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Projects 1957 DESOTO Firesweep

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by baker53, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. froghawk
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 852

    froghawk
    Member

    What a nice car! The '57s were the best looking "Forward Look" Desotos; such a clean, dramatic design.

    Since your Firesweep uses Dodge sheetmetal upfront I wonder if '58 Dodge quad headlights would be a direct swap?

    [​IMG]

    In fact it looks like the '58 Firesweep used the same pieces...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  2. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    froghawk: Very nice Dodge you have. They very well could, but one of the reasons I like the 57 Desoto Firesweep so much is the look of the front end with the dual headlights rather than the quads. If I remember correctly, The quad headlamps were an option in '57.

    Stic: Those were some beauties you posted. Hope the lotto comes through for you.

    Chaz: Thanks for the comment. I think most manufacturers back then were more interested in pushing them out the door than fit and finish.

    tattos by brandon: Thanks for the link to your build page. Lots of work going on there for sure.
     
  3. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

  4. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    This was at the last tri-five picnic. One of the coolest cars in the place, to my eye.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    falcongeorge: You are correct, that is a great looking car.
     
  6. froghawk
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 852

    froghawk
    Member

    Thanks, Baker, but I only wish that was my Dodge! Just a random shot from the inter-web.

    If your cool with the dual lamps I can respect that. It does set the Firesweeps apart from the other models. Don't think I've ever seen a '57 Firesweep with quads, though I know they were optional, at least for the other models, early on because quads weren't legal in all states yet when the '57s were introduced. It seems that eventually quads became almost universal on the Fireflite, Firedome, and Adventurer.
     
  7. Phillips
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,292

    Phillips
    Member

    Just a suggestion, I've been wishing for someone to build a '57 Plymouth like the one in this Steve Stanford illustration for a long time. A De Soto would be just a as good!

    [​IMG]

    Image courtesy Rik Hoving's amazing photo archive.
     
  8. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Phillips: I have a friend in Houston that has a '57 Chrysler New Yorker two door hardtop and he has been thinking something similar, but with a chopped top. Not sure if or when it will happen, but I sure hope he does.
     
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,858

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Nice looking car. I've had a want for one of those for a long time but they are out of my price range now.
     
  10. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Thanks, as I mentioned earlier, I had been wanting one for a long time. I had one in '62 and glad to have another.
     
  11. tattoos by brandon
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 540

    tattoos by brandon
    Member
    from salem ohio

    That would be killer I think there is a black one from back in the day online if u look long enough

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  12. Stic
    Joined: Aug 14, 2013
    Posts: 119

    Stic
    Member

    ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  13. luke13
    Joined: Oct 25, 2013
    Posts: 381

    luke13
    Member

    ahhh so thats whats meant by a belly button engine.
     
  14. luke13
    Joined: Oct 25, 2013
    Posts: 381

    luke13
    Member

    same in our household, youd get shit till you rectified the issue.actually just being caught with a small block chev is reason for great concern.
     
  15. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,406

    Gary Addcox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Luke13, News flash. I won't "get caught" by a Mopar while driving my "chebby" powered roadster. HA HA. Here is South Texas, the early Hemis of all three persuasions are ending up in more and more streetrods. I have an S-24 330 cu in on an engine stand just throbbing to be installed in something. By the way, we in the USA are very impressed with the prowess of your brother countrymen and their metalworking ability. Very impressed, indeed. Hope you can make the Roundup in Austin in April someday.
     
  16. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Good day today. Picked up my '57 Texas license plates after my pal Mark repainted them. Got insurance on the car and spent two hours at the court house transferring the title and getting a sticker for the rear license plate.
     
  17. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

  18. luke13
    Joined: Oct 25, 2013
    Posts: 381

    luke13
    Member

    yeah alot of friends own fast chevys, i just dont like to follow trends and i like the exotic mopar brands, yeah we got some real clever tin benders down here, seems the less tools they have the better they are, alot of our expats over in the states doing clever things too. lookin forward to seeing how ths desoto transforms.
     
  19. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    The '57 Desoto Firesweep arrived yesterday in an enclosed three car hauler. The battery was dead so jump started it and it barely made it up the driveway to the garage. It was running rough as a cob. Realized later that the battery was only putting out 2 volts and that the belt for the generator was missing. Also found that number number 8 and number 4 wires were crossed at the distributor. After charging the battery, it was running much better, but I still need to pull the plugs and do some ignition maintenance.
    All in all the car is better than expected. The only things that are not working are the brakes, BTW, the emergency brake works fantastic. It has a leaking water pump and a pin hole leak in the radiator. I had already ordered a replacement water pump so that will go on this week. I pulled the radiator and it will go the radiator shop tomorrow morning. All the electrical items work including the radio. I also checked to see if there was any freon in the A/C and was surprised that it still had pressure. The power steering works very well also.
    Lots of body and interior work to do, but very pleased so far. The undercoating on the frame did a pretty darn good job of protecting the metal. The exhaust system is shot so that will get replaced after the radiator and brake work. The power brake booster is holding vacuum. The brake pedal goes to the floor, so I'll be tracking down that problem soon. A cursory look at the backing plates and drums did not reveal any brake fluid leaks. I was also surprised to find the windshield washer bag is in great condition. It was covered with dirt and grime, but it cleaned up nicely and no leaks. More to follow.
     
  20. 35desoto
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 760

    35desoto
    Member

    May I suggest that before you put the radiator back in you remove all the freeze plugs and flush the block? There will be a whole pile of crud in there and it would be a shame to clean/fix the radiator for all that crud to come loose and block the radiator. I never heeded my own words once and found the repetition of the job frustrating cause I detest doing the same job twice because of my incompetence.
     
  21. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    The water I drained from the block was not crudded up at all. I know what you mean about doing things twice or even three times. I back flushed the block and flow was great. If I decide to go through the engine which at this time it does not look I will have to, I will have the block cleaned by the pros. I think the previous owner paid a lot of attention to maintenance on the car. Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  22. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Got busy today and worked on the brakes for the Desoto. I pulled the master cylinder and found that the piston was stuck. I ordered a new master cylinder and it should be here later this week. I'll clean and repaint the booster, backing plate and the new master cylinder after it arrives. Hopefully, I will have great power brakes once I flush, refill, and bleed the new system.
     
  23. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    I cleaned up the radiator as well as the brake booster and vacuum tank. I made up a bench tester for the booster with my vacuum pump and checked that the system was working well.
    I'll be painting the booster, tank, and radiator plus a bunch of other parts tomorrow.

    57 desoto work 001.jpg
    Radiator shop did a nice job on the old radiator. They rodded it out and fixed a leak along the top tank.

    57 desoto work 003.jpg
    This is the booster for the power brakes. The forked rod applies pressure to the lever that actuates the master cylinder.

    57 desoto work 004.jpg
    This is a vacuum tank for the brake booster. It has a check valve at the inlet to keep the vacuum from escaping.

    57 desoto work 005.jpg
    I rigged up a vacuum pump to the vacuum tank and booster to check the system out before paint and re-installation.

    57 desoto work 006.jpg
    The firewall behind the booster master cylinder will need some cleanup as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  24. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Painted the radiator and power brake assembly parts as well as pressure washed the engine. I removed the valve covers and was pleasantly surprised at the condition. No sludge buildup, so I guess the 38,000 miles on the odometer is true after-all.

    PAINTED RADIATOR.jpg

    PAINTED BOOSTER.jpg

    PAINTED VACUUM TANK.jpg

    BLOCK 1 AFTER PRESSURE WASH.jpg
    Started removing items on the engine so clean up and paint can be done.

    BLOCK 2 AFTER PRESSURE WASH.jpg

    LEFT BANK CYLINDER HEAD.jpg
    Very little, if any sludge on the rockers. The previous owner was very good at regular engine service.

    RT BANK CYLINDER HEAD.jpg
    This side very clean as well. The odometer shows 38000 miles and after seeing the condition under the valve covers, I believe it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  25. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Fabricated a remote fill cap for the master cylinder. Putting in brake fluid is a real chore with the booster assembly installed. Hopefully, this will make the brake bleeding task much easier.

    remote fill 5.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  26. tattoos by brandon
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 540

    tattoos by brandon
    Member
    from salem ohio

    I had so much trouble with my 59 brakes that were like that after a lot of work I gave up and switched to 75 new yorker spindles and a dual master cylinder and booster it's was surprisingly easy

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  27. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,326

    George
    Member

    Yup! A number of 70s disc spindles bolt on & with a modern rear axle you have modern brakes all the way around. 65-7 C body axle bolts in & a number of other axles fit with a spring perch relocation.
     
  28. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Finished sand-blasting the wheels. All had minor surface rust. All ready for primer and paint now.
     
  29. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Sand-blasted wheels; ready for primer and paint.

    WHEELS.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  30. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Rebuilt the distributor for the Firesweep and dialed it in on the Sun Distributor machine.

    DIST 1.jpg DIST 2.jpg DIST 3.jpg DIST 4.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014

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