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Projects 53 Pontiac custom build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by volksjunky, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 212

    volksjunky
    Member

    Well, Im finally to a point where there is finally some progress on this thing so I guess I will share as I go along. I bought the car this past June after looking at quite a few over priced 53/54 Chevy's and decided maybe it was time to start looking for something else, maybe something not so belly button ? I started watching Craigslist etc. and stumbled across an ad for a "54 Pontiac Chieftain $750.00 ." After several days of phone tag I finally set up a time to check the car out and this is How I found it, well sort of. I pulled the front tires off because they wouldnt hold air...

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    I drug it home with the compensator and stuck it in the driveway. I ultimately had no clue if it ran or anything, the guy I purchased it from never did anything with it but cover it with a tarp.

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    I had it home for a few days checking stuff out and digging through all the parts that were shoved inside of it, finding that pretty much every little piece was there and labeled ! except for a front bumper :( .
    I finally went and bought a six volt battery and figured it was time to see if this damn thing was gonna run, or if I was going to have a big pile -o-shit taking up room in my yard. I threw a battery in it and got nothin' , wouldnt turn over,I poked around a bit and figured out that the solenoid was crap, that was easily fixed with a screw driver ! did more poking around to try and find the reason I wasnt getting spark, a call to my pops, a points file and a little gas down the carb and she was alive ! Smoking like nothing i had ever seen, but running . I let it run for a while and the smoke was clearing up,came to the conclusion that they must have lubed the cylinders before storage ? So now ultimately it runs pretty well but still runs really rich. The carb is so gummed up I cant even get any adjustments at all, so that will get rebuilt. I now had a running car, but didnt know if it would move ? threw it in gear and nothing, after literally two days of figuring out where the damn dip stick and fill spot were I fed it eight quarts of tranny fluid, and got movement !
    So after all of this excitement what did I do ? I parked it in the back yard and covered it up again. I was in the middle of remodeling the house and the car was just gonna have to wait a while , sucked because all I could do was think about the car while hanging doors and windows .

    Fast forward a few months, its fall and the outside of the house is as done as its going to get this year, its time to get the car in the garage. After convincing the better half that this thing was going to take way less time and money to get going than here 62 bug I had been dragging my feet on for the last year, swapped them around and finally i was going to get to build something for myself, finally ! or so I thought, my job of seven years decided to tell me that I was being laid of for the winter because they couldnt afford me . Fucking great !!
    So the car is in the garage ,and I have NO motivation for anything, and really no money to put into a car now. So after a month or so of looking for work; being a miserable prick to every one , I figured I would get some therapy for myself . There was plenty to do on the car that wouldnt cost me anything, just elbow grease. So I have gotten off my ass and spent pretty much everyday in the shop since .
    I came across one of the biggest motivators while looking at Craigslist, I typed in "whitewalls" figuring it was a big long shot being im poor, and I live in frickin' Alaska, but there it was " wide white walls G85 15 $150 " figured they would be junk but what the hell ,called the guy went and checked them out.
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    These things are 95% .The dude has a 53 ford that he tows a fully restored 42 Airstream behind and he said it was just to squirly with biasplys on there, so lucky me !

    So now that Ive bored you with all this, heres where I'm at now, I went through the brakes, cut a coil and a half out of the front springs, had four inch blocks in the back, but had no suspension at all. So I cut them down to two and a half, and cut the bump stop in half. The sad part of it is this car had been fully sandblasted and primed at some point,and than obviosly been left to the elements. I really dont want to blast it again there is already some warpage here and there,and its just an expense I cant afford. I have decided to go at it with the ol' grinder and sandpaper. i found these Norton "rapid strip" discs at Home Depot, they do a killer job removing the primer and heavy rust, so i think that is the best way fo me to go at this point.I will follow that up with 80 grit paper on the sander than chemically treat the metal. Well Ive had enough typing for the morning and will leave pics of where it sits now, and get my ass in the shop !
    Sorry if this is a little drawn out, I guess i got on a roll...

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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
  2. dt50chev
    Joined: Mar 15, 2005
    Posts: 596

    dt50chev
    Member

    Cool car indeed. A great alternative to all of the Chevies out there.
     
  3. 31ACoupe
    Joined: Nov 14, 2005
    Posts: 1,416

    31ACoupe
    Member

    is that a straight 8? or 6 banger? it will be cool, nice h/top. i have a 53 tudor pontiac project i am building, just finished the motor--straight 8--and winter stopped me. keep the pics coming.

    george
     
  4. daveymac405
    Joined: Jun 14, 2010
    Posts: 94

    daveymac405
    Member

    nothing like some wide whites to cure the blues.....nice score...thx for sharing...
     
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  5. turdmagnet
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 367

    turdmagnet
    Member

    Always love seein' another poncho being resurrected !!!! Keep up the great work !!!
     
  6. A friend Mick just got done with one look at creigs list medford oregon 1954 price is real high but lots of good ideas for you. NOT SPAMING
     
  7. eddie_zapien
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 274

    eddie_zapien
    Member

    Gotta love the pontiacs! Great find on the tires! Good luck on the job.
     
  8. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,041

    sololobo
    Member

    Dude, one of my fave rides on the planet. Please!! leave the great hood and deck ribbed trim on. I am so sad to see Ponchos with chevy hoods and decks, the trim is the bomb.I realize it has all been removed for work on the ride. The Olds hub caps are sweet!, nice score on the tires. Good luck on a great car, keep us posted. ~sololobo~
     
  9. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 212

    volksjunky
    Member

    Thanks for the replies ! Car is a straight eight sorry i didnt mention that.
    I have been working on the motor today,i soaked the carb overnight and put it back together. I still have no adjustability and it fouls the plugs out pretty quickly :mad: I guess i'll do a compession check etc, but starting to think the carb is F'ed ?
    I catch crap from everyone about wanting to get rid of the hood/trunk trim,overall i like it, but I HATE the emblems,so Im trying to figure out a way to keep it and lose the emblems, I think I have it figured out just need to get an extra piec of waterfall to pull it off and I see them cheap on that bidding site...
     
  10. Try Soda blasting that rust, slow, but won't be so apt to warp.
     
  11. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 212

    volksjunky
    Member

    I'd love to be able to soda blast it , I can't find the supplies here to do it myself , and shipping is INSANE to get stuff up here .
     
  12. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

  13. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,988

    fab32
    Member Emeritus

    That's going to be one sweet ride when you get it drivable. It' sespecially sweet being a Pontiac. You going to keep the straight 8 or thinking about a swap of some sort? If it were mine I'd be looking for a 389/4speed and tell everyone it was an early GTO prototype.

    Frank
     
  14. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 212

    volksjunky
    Member

    Thanks ! At this point I'm trying pretty hard to keep the eight, it's just so cool ! There was and early 389 for sale not to long ago that sparked my interest , but I didn't have the coin to really think about . I have nice 327 if things don't work out with this one. I do plan on swapping the rear out for some taller gears so she doesn't have to work so hard .
     
    coolhandponcho54 likes this.
  15. Cool!! Ever since I picked up my 54 I've been in love with the old Pontiacs. Good luck with it!

    The straight 8s certainly aren't fast, but if you decide to keep it, you'll always have a conversation piece.

    If you'd like to keep the silver streaks on the car, but don't like the '53 emblems, maybe you could just get the '54 hood & trunk trim. I like the '54 trim & emblems a little better, myself.


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  16. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 212

    volksjunky
    Member

    I agree with you on the 54 emblems, way nicer ! I'm thinking I'd like to extent it into the grill moulding and do away with the emblems altogether , would also fill the ornament holes also. People would know it's a Pontiac , but it would be a lot smoother looking .
     
  17. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,304

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Awesome! Can't wait to see another well done '53 Poncho on the road! Watching...
     
  18. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 212

    volksjunky
    Member

    Well,finally got some time to post this weekends progress. Just a lot more time with the grinder and sander...
    I got the passenger side fender stripped down,and did a bunch of hammer dally work on it, but of course forgot to take the before pic !

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    I needed a break from all the sanding and did a little metal work just fo something else to do. I filled the existing antenna holes and filled the fender seems . I also filled a few little cracks in the hood and fenders while I was at it,but nothing worth documenting.

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  19. I'm totally jealous of your fenders. Mine are trashed.
     
  20. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 212

    volksjunky
    Member

    Oh I undestand I'm from NY myself, everything is crusty !
     
  21. plumfat40
    Joined: Jul 21, 2008
    Posts: 325

    plumfat40
    Member
    from colorado

    Lookin good, Gotta love those Hardtops
     
  22. Newcastlegut
    Joined: Jun 4, 2010
    Posts: 24

    Newcastlegut
    Member
    from Benicia,CA

    I have to agree on the love for the hardtops, as I have one myself. Looks good and love the hubcaps.

    I look forward to seeing your updates.
     
  23. custompainter26
    Joined: Sep 20, 2009
    Posts: 55

    custompainter26
    Member
    from st louis

    Sweet. Just started tearing down my 54. Drove it last year as is, now it's time for some resurection.
     
  24. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 212

    volksjunky
    Member

    Thank you for the compliments. This car is kind of my sanity right now, So the fact that anyone is enjoying my "escape" is motivating !
    Not a whole lot today, my goal is a panel a day. I got the passenger door stipped down and spent a lot of time with the ol' stud gun, thinking I should call this thing the " Pin Cushion "

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  25. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 212

    volksjunky
    Member

    Thank you for the compliments. This car is kind of my sanity right now, So the fact that anyone is enjoying my "escape" is motivating !
    Not a whole lot today, my goal is a panel a day. I got the passenger door stipped down and spent a lot of time with the ol' stud gun, thinking I should call this thing the " Pin Cusion "

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    I dont think i've had to use so many studs before, I hate creases !!
    Ultimatey not perfect, cant really get in there to dolly it out, but it will take very little skimming to get it smooth from here.
    Onto the drivers door tomorrow ,theres actually a bit of rust to take care of there so that will be a couple day project. Gotta pull the carb off in the morning and run it over to one of my "old timer" buddies to check out , Im pretty mechanical, but sometimes its better on my ego to not get my ass kicked by one problem.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  26. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,304

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Lookin' good man! You may want to consider using a large shrinking disc to tighten all that back up. I bet you would need little or no filler with just a bit of work with the disc.

    Nice work!
     
  27. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 212

    volksjunky
    Member

    I just ordered a set of shrinking discs the other day ! Will definitely need it on the roof,looks like someone did a dance up there ...
     
  28. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,304

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You will LOVE them! Shrinking discs (when used correctly) are like friggin' magic!
     
  29. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 212

    volksjunky
    Member

    Damn, I haven't posted anything in almost a month ! I have been working on the car just nothing worth documenting. I have been spending tons of time just massaging out little dings and dents and of course sanding ! I got my blast pot dug out of the snow and ice in the back yard and will use it to spot blast some areas on the body and all of the roof, trunk and hood will get blasted.
    I got a little metal work done this past weekend, shaved both of the 'bumps" off the quarters that mounted the emlems and shaved the gas door .I scored a set of 55 Olds headlight rings and will be grafting those on over the next week or so. Still not sure what I'm doing about the actuall grill area and I still dont have a front bumper. Ther is a guy that has tons of old tin about forty miles from me and Im sure I can come up with something there.Its been pretty damn cold and we got some snow last week, so It will be a while before I can get out there and dig around without freezing my nads off.
    Anywhoo, heres some pics of what I have gotten done .

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    And my next nightmare, not looking forward to getting this ironed out...

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  30. volksjunky
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 212

    volksjunky
    Member

    Got some more metal work done today, started to remove the old front parking lights.

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    I cut out where the original grill bolted on, I will be doing a custom grill surround once I get the other side filled in.

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    I made a template of the opening than used the shrinker to get it to match the contour of the fender.

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    test fitting panel ...

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    everything all welded up and ground, on to the other side tomorrow !

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