Vintage Oldsmobiles Curved Dash, Limited Touring, Models 40, 53, 66; Series 60, 70, 90

1956 88 four door sedan

Old August 28th, 2018, 08:20 PM
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1956 88 four door sedan

Working on manual brakes, cleaned gas tank, topped off rear end, changed engine oil and radiator fluid. Car has been off the road for a good long time. Should the transmission fluid be changed if it looks okay? Believe this is a jetaway (has park position).
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Old August 29th, 2018, 03:05 AM
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You are correct- if it has "park", it's a Jetaway.

You should change the transmission fluid. Section 2-8 of your service manual has the instructions, if you need them.

https://cardiagn.com/lubrication-1956-oldsmobile/
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Old December 21st, 2018, 05:50 AM
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Finally got the brake lines, wheel cylinders and rebuilt master cylinder installed. The one front passenger brake line was not fun. Bench bled master cylinder and will bleed system today. With any luck might take her for a spin.
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Old December 21st, 2018, 10:14 AM
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Good job Chris!

I have a question that's been nagging me for years, but I never thought about asking about it until just now.

How do you access your master cylinder? Here's why I ask: My '56 has factory AC. To get at the master cylinder, I have to take off the left front wheel and remove an access panel on the rear of the wheel well and reach in to get the dipstick out. I can't even see the master cylinder from the engine compartment because the AC blower and evaporator unit are in the way.

I've often wondered if all '56's were like that, or if this access panel is unique to factory AC cars.

Inquiring minds want to know!!
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Old December 21st, 2018, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ignachuck View Post
Good job Chris!

I have a question that's been nagging me for years, but I never thought about asking about it until just now.

How do you access your master cylinder? Here's why I ask: My '56 has factory AC. To get at the master cylinder, I have to take off the left front wheel and remove an access panel on the rear of the wheel well and reach in to get the dipstick out. I can't even see the master cylinder from the engine compartment because the AC blower and evaporator unit are in the way.

I've often wondered if all '56's were like that, or if this access panel is unique to factory AC cars.

Inquiring minds want to know!!
My 88 is non power brakes, access is from underneath, no dipstick. Just a screw on cap right on the master cylinder, just enough room to fill it.
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Old December 21st, 2018, 04:32 PM
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Did get the leaks fixed in all the new connections, two lines split off the front of master with one line to a front splitter near driver side wheel and one to rear splitter at rear axle. Got brakes bled but got dark outside, didn't want to take first spin at night.

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Old December 22nd, 2018, 05:31 PM
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Took rocket for her first ride, brakes work good, speedo, lights and turn signals work. Next up a tune up, put ethanol free gas in her, doesn't like it.
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 05:30 AM
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She looks like she is in very nice shape.
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 03:03 PM
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Thanks Nick, she got a bit of rust, definitely need bumpers.
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Old January 1st, 2019, 06:49 AM
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Sludge in oil canister.

Had some time, so decided to install spin on oil filter adapter, no filter in canister on engine but a lot of sludge. Engine has an add on oil filter that is mounted under the hood on passenger wheel well. Have the adapter installed and used permatex on gasket. Now need to remove upper filter housing and the upper line that connects by the water pump. Concerned about the amount of sludge in lower canister, when I changed the oil the first time, oil was dirty but did not notice any sludge come out. Is it okay to use a detergent oil in this engine, used 10w-30 the first time. Engine runs good and quiet after fixing minor vacuum leak.
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Old January 1st, 2019, 08:53 AM
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I use detergent type oil in my 55 with no problems for years but you may have a issue with sludge build up in the upper end that will stay gummed up even if you change your oil regularly. It may not hurt to pull a valve cover and see what it looks like before you run a bunch of miles on it...... Tedd
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Old January 1st, 2019, 03:31 PM
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Thanks Tedd for your reply. Removed remote oil filter today, the return hose was pretty much plugged up. Pulled oil pan drain plug, drained the oil after warming it up. Warmed up the pan and fished a wire up into pan and pulled out more sludge. Draining the pan overnight. If any one wants the remote oil filter setup let me know, will need new lines.
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Old January 1st, 2019, 04:30 PM
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If you plan on a short low RPM run it may suffice to add a quart of ATF to your next oil change and only run it a few miles before changing. You will be surprised at what will drain out of gunked up engine.

I always wonder why the previous owners go to all the trouble and expense to add something that isn't as good as what came from the factory..... Tedd
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Old January 1st, 2019, 05:43 PM
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Your right about add on filter, car was found in a garage in 2014 and had not been touched since 1975. Have paperwork on the car back to the first oil change. Car was purchased in Flint MI. on may 24 1956 and driven to your state of California. Paperwork shows first oil change in CA. on 7-5-56 at Tom Ballard Olds in Reseda. Never had a car with such extensive paperwork. Will pull the valve covers and take a peek. Maybe after cleaning out top of heads I will try running some ATF. Love the picture of your "daughter" sitting in the convertible.

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Old January 2nd, 2019, 04:38 PM
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Original invoice for car shows $9.60 for oil filter. Had to take another shot at oil filter adapter, dripped oil. Made a gasket out of cork and used form a gasket liberally this time.
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Old January 3rd, 2019, 06:52 PM
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Ah, the lady is young enough to be my grand daughter but no relation. She was a model who came with a photographer when my car was used for a photo shoot...... Tedd
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Old January 5th, 2019, 04:29 AM
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Gave up on the spin on oil filter adapter, after several attempts, even made a cork gasket, it drips. Instructions state to use RTV with the gasket but to leave attaching bolt an 1/8th of a turn loose for 24 hrs and then snug. Tried assembling with everything snugged up, drips. Sent email to guy selling this adapter on feebay and no response. Got a WIX canister filter and assembled with no leaks first try.
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Old January 5th, 2019, 03:35 PM
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X2 Tedd, AFT is high detergent oil, used that technique many years ago on a 330 before I changed the oil....
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Old January 6th, 2019, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by classicmuscle.442 View Post
Gave up on the spin on oil filter adapter, after several attempts, even made a cork gasket, it drips. Instructions state to use RTV with the gasket but to leave attaching bolt an 1/8th of a turn loose for 24 hrs and then snug. Tried assembling with everything snugged up, drips. Sent email to guy selling this adapter on feebay and no response. Got a WIX canister filter and assembled with no leaks first try.
Chris, the oil filter was not standard on that engine to begin with. It was a $10. option. Mine came with that option and I got fancy a couple of years ago and installed a spin on adapter like you did. I couldn't get it stop leaking either. After several attempts, I went back to the canister. Hasn't leaked since.
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Old January 6th, 2019, 04:37 AM
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In case you're interested, here is the option list for a 56:

Powertrain Options -
  • Eighty-Eights and Super Eighty-Eights came standard with a three-speed column-shifted manual transmission.
  • A 230 horsepower version of the Rocket 88 as standard on Eighty-Eight models.
  • The 240 horsepower Rocket engine was standard on the Super 88 and 98 and an option on the 88 ($25).
  • Heavy duty air cleaner ($6)
  • Oil filter ($10)
  • The "Jetaway" Hydra-Matic was standard equipment on Ninety-Eight models and a $190 option on other models.
  • The Hydra-Matic Super Drive was still available and a $175 option on either of the Eighty-Eight series.
  • A special heavy duty 3-speed manual transmission, clutch cover and propeller shaft was offered only on Lansing built cars ($25).

Significant Options -
  • Air conditioning ($400).
  • Autronic eye ($46).
  • Backup lights ($13).
  • Cadet visor ($33).
  • DeLuxe heater and defroster ($77).
  • DeLuxe horn ($10).
  • DeLuxe steering wheel and horn ring ($13).
  • DeLuxe wheel discs ($28).
  • Dual exhaust ($38).
  • Electric 6-way seat ($86).
  • Electric antenna ($21).
  • Electric clock ($18).
  • Electric windows ($90)
  • Exhaust extension ($2).
  • Front courtesy lights ($4).
  • Padded dash ($18).
  • Parking brake signal light ($5)
  • Power brakes ($37).
  • Power steering ($100).
  • Radio, DeLuxe 6-tube pushbutton ($96).
  • Radio, Super DeLuxe 8-tube signal seeking ($121).
  • Rear speaker ($14).
  • Tinted glass ($30).
  • Whitewall tires ($33).
  • Windshield washer ($10).
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Old January 8th, 2019, 05:47 PM
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Did a tune up on motor, dwell was way off, amazed it ran, two plugs were black, traced to distributor cap and set the timing. Minor carb adjustment and was running great, then started backfiring, ran it out of gas. Filled it was some ethanol free gas and she starts easily, runs good. Next project is to replace leaking radiator and lower hose out of the 98 parts car. Have the original statement of motor vehicle sale from May 24 1956. Jetaway trans 190, heater 77, deluxe radio 96, windshield washers 10.50, deluxe steering wheel 13.25, oil filter 9.60, exhaust extension 1.75 and special tutone paint 25. Under the equipment and accessories it list undercoat 25 and gas and polish 15.50. Under remarks it list discount of 627.34 .
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Old May 13th, 2019, 12:42 PM
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Have put a few miles on car, changed radiator and flushed with water three times. Very dirty water, put some flush in system and will run for a little while. Next on to the transmission, it shift good but am heading suggestions and having fluid/filter change. The question is what type of fluid to use? Is Dextron III a good choice?
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Old May 13th, 2019, 01:15 PM
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I had one of those oil filter adapters somebody had put on my 54. They had put epoxy or JB Weld around it to try and stop it from leaking. It didn't leak, it poured. I put an adapter from a later 394 that was made for a spin filter. While I was at it I installed a pressure switch for my electric fuel pump so if I lose oil pressure the fuel pump will quit. No more leaking. If anybody is interested I have an extra later model adapter. I don't know why I bought two of them. I have already soaked it in carb cleaner. If anybody wants it I would let it go for what I paid for it which I thing was about $40 plus shipping. I would even make you a new gasket.
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Old May 13th, 2019, 07:32 PM
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Dextron 111 or later is the go to ATF for the Slim Jim or Jetaway. I'm not sure you can find Dextron 111 any more but any of the later Dextron numbered products are all compatible with each other and work the same..... Tedd
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Old May 14th, 2019, 05:45 PM
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Thanks for the reply Ted, will see what I can locate in the dextron brand.
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Old May 24th, 2019, 08:27 PM
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Picked up a good used bumper, paid $500 and it has a big dent in it that seller "forgot about". Did not show in pictures he sent. Hour and fifteen minute drive.
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Old May 26th, 2019, 05:26 PM
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Not perfect bumper but a lot better that what I had.
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Old May 26th, 2019, 05:30 PM
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Figured out it is a Super 88-98 bumper, it has provisions for exhaust tips.
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Old May 27th, 2019, 04:42 PM
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Yep, those indentations were for the chrome exhaust tips. The exhaust pipes never did actually come out of those tips by the way. They were just ornamental.
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Old May 28th, 2019, 07:27 AM
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A good chrome shop could probably take out much of that dent. It would really **** me off to drive that many miles and find out that the bumper was dented that bad..... Tedd
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Old May 28th, 2019, 07:46 AM
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Thanks for reply's, now have to find some of the exhaust tips. Was trying to figure out how they would have run the exhaust to them, especially on the pass side.
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Old May 28th, 2019, 11:28 AM
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Chris: What do you mean by return line?
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Old May 28th, 2019, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by classicmuscle.442 View Post
Thanks for reply's, now have to find some of the exhaust tips. Was trying to figure out how they would have run the exhaust to them, especially on the pass side.

Chris, Fusick has them:

http://www.fusickautomotiveproducts....es/568623P.jpg

The actual exhaust came out under each one or just to the sides.
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Old May 28th, 2019, 07:10 PM
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Is your car setup for duels? I've never had a 56 so this is speculation but maybe a regular 88 isn't cut for the left hand side exhaust to go through the frame and exit down the frame rail. Though I can't imagine Oldsmobile not cutting all the frames the same..... Just a thought.... Tedd
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Old May 28th, 2019, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tricordati View Post
Chris: What do you mean by return line?
Don't follow?
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Old May 28th, 2019, 07:23 PM
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Ted, will look for holes thru frame on drivers side next time it's on lift. Mine is just single on pass side. When I get ready to tear apart the 56 98 I will check that frame too, but I believe they came with duals.
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Old May 28th, 2019, 07:25 PM
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Thanks Frank for the tip on the tips.
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Old May 29th, 2019, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by classicmuscle.442 View Post
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Chris: In your post of January 1st, you referenced that you removed the oil filter and the return hose was plugged-up. What is the return hose?
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Old May 29th, 2019, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by classicmuscle.442 View Post
Ted, will look for holes thru frame on drivers side next time it's on lift. Mine is just single on pass side. When I get ready to tear apart the 56 98 I will check that frame too, but I believe they came with duals.
Chris, if you go up there^^^ to "search" and type in 1956 Dual Exhaust you will find several educational threads on the subject.
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Old May 30th, 2019, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by tricordati View Post
Chris: In your post of January 1st, you referenced that you removed the oil filter and the return hose was plugged-up. What is the return hose?
Yes, it was a remote oil filter that was mounted on the passenger inner fender. One line was hooked to stock oil filter housing and the other to a small port on front of block by water pump. Both lines were plugged with sludge.
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