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Projects '52 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe (High School Restoration Project)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Captain Morgan, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    Finally decided to sit down and make an ongoing project thread for the Cadillac. For those who haven't seen me post before, I am a high school auto mechanics teacher from the New Jersey shore (no, it's nothing like the crappy MTV show). My original plan was to find a 67-72 Chevy/GMC 1/2-ton truck on the cheap, restore that through donations and contributions, then raffle it off at the end of the year as a fund raiser. By the time December rolled around, I had abandoned hope on trying to find a truck in decent shape along with the idea of raffling it off at the end of the year, being that 3 months of school had already passed, I did not want to run into deadline issues and not have time to raffle it off before school let out in June.

    So I set my sights on ANY decent project vehicle that would be fun and interesting, local enough that it could be picked up over a weekend, and of course the wallet always comes into consideration. I went back to searching Craigslist and remembered coming across a 1955 Caddy while I was looking for the pickups (how it came up in my search, I don't know), so I went back to see what it was all about. The car was pulled straight from a junkyard and after a little research, discovered it was not a '55 but actually a '53. I then decided to check out ALL the 50's Caddies to see the changes in design and options over the years. I finally decided that I liked the 50-53 models the most. I went back to searching Craigslist within a 400 mile radius and came across another '53 out in PA, however it was in worse shape than the first one I found in NJ. After that I switched my search to eBay and stumbled upon a 1952 that had 4 days left on it, so I added it to my watch list and kept on looking for other projects. Well, 4 days later nothing else had popped up so I tried my luck on eBay and tossed in a bid with 32 seconds remaining on the auction and 32 seconds later I was the proud new owner of a 1952 Cadillac that I purchased sight unseen.

    Here are some of the photos from the original eBay listing:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The car was up in Boston, MA so I ended up leaving NJ at 5am the following Saturday with a friend of mine as a co-pilot, driving another friends truck and borrowing yet another friends trailer (good thing I have friends who trust me, lol). Got up there just after 11am and 2 hours later we had the car loaded up along with all of the extra parts that came with it, including an extra rear bumper, a set of doors that came off a rusty convertible, 5 original wheels, couple of boxes of random small parts, oh and I forgot to mention that since the engine was removed and disassembled, that needed to be picked up as well. Got back to NJ that evening and got some rest, went over to school and dropped it off on Sunday and on Monday morning, the students and I pushed it into the shop.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I forgot to mention that along with the spare parts, the previous owner also had a complete power steering setup for the car to replace the original manual steering setup. Although it is an "X" Coupe (power windows & power seat), it did not have power steering originally.

    The first thing we did was remove the nasty interior, actually once the carpet was torn out and the old seat covers were stripped from the original seats, it really wasnt too bad.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    Next, we got ready to remove the body from the frame, which required removal of the trans, old exhaust, any lines & wires, bumpers, front sheet metal, ect...
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Oh, I think I forgot to mention again that long with all the other goodies that were included, the previous owner had also installed new tires, wheels, shocks, complete brakes front & rear (including drums, shoes, springs, cylinders, master cylinder, lines and wheel bearings).

    Over the next couple of weeks, we spent most of that time cleaning the frame down to bare bones and bare metal.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Around this time, word got out about the little project we had going on and one of the local papers decided to do a writeup on it.
    [​IMG]

    Finally, we were left with a clean frame that was painted with epoxy primer and 2K ceramic satin black chassis paint.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Along with the chassis, we have been cleaning and stripping other parts, getting them prepped for powder coating
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    One of the "new" upgrades I picked up for it is a 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS rear differential. Not only does this rear have the same stock 5 on 5 lug pattern, its nearly the same width of the original Cadillac differential, comes stock with limited slip and has 11.61" disc brakes standard. Since the Impala rear was originally used with a coil spring setup, we will be shaving off the stock brackets and welding on a pair of leaf spring perches that I picked up from Moser Engineering.
    [​IMG]



    well, thats it for now, I'm sure I will have more to post soon as we start to put the suspension back on the chassis, stay tuned...
     
  3. falconsprint63
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,359

    falconsprint63
    Member
    from Mayberry

    awesome project for your kids. I looked a this car and wasn't in a position to buy, I'm glad to see that someone's doing it justice. when you raffle it off let me know.
     
  4. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    Thanks. This one isn't getting raffled off since I'm personally funding it and I didn't want to have to worry about getting it completely finished by June, but next year there will hopefully be something just as cool getting worked on :D
     

  5. Roadsterpu
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 895

    Roadsterpu
    Member

    This is fantastic. As I have a 52 as well I will be following this closely. I hope you will show a lot of detail on the power window/seat rebuild portion. THanks for posting this build thread.
     
  6. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    yeah thats a whole seperate project in itself. Unfortunately the pump that was in my car has been the only downfall I've come across. Seems the fluid canister that I guess would have been on the bottom of it is long gone, so I have no idea what kind of condition the pump itself is in and/or where to find a replacement canister.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. I would have taken a auto class in high school if we actually got to work cool cars instead of just 1980's beaters...nice work on the car so far
     
  8. Roadsterpu
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 895

    Roadsterpu
    Member

  9. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    thanks for the link, Ill have to check them out and see what they got.

    so I had a "snow" day from school today, so I decided to get some of the front suspension parts powder coated. Upper & lower control arms are done, along with both coil springs, but I'm not sure if I will be using them or not. I do plan on lowering it a bit, plus the addition of the LS1/4L60E combo is most likely going to lighten up the front end a bit, so I'm not sure what springs Ill be going with just yet.

    [​IMG]

    when I came in for lunch, I found that the UPS guy had dropped some presents off for me, brand new rear calipers, with brackets & pads, plus no core charge, for an unbeatable price!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. ratt7
    Joined: Sep 23, 2005
    Posts: 362

    ratt7
    Member

    Really nice vehicle, keep us update on the progress.
     
  11. outlaw1949
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 507

    outlaw1949
    Member

    I look forward to following your progress.
     
  12. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    alright, back with some updates. I know its been a while but we have been getting hit with snow days left and right. It's rather difficult to make progress when we're barely in school, but nevertheless we are making progress slowly but surely.

    Still cleaning up the bottoms of the floor pans. Once all the old undercoating and paint are removed, they will be resealed and undercoated before meeting back up with the chassis.
    [​IMG]

    The gas tank, despite being cleaned up by the previous owner, is getting stripped bare in preparation for a sump since I will be running an external Walbro fuel pump.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    the '96 Impala SS rear has been cleaned and all old spring brackets removed. New leaf spring perches have been tacked in place and are awaiting final welding once we can get some time in the metal shop next door.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    All of the original hardware has been removed, inspected, cleaned and awaiting reassembly as the components they go to are ready.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Both upper control arms reinstalled after being powder coated
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  13. outlaw1949
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 507

    outlaw1949
    Member

  14. Double Caddy
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 689

    Double Caddy
    Member
    from virginia

    the project is coming along nicely.
     
  15. Flatheadguy
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,037

    Flatheadguy
    Member

    Lots of info on the car and the build...rebuild. But, how about some photos of the kids working on bits and pieces? The students working on the car are as much of an inspiration as the car itself.
     
  16. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    I wish I could. Unfortunately school isn't the same as when we went. The internet didn't exist, intellectual property and parental permissions are HUGE issues these days. I don't even think a students picture can be used in the schools own newspaper without that student having a media release by their parents.

    The picture from the local newspaper article (above) is as close as I can get at the moment. Once I am told otherwise, then I will gladly take some "in progress" pics. ;)
     
  17. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    started a little of the body work this week after school with some of the students. I went in today to finish up the welding so we could continue on cleaning and hopefully painting and undercoating the floor pans this week.

    I never did take any good "before" pictures of the twisted up rocker, but it was stuffed back a good inch or so and folded on top of itself underneath the trim.
    [​IMG]

    Here it is all straightened out with a 2" x 1" patch added to the lower front corner where it was too bent up to pull out.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  18. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    another update if anyone cares....

    got the floor pans completely stripped bare and painted with rust encapsulator, not that it needed it since nearly everything came up rust free, but I figured why not. Next step will be undercoating with Lizardskin.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. Knucklehead29
    Joined: Mar 13, 2009
    Posts: 132

    Knucklehead29
    Member

    C.M.


    This is awesome. So glad to see someone passing down their trade to the youth. In my mind teachers would be the highest paying profession around. I am sure you know just how much of an influence and mentor you are to your students. I am really interested to see this build evolve.
     
  20. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,462

    40StudeDude
    Member

    Lizardskin isn't exactly the best for undercoating...it's good for heat proofing and sound deadening...I suggest you use some good undercoater instead ...it'd be cheaper...

    And there are a lot of us that care about this build...I'm watching it...thanx for posting...

    R-
     
  21. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    Thanks. I wish our new governor felt the same way. Apparently he feels education should be cut in order to cut the state deficit :rolleyes:

    I feel very fortunate to be in the position Im in, the kids have enjoyed this project quite a lot. I had one stay till 7pm one night last week just getting things prepped and cleaning up shop and I had two stop by last Saturday while I was doing some work on my own. Sometimes I feel they are more eager than I am, lol.

    Really? Ive read numerous threads on here about people using it (as undercoating) with great results. Thats the main reason I purchased it was because of threads on here, you're the first that Ive seen to have anything negative to say about it. Its already purchased and sitting in my shop so cost is neither here nor there at this point.

    I guess I could just use it on the inside. :eek:
     
  22. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,462

    40StudeDude
    Member

    It isn't a negative comment...I use it on ALL my cars...have you seen my '55 Caddy build thread...??? Here: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=329070&highlight=the+best+55+caddy+build


    I said "it isn't the best for undercoating"...meaning while it deadens sound and heat...it isn't better than regular undercoating, depending on WHERE you are using it.

    I used it on the underside of my Caddy as well...and will continue to use it...but if you're putting it in the front and rear fenderwells...it's a waste of money...if you're using it on the firewall to kill the heat, or in the doors and roof to deaden sound and sun, it's great...

    R-
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  23. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    I know its not exactly negative, but it just seemed to get praise across the board in all aspects, thats all.

    Hadn't really thought about using it in the wheel wells exactly, just on the bottom of the floor pans (as well as interior), but I guess I could save it and just use it all on the inside just the same and try to find some undercoating elsewhere for the exterior side of things. I know the 4 gallons I bought wasn't going to cover everything I wanted anyway.

    and yes, Ive read though your project numerous times ;)
     
  24. WHAT A GREAT CAR! If I were in highschool again, I would wish to be lucky enough to have a teacher like yourself. Hope those students know how lucky they are!
     
  25. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    This is great! I wish we had auto shop like this when I was in school, I would have looked foward to going to school. Nice job!
     
  26. outlaw1949
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 507

    outlaw1949
    Member

  27. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    this weeks updates.

    Got the new coil spring isolators in, so I could finally start putting the front suspension back together. One side done so far.
    [​IMG]

    New sump for the gas tank arrived this week. Finished getting the tank prepped this week, should have the sump welded in by Friday, then new paint to follow.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    New polyurethane body bushings showed up this week as well. I just need to modify them slightly and then they will be better than new!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Took 40StudeDude's advice and opted to do the underside of the body in standard rubberized undercoating and save the lizard skin for the interior. Just have to shift my supports around a bit and hit the 4 spots I couldnt get today and the underside of the car will be complete.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  28. So cool that you wound up with an "oddball" project like an old Cadillac. Sure, a Chevy truck would have been a Hellava lot easier, but nowhere near the cool factor when done. Hats off to you and your class. Great thread. Keep us posted.

    Back when I was in Autoshop(when Christ was a kid) our teacher would have us do his dirty work on projects from his bodyshop. Remember working on a 66 Toronado, late 50's Bentley, mid 60's Lincoln convertible and a Boss 302 Mustang. Back in the late 70's and early 80's guess you could easily get away with shit like that. Kinda like we actually had a smoking section outside.:eek:

    Also remember tearing my cars completely apart, and using a nice cozy warm shop to drop engines back and forth in my own projects.
    JT
     
  29. BEAR
    Joined: Sep 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,310

    BEAR
    Member

    good work so far
     
  30. Captain Morgan
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Captain Morgan
    Member

    Had the kids start a little work on the body this week to see how they do...
    Passenger Door
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Damaged area stripped of paint
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Studs welded, dents being pulled.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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