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Projects Recently dragged home a 1948 Pontiac--Eventual build thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by pvfjr, May 27, 2021.

  1. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
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    1. Hydro Tech

    We already have a few classics, all major projects, but my wife was driving through her old hometown for a cousin's birthday and spotted something she loved. She sent me a couple terrible nighttime pics and beat around the bush saying things like, "don't you think it'd be cool to have an older car like this?"
    I was coy for a bit, but could tell she wanted the car, but didn't think it reasonable or justified to ask for it, but hey, we only live once! Plus, if she has her own classic project, then she won't be able to call the kettle black quite so easily. Win-win. We(I) talked to the owner on the phone for a while to get a sense of its condition. He had apparently been preparing it for a 350/350 swap (I shuddered on the inside, but he's been a hot-rodder for a long time so I guess that's pretty normal). They had removed the driveshaft and crossmember, and a chain was holding up the tranny. An inline 8 still hung inside by a couple bolts with a dangling starter (a new starter, actually). He says he had the head off a couple years back, had everything oiled up, bores were smooth, and it turned freely. He had just lost interest in the project after considering his phase in life and his number of other projects that he was more invested in.

    We went back down the following weekend for one of my nephews' baptism. We set up a time with the owner just down the road, and were able to check it out. There were a number for pieces missing (speaker grill, headlight bezels, horn ring/center cap, glovebox latch, all three wiper arms, radiator, and fuel tank) but the car was otherwise original and complete. The seats had been recovered, but that was it. I crawled under and checked the rockers and floor pans--nary a pinhole to be found. There wasn't even any rust scale on this thing.
    I couldn't get the engine to turn by hand, or with a ratchet. Hmm...
    Further inspection revealed a firm brake pedal, and brand new rubber lines. I liked that a lot. The doors opened and closed like a dream, and all the windows rolled up and down easily. The trunk latch was disabled, something about the key not working and having a hard time getting it open the first time. He'd purchased a long 8V battery for it as well, though likely dead by now. All the hubcaps were present, and the tires held air for a week at a time. There was surface rust on some of the chrome, and pits in the pot-metal. The patina isn't objectionable though, and it doesn't sound like the wife wants to paint it in the near future, and I'm OK with that!

    I started running numbers for the missing pieces, and the owner and my wife chatted and discovered that my wife went to school with his daughter. Very small town, so it was no surprise. He was very gracious and agreed to a generous price reduction, so we had a deal.

    We came back the next weekend with the Silverado and a friend's tilt trailer and loaded it up. The owner was going to be out of town, so we said we'd leave a check in the mailbox. We ended up meeting his son, who hoped to work the old Ranger into the deal--no thanks. Great folks though, it was all a pretty pleasant experience, and I got to see some of their other projects in the shop. We swung by the wife's family's place on the way home, and one of the nephews was taken by the car, and compelled to pose for a pic. He'd just gotten his learner's permit, and I think the wheels were turning in his mind.

    Back at home, I encouraged the wife to step out of her comfort zone and back it off the trailer. It was her first "ride" on a tilt-deck, so there was much "encouragement" and a considerable departure from the comfort zone.

    Once that tail end landed, the concerns faded, and the ATF gushed out of the tailhousing sans driveshaft. Ah, right, the slip yoke. Whoops.

    Even the wildlife have now accepted it as part of the yard. We'll have to get a carport for it ASAP.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
  2. Hey! It's the same colors [Blue Lake blue and Oyster gray] my 48 Pontiac was! 48poncho.jpg 48PONCHONSCOTTY.jpg 48pontiacropped.jpg
     
  3. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
    Member
    1. Hydro Tech

  4. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
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    quick85 likes this.

  5. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
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    I spotted some casting numbers, I'm not sure how informative they'll be. Hopefully I can find an engine stamping. The car sits at around 60k original miles, having not been on the road since 1976! It'd be neat to find out if it was a numbers matching engine.

    PXL_20210425_215006522.jpg

    PXL_20210425_215014356.jpg

    PXL_20210425_215041471.jpg
     
    mvee33 likes this.
  6. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
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    I might've found the engine serial, still haven't found the block casting number. I'm having trouble looking for a place to decode pre-1955 Pontiac motors. Anyone have a resource? PXL_20210528_051226672.jpg PXL_20210528_051334026.jpg
     
  7. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
    Member
    1. Hydro Tech

    We recently took delivery of some headlight bezels, the front hood badge, glovebox latch, speaker/radio grill, horn ring, and all three wiper arms. We'll have to start getting them put on and snap some pics.

    I've also got some MMO sitting in the cylinders for about a week now. If it stops raining, I might try to see if I can get the motor unstuck.
     
    quick85 likes this.
  8. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,764

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    [​IMG]
















    I've a 46 Olds 76 Dynamic coupe, a 'B' platform as your Pontiac however mine is a sedanette not a four (4) door.
    Here is a Fisher body manual, very helpful. http://www.earlytimeschapter.org (Links broken at present)
    • Pontiac '26' (6 cylinder) and '28' (8 cylinder), same platform as Olds '76' and '78' , Buick '40' and Cadillac '61'.
    • Smaller 'A' body Pontiac was Torpedo on 119" WB.
    • Your Streamliner is on 122" WB.
    upload_2021-6-7_19-35-5.png
    48-2609D

    • 48 prefix identifies year of manufacture (1948);
    • 26 identifies Pontiac Division of GM; and
    • 09 identifies style plain back 4 door, 5 passenger sedan with 1/4 window,
    • D - Deluxe
    C8PB12780
    • C is manufacturing plant, South Gate CA;
    • 8 is engine cylinders;
    • P is 1948;
    • B is Streamliner; and
    • 12780 is the sequential production number (1001 to 13302) with 1001 being the commencing number at each plant. This should match engine serial according to Pontiac referencing. Serial is hand stamped on raised pad on LH side of block
    upload_2021-6-7_18-58-23.png
    I'm not able to decipher the prefix before 34121

    Paint code, Belgian gray (Lower), ?? (Upper)
    upload_2021-6-7_19-30-37.png
     
  9. Malibu406
    Joined: Nov 10, 2020
    Posts: 146

    Malibu406
    Member

    Great looking car...its practically done from my point of few. I have good luck with Kroil sprayed in the cylinders. Ebay/amazon sell some pretty cheap umbillical cameras. I think its worth the money to get or borrow one and go through the spark plug hole and look at the cylinders. Take the head off for cylinder inspection before forcing it to rotate is always a strong consideration.
     
    pvfjr likes this.
  10. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,079

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Looking at the first photo I thought you might have been the folks who bought my Buddy's 48 Pontiac from his daughter but his had a lot of OT mods and a V8 alread in it.
     
  11. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,817

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    Not bad. Id like to see what happens with some CLR and a buffer. Looks like some of it might just shine a little
     
    mgtstumpy likes this.
  12. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,391

    Mike Colemire
    Member

    KEEP her!!! 389 or 400 pontiac with a nice automatic and of course A/C to keep her cool.
     
  13. Mine [my '50] had been seized before I bought it and the PO said he got it loose but I couldn't get it to run right....had zero compression on #8 so I popped the head off. Number 8 exhaust valve is stuck open. I've been working on it as time allows-turning the engine 'till the sticky valve comes up, rotate the engine a bit, shoot penetrating oil in the open valve seat and tap it back down,,,,repeat.
    I think I'll remove the intake/exhaust manifolds pop off the side covers and remove the valves....hand lap them back in and adjust the valves. It's such a PIA to set valves in these engines, few people actually do it. My 41 Pontiac clicked and clicked down the road and I never set those valves...should have.
     
    kidcampbell71 and pvfjr like this.
  14. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
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    I may do that. The PO had the head off, had everything oiled up, said everything rotated freely and looked OK. I trust him, he's a great guy. It was 1-2 years ago. He was genuinely very surprised that it was stuck now.

    So there's another? Pics? Videos? Build thread?

    I agree! I may do a little soapy steel wool if the CLR doesn't take the rust staining off. I'm considering some BLO and a carport. We get a LOT of rain, and I don't want the car to degrade any more. The wife loves it the way it is, and isn't itching to respray it.

    Keep the wife? Or the car? I'm hoping to get the straight-8 running. I've already got a Star Chief with a 389 for the leadfoot urges. Gotta get that starter/flywheel fixed...

    Sounds like a similar situation to the guy on Halfass Kustoms. You'll probably get a kick out of this video:
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  15. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
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    1. Hydro Tech

    Thanks so much for the info! Do you think 34121 could be the engine serial? It was stamped instead of cast...
    Do you have a good source for the engine serials? I read somewhere that they didn't match engine serials to VINs in 48, but I don't know if that's true. If it is true, then there's no such thing as a numbers matching 1948 Pontiac. If there are numbers matching 48 Pontiacs, then perhaps our engine is already swapped. If so, maybe we've got the bigger 268 instead of the 249! Fingers crossed...

    I had seen mention of "Deluxe" models, but I wasn't sure what that entailed, or whether we had it.

    For paint, I think I already narrowed it down to Blue Lake Blue and Oyster Gray as the factory combo for this model and year. Of course, that option doesn't match up with the 14 code, so now I'm not so sure.
     
  16. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
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    Upon further pondering, I wonder if it's possible the car is a Belgian Gray/Oyster Gray, and the Belgian Gray has faded to a blueish tint. It honestly looks a little bluish in the catalog, though much darker obviously. That would've been one of the available two-tone options. Perhaps they only take down the paint code for the main color.
     
  17. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
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    pvfjr
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  18. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,764

    mgtstumpy
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    Here are colour charts, no luck with trim so far. Trim could be either wool broadcloth, bedford cloth or mohair.
    1948 Pontiac Paint Charts PPG.jpg
    1948 Pontiac Paint Charts Williams 1.jpg

    1948 Pontiac Paint Charts Williams 2.jpg

    Serial numbers[​IMG]
     
    41 GMC K-18 likes this.
  19. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
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    Quick question, what is the difference between First Serial Number and First Engine Number? I'm unsure what they signify.

    I think it says 58-34121 on that stamping, which is on a raised pad at the rear left of the engine block. The formatting seems all wrong though.
     
  20. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
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    We finally got a few minutes tonight to put some of the new parts on the car. I had to scrounge for some screws to mount the headlight bezels. Ended up finding some stainless oval head 10-32 that were 2" long, so I had to cut them down quite a bit. They appeared to be a good fit though.

    [​IMG]
    The bezels aren't perfect, but they're better than nothing.

    [​IMG]
    The wiper arms will need some work. One of the front ones has a busted rivet the seller didn't mention. Oh well, that's doable. I'm not sure what kind of wiper blades attach, how they mount, and what they're supposed to look like, but at least we have arms now.

    [​IMG]
    The shaft for our rear wiper seems tweaked--or at least the knurled knob that's on the shaft. I'm not sure how that's put together.

    [​IMG]
    I fished the radio up out of its abyss and was able to get it in place, though it won't stay. We got the speaker grille popped into place. Much better than the void that was there. Even got one with the appropriate 8 on it. Judging by the sun fade marks, the radio is missing a significant trim piece. And knobs and nuts of course. Anyone know what nuts those are, or where to get some? It'd be nice enough for now just to keep the radio from falling down.

    We got the new emblem mounted on the hood as well. The new one came without studs. Luckily I was able to extract the 73 year old 10-24 studs from the old emblem for reuse. Amazing.

    [​IMG]
    The wife swapped out the latch on the glovebox. We don't have a key for it, but I won't ever seen the need to lock it. It has a pushbutton, it latches and keeps the glovebox closed, and now we get to see the lovely clock. I'm happy with that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
  21. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
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    We also got a new horn ring. It's not obvious to me how the horn works, as I don't see any insulators or momentary contacts. I believe we're missing some parts still. Here's what we have:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  22. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
    Member
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    And a shot of the floors, just to make some folks jealous. These should clean up nicely. Car shows 50K on the clock. I might just believe it.
    [​IMG]
     
  23. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,027

    Fortunateson
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    That fellow with Halfassed Customs made me laugh! He doesn't like the frozen car so he's going to "unthaw" it! Then it'll be good and frozen! LOL
     
    pvfjr likes this.
  24. pvfjr
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 99

    pvfjr
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    I still can't turn that motor over via the crank bolt. My car lift is supposed to arrive Tuesday, so maybe I'll get this up in the air someday soon. Then I can pry on the flywheel a little.
     

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