Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects Building a 56 Pontiac 4 door

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Snowman454007, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Long time reader of this amazing forum and 1st time topic poster. So abit about is I grew up in a GM muscle car family and I am a strict Pontiac fella, I have a 77 TA "Piper" that my Dad got me as a 1st car. So while I have restored a few other cars before and built hot rods but this is truly a different experience and this is the build thread. So I got her Feburary 21st 2016, "Prue" is a 1956 Pontiac Chieftain 4-door Hardtop and thus far seems to be all numbers matching. She hasn't been on the road since 1972 based on the info provided from the guy I got her from. I have enclosed a few pics of the ad from when I discovered her to the 1st few pics taken. As with going to go get any old car the trip to go get her was quite the adventure.

    1240459_978669095502702_5280808209729371915_n.jpg 12742389_978679158835029_3107339803421794339_n.jpg 12742030_978682748834670_5435944553812629774_n.jpg 12718250_983566298346315_7745310495209728606_n.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    So one of the 1st things I had to do was obviously get her rolling. So I had always liked the Cragar Smoothies so I got a set of 15x7s and got some temporary tires (I plan to get some white walls when it gets too that time). Some pics of the interior since I 1st got it. 34.jpg 24.jpg 25.jpg 32.jpg 33.jpg
     
  3. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,130

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    If you live near Waco, there is a young man that is doing a resto on a 56 Pontiac Chieftain too. His username is falconh on the hamb. Maybe you can share some ideas of your builds.
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  4. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Thanks I had been searching for other tri 5 builds and of course came across 55chieftain, and a few others.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     

  5. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,016

    KoolKat-57
    Member
    from Dublin, OH

    Good Luck with your build.
    You have entered the world of parts that will seem impossible to find.
    And when you do, they might be a little pricey.
    You will have to be creative, and stretch your ways of thinking, but in the end you will have a unique car that you won't see at every show or gathering!
    Have fun with the car, that's what this is all about!
    KK
     
  6. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Also I live in Austin but Waco is a short drive from here.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. Dan in Pasadena
    Joined: Sep 11, 2009
    Posts: 859

    Dan in Pasadena
    Member

    May I suggest you give her a scrub down with CLR and then maybe a color sand with 1500 or 2000 grit? She MAY have some decent paint still under there but even she doesn't, he'll look so much prettier. Looks so much better already!
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  8. Sweet find, be sure to keep a build album of your progress...love it!
     
  9. Always liked the 4 door hardtops. '56 was the first year for that body style. Ford also offered its first 4 door hardtop in '56. One of my aunts drove a '56 Ford 4 door hardtop for years.
     
  10. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,445

    325w
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Some of the sheet metal will be the same are very close to the tri fives. Front of the front door back. Forward of that is Pontiac. Wait till you pull the light switch out. It's a different animal. The Pontiac frame is like a truck compared to the chevy. The window parts are the same I think.
     
  11. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    39.jpg 40.jpg 41.jpg Thank you to all who have posted. I just got the floor pans in today from Ames and hope to get the floor done soon. So after getting Prue in my dads backyard for basic disassembly I found that the original 316 had no spark plugs in it and based on what I saw with a bore scope looks like they hadn't been in it for a long long long time. I had wanted to rebuild the original engine but aside from the basic shape of the block which I do think could probably be bored, the concern about getting new connecting rods along with the cost of the 1st gen Pontiac v8 to later transmission adapter pushed me to rebuild a backup 400 that had a bent rod that I used to have in Piper my 77 TA
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  12. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Here is a pic of about 40 year old oil on the valve cover. Also for anyone curious the 55-56 valve covers fit a Pontiac 400 head bolt pattern but are about a half inch shorter in height but it wont be a problem as I got some edelbrock valve cover gaskets that are really thick and also happen to have some Pontiac billet spacers.

    46.jpg 45.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  13. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    So mind also mind you some of these pics are a month or so old, it is my intent to catch yall up and then keep current on build progress. So here we are to pulling the original engine and transmission. I at this point had started to build my backup engine to a 461 and use an extra th350 I have access too.
    As she didn't come with any keys I had to crawl into the trunk and get it open from the inside. Sure is roomy!!! Also planning to keep and reuse the original fuel filter housing on the 461. My goal is to make it look as much as I can like the 316 Strato-Streak.
    57.jpg 58.jpg 61.jpg
    63.jpg 65.jpg 67.jpg
     
  14. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Also of interest is the fact she has a front seat heater!!!! That is even still a luxury item in todays cars so I am definitely going to try and save that functionality. Anyone know if you can get heater cores for these? 70.jpg 71.jpg 72.jpg 73.jpg
     
  15. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 862

    AngleDrive
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Florida

    BrassWorks can build you a new core if you send them old one. My first car I registered, first was 36 Ford convertible I never finished, was a 1956 StarChief 4 door hardtop. Factory AC car, lot's of memories. Nice find.
     
  16. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Thank you sir I never heard of them before. Quite a company from what I saw on their website!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  17. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,016

    KoolKat-57
    Member
    from Dublin, OH

    Any good radiator shop can recore your existing heater and defroster core for a reasonable price.
    Look online in your area.
    KK
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  18. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    Looking good and nice progress so far
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  19. Following along, here is my "more door" Mine needs a heater core also!
    P0003713 (640x429).jpg
     
  20. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    Here was a few pics of my 389 mounted in
     

    Attached Files:

  21. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Thank you sir for those pics!! Is that the correct Pontiac green or a different color?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  22. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

  23. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Thanks I just got some. Was curious how did it hold up?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  24. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    Seemed to be good as long as it is cleaned and prepped. It goes on real nice and great coverage. Just for my own preference went back to the 59-65 blue. It's darker than what the pic shows because of the camera flash. I ground down the moroso stamping and added a little bondo and turned out great on the valve covers. But that engine is gone now.
     
  25. Snowman, she looks better just with the tires and wheels aready!!!! Bruce.
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  26. Back in the late 80s my dad was looking for us a project car and he had a buddy that had a pink and white 56 star chief (long trunk) 4dr hdtp he was willing to part with for like $150. I loved that car but my dad passed it up bc it needed way more than he wanted to do and to him and his buddies it was just an ole worn out 4dr. I remember drawing pictures of it in class and daydreaming about cruising in it...hell I even wanted to leave it the factory pink and white! It eventually ended up getting hauled off for scrap a few years later. We ended up with a running, driving project '62 Cadillac sedan that was purchased from my grandfather, and is currently sitting in my garage, so in the long run my dads decision to pass up the Poncho was right for us but I still think ab that '56. On a side note, the guy that owned it also had a black '55 2dr post with a 455 in it. His grandson has that car now, minus the 455, but I have been trying to pry it away from him. Maybe one of these days...
     
  27. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    Something else if you noticed in my pics, back when I had 58 Pontiac
    control arms to convert it to ball joints. Lowers bolt in but need to mount uppers. Didn't last long lol till i put in a straight axle.

    There is lots of good info including an online shop manual on pontiacsafari.com

    They also had the ball joint conversion and 605 steering box articles.
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  28. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Thanks for the tip. By the way 55 Chieftain how did the stock brakes on your car hold up on the street. I have the heavy-duty brake system all around I don't know if 55 came with that stock or not but how did they do I'm about to the point I need to know if I should rebuild what I got or if they suck bad enough to just want a straight disc conversion right now

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  29. Rusty Heaps
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 675

    Rusty Heaps
    Member

    This will be a neat project to follow, keep us posted. I have a project '55 Chieftain so I enjoy seeing other people's progress with the tri-five Pontiacs.
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  30. If you can overlook my senility, I have yet another goofy story to relate from pre-history. My friend's parents had a '56 Pontiac 4 dr HT which we regularly cruised the streets of L.A. in. It was boring gray and white two tone. They traded it off about 1959. The dealer where they traded it repainted it bright red and white. The parents were driving by the lot and saw it and thought it looked so neat, they went in and bought it back again. Trivia for today.
     
    Hnstray and Chuck Craig like 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.