1970 Cutlass W-31 Frame Off Restoration

Old April 1st, 2019, 12:45 PM
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More carpet samples

Received the ACC carpet samples I requested. I think Iím going to end up using their dark blue despite it not being a perfect match. As you can see from my original carpet sample, there is a bit more green to it. Iíll check a few other suppliers and see if there is another option. Itís all very possible that after 50 years of use, abuse, and fading has taken its toll on the original blue carpet.

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Old April 2nd, 2019, 08:27 AM
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I have the ACC dark blue. It looks pretty close. Remember too I'm sure there was variances from supplier to supplier plant to plant back then too. don't forget to get the matching door panel carpet!
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Old April 6th, 2019, 07:18 PM
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Didnít get to anything this weekend so not much to update. A few new parts arrived this week. I picked up a set of NOS Cutlass S taillights still in their unopened boxes. For those that have NOS lights, you already know that the silver paint rubs against the cardboard and ends up missing in places. The cool part about these taillights is the factory silver paint in the red lens itself. You can see the overspray from whatever template they used. The reproductions require this line to be added and those that use the silver pen just donít quite get it close enough. Iíll make a template to paint the outer silver. My original lights were painted black to match the Rallye 350 and have cracks throughout.

Lastly, we started doing a rough mock up for the intake. The bolts in yellow are simply to call out that I still need to find the originals or Iím just awaiting their return from phosphating. That is an NOS thermostat housing along with NOS choke tubes, carb bolts, and an NOS sending unit. The phosphated throttle bracket and engine hook came out beautifully from Steve Gregori.

Iím going to recreate as much factory overspray if the gold on the intake. I havenít seen a restoration attempt to do that for a Ď70 W-30 / W-31, but I have a ton of great original photos of overspray thatíll help during recreation.




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Old April 6th, 2019, 10:12 PM
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Where did you get that manual? It is probably very helpful in your rebuild.
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Old April 7th, 2019, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by 72Pumpkin View Post
Where did you get that manual? It is probably very helpful in your rebuild.
Ping Paul Sigmund aka HairyOlds on the forum. Heíll get you setup with the assembly manual for your car. Hairy Olds
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Old April 7th, 2019, 01:25 PM
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Looking great do not stop
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Old April 9th, 2019, 12:39 PM
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Wiper motor and pump rebuild

Picked up my rebuilt wiper pump and motor from Steve Hackel this morning. It turned out pretty well. I need to get a decal made with the part number and Julian date. Itís a bit bright...were they like that when they were new? Iím please that the original 90 degree plastic was restored. What Iím not thrilled about is that the black plastic appears to have been spray painted. Need to figure out whether I strip it or find a new plastic piece.

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Old April 9th, 2019, 12:46 PM
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Put a light cote of clear matt finish the bright spots spray from far-a-way 24 to 26 inchs
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Old April 9th, 2019, 12:51 PM
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Original Pump

I just went back and looked at past photos prior to the rebuild to see if the decal was on there originally. Who knows based on the amount of goop sprayed on the motor.






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Old April 9th, 2019, 01:10 PM
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no, the wiper motors weren't that nice brand new. but we over restore these cars now, so ...
fwiw, I used hackel for wiper motors on a few cars. VERY happy.
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Old April 9th, 2019, 01:34 PM
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I don't know what rock I've been under, but just discovered your thread and read it all. What an adventure! And what gorgeous work you've done. Congratulations on your progress so far.

I can offer a bit of my experience regarding carpet. I got some from ACC. Color was OK; however
  • fit over the front and rear humps was terrible
  • carpet weave direction was off 90į from OEM
I tried to work with it but wound up throwing it away and having custom carpet made. I realize that's not an option for you, but I wanted to give you those two warning points so you can evaluate it quickly and get timely corrections if required.
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Old April 14th, 2019, 05:24 PM
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Had a quick 30 minutes in the garage on this snowy April day. I wanted to get the heater core out so I can get it over to the radiator shop and have them repair and test it. Looks like the outlet took a beating from whoever removed the hose prior to me. Iím hopeful that can be repaired.

There were two clips holding the heater core inside the box. Over the clip with the two small bolts was some type of insulator. Where can I find one of these? The original is brittle to the touch. Also, what about the piece inside the heater box shown in the image below.




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Old April 14th, 2019, 05:31 PM
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there is a non a/c heater box seal kit. I've used the foam for the door that you have a pic of as the original deteriorates. The foam piece in the kit for the hose outlets I don't use as it's not thick/big enough. I've cleaned up the original and reused.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by junior supercar View Post
there is a non a/c heater box seal kit. I've used the foam for the door that you have a pic of as the original deteriorates. The foam piece in the kit for the hose outlets I don't use as it's not thick/big enough. I've cleaned up the original and reused.
Good to know. Thanks, Chris. Mr. Radiator is getting the tanks for the gold car, and he'll also be getting the original Harrison heater core.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 08:17 PM
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Received the bulk of hardware back from Sparky. He did an excellent job replating the original fasteners, etc.

The plate frame is close to the original galvanized look. The spring has been phosphated to match the original finish.



The original starter bolts were refinished in clear zinc.



The original hood light was also replated back to it's like-new finish.


This was a hard one to determine the original finish. There were a few spots that showed the yellow zinc finish so that's what we went with.


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Old April 29th, 2019, 08:19 PM
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In an effort to try and get the hardware as "correct" as possible, I sent a TON of hardware to Sparky's for replating. Overall, I'm very pleased with the results. I'd recommend bagging and tagging all the hardware during disassembly. I soaked most of it in Evaporust ahead of time before taking a wheel to them. I think this helped with the plating process.

Original caliper bolts with the 'S' etched in to the end. This won't be visible, but I'll at least know they're right



The horn relay might be a bit "brighter" than the originals. This was an NOS piece but I think it lost some of its luster from shelf life.



One of about 50+ baggies of hardware that was re-phosphated.



Core support bolts with the "anchor" head markings.



Hood "hockey stick" moulding bolts.



Re-phosphated the original hood latch.


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Old April 29th, 2019, 08:28 PM
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Fender wells in the process of being prepped.



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Old April 30th, 2019, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by WTHIRTY1 View Post
Fender wells in the process of being prepped.


Please tell us after, the process you used on these. I got to do mine next 👍
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Old April 30th, 2019, 01:45 PM
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I can chime in on the wheel houses since I'm doing them. Cleaning and prepping are the biggest part of restoring these. they were painted white on the underside at one time so a lot of time spent getting all the paint off. I will plastic weld the holes that are broken out along the edges. Then we paint them with vinyl paint I mix on my Sherwin Williams mixing system. If there are scratches or gouges, the vinyl paint can be wet sanded and reapplied to fill the issues. ~BOB
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Old May 2nd, 2019, 08:11 PM
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Spent an hour going through parts that still need to be restored and came across my original fuel hose clips. I plan on reusing the original square tang clips and noticed two clips with what appears to be gold paint. Anyone come across overspray on their fuel pump / hoses / clips? I know the clips were originally that drab olive finish and red.



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Old May 5th, 2019, 06:28 PM
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Always look forward to you posting your progress ,great work. Could you possibly document correct length and head size of hood moulding screws?
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Old May 13th, 2019, 08:04 PM
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Last time I posted a photo of the air cleaner base the snorkel was MIA. I sourced an original snorkel and sent it off to a good friend to have the factory welds replicated. Here it is in epoxy primer. Really looking forward to the approach on making this as close to factory original as possible.
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Old May 14th, 2019, 05:57 AM
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Base looks good. Where did you end up finding a snorkel? Was it salvaged off something?
Is another hole for crankcase breather required or is that just W-30 cars? Im not sure
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Old May 14th, 2019, 07:15 PM
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scrappie - all that style base/snorkel had TWO holes in the vertical perimeter/wall of the base. On a regular auto 442 the unused breather hole got a factory rubber plug (available repro).

The base in the pic above has TWO factory breather holes....you just can't see both of them in the pic.
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Old May 15th, 2019, 09:11 AM
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Nice work, thankyou for including so many details. Subscribing.

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Old May 15th, 2019, 02:35 PM
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I agree with you on the Horn relay. I have a couple of nos originals. Again they very in brightness. I think too many guys see one one way and think that's the way they all were. There are so many variances on these cars one way doesn't fit all.

BTW progress looking great!
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Old May 19th, 2019, 07:04 PM
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Heater core

Had the original Harrison heater core rebuilt. I've been used a local shop, Mr. Radiator out of the Chicagoland area, to repair my radiators. When he tested the heater core it leaked like a sieve! Fortunately, he had a source to order the core and reassembled it for me using the original pieces. Couldn't be happier with the way this turned out. From talking with others, it sounds like the reproduction heater cores are of poor quality and don't fit right.




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Old May 19th, 2019, 07:10 PM
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Curious what the group thinks on this one. I already picked up a Gardner exhaust for the car, but I also have a complete set of NOS tailpipes + an extra 404725 pipe. Should I put the NOS pipes on or stick with the Gardner pipes?


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Old June 2nd, 2019, 09:06 AM
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Quick update. The body has been taken off the “shop roller frame” and the sandblasting has started. Pretty wild and exciting to see the W-31 on the rotisserie!

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Old June 2nd, 2019, 09:21 AM
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Hi from Alain considering your exhaust question which do you prefer?I used Gardner on the W 31 I restored It looked great.
But this is your choice.
Have a great day
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Old June 2nd, 2019, 09:08 PM
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Out of curiosity. What will the entire resto cost? I am guesstimating around $40k if you do the majority of the work. If you outsource labor, more like $70k.
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Old June 3rd, 2019, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by pettrix View Post
Out of curiosity. What will the entire resto cost? I am guesstimating around $40k if you do the majority of the work. If you outsource labor, more like $70k.
A lot.
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Old June 3rd, 2019, 10:35 AM
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A LOT TIMES 2
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Old June 4th, 2019, 06:29 AM
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Pretty exciting to see the car at this stage. Sandblasting has been completed.


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Old June 4th, 2019, 08:28 AM
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Nice clean slate. Whats the circled areas?
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Old June 4th, 2019, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by alain View Post
A LOT TIMES 2
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I'm guessing my estimate of $70,000 is likely where it will land but it can easily go higher, of course.
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Old June 4th, 2019, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by scrappie View Post
Nice clean slate. Whats the circled areas?
Circled areas are where the metal felt a bit "thin."

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Old June 4th, 2019, 01:51 PM
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Hood

Hood is down to the fiberglass. Impressed with its overall condition. Bob and team are knocking it out.

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Old June 4th, 2019, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pettrix View Post
I'm guessing my estimate of $70,000 is likely where it will land but it can easily go higher, of course.
You need to view this through a different lens. A typical restoration ordering new parts from ILT that are incorrect is very different than a restoration primarily leveraging rare NOS pieces. Of course, that's going to increase the cost.
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Old June 7th, 2019, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by WTHIRTY1 View Post
You need to view this through a different lens. A typical restoration ordering new parts from ILT that are incorrect is very different than a restoration primarily leveraging rare NOS pieces. Of course, that's going to increase the cost.
this. plus labor costs for bodywork vary widely across the country.

btw, those circled areas, I've seen those rust on cars. for some reason that seam gets soft.

I'd vote for Gardner. If you plan on taking it to the Pure Stock Drags, I'll give you the same thing I have Dave Bunch. great resto exhaust system. but for performance it sucks.
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