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Projects 1957 Oldsmobile: Jaguar XJ6 IFS/IRS

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ELpolacko, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. With all the interest in Jag stuff, we're jumping in with both feet.

    This is a current project, updates will happen as the work progresses.

    Ray bought this Olds not knowing it had been subframed, but he did notice it had a later model Olds engine in it. He managed to find a proper J2 engine/trans combo, sent the car out for sand blasting and had his body guy go to town. They had some issues with installing the engine but the real trouble started when they put the tires on it.

    NO GO

    It turns out that the previous owners, possibly the "yard with the TV show" installed an early 80s GM fullsize clip that has a track width of 65". At least 5" more than was usefull. Ray contacted me about narrowed arms, it wasn't going to happen. So the car got delivered and this is what I found.




    Yeah, look at that last picture. My low profile jack is less than 2" tall and would not fit under the center of the crossmember. The engine was abnormally high in the chassis and all manor of washers and shims were used to shim and hold this thing in place.

    So, with approval of the customer it got stripped down. Front clip came off, NO support crossmember at all for the core support just the stock single bolt for the hood latch and the front bumper horns. Nothing but that hood latch support and the fenders attached to the cowl to support the front sheet metal. No wonder the hood wouldn't close properly. As I stripped it down I also notice the subframe had a pretty severe twist to it.



    And the final report on the subframe installation.

    • driver side axle centerline 1" behind
    • 3º negative caster, down in front
    • front bumper support 1º twist, high on pass side.
    • front bumper support offset to pass side by 3/4" and not square
    • Engine mounts allowed for fore-aft movement of the engine
    • Trans mount had 1/4" of washers on either side to fill the gap
    • Center X carved away at the top to allow drive shaft clearance
    • Engine/trans mounted far too high in the chassis

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  2. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash

    Yikes! Did he drive this thing before he bought it? Looking forward to progress pics...
  3. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,645


    looking forward to this
  4. logride
    Joined: Nov 29, 2009
    Posts: 285

    from CB IA

    Ironic that I removed a rear end out of my 57 olds parts car and my friend installed it in his 1959 Jaguar. He was looking for a more highway friendly gear ratio.

  5. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    Pretty face, ugly soul.
    Just like the ex.
    Youre a magician
  6. This is going to be awesome!
  7. I had a few phone conversations with Ray about our options. I originally thought I could use my Dodge Dakota bits but as it turns out that is about 2" too wide to be optimum. Then it hit me, Zman's '57 Buick and the Jag bits front and back worked out tits!

    Then the hunt was on for a front and rear pre-'86 Jag to give up it's underpinnings. It took me a few days but I found a complete '85 XJ6 Vanden Plas for $700.00, then it took an entire day to dismantle the car and pressure wash the parts we needed to keep, now what do I do with the rest of this?



    Started by disconnecting the 6 from the car.


    Undoing the suspension bits and removing lines and exhaust, etc.


    A few hours of pressure washing and the Jag bits are ready for transplant. The Olds needed some preparation too. I wanted to pull the steering column and Treadle-Vac system out to get better access to the subframe connection. Amused by the radiator hose and electrical tape used to install the column. I thought the dueling lower column mounts are a bit redundant.





    Time to cut!
  8. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    ...And that is why I hate most subframes!
  9. The front clip is off the car and the frame stubs are being cleaned up as I type this out. Here is what happened before lunch.

    We thought about our options on how to cut this apart, Brian decided that the ArcAir was going to be one of the better solutions we have available. This process allowed us to carefully remove the welds holding the clip on to what is left of the stock frame and keep the cutting damage to a minimum.





    Video of the process, never mind the OSHA approved welding shorts!

  10. deto
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 2,620


    I always wondered what a gouging torch was. Now I want one!
  11. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    from Garner, NC

    I cannot wait to see this... I predict a "how I should've done it". :)
  12. Trying to think a few steps ahead, I have a good idea of how I am going to finish the front end, the rear on the other hand is a bit more difficult. The Olds frame is a bit narrower than the Jag stuff, so I'm thinking on how to narrow the cage. I might be able to chop a few inches off the cage and relocate the stock rubbers or make some of my own.
  13. propwash
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,858

    from Las Vegas

    you're asking what to do with the Jag shell? Insure it to the hilt, put it on a trailer (yes, I understand there is no suspension/wheels), take it (late at night) to the worst part of town, slide it off of the trailer next to the curb, the denizens of the 'hood will take care of the rest- heck, you didn't even know it was missing till the cops called.....
  14. WOW! thats making my 38' ford truck look better & better all the time! subscribed.

  15. Something less fraud related :cool:

    The guy I got the car from thinks he has the title. If so it's straight to the scrapper!
  16. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    'Course, with ElPolacko's place, that pretty much means just dragging it out of the driveway! But it's not the 'hood, it's the barrio. That means if he were inclined to do that we would see it later in the week with a realy bad metalflake paint job on a Chevy frame with hydraulics and a mural of the last supper on the hood...

    I have seen that technique employed in real life though. About twenty five years ago I bought a rear axle out of a Falcon down by my families old business in Phoenix, only to see the stripped carcass in the middle of the left hand turn lane the next morning on Indian School road.
  17. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    X2 zman
  18. Dane
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,351

    from Soquel, CA

    I didn't know you could screw up a front clip that bad. Musta been fun to drive on the freeway.
  19. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,596


    Steve you are a fucking magician . . . I'm in!
  20. Mark in Japan
    Joined: Jun 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,466

    Mark in Japan

    I'm looking forward to seeing this.

    It's kinda ironic to me....

    When I imported my 52 PU (about 12 years ago??) I had to wait 3 months.

    My awesome chassis guy (Ian Hardy) had to give me something to do for 3 months, to keep me out of his hair.:D

    He sent me away to get my Jag front end, and clean & detail it to within an inch of it's life.

    When the truck finally turned up, it had a Volare front end butchered into the bottom half of the frame rails.

    The approval Engineer (not a new concept in Oz, despoite the whinging of some newer folks to the hobby) took one look at it and said "whack it off at the firewall and start again".

    Our only solution......a Holden IFS graft. (Basically a Camaro front subframe graft).:D:D:D
    oldbanger likes this.
  21. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,694


    Which idiot gave this a one star rating?:rolleyes: Anyone who knows El Polacko and his workmanship should know that this is an object lesson in how to rescue junk and turn it into pure gold. I just bumped it up a few stars....;)
  22. I'm looking to do the same setup on my Buick. Looks like a solid start!
  23. AZAV8
    Joined: May 3, 2005
    Posts: 997

    from Tucson, AZ

    Air arc was the best choice. Gouge out the welds leaving the base metal.

    Since the "yard with a TV show" did the work, maybe they could do a new episode to fix their FUBAR. Oh, that would be bad for them when they went to renew the contract for another season.

    Better yet, why don't you do a TV series about all the work that comes to your shop for you to fix that was originally done by other "professional shops". You could make a mint. You could be as famous as Chip Foose! Maybe, but he is better looking.

    I know take my stupid idea and just sit back and learn something.
  24. Jethro
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,560


    Steve is like the "Mike Holmes" of the car world.........."Steve on Steel"....uh show title needs work.
  25. i'm sure it'll be fine, just kinda thinking out load here. that jag stuff looks a little weak for that big car. are the springs going to hold up that much car and engine? are the brakes going to be enough for that much weight?
  26. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,694


    ^^^huh???? Jag is a big car - weighs 4065lbs + Olds weighs 4170 lbs....
  27. Are you kidding?
    1957 Olds 4110lbs
    1985 Jag 4034lbs
  28. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    from Garner, NC

    Yep, when I was contemplating doing my Buick that was one of the things I thought. After the the swap the car weighs less than the Jag did. And the brakes are way better than the drums that were on there.
  29. No Show for Steve,
    He will take his time, and do this right. (although at this pace he may be done in 7 days) ;)

    and I'm going to pay close attention, unlike those obnoxious shows on the boob tube.
  30. thanks zman, hadn't thought of the weight savings of the swap itself. is there a thread for yours?

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