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Projects 1957 DESOTO Firesweep

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

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

    baker53
    Member

    My car did not come with the optional back-up lights. I located a switch that mounts to the push-button shifter assembly and made a tab that I epoxied to the Reverse blade on the shifter. The back-up lights are now working great. I also replaced the rubber bumpers inside the shifter while I had it out plus dabbed some lubriplate on the sliding parts. The wiring for the back-up lights was in place and just had to connect the two wires from the switch and install a couple sockets and bulbs in the trunk to the existing wire harness.

    desoto work 185.jpg desoto work 181.jpg desoto work 182.jpg
     
  2. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Looking really nice, it's been great following this project, and you do really nice work.
     
  3. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Thanks, I have been enjoying working on it. I am now in the process of changing from a generator to an alternator. The poor old 35 amp generator just can't handle the load.
     
  4. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    I changed out the old 30 amp generator to an alternator today. The generator was not handling the current load. I am also modifying the A/C compressor mount to change from the old York piston type compressor to a Sanden unit. The A/C was dealer installed and is an under the dash type. I plan to keep the original inside unit and change the system over to R-134 refrigerant.

    desoto work 186.jpg
     
  5. oldwood
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 919

    oldwood
    Member
    from arkansas

    Oh hell, Bill the DeSoto GODS are going to get you now. LOL
     
  6. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Yep, they will be moaning & groaning for sure.
     
  7. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    I was going to try and polish out some wiper marks on my windshield with a felt pad and cerium oxide, but found a company in Houston that does it everyday and decided it was best to have the pros do it. The guy used 2000 grit pads and sanded out the wiper marks and then used a special polish on a foam wheel to bring the glass to perfection. Ended up costing $225 to polish out the various wiper marks and to fix a stone chip.
    desoto work 203.jpg desoto work 197.jpg desoto work 199.jpg desoto work 200.jpg
     

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    George likes this.
  8. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    I saw this done on a date-coded Corvette windshield a few years back, unfortunately, the wiper marks were a little too deep to fix without distorting the view. The car was just a driver though, and the owner traded for a brand new windshield to a guy who was needing that date code for his restoration. Now back to our regularly scheduled topic :)
     
  9. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Finished up the last of the weather stripping and installed the two fender mirrors.
    desoto work 207.jpg desoto work 204.jpg desoto work 205.jpg desoto work 206.jpg
     
  10. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Finished up the Generator to alternator conversion and also replaced the York A/C compressor with a 508 compressor.
    desoto work 211.jpg desoto work 208.jpg desoto work 209.jpg desoto work 210.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  11. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Made up the hoses, installed a new dryer and charged with 134. The A/C system is working well.

    desoto work 216.jpg
     
  12. satan'schariot
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 103

    satan'schariot
    Member

    Hey,Bill haven't seen you at the car show lately,you bout got the deSoto ready for the nifty fifties ?
     
  13. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Getting close Kyle. Upholstery shop says end of August until they can start on it. I finished the A/C this past week and now in the process of replacing the fuel tank. I thought it was going to be OK, but I had some more running issues and found a bunch of junk in the carb. I had put in a new fuel line from the tank to the fuel pump and rebuilt the carb, but I guess there is rust and dirt in the tank. I pulled the tank yesterday and have ordered a replacement which should be here in a week or so. I need to take the '53 Ford over to Nifty 50's and see if I can get someone interested in buying it. Did you and Wayne check out those cars yet?

    desoto work 218.jpg
     
  14. MacTexas
    Joined: Feb 7, 2005
    Posts: 435

    MacTexas
    Member
    from DFW

    Beautiful car. I like old Desotos. You have done a super job on the restoration.
     
  15. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Thanks. I've always liked them as well. I had a '57 Firesweep in high school in 1962. I also have a '53 Ford mild custom that has a Desoto grill.
     
  16. tevintage
    Joined: Mar 12, 2014
    Posts: 262

    tevintage
    Member

    Wonderful work Baker. It will be a delight for you to drive and make the bystander grin in wonder at this iconic beauty! Thanks for the nice thread. TEB

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  17. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,507

    gatz
    Member

    good goin' Bill....... the AC pump & alternator changes look great; what amp rating is your new alt ?
    Those Superglass guys did nice work on the windshield.
     
  18. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Thanks for the comments. The alternator is just a 80 amp unit, but it sure does better than that old 30 amp or so generator.
     
  19. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Received the new 23 gallon gas tank and straps yesterday. This tank holds about 3 gallons more than the stock one so I had to recalibrate the fuel sender which work out very well. In fact, the gas gauge is better calibrated now than it was with the old tank. I installed the new tank today and flushed all the new steel fuel lines from the tank to the carburetor and installed a new metal in line filter between the tank and the fuel pump.
    desoto work 226.jpg desoto work 220.jpg desoto work 221.jpg desoto work 225.jpg
     
  20. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    The radio in the Desoto Firesweep is AM only and I have been thinking about having it modified to AM/FM stereo. That will be a pretty big cost so I thought I would try one of the stereos listed on ebay. The one I got was about $20 and I am very pleased on how well it works. It drives the two rear speakers very well and has a provision to play music from a memory stick as well as other inputs. I may end up buying and amplifier to use with it, but so far it does a nice job all by itself. I mounted it in the glove box and use a remote controller with it. I now have the original AM radio driving the front speaker in the center of the dash and the FM stereo driving two speakers mounted under the rear window package shelf.

    desoto work 227.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  21. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,866

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    Bill, you're doing a great job on the old Firesweep. Can't wait to see this one cruising around. See you soon-
    Danny
     
  22. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Thanks Danny. Hopefully, by the end of September it will be about 99% done.
     
  23. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    With some help from Kyle, (satan'schariot) who has a great shop with a lift we installed the front anti-sway bar in the Firesweep. Not sure if it made much difference in the handling, but I think it did a little. I'll have to test drive the car some more on some curvy roads.


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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  24. W O W, you are quite speedy Mr. Bill. Record time with that one. Thanks for the posts. It's a beautiful car.
     
  25. tattoos by brandon
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 540

    tattoos by brandon
    Member
    from salem ohio

    I have a 59 new yorker a d would u be able to tell me if the is the original balist resitor. .. we took the car completely apart and some one stole the card out of my phone so I have no photos of the teardown but the wire was marked as for the brake light switch it has an in line switch ... and I don't think this is right at all lol but I can't find any old school mopar guys to help me out ... thanks man and ur car is looking great and coming along so fast

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

    baker53
    Member

    I don't know if that is the original ballast resistor or not. On my Firesweep, the bracket for the coil has a tab to mount the ballast resistor on. Typically, the ballast resistor is in series with the 12 volt line coming from your ignition switch to the + side of the coil. On some cars, like GM, there is a bypass wire coming from a post on the starter solenoid that went to the side of the ballast resistor that goes to the + side of the coil. They did this so that while starting the car, the coil would get a full 12 volts and after it started the voltage to the coil dropped to about 8 volts or so through the ballast resistor. You should be able to find a wiring diagram on the web that will show you how the ignition is set up for your car. BTW, some coils have the ballast resistor built in. If that is the case there will be a note on the coil stating not to use an external ballast resistor. I hope this helps.
     
  27. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Thanks for the comment on the project. I saw the upholstery shop owner at a local car show last night and he is hoping to get it into his shop September 1st.
     
  28. baker53
    Joined: Jan 17, 2003
    Posts: 340

    baker53
    Member

    Regarding the wire marked "brake" with the in line switch, that is not typical. One side of the brake switch should have 12 volts on it all the time so that the brake lights will work with the ignition turned off. The other terminal on the brake light switch typically goes to the turn signal switch assembly which routes it to the brake lights. Once again, when you get the wiring diagram you can follow the wiring road map.
     
  29. tattoos by brandon
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 540

    tattoos by brandon
    Member
    from salem ohio

    Thanks that's answered alot of questions I just can't seem to find a diagram though for my car and year and some wires must have gotten mixed up ... I know there was a little round cylinder that was wired to the original coil ...Idk if that was a resistor or not

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

    baker53
    Member

    That was probably a noise suppression capacitor. The ballast resistor is typically a rectangular ceramic part with screw terminals on each end. Most are about 3 " x 3/4" x 3/4".
     

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