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Projects Mild custom '51 Pontiac Chieftain

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

  1. pivir123
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 32

    pivir123
    Member

    Great to see you cruising again!
     
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  2. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    Thanks, all.

    It was remarkably unhappy! Sounds like one lifter has undone itself while it's been parked (not a sticky valve, it was running fine on all 8) and the screen wash turned to something looking like a biology experiment.
    However, once the brakes freed off (end of the driveway) and the gearbox warmed up it began to behave itself better. Got up to 180 and the thermostat opened up and held temperature, the heater blew toasty warm (real useful, was 75 today) but one shock has given up the ghost. Passenger side headlight also decided not to make a full appearance until I gave it a gentle slap. It just didn't like sitting up. Also some sort of weird black mold all around the gas filler door- seen this on other vehicles with modern fuel in, left to sit. I don't like modem gasoline. Last tank was ethanol free, too.

    But yeah. Despite that and the smell of damp carpet, it was nice to be back on the road again, if not only briefly.

    20220119_164436.jpg
    All disconnected and tucked away safely to rest again.

    Phil
     
  3. Malibu406
    Joined: Nov 10, 2020
    Posts: 221

    Malibu406
    Member

    Flat paint? Thats just free patina, people pay allot of money to get that! Now just rub through the paint on the top of the fenders here and there to top it off! Much faster than buffing LOL. Great to hear your getting things back on track. Being able to keep a car you have done so much work on will surely help, its good medicine.
     
  4. Just a thought Phil... since the car will be laid up for a awhile, you may want to consider putting a few of those "Drize-the-air" moisture traps inside to help dehumidify and dry the interior and trunk.
     
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  5. Phil try a shot of real Windex on the mold. Usually eats it right up. Learned that from an old body shop owner.
     
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  6. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 978

    v8flat44

    Phil, good to see that neat Pontiac dash dashing down the road. Cravings box at "The Bell" ?
     
  7. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    I was surprised at how dry it was, overall. The trunk was dry apart from a bit at the back where is always leaked (erm, water can get through a rusty hole, right?) but the windshield is leaking, so the carpet was a bit damp by the base of the A pillars.
    Normally it wasn't an issue- it was parked under cover and in daily use so it would always dry out.
    I'll be putting it back into use when we're home so it'll dry out that way instead (a much better way, because it gets used!).

    Phil
     
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  8. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    I miss the sun visor! I need to get it back on the car.

    Funny though, when I was stopped over there a few people approached me to ask about the car, one guy who says he recently moved in down my street and said he had seen the car parked up outside my house and was going to knock on the door to see if I needed help fixing it up and getting it going. (A valid 2022 inspection sticker in the windshield may suggest otherwise...?) but it was nice to just shoot the breeze again about the car.

    I really need to look at the front suspension- all the rubber is unserviceable, it's clunks and bangs and one of the shocks has given up the ghost.

    Phil
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2022
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  9. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    Well, the car is still there. Nobody decided to take off with it.

    20220305_143923.jpg
    One of the rear brakes is binding. Took it down the road with the brakes on to see if it was just rusty but it didn't free up. Didn't think it would.

    It's running on 7. One of the valves was clacketty so that's probably #8 exhaust again. It cleared by itself after a few miles last time. It just needs to be driven.

    Phil
     
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  10. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    I took the car for a drive to the hardware store a half mile away. Spent a decent part of the journey with the handbrake hard on to get some heat into the mechanism, and also some into the engine, to try free things up a little. The brake did free up somewhat, the engine is still rough but may free up with some use. We'll see. I may drop a bit of MM oil down it's neck and see if that gets into the top end of the stems at all.

    A group of the contractor laborers came by with our contract manager. My wife spoke with him because otherwise I would have given him a piece of my mind, and not nicely.

    Flip side, I spent time BS'ing with the guys from Guatemala, sharing no common language other than Car, gathered around the Chieftain, taking a good look and generally sharing enthusiasm for the machine.

    Those are the moments to be cherished, I find.

    Phil
     
  11. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    More house decorating today. Weather was nice and I found the keys to the Pontiac in the back pocket of my work pants.
    20220319_131455.jpg
    Just to prove I still exist and the car isn't somewhere else.
    20220319_131144.jpg
    Settled to a reasonable idle, vacuum gauge is flickering so that noisy valve needs tending to for sure.

    Still, for a week sat up that's not bad. Goes to show it like being run.

    Phil
     
  12. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 164

    pvfjr
    Member
    1. Hydro Tech

    Great to see more updates, keep at it Phil!
     
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  13. It actually sounds pretty good, Phil. My folks had a '53 straight eight that didn't sound nearly that good, and racked up a LOT of miles! Your video reminded me of the old Pontiac starter sound... it has its own unique sound, as does a Ford Flathead. Good to see it alive again!
     
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  14. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    It's not bad but it's a good engine to hide not running right. You can hear when I first bring the revs up that it has a bit of a dugadugadugaduga to it.

    Might have to have the head off again and a couple of the valves out. It did this when it sat up last time. The humidity gets to the valve guides because they're worn, and the mix of that and combustion byproducts causes the valves to hang up.
    It may free up after having been driven. We shall see.

    Phil
     
  15. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,316

    Bruce A Lyke
    Member

    "It may free up after having been driven. We shall see."
    I'd recommend a bit of this before tearing it apart:cool:
     
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  16. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    I shall try. Unfortunately I have missed all the cool weather, as summer has arrived down here (despite it only just being spring).

    It'll be up due oil change and probably ATF. Both will need to get nice and hot to boil off, the oil was showing a little condensation.

    Phil
     
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  17. Johnboy34
    Joined: Jul 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,452

    Johnboy34
    Member
    from Seattle,Wa

    Hopefully the intense weather systems have missed you this time so you can go drive it some more.
     
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  18. Chief 64
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 228

    Chief 64
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great to see you back Phil!! For awhile it felt like the band broke up….like the platoon went home…or like the racing season was over…. Your thread really pulled together a great group of guys with a love for early 50’s Pontiac’s and I missed your posts.
    I can’t wait to get mine out for the summer.
    Keep posting updates!!
    Greg
     
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  19. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    Thank y'all for the kind words. Means a lot, spirits have been a little low.
    Thankfully the weather missed us (mostly). The tornado that tore up New Orleans started real close to my house. At that point it didn't have a very strong rotation, that built up as it head cross-country towards the city.

    20220324_155951.jpg
    Sat and ran the car up to warm (thermostat is a bit sticky, I think- that's as warm as it got), and played about with the horns as the low note horn has quit making noise.
    Leaned across onto the air cleaner and the engine sped up. Took a closer look ..

    20220324_160030.jpg
    Uh. The two screws on the engine side of the throttle plate are gone, and the other side are loose!
    AllI can see is they need thread lock because they were tight when I reassembled it. I'll pull the carb off and replace those. That's why it was hesitant last time I drove it then...

    Phil
     
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  20. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 23,078

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Boing, boing...pinging off the car behind you...they goooo!!!...don't you hate that...

    I was going to say they might be sitting in the manifold or the valve cover but you have a 6 not an 8 so less places to sit on...:oops:...at least you made it home...;)
     
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  21. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    Oh, it's an 8, but with all the problems a 6 has!

    They're not that long gone, the threads are still clean. I didn't see them down on the steering idler tray, either.

    Phil
     
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  22. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    Crawled under the collapsed wall of my garage and liberated my spare carburetor.

    20220325_170658.jpg
    Replaced the lost screws and did them up nice and tight. They've got anti rattle washers but still they came undone.

    Car starts and drives better now. Imagine that.

    Phil
     
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  23. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    Food for thought.

    A discussion elsewhere on this topic has made me think. The screws that fell out were fitted with this type of washer.
    Screenshot_20220326-225046_Gallery.jpg
    I'm told though that split ring lock-washers apparently "do nothing".

    GM fitted them. (Well, Carter did). If they aren't at least beneficial, I would like to say they'd save the nickel and leave them off?

    Phil
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2022
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  24. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 23,078

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I forgot it's a Straight 8...split ring lock washers that's all I'm using on the Ole Hotrod...I find some newer lock washers are oversize to the stud or thread dia. I do periodically run a screwdriver over them to check if they need more torque...They do lose their spring after several uses...so if they are flat or near to...in the scrap they go and I replace them...perhaps a little Loctite on the Threads but not the permanent, it might be the blue...with red being the serious aka permanent one. I don't use any Loctite myself...maybe the gasket settled with heat and cooling and the screws came lose...
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
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  25. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    Quite possibly, they are holding two parts together that are made from dissimilar metals so there's a coefficient of expansion at play.
     
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  26. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 3,604

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    So glad to see you tinkering with your Pontiac again. I always enjoy this thread.
     
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  27. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 23,078

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Knowing my Hotrod is what I often reference in its primitive makeup as a horse drawn wagon with an engine I often do walk arounds touching components to find anything loose because it does happen...

    I was just thinking you could actually run a Screw that protrudes the other side and put a lock washer and nut for extra security after torquing it from the top.

    If the surface underneath is not flat...no to that...I'm pretty sure that's never going to happen again as those will be the point of focus going forward...

    It runs better too...great!
     
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  28. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    I just gave them all a little more in the way of lubs-fut than I did before. Hopefully they stay put. Just one to keep an eye on- mostly because of the fact I had dismantled it...

    Phil
     
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  29. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    Went out and put gas in yesterday; did a calculation and got 13mpg on the last tank which is quite impressive.

    This morning is pleasantly cool so went out and got coffee and a McBiscuit. Lady at the drive through window took my order then shut the window and hollered "I want his car!" to her colleagues. A little smile there.

    Another smile, the idle settled out completely, with just a tiny bit of lifter noise.
    20220403_090246_1.gif
    It's also really easily pulling 20"Hg at idle which I'm happy about. That's pretty darn good for this engine.

    Just a shame it's been sat outside and looks so uncared for right now.

    Phil
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2022
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  30. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,410

    PhilA
    Member

    20220403_140708.jpg
    Man, it is good to be back on the road again.

    Phil
     
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