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Projects 1963 Pontiac Catalina

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jesse1980, May 1, 2014.

  1. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    I just loaded the mobile app. Here's some pictures of my 63 catalina. It's a real 421 4 speed factory tach car. Been working on it for 2 years now and couldn't get pics up. Got the frame out and I'm starting to blast and paint it. I'm the second owner. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1398994274.198251.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1398994291.087793.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1398994339.094890.jpg


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  2. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    Ill get some better pics up tommarow. I pulled the car out of a barn where it had been since 1977. I got all the trim and stuff. The original owner bought it and payed it off in 65. I got the original title he got when he recieved it in the mail back then. He parked it in 77 to repaint it and took all the trim off and never finished. I'm hoping to have it done by summer of 2015.


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  3. Cool! My family had a brand new 63 Catalina 9 passenger wagon, a 389. GREAT CAR! One cool feature is the Chief Pontiac head that lights up red on the speedo when the brights are on. Good luck finding 421 SD parts though, hard to afford if you find them.
    Good luck, I'll be following your build, you have a rare, VERY COOL car there!
     
  4. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    The wagon sounds cool. Those are pretty rare also. My catalina is actually a 320 HP 421 single 4 barrel car. It's not a super duty or HO car. I luckily dodged a bullet there because your right that stuff is crazy expensive. I have everything with the car except the bell housing. It got lost in time I guess.


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  5. trbomax
    Joined: Apr 19, 2012
    Posts: 289

    trbomax
    Member

    Maybe a bit OT but I have a 62 SD 421 std/std crank if there is any interest.
     
  6. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    The previous owner had fog lamps mounted on the original grill. He drilled holes so I found a new one and started blasting it. The quarter panel picture shoes the worst rust on the body and the toe boards have been cut out in front and set in to be welded. Other than that it's a solid car. The fender picture shows the factory holes for the 421 emblems. I have those also but bought new ones. I pulled the wiring from the trunk and engine compartment and marked the harness to remember where the stuff goes. You can see the factory tach too! ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1399028871.892996.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1399028880.173212.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1399028887.828937.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1399028894.605387.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1399028902.728633.jpg


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  7. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    My only hold up right now on the frame is a safe way to get the old front springs out of the control arms. I heard there's a tool at autozone that I can buy to compress them and get them out. If I had torches I'd cut them first.


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  8. mechanic58
    Joined: Mar 21, 2010
    Posts: 681

    mechanic58
    Member

    Those springs are no sweat bro. Jack it up and start taking it apart. Get the nuts off the lower ball joints - stand clear and whack the spindle with a good hammer and let'r rip. You don't have a hair on your ass if you can't do it!! lol

    Badass car. I always wanted a 421/4-speed Poncho. You need to put a tri-power on it!
     
  9. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    Thanks for the info on the bushings, I heard those were good. I'll try the rod thing and beat it with a hammer, I also was just gonna put a chain and lock through the spring and around the frame to make sure it don't pop out. Tri power set up is cool but to expensive and I heard a pain in the ass to get the linkage right, the cheapest tri power air cleaner I found was 500.00 alone by itself. Way to pricey for me to install that set up. I got a old school dual quad edelbrock aluminum intake I'm putting on it.


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  10. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    the rod to the shock works good (we use that to place/compress the racing springs which are longer ) ,the spring compressor way kind of sucks since the upper cups often catch the hooks and locks the mess up plus trying to get it thru the shock hole is a pain , if the body was still on I would say try the floor jack and chain method but since there isn't enough weight to push down do not do it .
     
  11. Super/Stock Poncho
    Joined: May 11, 2009
    Posts: 93

    Super/Stock Poncho
    Member
    from Missouri

    Extremely Cool 63. I have a 62 Cat setup as a Jr. Stocker. IMO, dual quads are way cooler than trips.
     
  12. Moog used to make a pair of c-clips that went on the inboard side of the spring, on the outside of the spring grabbing 4 or so coils. So when you drop the lower arm, the spring has a curve to it and drops out easily. Then the spring has to be compressed to get the clips back.

    I've never used the inside-the-spring compressor to take them out, only to put them in. I just put the car on a jackstand on the front of the frame rail, compress the lower arm with a floor jack, separate the upper ball joint (can also remove the spindle entirely) and slowly lower the jack. I've only done maybe 200 of them this way. I've seen guys drop a crow bar through the shock hole to have better control of the loose spring.

    Bob
     
  13. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    The crow bar idea might work better for me. It's just a pain altogether with no weight on it as mentioned before.


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  14. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,073

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    Cool project.. I was in high school when they came out and a rich kid in school had one.. Must have been nice to have such a cool car in high school.. Good luck with yours...
     
  15. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    Cut out the toe boards and fit this pan in. I already got the heads done, dropping off the block, crank and these 62 GM rods for the bottom end. Got a picture too of the dual quad intake I'm going with. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1399153176.663961.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1399153190.118065.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1399153201.415173.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1399153212.043335.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1399153228.418986.jpg


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  16. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    I have to glass bead the intake to clean it up


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  17. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,330

    tommyd
    Member
    from South Indy

    That is a very cool car. I'm a big fan of all the 60's big cars with big c.u.'s
     
  18. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    62 rods are the forged ones im pretty sure. I'm only planning on pulling 500hp out of the engine. Rick Johnson is putting it together for me when I'm ready. The 421 is going .40 over. I also have one of the 414 c.i. 1960 389s with mickey thompson internals, they went to specific Pontiac dealers back in 1960, they where called mickey thompson mystery engines. Only problem with that is the 60 engines take a different kind of intake and all that. I've been looking for a 63 tempest to do a super duty clone with that M/T engine.


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  19. pzary3233
    Joined: May 20, 2010
    Posts: 59

    pzary3233
    Member

    Awesome build! I have been eyeing an engineless '63 Grand Prix for a few months now... Put I must focus on the Model A and 35 Sedan first... it would look good sitting next to my non HAMB approved Pontiac...

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  20. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    I love 63 grand Prix's. There's one in Missouri I think engineless, blue. Guy wants to much though.


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  21. pzary3233
    Joined: May 20, 2010
    Posts: 59

    pzary3233
    Member

    That's one I have looked at, he sent better pics and I lost interest, cool guy though. If it could be had for 1k I'd think about it again.....

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  22. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    Yeah, 1200.00 at the most I was thinking. Not 2200.00. He was also intrested in trades I think. It's a shame for it to sit outside longer and longer because it's only gonna get worse, then it's a lost cause.


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  23. pzary3233
    Joined: May 20, 2010
    Posts: 59

    pzary3233
    Member

    Forsure, its a sad car... I was going to trade him a '63 C10 but decided against it when I saw the rust in the areas that would require a but more fabrication then panel replacement. I was looking for a car to quickly make into a family cruiser for Cruisin' the Coast this year. That car needs a frame off like you are giving your Catalina.

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  24. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    Got the front springs off finally. I'm going to unbolt the rearend this weekend and start cleaning the frame and paint it. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1400066013.024488.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1400066028.115735.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1400066042.542388.jpg


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  25. Grahamsc
    Joined: May 13, 2014
    Posts: 466

    Grahamsc
    Member
    from Colorado

    Always thought the 62/63 big pontiacs were the best looking cars of the early 60s.
    Had 2 65 gtos ,on tri , one four barrel, 2 73 lemans, 78 trans with a 428 out of a catalina,and a 64 tempest.
    Love the old ponchos.

    As was mentioned before forged rods are a good insurance policy.
     
  26. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    Yeah, I figured the forged rods would be the only way to go. Sounds like you had some nice pontiacs too. You said you had a 64 tempest, those are pretty nice, I'm looking for a 63 myself.


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  27. Grahamsc
    Joined: May 13, 2014
    Posts: 466

    Grahamsc
    Member
    from Colorado

    About 5 years ago i went to this guys place in muncie Indiana.
    http://www.indianapontiacs.com/

    He brings back old pontiacs from western states parts them out.
    If he finds one nice enough he sells it complette
     
  28. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    Steve, he has a open house once a month at his place. I've been meaning to get down there and take a look.


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  29. Grahamsc
    Joined: May 13, 2014
    Posts: 466

    Grahamsc
    Member
    from Colorado

    Looks like he is still in business his web site lists may 17th as his next open house
     
  30. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,812

    stuart in mn
    Member

    Note that the connecting rods in the early 60s engines were referred to as 'rubber rods'...they were indeed forged, but they weren't especially strong. For a 500hp engine I think they'll be marginal; you can get good quality modern rods from Butler Performance or some of the other Pontiac specialists for a pretty reasonable price.
     

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