442 revived, smashed, revived again and reborn! - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old May 15th, 2018, 07:53 AM   #1  
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442 revived, smashed, revived again and reborn!

I figured I'd share the story of my 442 in a thread, I'm a bit late on this since I've had the car for almost a decade now, and since my dad and I got it, it's gone through a major restoration, several years of car shows, a major accident in the summer of 2017, and now another restoration with a conversion to a 4 speed car, something I've always wanted. I wish I would have joined this site sooner.

My dad and I bought the car back in 2009, for 6k, it had a decent paint job on it, but many problems were hidden. Unfortunately it was not a #'s matching nor was it a stick, two things that I was a real stickler for. But I settled for it, cause it was the only thing I could afford at the time, (I was a teen) I absolutely loved the 442, it was my favorite car of all time. And I had to have it in that year, and it had to be a hard top body. I was willing to settle for the automatic and non numbers as long as the car was a real 442. And yes, it's a real 344879 car. The car has it's original transmission, (TH400) though I have no idea what happened to the 400CID, it had a 403 in it from some later model cutlass when we bought it. Over the years we did far more than just the interior, the butchers as we like to call them, had hidden so many sins, bad breaks, break lines, snapped bolts everywhere, including the supposedly rebuilt 403, etc. But at least the car was solid, no rust. Their famous line to us, "all the hard stuff's done, it just needs an interior." This would prove to be a lie. The main reason we distrust them is they never once returned any of our calls after letting it go. And we were humble on our messages. But it became obvious this 442 was something they were building into a beater/dragster.

Currently the car is undergoing I conversion to manual. We had a little accident (summer of 2017), which has convinced me to go for the conversion to make it the car I always wanted. I feel a little torn about ditching the original bench and TH400, but a 4 speed Muncie car, that I can build over time for less than what an original one would go for is most definitely too appealing to pass up. I've bought many of the parts, and am almost done with the conversion. I will be making a video on it in the near future and will post plenty of pictures in the mean time.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 08:11 AM   #2  
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Look forward to the updates and pics.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 08:24 AM   #3  
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What year is it. We need those pictures also.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 08:28 AM   #4  
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What year is it. We need those pictures also.
It's a 69' I'm working on the pictures, they'll be up as soon as the site lets me post them. Might be a little while. Sorry about that.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 08:54 AM   #5  
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If they are not too big the site should let you post anytime.
Directions on how to post pics:
https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...-pictures.html
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Old May 15th, 2018, 01:26 PM   #6  
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If they are not too big the site should let you post anytime.
Directions on how to post pics:
https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...-pictures.html

I was actually just about to ask that, thanks.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 01:31 PM   #7  
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This first bach is from day one, when we first got the car back in 2009. Car came out of Kellogg, Idaho. The previous owner got it out of Navada. It's a Fremont plant car according to the Number.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 01:41 PM   #8  
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Over the Next year we proceeded in fixing everything, as I said, it needed a lot. Here some pictures of the transformation. New brakes, (drum system restored), brake lines, tie rods, differential work ( we had to switch the car from a 3.37 back to the stock 2.79) Previous owner had that 3.37 in there and it could barely get to 60 mph without blowing the damn thing up! Did the full interior, restored to stock. And we had the stainless put back on the car (not pictured). Lots of various wire chasing through out. Even currently we are still having to do more wire chasing during this conversion.

That's just what I can remember off the top of my head, I know there was more.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 01:43 PM   #9  
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Something else I forgot to mention, or picture for that matter, the cars frame has also been undercoated with a really nice and expensive rubberized paint. That picture of the rusted frame was just before we did it.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 02:00 PM   #10  
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The accident, I had a deer walk out into the road and I was able to miss it, but unfortunately we lost the road and ended up in a field. Car took a couple hits from a fence, as well as the rocker panel being forced up from the ground. I was able to drive it home though, and since then we've had the bodywork fixed and the paint restored. Barb wire did a number on the paint and wind shield. But it looks better now then before this whole thing had occurred.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 02:14 PM   #11  
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Body fixed, paint restored, and tons of parts searching and work later the car is currently in the final stretch. I got a 4 speed Muncie M21, attached to a rebuilt 455 with a stage 1 cam, Mostly stock build with an aluminum intake manifold ( had to ditch the old one) I have two rebuilt bucket seats, a mostly repoped console, minus the top plate (I had to find a used one and had it re chromed) I have an original Hurst 442 shiftier. we've switched the dash gauge. and are in the process of adapting the inner fenders to fit the W30's ram air scoop option.

I struggled forever to find the correct rods for that Muncie, and because I really wanted the lock out to work, it made things even harder. I bought a set from an earlier 442, and because the lock out didn't exist from 68 back, my first-second rod wasn't correct. It interfered with the diamond reverse lever. I haven't been able to find the right rod, so we managed to find a similare length one (from a Ford believe it or not) and we were able to heat it up and shape it to the correct shape. It looks exactly like the GM rod and it works. I just recently bought the lock out linkage and as you can see in the picture of the Muncie, we have it hooked up. That's a real hard shot to find, it's surprising how little pictures there are out there of this stuff.

Anyway, today's task is to figure out how to hook up the under bumper scoops. I bought them from Parts Place, and of course, they didn't include much for instruction. Quite expensive kit I must say.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 04:45 PM   #12  
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........... and guys that have never done a restoration wonder why it costs so much. Very nice work and remember, it's your car, build it the way YOU want it.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 05:01 PM   #13  
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Sweet car, very nice work.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 05:23 PM   #14  
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Good job, I'll be following, Nice!!
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Old May 16th, 2018, 05:54 PM   #15  
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Well, we managed to get those scoops in place and I think they turned out pretty good, also thanks to everyone showing interest in the project.

So we had a lot of fun fitting things, it was a pretty custom type of kit, there wasn't anything for explanation so I basically went on an image search and did some fitting based on what I saw out there. We made our own custom backing plate for the scoop bracket, to clamp the bracket and scoop together and used pop rivets for the join. Felt better about pop rivets over self tapping screws. And the rest was just a matter of getting the wrench in the right place. For the bolt we machined a squar hole in the inner right metal panel's and used a carriage bolt so as to not interfere with the battery plate on the one side.

And today I went out for a longer speedo cable, and began working on my other drive shaft for the manual. Also played around with the hump a bit to find out where it's gonna go, looks pretty self explanatory.

Thinking on dropping in the engine here tomorrow, hopefully all will go well.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 06:46 PM   #16  
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I think the pop rivets were factory correct. There are some fotos on this site with a set of NOS scoops that I had.
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Old May 17th, 2018, 06:56 PM   #17  
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It went well, though we had to lift the engine facing the opposite way at first do to some space issues with the cherry picker. But we got it in there, one huge step completed.
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Old May 17th, 2018, 08:15 PM   #18  
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Very nice work. When its done, you'll feel a lot of pride.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 09:46 AM   #19  
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Nice work, and sweet car.

I'm actually in the process of fitting OAI scoops to my '68 right now, got my kit from TPP as well. Indeed, not cheap, but what better CAI kit can you get for these cars than what the factory provided?

Keep up the good work, the photos are great!
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Old May 18th, 2018, 06:14 PM   #20  
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Nice work, and sweet car.

I'm actually in the process of fitting OAI scoops to my '68 right now, got my kit from TPP as well. Indeed, not cheap, but what better CAI kit can you get for these cars than what the factory provided?

Keep up the good work, the photos are great!

If you need some help or pictures let me know. We are eventually gonna make a video but it's a bit down the line cause I have a ton of footage I have to weed through.

Last edited by Michael Tolomei; May 18th, 2018 at 07:07 PM.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 06:18 PM   #21  
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Very nice work. When its done, you'll feel a lot of pride.
most definitely!
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Old May 18th, 2018, 06:20 PM   #22  
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Originally Posted by JohnnyBs68S View Post
Nice work, and sweet car.

I'm actually in the process of fitting OAI scoops to my '68 right now, got my kit from TPP as well. Indeed, not cheap, but what better CAI kit can you get for these cars than what the factory provided?

Keep up the good work, the photos are great!
Also your picture reminded me I really need to get some mud flaps. Olds's throw it everywhere!
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Old May 18th, 2018, 06:23 PM   #23  
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Got the shiftier in today!
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Old May 27th, 2018, 11:26 AM   #24  
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Got a console question for you guys watching, so I ordered the brackets that are supposedly for my console and... the front bracket matches the one in this picture, but it's too high, way too high. so I'm wondering if these bracket sales are some sort of fluke, cause it seems like everything I am finding is not matching the actual unit. Also the diagram is pretty terrible, and it's the only one I can find. Anyone have any direction on this or insight?

At this point we might just make a custom bracket, cause like I said I have at least one that matches this picture but it's about 5 or 6 inches tall and it only needs to be about 2 or 3.
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Old May 30th, 2018, 02:15 PM   #25  
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Ok, did some research, came up with nothing, and... made our own modifications, after a lot of refits we got it in. Also as it turns out the exhaust would not fit up to the manifolds with the engine change to a 455 and the Muncie trans change. Since the cross member had to be moved forward, the exhaust needed to be refit to the car. LSS, I've done quite a lot in the last two weeks but it doesn't rally look like it.

Also we had to make our own bracket for the middle, and the console end plate needed a little modification, it didn't quite line up right. I also re-added the deleted courtesy light, seems dumb to offer it for only one year, no reason not to have it so we're putting that in, though we had to make a custom lamp & bracket.
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Old May 30th, 2018, 02:19 PM   #26  
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Here's the before mentioned console light, in 69 it got painted over, I don't see why they did this, there's no reason not to have it, after all this is an OLDSMOBILE, spare no expenses am I right?

Also a pick with one of the Buckets in, and some pics at the muffler shop.
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Old June 8th, 2018, 04:11 PM   #27  
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Got some major progress going on, my rear springs were shot, my front ones are also probably shot, I was able to get the rears for now, fixed that exhaust issue, got everything in and was able to get it running. We went ahead and did the initial break in with the high zinc oil, everything running smooth, there was a little scare, we had the clutch cover/flywheel plate making a racket at first for some reason but we straighten that out. Got the snork on, still gotta set the pipes and clamps in, but at least this engine is looking clean!

And I got a detail I've been missing for years, the wood grain on the glove box, I took some video of break in day, as well as our first drive, which was a little problematic, but it was nothing too bad, problem was that stubborn flywheel cover, I'll post the video links when they finally upload.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 08:49 AM   #28  
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break in day
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Old June 15th, 2018, 08:29 AM   #29  
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That's awesome, well done
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Old June 17th, 2018, 03:03 PM   #30  
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Welp we made it to our first 100 miles. Also look what I found for an amazing price (about 550$). It's in amazing shape but I need to find the center cap now. These are very rare, usually cost more, and if you can find them they usually are pretty beat up.

If anyone knows where I can buy the cap, give me a shout! This would be the one with the wood ring center and red background.
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Old June 23rd, 2018, 10:55 PM   #31  
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Exactly one year ago today, I lost my ride. It was one of the worst days of my life, out on a cruise, enjoying life, people were all driving their rides in a billet proof cruise. I drove out to the country for a quick ride before returning to town, and ended up in a slide trying to avoid a deer.

My car was a near total, and now, exactly one year later, all is right with the world. It's fixed, it's improved, it's not even the same machine anymore, it's a 4 speed, 4 barrel carb, 455, scooped, speed machine with bucket seats, and unlike last year, I gave her a break for the day, and went for a shoot with the guys instead. All is right.
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