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Projects 1957 DESOTO Firesweep

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

  1. What a great car! I remember trying to convince the salesman that my dad was going to buy me one but in the meantime I sure would like to take a test drive, he didn't buy my story. So I just hopped on my bicycle and rode away.
     
  2. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    firengine103: Thanks for the comment of the car. I had one back in the early 60's and am enjoying bringing this one back to road-worthiness.
     
  3. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Rebuilt the generator and 2 BBL carburetor today.

    Rebuilt generator.jpg Rebuilt carb 1.jpg Rebuilt carb 2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  4. midnightrider78
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,040

    midnightrider78
    Member

    I'm not usually a fan of pre-muscle era Chrysler products, but I must admit the '57-'58 Desotos have an overwhelming amount of style. '60 Fireflite is another gorgeous car.
     
  5. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    midnightrider78: Agree with you for sure. I am of the opinion that the '57 models were the cleanest of the forward look Chrysler products. In the later years, Chrysler stylists added more doo-dads that I think took away from the new look. I'm sure many will disagree, but...
     
  6. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Weather was great today, so some time spent painting wheels, inner fender panels, and some other parts.

    painted wheel well 4.jpg painted wheels 2.jpg painted parts 1.jpg painted parts 3.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  7. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Put some paint on the engine today.

    painted engine 1.jpg painted engine 2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  8. ago
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,199

    ago
    Member
    from pgh. pa.

    Baker,
    I would make sure your rocker shafts are getting adequate oil. They are notorious for plugging.


    Ago
     
  9. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    After bench bleeding the new master cylinder, I installed it along with the brake booster. I then bled the brakes and had great pedal, but found I was engaging only one shoe on the right front. I pulled all four drums and found that 5 of the 6 wheel cylinders were stuck. Also, the shoes looked pretty thin. Rather than install kits in the cylinders, I ordered 6 new wheel cylinders along with new brake shoes, new flexible hoses and new steel brake lines. Hopefully, all that stuff will get here this week. I also took the drums to get them turned and they should be ready soon. I have new bearings sets for the front, so I'll put them in as well. Maybe within a week or two I will have brakes on the Firesweep.
     
  10. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,455

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Be sure you set - up and adjust the brakes by the book. If you do they work great. But they are more finicky than the loose leaf brakes featured by other makes back then.

    Your car should have the Centerplane brakes, the best brakes on the market at the time. If they are like the earlier Chrysler brakes, there is a major adjustment done when you rebuild the brakes, and a minor adjustment to take up wear.

    Helps to contour the shoes to the drums for full contact.
     
  11. scrappybunch
    Joined: Nov 16, 2011
    Posts: 338

    scrappybunch
    Member
    from nj

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

    baker53
    Member

    scrappybunch: Quite a project you took on. Looks like you achieved your goal very well. The chop on the Desoto is looking good.
     
  13. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

    love those big fin mopars especially the 4door hardtops...
     
  14. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Been working on the brakes today. I have the front and rear assemblies completed and now waiting on delivery of new steel brake lines. The drums were still at stock specs and I had them turned to true them up and remove the rust coating. I used new wheels cylinders and installed the new brake shoes as well.

    FRONT BRAKE ASSEMBLIES.jpg REAR BRAKE ASSEMBLIES (1).jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  15. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    You are doing nice work, Bill.
     
  16. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Spent yesterday and today putting the engine bay back together. Still more to do before start-up, but making some progress.

    57 desoto work 001.jpg
    I added an idler pulley onto the A/C compressor bracket to provide more belt contact to the compressor's pulley.

    57 desoto work 002.jpg 57 desoto work 003.jpg 57 desoto work 004.jpg 57 desoto work 005.jpg 57 desoto work 006.jpg 57 desoto work 007.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  17. ago
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,199

    ago
    Member
    from pgh. pa.

    Did the Desoto have A/C from the factory?


    Ago
     
  18. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    ago: Yes, you could get A/C from the factory. Mine was added on by the dealer.
     
  19. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 5,627

    wicarnut
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Bill, Kool car! Going to be real Nice car. Back in the day 60's, I bought a 58 or 59, 4 door hardtop for resale, rusty car, ran great, sold engine and tranny for double my investment at the time. I seem to remember it was a HEMI w/2-4's ? motor w/ push button auto. Bought and sold a lot of cars back then, Did they come that way or is my CRS winning? John
     
  20. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Red letter day for me. Finished assembly of the engine bay and started up the '57 Desoto Firesweep. Engine sounds great, no tappet noise or other bumps in the night plus oil pressure is excellent. Temperature gauge works as well as the ammeter. The fuel gauge is not working, so I'll have to investigate that issue. BTW, I am really impressed how quickly the engine started. I spun the engine for about 5 seconds to fill up the float bowl in the carb and it started right up. I pressure tested the cooling system with my tester and no leak down, so it looks like all is well so-far. The new steel brake lines should arrive today so forming and installing them will be tomorrows project.
     
  21. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    wicarnut: Yes indeed, there were a number of them fitted with 2-4's. It was an option on many of their models. Thanks for the comment on the car.
     
  22. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,372

    George
    Member

    The dual quad was Adventurer only. very rare model.
     
  23. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,540

    gatz
    Member

    Nice build going there, Baker.

    I had a 57 Dodge Coronet with twin rear antenna mounted in the valleys of the fins behind the rear glass. What was odd about this car was that there was also an antenna on the right front fender....maybe there was a problem with the co-ax from the rear ones. Don't know; radio worked fine, so I didn't mess with it.

    I always wonder why Chrysler cars had the rear-view mirrors planted on the dash. Seamed kinda strange. My '57 had it on the dash, too.
    A "safety feature" ??

    [​IMG]
     
  24. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,372

    George
    Member

    '60 Plyms had the dash mirror also.
     
  25. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    The brake lines came in a day late so I got busy bending them using the old ones as patterns. The brake assemblies and drums are all mounted and pre-adjusted. Tomorrow I'll install the new brake lines and bleed the system. Also, FEDEX delivered a NOS '57 Desoto muffler which will be going on in the not too distant future.

    RF Brake and Line.jpg
    I used the old steel brake lines as patterns for the new ones. I figured after 57 years on the car, they were about due for replacement.

    RR Brake and Line.jpg

    NOS Muffler.jpg
    I found this NOS Desoto muffler for the car, but decided to put dual exhaust on the car, so this one is up for sale.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  26. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Brake lines installed and I bled the brake system. All good with the brakes up on jack stands. After a few more under the car chores, I'll put the wheels back on and go for a maiden test trip.
     
  27. My parents had this car as a 9 passenger station wagon. It's the car I got my driver's licence in, 1961. Ours had the 2x4 set up, and my sister and me tore up the streets of Northeast Dallas with it. It was stout enough to get us both in trouble.. :p
     
  28. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Put the wheels back on and took a test drive. Engine and transmission seem to be working well. I need to do some more work on the brakes though. Seems like the shoes are not centered in the drums and the brakes pulsate a bit. It got better after driving a bit, but still needs work..
     
  29. C. Montgomery
    Joined: Dec 18, 2003
    Posts: 1,010

    C. Montgomery
    Member

    sweet car! you've done nice work on it. I've always wanted one.
     
  30. bigorangetruck
    Joined: Oct 23, 2012
    Posts: 54

    bigorangetruck
    Member
    from TX

    Building a FIREDOME now, Long Live DeSoto !!!
     

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