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1959 cadi vert "conversion" the beggining

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by boomosby, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Sauli
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 499

    Sauli
    Member

    Yeah I agree that looks simple and straight-forward enough if You know Your bodywork, I was trying to suggest You´d really do well by using the frame of that convertible to set it all on top of, as well as study the ´vert underpinnings for what the unseen differences between the open- and hardtop structures are. Convertibles of this era always had more body-to-frame -mounts, thicker gauge frame rails, extra reinforcement -plates on the bottom of the mid-"X"´s in the case of the GM´s of this vintage etc.etc. (designed to make up for the lack of roof keeping the body from flexing and twisting all over the place going through turns, over potholes and such.)
    In order to come up with something as close to a factory-made ´vert with all that work, that´s where I´d start anyway. Frame. That should also work as Your "jig" for properly lining up all the various sections You´ll be joining from the two separate bodies.
    Best of luck, post updates as You go.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  2. Boom:

    Ha. I was waitin' for that! You need to come check out those Caddys and teach me the "Boom Dance!":D

    Why'd you have to bring Hansbrough into it though?

    Ha!
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  3. Looks like you got this figured out though. Keep posting man. I'm excited to see more.
     
  4. mike1951
    Joined: Jul 15, 2007
    Posts: 706

    mike1951
    Member
    from Colorado

    All I can say is you have taste in cars and a great deal of ambition. Post photos of this as it goes down.
     
  5. resqd37Zep
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,217

    resqd37Zep
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    Hey Brotha, love what you got going. I'm doing a 49 Cad in a little different stlye but more props to ya. My only concern is Converts and coupes are reinforced differently throughout the frame rails. Here in Cali we use to cut the tops off of everything. Over time the body has a tendency to sag to the point where the doors will pinch and you can't open or shut them. Cadi's were built a little better then most but I'd imagine you may have to consider reinforcing the frame and quarters a little.

    Although I did cut the top off a 61 T Bird and never reinforced anything but it's a unibody car. Good luck to ya! Just giving my .02. but it looks like you're on the right track!

    James
     
  6. boomosby
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 413

    boomosby
    Member

    the frame on the donor car was really shot. but id rather have a west coast frame then an east coast frame anyway. it was so bad, we started taking the car apart and it was just falling apart. it was really sad. the rear frame rails where pretty much gone.

    the good part about that is that on cadillac the convertible frame is the same as teh sedans. over teh years i have taken few convertbiles bodies and put them onto 62 frames and 64 frames. they pretty much go right on

    the chevy frame is way different. it is C first of all. which takes out alot of weight but also alot of strength. the frame from convertible to sedan is different.it requires four extra body mounts.

    so as far as collapsing doors goes; all that is in the rocker panel, some in the frame but more so in the rocker. the convertible rocker has a "mid" support section. if you are going to this and not add the middle support you just have to use a way heavier peice of metal for the inner rocker. i am not sure what factory is, i think 1/8? but using a 1/4 or 3/8 piece of steel will keep the body from bending. in applications using hydraulics, this is a must because of the added weight in the trunk and force from the twist. there are also a set of rocker supports that go along with convertible cars. there are guys reprodcuing these and in my opinion they are a must.


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  7. Abomination
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 6,701

    Abomination
    Member

    I am also a student of the '59 & '60 Cadillac convertible conversion. I've watched it being done firsthand, and Boom's right on the freakin' money.

    Good on ya, man! Post us some progress pics!

    ~Jason
     
  8. resqd37Zep
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,217

    resqd37Zep
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    You got it man! Looks like a sweet project!
     
  9. boomosby
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 413

    boomosby
    Member

    thanks everyone for alll the complimenst and teh support. this topic is supposed to be just as informative for others as a build topic for me. i hope i am not only inspiring people to try it out but to help you guys understand cars a bit better.

    unfornutaly i just signed a deal to go and play basketball in the balkans so i have to shut down all the car stuff for this year. i wont be back until next spring or so , then i will be able to restart with all the progress pics. i just hope no hurricanes come through my side of va while i am gone!

    i have a buddy who can do the work but i am not sure if he is so involved in taking pictures like i was trying to be. i will talk to him and see what he is saying.
     
  10.  
  11. boomosby
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 413

    boomosby
    Member

    thanks mayday! apprecaite the love. i will try to keep as informed as i can about what is going on over there, but it gonna be tough.

    when i get back first trip will be to winston salem to see you man! hopefully diving one of my verts! lol
     
  12. '54Caddy
    Joined: Sep 11, 2009
    Posts: 929

    '54Caddy
    Member

    Hey Boomosby, whats the deal with the 55 caddy in post #8? Is it for sale? If so PM me with details. Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. C'mon down. You're always welcome.
     
  14. boomosby
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 413

    boomosby
    Member

    im sure it is! give me a day or two and i will figure out what the price is and all it needs. it is located just south of charlotte. ab four hours south of richmond
     
  15. 64LeSabre455
    Joined: Dec 29, 2007
    Posts: 779

    64LeSabre455
    Member
    from Adkins, Tx

    Looks like you have done your research. You have a lot of work on your plate!!
    Good luck with it.
     
  16. boomosby
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 413

    boomosby
    Member

    hey 54 caddy, he said he will take "like" 900, so you can prolly go there and talk wth him, he is a great guy. if you want his contact info then i will forward it to you. where are you? he is in charlotte off i-40...
     
  17. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,432

    40StudeDude
    Member

    Hey 54Caddy, whatchoo want with another old Caddy...ain't one enuff...???

    R-
     
  18. boomosby
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 413

    boomosby
    Member

    found this on ebay. loooks failry straigth forward. but i think with a coupe it woudl be tougher because you wouldnt be able to weld in the outside of the inner structure. still came out great though
     
  19. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,626

    Squablow
    Member

    There is a flange on the bottom of the convertible quarter window and back seat panels that sticks out into the car, where it was originally spot welded to the floors. Makes a very convenient place to weld in the replacements, so you really don't have to have the quarters off to weld from the back side. It's pretty straight forward on a coupe.

    Problem is, a coupe is 3x more expensive, so my '55 Dodge donor is a 4 door, just like you're doing. It requires swapping out the doors and half of the quarter panels along with the other pieces, but it'll be worth the effort.
     
  20. boomosby
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 413

    boomosby
    Member

    yeah , i see what you are saying. im guessing that is where most of teh support for the quater comes from anyway. coupes have this brace as well. when will you start your build? i a, trying to get as much info and as many picts ab it as i can so when i am ready it will be "easy: haha

    i really believe that it is just like a big puzzle peice, except using cardboard we are using steel. i am looking and planning to get it to be one big peice to drop in. i am not looking forward to fabricating alot of things.
     
  21. vonpahrkur
    Joined: Apr 21, 2005
    Posts: 913

    vonpahrkur
    Member

    Speaking of differences, I don't know if anyone pointed this out yet but.... if you compare a 59 cadillac sedan to a coupe i think you will find that, coming from the back, the tail fins on a four door transition earlier and sharper than the tail fins on a coupe. put a coupe and a sedan by each other and see.
     
  22. rockinokie
    Joined: Jun 22, 2010
    Posts: 117

    rockinokie
    Member

    +1

    There is a differance. Ofcourse, this would only be a concern if your REALLY trying to fool people.
     
  23. boomosby
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 413

    boomosby
    Member

    that is really valid point, i always wonder if my eyes were tricking me or if teh 59 vert look really "flat"along the side. i wonder if the four door will work now?? hmmmm

    i have quite a bit of good metal left from teh convertible (upper quater) , but it was a 60, teh fin lines are different.

    and rocknie nockie , i really dont want to fool anyone! its a custom if any one ask! lol
     
  24. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,626

    Squablow
    Member

    It'll work, but you'll need some '59 upper fin trim from a 2 door. then when you rebuild the fin you can make it follow the line of the trim, and elongate it as needed. A little more work, but definitely worthwhile.
     
  25. rockinokie
    Joined: Jun 22, 2010
    Posts: 117

    rockinokie
    Member

    Well if your full intention for the car is a true custom then ofcourse it will work! Custom being the keyword, you can make anything work. If I ever get my hands on another sedan, I may do the same as long as its not a vista roof. Couldn't pull myself to cut the top on one of those...

    Keep us posted!!!
     
  26. '54Caddy
    Joined: Sep 11, 2009
    Posts: 929

    '54Caddy
    Member

    Haha, I know Roger, one is enough. This one would be for my old man. Ever since I got mine he is hooked on 54-56 Caddy's and since I have enough spare parts to build another car he has been looking.

    Boomosby, If you could foward me his info, I have a buddy that lives in Raliegh that might haul it up to NH for me. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  27. thaugen
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 174

    thaugen
    Member

    Can anyone point me to a vendor for those rocker support steel strips that Boom had in one of the photos?
     
  28. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,043

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    This will be an interesting project. Subscribed and will keep an eye on it. Boom, thanks for the info on the inner rocker support. I often wondered about the "sagging" people talked about. Have fun in the Balkans and see ya next spring.
     
  29. boomosby
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 413

    boomosby
    Member

    hey rockienockie, i think the sheetmetal i have will "fit" togther on the body with what i have left from teh convertible, i will post what i am saying via paint tomar.

    54 caddy, i am not sure if i sent yo teh guys info yet, but if i havnt i will tomarr!

    thaugen, i will get the info for rocker supports tomar as well. there is a guy at the chevy shop, i have never ordred them before but will find details.

    oahueli i am glad that i can be of help, i dont want anyone else to be in teh dark like i was. so ask as many questions as you can! i will try to help out as much as i can
     
  30. boomosby
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 413

    boomosby
    Member

    thaugen, here is info for rocker supports
    "Thanks to Bert @ The Chevy Shop in El Monte, Ca. 626-523-7324 or 626-442-6421. I got my brand new convertible reinforcement rails for the bottom of the rockers today."

    [​IMG]
     

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