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Projects 56 Pontiac Build Thread

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

  1. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,158

    wvenfield
    Member

    I have my working master cylinder and what not off mine if you want to go the stock route.
     
  2. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Thank you for the offer! I think I'll rebuild mine though. I've found kits from California Pontiac Restoration. I would love to switch to disk brakes and a dual master cylinder, but I think that will have to wait a few years.

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

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    I'm getting close on that fourth quarter and I've been thinking ahead again.....as soon as the floors are finished I would like to do the rest of the bodywork. The previous owner of the car seems to have been a little accident prone! The rear of the car seems to have backed into something, or rear-ended . The damage is localized to the taillights. I would like to fix this myself. I have a slide-hammer and I can weld studs with my mig welder. Any tips for how to attack this?
    dents 1.JPG dents 3.JPG dents 4.JPG
    There is also some considerable damage to the roof (hail?). Would this be approached with a hammer and dolly? dents 2.JPG

    Thank you for all of the advice, help and encouragement!
     
  4. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,158

    wvenfield
    Member

    I can't really make out the hail damage but it looks like a crease in the back part of the roof? Interesting that mine had one in that same spot. I can't do it but I had a buddy make me a headliner and before installing it, he took the vast majority out with a hammer and dolly.
     
  5. I have two '56 Chev HTs which share the same roof as the Tri-Five Pontiacs. I have a slightly similiar appearing crease on one of them in almost the same place. Consider this thinking aloud but could the crease be there from going through car washes?. The reason I'm suggesting it is I remember an experienced car guy telling me years ago he could tell cars that only ever saw car washes vs hand-washing by looking at the rippling in the sheet metal. Just a comment that always stuck with me. Ever since he told me that I don't think I've ever used a car wash on one of my own cars since.

    Gotta56forme/Scott
     
  6. falconsprint63
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,359

    falconsprint63
    Member
    from Mayberry

    just saw this thread.

    first off good job so far. far better than what I was doing at your age.

    second, when you move to the body order and read this book. Worth every penny!
    http://www.coastaltoolsupply.com/product/FMT-BFB.html

    it will answer your questions about how to proceed on the rear and top.

    keep up the good work


    Sent from my SM-G920R4 using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Thank you for all of the replies!
     
  8. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    I say anchor the car to something stable and pull those quarter panels out from the rear (I have used a come a come-along) (opposite direction the crinkles were put in) while tapping with a hammer (and maybe a dolly)at stress points (Im no pro metal man but thats the way I do it to get it close enough before grinding and adding light filler) also if you are good enough you can work those " butt dents" I see in the pics, usually caused from kids or adults sitting and/or climbing on it through the years, or maybe someone hauled or stacked something up there at one time??? Cant see hail dents in pics.
    I would probably hold up underneath the roof maybe with a dolly or palm just inside and away from the crease line circle and peck around the crease line on the top side lightly with a body hammer, (maybe even the pic hammer?) until fairly overall straight then grind and finish with filler........but this could be only one way to do it and not the best way.
    I would invite someone to correct me and or go more in depth so we all could learn the correct way to do this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  9. Beemon
    Joined: Aug 24, 2013
    Posts: 24

    Beemon
    Member

    You could always try and find a donor car to cut out pieces from. There's at least one 56 Pontiac in a local yard up here in Washington, I don't remember the condition it's in, just that it's there. Might be something out closer to you, wouldn't hurt to look.
     
  10. I'd put a Chevy (or Pontiac) roof on that thing before I'd attempt to fix that sheet metal.
    The roof pillars are all covered with chrome trim .How could you screw that up?
     
  11. The roof looks fixable, have a look at youtube for videos on using a shrinking disc by Wray Schelin . You can fix it, just do not go crazy hitting it with a hammer from the underside. Start by using your hand to push it up, work slowly then get out a curved dolly and gently start tapping up with it gentle hits around the perimeter working in a spiral to the center. Stop, feel and do more as needed. Then hit it with the shrinking disc and start over, should take all day.



    If you are interested I have a good set of front drums (been turned) with new bearings, the ball type as original, and probably the rest of the bits and pieces of the front brake system. They were put in by the PO, we put a few hundred miles on them then did the Scarebird up grade. They would be heavy to ship but they are in good shape if you need them.
     
  12. I agree that the roof is fixable, but not an easy job for a backyard bodyman.I don't mean that to be insulting.
    For a guy with a mig that's already had plenty of experience in spot welding, a hacksaw and a tape measure..it's the way to go here... IMO

    According to the o.p. , there is hail damage to the roof too.
    So it comes down to wall to wall bondo vs. no bondo, with a nice donor roof.
    His choice.
     
  13. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    You could do a roof swap. Thats what I did on my 57 Pontiac... It had some rust that would have been more work to fix than cutting the roof off and replacing it with something decent. I started in about the same place as you did and it took many years of effort to get my car to where I wanted it. Check out my build thread and albums if you like. I'm not on here much anymore so just PM me if you have any questions.
     
  14. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    It's been a long time since I've posted, so I guess I've got some catching-up to do!
    floors finished.JPG
    Floors are done!
    tailfin.JPG
    The tailfins came out O.K. They needed a little "body man in a can." and still need a little more, but I am happy with them. The roof straightened out nicely too.
    body.JPG
    chassis.JPG
    And most importantly of all: the body is off! I think that this will really help with exhaust, brakes, painting the underside and the chassis, doing the fuel lines, shocks, and painting the body.

    Cheers!
     
    Beemon and wvenfield like this.
  15. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    looking really good. That's more than I could handle at your age. Keep up the good work and can't wait till you get to drive the car.
     
  16. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    The brake shoes and shocks are replaced now ( and body-work is coming along. ) The bakes are adjusted to be as loose as possible, but they still take some effort to turn. Is this normal?

    The brake lines look O.K. so I am hoping to save them. How should I clean them out (compressed air?)

    Thanks!
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  17. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    Great work on the Poncho and trying to keep it all Pontiac.
    I would at least spray some brake cleaner in the lines than blow them all out. Without anything connected of course. The shoes even though adjusted down may not be completely centered with the drums. I would make sure they are adjusted up properly. Sometimes I will grind down the rust ridge in the outside edge of you havn't had the drums machined to slide them on and off to check the adjustment.
     
  18. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

  19. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,577

    belair
    Member

    If you are going to do a roof swap, you can use a 55 or 56 Chevy (or Pontiac) roof. It will have to be a 2 door hardtop roof like yours. A sedan roof is different. I have a buddy with a really nice original 55 ht 58K miles I keep thinking about buying. Anyway, with some good metal work and bondo, a white roof would probably hide whatever imperfections you couldn't get out.
     
  20. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Most of the damage came out with a hammer and dolly. Now that I'm doing the bondo it's almost gone. As for the white roof: that's how it was originally (two tone red and white), and I will probably go back that way.
     
    wvenfield likes this.
  21. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Hey sir I live in Austin and am building a 56 4 door Hardtop myself. It's not an easy job but even in the Rough shape "Prue" is in I still get a ton of people stopping to either try and buy or see what she is. When you get yours done it will be really worth it. Keep it up I am 31 and built more than a few hot rods but I sure as hell am impressed by what you have done.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  22. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

  23. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Sorry about the delayed reply (I haven't been checking the HAMB like I should), and thank you for the kind words. A lot has happened since I've posted.


    The car is in red oxide primer in this picture. The paint on now, but giving me a little trouble.
    primer 1.JPG
    I rebuilt the starter and generator using new brushes and a new solenoid. I cleaned all of the copper with brake cleaner and sandpaper.
    starter.JPG
    And here's the frame.
    chassis.JPG
     
  24. FANTASTIC, keep up the good work. My first car was a 56 Chief exactly like yours. That was in '63 when I was 16. LOL It was blue on blue and beautiful with the 316 and like new interior. All the engine seals leaked.and smoked but I loved it and only cost $395 !
     
  25. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Sorry about the really long wait. After I wasted one coat of paint (http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/wet-sanding-lacquer.1035284) I found a friend who had some experience with bodywork and pointed out the problem spots (that I never would have noticed until it was too late). For a few months I fought with the bodywork. It's pained now, and far from perfect, but it's defiantly good enough to get me down the road. I am really happy is's better than the trainwreck it was in the first coat! paint.jpg paint 1.jpg

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
    55chieftain and gotta56forme like this.
  26. looking forward to seeing some chrome & stainless steel hug that!
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  27. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    I'm still alive! Sorry about another long absence, my projects move at the speed of glaciers. I have the car on it's frame and the fenders on. I'm really happy to have it in my shop, out of the rain and sun.
    On Frame.jpg
    Ignore the clutter (lol).

    Right now I'm working on a lot of little things with the goal of starting it as soon as I can. One issue I noticed while messing with my driveshaft was some play in the rear end (maybe an inch or so). I don't think there's any way to know how much of an issue it will be until the car is running, so I'll have to just wait and see. If it's too far gone I'll make lemonade out of lemons and take the chance to get the '57-'64 rear end that I would have preferred anyways.
     
  28. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    I've been trying to do some minimum start/run wiring. I still have no idea how my carburetor rebuild and starter turned out (not to mention the transmission), so I would like to start the engine soon so I can find any problems.

    My ignorance is shining here and I'm struggling with the most basic of wiring.

    Question 1. Is a 550 amp battery okay?

    Question 2. I have the positive battery cable running to the starter solenoid and the negative cable grounded to the engine. My plan is to use toggle switches for ignition and the starter just to test things. how should I wire the rest?

    Thank you for the help!
     
  29. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Make sure that the transmission is in neutral. You probably don't have the neutral safety switch wired .
     
    Falcon H likes this.
  30. Regarding the slop in the rear axle....I've had the pinion nut come loose on 56 Pontiacs before. Makes a really loose gear set with a lot of whining noises. Might want to check that nut.
     
    Falcon H likes this.

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