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

    Sorry for the late response to your suggestion Dan but I am actually gonna change the color from the 2nd color being red to a marina blue. Will definitely clean her up a bit as its gonna take a while between getting her drivable to where paint happens.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  2. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,205

    vtx1800
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Here's my funny story about old Pontiacs, while in college in New Mexico one of my friends (who was just getting by) had a 55 Pontiac three door, it was a four door with the drivers side rear door welded shut. It had three on the tree, something that I am sure was more rare than the automatics. He slept in the car while working a job out in the desert, he knew how to save money. This was about 1964, he and I had been somewhere drinking dizzy water all afternoon and we got pulled over by the local police. I suppose we were speeding. The cop asked if he had anything to drink and he answered no. The cop said that isn't ice tea on your breath. I think he told us to slow down and let us go. That wouldn't happen today.
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  3. 1956 Pontiac Pass.jpg 1956 Pontiac.jpg

    Here's mine that I picked up couple years back. All original 316 engine, hydromatic trans, paint, upholstery. I tuned it, went thru the brakes, added dual exhaust, chrome reverse wheels, WW's, and a few extra pieces of shiny trim and I have been driving the heck outta it! Run's easily on highway. No rust thru but has a little surface rust around some of the trim pieces. Get's a lot of admirers and fun to drive while I work on my 57 Pontiac project.
     
  4. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Are you still running the original drum brakes?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  5. Yep, I replaced all wheel cylinders, rebuilt master cylinder, new shoes, and replaced any rusty brake lines. I can attest to the drums- a dude ran a red light in front of me just as I was about to go thru at about 45 mph. My buddy who was behind me said he saw smoke from my front and back tires when I stomped the brakes.
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  6. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Thanks for the info was wondering what to expect. I kinda assumed as these things are freaking huge I could expect some decent stopping ability.

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

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Also has anyone used the original 316 exhaust manifolds on a pontiac 400. I know the holes are a bit smaller but if they were bored out using a rotary file would it work?

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

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Also sir what headlight bezels are those? 57 Chevy?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  9. flypa38
    Joined: May 3, 2005
    Posts: 530

    flypa38
    Member

    Hey! Didn't notice the headlight bezels! They do look kinda neat!
    Regarding the brakes, if you give them the attention and regular maintenance they need they work just fine. They don't self adjust for example, so jack it up and adjust every once in a while. I drive my '56 Star Chief quite a bit and you get used to using your whole leg to stop and kind of planning stops a little ahead of time compared to a modern car.
    Even though the brakes work well enough, MAKE SURE your e-brake works. With the single reservoir master cylinder, ANY leak is total brake failure. I've definitely done more than my fair share of driving my '56 with no brakes at all and the pinch mark in the middle of the driver's seat proves it!
    Careful with brake hoses.....auto zone or advance sold me one that was just barely too long and the wheel rubbed through it after a while.....only touched during tight turns, but pedal to the floor at that point.
    Regarding your underseat heater, if possible try to get it working, if for no other reason than the huge increase in coolant capacity. Saved my engine from overheating numerous times in summer traffic......did not save me from overheating though....I think I sweated off 20 lbs. or so. That reminds me! Rebuild or find a new heat valve for it. When it's on it really works. When it doesn't shut all the way off in summer it will cook you.
    Anyhow, congrats on the car and shoot me a PM if there's anything I can help with. I've had my '56 on the road for almost 13 years now and have picked up quite a few good resources for these things!
    Johnny
     
  10. Flypa38 ain't jivin when he says to double check that park brake. I've had 11, 55-57 Pontiacs and the brakes were barely serviceable for a bone-stock car. A hot rod Pontiac will need an upgrade to discs to be safe. Those cars generally weigh 35-3600 lbs and a 4 door hardtop may go 37-3800 lbs. The skinny 2 inch original brakes are scary on a long hill....I've lost my brakes coming down a really steep, slow hill in 2nd gear before....plenty of pedal, no stop!
    I had one of those 56, 4 door hardtop as a parts car for my chieftain hardtop. It came with the early dual coupling 4 speed hydro trans....the one with no park position on the quadrant ...great transmisssions. The star chiefs came with the "other" trans with a park position at the top of the quadrant....not a good trans.
    Have fun with it!
    56safariNdars56.jpg 55wagon2.jpg Rockys56poncho.jpg
     
  11. BTW, the purple/black primer car was originally red and white....my mom's brother bought a brand new red and white 56 four door hardtop like yours.....he loved that car!
     
  12. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,317

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    That is a cool car. If the '55 Olds I drove in high school had ben a beautiful hardtop instead of a dumpy sedan, i would still be driving it today.
     
  13. I_Fix_Airplanes
    Joined: Mar 19, 2016
    Posts: 25

    I_Fix_Airplanes

    Cool thread and cool car, I'm going to follow along. Here's the 56 4 door hardtop I just got! image.jpg
     
    Snowman454007 and Fordor Ron like this.
  14. flypa38
    Joined: May 3, 2005
    Posts: 530

    flypa38
    Member

    Hey Rocky! Didn't know that primer one was yours! Been one of the pics on my Screensaver for years!
    Not to get off subject, but I_Fix_Airplanes, what do you work on? I'm a mechanic working on Embraer 170/175's. I know of at least one other A&P with a 55 or 56. Is it a pattern or a coincidence?
     
  15. I_Fix_Airplanes
    Joined: Mar 19, 2016
    Posts: 25

    I_Fix_Airplanes

    Wow that's weird!! I work on AT-802's used to fight forest fires, along with their scouts (called bird dogs), Aerostars and Cessna 337's. I also do a little on Cessna 188's, and my buddy's 1953 Cessna 170B. It looks like something that belongs on here! lol
    Anyway, sorry for hijacking the build thread, carry on! :)
     

    Attached Files:

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

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Thanks for all the Replys and convo. So here is the current progress I got replacement Brake Hoses here but not installed as well as new floor pans to cut and install. Also I have gotten the engine painted and gotten the floor cleaned out so I can see what I am working with. I think with the Oil Bath Air Cleaner on it with the factory Valve Covers and breathers it will get the desired effect of looking like a 316 but be different. Now has anyone bored out the 316 manifolds and put them on a 400 before?
     

    Attached Files:

  17. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    Stock brakes aren't the best just be aware , there is always the scarebird disc conversion, it is good and gets away from the expensive ball bearings also. Did you put valve cover spacers on to the run stock valve covers?
     
  18. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Thank you sir for the advice. In the future after I get her running I will probably migrate away from the stock brakes. I got some really thick Edelbrock valve cover gaskets and I have a pair of valve cover spacers from when I had shaft Mount roller rockers on my Trans Am

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  19. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,184

    wvenfield
    Member

    I'm a big Pontiac fan also but as you have found out, you run into problems you don't with other cars. Notably the exhaust. IMO you will have an easier time reworking a set of headers. You may get the originals to fit but they are going to be pretty restrictive concerning what you are building.

    Headers will work with no problems on passenger side. You will have to work around the steering on drivers but it will be only one side as opposed to both and IMO it would be easier to work with the headers as opposed to the stock manifolds.

    You would lose the stock appearance you seem to be after though. It's not like you are ruining hard to find desirable parts if you mess up the stock ones. Start drilling and grinding. If it doesn't work you have only lost out on some time.
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  20. Don't want to make any argument here, but the "blue engine" changed from time to time over the years. This is 1958 Pontiac engine color... before and after they varied quite a lot...
    https://49fordcoupe.smugmug.com/The-Engine/i-GKnJZ5R/A

    And a full list of colors
    http://www.pontiacpower.org/enginecolor.htm

    And by the way, your Pontiac is EXACTLY the same as the car we had when I was a kid....Did it come from south Texas by any chance ???
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  21. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Planning on installing one of these as even though I rebuild the original one I am concerned about serviceability while she is all put back together. So I originally thought about getting just a remote reservoir but then I found they had frame mount master cylinders has anyone done one yet?
    http://www.jegs.com/i/Wilwood/950/260-3378/10002/-1
     
  22. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    I would get the mc back together and measure the stock pedal travel , 1" doesn't sound like much on the wilwood mc and the stock drum brakes may not like it. plus now going to a 2 channel brakes should put in a proportioning valve. I used the wilwood adjustable. And remember all that uses 3/16" stuff and the 55 is 1/4" line. I use a 55 Chevy pedal with a dodge 5th ave mc , similar to wilwood but less than 1/3 of the cost. And got the mc away from headers also for rear exit on driver side. Have fenderwells now I built so not an issue.
     
  23. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Okay Thanks for the info. I really don't wanna use the Chevy Pedals if I can help it. But another thing ,I was looking at tanks and while I didn't find any actual Pontiac correct tanks for our years I did find this BOP tank for a 1941-1954 universal GM tank that looks correct based on size and filler neck locations. I saw another post on the forum about using a chevy tank but was wondering if anyone used these or tried them. http://www.tanksinc.com/index.cfm/p...t_id=130/category_id=102/mode=prod/prd130.htm
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
  24. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    I've sold both my 55 tanks and also sold a 56 with a good tank, don't know if he is going to use it or not but I can ask. I run a fuel cell that's sumped with an fittings and lines to support fuel to my race engine.
     
    Snowman454007 likes this.
  25. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Okay cool thanks for the info but as I want to drive this a lot I don't know if a fuel cell will cut it.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  26. Chuck Craig
    Joined: Jun 11, 2016
    Posts: 249

    Chuck Craig

    Got a friend with a 56 Safari and he needs a coupe of parts for it, including the front seat skirts for both sides, the knobs for the heater controls and the directional signal knob. Any leads on these would be appreciated. Great project keep us posted and thanks for sharing.
     
  27. Rusty Heaps
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 675

    Rusty Heaps
    Member

    I would assume that you could use a '55 Chevy tank, just reposition the straps. I hope its not much more involved than that, mine is very rusty on my '55 Chieftain
     
  28. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Okay so at 1st I thought about using the 55 fuel tank also but the filler neck tube is in the wrong location. But a 1941-1954 BOP tank looks the same and you can get them with a seemingly correct filler neck location. I am about to pull the tank down and measure and double check. I just finished rebuilding the rear brakes and after re doing the front ones install the brake lines.
     
  29. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Infact Sir I got her from a guy in West, Texas who got her out from around the Abilene area. As a matter of fact I noticed today that she has the very light remains of a Cooper High decal on the back window.
     
  30. Snowman454007
    Joined: Apr 28, 2016
    Posts: 89

    Snowman454007
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    So finally after much work of helping my dad get his other project taken care of and getting a transmission rebuilt I finally got to get Prue in the garage so I can get seriously cracking on getting stuff lined up to get her drivetrain in. 14188488_1097076953661915_4022855151259648210_o.jpg 14241596_1097076920328585_8544291837303143376_o.jpg
     

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.