303 ist going in my 29 5 window coupé. But that is another story.

    Cheers, Jan from Bremen

    P.S. Can you see all the pics? I'm wondering why this is not the case in my view since all of the pics are uploaded to picr and work in the context of other (german) forums without any issues.
     
    e1956v, Hnstray, pwschuh and 6 others like this.

  5. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    yes, all pics are showing. Keep going.
     
  6. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,879

    40FORDPU
    Member
    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    I can see the pics..nice creative metal work you're doing.
     
  7. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Ok, cool to hear that all the pics are good. Here are some more of them doing the welding on the driver side floor. Not that bad like the passenger side but nearly the same amount of work.

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    Out with the old one

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    "special tool" to remove all the crap inside the rocker

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    Good to know all the bees are lon gone ;)

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    Then onto the next step...welding

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    Sadly I found out that I can't call it good for now.
    More in this tomorrow. Hope you´re enjoying my progress so far.
     
    BJR, Hnstray, pwschuh and 4 others like this.
  8. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 4,392

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Looks very solid other than what you're replacing. Was this found over there or an import? Thanks for sharing, Carp.
     
  9. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    I bought it from a guy down in the South of Germany. He is bringing cars overseas from time to time and wanted this one for a quick resto. When it arrived he wanted more to get rid of it. Maybe I can take a look in the paperworks that came with it. Should be somewhere around my desk;)
    Found it. The title says that it came from California. It is quite solid. Trunk, doors, rocker, engine bay... everything ist fine so far i got into it. Must be moisture in the floor that had eatin up the panels. Weather strips are totally gone. Sadly it came without the drivetrain. Fishing some olds rockets in Germany is really hard.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
    Squablow likes this.
  10. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,541

    Squablow
    Member

    Floor pan repairs look good.
     
  11. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Next step was to brush down the rust with an angle grinder and a wire brush. Sadly I found some more rust spots in the area behind the passenger front seat. Nothing really serious but it needed some more love of my welder. With this being done I painted everything with Fertan (common rust converter over here) and let it soak in for about two weeks.

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    Squablow likes this.
  12. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Here are some random pics I found in my Olds folder. Here in Germany we need to change the beams to get the car street legal. So I already bought the right parts for the swap. Sadly my shifter knob is in pieces but I already bought that one two at fusicks with a few other parts that were broken or missing. Also I am planning to put in a airridelater but first i will lower it with blocks at the rearend. And I found a cool tach that will mount on the column.

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  13. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Here are the parts I bought at fusicks and a few pics outside in the sun at my shop.

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    And a pic of one of my other classic rides at a huge car show in Hannover

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  14. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Since the interior will be another whole project for itself I startet that by removing the door panels a few months ago. I have an interior guy at hand who already calculated the costs for rebuilding the seats and door panels. But first my job will be to build new boards for the door panels cause the old ones are in really bad shape.


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    I am also planning to use the mounting system of the good old VW bug to fix the door panels to the doors. So I drilled a lot of new holes do the inner sides of the doors and putting in those little rubber pieces that later will hold the clamp from the panel. My plans on using the old door panels as a template failed because of they are totally out of shape.

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    More pics in a sec
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  15. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

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    Since there was a big mice nest under the back seat and the little fellas loved to pee around the frame of the seat shows some major rust issues. That must be fixed before the interior guy can start with redoing the seat covers. The old ones will be needed as tamplates so I spend a lot of time on removing them as intact as it was possible.

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  16. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    In the meantime I found the seats out of a 55 Buick Roadmaster real cheap and I was hoping to replace the old seat frames of my Olds with those. I realized quickly after getting those home that the Buick seats were a lot wider than my Olds seats.

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  17. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Big thanks to Gary Oakford for sending me the correct flexplate from the US to my home base. Collecting the parts I will need to mount everything when the time has come.

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    Here are the issues on the olds rear seat frame


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    Then followed a closer look on the Buick rear seat


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    Cut, cut, weld, weld…


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    I call that good for now. A little rust converter and paint will do the rest.
     
    Squablow likes this.
  18. I like your Oldsmobile. I bought my parent's 55 super 88 in 1968. It was all original with light yellow and white paint and green interior. Good cars! 55olds.jpg
     
    Godsmobile likes this.
  19. Using the 1956 Olds JHM transmission is not the best idea. If original and never worked on it has a major design flaw. The front unit coupling driven torus uses 4 lugs instead of splines like the later ones. It is connected to the front sprag race and it just about always breaks. Behind any decent horsepower Olds engine it will surely break if it hasn't been replaced already with the spline type. So no matter what you do, you have to make sure your trans has been updated with these parts. The 1955/56 Dual Range regular Hydramatic transmission is really what you should be using anyway as someone else has already mentioned. It is much more robust than a JHM trans and much less trouble free. Also it is quite easy to modify to handle higher horsepower plus there are other modifications available for it. Not so with the JHM trans. I have at least two of these 55R transmissions, one out of a 1955 and the other out of a 1956. They are of course used and in an unknown condition. If you are at all interested in thinking about this option, let me know and we will proceed from there. Thanks, Dave Edwards - DBA AutoTran www.autotran.us
     
    Godsmobile likes this.
  20. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Thank you for the informative words, Dave. I had the tranny rebuilt from a guy who is doing the automatic transmissions for a professional us car shop owned by a friend. The rebuilding process was done with a complete kit from autotran so I really hope that everything in there is good to go now. But I will keep that in mind. The bigger problem is the externally balancing of the 371 block. As far as I got it right, I will have to balance the crank and harmonic balancer again before I can mount the tranny to it.
     
  21. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    After soaking everything in Fertan for about two weeks it looked like that.

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    It is just a rust converter and in no way a kind of primer. So I decided to paint a good coat of Owatrol over it. That turned the surfaces back to a more or less black finish. This is how it is looking right now. Because of the cold weather over here it needs a few weeks to totally dry out.

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    Eventually it will get a coat of real primer and then some paint on top. Maybe just paint alone. We will see.
     
  22. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    catdad49 and low budget like this.
  23. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    I was able to do some more work to the car itself. Painted the inner floor with an black matte rust encapsulator last saturday. Maybe it will get a second coat of that. We'll see.

    Pushed the car outside the shop to have better light while painting.

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    All in all the rust encapsulator is the third coat of rust prevention for the future.

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    On sunday I worked on getting new proper templates for making some new doorboards soon. The old doorboards were badly out of shape and not usable as a template. I got myself some transparent stiff plastic foil kinda stuff that is cuttable with a normal scissor. Since the holes for the door handles and window cranks in my first try out of wood lined up pretty well I was able to drill those in the plastic foil quickly. Just had to try out what is the best way to drill it. It tends to break really easy if your not patient enough. Sadly this was the case during the last door handle hole. But all in all this seems to work out pretty well.

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    Next weekend I will finish the outer contour of the templates and maybe will fab up door boards.
     
  24. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Since I'm planning on getting new old tires very soon for the olds, I reworked the original steelies but kept the patina.

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    Wirewheeled

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    cleaned and degreased

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    primered

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    spray painted

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    dried

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    And I was able to shoot a OG front bumper over here for a fairly decent price. It is in quite better shape then mine but will match the patina on my car.

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