Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects 59 Custom 300 rust bucket... A journey back to the road

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by SoulProprietor, Mar 1, 2016.

?
  1. Glass it for now...metal patch later

    11 vote(s)
    8.0%
  2. Metal repair is the only way

    116 vote(s)
    84.1%
  3. Glass it and forget it

    11 vote(s)
    8.0%
  1. Corn Fed
    Joined: May 16, 2002
    Posts: 2,679

    Corn Fed
    Member

    If you want something to learn fabrication skills on, not expecting to ever get any of the money back that you pour into it, then go ahead and dig in. It's the perfect kind of car to learn on. But if you think it will be worth anything later, you are going to be disappointed. Patched up '59 fourdoors are not an easy sell.

    If you decide to do some work, take small bites like just doing foot long sections of the roof at a time. Keep it running if at all possible. That way you can have still have some fun instead of it totally turning into a pile of work.
     
    slv63 and y'sguy like this.
  2. myold88
    Joined: Oct 25, 2010
    Posts: 71

    myold88
    Member
    from ct

    I agree with what 2many projects said. Hundreds of hours on a 4 door sedan makes no sense. Even when your done you will have a car no one is interested in. Please look around for a better project while you can.
     
  3. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,244

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    "only thing that is cheap & easy is me - and I'm not worth a plugged nickle" boy, if this was a dream car that you have always wanted and would keep for many years then maybe do all that it needs. but, once you do body & mechanical, etc you will be pretty deep $ and still a long time from enjoying on the road.
     
  4. SoulProprietor
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 83

    SoulProprietor
    Member

    Well all things to consider... Maybe I'm in over my head. definitely inexperience showing here...
     
  5. If you do tear it apart, take pictures, take notes. Store things orderly and mark them. It expands real fast once it comes apart... takes up lots of room.

    Agree with JJ above, take a car down that far and it becomes a restoration and a black hole of time. Since July of 2014, I have taken about 8 weekends off from working on my car. This was mainly due to extreme cold weather, blizzards and being sick. In winter, I work on the car every Monday night and more nights in warm weather.

    I had to find both sides worth of door guts (Edsel donor door), quarter window mechanisms, all the interior garnish moldings. Every piece of exterior moldings and clips. Do not lose your windshield clips, nobody makes them. New door glass, all the fuzzies, channel, handles and so on. I have wrapped up in the doors, windshield and trim (interior & exterior) about $2600. The only thing I sent out was getting the door and vent glass set and having the windshield installed, at my house.

    This is how clean my dash came out, a mountain of work, all new knobs, paint of course, fixed the steering wheel cracks, aftermarket gauges. New dash cluster decals. Car is 100% rewired.
    2-1-019.JPG
     
    kiwijeff likes this.
  6. A rust bucket isn't a good choice for a first-time project; there's a lot of experienced builders that don't like to tackle one as rust repair can be extremely time consuming. You might just do a 'quicky' fix while biding your time looking for a better project, make it presentable and drivable. Pick up a wire cup brush for your grinder to clean the roof up (that will quickly remove old bondo and most rust without damaging 'good' metal), slather some POR15 on all the rust you can get to, and re-bondo it for a fast cosmetic fix. That will last at least for a while you learn about all the other myriad little things that old cars need.
    You won't be the first guy that bought an over-his-head project, won't be the last....
     
    kiwijeff and michael knight like this.
  7. SoulProprietor
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 83

    SoulProprietor
    Member

    So after sleeping on it, I sent an inquiry email about the hardtop in your first link... Maybe it'll still be there. reality is cold sometimes. I must confess I would like a two door better anyway. :) that said I'm still going to dig in to my current car and see what the extent of the damage is and try and make her a presentable driver... As always I appreciate the input. It was a little frustrating making a mistake this quick out of the gate. That said, I've never been one to turn a deaf ear to reason :)
     
  8. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,366

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    You're on the right track by getting a 2 door car. That 4 door isn't too far gone. Nothing is really. But it's too far gone to make sinking countless hours into fixing it a smart decision both in terms of actual monetary cost and expense of time, relative to what your ultimate finished product will be, which is a lame 4 door sedan. The old timers in my area hammered that into my head as a young kid getting into cars; 4 doors aren't cool. They were the family cruiser, your dad's car back in the day. The young guys liked the sleek coupes that were cool and sporty. The racers liked the 2 door sedans, the custom guys wanted hardtops. I still subscribe to that line of thought.

    I took some ribbing because my first old car was a 57 Chevy Bel Air 4 door sedan. The old guys would always bust my balls... "Is that your parts car?" When it got hit in the back I decided to pocket insurance money and sell the car, and bought a 2 door. It's not to say I wouldn't drive a 4 door, I've owned a couple since then. But it's never something I'd spend any significant amount of time building or putting together. It'd be a kick-around car that would be discarded when I'm done with it.
     
    leadfootloon likes this.
  9. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,859

    Hdonlybob
    Member

    Agree with the "Grind 'er Down" first to see what you really have.
    Personally I voted to cut and patch with metal. It is not that hard.
    Good luck :)
     
  10. How is the outside trim on the car? There is decent money in that if you wanted to part it out and use some as a parts car. I see lots of 2-door Customs around in decent shape.

    It looks like your roof was already fixed at least once. The drip rail area is where a series of pinch welds and seams come together. I took mine down to bare metal to clean out the calcified seam sealer in that area.
     
  11. I feel bad for you Young Guns that have to start with such rough stuff. I'm glad your willing to take on such a project but Dang. Times have sure changed. I'm retired now but have done a Million Miles of rust repair through out my Career. I've told people for years that "Fun costs money". It don't matter what form it comes in, fun costs money. Also, there are two kinds of Car people, those that like to get out and Drive and those that like Build and Talk. It's hard to be both on a small budget.
    Best of luck to ya young Man and here is a little inspiration for ya. Hope yours becomes what you expect.
    59 Galaxie July 2013 003.jpg 59 Galaxie July 2013 004.jpg
    The Wizzard
     
  12. SoulProprietor
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 83

    SoulProprietor
    Member

    I have to remember what I wanted this car for... Something to enjoy with friends and family. I figured a four door would be a good fit for that... Bob the trim is not too bad... Not show car but not a total loss either... Driver quality. I do intend to build a real looker one day (hopefully soon)... Right now I just want something to drive that is unique... Thanks for the inspiration Wizzard, that is one clean ride. I love the idea of making a custom because it gives me a sense of freedom, not like a painstaking restoration to factory. I will save that for when I get rid of my "greenness"... I have such an appreciation for what you all do and the cars... I know I have to start somewhere... Even a 4 dr will turn some necks... Don't get me wrong, I have a dream to have a real showpiece someday... But I've gotta feed the hunger in me now...
     
    Moondog13 and michael knight like this.
  13. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 650

    finn
    Member

    I wouldn't be afraid of learning / honing skills on a 4 door. I also think that the old 2 door or nothing mindset is obsolete or at least changing with the times.

    2 door cars are virtually non existent in today's production world, and as new blood enters the hobby the old, myopic views (which I also held for years) will slowly become the minority opinion.

    I say stick with what you have, and learn the basics of rust repair.
     
  14. You're in for a lot of work, but if the car is safe and can be driven (or close to), you can work on it as you go. Mine had no engine or trans... so I had to overcome that as well. And it got way out of hand since I was missing so many parts that I had to dredge up.

    I had a bad case of "while I'm at its" and fixed things beyond of what I initially intended. The dash came out, then the heater. Stripped the interior down to the bare shell. Power washed, primed and painted the floors and trunk.
     
  15. I suspect that the $400 hardtop is every bit as rusty as what you have, and probably no title to boot, but might make a good donor. The $1250 one looks a lot better, and is next door to you in Georgia. But you never know until you see them...

    Everyone has probably bit off more than they can chew in a car project at least once (I did it more than once... LOL). And one of the hardest things to learn is the recognition of your own skill and time limits when looking at a project. We all tend to have rose-colored glasses when looking, seeing the finished car in our mind, not the long process it will take to get it there. This is particularly true when trying to do it on a 'low budget'; one lesson you learn is always try to start with the best possible car in terms of rust/bodywork as that's the most time-consuming and sometimes expensive part of a rebuild. And while I love this site, one of it's downsides is there's guys here who make this sort of repair look so easy when for a novice it really isn't... LOL. A roof rail repair like you're looking at is one of the worst to fix (if not THE worst) because there's anywhere from 3 to 5 layers of metal at that seam and if rust has gotten between all of them, it can be all-but-impossible to get it all out unless you want to reconstruct the roof. And if you live in a high-humidity climate, not getting it all means it WILL be back...

    I'm not trying to be discouraging, just pointing out the realities of this hobby. My call on this car if you want to get it on the road and enjoy it would be to do a cheap, quick, and dirty repair (knowing it won't last) while looking for the car you really want. One thing not mentioned is it costs pretty much the same to fix up a non-desirable car as a desirable one to the same level, with the initial price difference usually ending up being a not-so-large percentage of the difference in total costs.

    Anyway, good luck whichever way you decide to go. And '59 Fords are my personal favorite of the 50s Fords...
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  16. Crazy steve makes alot of sense in his posts. Hes right.
    But like you said "feed the hunger inside". I completely understand. Lol.
    we get that hunger and it wont go away. Lol.
    If youre like me than you think about youre project 24/7.
    That cars body is a huge undertaking, and could easily break youre spirits and determination.
    Im not trying to be mean, but its reality. Having said that, obvoiusly you love the car and have the "hunger", if you look at it financially, assuming a 2dr is worth more than a 4dr then if you lose interest or screw it up then atleast youre not out a ton of money and in my eyes you learned something about cars and yourself which you cant put a value on.
    If you screw up a patch panel or some bodywork, (which you will). Then so what, who cares, cut it out and redo it No one was born knowing how to do this. its like everything else EXPERIENCE.
    You probably didnt pay much for thecar so would you really be out that much dough if things went sideways?.
    This is why i love this site. So many different perspectives and talented people to learn from.
    best of luck
     
    SoulProprietor likes this.
  17. What I have learned about Roof rail rust is that 90% of the time it comes from Rats and Mice making a nest on the inside body rail and filling the rail full of Crap and then rotting from the inside out. Now you have a real issue with a inner structure needing to be replaced first. By the way, my 59 can be bought and all it needs is a new Address. It's a Fly to my town and Drive it home kind of car.
    Shameless pitch wasn't it?
    The Wizzard
     
  18. Dammit, I cant stop thinking about this thread for some reason.
    Im 38 and maybe still full of piss and vinegar and thats why i keep saying to go for it.
    THE HUNGER MAN, THE HUNGER.
     
    Moondog13 and SoulProprietor like this.
  19. While that can cause it, I've seen more caused by leaving the car covered with a tarp for too long, particularly if you live somewhere with high humidity. The condensation gets everywhere...
     
  20. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,536

    50dodge4x4
    Member

    Let me start out by saying, I fix rusted cars for a living, and have been doing so for 25 years.
    You are concerned about the roof because you can see it. You stated that the floors were worse then the roof. You fix rusty cars from the bottom up, not from the top down. The roof is not going to fall off, but if the bottom rusts in two and starts to separate, you have a serious problem.

    Rust is cancer for your car. Its really hard to get rid of it all, and there are pretty good odds of it coming back. That roof repair will have a 3 year life expectancy if you can cut out all the rust you can see, because you won't be able to see it all, nor will you be able to cut it all out.

    If you decide to go forward with the roof repair, you have to pull the headliner before you grind anything or you will catch the headliner on fire. You will also have to be sure your seats are covered with something fireproof. Grinder sparks will start the material on fire. Headliners, seats, carpet, door panels, caulk or seam sealer, and rubber around glass all catch fire pretty quickly, and its hard to put that kind of fire out! If that old material starts burning, you have about 30 seconds to get the fire out before you catch the whole car on fire! Grinder sparks also pit glass, so you will want to protect that as well, inside and outside. Sparks going into the defroster ducts can catch the heater box, glove box, and firewall insulation on fire too.

    A scraper, chisel, punch and a hammer will be better items to determine what material will need to be replaced. All of the sheet metal on a car attaches to a box like shape, or is folded back against itself. If the sheet metal has rusted away, expect the box shape it attached to to be rusted through as well. You will have to replace a section of the box as large as you need in order to get to back to the original thickness (metal you can weld to). That might be as far away from the rust hole as a foot (or more) in either direction, or as close as a couple of inches total. Take the punch and hammer along the box and tap on the punch. If the metal breaks through, its to thin to weld to and will need to be replaced. Good sheetmetal will ding under a hammer and punch, even if your smacking it pretty hard.

    The coupe in my picture had a 2" long section of rust bubbles at the center of the windshield. I had to replace 42" long, by 4" wide to get to thick enough metal I could weld to. The structure under the sheet metal required replacing everything from one door post to the other door post, including the pinch weld that held the windshield. The glass had to come out. The sheet metal rust you see on the roof of your car is the least amount of trouble I would expect to find on your car, and nothing is going to be a long lasting repair, short of major structure replacements. For the record, most of the body structure that will need to be replaced will probably have to be hand formed. The section of the roof on my coupe took about 24 hours to replace, buy the time I got the old stuff removed, the area cleaned up to weld to, and the new stuff made and welded back in. That didn't count dealing with the glass, at all.

    Your at the point on your car that you have little to loose because, unless you catch it on fire, you have a great parts car. I suggest you can do a fiberglass patch job and tractor paint job on the roof, get it running, and cruise it for the summer, while you locate a car to build. If you have a need to learn metal repair, start on the rusty floorboards. You repair a rusty car from the bottom up, not the top down.

    Sorry, just cold hard facts. Gene
     
  21. SoulProprietor
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 83

    SoulProprietor
    Member

    Well I am in the south... Humidity just comes with the territory. I bought the car from a guy who bought it 6 years ago and it just sat outside... And sat and sat... It's a shame. Michael it seems you know exactly where I'm coming from... I've spent countless hours just looking at it, sitting in it... Dreaming of getting it back on the road. I'm loving all of the insight here... I knew coming to the HAMB would be exactly what I was looking for. Even if there isn't a clear cut answer. Wizzard, I'm not sure what to make of that pitch yet... :) part of the allure is to put my own stamp on a project and make it mine... That one is already really nice. I bought this car for under a grand... So really, the only thing to lose at this point would be time and energy in another project that I currently don't have.... And this one is right in the back yard... Soooo... I guess I'll give it more thought when I have my evening session behind the wheel
     
    slv63 likes this.
  22. SoulProprietor
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 83

    SoulProprietor
    Member

    Thank you for the insight Gene. :) I will definitely keep that in mind... And that plan of action is actually sounding really good...
     
  23. Gene is Dead on right. Over the years here I typed much the same message. I'm retired now but like Gene he and I bought our Homes and put our Kids through Collage from the $$$$ from guys just like you. Thank you, Thank all of You.
    By the way, 100% of the paint on my 59 in the Photo was applied in 1959. Dreams can be had.
    The Wizzard
     
    SoulProprietor likes this.
  24. I voted to fix it properly, but after reading through the thread, I now think you should patch it and feed the hunger. Drive that thing, get used to the joys of an older car, cart your buddies around, all the while planning a better build, as there are better cars to start with, to be had for not much cash.
    Your be started a learning curve, that'll either make or break you.
    Listen to the experienced here, there's a lot of great advice from those who have experience with these old barges.
     
  25. For 10 years I've said I was going to do a Watson style paint job on top of the Factory paint and just add a set of Astro Supremes.
    The Wizzard
     
    SoulProprietor likes this.
  26. SoulProprietor
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 83

    SoulProprietor
    Member

    whaaat?! Picking my jaw up off the floor... That is impressive Sir.

    absolutely... I knew I was in the right place :) thank you for the input
     
  27. Absolutely. And all that means to me is that it's a perfect blank canvas for Today's customizer. It's the only total stock car I own and a total misfit.
    The Wizzard
     
    SoulProprietor likes this.
  28. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,507

    steinauge
    Member
    from 1960

    Not knocking sitting in the car and thinking-I believe we all do that-but instead why not spend that time getting the car to run and drive? You said it has a 223,that is one of the better engines of that era and one of the easiest to work on.Clean and set the points,clean the carb ,make sure it has oil and spark ,hook an auxillary gas tank to it(I use a boat tank) and light it up.Hearing it run will do wonders for your morale.You didnt mention what trans it has??
     
    kiwijeff and slv63 like this.
  29. SoulProprietor
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 83

    SoulProprietor
    Member

    Yes, the 223... My bro in law has one in his 63 f100... Not built for speed but plenty torque. I have the standard 3 speed manual. I also have access to another 3 speed gearbox with BW overdrive unit from same era... Was thinking about swapping but I'm not sure what the state of the internals are. I'm actually hoping to fire her off this weekend... Engine seems to have good compression. My main concern in my throttle linkage... I must be missing a spring somewhere as it falls flat to the floor.
     
  30. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,244

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    post a pic of the motor and close one of what linkage that you have for others to help figure it out. maybe get it running, and put it up For Sale/ Trade for a few days. never know what results it might bring. we all want you to win on this venture to go out and cruise, in something reliable & safe & rain proof. or, put a good layer of fiberglass over all of the rust areas. if you have a compressor, and place to spray it put on a elcheapo paint job - get motor running good - all electrical working good - seatbelts - etc. you can have some fun for a while but, at some point will need to get a car with a better foundation to build on & really enjoy.
     
    SoulProprietor likes this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.