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Projects 1956 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday mild custom build

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by improbcat, Jan 4, 2021.

  1. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

    These are the smoothies I'm talking about. They come in grey primer. I'd paint them and run the stock full caps.
    [​IMG]

    This is a very old-school shop, they told me they were bent based on the visible wobble when running on the balancing machine. They have no incentive to BS me as there was no upsell involved.
     
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  2. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

    Ah hell. Just got a call from the rad shop, the rad is cracked in several places in a way he says is due to major overpressure. He said if it hasn't been overheating (which it didn't on a 2 hour highway drive home), it probably has a bad head gasket. The coolant at the top of the rad was green, but the stuff at the bottom was milky brown, so that lends credence to that. I though the engine on this car was solid, but now I've got to pull the heads.
     
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  3. pgj
    Joined: Dec 24, 2010
    Posts: 138

    pgj
    Member
    from aurora co.

    The system can't have any more pressure than the cap holds,
     
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  4. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,066

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    That sucks but it could be worse. Really a solid afternoon's worth of work. Look on the bright side, with the Olds you don't need to pull the distributor to pull the intake and both heads. As good a time as any to go through some stuff, maybe some new stem seals while you're in there. The gaskets from Best are good, I did a light scrape over the head and and deck with a razor, wiped it all down with lacquer thinner, sprayed the shit out of it with copper spray gasket, and sent it home. Gaskets go in fire rings up.
     
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  5. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

    Where did you find them? I found their website, but haven't had any luck finding the gaskets for sale.
    I'm mostly bummed because I had mentally thought "Once I get the rad back in I can fire it up and take it for a quick spin", and now I have another big job.
     
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  6. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,066

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
    loudbang and improbcat like this.
  7. Send me your ship to. I have new stem seals I will send you. I will never use them.
     
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  8. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

    Thank you. PM sent.
     
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  9. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

    IMG_20210215_182005022.jpg
    Studs are all replaced, front wheel bearings are repacked with new seals, and the wheels are back on. I also cleaned ancient tar off the hubcaps and polished them up. I've decided to do a quick flush of the engine, then re-assemble the cooling system for now so I can move the car around. I'll check for exhaust gasses in the coolant in the spring and if present do the head gaskets then.
     
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  10. 55oldsholiday
    Joined: Sep 21, 2019
    Posts: 10

    55oldsholiday

    79A2D504-6A49-44C9-A530-A46BD97BD668.jpeg
    Great looking Olds! Here is a pic of my 1955 Olds. I have done a ton of work to it. Let me know if you need any parts.. I know it is a different year but some stuff has to carry over.
    Will
     
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  11. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

    Thanks, yours is really sweet.

    Some stuff I know I need that might interchange:
    Heater switch
    dome light lens
    Driver's door glass
     
  12. paint some Red Diecom, like the gun blueing only red, on the inside of your taillight lenses and they will look brand new.
     
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  13. Cool Olds. I bought my parent's 55 super 88 back in the mid 60s. Was an immaculate car in light yellow and white. 55olds.jpg
     
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  14. Love those home movies
    Keep this thread rolling
    Need inspiration for my ‘56 Super 88
    Want to yank the 324 out next weekend


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  15. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

    The Olds got some sun while we worked on another car and did some garage cleaning and organizing.

    IMG_20210221_123952433_HDR.jpg

    I turned her around so I can keep stripping bedliner off the passenger side.

    IMG_20210221_123935970_HDR.jpg

    Something I discovered stripping the hood, a prior owner managed to immortalize themselves on the car by closing the hood with brake fluid on their hands. This is all the way down to the steel and is hilarious to me.

    IMG_20210221_124001678_HDR.jpg
     
  16. Haha,
    Hands on the hood, and spread 'em.
     
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  17. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

  18. Did you charge the battery? Maybe charge it and do a load test before you buy a new one. Pretty easy to make a hold down clamp.
     
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  19. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

    I charged it off another car, but it is still weak, I was planning to do something about it eventually since it fit so badly, so I'm bumping that up.
     
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  20. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,066

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    I'd leave the battery alone for now and replace the generator with a alternator. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with the generator, but the alternator will give you some added flexibility with electrical components, not to mention better reliability and availability of parts.
     
  21. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

    [​IMG]

    Got to take the Olds out today an took the first real drive since driving it home in Dec. It needs an alignment as the front end isn't quite right, but it is much tighter than before all the work, so that is a win. I noticed more clanks and bangs around the car, but that could just be that the new mufflers are quiet enough I can finally hear that. Definitely happy to finally really get to enjoy it.

     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
  22. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,143

    PhilA
    Member

    I used Tamiya model-making spray-paint red plastic lacquer, followed by some clear to cheer up my tail light lenses- as a cheaper and potentially easier alternative you can get the red to look pretty smart if you're careful with the prep:
    20191116_160643.jpg
    LH painted, RH looking a little sun-bleached. I chose that route because finding lenses for these isn't particularly easy nor cheap.

    --Phil
     
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  23. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,760

    belair
    Member

    Love those cars. Had a 55 Super 88 two door sedan with a 54 Pontiac grille in it. 56 is my favorite. good luck.
     
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  24. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

    Good info! Are '50 & '51 tail lights the same? Because I have a couple Speedway '50 Pontiac assemblies in boxes I bought for another project that I ended up not using. I'll send them to you for the cost of shipping.
     
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  25. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,143

    PhilA
    Member

    Nope! About a quarter inch difference in diameter and significantly less bulbous- making them a popular mod because they're a nice looking light. These are like hen's teeth in comparison! Thank you kindly for the offer, though.
     
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  26. klilek
    Joined: Sep 19, 2018
    Posts: 11

    klilek

    Thanks for sharing, a lot of good info here.
     
  27. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

    I've been pondering how toy install 3-point seat belts in the Olds. It being a hardtop and my desire to keep a more traditional look has made this more complicated than it might otherwise be.

     
  28. TrailerTrashToo
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 1,086

    TrailerTrashToo
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Makes sense to me. The shoulder belt angles are the best compromise available in a hardtop.

    Been wearing seat belts since 1956. Dad had the seat belts installed at the edges of the back seat to keep me and my little brother at arm's length...

    My first 3 point belt was a 1960 Volvo (bought used in 1965).

    Russ
     
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  29. Jim Spin
    Joined: Jul 28, 2018
    Posts: 20

    Jim Spin
    Member

    Looks like a cool project driver. I feel like you but what i found out some days I have to PUSH myself to go out to the garage(my happy place) and at least do 1 thing even if its for an hour. Sometimes you start feeling more energy or better and it leads to 4 or 5 hours later and sometimes it is only an hour but at least you did something. Next thing you know a lot of stuff is done. Its supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Dont make it a job Thats not fun
     
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  30. improbcat
    Joined: May 15, 2006
    Posts: 224

    improbcat
    Member

    Thanks for the complement. I am definitely trying to do at least a little most days. Right now I'm finishing up repairing/upgrading a utility trailer so that is keeping the Olds on the back burner. But I'm still poking at it from time to time.

    Related, got some useful seatbelt information from seatbeltplanet.com

     

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