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History Period Details - ‘63 Olds Cutlass

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by RyanAK, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Yeah... something is strange. There isn’t anything to make me think the seat was repaired. The door and quarter cards have the same random yellowing. The front seats need new material. My thought was to recover the front buckets and then spray the cards and rear seat to match the new white.

    I had considered an interior color change to black, but this white/black ‘tuxedo’ colorway has really grown on me. It really suits the car, especially now that I have new black carpet 90% installed.

    BTW... I HATE putting new door seals on old cars. They never, ever close right after and it seems like it takes forever for the new rubber to take shape where in needs to compress. I gotta SLAM the driver door to get it to latch now. :mad:
     
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  2. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Yo, Boat! Thanks for the compliments on the car. I don’t think I’m a scallops guy. At least not on this car. Maybe right before I’d get it repainted I’d line out scallops just to try ‘em on.

    I have a young family and an upper middle management job, so Day 1-1/2 is about right. Mags or other wheels will be tough... 4-lugger. I’m close to maxed out on rear tire width until I restore the suspension to original stock height... and even then I may need to massage the fender a bit. Definitely getting dual exhaust and period gauges. A tach too, if I can find a nice period correct or affordable original. And figure out where to mount it... Not sure a column mount will work on this car. I’ll likely keep the stock steering wheel... at least for now.

    I like the way you think!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
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  3. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Elco! It’s a Rochester 4GC 4-Jet. I actually really like Quadrajets. This is the predecessor. No dash pot and there isn’t a secondary air door like on the QJet. Spring is buried inside the carb on the secondary throttle shaft... so I can’t fool with it without tearing down the carb. I don’t think that’s the deal here anymore though... PO said he replaced the accelerator pump, but I’m not seeing a good shot when I hit the throttle linkage. I think the passages from the accelerator pump to the venturis are blocked. Unless ethanol already ate a 6 month old pump!

    I’m gonna need to rebuild this carb over the winter. In the meantime, I hope I can spray the eff out of it with carb cleaner and maybe pull the air horn to clean out the pump passages enough to get a good pump shot and smooth out the bog.

    I’m not tied to this carb by any means. I’d love to give something else a try as part of my mild hop up of the Buick 215. Even right now, I’d try something... as long as I can get the linkage to the tranny back to where it needs to be. I’ve actually heard that even a stock motor can get a little more just by swapping to a 4-Jet off of something like a LeSabre or a 327 Chevy.

    Thanks for the encouragement and advice!
     
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  4. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Stance... this ‘64 sits right to my eyes. Rockers at hub height. And sheesh! Same color(-ish), body-color steel wheels, poverty caps... redlines though. Still... a younger sister to ‘Blue Cheese’. This dude stole my look!

    [​IMG]

    Currently chasing water somehow getting into the car. Just replaced door seals and everything else looks good. Suspect the windshield somewhere... this is the one thing that drive me absolutely nuts on old cars! Might pull the chrome trim and see what I can see. The new carpet is completely saturated. Aaarrrggghhhh!!!:mad:
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  5. That's probably the right size carb for that engine..The later 283 /220 carb might be a tad bigger, but it's not gonna be an exact bolt one.
    If you get the top off of it, there are usually two check balls in the acc. pump system. The smaller one goes in the well, and the larger one is under the venturi cluster. Don't put the big one in the well. It'll stick there.
    Those carbs are really simple , compared to the Q jet. Very easy to check the pump shot, with the top off.
     
  6. where are you noticing the bulk of the water? heater core maybe?
     
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  7. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Thanks, Mark. Seems straight forward. After this large construction project I’m running finishes up around Thanksgiving I’ll have a few weeks of “working from home”. Sounds nice to get paid as I rebuild the carb and fiddle with some other things. :cool:
     
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  8. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Hey, man. The water is in the front foot wells. Majority on the driver side, but the passenger side is wet too. This is definitely rain-based and it seems like it’s coming in around the door jambs or kick panels. Maybe down the A-pillar or firewall, but some of the nooks and crannies around the kick panel and door sill/jamb are puddled. Could be some mystery gasket, the windshield seal... though I’m currently suspecting the rain gutter to body seal or the windshield. Might also be a plugged body drain that’s not allowing water to flow out of the car and it’s backing up and spilling over into the cabin. Ugh. Hoping for no rain for a while and some time to chase it. Then figure out how to get it dry without pulling out the whole interior. Sucks not having a garage!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  9. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 31,417

    loudbang
    Member

    Don't miss the Hurst shifter logo on the front fender. :) They are still available.
     
  10. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    FIRST a Hurst. THEN appropriate badging. :D
     
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  11. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,422

    Elcohaulic
    Member


    Check the cowl area and the floor vents. These are well known for leaking on GM A bodys.. Every old car I ever bought had a leak from the cowl area.. Usually a screw was removed that made an instant hole for the water to come through.. I always pull the whole dash apart, check the wiring, clean everything and remove the parts that no longer work..

    I never liked the red line tires. They made for some great burnouts though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  12. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Cowl area is a great suggestion, though this is more water than I would expect from a screw hole. Floor vents (kick panel vents?) are uncovered at the moment (trim panels off) from the carpet install. The vents themselves are dry but the nooks and crannies around them are wet. I'm gonna try to see tonight if there is a drain there somewhere between the exterior sheetmetal and the interior structure that's blocked. Full dash removal was on hold until better weather (shade tree guy...) since everything is currently working except the lighter (wire disconnected...), but might need to push that up and see what I can see.

    This car has a glue-in windshield. I suspect that's the culprit. Also possibly the seal for the rain gutter trim piece. It really seems like the wet starts right at the bottom forward corner of the door jamb.

    Every old car I've owned had a mystery water-ingress issue. It drives me nuts!!

    I don't think redlines are right for this car... and I haven't attempted a burnout in it... YET. Nervous nelly with regards to the transmission and rear. :oops:
     
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  13. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 31,417

    loudbang
    Member

    Use the old cheap water from a hose trick. Run water from a hose over the fender and door gap starting from the lowest point. Have someone in the car watching for water coming in with a flashlight. If no water coming in move the stream up slowly until you get to the cowl area. If still none up the sides of the windshield to the top. Do the same on the other side.
     
  14. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,065

    i.rant
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. 1940 Ford

    Back in 63-64 my high school parking lot was filled with “modified” cars from mainly 55-60.
    The vast majority wore narrow Whitewalls, black painted wheels and baby moons. There was also a sprinkling of 57 Plymouth full wheel covers along with the black wheel no hub cap look with narrow whites. There were a few cars running Blackwalls on the rear probably to mimic the cheater slick drag race look. If anyone had aftermarket wheels they were chrome reversed.
    IMO the “sleeper” look Blackwalls all around came more into vogue with the mid size muscle car introduction and more go less show look that many sought. Glory days.
     
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  15. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Thanks for a peek back into time. It's super interesting to hear what was trendy at different times and in different parts of the country.
     
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  16. That's a pretty nice car. IMO don't junk it up with a bunch of stickers and doodads (even if they are removeable). Get to know it for awhile and just add the odd touch. Don't run a club plaque if you're not a member of said club.
     
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  17. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,065

    i.rant
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. 1940 Ford

    You weren’t a Hotrodder in the early 60’s without a Clay Smith Cams “Mr Horsepower”
    woodpecker decal in the rear quarter window. ;):rolleyes:
     
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  18. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    This just showed up in the mail. For now, this is the only decal going in the quarter window. Interior will eventually get some period gauges. That's about if for the time being. As you said, I want to get to know the car and add things over time as I find them and they feel 'right'.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Just a quick update... been driving the car daily on 'dry' days here in PA since I have/had a fairly significant windshield leak. Should have it back from the glass shop today and hopefully that will keep it bone dry inside. I hate chasing water ingress in old cars! :mad:

    Nora, my 4 year old, ran off with my vintage 'Powered by Buick' waterslide. Been searching the house for a week now and cannot find it. My little love won't tell where it might be... thought it would be years until she started tormenting Dad! And of course there isn't another available on the interwebs. Sheesh! :rolleyes:

    Carb definitely needs rebuilt... that might be an 'evenings at hunting camp' project. Or something to pass the time at Thanksgiving if we make the trip to my in-laws. Car runs good, but ya gotta crank to get fuel going first thing and there's definitely a bog when you tramp on it. No pump shot. No luck identifying which model 4GC is sitting on the manifold, so I'll order a kit and extras to keep my bases covered when I tear into it.

    Other than needing to tighten up the belts and the carb issues, the engine has really surprised me. Strong runner with lots of go. She'll smoke the tires pretty darn good. I've also been learning the transmission. Basic theory for satisfactory driving with the Roto 5 is that if you don't drive like a little old lady going to church, the transmission wakes up. If you're just putting around in town, the wonky 1-2 shift is noticeable, but not overly objectionable. Romp on it a little, and it's just fine. :cool:

    It's been fun so far and there's lots more fun to come. All this has me thinking about what car comes next... My 'ultimate' goal is to build a pre-war rod... Gow, Iron, Three-springer... something fun just for me to bounce around in locally on a daily basis. When I'm working locally, my commute is about 30 miles each way. Banger-powered T or A would be great...

    But I've also been thinking of something like a pre-war family car built in late '40s style to do the same thing... but with the whole fam-damn-ily. '39 Tudor with a hopped up flathead or sumsuch...

    My brother is convinced that my automotive reverse trajectory is gonna eventually land me in a 1-horsepower buggy like the local Amish. :p

    Back to the Cutlass. Casually looking for a second Buick 215 to build up while I drive this one and finalize my 'recipe'. Suspension parts list is all written up and priced... need a few more pay checks before pulling the trigger. Sniffin' around for 4-speed parts. OR an aftermarket floor shifter for the baby Slim Jim like a Dual Gate to make the slush box more fun.

    Geez... that update kinda rambled and was definitely NOT quick... :rolleyes:
     
  20. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 4,501

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good Luck with your water leak, sounds like you really are enjoying this car. I had a "64 Cutlass much like the one you pictured with the 330 Hi Compression engine. Pretty basic car, bucket seats without a console, never got to do much with it because Uncle Sam needed me. Dad drove it for a while and when I got sent to Nam, it was sold. Oh well, came back and bought a '68 GTO which I kept for almost 30 yrs. Hope you find your decal, maybe offer a trade?!
     
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  21. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,171

    dan c
    Member

    after you drive it a while, you may want to lay the front seats back a bit. my '64 SS had the same ones, and that's about all i didn't like about it!
     
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  22. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Thanks, man. It’s been lots of fun so far. And the water leak is stalled with one hiccup... the shop supposedly broke the windshield. $630 instead of $100. I’m pissed. :mad:

    Than you for your service! I’m sure you enjoyed the GTO. 30 years!

    No luck finding the decal. It was perfect. If anyone comes across another, PLEASE give me a heads up! I’d really be grateful!

    So far, other than the torn up vinyl and weak foam, the seats have been fine. Took the car on a 150 mile round trip yesterday and it was great. Added some soundproofing to the list of upgrades and I gotta fix the cigarette lighter and figure out what I want to do with the broken radio. Small things to get to eventually. Appreciate the thoughts!

    R
     
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  23. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    So I made a trip to Wilkes Barre yesterday to give a deposition and parked down town. Within 30 seconds of pulling in the space a guy is tapping on the window, asking about the car. Apparently he’s a semi-retired restoration guy and wanted to know everything about it. Must have taken a dozen pics with his phone. Couldn’t believe I was daily driving a 57 year old Olds. Nice chat.

    He went on his way and I get out and feed the meter. A young urban lad of 18 or so is strolling down the sidewalk, video chatting with his girl on his phone. When he sees the car, his eyes go wide and he stops dead in his tracks.

    “Dude, what is this? A Cadillac?” asks the youth.
    “It’s an Oldsmobile.”
    “Baby! You gotta see this! Look look look look! I show you. Look, baby! It’s beautiful! It’s a Cadillac!”
    “Uh... Oldsmobile.” me says.
    “Baby, I’m gonna get me a Cadillac like this here and take you for a ride, baby.”
    “Oldsmobile.”
    A voice from the phone... “Whatchu talkin’ about a Cadillac, Daryl?! You can’t even drive!!”
    “Baby, I can drive! Just cause I ain’t got no license don’t mean a man don’t know how to drive! When I gets my wheels, it’s gonna be somethin’ classy, like this Cadillac. Then we’ll roll in style, baby.”
    “Olds...”
    “Baby, this shit got four headlights! And they be round and got little visor things on ‘em! Yeah... Ima get me one of these classy vintage Cadillacs.”
    “It’s an Oldsmobile.”
    “What’s that, friend?”
    “This car isn’t a Cadillac. It’s an Oldsmobile.”
    “Dat right? It’s beautiful, man! Baby, this ain’t no Cadillac. It’s an Oldsmobile. Ima gonna get me a classy vintage Oldsmobile and we’ll roll in style, baby!”
    “You don’t even own a fucking BIKE, Daryl! How you gonna gets yerself an Oldsmobile?!?”
    “I’s gots plans, girl! ... (Hey sir, it really is a nice car. Thanks for letting me look at it!) ... You know I gots plans!”
    “Oh I know you gots plans, Daryl! You always gots plans!!”...

    Good luck, Daryl. I hope you get your Oldsmobile. :cool:

    Made my shitty day just a bit better.

    R
     

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