AM99888's Super 88 redo

Old January 2nd, 2013, 06:24 PM
  #41  
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Thanks, Gordon. The drain trough was all cleaned up and the drain tubes, though not replaced, were examined and cleaned and conditioned.

I expect there will always be a trickle here and there, but there shouldn't be a flood soaking the headliner and seats. It's a disappointment, but we'll get it... eventually.

Thanks for your input!
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 07:56 PM
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Car came out spectacular by the way! Love the fact that you brought it back to original. Also, I checked out your link to the MSP cars chronology....very cool and interesting!
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:16 PM
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Just saw this thread for the 1st time and just wanted to say nice work and what a beautiful car. I have really grown to appreciate cars from the 50's and hope to own one someday.

Hope you get the rear window issue fixed.
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Old January 7th, 2013, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Rocket331 View Post
Thanks, Gordon. The drain trough was all cleaned up and the drain tubes, though not replaced, were examined and cleaned and conditioned.

I expect there will always be a trickle here and there, but there shouldn't be a flood soaking the headliner and seats. It's a disappointment, but we'll get it... eventually.

Thanks for your input!

I hope you solve the problem - and I hope you post the solution here - I'll be putting the rear screen back into my '55 2 door post this spring and hope to avoid any 'avoidable' pitfalls.
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Old January 7th, 2013, 08:11 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for the compliments!
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 02:56 PM
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0130131047_zps0117f1c7.jpg

Reaping the benefits of hard work and a lot of expense. It has little tangible value, but it makes us feel good!

McAllen2013-2_zpsaff1c9f4.jpg

Here's the proud owner! (And just 12 days after heart bypass, hence the pillow)

Last edited by Rocket331; September 16th, 2013 at 09:19 PM. Reason: add photo
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 06:22 PM
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Congratulations !! The car itself is well worth the time and expense that went into it . But the trophy was iceing to the cake , Wasn't it?
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Old August 14th, 2013, 04:10 PM
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Update!

Not that anyone asked, but I thought I'd add a brief update. I think we finally got that rear window sealed. Our upholstery guy said he could get the job done. Well, nobody else seemed to get the job done, so the car was dropped off at the shop. A day or two later, we picked it up. We're not entirely sure what he did, what he used, or how he did it, but it seems to have done the job! It's been washed a few times and I think it even got rained on once and no signs of leaks.

We decided the white wheels, though proper, didn't look right, so we painted them blue. It looks much better.

02771a39-02c0-431a-a857-a9758158d370_zps996be0ae.jpg

Bumpers were removed and dropped off for rechroming. We await their return. I don't think the Olds will get much use in the next several weeks. But, we can hardly wait to see how it looks with the shiny new chrome!
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Old August 14th, 2013, 07:06 PM
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That is a lot of rechrome on that front bumper and grille. The car just keeps getting better and better.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 06:22 PM
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After 14 weeks at Keystone in Brainerd, MN, the bumpers were finished right on schedule. They are now installed and what a difference a couple bumpers can make! They turned out great. We are very happy.

IMG_1963_zpsfd8b1ed3.jpg

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Old November 8th, 2013, 05:43 PM
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Hardware

Dad wanted some pics of the hardware he accumulated during the car's first full show season. So, I felt obliged to share.

The awards from L to R, are:
Top 34 Award, Best Engine, 1st Pl - GM Original/Restored, Best Interior, Best Paint, 1st Pl - 49-60 Stock.

Trophypic_zps899925ad.jpg
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Last edited by Rocket331; July 16th, 2014 at 07:04 PM. Reason: add picture
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Old September 25th, 2014, 02:49 PM
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Super 88 Update

Wow! It's been a long time since I logged in here. What have we been up to? Well, this summer we learned what happens when your engine apparently isn't "broken in" correctly. We had to replace the cam and lifters only 2600 miles after the rebuild. That was exciting. It also spoiled a good many summer plans. Oh, well. Works better than ever now. Let's hope it stays that way. And, in case you're wondering, we're running Brad Penn ZDDP enriched motor oil. I should have gotten pictures.

Aside from that, I finally located the elusive speaker grille and got the rear seat speaker installation completed. A shout out and thanks to Shane Tapp for that one!

IMG_20140916_144940688_zps6e6b5460.jpg

Also, after installing our rechromed bumpers a year ago, we noticed a dent had been missed during the refurb process. So, we took the bumper off and brought it back to the chrome shop last month. Two weeks later, we had it back and re-installed. I can't say enough good things about the folks at Keystone Automotive in Minneapolis and Brainerd, MN. They made the necessary correction no questions asked and within the time frame they promised. We're riding high again!!!

IMG_20140916_170518781_zps9eb8a768.jpg
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Old September 25th, 2014, 03:18 PM
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Welcome back Jay. Man those blue wheels look go. Your car is awesome. Obviously I like it. When are you and your dad going to be back in Texas?
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Old September 25th, 2014, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by redoldsman View Post
Welcome back Jay. Man those blue wheels look good. Your car is awesome. Obviously I like it. When are you and your dad going to be back in Texas?
Thank you!

Dad rolled on down the east side of Texas about a week ago. He's back in the RGV now until next spring, I reckon. The wife mentioned something about traveling that way for Thanksgiving. Might happen. Uncertain at this point if we'll drive or fly. Either way, I guess I won't be in the Olds.

BTW- I sure like the Olds and aircraft pics!

Last edited by Rocket331; September 25th, 2014 at 04:06 PM.
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Old September 25th, 2014, 06:25 PM
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Thanks Jay. Those may be the best pictures I ever get. They were worth the extra 15 buck I paid to get access. We will hock up one day.
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Old February 1st, 2015, 05:38 PM
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More hardware

The old Rocket has gathered a few more awards at local shows and events in Minnesota and Texas during the past year.

1st place, 2nd place, and class winner awards...

100_0797_2_zpsaimafas6.jpg

Even a couple Best of Show...

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The plaques are much easier to store!
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Old February 1st, 2015, 05:48 PM
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You guys are doing very well and much deserved. I have several plaques and no trophies. My most coveted award is the Lady' Choice award from the regional zone show last year in Granbury.
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Old February 1st, 2015, 08:05 PM
  #58  
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Jay the car turned out awesome. Glad you finally got the rear window leak fixed.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 08:37 PM
  #59  
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More successful shows... What does a guy do with all the hardware?

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Old May 22nd, 2016, 03:22 PM
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South Texas Mopars Chickfila Cruise In Rio Grande Valley











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Old May 22nd, 2016, 07:34 PM
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Welcome to the site from another Texan. I see your proudly showing the car off, its absolutely gorgeous.
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Old May 23rd, 2016, 07:24 AM
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Thank you

Thank you, Living the Moment, for posting the pics. They look great!

Last edited by Rocket331; May 26th, 2016 at 07:51 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 03:21 PM
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Still at it!

It's hard to believe at this time five years ago, we had the Olds all torn apart and were about two weeks into body work. I was making frequent trips to the shop 36 miles from home to work on the car. Seems like just a few weeks ago.

The car gets driven pretty regularly and makes it to a number of cruise-ins and shows all year long; in Texas during the winter and Minnesota during the summer. I had occasion to be in Texas last week. While cleaning up the car for McAllen International Car Fest, I emptied the trunk and inventoried the contents. I decided a picture was in order. And, we added another one at Car Fest - GM Other - Original/Restored - 1st Place.

After taking pics, I put most of them back in a plastic bin and stuck it in a closet. Obviously, we aren't really in it for the trophies.


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Old February 3rd, 2017, 04:08 PM
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Glad you guys are enjoying it and showing off your hard work. Apparently its enjoyed and appreciated by the masses also.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 08:56 PM
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Good hearing from you Jay. Your dad has to be very proud. I would love to see this car one day. I just got mine back from having the transmission rebuilt and ordered a new set of 2 3/4 inch whitewall radials from Coker today. You have some really big trophies.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by redoldsman View Post
Good hearing from you Jay. Your dad has to be very proud. I would love to see this car one day. I just got mine back from having the transmission rebuilt and ordered a new set of 2 3/4 inch whitewall radials from Coker today. You have some really big trophies.
I have been spending a lot more time with the 54-56 Olds group on Facebook than I have here on CO. More likeminded folks over there since we limit the discussion to the tri-5s.

Where did you have the transmission done? Is there someone in your area that knows old Hydramatics? We have the name and number of a guy in Houston, should we ever need someone. But, it's good to know there are options.

Depending on the route we take, we could potentially be passing thru DFW in late May. We've gone the eastern route and thru NW Arkansas the last couple times as we stopped off at my brother's in southern MO for a few days. Too early to tell which route we'll take next time.
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Old May 28th, 2017, 11:09 AM
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Here we go again! After just 2500 miles, we ground up another cam and several lifters. This time, the metal particles messed up main and rod bearings, too. A closer look at this cam, as well as the previous one, leads us to conclude both were reground and apparently of substandard quality.

The new build will include a new hydraulic roller set up. Hopefully, that will put an end to our camshaft woes. Now, if only it was done and back in the car! We're hoping to make Homecoming in a couple weeks. No pressure.
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Old May 28th, 2017, 02:40 PM
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Jay:

I am sorry I did not see your post back in February. I am guessing you are already on your way back. I have a guy in the area that knows the old hydramatics very well. He is 77 years old and did a great job. He doesn't use and Chinese parts. He arranged for somebody else to R&R it and put it in the back of his truck. All in including the R&R it was about $2500. He came highly recommended and I was not disappointed. If you have interest I will forward his name and number. I just got mine back together yesterday after having the harmonic balancer rebuilt. Safe travels.
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Old August 16th, 2017, 05:54 PM
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What are we up to now?

I have been absent for a while again, but keeping pretty close tabs on the world of '54-'56 Rockets over on The Book of Faces.

In March, we discovered the Olds had lunched another cam/lifter set. This caused us to have the engine disassembled and checked over. Some main and rod bearings were shot and the crank was scored a little. After discussing options, Dad said he wanted Ross Racing Engines to build an engine incorporating one of their roller cam sets. I set the wheels in motion to make that happen.

I'm still not certain what to make of the owner over at Ross. Tony obviously knows what he's talking about on these Olds engines. But, man is it taking a long time! I sure hope it is worth the wait because we're all getting mighty tired of it. The show and cruising season is nearly over in our corner of the world. We've missed out on a bunch of fun events. Some we may never get another chance to attend.

The last conversation I had with Tony was two weeks ago. "Yep, I should have it on the dyno and working on fine tuning it before the end of the week. Early next week for sure." Well, early next week has come and gone twice and no word. So, we wait some more...
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Old August 16th, 2017, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rocket331 View Post
I have been absent for a while again, but keeping pretty close tabs on the world of '54-'56 Rockets over on The Book of Faces.

In March, we discovered the Olds had lunched another cam/lifter set. This caused us to have the engine disassembled and checked over. Some main and rod bearings were shot and the crank was scored a little.
I'm curious about this .
What was the source of your cam and lifters ? USA or chinesium ?
What oil did you use for "break in" ? You did coat the cam with the special "break in " lube ?
Did you install the connecting rods correctly? There is a small hole on one side of the rod . Where the cap joins the rod . These holes must be facing up , towards the camshaft . They provide oil for the cam .
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Old August 20th, 2017, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Charlie Jones View Post
I'm curious about this .
What was the source of your cam and lifters ? USA or chinesium ?
What oil did you use for "break in" ? You did coat the cam with the special "break in " lube ?
Did you install the connecting rods correctly? There is a small hole on one side of the rod . Where the cap joins the rod . These holes must be facing up , towards the camshaft . They provide oil for the cam .
The only thing I know about the source of the cam and lifters is the supplier gets them from Packard. It is likely the lifters a product of China. The cam, we're not sure. The first one looks like it may have been a regrind.

The engine was rebuilt in 2012 by an experienced reputable engine shop. He's been doing everything from stock builds to radical custom engines for 50+ years. Yes, the cam was properly lubed upon assembly. Joe Gibbs break in oil was used on the first one. I believe Brad-Penn on the second one. We have been running Brad-Penn oil. Those bases were all covered. The position of the oil holes in the rods is something nobody has mentioned before. We'll have to take a look. Once the old engine and I are reunited, we will have to do a proper autopsy. Thanks for the tip.
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Old September 14th, 2017, 05:37 PM
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The completed engine arrived in Texas on September 12! Dad and I are both in Minnesota. But, the shop has jumped right to work and hopes to have the Olds drivable before Dad returns to Texas late next week. As you might imagine, we're kind of champing at the bit to try it out!
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Old September 14th, 2017, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Rocket331 View Post
The completed engine arrived in Texas on September 12! Dad and I are both in Minnesota. But, the shop has jumped right to work and hopes to have the Olds drivable before Dad returns to Texas late next week. As you might imagine, we're kind of champing at the bit to try it out!
Glad it worked out for you .
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Old November 9th, 2017, 07:54 PM
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The car was ready to go when Pops returned to Texas on September 21. Since then, he's been to a smattering of cruise-ins and car shows in the Rio Grande Valley. He even fetched a couple more awards. Dad says he is happy with the way it works. And, hopefully, with the roller setup, our camshaft troubles are over for good!
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Old March 20th, 2019, 09:04 PM
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I noticed the last time I logged in here was May 23, 2018. It jarred my memory. That evening I was at a hospice facility, sitting with my dad. I would read him interesting posts. I have no idea if he could hear me. Dad had suffered a stroke a couple days prior and we knew the end was near. In the wee hours of May 24, 2018, Dad took one last earthly breath. He was 85.

Not everyone decides to restore a car when he is nearly 79 years old. But, Dad did. Well, OK, if you made it this far down the thread, you know that I carried out the rejuvenation on his behalf with the assistance of several other very talented people. We accomplished the build in about nine months. Dad was very proud of his Oldsmobile, as he was of the 30 or so others he had owned throughout the previous 60 years. He enjoyed taking it to shows and cruise ins and sharing details about it with anyone who would lend an ear.

Mom left us nearly nine years ago. They are together again. My four siblings and I miss them very much. The Olds is in my care now and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

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Old March 20th, 2019, 09:52 PM
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Welcome back
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Old March 20th, 2019, 09:58 PM
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So sorry to hear about your Dad .

I'm sure you will enjoy that '54 Olds on his behalf for many more years .
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Old March 21st, 2019, 08:09 AM
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Jay, I am sorry to hear about your Dad. I know you have some great memories with him and the car. I am sure the car will always bring back good memories.
Glenn
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Old March 21st, 2019, 01:56 PM
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Jay,
So sorry about the loss of your Dad. He can rest in peace knowing his beloved Olds is in your capable hands.
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