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Projects 53 Bel Air 4-door Restoration

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by williamtunnell, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    I love reading the build threads here, so thought I'd start my own. The pics to start are of the car exactly how I bought it. In fact, some are directly from the Craigslist ad. The car runs great, good tranny, good rear end. She's not much of a race car, but will make a great cruiser. Also, some pics of the shop where I keep and work on it. . ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386300487.971535.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386300516.707724.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386300563.993448.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386300607.113125.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386300630.911167.jpg


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  2. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    Since then, I've mostly done year down, clean up, and some rust repair. The stainless is all here, with the exception of one lower gravel guard below a back door. I've found replacements online and will pick one up when I need it. Surface rust and some heavy pitting was all around the stainless and where stainless had been before a PO removed it and "tried" to shave it. His bondo "work" isn't done justice in the photos ;) ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386300916.759124.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386300995.201286.jpg

    Also, the doors all have rust near the bottoms, but definitely not as bad as it could be. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386301055.069046.jpg

    Repaired an primed!
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386301082.288411.jpg


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  3. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    A lot more stripping, wire-wheeling, taking stuff off, sorting screws, wire-wheeling, cataloging my parts, and did I mention wire-wheeling? I still have lots to go, and I dream about it at night. I don't have pics of it all, but 2-doors down, trunk lid done, rear fenders and back glass opening, etc. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386301533.902356.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386301546.638199.jpg

    Some rust on the rear fender bottoms, trunk extension, but overall, the car ain't too bad. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386301677.763723.jpg

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386301240.538949.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386301454.993082.jpg


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  4. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    Ok. Last update for now and we should be up-to-date.

    Picked up some original seats from a fellow in Mobile, AL. My good ole Dad drove down (4 hours), visited some family, and picked them up for me. Definitely only the frame is salvageable, but I got the front and back for a fraction of what I've seen elsewhere. Pumped about that! Not to mention...perfect fit! Can't wait till its time to get them covered. We've already got our guy lined up. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386301958.767116.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386301975.028712.jpg

    One last thing...this car is a joy to have! It's even got my 10-year old off his iPod and video games and in the shop getting his hands dirty! Already worth the money! ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386302062.114819.jpg


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  5. gwarren007
    Joined: Apr 3, 2010
    Posts: 381

    gwarren007
    Member

    Sub, nice work.
     
  6. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

    needs a two door conversion...
     
  7. chevy54man
    Joined: Feb 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,684

    chevy54man
    Member
    from NC

    Looks like some great work!
     
  8. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    Haha! This comment was not unexpected. :)




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  9. That is the one project I would like to do (bucket list type thing), the two door conversion. And that car would be perfect!
     
  10. demonspeed
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 517

    demonspeed
    Member

    Great car and a nice shop too! Have you posted shop pics on the Garage Journal forum? They'd love it too.
     
  11. Blackmaria60
    Joined: Apr 30, 2008
    Posts: 532

    Blackmaria60
    Member

    Don't listen to the 2 door stuff. I don't care how many doors it has, it's STILL a '53 Chevy. Besides, with a family, the rear doors come in handy.
     
  12. dave 62 pb
    Joined: Nov 5, 2013
    Posts: 221

    dave 62 pb
    Member

    You guys are so lucky to have such cool solid cars to start with no matter how many doors they have, I like a lot of the 4 doors just aswell as 2 doors.
    If I lived in the states I would be like a kid in a candy store, keep up the good work , look forward to seeing it finished.

    Cheers Dave
     
  13. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    Quick update:
    Still stripping paint and trash like carpet glue, etc. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386595615.265059.jpg
    I found some patches from a generation before me. I'm not sure if the car was in a wreck or not. There's plenty of lead here and there, but not enough to indicate a major crash. Either way, its interesting to find these repairs from yesterday.

    Trunk is slow going.
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386595733.614533.jpg
    That's a before pic. I'll get an after shot soon.

    I found out about a guy here locally that does soda blasting. I'm waiting on the fellow at Autozone to Facebook him and have him call me. Apparently that's how we do things now. :(

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386595834.656986.jpg getting primer on the finished places. I'll sand it again before the real primer base...just hoping to ward off too much yellowing.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386595893.440781.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386595909.692123.jpg

    Front half of the Outer rocker coming off...and looks like the inner rocker is next. Obviously, I will replace the inner rocker before installing the outer, but here's a dry-run of my new outer rocker. Not too bad. I think it will work out OK. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386595982.383642.jpg

    Next is to keep removing the rocker toward the rear door. It doesn't replace everything back there so I'll need to finesse it. There is damage below the rear door, so that's going to be an issue.

    Any suggestions about how to fit the new rocker in this area?
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1386596101.982672.jpg
    As you can see, the new rocker doesn't quite replace everything, and I have a few holes at the base of the post. Unless there's great advice out there, my plan is to blast it all out real clean, plug weld the holes and roll with it.



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  14. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1387716068.887747.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1387716080.660529.jpg

    A short update: picking paint colors. A buddy of mine owns a body shop/collision center and loaned me his book. LOTS of awesome colors, but I think I've found the blue I want.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1387716163.923639.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1387716184.974430.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1387716205.592805.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1387716270.574110.jpg

    As you can see, I had some problem areas with my drivers side dog leg. The curve at the bottom where my outer rocker replacement joins was rotted through. There was also plenty of lead in it that was cracking. I put the cutting wheel up to it about 15 times before I could bring myself to actually dig in. Now that its out, I feel better about getting all that repaired. Picked up some FREE steel from a local sheet metal shop and started making some templates out of aluminum foil I folded over multiple times. Feel free to laugh at me, but it worked! It's coming together at Dad's and looks pretty good so far.

    Still waiting on floor pans to arrive as well as my rear quarter panel replacement.

    Floors are all clean except for what I'm going to cut out.






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  15. Chevy54
    Joined: Sep 27, 2009
    Posts: 1,413

    Chevy54
    Member
    from Orange, CA

    How I remember the wire wheeling!!! So much work man... looks great keep at it! Gotta love the 53-4 Chevs!
     
  16. 47COUPELG
    Joined: May 27, 2010
    Posts: 18

    47COUPELG
    Member
    from Iowa

    looks great, good luck with your project. my first car was a`54 210 4dr.sedan.
     
  17. ha! i always love how someone always has to say to bad it wasnt a 2 door...after all if it wasnt for us with four doors and families they wouldnt feel so special in their heads...next car im going to get is a no door that way i can say to the 2 door people..awwwe to bad its a 2 door and not a no door...baaahahaha....yep
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  18. 1955IHC
    Joined: Aug 20, 2013
    Posts: 636

    1955IHC
    Member

    Cobalt333 It's funny you say that. I have a 53 210 four door that I plan on turning into a sectioned no door roadster.



    Sent via Illinois Bell Telephone Company's Car Radiotelephone
     
  19. 1955IHC...i like your thinking...:) slip in like Bo Duke...when you do make sure you give the 2doors a awwwwe to bad yours isnt......after all they will have no door envy
     
  20. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,708

    Squablow
    Member

    Nice to see you found some proper seats for it. Rust repairs look good so far.
     
  21. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    Thanks all, for the encouragement. I'm probably not totally "HAMB-friendly" as I'm not really planning anything custom...just a restoration. Nevertheless, I appreciate all the encouraging words.

    Worked on some homemade inner rocker panels today after church. I need to sandblast my braces before tacking and fitting them. I'll post some pic tomorrow maybe.


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  22. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    Installed the front half of my homemade inner rockers. The back half will take a little tweaking, but they're next.

    They aren't "factory", but they're installed and strong!
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1388176742.422306.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1388176763.404377.jpg


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  23. Nice work and great progress.
    Why not turn it in to a mild custom whith just a few small changes while you're at it!? You seem to have the skills to make it :)
     
  24. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    View attachment 2115647
    So my front pans came in. They'll be OK, as I don't need to replace every inch of my front floors, so I hope to make the for clean and not have to do so much work making them fit.

    View attachment 2115648
    I pulled my heater motor out and controls and started removing chrome pieces from the dash. I didn't get a "before" picture of the motor and housing, but here are the "after" pics. View attachment 2115649
    View attachment 2115650 View attachment 2115651

    I started work on fitting my after market outer rockers to my part-stock, part -homade dogleg. They were not the same, to say the least. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389754126.850459.jpg

    Nevertheless, perseverance and the willingness to repeatedly cut tack welds loose over and over, it's getting closer.
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389754202.456223.jpg
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389754225.572830.jpg
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389754250.718597.jpg
    It's still got a ways to go, but I'm pleased with the progress. For what it's worth, this car is the first I've ever welded or done any metal work. I'm certain that fact is obvious to many of you veterans, but I'm thoroughly enjoying learning and spending time with my Dad. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389754466.790077.jpg


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  25. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389754602.388587.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389754614.090553.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389754625.654362.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389754635.635945.jpg

    Sorry...here are the pics that didn't post above.


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  26. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    After a little more fitting...I think it's come along nicely. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389844689.265693.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389844702.362627.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389844713.395962.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1389844728.487478.jpg


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  27. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    View attachment 2130629
    Floor pans coming out!

    View attachment 2130631
    And here's my Pops putting the new pan back in. It took a bit of massaging, but turned out well in the end and seems very strong. I've still got to cut out the access to my master cylinder. I want to leave it where it is below the floor.

    View attachment 2130632
    One side done!

    View attachment 2130634
    This picture shows both floor pans in with spray on bedliner down on the floor. I've also fully restored my front bench hardware that allows the seat to slide back and front. They turned out really nice and slide smoothly.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1391611322.046197.jpg
    Body's off and the chassis is outside.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1391611352.681562.jpg
    The chassis needs a little welding done and a friend from ChevyTalk is giving me a set of leaf springs. Mine were in bad shape. The rear end is out and I'm cleaning it up.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1391611424.522186.jpg
    Rear quarter rot.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1391611445.342926.jpg
    Rot out :)

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1391611465.078219.jpg
    Eckler's quarter panel (that took 8 weeks to get here - don't plan on using them again).

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1391611510.025202.jpg
    I decided to only weld in what I needed. I just hate cutting out good metal to replace with good metal. Ran into a little lead and still need to finish my welds and grinding. It's straight, though, which is what matters.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1391611608.925731.jpg
    And here's the inner quarter which was worse than the outer. I'm remaking all that from scratch. Not show quality for sure, but once it's smoothed, painted, and back on the chassis, it'll work.

    That's where I'm at so far. I'll take any critiques!


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  28. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1391611852.187288.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1391611866.807821.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1391611877.799748.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1391611888.104807.jpg


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  29. williamtunnell
    Joined: Sep 15, 2013
    Posts: 36

    williamtunnell
    Member

    Little but of an update...
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1392769270.610642.jpg
    Still stripping crud and rust and treating with rust encapsulator.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1392769315.130147.jpg

    "New to me" leaf springs should be here next weekend.

    Cleaning up the brakes and drums. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1392769355.144800.jpg


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  30. 53chev+moredoors
    Joined: Nov 23, 2012
    Posts: 1

    53chev+moredoors
    Member
    from UK

    Looks Fuc%in nice I really like how this looks + the x2 extra doors please dont make this a 2 door!
     

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