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Projects 56 Pontiac Build Thread

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

  1. COCONUTS
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 757

    COCONUTS

    I would forget that engine and trans in favor of installing a running motor and auto transmission. Spend your time and money on the body getting shipshape, do it yourself bodywork is far cheaper than sending the local machine shop's kids through college. Save the motor and redo it at a later date.
     
  2. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Yes, bolt the bell housing to the engine (45 ft. lbs), then bolt the flywheel to the crankshaft (60 ft. lbs). Remember to seal both the flywheel flange and the bolts that attach it to the crankshaft. Next position the flywheel gasket (the one with all the holes) on to the flywheel and tack it in place with some thin gasket sealer. Make sure all the holes line up. Now guide the transmission up into place. There is enough room to clear the flywheel. Take it from me, I took the transmission off the engine you have, and if it comes out, it surely will go back in. Make sure that the torus cover lines up correctly with the flywheel. Once the torus cover engages correctly, then bolt the back bell housing to the front bell housing. Leave the bolts a little loose in case you have to slide the transmission back to properly engage the torus cover and flywheel. Start installing the 30 torus bolts, turning the flywheel as needed to get all of the bolts in. Then tighten the bolts at the bell housings with about 45 ft.lbs of torque. After that tighten the 30 bolts to 35 ft. lbs. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Engine Painted.jpg
    Surprise! I finally got the transmission on a few days after my last post and forgot to post about it. It's now painted in what I believe to be the correct color from bill hirsch auto. The 316 seemed to have a much lighter color than the 287, so I decided to go with this.

    I also took my starter and alternator to an alternator shop. They said that they couldn't find any parts. Is it possible to get these working yourself ? I have seen a thread about this on the HAMB. I don't know what condition they are in, or if they even needed anything in the first place. I think the starter should be easy enough to test, but I'm not sure how to test the alternator.

    I had the radiator in being cleaned too. The shop said that the core was rotten. I'm not sure if it can be soldered or not. I guess I'll find out in a few days. I can all ways use an aluminum tri-five radiator if I have to.

    Edit: on a brighter note, I got the heat-riser broken loose. It turns quite easily now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  4. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    This is the plan; when I am done the car should be nearly bone-stock.
     
  5. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,158

    wvenfield
    Member

    If it aint the correct color it's sure close enough...... any parts place should be able to check the alternator. The shop you took it to should have been able to. You can check the starter just by connecting a battery to it. It will only tell you if it works. It could still work and not work. LOL

    Need anything else? Heater crap? I'm not going to be using what I took off my car. I traded the 316 with alternator and starter though.
     
  6. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    I would like to get the heater working one day. It looks like mine was used for parts, though. The heater core and blower all seem to be there, but the "box " on the firewall is gone.
     
  7. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,158

    wvenfield
    Member

    I have one I'll sell you. :D
     
    falconsprint63 likes this.
  8. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Way to go! You got that hydro bolted back on! Sounds like you should be getting ready to put back in car! Like wvenfield said: the starter should be a quick test. Hopefully it might just need a new solenoid, which you should be able to find, as they were used on just about all GM starters. Do you have an alternator or a generator? The generator is longer than the alternator. If you need an alternator, I would suggest going with a 10SI Delco. They are really easy to wire and have a built in voltage regulator.
    Another approach to the starter is to get a working Pontiac starter from a later Pontiac (up to 1960) and just change out the starter drive and possibly it's housing. You have to remember that the flywheel tooth count may be different from a 316 to the newer ones.

    Keep up the good work!
     
  9. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    I'm very interested. I'll send you a PM.
    I 'd missed your thread until now. I enjoyed reading through it. Good luck on the rest of your build!
    I'm pretty sure I have a generator. After testing it I'll try taking it apart, cleaning it and replacing brushes. I can test the engine without it, so I don't need it immediately.

    Thank you for all of the help!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  10. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Minor update: Well, I said the floors were rusty. That may have been an understatement!

    rusty floors.JPG
    I bought a bead roller and started working on the first quarter. I don't have it tacked in yet, but I think it's going to fit well.

    floor pan 1.JPG
     
    michael knight and wvenfield like this.
  11. good project. keep it up!!
     
  12. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Floor Pans 1 of 4.jpg
    I'm a quarter of the way done!
     
    Sauli likes this.
  13. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    floor pans 2.jpg floor pans 3.jpg

    The second and third sides are mostly done. 3/4 of the way there!

    Cheers!
     
    Sauli and bobg1951chevy like this.
  14. Falcon H, just saw your thread on your '56 Pontiac.
    You're doing great work, think each step through clearly, then continue to do your best.
    You have a great support group here, with all the Pontiac gurus.
    I will continue to watch your progress.
    Best of luck !
     
  15. Love those tri-five Pontiacs. Just a shout out to say I dig your enthusiasm for your Chieftain and looking forward to watching your progress with it.

    Gotta56forme/Scott
     
  16. Really cool car, good luck, I'm watching!
     
  17. Beemon
    Joined: Aug 24, 2013
    Posts: 24

    Beemon
    Member

    Really takes me back to when I first started my 56 Buick, the heads were off the car 30+ years and needed a total tear down. Biggest single investment to date. At times I wanted to give up, but kept with it. Just about everyone has a tri-five Chev at the car shows, but no tri-five Pontiacs or Buicks. Great find and good luck keeping it bone stock. I wanted to do the same, but just remember there's a reason why cars today are made differently.

    If you don't have a good carb, try and find a carb that was engineered for your engine. You can get lucky with a new Edelbrock or Holley and not have to worry about tuning it much, but it won't ever be right for your engine. There are tons of kits available for a rebuild and they can be just as reliable. Only use the aftermarket ones as a last resort or if you intend to really hot rod that engine and can't find a vintage pair to match the OEM specs (really hard to find these days for cheap unless they're a junk core!).

    When you get to the brakes, I would suggest ditching at least the front drums. That's the only thing I made custom so far and highly recommend it. Scarebird is a great source for disc brake kits and OEM parts. Updating to a dual master cylinder is always better than rebuilding the original IMO, just make sure it fits. If you keep the drums, stay away from steep hills and always keep three car lengths in front of you. Before I got rid of the drums all around, even keeping three car lengths didn't stop ricers or average joes from swinging in front of you and causing a little bit of brake pedal fear. It doesn't matter how good your driving and braking habits are when everyone else around you doesn't care these days and weave in and out of 35mph traffic at 45mph. Drum brakes also heat up faster and can't disperse the heat fast enough so steep grades or heavy braking actually reduces your ability to slow down. My dad's seen plenty of guys in the mid 70s loose their bottom steering wheel while blowing red lights. There just wasn't that many cars on the road back then for something like that to be okay.

    Also if it's offered, I'm not sure how Pontiacs are, but Buicks have really small front sway bars that tend to have the cars lean on 90* corners enough to slosh the stock fuel bowls and cause the car to stall. If you can find some heavy duty front sway bars and bushings or even have one made, it will make the car handle a lot better. In terms of suspension, depending on what was sitting in the car, the springs shouldn't be that fatigued but definitely replace the oil shocks with gas shocks. My Buick had the heads sit in the trunk for 30+ years and it lowered the rear by 2 inches, so I'm using adjustable air shocks for the time being.

    Anyways food for thought. I wish I was 15 when I started, was only 3 years ahead of you when I sold my soul to the Buick. Just remember there are many different types of hobbyist. Don't let purists or rodders or anyone else tell you how to build your car. It's your car! Do what you feel is right! Have fun with the car!
     
  18. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Thank you for all of the great advice! I have a Rochester 4-jet. The Floats are trashed, but I know I can buy those. I would love to use disk brakes. I guess I'll see how much budget I have left. I'm defiantly going to replace the shocks (and bearings too). It doesn't seem to sit strangely, so I'm just going to hope the springs are okay.
     
  19. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,577

    belair
    Member

  20. Beemon
    Joined: Aug 24, 2013
    Posts: 24

    Beemon
    Member

    I have the 4jet, also. For help with the carb, contact the user CarbKing. He really is the king of carbs and has been tremendous help with my build. If you have it rebuilt, contact him first!

    Is your master cylinder floor mounted, toe mounted or firewall mounted?
     
  21. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    It's bolted to the frame.
     
  22. If you use the disc brake kit, you should find out if your original wheels can be used with their rotors/calipers. Reason being........if you want to use the Pontiac poverty hub caps, you'll need the original wheels with the 3 hubcap clips in the centers. Disk brake wheels [later B.O.P. or 71-up chevy pickup] don't have provisions for the clips. If you're going to use '56 full wheel covers, it's not an issue.
    As much as I love these cars, I also have had at least 1 run in with the 56 brakes on a low gear 5 mph mountain road. After about a 1/2 mile of 5 mph braking down a steep goat path, I lost all brakes. I was just lucky the hydro trans stayed in 2nd gear to help slow the car. Brakes cooled down and I had brakes again.
    Next owner lost brakes and hit a truck stopped in the road...mucho hospital bills!
     
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  23. Beemon
    Joined: Aug 24, 2013
    Posts: 24

    Beemon
    Member

    Bolted to the frame in front or behind the firewall? I'm not familiar with Pontiacs, but if the master cylinder is in front of the firewall and the push rod comes straight out the back of the brake pedal, then you're better off relocating a newer model to the firewall. If it's behind the firewall and your brake pedal arm is C shaped (it comes out the toe board and bends backwards under the car) then there are power and manual configurations for this, which is an easy swap but a pain to refill and bleed unless you get a remote fill reservoir type MC. I can't really tell from your pics, but it does look C shaped.

    On 56 Buicks, the MC bolts directly to the toe board. Well being naive and not wanting to do a lot of mods, I put a new MC and power booster in the original location. Well now my brake pedal ratio is 1:1 and I don't have a lot of pressure to the MC, so now I'm looking to relocate to the firewall with a hanging pedal. I'm mounting mine on the cowl vent plenum like a 57 Buick, but I'm going to recess a cavity for the booster to sit in so the curvature of the plenum absorbs the force of pushing on the MC. A lot of people just remove the vent plenums, but at 60mph they feel good on the feet when you don't have AC.

    What's your engine compartment look like? Edit: Just did a quick search and it looks like your heater core is on the driver side where my plenum would be... So you might want to look into a frame mounted kit unless you don't mind throwing the heater core away. I personally wouldn't, but I live in Washington. Hope this helps you out when you tackle brakes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
    Falcon H likes this.
  24. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    The master cylinder is in front of the firewall, but the brake pedal is not connected to it directly.There is a linkage of some kind.
    When I bought the car it was on mismatched rims; half of which accepted hubcaps. I'll find some new rims later (I do want to run with hubcaps). Thank you everyone for all of the advice and wisdom!
     
  25. Beemon
    Joined: Aug 24, 2013
    Posts: 24

    Beemon
    Member

    Care to take a pic before you drop that nice engine in there?
     
  26. LOL now let me make your hair stand up. :D

    If the crank is scored and within tolerance it can be polished and run. Depends on how badly scored it is and how long you want to run between overhauls. I actually knew a weekend bull ring type of a fella that looked for scored cranks because he said that they held more oil on the journals. :eek:

    @Rusty O'Toole ya know what our problem is don't ya? We have been around this crap too long, we know what is right and what is just passable and we are willing to do either to get one on the road. Sometimes just getting by is pocket book and need driven isn't it. ;)

    If the car were mine I would take a close look at the motor and transmission, @d2_willys is good for advice on the tranny by the way, if all was not close enough to being usable I would then look for an alternative, a Poncho 389 to 421 would be a good alternative and while one is not going to find a running 421 Super Duty cheap the 389s and 400s can be had cheap enough to make them a viable choice.
     
  27. Falcon H: for clarification for us all... you already got another seemingly working motor for your '56 (another 316?) from one of the people participating in this thread, so at this time the engine is not a missing piece for you, yes?

    I say all that as I think FalconH started the thread without a decent engine, but does have a motor that is likely to work in the car, now. But maybe I have it wrong...
     
  28. Don't bother with the bearings if you are going disc, as the ball roller bearings are expensive, obsolete and not used in the conversion. The Scarebird set up works very well, superior to the stock system in every way. We are using an adapted AMC dual chamber master with a custom bracket in the stock location. They say the stock M/C will work OK, but get a new one from Kanter just to be sure if you do not do a custom set-up. You need the Pontiac radiator to have heat as that is where the hose comes from, and you need the space on the firewall for the heat valve so you cannot put a M/C there.
     
    Sauli likes this.
  29. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    master cylinder 1.jpg
    Yes I bought the 287 from d2_willys
     
  30. Beemon
    Joined: Aug 24, 2013
    Posts: 24

    Beemon
    Member

    Looks like you have some pretty decent room under there. You could probably try and mount a tri-five Chev truck booster system in the same area like this:
    [​IMG]

    This use has an Oldsmobile, which looks like the same MC setup, could look here for inspiration: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/disc-brake-conversion-on-my-1956-oldsmobile.868225/

    Before buying any type of custom brake setup, you would have to get the engine back in the car and check clearance dimensions. Power brakes are great because they don't take much effort, but your pedal was made for manual brakes so you could probably get away with it. Just remember, master cylinders today use 1" - 1 1/8" bore cylinders, which are much larger than master cylinders of yesteryear, so it might require quite a bit more effort with manual brakes to stop the car. You would just have to measure your pedal pivot and master cylinder pivot and check the ratio I posted a bit back to see what could work in the stock location.
     

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