The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Indy47Caddy, Jan 24, 2013.
Thanks, but you make it sound so simple!
This project has been moving at a crawl... I have two boys now and twins due in May! So money & time may not get any better anytime soon. Hope to get the body back on soon so I can start on some sheet metal work. I did purchase a lot of new shop equipment last year, so I'm excited to try my hand at doing my own fabrication...
Thanks Darren, I've been following your Buick... making any progress?
Not much mate, Thursday it goes to get the rear chassis work done.
I'm hearing ya too Jason got two little buggers now so it slowed my Buick down but it's the time factor that hurts. Good luck with two at once that crazy stuff.
nice Jason! Looks good. I am still trying to catch up to you
Your build looks good. Great post
That's good work going on there Indy .Stay at it . I will subscribe . Andy..
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted… work, family, kids, house, other hobbies has kept me busy and away from my project. The usual excuses, heard hundred times before…
Added a couple more future Hot Rodders to my family… Big part of what’s kept me busy!
Bought a couple run down Go-karts and made a project out of one with my older boys. Converted it to a “Sprint” race theme… Got the boys turning wrenches and learning the inner workings as we hop-up a motor for it.
I want this Cadillac to be built in an early/mid 60’s custom theme… It’s not a strict traditional build with a more modern suspension, power brakes and steering systems. I like the safety and better ride of these and I think they will be hidden well when it’s finished. I’ll try to focus my new post on just the traditional specs…
So for the most part I finished the suspensions, front springs, sway bar, steering rack installed, etc.…. I started mocking up the MC & booster in the frame rails, but stopped as I think I’m going to which to a hydro boost.
Some work has been done, I'll put up a few more post to show what has been worked on... Winter is coming, need to get motivated again.
Thanks, son for the photo bomb!
The only engine I had was from a 95 Chevy Caprice that I inherited when my grandfather past away (and can thank my ex-wife for totaling the car). Good running, low mile engine… but to dress it up like I want for this build would be expensive and probably still not be what I want. Besides a few parts, I’ll save it for another project.
My father has been a building/selling a lot more old cars since he retired. His latest, a 1959 Vette. The story goes somewhat… the PO decides to rebuild his Vette in the 1980’s. Car gets repainted, engine get rebuilt. PO dies before reassembly gets completed. Car sits in estate @ 30-some-yrs…my father purchases Vette from arguing siblings/estate lawyers. So dad has this Vette in pieces, with a non-#s-matching 265 SBC (supposedly rebuilt yet sat for thirty years). With a little work, he gets the engine installed and running… but it smokes a little. He didn’t want to mess with it and went a different route with a modern L-something motor. A different story for a different forum.
So I end up with this (60s something year? Can’t remember, will have to run #s again) 283 SBC. Plan to go through and freshen it up. Hopefully if it was rebuilt before, it won’t take much to get right. I like to change the intake to a 3x2 as I love the look of them, we’ll see, that is a long way out.
I know, I know…. A Cadillac needs a Caddy motor! or Not Another SBC!
Well, original engine never came with the car.
This engine fits my budget (free), parts are easier to get, and it still fits the era I wanted the build to look.
Ya, a Caddy 390 or 429 of the same 60’s era would be great, but not likely to happen. This Cadillac has too many other needs to throw money at…and so little of it go around!
A plus is that this engine has a lot with it… dig the chrome, Tach-drive generator. But why would the PO chrome the headers? Probably won’t last long…
I got the body back on the frame.
Had to make some cut outs in the backseat area of the floorboards, where the frame rails where tubed in.
Everything lines up and is leveled. Purchased new body mounts from Steele Rubber Products. 16-18 mounting points… seems excessive.
The pic above is the only original paint left on the Caddy, located behind the pod on one of the doors.
I wanted to get the doors fitted to make sure there wasn’t any damage to the doorpost area affecting alignment. This car has damage to the top and side of the cowl and into the passenger side door from a previous accident. I wasn’t too concern, but I’ve never had it assembled either.
Simple task of hanging doors took a while…was missing a driver’s side door hinge which was finally found in a mason jag, bury in a box of junk…then messing half of the cone shape bolts. After a visit to Totally Stainless booth at NSRA Nats, both doors were finally on the car. And they fit well.
Started assembling the doghouse. The main bracket that mounts the fender to the firewall is missing on the driver’s side.
So I only assembled the passenger’s side and front. Part of the hurdles when buying a car already disassembled and stored by the PO in three different locations, you just never know if everything is there/complete.
A friend helped me out with my missing bracket. They still need a little work, but they will work!
So at this point I have one half of the Cadillac assembled. I know it’s temporary… but it’s nice to start to see a whole car and not just a pile of parts!
For me, vehicle stance is one of the most important specs of the build. It sets the tone of what is to become. This stance is not right. Besides not being low enough, it has too much of a hot rod front rake. I need a sled stance, yet drivable height. I mocked up a visual line of where it is and where I (roughly) want it to go.
Thought over my options and I don’t really want to change much on the suspension/frame. Cross member is already low, and I don’t want the frame much lower either. I can / probably will lower the rear suspension some more.
So I’ve decided to channel it. Hell half of the floor and floor braces need replaced anyways. I've searched through the HAMB threads, not much on channeling post 40 vehicles.
Will post more later...
I started by welding in some supports…
Around this time over the summer I had an opportunity to buy a new welder. It was one of those deals where you don’t really have the money to, but it was too good of a deal to pass up! It is a Firepower MST 220i, 115/230V TIG/MIG/Stick Welder. I work for NAPA Balkamp and was setting up an offsite photo shoot for a catalog cover. As part of it, some items from our vendors sent in products to be placed in the background. After the photo shoot, instead of shipping the welder back, I worked out a deal with our vendor rep. Welder, cart, plus TIG foot pedal & accessories… even with two new tanks… I’m under $900. In welding I’m just a self-taught hack, but this thing is night and day compared to my old welder!
So I’ve ponder over this part with a few beers over some evenings… crawled in & out & underneath… marked it up with a marker, scribbled it out and marked it up again… and came up with idea with how I what to go about cutting it up.
I am focusing on 4 main areas: 2 mounts at the firewall, 2 mounts at the door columns, 2 mounts in front of the rear wheels, and the mounts in the trunk area. The rest of the mounts will form when the body is setting in its new position.
I started by cutting back the outer skin of the bottom of the door columns, exposing the mounts. Cut three inches off of the mount.
Made an L Shape bracket to form a new bottom to mount to the frame. Cut out some access holes inside the floorboards & rocker panel, and welded it all around, inside & out. Repeat other side…
Some old pics, but some reference on what I stated with. Green areas are rusted out areas that will need to be completely replaced.
Used an air hammer and a ball joint separator to split the seam & spot welds, and a spot weld drill bit for a couple stubborn ones. Air reciprocating saw and a cut off tool to finish it off…
This Cadillac had a nice feature of a removable transmission cover. It is in good shape and I want to reuse it. So instead of sectioning out a portion at the bottom of the floor, I cut out around the trans opening and will section out some in the firewall. This portion will be reinstalled after the body is lowered into its new position. Moving onto the trunk area…
It’s been awhile since I last updated this thread…
Beyond the normal life of married with children that seem to distract from making the car a priority, my wife has recently fought off her 3rd bout with cancer. Unfortunately, this has been a lifelong battle for her, starting with Leukemia as a child and now breast cancer. Like all of her other fights, she has come out as the champion!
While this was going on, we decided to move to a new home. The new digs is short on garage space… I’ll have to build a new shop on the property. So normally the Caddy would have gone back to storage, delayed again from progress… BUT thanks to the HAMB that’s not how it came about!
In January/February 2019, a group of Indy area HAMBers wanted to meet and work on cars together. The leader of this group owns a business with a huge building and has graciously offer two bays in the corner of his shop to conjugate every Wednesday night and work on hot rods. To say the least… it’s been awesome! We’ve completed numerous repairs on many of our cars/trucks, and currently building a 30’ 5 window coupe… and more builds are being planned.
So, June 2019, I’m in the middle of moving to a new house and my wife just had reconstruction surgery. The “Wed Night Hot Rod Group” has allowed me to move my 47’ Cadillac in to continue/help out on its progress…
So on with the Channeling!
First order was to create new trunk mounts. When the Jag rear-end was installed, the section of frame rails above the rear-end were cut and moved inward about 6”. This eliminated 2 mounting spots inside the front section of the trunk. When I channel the body down over the frame, I want to “Z” the frame down to go with the body so I don’t lose trunk space (trunk is small as it is). So needed new mounts to hold the frame to the trunk/body.
The back corners of the trunk area were rusted out.
Cut out rotted metal.
Created a new brace and welded in a new floor patch.
Reskinned the outside body panels.
Next I worked on the wheel well opening, the flat lip where the fender mounts to the body. Lot of rot to cut out and replace. I also needed to create a lip to attach the new wheel wells to. I still need to finish the driver’s side but will address it when it’s time to do the wheel wells.
Drill new mounts and bolt to frame.
Then Ron & I cut out the driver’s side wheel well, along with the floorboards across the rear end.
First part of “Z”ing the frame was to weld in a second cross support.
Next we worked on cutting out the remaining floors. Plasma cutter made easy work of it…
Lift the body up and slide it on out…. Floor is in pretty good shape!
Now we had to sit the body back down, get it squared/level in place with the frame. Started mocking the car back together with the fenders and doghouse assembly.
Braced the rear portion of the frame/body with floor jacks.
Time to cut the frame… The rear frame portion (bolted to the body) was lower down with the body. The frame section between to the two parallel frame supports was rebuilt.
With the frame cut free, we just lowered the back end down… stand back and used the old eyeball test until it looks right.
So, here is a pic I posted years ago (post 131)… I had pre-assembled the car and use two strings tried to jack stands placed at the front and rear of the car. The first string was at the original stance. The second string was placed at the stance I was aiming for (sled). I then measured the distance between the two strings at each of the body mounts and posted them on tape on the body at each location.
I’m kind of amazed at how accurate most of the final measurements came out to the tape markings… about 2-1/4” at the center of the front wheel opening, 3-3/4” @ A Pliers, and 5” @ the “Z” frame. The front doghouse will still have some adjusting to do…
Now that it was lowered, needed to get it welded back into place. Again, check that the body was squared and level to the frame. With the help of Jon, we started fabricating brackets and frame insert.
Lots of welding & grinding… Plated on the side and corner gussets added.
We are now focusing on rebuilding new rocker panels and the side body to frame mounts. Adding a little custom touch…
Cutting out the old rockers…
Some mockup and then cutting out new material.
And that is about where we are at now… Until next Wednesday…
Love the progress, thanks for the update.
Wow...!!! Sooo-Oooo glad I didn't have to deal with rust on my '48...prolly would still be working on it...!!! Just caught up with your thread and your Cad is looking good and thanx for the update...
I haven't started a thread on my '48 so IF you've been looking it ain't here...but as of yesterday, the '48 is on its "feet" and is driveable...first time since 1996 when I bought it and don't know how long it sat prior to me purchasing it. Still have to get the front end aligned but once that's done it's on the streets (too bad it's cold and snowy here...!!!). Here's the latest pic of it...
Still have a lot of work to do on the car but at least it's looking like a car again...
PS, Might be bringing my Cad to the CCR in Indy in June, 2020...in primer...!!!
Thanks Roger, Your 48 Cad is look great! Love the CCR show, hope to see your Caddy there!
Amazing build...enjoy the fruits of all your labor and kudos to the guys who assisted on the Caddy.....
A few Wednesdays have rolled by… moving on with the rocker panels and lake pipes.
I trimmed out the bottom front section of the rear fender.
I mocked up a paper sample of the rocker design…. Help the guys see what I was visioning in my head! Also helped me fine tune the measurements for a better fit.
Basically, I’m frenching the lake pipes into the new rocker panels. The pipes will come out of a larger pipe that will be molded into the bottom of the fender/door pod. It’s an old custom style that I always like on a lot of merc sleds… only difference is I’m setting the pipe back into the rocker panel.
Transfer the layout onto sheet metal.
The guys helped cut out some of the pieces…
Created the center sections first…
Folded the bottom section of the rocker. Thanks to Rooman for letting me use his longer brake…
Started welding the sections together…
Have to modify the rocker design to conform around the front A plier body mount.
Ron started prepping the metal on the inside of the body so it’s ready to weld the new rocker in place.
On a side note…
My new garage it starting to take form! It’s eating up a lot of my evenings and weekends with inside framing, electrical, and outside siding still left to do, but I’m excited to see it come together.
Great job! Tucked lakers, thats what I am planning for my '41.
Nice shop as well, ill be going down that route as well in a year or so......clearing the property right now, can't wait.
You are getting work done on many fronts. Congrats!
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