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Projects 56 Pontiac Build Thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Falcon H, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,471

    Torkwrench
    Member

    Just as general advice.....If you do not have a FACTORY Pontiac shop manual, buy one. It will be one of the best investments that you can do for your 56 Pontiac. I'm not sure if reprints are available, but if not, a used copy can be found on ebay. Just look around for one and a fair priced one will show up, sooner or later. I was looking for a 1961 Pontiac shop manual and found one for $15.00 It did take a couple of weeks of looking, though.

    Chiltons and Motors Manuals are more general repair books, so a factory 1956 Pontiac shop manual would be a better choice, for your needs.
     
  2. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,158

    wvenfield
    Member

    Those mounts are pretty iffy. I suppose if you had to use them........when I took my engine out last fall mine were in pretty bad shape but I hadn't noticed any problems.
     
  3. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    I started to remove the transmission this weekend. The bell housing is in two pieces, so I removed the bolts for both (as well as the starter and dust cover). The most I can get it to move is about a half-inch. The engine is seized, so I think I need to remove the transmission without the torque converter. Will I need to drop the crankshaft?

    Thanks for the help
     
  4. On those old cars the heat riser made the choke work unless it had a manual choke. By '56 most GMs had an optional automatic choke. The higher end GMs the manual choke was optional. LOL
     
  5. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,158

    wvenfield
    Member

    That's the only way I know to do it. There might be some more ingenious.
     
  6. flypa38
    Joined: May 3, 2005
    Posts: 530

    flypa38
    Member

    As mentioned, get the factory shop manual. No need to pay for it though!
    http://pontiacsafari.com/ has it free in the garage section under documents.
     
  7. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,325

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Suggest you start by taking the engine apart for inspection. Cylinders only need to be bored if they are tapered more than .007" (seven thousandths of an inch) or rust pitted bad enough to snag the rings. Minor pitting can be ignored, just hone the cylinders and put in new rings.

    I know the real engine experts hair is standing up in horror at this sacrilege but, we are talking about a basic overhaul of a street engine not an entry in the Indy 500.

    If you do not bore the cylinders you do not need new pistons.

    It might be possible to put the engine together with new rings and bearings and timing chain, new gaskets, valve job and not much else . If the crankshaft journals are round and not scored.

    Best to get some basic auto repair manuals and study up on rebuilding engines.

    If the engine and trans are shot, a 305 and matching trans will get you going but not be very exciting. But may be the most economical way to get on the road.
     
  8. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,325

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    See if you can clean the rust out of the cylinders, put some penetrating oil in them and get the pistons to move. This will allow turning the engine over and removing the bolts holding the torque converter, then the trans will come off.

    You should keep the heat riser if possible. Apply penetrating oil and tap on it, heat it with a torch, get it moving. If you can sandblast the rust off it, it will come loose easier. This only needs to be done if you are going to use the engine, you can ignore it for now.
     
  9. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,325

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    You have got yourself a real big project for a beginner. Do you have anyone to help you, that is knowledgeable about cars and has tools and a shop?
     
  10. I damn sure wouldn't want to try to remove the crankshaft with the engine in the car...it's tough enough to remove it from a seized engine out of the car! Like Rusty says, soak the pistons and try to get the engine to turn. The fluid coupling [precursor to the torque converter] has 30 nuts and bolts holding it together and they HAVE to come out...the front half is bolted to the engine's crankshaft ......engine has to be free [un-stuck] to get to all of them. Don't get forceful and break the transmissions' front pump, yanking back on the transmission without removing those 30 nuts and bolts.
    Yeah, it's a big job but it's worth the effort IMHO. With a strong Pontiac engine in front of that 4 speed hydro, you'll be pleasantly surprised..
    PS...if you give up on it, send me a PM...I'd like to do just one more.
     
  11. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Evan: Good to see you working on the Pontiac. Here is what you need to do:
    1) Flip the old 316 and hydramatic on their tops. Make sure you support the transmission with some sort of blocks of wood or bricks. Do not let the transmission hang there by the crankshaft to flywheel to fluid coupling. Make sure of this!
    2) Remove the engine oil pan.
    3) After getting to the inside of the engine, remove the oil pump. Then start removing rod nuts and bearing caps. Do this one at a time and number each cap. The numbering is like this: 1,3,5,7 which number 1 is on drivers side of engine, which will be on your left side (looking from front of engine) with engine upside down. #1 is the front most cylinder, front being opposite the trans side. 2,4,6,8 are on passenger side. The #2 cylinder is the front most cylinder on the passenger side.

    Try to tap #1 rod and piston down. You may need to use a hammer and some sort of bar that will fit down into bottom of piston. (If the piston and rod do not slide down, then just go onto the next cylinder (#2))

    4) Repeat tapping down the rest of the rods and pistons. ( You could also skip steps 5, 6, and 7 if you can rotate the crankshaft to remove the 30 bolts in step 8. If you cannot rotate you will need to do steps 5-7.)
    5) Remove crankshaft bolt and pulley, timing cover, then chain and sprockets. This is in the front of the engine.
    6) Remove all 10 main bearing bolts, then remove the bearing caps. Number them 1 thru 5, with #1 at the front of engine.
    7) Now you should be able to lift crankshaft AND transmission together. Position the hoist sling around the crankshaft near the #4 main bearing. If you are planning on keeping the crankshaft use a rag around the sling so you don't damage the crankshaft bearing area. Put the other side of sling at a bolt on the rear of the transmission. Be careful lifting the crankshaft/transmission!
    8) After removing the crankshaft and transmission you will now remove 30 bolts that hold fluid coupling to flywheel. The transmission will then be able to be pulled off the flywheel.You can then remove the flywheel from crankshaft.

    Note: I would reattach the front bell housing to the engine with a couple of bolts. That way you can have the rear bell housing unbolted and it should clear the dowels when lifting the crank and transmission from engine block.

    Just thought of another simpler approach that might work.
    Do steps 1 and 2.
    Then do steps 5 and 6. Then try and remove the rear main bearing half (side in the engine) by tapping on the bearing end opposite the bearing key with a screwdriver. The bearing should walk around the crankshaft till you can get it out.

    Now with both bell housing bolts removed, try prying (pry between engine and flywheel) transmission back enough to get the front bell housing off the assembly. (The idea here is that without the thrust bearings installed, the crankshaft might just pull back enough to get the front bell housing out.) If the front bell comes off, then you can get to the 30 bolts holding flywheel to coupling.

    PM me if you need more help.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
    Sauli likes this.
  12. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    I can't thank you enough for instructions so detailed! The transmission and flywheel are off and should be mounted soon.
    After the engine and transmission are ready, what is the best direction to go? Should I do paint and bodywork now, or get it on the road as soon as possible?

    Thank you everyone for all of the help and advice. I will start soaking the heat riser to free it up.
     
  13. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    We have a fairly large shop with most of the tools I will need. We also have a friend who owns a shop and can help with anything I have trouble with.
     
  14. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Are you going to put the new front seal in the transmission? Now would be the time for that. I would also put a new rear seal in the transmission too. Don't forget how to seal up the flywheel to crank too. BEST gaskets has the torus cover 30 bolt gasket with the crankshaft gasket too. Seal up the flywheel to crank using the gasket and PLIOBOND 30 SEALER. Use this sealer on flywheel to crankshaft bolts too. Don't forget the new pilot bearing.

    Personally, I would get the car running before doing paint and body work. It's a lot more fun doing the bodywork when you know the car runs.
     
  15. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,325

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    The general rule is to do mechanical work first, then body and paint, upholstery last. New tires last thing before you hit the road. Old skins or temporary spares are good enough to roll it around while working on it.
     
  16. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    This weekend I changed the transmission oil pan gasket, the freeze plugs and the pilot bearing. I started to remove the extension housing to replace the extension housing bearing. I took out all of the bolts in the rear of the transmission, but the most I can get the extension housing to move is about 1/4 inch. Is there something else I need to remove, or am I just not pulling hard enough?

    Thank you
     
  17. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    There is one of the bolts that serves a function inside the extension housing/main case. That is probably why it won't come out. It also might be useful to remove speedometer gear assembly from extension housing.
    I sent an email about the spare Motors Manual. This would come in handy. Look at the email and get back to me.
    Oh, and don't forget to install the transmission rear seal too.
     
  18. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Thanks for the help
    PontiacSafari.com has a Hydramatic manual with instructions for removing the extension housing. The car has 80,000 miles on it and the pilot bearing was in pretty bad shape. Do you think the extension housing bearing needs replacing too?
     
  19. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Extension housing is no easy job to take off the main case. I would leave it alone for now and just put the new rear seal in it. That is, of course, if there are no problems with the bearing.

    Make it short, the reverse unit and other components must be unbolted to remove extension housing. This is all because the output shaft has a snap ring that holds most of it together. If you need to take it apart, let me know and I will send you the steps.
     
  20. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    The pilot bearing is in the new engine. I have no idea what mileage was on that engine.
     
  21. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Thank you! I took the rear seal off and the extension housing bearing looks intact, so it's defiantly staying. Putting the transmission back together afterwards looks like more than I can handle. When I said that the clutch pilot bearing was in bad shape I meant the one from the 316. Thank you for all of the fantastic help!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  22. y'sguy
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 387

    y'sguy
    Member
    from Tulsa, OK

    Love the look of your old Poncho!. Good luck on your project, you and your Dad can both learn a lot on this project. The internet IS a good source but I think I'd be looking for a factory service manual as well.
     
  23. Dan in Pasadena
    Joined: Sep 11, 2009
    Posts: 854

    Dan in Pasadena
    Member

    You go, kid! Don't let your lack of knowledge slow you down. NO ONE is born knowing how to do mechanical work, some of them just act they were! Lol.

    Rule of thumb that is HARD to follow at my age, much less at 15:

    "Make it STOP, make it go, make it cool" In that order. Best of luck, you're definitely talking to the right people (no, not me!)
     
  24. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Not a problem. I, with all the others want to see it running and driving down the street. You are going to love that hydramatic!
    Let me know what else I can advise you on.
     
    Chavezk21 and Falcon H like this.
  25. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Hi,
    I replaced the oil pan gasket today, now all I have to do before mating the transmission to the engine, is changing the transmission front seal. I tried to remove the big nut holding the fluid coupling on, but all I do is turn the fluid coupling. Does anybody have any tricks for getting it off ?

    Thanks!
     
  26. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

  27. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    another bump...

    I never did one, but have seen the nut before. If you don't have a fast impact gun? ...maybe you can bolt something very long, to a couple of the torus flange holes, to hit the floor and keep it from spinning? Be careful on not bending the metal of the flange
     
    Falcon H likes this.
  28. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Put the transmission in reverse. It will lock the coupling to the transmission case. Bend the locking tab and the nut should just come off. Good luck.
     
  29. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    I've been putting it off for a long time, but I finally started putting the transmission on. I have the flywheel and the front half of the bell housing on the engine. It looks like it's going to be a tight fit, with the input shaft scraping the flywheel on the way up. Should I have the engine-half of the bell housing on?

    Thank you!
     

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