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Projects Mild custom '51 Pontiac Chieftain

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

  1. Chief 64
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 238

    Chief 64
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Phil!
    My 53 looks like it has the plugs in that that were put in on the assembly line. I have been procrastinating since I think they might put up a fight on the way out. I know I have to do it one of these days.
     
  2. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Had NGK B8S in before, these were purchased because they're cheaper, at under $3 a plug. Napa had them available next day.
    Plugs, rotor and cap was $71 all in which isn't too bad. Echlin branded cap and rotor.
     
    bchctybob and Chief 64 like this.
  3. Chief 64
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 238

    Chief 64
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    When we put the car away for the winter I am going to fill up that little well the plugs sit in with penetrating oil so it can soak all winter. I have all the tune parts except plugs.
    The car runs so good I hate to change anything, especially the condenser.
     
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  4. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Lumpy bumpy bad connection has returned!

    I hate fault finding intermittent problems.
     
  5. pivir123
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 36

    pivir123
    Member

    I enjoy reading all your post. You are truly a master
     
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  6. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Found it.

    The trailing points had come slightly undone at the bolt that holds the spring on to the insulator.
    20221117_192924.jpg
    Ignition stays where I put it now.

    Needs a bit of a tune-up now, having taken it apart the fine adjustment is all out, but unsurprisingly, it runs much better now.
     
    bchctybob and Chief 64 like this.
  7. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,824

    goldmountain

    It amazes me that a thread about a mostly stock 4 door Pontiac can get almost 200000 views. Phil, you are a legend.
     
    ClarkH, brEad, Slopok and 3 others like this.
  8. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I haven't even started welding it yet.
     
  9. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,805

    Slopok
    Member

    It's his methodical and systematic approach to fix all the issues that arise as he sorts out the problems, be they large or small that keeps me tuned in! :cool:
    Let us not forget that he has also endured a hurricane as well. :eek:
    Unparoled determination to get it right.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2022
    i.rant, FishFry, pivir123 and 2 others like this.
  10. patsurf
    Joined: Jan 18, 2018
    Posts: 620

    patsurf

    how do you know he was "un-paroled"?probably was,but....
     
  11. :D:D:D

    Ben
     
  12. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Never paroled in the first place, thankfully.

    I got a decent fine file (no idea where my old one went, it was on my workbench before the storm, probably in Kansas now).
    20221122_161613.jpg
    Carefully filing the points so the faces meet at the same angle and make better contact. Cleaning them on the bench left them at a slight angle which made for a poorer connection.

    Reset the gaps, pulled the plugs and correctly gapped them (think they'd been bouncing about in the boxes), set the timing and idle mix.

    20221122_175430.jpg
    It's a satisfying engine to get dialed in right.

    Phil
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2022
    Sancho, 1biggeorge, FishFry and 6 others like this.
  13. 4 pedals
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 894

    4 pedals
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    So many people don't understand the satisfaction that comes from fine tuning an engine. Always a good feeling.

    Devin
     
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  14. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ..and this morning it's dumped about a gallon of water on the floor.
    Looks like the top seam of the radiator has let go again.
     
    vtwhead likes this.
  15. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Got the system drained down to dry out.
    20221123_112409.jpg
    Just in case.
     
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  16. A very wise precaution!
     
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  17. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Radiator out. Don't remember it being such a palaver last time.
    20221123_172119.jpg
    Went to reflow the solder, pretty sure I could see where it had holed.
    20221123_173711.jpg
    Gloopy globby mess. Hopefully that holds.
    The side mount has come off the top on the passenger side. The additional vibration probably caused it to crack.
    I'll clean that up tomorrow and solder it back on.
     
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  18. Lots of patience there!
     
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  19. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well, if that repairs it, an hour's work represents upward of $900, the cost of a new replacement.
     
    TrailerTrashToo likes this.
  20. Yes good soldering skill practice
     
  21. It sounds to me like it's time to have heart-to-heart talk with that car!!!
     
    PhilA likes this.
  22. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Uugh.
    20221124_101019.jpg
    It fell apart.
    20221124_112600.jpg
    It also leaks like a sieve.

    I don't think I want to get this recored. The brass is brittle as heck. There is (now, only a recent thing) a company making aluminum copies so I think I'll park it in the back corner of the drive and save up for one of those.

    Phil
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
    1biggeorge, brEad, bchctybob and 2 others like this.
  23. 4 pedals
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 894

    4 pedals
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    That really sucks. I take it you don't have a local radiator shop? I'm fortunate that I still do, and it seems I need them every few years. They do a lot of heavy equipment and truck repairs, but the owner is a racer and hot rodder. He knows me and my car well after 30 years of business.

    Devin
     
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  24. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I do, and the guy steepled his fingers, looked on his computer and sucked his breath in through his teeth.
    He then quoted me more than the $1080 a new tig welded aluminum one costs.

    I thanked him and left, I guess fixing up radiators for Civics and Impalas pays better.
     
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  25. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    (Before you baulk and point out there are much cheaper alternatives - there are, but this is an American shop making these radiators to order. It's not a $200 Chinese eBay special, they took the time to get one of these cars, measure up and get it right. Yes, a Chevy one fits but it is a good few inches shorter, the lower outlet points the wrong way and the upper inlet is the wrong size. Plus, there is no return for the heater pipe and generally there's a heat exchanger in the bottom for the transmission, which I have no provision for. I would have to get a shop to modify one and to be honest I might as well start out with the correct one).
    https://www.radiatorexpress.com/pro...951/chieftain/base/39l-l6/229526/1351314#tabs
     
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  26. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I had a bit of assistance with the car.
    20221124_161419.jpg
     
    1biggeorge, brEad, bchctybob and 4 others like this.
  27. That’s too bad.
     
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  28. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,719

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think I'm just gonna fling a bottle of K-Seal* in and drive it until I can get another radiator.

    No way it's sitting up over winter.

    * Maybe not K-Seal, but maybe a radiator sealing product
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2022
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  29. pivir123
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 36

    pivir123
    Member

    Best thread. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving
     
    PhilA likes this.
  30. Clydesdale
    Joined: Jun 22, 2021
    Posts: 54

    Clydesdale

    oh man, sounds like you need to find a small time welder/fab guy.

    there are numerous guys here over the pond offering custom alloy rads for sub £500!!
     

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