The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Matt@Eastwood, May 4, 2014.
Nuttin wrong with a moredoor! Nice car.
Nice find. Went thru the same thing with the gas tank and lines on my 50. Your paint, trim and bodywork are in better shape than mine. Lookin' good so far. The 2 web sights you need first are the National Chevy Club and Chevs of the 40's. My guess is with the new tank you've already found 1 or the other.
If you're looking for a set of wheel covers for it. Check out '52 Cadillac Ambulance wheel covers. They look the same as regular '52 Caddy caps but you won't have to modify the back of them.
Went to an auction this weekend for a closed down old classic car repair/sales shop and scored a bunch of stuff for future projects (including a couple flatheads!) and I happened to snag a set of '55 Chevy hubcaps for dirt cheap, banged out a few of the dents and polished them out and they look pretty good. I think these will hold me over for now.
I also yesterday gave the paint a quick hand rub with some polishing compound and started working on the front stainless/chrome. Looks like the center grill bar chrome has given up the ghost and the brass/copper is showing through when I go to rub it out with compound, may need to try and source a better used one on here or in my swapmeet travels! I'll get a better pic today or tomorrow of how well the paint shines close up, it's definitely much smoother and not so "gritty".
Going to tackle rebuilding the wheel cylinders and replacing the master cylinder this week after work each night. Hoping I can get the brakes working so I can meet my goal of a celebratory drive to the corner store for some fuel on my birthday Sunday! Going to try and squeeze a set of wide whites into my budget this week for the ol' gal!
I dig the "pinner" bias tires on there now. If you could find a full set of the dual "pinner" ones on the back that would be even cooler.
Wow, its a beauty. Great find!
Very cool. Looking forward to updates on this one!
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This past week I spent each night after work rebuilding the wheel cylinders, regreasing the wheel bearings, etc. The left front wheel was partially seized and almost every wheel cylinder was caked with corrosion. After a bit of time with the parts washer I had the parts cleaned and the wheel cylinders rebuilt.
I then replaced the master cylinder with a NOS one that came with the car in the bins of extra parts and blew all of the old lines out with Eastwood Aerosol Injected Cleaner. I then mounted the new master cylinder, new flex brake lines, and reinstalled all the hard lines. The brakes bled out pretty easily, I was pleasantly surprised!
After that I cut off the excess threads on the drop blocks, installed new front shocks, and put in a rubber expandable oil drain plug since the OG plug was stripped out when I went to change the oil. I also topped off the coolant, and dropped it all back on the ground and went and got some tags for the car. I decided to take the car for its first drive a mile down the road to the corner store.
Good news is that she made it no problem and actually cruised and shifted pretty well. The downsides were that I had a couple small coolant leaks, but I'm not quite sure it wasn't just that I overfilled the radiator and it puked a little out (will need to keep an eye on it). I also noticed my rubber expansion drain plug started leaking as the oil heated up and thinned out. Lastly I had a couple hubcaps fly off.... I need to figure out a better way to get these suckers to mount to the rims. I tried prying the edges out a little where they seat into the outside of the wheel, but on the few big bumps I hit on the road, I had two come off.. Any suggestions for ways to securely mount the 55 caps to my 52?
Hoping to be able to shake the money tree this weekend and order some wide whites and some other small bits so I can start slowly taking the car further and further. Next up is the 8 mile drive to work!
Nice find! That cleaned up really well. Your wheel cylinder pic brought back some great memories of me chasing pieces of mine when they exploded all over the gravel driveway looked exactly the same too!
Man she's looking better all time
Nice score. It's a real time capsule
Took her for another drive Saturday night and I took some advice on here about using strips of duct tape on the wheels to help the teeth "grab" better and hold the hubcaps on. It's seemed to work thus far...
Still have the oil leak issue with the universal drain plug. Going to revisit that issue this week. Also going to try and put an order in for tires today. Hoping I can get tires on this thing so I can drive it to a family event 40 minutes away next weekend!
pics always help!
Cleaned up real good. Did the car come with wheel cyl rebuild kits or did you buy them? Kits from the local NAPA cost as much as new cyl's for my shoebox.
As for the caps...I wish you all the luck. I have a really nice set of '55 Olds caps for my '49 that will not stay on for the life of me (front or back ) I bent out the tabs, I swapped em around hell I even glued 'em on with sylicone like a local old-timer told me too.
Cool Chevy! I have had a few of those '49-52's. Good call on preserving her! Nice to see one that looks like it rolled out of the late 50's........
If '55 caps mount the same as 56-57 (and I'm pretty sure they do) they are meant to snap on over little nubs on the outer rim portion of the wheel and are not going to stay on an unmodified '52 rim, even with all the duct tape in the world. You need to weld 4 little nubs onto the outer part of the rim for the cap to snap over if you want them to stay on. I could take a picture of what the little nubs look like if you want me to.
Car looks nice otherwise.
Thanks for the info. They had the mounting "teeth" on either side of the valve stems that I've seen referenced to bend out so they "grab" better, and have a raised "bead" almost on the edge where they press onto the wheel. I'd appreciate a photo, I'm really just running them because I got them for cheap at an auction, so I'm not 100% in love with them, so not sure I want to start welding tabs on the original pant wheels.. I do have a spare set that's been repainted I could maybe give it a try on though.
I bought the rebuild kits they were like $3 or something each and I had seen the wheel cylinders for a lot more online... but never even though to call NAPA.. probably right there, they seem to have a lot when it comes to old american cars for pretty inexpensive...
Yea seems to be something everyone deals with, glad I didn't pay a lot for these '55 caps so I won't be too mad if they get damaged or lost.. but still not excited to drive around with a missing cap on the car!
Picked up some 670-15 wide whitewall bias plys for the car earlier this week and mounted them up yesterday and decided the first drive outside of my neighborhood should be over to visit the previous owner Paul to show him how the car had turned out. I showed up unannounced and luckily he was home. The look on his face when he came out was priceless and we spent a couple hours talking about the car and telling stories. It really made me feel "complete" inside to know that the previous owner liked what I had done and approved her condition!
Here's a picture of the car sitting just where it had sat untouched for 20-30 years before I pulled it out. I should have asked him to pull it in the garage to take a picture.. but didn't want to overstep the emotional boundaries!
I got a few cool stories out of Paul and his wife as my lady and I chatted with them.
1.Paul learned to drive in this car and when he was 15 he was learning to drive and began dating his now wife and he picked her up for dates when she was 13 in the car and they used to cruise around endlessly. His wife also commented that she always remembered the seat covers Paul's grandmother had stitched for the car were VERY itchy and she always wanted him to remove them..
2. My girlfriend and I decided the car needed a name and she came up with "Frankiethe52" because it was green and had come back from the dead like Frankenstein. When Paul and his wife asked if we had named the car yet we told them the name and they gave us a look.. turns out Pauls fathers was Hungarian and his "American" name and middle name was "Frank" Also his uncle (his dad's brother) first name was Frank... really crazy and definitely means the name sticks with the car.
3. His wife also reflected that Paul's father when they were kids would obsess over cleaning the car and be out polishing the paint and detailing the engine bay over and over again and how most of the damage/wear to the car was after Paul took over caring for the car and he wasn't as mechanically inclined. I wish I could shake Paul's fathers hand as his OCD about the car is what kept it alive and in such good shape so it can be enjoyed well beyond his years.
So lastly this AM I took the Frankie on her longest journey yet to work here at Eastwood. The car cruised great and really was a treat to drive. I want to get some proper drop springs for the front and replace the rear shocks, but otherwise I am really happy how well it did!
Here's a cool picture of it sitting in front of our retail store. If you ever are in the area and see the car sitting out front feel free to ask for me and I'm happy to meet some fellow HAMB'ers!
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