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Projects Why do I do this to myself?! 1956 Olds Holiday 98 coupe

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by 57JoeFoMoPar, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. 47 ford
    Joined: Oct 15, 2007
    Posts: 227

    47 ford
    Member

    super great looking car Joe

    Good luck with this one !!!!
     
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  2. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,677

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    And trust me, buying unfinished projects hasn't been the goal. It's just sort of been the reality. Anytime you buy a used car, it's a crap shoot of sorts in terms of what you're going to get, and its a calculated risk you take. This goes for newer cars and old cars alike. Some I've won on. My 57 Chevy I bought in high school, not to mention the $300 383 Mopar that still runs great in my 57 Ford were wins. Others I've lost on. It happens.

    I've come to the conclusion that everyone's work sucks and for the people who's work doesn't suck, I can't afford the cars they've built. So I usually have it in my head that there is going to be something I have to do. The scope of the work is what makes it a winner or a loser.

    If I'm buying a car as a driver, I can deal with some preemptive or basic work, especially if it means that handling those capital expenditures up front means years of trouble free operation later. This '56 will be no exception.
     
  3. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,677

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    OK, so I've been puttering around my neighborhood and placing a bunch of orders for parts so I can attack this car is one fell swoop. Here's what I've deduced this far:

    -I'm almost positive the issue with the sputtering is a carb issue. The accelerator pump doesn't appear to be working. When the engine is cold, it cranks but won't start, but a quick squirt of starting fluid down the horn and it lights off immediately and stays running. I bought a carb kit (a whopping $22 from Rockauto) to rebuild the 4GC if necessary, but I'd really rather have a Holley on there for both performance, reliability, and availability of parts. After staring at the TV and throttle linkage the other night, I think I figured out a pretty simple way to use an aftermarket carb and retain the factory linkages. I'll work on that this weekend, and maybe post a Tech thread (remember those?) to show how it's done. I'm sure other guys running Olds engines with Hydramatics could use that info.

    -Ignition is points but seems to work fine. I'll leave it alone for now, but eventually I'd like to convert it to a Pertronix.

    -As I was driving the car around the neighborhood the other day, I noticed the brake pedal getting softer and softer. At this point now, the brakes are basically non-existent. Tonight I'll pull the wheels and drums off to visually inspect the brakes, but I don't see any fluid coming from the drums. That's telling me that the wheel cylinders are still good, but the master is shot. Though I saw a great thread on ClassicOldsmobile from a fellow who's also on the HAMB on how to convert the TreadleVac to a 7" booster, with a dual master and remote reservoir, I think at this point I'd like to take the path of least resistance. I'll call Fusick tomorrow to grab a rebuilt TreadleVac, just need to ascertain whether it is a Bendix or Moraine unit. Maybe once my '61 is put back together, I can make a project of converting to modern power disc brakes.

    -I also ordered up a new stereo and seat belts so I can stick the car seat in the back.

    I'll keep everyone posted on the progress
     
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  4. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,544

    Squablow
    Member

    These two statements also describe me perfectly, in a way I never thought of but which is really true.
     
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  5. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,871

    carbking
    Member

    If the Rochester is the correct one for the 394, it should be approximately 700 CFM, and specifically calibrated for the 394, plus everything that needs to fit, does fit.

    On a basically stock Olds engine, the Rochester will outperform any box Holley, unless a Holley guru breathes on it. I wouldn't wager either direction if a Holley guru works on it (some gurus are better than others). The 4G is an excellent carb.

    As far as reliability is concerned, assuming you change the fuel and air filters, the Rochester is easily good for a couple hundred thousand miles.

    As part as parts availability, since the local FLAPS all discontinued stocking ANY carburetor parts; the LOCAL parts availability for the Rochester is greater than that for a Holley ;)

    Obviously, your choice, but don't discount the Rochester without giving it a try.

    Jon.
     
  6. What he said! /\ /\ /\
     
  7. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,686

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm with Jon on the 4G, the engine doesn't care what make carb is there if it's meterng properly. And it'll be easier to rebuild that carb than to jury rig some kinda linkage that will function correctly on an already finicky Jetaway. Considering the quality of points and condensers available from our friends who gave us the Covid 19 virus, the Pertronxs is also a good idea.
    As for the Continental Kit, I think it fits in great with the style and era of the car! I was a senior in high school when this beauty was new, and if you were like Manny, and building as a custom, rather than for all out speed, a Continental Kit was par for the course,
     
  8. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,533

    belair
    Member

    Years ago, Sir Whoosh (if that's not right, it's close) posted a thread about putting a modern master cylinder, booster and swinging pedals. If you're interested, it might be useful.
     
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  9. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,677

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    I don't doubt you for a second there. I am not a carb guru, though I can take one apart and put it back together again if need be. The carb that's on there is a Rochester, which would be the stock 4 bbl for the 324. The 394 I pulled from my 61 had a new Holley 600 vac secondaries adapted to a stock intake, and I didn't take possession of it with the Rochester on it. I certainly won't rule out rebuilding the stock 4 bbl, and this car came with 4 extra stock carbs so I have parts coming out of my ears. I also have a Holley on my 57 that has been the epitome of reliability and good performance over almost 2 decades, so it will be a game time decision.
     
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  10. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,677

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    The Treadle Vac poses a real issue when it goes. The fact that it's so expensive is really the tip of the iceberg. Battle Born Brakes make a system that allows you to put a hanging pedal in with a standard power booster, but it looks kind of questionable and I don't love the look of the pedal, plus I'd need to close the hole in the floor.

    Olds Dad on here posted an incredible thread on ClassicOldsmobile where he used a 7" single diaphragm booster with a dual master with remote reservoir, and put it in the same spot as the Treadle Vac. Looked totally stock, and allows you to keep your factory air box and defroster.

    After doing some more digging and inspecting, I found 2 blown out wheel cylinders. They weren't leaking from out of the drum because there was no fluid left. I refilled the master and found the leak, so maybe I got lucky and the factory master isn't even bad. My local Napa had the rear wheel cylinders, shoes, and hardware in stock, and I'll swap it all out tomorrow and bleed the system.
     
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  11. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,533

    belair
    Member

    Sounds like you found a better way. I had a 55 Super 88. Absolutely loved that monster. Put a 54 Pontiac grille in it. One of the few cars I miss.
     
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  12. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,871

    carbking
    Member

    Joe - the Rochester carbs for the 324 and 394 are significantly different. I would not suggest using the 324 carb on a 394.

    I guess if you have a Holley on it already, it would probably be less expensive to rebuild than replace.

    If you have no carb, then I would suggest consideration for the Rochester.

    Jon.
     
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  13. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 4,269

    wicarnut
    Member

    Kool Car ! Congrats, Enjoy !
     
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  14. Rckt98
    Joined: Jun 7, 2005
    Posts: 977

    Rckt98
    Member

  15. Rckt98
    Joined: Jun 7, 2005
    Posts: 977

    Rckt98
    Member

    My old 98 coupe. I rebuilt the brakes right through but drums all round on a big heavy car are far from ideal.
     
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  16. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,677

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    So I got out in the shop and got the drums off. Like I said previously, the rear two wheel cylinders were totally wiped out. A call to my local Napa secured all of the parts I needed; wheel cylinders, shoes, hold down hardware and return springs. I’ll include pictures here of the part numbers if anyone needs them for reference.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Everything else was cleaned and lubricated. The rear lines also snapped off when I went to remove the wheel cylinders, and were replaced with Nickel Copper lines.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Today I bled them out and took it for a spin around the neighborhood, and the brakes seem to be working as they should. A great success, and a problem solved for $80 and a couple hours of work.

    Tonight I’ll jump back on the fuel issue to get it running a little better.




    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  17. I used an Edlebrock AFB clone on my 324 and was happy. Look up threads by Don_Wow. He knew everything there is to know about Kettering engines.
     
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  18. dgnj
    Joined: Mar 30, 2015
    Posts: 12

    dgnj
    Member
    from Central NJ

    May I ask where you're having the work done on your ford? I’m also in hunterdon nj and need to find a reputable place for paint and body for my 57 lincoln. I’ve been talking to a place in Washington calls reds auto body. The owner has been doing restorations for near 60 years. They are $65 an hour.
     
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  19. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,677

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    I'll PM you
     
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  20. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,535

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    So now you´re a true rocket secientist! Both, the the 61 and the 56 are beauties, but the 56 perfectly nails it. Have fun!
     
  21. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,677

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    Last night I got my carb swap completed, and got my trans linkage all set up as well.

    I also posted a Tech thread on how I did it, maybe to take some of the guesswork out of it for the next person that wants to try the same thing. I can't be the only person who's wanted to run a newer carb on the old engine with the factory trans.

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...h-a-jetaway-hydramatic.1199718/#post-13666085
     
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  22. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,677

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    Last night I decided I was going to swap my ignition and I wasn’t going to sleep until I was done.

    I swapped the gear from the factory unit to my 61 distributor with a pertronix. The difference in starting and how it runs is very noticeable. Tonight I took it out for my first highway run with it. While I definitely have some tuning to do, it’s a major step in the right direction. Here it is in front of Wawa, the greatest convenience store in the world.
    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  23. Regarding the 394, I know this might be considered as a dumb question, but did you confirm that the oil pressure is correct by doing a direct reading? Maybe it is something simple like that or an oil pump that is worn.
    I had a problem similar to that in a Chevy 327, and when I pulled the pan, I found that the pickup was in the process of failing and the pump was picking up as much air as it was oil. I know you are having issues with the cars, but both are beautiful, and I am really partial to Oldsmobiles and Olds engines.
    Bob
     
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  24. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,063

    Jeff Norwell
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Outstanding Joe!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  25. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 553

    v8flat44

    This old Ford guy really must say....I LOVE 55-57 Olds'....The dash, the styling, and drive train drive me bonkers. Had a friend with a 57 Nienty Eight 4 door hardtop, J-2 powered.....his best friend totaled it...
    i almost cried. Love that 56...cruise on !!!!
     
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  26. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,677

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    I had 3 different oil pressure gauges on it, including a brand new Autometer electric gauge, and a pair of different mechanical gauges. All gave the same readings. 35 psi going down the road, which is on the low side of factory spec, and basically nothing at warm idle. Could it be a weak oil pump? Maybe. But that then begs the question; why is it weak? Opened internal clearances in the pump would tend to indicate that metal/dirt/god-only-knows-what has been flowing around on all bearing surfaces for a while, including my mains, rods, and cam. For a car that I had/have all intentions of driving on long trips, I'm not going to try for some patchwork solution. Especially since, knowing the engine is wounded, I'd be driving cross-eyed with one eye on the road and the other on the oil pressure gauge.

    I'd also add that I'm getting tired of the perpetual project. When I say that, I mean a car that is just never done, and there is always something broken or breaking that needs attention. I want to put a car together top to bottom, get it right and reliable, be done with it, and move onto the next car. When I'm done with the '61, it will be that car. This '56 is just a bad ass car to drive in the meantime. Maybe I'll decide I really like it and keep it when the '61 is finished. Maybe I'll clean my '57 Ford up and sell it. Maybe I'll keep all of them. I'd like to get back to my 59 Edsel project as well, that has been sidelined indefinitely.
     
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  27. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,677

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    So after my drive to Wawa the other night, which was the first time I’ve had the car on the highway, my thoughts regarding fuel starvation are further corroborated. Car goes down the road like a dream, but when the highway starts to climb a grade, and I lean into the pedal to maintain speed, it pops out of the exhaust and if i stay in it, it stalls for a second and then comes back.

    Someone installed a cheapo Mr. Gasket ticker pump near the tank, which then fed the mechanical pump. I put a Carter rotary vane pump in place of the ticker pump and removed the mechanical pump entirely. I don’t like the idea of an electric pump feeding a mechanical pump since I’d the diaphragm goes bad I’m dumping raw fuel into the crankcase.

    Even with the new setup, the problem persisted. So there has to be a clog somewhere. I drop the tank, and find this gem. Would also explain why my fuel gauge is stuck on empty

    IMG_4135.JPG IMG_4136.JPG

    I bent over, jumped on Fusick’s website, and ordered up a new tank and sender.

    While I’m waiting for that, I’ll plumb all new lines up to the carb, install my new stereo and add seatbelts. I’ll spare everyone that.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  28. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,677

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    So I've been busy working on this car. The bones are good, but there are still a few gremlins I'm working out.

    After discovering my corroded tank, I installed my new tank and sender from Fusick. It was a pile of dough but fit like a glove and was clearly very high quality. The sting of paying for that will long be forgotten years from now when I'm not getting junk stuck in my fuel system. I also plumbed totally new lines up to the carb. At this point now, literally every part in the fuel system is new.

    Last night (well, really this morning) I decided I wanted to finish this car up so I could start enjoying it, and I wasn't going in until it was done. That wound up being 4:17 am this morning. I finished installing my new stereo, which included patching the package tray since a PO cut holes for speakers with what may have been a hatchet. I also added a seat belt in the back for the kiddo. Then I got to my ignition. I replaced the MSD coil with the appropriate Flamethrower coil to match the Ignitor. I also pulled the distributor again and replaced the vacuum advance and rotor, and gapped and changed all the plugs and put on new wires. I reset my timing and locked it down.

    This morning I took it out to get gas and it ran the best it's run for me yet. There was a swap meet at Island Dragway, so I loaded the family in and went to leave. Then the car died. I discovered my brand new coil arcing through the side, from the + terminal externally toward the col wire. I swapped my MSD coil back on and was on my way.

    The problem that is persisting for me is a low-RPM, part throttle acceleration under load that is causing a popping sound out of the exhaust, and on occasion, what feels like a backfire in the intake, which quickly rights itself. While it is worlds better after the improvements and changes I've made, this issue has persisted with both fuel systems, both carburetors, and with both points and electronic ignition.
     
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  29. I've always loved the look of 56 olds's. When I was 16, my hotrod 50 ford wasn't ready for the street yet so my dad talked me into buying this 56 Olds 98 convertible for a work/school car. I grew to absolutely HATE that car. At 16, I wanted to accelerate in a hurry, squeal the tires around corners and hammer the brakes at stop signs. The heavy car ate tires,brakes and gas! Oh, it was pretty with fresh red and white paint and a fresh red vinyl interior but the end came one day when I decided to show the guys at the local gas station how this baby could light up the rear tire! I came sailing outta the gas station with my foot to the floor, wheel cranked hard left and the left rear tire on fire. Everything went great 'till the tire gained traction and the left motor mount broke, pulling the left side of the engine up and automatically changing the shift linkage from low to the next detent.....reverse! At full throttle.
    Nobody in my little central Oregon town would work on the jetaway...so I yanked the engine to go in my parts car 50 ford. Uncle Sam came calling before I could finish the project. My parents moved while I was in the Army. When I came home I drove past the old place and there was the Olds...sitting in the sage brush and Juniper trees, shot full of holes and totally stripped....the end. Your results may vary.
     
  30. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,677

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    After going through the basics of ignition and fuel system and still having the same persistent issues, I had posted a thread on here about the popping and occasional backfire. As usual, the H.A.M.B. was able to come through with sage advice. A vacuum test indicated a significant issue somewhere, and a compression test confirmed 0 compression in cylinder #7. An air chock to the cylinder indicated a stuck intake valve, , which though it would move, would not fully shut. Despite my best efforts to free it with the head on, I bucked up and pulled the offending head.
    [​IMG]

    While I was there, I noticed that 2 of the exhaust manifold bolts had sheared off, so now is as good a time as any to fix that.
    [​IMG]

    Here I’m shining a flashlight down the intake runner to #7, and you can see the light shining around the open valve.
    [​IMG]

    I’m honestly glad to see something obviously wrong, which leads me to believe I’m on the right track and not just pissing into the wind.

    I called Fusick and ordered a couple new valves, springs and retainers. Over the next couple nights I’ll work on putting this head back together and reassembling the car.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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