Rebuilding my first 1969 442 Convertible - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old July 17th, 2017, 06:08 AM   #1  
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Rebuilding my first 1969 442 Convertible

A few weeks ago, I was at a local car show with two of my toys (1970 CS Green/Rusty and 1971 CS Gold and 90% original).
A local resident came over to me and looked at my two cars and said, “My friend is too old to restore his 69, 4-4-2 Convertible.” Are you interested in buying it for $xxxx. I said, “If the condition is as good as you say, when can I pick it up.”

I bought my first 442. It’s going to take a lot of work.

After a 2-hour inspection, I bought it and dove it home. We made the 80-mile trip without any real issues.
First stop, the gas station and it took 19.99 Gallons of 93 octane (Fuel tank assumed to be 20 gallon).
About 70 miles later, one of the wheel center caps broke off while in a highway clover leaf.
A little later, while driving slowly and taking a sharp right turn the engine quit.
After about 5 minutes we got it going again. I will assume is was dirt in the carburetor.
The next day, I tried to start the car and the carburetor just overflowed with gas.

I gave the carburetor a quick temporary rebuild.
Changed the plugs, oil, adjusted timing, dwell and carburetor mixture. Then took it for a short road test.

I have been driving 70-72 CS with Rocket 350’s for 20 years and 200k miles.
When I stepped on the gas of the full boxed frame convertible with the original 400 ci engine, the TH-400 automatic transmission left rubber in First and “Second” gears.
“WOW” my Rocket 350’s never did that.

Some pictures on old link.
https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...e-miles71.html

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Old July 17th, 2017, 06:08 AM   #2  
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Details

Details:

The local reputable carburetor shop is on Holiday, so getting a profession rebuild will take a few weeks.
The carburetor serial number indicates it’s not the original, #[70] 29244 KA 0169
This seems like a Buick 1969 carburetor?
Existing Jets = 70, Rods = 43B

I think the correct number should be [70] 29252 (corrected)
Engine 400, Automatic, No AC, No-30

Known Facts.
1969-442-Green, VIN 344679M221185

Decoded:
3-44-67-9-M-221185
3 = Oldsmobile
44 = 442 V8 (1968-1971)
67 = Convertible
9 = 1969
M = Lansing, MI
221185 = Production Number Sequence

Engine:
This car does have the original 1969 400 ci. The engine has about 125k miles.
I checked the compression on all 8 cylinders and they ranged from 170 – 190.
Underneath there is No visible oil leakages around the Oil pan or Rear main seal.
The transmission pan is a little oily.
When warm, the engine starts without touching the gas pedal.

Short History:
This car has been owned by two different family’s. It has had a few Rebuilds. I am still reading the pile of work recipes to figure out the cars history.
It will need some new metal. Not sure of my final plans for the car.
Tentatively, make is safe and legal.
Figure out what Non-standard modifications and maybe tweak closer to original.
Bottom line, keep the budget under control and keep it drivable. No Hanger Queen.

Last edited by Miles71; July 17th, 2017 at 10:06 AM.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 06:09 AM   #3  
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Need some Original engine pictures:

I am in the process of cleaning up the original 400 CI engine.
I am interested in seeing pictures of an original 1969 400 CI engine for future references.
I would like to know what is Not original or aftermarket junk.
I do have a 1969 factory service manual. However, real pictures will help more.

The spare parts that came with the car, included the original bronze value covers and parts of the Air breather system.

Thanks.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 06:19 AM   #4  
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I would get a '69 assembly manual as well. It gives you the correct part numbers and configurations for nearly everything, particularly under the hood. The carb you should have for your car is the (70) 29251 and not 28251 as you stated above, if you have the THM 400. If your transmission is manual, the numbers should be 29253.

I'm a bit biased, but the '69 4-4-2 convertible is a beautiful car. Enjoy the work you do on your car but, most importantly, enjoy driving it!

Randy C.
'68 4-4-2 convertible
'69 4-4-2 convertible
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Old July 26th, 2017, 08:05 AM   #5  
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Making slow Progress.

The Interior has been removed and is in the process of cleaning and repairs.
The carburation is back from the shop and re-installed.
After a few spins to get the fuel into the carburetor, the engine started right up.
Later this week, I will take the car for a road test and then re-tune the carburetor.
Most of the replacement parts have arrived, except the much-needed headlight screw kit.
I only need one seat to drive the car, but I do need to get all 4 headlights re-installed.

The Door cards arrived and were for a 1968, so I sent them back for the correct 1969.
Before sending them back, I compared the reproduction 1968 door cards, to a real 1968 442.
The match was very good.

I also ordered a 1969, Assembly Manual.

Attached are pictures of the carburetor before and after.






Carb Before shot


After cleaning.
Also removed most of the old blue paint.



Interior in the process of cleaning. Valve covers will be repainted bronze.
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Old July 31st, 2017, 05:29 AM   #6  
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Patching and Paint.

Patching and Paint.

I started with the Headlight bezels. Cleaned and repainted.
I am still waiting for Headlight screw kit to complete the headlight mountings.
Can't drive the car until install headlights.

I finished patching the few random holes in the floor.
I also repainted the whole floor.
Later, at the shop I will start working on the underside of the floor.
The Big fixes will wait until winter. For now, I want to get to the car shows within the next week.

I have already started installing the Insulation and hope to get the Capet installed this week too.
The 1969 doors, do not have a "Side Impact" door beams.
This will make it harder to install insulation, without the door beam. Normally, I use a 6"x16" folded sections of insulation wedged between the beam and door skin. The fit is snug enough to keep the insulation in place.
This makes the doors much quieter and they sound SOLID when you close the doors.





Headlight area before cleaning and painting.


After cleanup and painting


First layer of insulation 50% completed.
There will be at least two layers of insulation in most areas.
I like working on convertibles. I don't bump my head as much.

Last edited by Miles71; July 31st, 2017 at 05:31 AM.
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Old July 31st, 2017, 05:34 AM   #7  
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Questions:
Does anyone have any good pictures of the Floor **** Neutral safety switch installation?
My install is a mess of homemade parts.


How do I tell of the Roof pump is full of fluid?
My roof does go up and down, but one side is faster than the other.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 07:04 PM   #8  
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My Summer

I tried to sell the car, but no one was interested in a project car.
It is too much of a project car for most.
So I just drove last summer and enjoyed the ride.
I spent the month of July renovating the interior and making the car road worthy.
Then drove it to car shows every week for about 1,500 miles.

About half of the people who commented on the paint or lack of paint said that "I should not repaint the car". I was surprised how many liked the patina.

Convertibles are not common. These girls have never been in a convertible before. We all enjoyed the view.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 07:09 PM   #9  
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Ms. Ruby is my guard dog.
She will Lick anyone that comes in range.
She love young children because they usually have food in their hands.




Ruby roams all over the car. She only fell off once, but that's another story. She like dressing up to go out.



My Friend Bones is helping me sell the car. He does not want any commission.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 07:18 PM   #10  
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Last summer I worked on the 4-wheel drum brakes. Still have some air in the lines.
The vacuum booster seems to be leaking, so I will install a new booster next year.
I found a good matching Bronze Color Spray can for the valve covers. However, I can't find any "Brush" on pints of bronze color paint. The reason want a Brush-on can of paint, is because you can re-paint most of the engine without removing the engine. I hand painted my rocket 350 and it came out good.
If you know of any one that sells pints of Bronze engine paint, let me know.
Pending winter work:
Replace front bumper.
Finish body and paint.
Maybe take off the Dash Pad to repair a few burnt-out lights (Suggestions on how to remove the dash pad will be helpful.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 08:00 PM   #11  
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http://www.hirschauto.com/ENGINE-ENA...T/OLDZ%20BRZN/

Not sure if they sell pints but definitely quarts.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 05:53 AM   #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gh5168 View Post
http://www.hirschauto.com/ENGINE-ENA...T/OLDZ%20BRZN/

Not sure if they sell pints but definitely quarts.

Thanks for the Tip, I will order a can.

CAN I PAINT THE ENGINE WHILE IT IS IN THE CAR?
WHILE IT IS EASIER TO DO THE ENGINE AND GET A BETTE
R JOB IF IT IS OUT OF THE CAR, YOU CAN STILL DO
IT IN THE CAR.
BILL HIRSCH ENGINE ENAMELS
DO NOT SPLATTER AND WITH A FAIR AMOUNT OF CARE, YOU
CAN GET AN EXCELLENT BRUSH JOB.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 09:08 AM   #13  
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Painting update:
The car was repainted in 2003. The front fenders were replaced with Used fenders from Arizona. The Rear quarter were patched. Some of the trim was replaced in 2003.
The 2003 paint job used Gallons of bondo. Now the car is covered in thick layers of peeling bondo.
Overall, the existing body panels are in good shape.

PS Rear quarter panel holds water and should only need minor patching.
The two front fenders needed the bottom 8 inches cut and replaced.
The DS Rear quarter also needed metal patch.
Both doors are in great shape. I have not found any accident damage.
The Driver Side has been sanded to bare metal and the smoothing has begun.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 09:21 AM   #14  
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Drivers side sanded and starting a few coats of primer and more sanding. Metal was in good shape on this side.


Front fender rot fixed, not its time to match the curves. Both doors in good shape.


I am looking for the chrome trim mounting plastic clips used on 1969 Rear chrome trim. They fit into the fender slot and then the trim clips to the top. Have not found them online yet.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 01:15 PM   #15  
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These are the clips used on the side moldings. I think this what you are referring to. Parts # P4558T and Xp5605z. That first part # goes on the ends of the molding but are used exclusively on the all of the front fender side molding.

I did end up using some of them on the rear as well because XP5605Z would not stay in place in some spots. THE PARTS PLACE sells them.

https://www.thepartsplaceinc.com/old...ID=4&year=1968
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Old December 29th, 2017, 05:10 PM   #16  
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Hi Gary, Thanks for the tip.
The Plastic part: XP4562T, looks like a perfect match for the 68-69 convertible rear quarter panel plug/clip.
After some research "the parts place" has the best price of $2.00 per clip. I need about 20 clips.
OPGI charges 6.99 Per clip.

All of the existing plastic and metal mounting hardware is too deteriorated to be re-used.
I need two types of plastic clips and two types of metals clips.
The 3x types of chrome strips use two different metal mounting parts a
All three types of mounting hardware is too rusted to be re-used,
XP5605Z




The Plastic parts are only used on the 68-69 convertibles for the Rear quarter trim.
You also need two or more trim mounting studs per side.
The door trim uses different plastic and different metal trim nuts.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 06:24 PM   #17  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles71 View Post
The main doors use a different combination of mounting hardware.
Fusick carries this hardware.



Door Trim mounting hardware. Two metal nut/bolts, one at each end and several slid clips.
Good deal. Now THE PARTS PLACE has those door clips also.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 12:39 PM   #18  
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You do not need to remove the dash pad to replace dash bulbs. Reach up from below and twist bulb to remove, it's awkward but do-able. Use 168 bulbs in dash or use LED. Your upper rad hose looks like it is on backwards. Long end goes to engine enabling hose to reach near rad shroud and clamp on shroud.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 04:11 PM   #19  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowstatue View Post
You do not need to remove the dash pad to replace dash bulbs. Reach up from below and twist bulb to remove, it's awkward but do-able. Use 168 bulbs in dash or use LED.

Your upper rad hose looks like it is on backwards. Long end goes to engine enabling hose to reach near rad shroud and clamp on shroud.
Hi Yellowstatue:
Only the lights in the Spedo work. None of the Night-lights in the gas gauge section work. And the bulbs tested good.
The wiring has been messed with.
The battery kept dying.
Issue #1, Cig lighter works, sort-of. When it gets hot, it does not
pop-out and turn off. It just cooks indefinitely.

Issue #2:
The Radio is always live. It does not turn off with key.

With both disconnected, the battery holds a charge.

The short Dash fuse use to blow instantly, until I found one of the gray dash wires, was connected to the "Speaker" ground. 12 volt to ground short, will blow those hard to find short fuses every time.

Oil pressure and e-brake lights work ok.

If i pull off the dash pad, I can restore the wiring.
Also, some of the lights in the console do not work.
The console glove box works, but the light for shift position has no power.

Hoses:
I think you are correct about the top radiator hose, its backwards.
They are on the list to be replaced next spring and installed correctly.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 06:14 PM   #20  
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Cig lighter clamps could be too tight holding on to lighter for dear life. Yellow wire is pwr feed for radio. Grey wires for dash lights and clock. Shift indicator light should be grey wire also but comes on with park and dash lights. With power off the lighter (no short circuit please), try to spread the clamps a little bit to ease the tension and try again.
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Old December 31st, 2017, 02:12 PM   #21  
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Just making a comment so I can keep track of your progress.

Cool ride! Good luck with the paint.
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Old January 2nd, 2018, 06:51 PM   #22  
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I am thinking about changing the color.
It is currently Glade Green (#57 B)
My apologies to green lovers, but this shad of green just does not thrill me.

I am thinking about Powder Blue #80 or Viking Blue #26 (1970).
Does anyone have any good images of Powder blue?

90% of the paint has now been sanded off.
A few more small holes found in the PS door.

The shop tried to Pry off the 442 badges from the front fenders, Oops.
These badges are held on with nuts on the back. Most of the badge legs broke off.
Fortunately, I have a spare set of fender badges.

The rear bumper is off. The rear frame area looks good.
This car use to have Air Shocks.
The bumper should be replaced, but that's not in the budget this year.

The two front fenders were installed in 2003.
My guess is they are "Used" fenders from a 1968 car.
Both of the front side lights have 1968 SAE date codes.

Before i took the car to the paint shop, I removed most of the interior.
Rear seats, Door card, etc.
I made the mistake of leaving in the new black carpet.

The carpet is now Bondo-Powder Gray.

Last edited by Miles71; January 3rd, 2018 at 05:35 AM.
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Old January 2nd, 2018, 09:08 PM   #23  
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Enjoying your progress. The '69 is my second favorite body style. I even owned one back in high school for a very short time. Mine was a vinyl top though, not a convertible top.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 05:33 AM   #24  
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Not Happy with some of the work.

Hector must have assumed the front fender badges were Glued onto the fenders. The 442 Fender badges are held on by a pair of nuts for each number. The Blue circles show the damage where he used a chisel to remove the badges by snapping off the retaining studs. The Red circle shows the shiny remains of a stud still stuck to the fender.




Looks like a chisel was used to remove the bolt-on fender badges.

Hector knew, I as annoyed when he used a chisel to remove my side emblems.
So, he took the emblems and repainted and polished the emblems.
He then re-attached them the correct location with glue.

They look better now than when i gave him the car.








Last edited by Miles71; March 5th, 2018 at 06:34 AM.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 05:58 AM   #25  
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That was probably on purpose. I once watched a body shop guy use a putty knife and a hammer to cut the badges off a Camaro like that and when I asked him why, he said it was so he could use foam tape to reattach them after the paint job. The car was for the manager's daughter's upcoming birthday. He didn't want to take the time to do the job right and knew he could use a shortcut. To this day I have a suspicious attitude for production body shops.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 06:02 AM   #26  
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Trunk lid is solid. Some minor pitting


Looks like this car had air shocks at onetime.
There is a thick coating of rust-proofing stuff on most metal parts.
The Metal parts under the stuff looks good. The rust-proofing stuff is also painted on the inside of the car too.


PS door and fender bottoms.
Some rust holes. Will be patched with metal.


The PS Rear quarter panel, holds water. Just needed some cleanup.

Last edited by Miles71; January 3rd, 2018 at 06:06 AM.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 09:28 AM   #27  
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The front marker lights for '69 are the same as '68, however the rear lenses are the same but the chrome bezels are different. '68 has left and right bezels and '69 bezels are the same for both sides.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 10:56 AM   #28  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowstatue View Post
The front marker lights for '69 are the same as '68, however the rear lenses are the same but the chrome bezels are different.
'68 has left and right bezels and '69 bezels are the same for both sides.
I agree the front marker lights may look identical (68 and 69).
However, SAE date was in theory unique for each year of manufacture?
In 1969, the SAE code stamped into the plastic lenses should say "69"?
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 06:26 PM   #29  
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Also '68 Corvettes used the same front marker light and maybe '69 as well. I seem to recall that Chrysler used the same light as a rear marker with a red lense.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 08:36 AM   #30  
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Getting ready for major surgery.
The front cowl panel will need to be installed.




No budget for new rear bumper or tail lights. Will need to re-use old stuff.
Lots of dust. I should have removed the new carpet, darn.
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Old January 14th, 2018, 11:35 AM   #31  
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Home Garage Temperate this week was Zero F.
I am keeping busy polishing 442 parts and working on a 1970 CS hardtop.
When the wife is not home, the kitchen sink is full of car parts.

Body work progressing slowly (At body shop).

I decided change color to Powder Blue.
I am not sure what it will really look like.

Need to order some new Trim mounting hardware to re-attache Front-Fended trim, Door-trim and rear quarter trim.
Big price difference between Fusicks and OPGI.
For the same 4 sets of part, Fusicks - $160, OPGI wants $640.
I think I will go with Fusicks.






Rear side markers. The originals are slightly pitted. After some elbow grease they look much better.
All of the original paint had faded.



I added some Semi-Gloss black into the grove section outside trim and some fresh red Flame.

Last edited by Miles71; January 14th, 2018 at 12:42 PM.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 08:41 AM   #32  
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Cheaper to purchase with Phone verses Internet.

Cheaper to purchase with Phone verses Internet.

I needed to order 4 different types of chrome mounting hardware for my 442.
Belt Moldings [plastic] qty 12
Front and Rear Trim studs qty 26, (a few extra for the rear quarter)
Door end molding clips, qty 4.
Door [plastic] clips, qty 10.

There is always a huge markup on hardware.
I did not want to buy hardware from 2 or 3 different parts companies.
I narrowed my search down to Fusicks and OPGI.
3 of the 4-part categories were cheaper at Fusicks.

Approximate Fusicks price = 162.00
Approximate OPGI price = 641.00 (Wow, what a difference)

OPGI has price matched for me in the past, so I called OPGI and spoke to a nice Human.
I gave him a list of OPGI part numbers, along with a list of Fusicks parts number and prices.
After a short time, the price match was approved.

Let's save Human jobs and not use the Internet.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 09:44 AM   #33  
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If Fusick had the best price, why didn't you just order from them instead of messing around with the price match?
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Old January 15th, 2018, 09:56 AM   #34  
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Quote:
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If Fusick had the best price, why didn't you just order from them instead of messing around with the price match?
I also had other parts I required that were not available at Fusicks.
Don't get me wrong, I still do business with Fusicks.
I am just pointing out that some companies will price match and the saving can be significant.
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Old January 16th, 2018, 08:59 AM   #35  
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Slow progress. In theory the sanding will be done in one more week. Then off to paint.




PS Rear quarter is making some progress.



DS Door is sanded. I have new door handles for later.



To save some $$, I did not remove the front fenders. They are being sanded in place. The front fender trim can only be removed when the fender is off the car.
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Old January 20th, 2018, 08:53 AM   #36  
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Flue season is slowing down progress

The main body guy Hector has been out sick.
Looks like another full week of body work before paint.
Not sure where the Hood is.
The Interior is now one big trash can, full of an inch of dust, old sanding disks and parts that i think are from my car.

Most of my new chrome trim mounting hardware has arrived, along with other shiny bits.



Bottom rear of this quarter needed some metal.



Both doors are in good shape.
The front fenders are partial unbolted in these images. They will need to be re-aligned.


Front DS fended needed some new metal at the bottom. The rest of the metal is in good shape.


The bottom quarter on this sided was still watertight.


Last edited by Miles71; January 20th, 2018 at 08:56 AM.
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Old January 20th, 2018, 11:16 AM   #37  
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I also had other parts I required that were not available at Fusicks.
Don't get me wrong, I still do business with Fusicks.
I am just pointing out that some companies will price match and the saving can be significant.
Good to know.
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Old January 25th, 2018, 02:51 PM   #38  
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Location: Chelmsford, Mass
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New Cowl installed

The base of the windshield had some rot. A new cowl panel was installed.


Trunk section is getting ready for the last sanding.



Door gap is looking better.



Air-box cowl has been installed.



Metal work done on this section. More sanding.



Last section that needs metal work.
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Old January 25th, 2018, 07:50 PM   #39  
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The front fender trim is able to be removed using a twelve inch, 1/4 drive extension with a 3/8 six point socket. Reach in from the battery side and feel for the nuts X4. Easy Peasy
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Old January 26th, 2018, 05:21 AM   #40  
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The front fender trim is able to be removed using a twelve inch, 1/4 drive extension with a 3/8 six point socket.
Reach in from the battery side and feel for the nuts X4. Easy Peasy
Hi: Thanks for the tip. I did try a few of the easy ones on the Rear quarter. I used plenty of penetrating oil, etc.
They were so rusty, they Spun out of the trim. Fortunately the Rear trim was not damaged.
I decided not to remove the front unless the shop took the fender off.
Then I could just cut off the old studs and replace with new studs.
This would prevent damage to the trim.
The shop never took off the Fenders, so I never got clear access to cut the old studs off.
I did order plenty of replacement studs, just in case.



Special Studs used to hold on the Front fender Trim (about 10 each side). The Rear Quarter trim requires 3 per side.
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