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Customs 1959 Bel Air 2 door hardtop build.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 110mike, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    Got it. I tidied up my Avitar as well. I'll focus on the car and not so much the drive line.
    Cheers!
     
    Torkwrench and Moriarity like this.
  2. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    later model engine and T56.
     
  3. patterg2003
    Joined: Sep 21, 2014
    Posts: 590

    patterg2003

    Congratulations. It is good to see that you are renewing the car and giving it a new life. I think you honestly found a unicorn. My family travelled to Winnipeg to visit relatives in the 50's & 60's. My brother and I would play a game as we travelled to identify cars as far out as possible before the other one as cars had character back then. I remember as a kid going with my dad as a 9 yr old to Winnipeg dealerships looking at cars and clearly remember him studying a blue 59 Pontiac that seemed big enough to have its own postal code. Long story short there were occasional 2 and 4 door 59 Chevs but never a hardtop. My friend had a 59 fordor in our later years of highschool when 59's seemed to have vanished. Other GM hardtops were common. I went to college in 69-71 and still remember seeing a gorgeous red 1959 hardtop at a light in Winnipeg.. I just stared at it as it drove by until it disappeared down Portage. It made an impression as I don't recall ever seeing a 59 hardtop Chev in the wild before. Congratulations again and look forward to seeing the posts with the car finished.
     
  4. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    I just LOVE the trim rings! I re-hooped my 14" rims to 15" so there is a better than good chance I could not get those for my rims... but I would totally run them if I could.
     
    jnaki likes this.
  5. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    There is a green 59 Bel Air 2 door HT on the road right now in Winnipeg. Original small block and a munci 4 speed. It's the only other one I have personally seen.
     
  6. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    I had a bit on my engine trans combo but it was pulled because of the modern nature of it.
     
  7. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    59 bolted on frame.jpg

    Big day yesterday; bolted the body to the frame for the final time.
    Considering that the entire floor, trunk, and 8 of the 10 body mount braces came out it bolted in effortlessly. No issue at all lining up the bolts and bushings. It a very satisfying mile stone to say the least.
    Fenders are just thorough on to make sure all is good and everything clears everything else. My aluminum fan shroud will need a bit of clearance to miss my steering box but that is a 30 min job.

    My front springs seemed to be WAY too stiff. Weight of the engine, trans, body, fenders, core support and my 250lb self did not squat the springs at all,,, like 0. It is like they are for a diesel truck or something.
    I ordered these as stock replacement springs.

    Car's stock 235 and iron PG weigh in at 825-850 lbs. {what a pig!}
    My current engine/trans combo should weigh around 655-670.
    That is a 180LB difference, on the high side, between the 2. My added 250lbs {standing on the frame horns} should have been more than enough to bring it down?
    Bumpers, hood, battery, fluids, and small parts are all that is missing.

    I'll get my 251 lb neighbor to stand on the frame horn with me to see it it squats at all. If 500 lbs doesn't move it there is something wrong!
     
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  8. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,591

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    You still have doors hood front bumper ect... that adds quite a bit. Lippy
     
    loudbang likes this.
  9. I would set those doors and that hood pretty soon. Lots of alignment issues may present themselves, at least it did on my 64 post :eek:
     
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  10. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,920

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    Interesting project.
    That windshield is no lightweight either.
    I used to own a 59 El Camino. Down low, 8" wide wheels in the front, 10" wide wheels in the back, and NO fender modifications..!

    Mike
     
  11. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    Ooooo. I have a set of 15"X10" that I want for the ass end of this car. Do you happen to remember the offset/backspacing on those rims?? Tire size?
    I would LOVE a set of 295/50/15s but I am concerned about rubbing. Rear Axle swings a bit due to the pan hard bar.

    I didn't take into account the WS.
     
  12. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    True about the doors.
    Mike VV mentioned the wind shield as well. Not to mention all the other glass.

    Maybe I am underestimating the COMPLETE weight of the car. I will wait till the car is more assembled and reassess the ride height then.
    Replacing spring will not be any easier or more difficult later on, so I'll just wait.

    Thanks for the input all.
     
  13. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    I am foaming at the mouth to get all the components on the car! LOL I will have the sheet metal squared away before paint. I absolutely HATE adjusting pre-painted panels!
    There will be a load of adjustment I'm sure AND I will no longer have "a pile of Bel Air" on my shop floor and mezzanine.
    I am waiting for my wiring guy to complete his work in the engine bay {easier with no front end} then it's full steam ahead.
     
  14. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,591

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    Man that 59 is gonna be beautiful. Lippy
     
    loudbang likes this.
  15. You may still need to go to a different front spring (time will tell). My son has an off topic car by just 4 years and a way off topic engine and had issues getting the front end to settle and or work, ride, and more importantly for him, it affected his launch. Made a call and gave company his weight specs (all for corners) and they sent him what he needed. Now everything is good. Stance, ride and launch.
     
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  16. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    Wheels I will be using are the same ones the car was born with,,, kinda'.
    OE 14"X5" wheels. I removed the centers of the 4 OE Bel Air wheels. I then salvaged the hoops from a set of 60s-80s Olds 15" X 7"cutlass rally rims.
    OE Bel Air centers fit the OE Cutlass hoops perfectly. So, I now have a set of "1959, 15" X 7" rims. I intend on using the stock 1959 poverty caps that were in the trunk.
    Rears follow the same idea BUT I found a guy in the USA who calls himself "McWheels". He sells 15" X 10" wheel shells or hoops,,, no centers. Again, my OE centers just press in . I found McWheels on an Oldsmobile site BTW.

    This method allows me to fine tune the Back spacing as they are adjustable until I weld them in.
    20180919_201443.jpg
    You can see, in the bottom right hand corner of the attached picture, the centers of the 59 rims and the Olds Rally. Pink center is off my 59 parts car as one of mine was pitted.

    I like steel wheels. They are timeless and will not date a car like slots or billets or wires or big diameter hoops. 15" rims give you cushy 15" rubber which helps smooth out the ride.
     
  17. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

     
  18. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    I agree. Stance is 100% of your hot rod! I will not stop till the car sits and rides right!!
    I will wait till the car is trimmed out and see if ALL the weight of the car makes any difference. removing springs is the same job now or later!
     
  19. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    59 chassis..jpg \

    Stock frame. I fully welded all the seams. Blasted and powder coated all the components and frame. New, super tough bushings all around.
    Stock rear end has a 4:11 gear set. Stock rebuilt rear drums. Disks up front for safety. Lowered spindles 2". power steering, power brakes. OE Impala sway bar {bel air never had one}.
    Boxed rear control arms.
    These frames are kinda "flexy" so I did my best to strengthen it up with out reinventing it.

    Small block was rebuilt, manual transmission.

    Custom drive shave with a slip joint. Still 2 piece but with a new HD carrier bearing.
     
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  20. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,920

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    Mike

    No sorry, I don't. I owned the car about 25 years back. The small details are a bit...fuzzy! I remember having a set of 8" Corvette Rally wheels. The fronts were bolt-on's.
    The rear I had to have the rim moved on the center. Actually, the company that did the work (not in business, SoCal), didn't just move the two pieces. They used their own rim, on my Vette center. I remember that the smallest (dropped section) diameter on the Vette rim would not allow the center to be located at the dimension that I needed, so they used a rim with a longer or wider "dropped" section. The tire was set slightly to the inside of the wheel well to help with installation and removal. Easy to put on and remove.

    I drove it for about three years as my daily driver.
    Have fun with yours.

    Mike
     
  21. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    I just realized that your in MB. The Caddy coupe was, and most likely still is, at Bucks on Springfield in the GM lot. North fence at the east end. Usually have scrap cars stacked in front of it but the it can be got-to if you find a hole to get through.
     
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  22. 110mike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 26

    110mike
    Member

    That sucks as sedan delivery and wagons have a boot full of specific parts only for those body styles.
    My 2nd 59 was a Brookwood 2 door wagon. had all the specific pieces but was totaled by rust and very poor "repairs". Sadly I punted it. I should have kept it and just re-chassis it with all new floors.
     
  23. MOTOV8N
    Joined: Mar 20, 2015
    Posts: 387

    MOTOV8N
    Member
    from Manitoba

    Thanks alot 110mike! Much appreciated, but there doesn’t look like there is anything much left to salvage from it. Keep up the good work!


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  24. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,056

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Love it
     
    loudbang likes this.

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