The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by 57JoeFoMoPar, Jul 6, 2020.
Gorgeous car. I love it.
is it ever easy????
No. If it was, everyone would be doing it and it wouldn't be as cool for those of us who suffer through it.
After dissembling this head, I realized a couple things. First, while the car is a '56, it doesn't appear that the engine is also a '56. Exhaust ports have the number "8" cast above the center exhaust port, indicating 1955 heads, and the deck is stamped V788445, which I'm pretty sure is also 1955.
Secondly, the valve wasn't stuck, at least not anymore. The valve is bent, and smacked the top of the piston. Unlike my face, the piston has a smile now where it hit the open valve. It looks like it freed the valve up, which was moving freely with cam lobe and came out easily, but it obviously wasn't sealing due to being bent as hell. My guess of what happened is that this valve hung open from sitting, perhaps it was open in the spot in the rotation when the car was parked, and then not moved for many years. Then it stuck there, and got hit when they tried to start the car recently. That's the only explanation I can think of being that it was the only affected cylinder, all other cylinders have good compression and hold pressure, and there is no obvious sign of foreign body damage to the bent valve or corresponding seat.
I'm not going to let it bum me out unnecessarily. I did a thread a while back where I got involved helping a buddy who tried to install a new cam and timing set, and used the wrong set of marks, which bent every exhaust pushrod in the engine where the exhaust valves collided with the tops of the pistons. Well, I put 8 new valves in that engine, buttoned it up, and he's been driving the shit out of it without issue for months now daily. This 324 is never going to get abused by me, so it may be a total non-issue going forward. If it blows up, it blows up. Because I erroneously assumed this was a '56 engine, I ordered the wrong exhaust valve. The correct '55 exhaust valve should be in today and I'll get to putting it all back together.
Last week the rest of my parts came in, but work and family obligations kept me out of the garage for a few days. Yesterday was my birthday, and my wife told me to take the late morning and afternoon to myself and work on the car. Though yesterday I finished assembling everything to get it fired, today I took the time to change the oil, top off all fluids, and reset my timing. In what is perhaps the best birthday present I could have received, I got full compression in cylinder #7 and a steady 17 inches of vacuum.
The car drives like an absolute dream now. Smooth, easy power and torque. Obviously nothing to write home for in the way of power, this is an old, tired engine for sure. But it's at least working as it should, with no sputtering, popping or backfiring. Just turn the key, put it in gear, and go. Stoked.
I have a few odds and ends to tie up. Finish wiring in my 3 gauge set, refitting the replica air cleaner so it fits, replacing the fuse I accidentally shorted and popped, putting in some lowering blocks, and a good detailing.
That, Sir is damned near off the charts cool! I love those things, the longer and lower the better.
I just missed a running, driving, rust free 55 Star Chief two door hardtop, and I was modifying the thing in the pics. I missed it by half an hour. Was so cool I’d have started a bidding war.
Looking forward to see more of this one
That's great that it was a fixable issue, and you were able to figure it out. Troubleshooting stuff like that can be so frustrating, nice to hear it's running well again.
I've had this car on the road now for a little less than 2 months and I have to be honest, it's been a while since I've had this much fun with an old car. I put a nice set of lowering blocks in, and have been driving the hell out of it. Quite literally, about 1500 miles in just weekend driving over the past 6 or 7 weeks. Though I don't drive it to work in the city, it has been the only car we use on the weekends, from going to some local cruises to running errands.
Some dudes even decided to make an impromptu photoshoot with it while I was out getting ice cream with my daughter. The guy didn't even thank me for all the ass this car was going to score him on his dating profile.
When word got to my buddy that I had been the one that wound up purchasing the car, he had gotten in touch with me to let me know he had some other parts I might be interested in. So this past Friday I took a day off of work, and because I'm insane, drove 15 hours in one day to pay a visit, catch up, and bring it all home. I'd say it was worth it.
The engine is a a stroked 324 (not sure of the actual displacement) with a Engle solid cam, adjustable rockers, Fenton headers, original Vertex mag and J2 valve covers. I have both a chrome Weiand 3x2 with Rochesters, as well as a Hilborn. There's 2 Lasalle sticks trans, a top shift and a side shift. A Hildebrant starter relocation cover, 50 Olds bellhousing with fork, Buick finned drums, a some nice Mallory distributors for a SBC, Flathead and Olds. While none of this stuff will likely make its way into the 56, it's a great start on a future rod project when I finish some of the stuff I already have.
And since multiple people have already asked, I'm going to refrain from selling anything at this time.
SCORE!!! Car and the parts.
Wow, great score Joe. That is some hard to find stuff right there.
Hopped into the Olds, droped her down to Super gear
Tromped her to the floor , burning rubber you could hear
And we were mooove'n............................
Awesome car, happy for you cause it is sweet !
Th 61 Olds has always been one of my favorites.. I love the mellow exhaust tone of the Olds motor too... Those steering wheels are so cool!!
Yahoooooo!!! Parts,parts and more rocket parts and a roadtrip! What´s better than that??
A stroked 324 Olds with a Mag and Hillborns, all you need is a T coupe and a Lynwood chassis.
I thought this was way too cool even before the rare parts came into the story! All I can say is WOW!
Wow! Amazing score on those parts!
Glad to see you were able to get your car sorted out & are enjoying it!
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Love that 56. Looks good in black. My dad had a 54,lots of torque . Im running a 56 Cad with a 454 and 700r4. Works well. Have fun and drive the wheels off! Thats what they are for!
Wow and a Mag to boot..
I don't want to jack your thread at all, but I have just completed the three-year build of my '56 Super 88 four-door sedan. I used 2" lowered coils and leafs to drop the car, and now my stock rear sway bar is hitting the inside of the shocks on the slightest bumps. Your car definitely looks lowered (praise the lowered). I'm wondering if you kept the rear sway bar, removed it, or how you're setup works. Thanks!
Thanks for the kind words, I was out cruising around today running some errands with it. Having working heat really has made this a year-round vehicle to drive.
To answer your question, I absolutely kept the rear sway bar. It's one of the things that really makes this car handle as well as it does, and I will work to retrofit my future builds with a rear sway bar after seeing how significant the improvement is in terms of cornering. You've identified an issue that I saw as well, in terms of using the sway bar in conjunction with lowering the rear. The remedy that I saw was to use a shorter sway bar link in lieu of the factory links, which are really long. I had a set of '61 Olds 88 front sway way links laying around from my other project, and they were about an inch and a half shorter than the factory 56 Olds rear sway bar links, so I used them. My thinking was that as the rear tucks up into the car in the process of lowering it, the shorter link essentially put the sway bar in the same position as it would be at stock ride height. I have several thousand miles on the car now with that setup and it has been perfect. A new set is available from Rockauto for about $12
So today marks 1 year since I've gotten this car really up and running, and I have to say, I haven't had this much fun with an old car in years. In the past year, without driving the car to work once, I've logged approximately 8700 miles with it. That includes a couple trips to Delaware to visit my in-laws, a trip to Jalopyrama in eastern Maryland, and a 1500+ mile journey to Indianapolis for the Custom Car Revival with my bud Chris Rusbach and his sick Crown Victoria.
For the most part, the miles have been relatively trouble free. Beyond what I documented here to get it up and running, I replaced my front brakes (shoes, wheel cylinders, hardware) and switched to a 20" 6-blade fan and built a shroud to help with some cooling. I also replaced my rear axle seals, pinion seal, and differential gasket, and replaced both u-joints. Most of the stuff has been available through either Rock Auto or Fusick. But beyond that, this has sort of been the "weekend car" we use to go run errands, visit friends and family, and just generally bomb around in. It's also my daughter's favorite car to ride in, since she can see over the bench seat and look outside from the car seat in the back. Also one of my proudest moments when some old-timer at Wawa leaned in and said "hey, nice Pontiac" and my daughter corrected him, "It's a Omo-beel", which stunned him (and me) coming from a 2 year old hahaha.
I've been a bit distracted with work and household projects, some of which are recently completed, and I hope to finish the engine swap on 61 Olds soon. But in the interim, I've been having a criminally good time with this car.
Good to see you and your family are having so much fun with this beauty. 8700 miles in a year is quite something. I´ve been using my 55 Chevy as a summer daily since ´15 and put on 46800 trouble free miles that way. I´m just figuring out how to strap a baby seat in since we ´ll be parents in December and I just can´t do without driving and old car daily....
Just a basic lap belt in the middle of the rear seat holds the car seat in very securely, both front and rear facing. Congrats on the coming addition to your family!
Damn nice car !!
When setting up the linkage on the Super Hydro you disconnect the link to the carb then move the bell crank until the holes line up and put a stubby phillips into the holes. This is were you start from. While the bell crank is locked up set the linkage from the bell crank to the carb. Remove the screwdriver from the bell crank and she how it goes.
If its holding second gear too long, loosen the two nuts on the rod going down to the tranny. Its next to the bell crank and has two nuts. Snug up the two nuts hand tight and ride around changing the linkage by lowering or raising the rod. When you get it right tighten up both nuts..
Never make adjustments at the rod that goes from the bell crank to the carb. This is were most people make there first mistake with the hydro... It looks like it doesn't matter which link you adjust but it does make a difference, a very big difference.. Each rod has a different ratio of movement..
That's excellent info. I was astonished at how sensitive the TV linkage is on the Jetaway. I must have been pretty close when I made the adapter to go from the Rochester to the Holley, because when I put it all together, it took very little adjustment. That being said, I probably made the same mistake you mentioned here is commonly made but accidentally made it work. Like you mentioned, it was holding 2nd gear a bit too long. I made a 1/2 turn on the fine threads between the throttle and the bell crank, what amounts to a minuscule adjustment really, and it shifted perfectly from there at the proper points and kicking down as it should with throttle position. There probably would have been more adjustment in the rod between the crank and the trans as you mentioned due to the different ratio. That being said, I'm not going to argue with results for now and will leave well enough alone, especially since I hope to swap to a 700R4 in the not too terribly distant future. Probably better to be lucky than good sometimes.
56and 57 olds always my favorite for customs
Cool pic none the less.
Since this has sort of become an ongoing thread on the life of this car, I'm going to drop some pics here from a little gathering we had with some friends last night. Turned out to be a real nice night out.
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