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Projects Mild custom '51 Pontiac Chieftain

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

  1. Sculptive Design Co.
    Joined: Jul 23, 2018
    Posts: 77

    Sculptive Design Co.
    Member

    Unbelievable work! Great to see your Pontiac getting the full treatment. Your knowledge and skill is immense. Thanks for sharing with us. Nice to see another guy from LA.
     
  2. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    I was trying to make the little get together at Folsom in it- didn't manage to and just entered up there in the wife's SUV. Maybe next year, that was a fun day out.

    Phil
     
  3. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,441

    goldmountain

    There are those mile markers along the highway (USA, not Canada). See if your odometer clicks off one mile in that distance. That was what I was told. If it reads right, it should be good. Doesn't work with my DD so not so sure as to that anymore. Check with Texas Industrial Electric. They have speedometer drive adapters and such.
     
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  4. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    The tenths click over accurately, I took it to the back of the street and back a few times, which is a measured known distance. That part is good, it's got the correct drive gear and the correct height tires.

    The needle just over-reads a lot.

    Phil
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
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  5. dunno but maybe the spring is weak and letting the needle be driven quicker. :(
     
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  6. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    I'm thinking that may be the case, or it's slipped.

    I'm going to pull it apart and see.

    Phil
     
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  7. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    I see why!

    I must have nudged the needle when I had it apart, it's catching on the backplate.

    Phil
     
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  8. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    Well, this afternoon was vetoed by the kids. Can you fix my electric scooter, it doesn't go any more since my friend tried to jump the driveway
    Scooter taken apart, chain tensioner fixed, broken plastic spar fixed, chain oiled and put back on, and the thing put to charge because they think it will last forever if not charged.

    20191116_160643.jpg
    I put the rear light back in. It looks much better. I need to get some more lacquer and do the other one to match.

    20191116_163304.jpg
    I overfilled the radiator. The overflow was burping out. I found the tube that fits in and gave it a bit of a clean up and stuffed it in place. Need to clean up, flux and solder it in place.
    Tomorrow maybe, might get to the gauges also.

    Phil
     
  9. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    Oh, and I had a bit of a poke

    I put the strobe light on to set the timing. I decided to clip it to each plug wire in turn.

    Pots 1 and 8 are both sparking at the same time. Distributor cap is totaled then

    Phil


    Edit: cleaning the inside of the cap out with carb cleaner and a brush improved it a little so that's up on the to-do. Looks like the previous owner cracked it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
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  10. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    I know why, thinking about it. The speedometer drive cable has a bit of a twist to it and the needle used to wobble- it's being flicked and it's not totally free to move so it's hitting the "peak" value of the wobble.

    Freeing the needle up should help. Won't help the wobble but eh. I can live with that.

    Phil
     
  11. Very impressive thread. You make it all look easy and logical. I would have given up seeing the inner workings of the transmission.
     
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  12. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    Honestly there is a good amount of logic that can be followed when attempting observation/strip-down/inspect/repair/reassemble on these vehicles just because of the way they're put together.

    Phil
     
  13. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    20191117_161452.jpg
    Dashboard out again. I'm getting used to doing it now.

    20191117_161457.jpg
    Out on the workbench, spun over with my electric drill and it's showing to not like to move at the lower end of the scale, below about 25-30.

    20191117_163108.jpg
    Pulled it apart further- the spindle just needed more oil. I had put some on a while back but was very sparing and don't think it had quite enough to get in the bearing fully. Now it moves quite nicely.
    Reassembled and driven down the street, it reads reasonably well. Probably could do with fine adjustment but that's for another day.

    Phil
     
  14. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    20191118_195004.jpg
    Tonight, a few minutes spent in the garage. Took a piece of coarse sandpaper and cleaned the hole the overflow tube fits in and the tube itself.

    20191118_195247.jpg
    All back to clean shiny metal. Very important it's clean.

    20191118_195756.jpg
    Application of plumber's flux assists in cleaning the joint thoroughly. Assembled the parts.

    20191118_195847.jpg
    Fine concentrated butane flame to heat up the joint until the flux bubbles away.
    Then, remove flame and sweat the 60/40 solder in.

    20191118_200554.jpg
    The radiator cap was grubby. Cleaned it up also.

    20191118_202021.jpg
    Blah blah clean and shiny. Also functional. Boring? I guess, but I'm on low-budget stuff until the end of the week.

    I may have a go at the brakes if it stays cool out. I printed off the section of the manual tonight, so that's good reference.

    Phil
     
  15. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    20191119_172125.jpg
    Tonight's task, only a small one. Jack car up, inspect brake.

    20191119_171921.jpg
    There's a lot of grease and crap all over and the hub looks like the drum fits over it rather than being an integral part.

    However, it doesn't want to shift.

    Does the drum come off separate to the hub? Manual is glib "remove brakes", gee thanks.

    Phil
     
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  16. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    Ok. Fronts are integral and sit on the stub axle.

    Rears come off independently and slide over the studs.

    Phil
     
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  17. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,613

    treb11
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If the front drums are reluctant to come off, there is a lip worn into the drum that the shoes are hanging on. Reach into the backing plate from behind and slacken the adjuster to pull the shoes inward.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  18. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    A very helpful reminder, yes. I'm used to sixties cars onward, this is the first vehicle I've owned with drum brakes up front. I've had to back shoes off before in very worn rear brakes but the fronts on this are going to have taken a beating, I'm sure. I may have to get them turned a little because this one catches at 12 and 6 o'clock and is free at 3 and 9.
    Not hugely but enough to let me know it's not quite true.

    Phil
     
  19. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,441

    goldmountain

    I would take off the big spindle nut and pull the drum with the hub attached. You do plan on cleaning and repacking the wheel bearings?

    Sent from my SM-T350 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  20. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    Yeah, as with a lot of regular-maintenance items on this car, it's likely been overlooked. The brakes were "rebuilt" in 2015, but I can tell you the grease points on the front suspension hadn't seen a grease gun in decades. Why overlook one thing when it's right there?

    Phil
     
  21. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    Also, after a red-hot condensed timeline ride through the last year of rebuild, y'all are all caught up to the present and so it's all now slowed down to the pace that I'm working on it.

    Sorry...

    Phil
     
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  22. Phil, great thread condensed or not, will look for follow up soon.
     
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  23. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    Thirty minutes tonight after everything else done. Better than nothing, I figured.

    20191121_204219.jpg
    Grabbed a brush and some gasoline and started cleaning up the front right brake in preparation to take the drum/hub assembly off.

    20191121_210438.jpg
    When, in the history of never, has anybody just scrubbed at anything to do with wheels and brakes and it's come up clean?

    The mind boggles. I need to get a can of brake cleaner spray and some copper grease.

    Phil
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  24. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    20191122_162644.jpg
    Knocked the cap off, pulled the pin and undid everything. Funny to see ball bearings where I'm used to seeing taper rollers but it's all good.

    20191122_162637.jpg
    Brakes themselves don't look too bad. Ran out of time again but eventually I might get somewhere with it...

    Phil
     
  25. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    Just ordered a distributor cap and the diode trio for the alternator.

    The former is due Monday, the latter Wednesday. Hopefully that'll improve the running a little and might even make the alternator charge. We'll see.

    Weather's been a bit warm to do much in the garage, so a few minutes late in the evening swatting at skeeters hasn't been much fun recently. However, one of the kids is off to camp with the scouts for a few days so a quiet(er) weekend beckons.

    I want to see if both shoes move and if the adjusters are free. There doesn't look like too much friction material left on the shoes (but they do look to be worn evenly).

    Phil
     
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  26. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    20191123_124113_1.gif
    Freed the leading shoe up and exercised the pistons a little. Lower adjuster isn't frozen solid either, which was a surprise.

    Phil
     
  27. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 890

    DIYGUY
    Member
    from West, TX

    Wow, that pic started moving and freaked me out for a second!
     
  28. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    It's not moving, it's just a trick of the light.

    The light of Venus refracted through swamp gas, or something.

    Phil
     
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  29. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    20191123_164746.jpg
    Bearings cleaned and repacked with fresh grease.

    20191123_152903.jpg
    Moving surfaces inside brakes given a light smear of funny brake grease.

    Put it all back together, discovered the large locknut on the top adjuster is seized solid. Tried a bit of heat, no joy. Gonna apply PB to the threads and hope it clears. Between then I need a bigger 15/16" wrench.

    It's not a setback. I now know why that brake is really poor. That's a good thing and I can fix it.

    Phil
     
  30. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 879

    PhilA
    Member

    20191124_164525.jpg
    Borrowed a 15/16" 1/2" drive impact socket from my neighbor and managed to liberate the locknut.

    20191124_165843.jpg
    Cleaned it up

    20191124_170917.jpg
    Painted it black

    Also, with another not inconsiderably large force, freed up the top anchor adjuster. It now can be set with a regular 7/8" wrench, and allows for the leading shoe to be set in place and the trailing to be tweaked to give 0.015" clearance.

    Waiting for the nut to dry. I might make the special tool spatula thing to turn the lower adjuster with, will be easier than doing it with a screwdriver.


    Phil
     

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