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Projects Mild custom '51 Pontiac Chieftain

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by PhilA, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    In my experience and opinion, it's worth the while. They're fun to pilot around!
     
    MUNDSTER and loudbang like this.
  2. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,905

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I sure like the early '50's coupes better than the two door sedans; both Ford and GM.
     
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  3. Bbdakota
    Joined: Oct 23, 2019
    Posts: 72

    Bbdakota
    Member

    Congrats on the new project! I've enjoyed reading and keeping up with progress on the Pontiac and would love to follow along with the 1966. If you start a thread elsewhere, let us know. I showed the wife some of your progress on the pontiac as I'm impressed with your abilities. I hope one day I'll get to meet you and see your work in person as I'm only a couple hours east so maybe we'll end up at the same event one day like cruisin the coast. Thanks for documenting all your progress!
     
  4. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    Sure thing. I don't plan on getting rid of the Chieftain just because I got this ('66 Plymouth Fury III, for the record, complete basket case) so at some point that would be good. There's more work to be done on this one yet.

    I have a busy day today, I need to finish fixing a clock, I need to tidy the garage and finish off a large spreadsheet from yesterday.
    Good fun times.

    Phil
     
  5. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    The car had been sat for a while so it got a short run to the school at lunch time to drop some paperwork off, and then after work I decided to the pharmacy to collect some prescriptions-at which point my mother in law called to say her hot water heater had quit, so I hopped onto the dual carriageway and buried the pedal into the carpet.

    Drove all the way at 60. The car is significantly more smooth now and despite the engine note sounding like nearly 6000 RPM in a Morris Minor it was totally happy cruising along at that speed. Backing off the throttle sharply did make it smell a little blue but it's coming up due oil change, so I'll forgive it that.

    It's nice to be gaining a little confidence in the car, also to understand that even though it sounds like it's about to go pop, it's actually not turning over all that fast, just the exhaust harmonics make it sound that way. I don't like pushing it too hard but at the same token it appears to be quite happy now to travel at that speed.



    Phil
     
  6. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    I need to get a quieter fan belt. This one is noisy as all get-out.

    I think it's slightly the wrong angle and the cooling fins are screaming on the pulley face.
     
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  7. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    I made an executive decision and removed just a hair of depth off the bottom of the belt.

    Silent belt.

    Phil

    Edit: Was probably inadviseable to put a metal file against the generator bracket and wear a bit of the belt away but I'll keep an eye on it and see if it begins to delaminate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
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  8. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    Well, I tell you this much.

    I hadn't realized just how tiring the noise the belt made was while driving.

    As a result, I just spent an hour going around the car lubricating things to get rid of squeaks and rattles- I need to make an adapter for my grease gun to do the leaf springs because they're now the loudest part of the car, creaking.

    In reflection, comparing to how it was 6 months ago, it's become a pleasant car to drive about in.

    Phil
     
  9. Malibu406
    Joined: Nov 10, 2020
    Posts: 213

    Malibu406
    Member

    Nice job on the dash testore, Im doing mine right now too.
     
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  10. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    I've been doing a fair bit of driving in this over the past week, and it's responded well to being driven.
    20210423_085634.jpg
    People are starting to recognize it, too.
    A few constant high speed runs occasionally seem to be doing it good, so I think I'll be continuing to use it more.

    I still turn around to look at it as I walk away, each time. That's a sign of having the right car, I think.

    Phil
     
  11. 51pontiac
    Joined: Jun 12, 2009
    Posts: 257

    51pontiac
    Member
    from Alberta

    I enjoy and get inspired by your technical posts and will be going over all of then again as I tackle various items on my 51. Just about ready to begin putting a few miles on mine as well as soon as as I check everything off my list after a short shakedown run today. 62D7C7F5-2B8F-4D6D-840E-22FA6E3A7146.jpeg
     
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  12. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    Your car's looking real sharp! Hopefully you can start getting out and about, mine has been great fun to drive about in.

    You're definitely going to attract thumbs up and waves. Plan on groceries taking 2x as long as people stop to ask you about the car (what year is it?).

    Phil
     
  13. 51pontiac
    Joined: Jun 12, 2009
    Posts: 257

    51pontiac
    Member
    from Alberta

    Yeah, I have owned it I since 1973 and been driving it since 1975. It has had a few redos over the years but has looked like this since the first rebuild in 75. It has been sitting for a few years recently but now being retired I finally have time to get after it again. Hope to put a lot of miles on this summer. Cheers!
     
  14. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    Holler if you have any questions about anything I've done, and you find I didn't explain it well enough. I'm happy to answer any questions I know the answer to.
     
  15. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    Got a nice set of new old stock tail light lenses in the mail from @greybeard360 today.
    20210429_163241.jpg
    Half an hour in the ultrasonic bath and decades of sitting-on-a-shelf dirt came off, leaving them real nice.
    20210429_165308.jpg
    Fitted them and the lights are brighter now (expected!).
    Really happy with that.

    Phil
     
  16. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    Dull and boring stuff - haven't been driving about much in the Chieftain but it's up due a service. I need to grab some oil and grease the chassis up. I haven't had the enthusiasm recently to pull the brakes apart but I really need to. the pedal is getting a bit low and adjusting the front shoes up made only a marginal difference. Last time I tightened up the rears they decided to bind up really badly and servo-on drag as I was driving (just jacked up at a stop the wheel span freely).
    I need to take the rear leafs apart at some point too, they are creaking- but first I need to get new bushings....

    It never ends, what a deep rabbit-hole this is.

    --Phil
     
  17. Nikkerton
    Joined: Dec 5, 2019
    Posts: 131

    Nikkerton
    Member

    Cannot keep count of the friends who have asked, “So is it down now?” I just grin and say “It’s never done”.
     
  18. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    Yeah, there's a lot of truth there.

    ... When it is done, it's time for it to find a new home.
     
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  19. But then you'd have to repaint your shop wall!
     
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  20. You guys are a lot more energetic than I am. I cleaned up my 50's grille a bit but still need to replace the blown head gasket, address the fuel tank/pump and go through the brakes. I scored a nice '50 "light up" hood ornament. 50Pontiacgrillepolished4_21.jpg 50pontiacilluminatedhoodornamant.jpg
     
  21. Mnb1966chevy
    Joined: May 7, 2021
    Posts: 19

    Mnb1966chevy

    Love hearing knowledgeable people talk about cars
     
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  22. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    Yup, change it up every so often!
     
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  23. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    Looking good. I just work on mine evenings and weekends, hour here, hour there.
    I'm on a spending freeze right now due to having bought a new truck but I'm just doing odds and ends that either cost nothing or don't cost much to do.

    Phil
     
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  24. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    People are panic-buying gasoline right now because of the news- our supply doesn't use that so overall shouldn't be that badly affected.
    A few local places were out of gas so on my way back from the office I tanked up.
    20210512_105133.jpg
    From just under a half a tank...
    20210512_115505.jpg
    To a full tank, 11.7 gallons, and averaging 10mpg.

    Up due chassis lube too

    Phil
     
  25. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    20210513_194424.jpg
    A pleasant evening drive tonight, which was good- since I have fitted those rear light lenses nobody has missed my rear lights. I slow down, they slow down rather than HOLY MOLY HE'S BRAKING at the last moment.

    That makes me a little happier, safety is a good thing.

    Phil
     
  26. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    20210515_100201.jpg
    A little grease gun action today, to begin. Then a fluids check, topped up the radiator, oil was good.
    20210515_103126.jpg
    Gave it a jolly good wash, and leathered it down.
    20210515_105323.jpg
    That's better. There's a little car show going on today, I think I'll go mosey on over and take a look.

    Phil
     
  27. impala4speed
    Joined: Jan 31, 2010
    Posts: 297

    impala4speed
    Member

    The Pontiac is looking great Phil. Awesome job you're doing.
     
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  28. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 39,680

    loudbang
    Member

    That a Hellcat in the background?
     
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  29. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,248

    PhilA
    Member

    No, it's a 392 Scat Pack.
     
  30. 50 Merc Man
    Joined: Aug 2, 2020
    Posts: 324

    50 Merc Man
    Member

    Nice ride


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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