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Technical 1955 Pontiac Star Chief Accessories

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bishop Schulz, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Bishop Schulz
    Joined: Apr 9, 2019
    Posts: 132

    Bishop Schulz
    Member

    Hails HAMB, first post. I am considering picking up a 55 Star Chief as a project...took about 1000 picks, deciding now if I want to do this. The price is good, it hasn't seen the road in over 30 years, its been outside for that 30 years but weathered okay.

    I've restored a few cars before so its not a new thing to me, but I've not visited the Pontiac world yet.

    I have a question, what the heck is this thing on the firewall? firewall_item.jpg
     
  2. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,135

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Is that a contact switch on top? Under hood light?
     
  3. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,246

    Slopok
    Member

    A 1,000 pictures and you only post 1 ???
     
    qwkchevy, slv63 and VANDENPLAS like this.
  4. Ding ding ding, we have a winner folks.
     
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  5. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 734

    Joe H
    Member

    The light is a portable trouble light. Pull it out of the holder and unwind the cord so you have light at the wheels for changing flat tires or use it anywhere you need light. The cord is pretty long. You wind the light lens while holding the base. The switch turns it on when hood or truck is open, you could get them either location.
     
  6. Bishop Schulz
    Joined: Apr 9, 2019
    Posts: 132

    Bishop Schulz
    Member

    Wow a portable light! Ha pretty darn cool.
    Well...I haven't bought it yet, so in respect of the current owner I didn't want to post a bunch of pics of someone elses car. I will post a few more though =)
     
    Pre60carsandparts likes this.
  7. Bishop Schulz
    Joined: Apr 9, 2019
    Posts: 132

    Bishop Schulz
    Member

    As requested, a few pics of the possible new addition to my car family:
     

    Attached Files:

    catdad49, wvenfield and BuckeyeBuicks like this.
  8. Interesting that there is a ballast resistor on the firewall.
    Thats a 12 volt demand (unless I"m about to learn something new)

    I thought 55 Poncho"s were 6 volt. Is this a 12 volt system from the factory?

    Oldmics
     
  9. Bishop Schulz
    Joined: Apr 9, 2019
    Posts: 132

    Bishop Schulz
    Member

    Hails Oldmics, the 55 was the first year of the 12 volt. The car is certainly a time machine!
     
  10. Gerrys
    Joined: May 1, 2009
    Posts: 328

    Gerrys
    Member

    power windows and power steering.
     
  11. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,784

    KoolKat-57
    Member
    from Dublin, OH

    Wow that was one loaded '55 Pontiac!
    6 way manual adjust seat is a rare option also!
    Lots of goodies on that one!
    KK
     
  12. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,512

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    Pretty sure someone repops the Lucite for the indian ...
     
  13. donno
    Joined: Feb 28, 2015
    Posts: 337

    donno
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Looks pretty much all there, yeah, every one is right about the portable trouble light. My partner has owned Her 57 StarChief for over 40 years, but it's been"upgraded''. If your new to the Pontiac world, you will soon realize they were G.M.'s unloved step-child. Grab it and good luck!!
     
  14. Bishop Schulz
    Joined: Apr 9, 2019
    Posts: 132

    Bishop Schulz
    Member

    Thanks Donno, ya I think i'll grab this up before it fades too far.

    Oh a 6 way seat too! Nice! Ya this owner is the 2nd owner so a short pedigre for sure.

    So cool to have some fun options and thats wild about the trouble light, they really thought of a lot 70 some years ago.

    Ooo ya the indian head would be nice to make solid again, its pretty fractured.
     
  15. Nice find with a lot of great options. They used to reproduce the Lucite hood ornament in clear only but if you decide to get one make sure you use the screws that come with it and not the originals because they are a different size.(don't ask how I know;let's just say that I had some very expensive screws for my collection). Notice you have windshield washers as well;nice! When you get it running I would advise putting in a new thermostat first and get a good one as the cheap ones have a tendency to stick closed(don't ask me about this either).To bleed the cooling system make sure the heater valve is in the open position as it is difficult to get the air bubbles out of the under seat heater core.The ballast resistor allows the car to start on 12 volts and run on slightly less to save the points. If you can find a 56 and up distributor with the point adjustment window do it because the early points alone are nearly the same price as a tune up kit for the latter. Hopefully the heater valve is in good shape as they are as rare as rocking horse shit. I had to replace mine and luckily found a rebuilt one on e-Bay. I see you have manual brakes which are good as long as you clean and adjust them periodically. Power brakes on those are a nightmare and horrendously expensive to repair. Good luck;looks like you got a keeper.
     
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  16. Jay71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2007
    Posts: 777

    Jay71
    Member

    I'll take that side trim off your hands!
     
  17. Bird man
    Joined: Dec 28, 2009
    Posts: 428

    Bird man
    Member
    from Milwaukee

    Very cool car, I say snag it.
     
    Bishop Schulz likes this.
  18. Bishop Schulz
    Joined: Apr 9, 2019
    Posts: 132

    Bishop Schulz
    Member

    Hails Safriknut! Great response, i would like to replace the ornament so it doesnt just fall apart or off. Ya it has washers too, lots of extras....ty for the bleeding the cooling note too, ill make sure i do that. the second owner did replace the underseat heating...course that was 30 years ago. I was considering coverting the points over to electronics...i dont have anything against original tech but i've found it pretty worry free in the past.

    Ya getting pretty excited to work on this, still need to pick it up though...been reading through the manuals too. Parking brake works, ive not driven a car that didnt have 'Park'. Thanks again for the encouraging words! I will totally post when i get to work on this and share the adventure. Thanks!

    -bish
     
  19. Bishop Schulz
    Joined: Apr 9, 2019
    Posts: 132

    Bishop Schulz
    Member

    Hehe, I bet its hard to come by for sure. What year is yours? Is the avatar pic your rig? I think they call it a Poncho?
     
  20. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 14,599

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    his avatar is a 55 chevy, It was and is a very common practice to use 55 pontiac side trim on other cars when customizing them. It fits especially well on 55 chevs
     
    Jay71 likes this.
  21. Jay71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2007
    Posts: 777

    Jay71
    Member

    Yep. What Moriarity said. Been looking for some 4 dr. Star Chief trim for a while.
     
    Moriarity likes this.
  22. Bishop Schulz
    Joined: Apr 9, 2019
    Posts: 132

    Bishop Schulz
    Member

    Oh thats pretty cool, ha never occurred to me ... hmm that opens up some possibilities for mods...awesome idea Jay71 =)
     
  23. Unique Rustorations
    Joined: Nov 15, 2018
    Posts: 220

    Unique Rustorations
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    That has some desirable options for sure (prolly more than 3 of my pontiacs put together!:). They do repop the Indian and it should light up. I have a 56 in my shop now that the owner replaced the Indian and said the troops go for about $85 while NOS units are $400+. I am actually looking at the light tomorrow as it is on his list to get fixed. Good luck! Randy


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  24. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,991

    belair
    Member

    Doors and glass, lots of stuff from chevys interchange. Tail lights too, l think.
     
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  25. Bishop Schulz
    Joined: Apr 9, 2019
    Posts: 132

    Bishop Schulz
    Member

    Thanks for the info on the repop Randy...i do like the amber color more but i'm, guessing the white was stock?....ya for my old Edsel the hood ornament is similarly made of unobtanium hehe.

    I look forward into tearing into the wiring and seeing what works and needs to be repaired.
     
  26. Unique Rustorations
    Joined: Nov 15, 2018
    Posts: 220

    Unique Rustorations
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    We spent yesterday and today getting everything on this 56 Safari working with only the hood ornament and the reverse lights left. Once the owner brings we the reverse light switch that he removed we should be good! Lol. Randy


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  27. Bishop Schulz
    Joined: Apr 9, 2019
    Posts: 132

    Bishop Schulz
    Member

    Hey thats awesome Randy, i'm considering replacing all the lights with LEDs to save on power consumption, did that on my 48 chevy pickup, was pretty nice and bright. Wonder if a color changing one in the hood ornament would be cool, you could cycle it through colors at will. Hmm.
     
    Unique Rustorations likes this.
  28. Bishop Schulz
    Joined: Apr 9, 2019
    Posts: 132

    Bishop Schulz
    Member

    Update: Count down is on for the Chief!

    About four weeks left and the chief comes home, i'm busy clearing out space in the shop and have begun lining up links and items I will need right off the bat.

    Most likely I will clean it first, clean the plugs (i know the motor spins over by hand), re-install the starter if it works...or get a new one. I would bet i can get a reduction one if need be.

    Rebuild the 2bbl thats on there. According to the owner, it ran 30 years ago when he, not a mechanic at all, took the starter out under direction of a friend, and could not re-install it. At that point other cars were already daily drivers so the chief sat.

    So in anticipation too, i have already began plotting the transplant of a 389 at some point, 1959 variety, which I will rebuild while driving the chief. Some items on my short list for the 389 portion:

    1959 389 block, heads, and 4bbl intake...maybe a tri power
    new cam, timing chain, lifters: considering moving over to roller hydraulic since the tech is pretty solid now
    making sure im sitting at about 10:1, get the valve seats hardened
    port flow and polish the heads to the intake and match them to the older 1956 exhausts for better flow and fitment
    hei the distributor

    For now, we'll see if i can get the original 44k miles 287 running and driving...so i can enjoy it while waiting for the transplant.
     
  29. My last one...I've had 11, 55-57 Pontiacs..................so far 55wagon2.jpg
     
  30. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,871

    dan c
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    i worked with a fella who restored a '55 safari, and he went to old-time dealers and bought a lot of stuff that had been on their shelves for decades. paid about $6 for a lighted hood ornament because the parts department only had the 1955 price as a reference!
     

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