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Just dragged her out of a 20 year hibernation!

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

Just dragged her out of a 20 year hibernation!

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Old August 26th, 2017, 08:46 AM
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Just dragged her out of a 20 year hibernation!

Pulled my car apart 20 years ago to modify the frame, and one thing led to another, finally got the frame done! Now it's time to start on the body. It has a bit of rust, but no major rot that I can see yet. I know the rockers are in need of repair, but I knew that when I took it apart. It's been in a tarp shed to keep most of the weather off, so just a quick bath to clean it up before I can get some friends over to help put it on the frame. Anyway, here's a few pics for starters.
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Old August 26th, 2017, 09:23 AM
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Is that a Corvette front end? Looks like a fun project.
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Old August 26th, 2017, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by oldcutlass View Post
Is that a Corvette front end? Looks like a fun project.
It sure is, good eye!
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Old August 26th, 2017, 03:36 PM
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That cleaned up really nice. Looks like a very solid body.
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Old August 26th, 2017, 03:46 PM
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The body is fairly solid. Hopefully I don't find much hidden rust. Once I get it off the trailer I can assess the floors and see what I'm looking at for repairs.
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Old August 26th, 2017, 03:53 PM
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If it was stored off the ground or weeds it should be pretty decent. I looked at the enlarged pics of it and it shows nicely. I bet it will be nice underneath. IMO the amount of surface rust under the chrome trim is a good hint at what you'll find below.
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Old August 26th, 2017, 04:56 PM
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It was never stored on the ground. It was on that trailer since I disassembled the car, so I'm hoping the floors are ok. I know the rockers are bad, but they were bad to bigin with. There is some bondo on it, but I don't know how much of it there is under the paint! Hope not too much!
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Old August 26th, 2017, 05:36 PM
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Another piece of automotive history being saved... What's the plan for the drive train???
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Old August 26th, 2017, 07:38 PM
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My Turn To Watch Your Progress

[QUOTE=Sporty45;1039088]Pulled my car apart 20 years ago to modify the frame, and one thing led to another, finally got the frame done! Now it's time to start on the body. It has a bit of rust, but no major rot that I can see yet. I know the rockers are in need of repair, but I knew that when I took it apart. It's been in a tarp shed to keep most of the weather off, so just a quick bath to clean it up before I can get some friends over to help put it on the frame....

Dennis, Must feel great to get going after a bit of a layoff. Congratulations and keep us all up to date with progress reports and lots of photos. I'm really anxious to see it come together.
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Old August 27th, 2017, 03:44 AM
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John, the plan, for now, is an Olds 350 with a 2004R tranny. I'm thinking down the road to go with a 455, but the 350 will do for now.

Jerry, it does feel great to finally get around to putting some serious time in to this again! I'll take pics as soon as there is something more to show.
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Old August 27th, 2017, 09:45 AM
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Looks good ! Time flies, doesn't it ?
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Old August 27th, 2017, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by okie88 View Post
Time flies, doesn't it ?
Does it ever!
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Old November 26th, 2017, 01:23 PM
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A little progress

Well, I got the body on to a dolly and into the garage. Started doing a cleaning on the interior to see what I'm in for. Looks like the rockers are toast, as I expected, and the floors need some repair, but overall not too bad. The rockers I can get from Chevs of the 40's for a chevy coupe, which I'm pretty sure are the same as the Olds. They also have floor pans, but I can't really tell from the picture if the floor is the same as the Olds. It looks similar, but the rise in mine for the seat mounts looks much higher than the one in their picture. Anybody know if they are the same, or at least close? I can modify it if it's not too far off, but I don't want to have to rework the whole thing! Next up was the trunk floor, and that looks pretty decent, so not much to fix there. I'm going trim the rotted stuff off while I'm deciding if I am going to order floor pans or not. Here's a few pics of it as of now.









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Old November 26th, 2017, 07:11 PM
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Hi Dennis, Good to see you got it inside and set up to work on body. You are correct that some GM cars 46-48 shared major body parts. Your 47 Coupe is an "A" Body which was shared by Chevy Stylemaster and Fleetmaster, Pontiac 25 and 27 coupes and sedans and Olds 60 series. As near as I can tell that includes floor and trunk pans including the rockers.
A very good source is the Body Manual Service and Constructon by Fisher Body Service Division for 1946-1948. I couldn't find a used original so purchased mine from Faxon Auto Literature: www.faxonautolit.com Ph 1-800-458-2734. I used it and I used my Hollander Interchange Manual 16th Edition. I think the latter has been discontinued and and collapsed into an edition that covers lots more older cars. If you can find the 16th Edition on Ebay or some internet book seller it is a treasure. Hollander Publishing Company Inc. in Minnetonka Minnesota. Some body part interchanges are covered in that 16th edition.

Keep us up on your progress with reports and photos. Its always fun to follow along.
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Old November 27th, 2017, 04:34 PM
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Jerry, I have the body manual, but don't have the Hollander interchange manual. I have found the Hollander on ebay, but the only one there looks pretty ratty, plus they want $60 for it. I'll keep my eyes open for one. I'm sure they come up from time to time.

I ordered the rockers today from Chevs of the 40's. $685 for the pair, delivered. They certainly are proud of their sheet metal!
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Old March 4th, 2018, 01:43 PM
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Just a little update. Nothing done on the car due to cold winter temps, but I have been getting some things ready. I've purchased a bunch of sheet metal in 18 gauge for the floors and 20 gauge for body work. Plus I got myself a bead roller from Woodward Fab. I've been working on motorizing it with a treadmill motor and speed controller. These things are great sources for DC motors, and you can find 'em cheap, if not free, on craigslist all the time. You can control the speed, and they are reversible too. Had to buy a couple sprockets and some chain, but still way cheaper than buying a ready made motorized machine. Also, I made up a set of tipping dies for it today, so I'm just about ready to start making floors for my car! Here's a few pics of my upgraded bead roller with the new tipping dies on it. As you can see, I also strengthened it with some heavy wall square tubing.








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Old March 4th, 2018, 03:26 PM
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Bead roller looks cool, how do you control it? Foot pedal?
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Old March 4th, 2018, 03:54 PM
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It's not completed just yet. Still have to mount the motor controller and switches. I do have a foot control I can use, but probably won't, unless I get a different motor controller. The ones that come with treadmills have a soft start feature that slows the ramp up to speed and slowing down. I am just going to use a 10K potentiometer for now. Just set the speed I want and go. If I'm not happy with it that way, then I will probably buy a different type of controller. Time will tell. Hopefully I will have it running enough to try it out tomorrow. I'll take more pics when it's done.
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Old March 20th, 2018, 07:35 AM
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Great project, I still think the 40's were the best style years.
A little advice from a 455 owner...stick with the 350, the 455 has overheat issues. It is a very hot running engine, unlike the 350. The only advantage to the 455 is the torque, to me not worth the overheat issues of the 455.
Keep posting the progress pictures.......
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Old March 20th, 2018, 01:32 PM
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OK, got a little time to work in the garage, and the temps weren't too bad. I decided to start looking at the trunk floor because it isn't in too bad of shape. There are a couple of small holes through, and some heavy pitting in areas, but nothing that can't be patched up. It will be a good place to start and practice with my new bead roller! While I was looking at the trunk, I kind of strayed off to the rear corners of the body. They were showing evidence of previous damage so I dug in with my wire wheel to see what was under the paint. Good lord, was I surprised to see the mess! Very bad prior repair, with bondo up to a 1/4" thick!!! I hope this is the worst of the bad body work, I really don't need the aggravation! Anyway, here are a few pics to show the damage. If you look closely, you can see where I ground into the bondo and how thick it is. Glad the trunk isn't in too bad of shape, though.
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Old March 20th, 2018, 03:56 PM
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I'd rather make a new trunk floor than grind off all the paint and Bondo. I don't envy you that nasty task or working the metal back into shape where a correct job can be done to the panel. Given what you found I'm guessing you are going to take all body panels down to bare metal.

You lucked out on the trunk floor in comparison. a bit of hole re4pair and a coat or two of POR15 on the inside of trunk.

Body work was definitely not my favorite part of the project.
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Old March 20th, 2018, 04:17 PM
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I wasn't very happy to see all the old bondo on it, that's for sure Jerry! I am taking it down to bare metal. I plan on doing one or two panels at a time, but eventually the whole car will get stripped. I don't usually mind doing body work, but hate when I run into crap like this. It kind of takes the wind out of your sails to find out how much extra work you have to do because someone hacked up the job to begin with. At least with the rocker panels I knew what I was in for!
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Old August 5th, 2018, 02:02 PM
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So I've gotten the trunk floor done and moved on to the rockers and floorboards. It's been tedious work as I had to fabricate all the floor pieces, and I'm not the best at doing fabrication. My bead roller helped a lot though! Fortunately you can get rockers from Chevs of the 40's and they are an exact fit. as well as some other sheetmetal that fits, like the lower rear panel between the door and wheel opening. Anyway, here's a bunch of pics from what I've been up to most of the summer. Obviously there are a bunch of shots during fabrication, but I am just giving a quick overview here for now. I will post up more if there are any questions about how I did things. I still have to figure out floor braces, as the ones from Chevs of the 40's are not the same as Olds braces. Once I get that figured out I'll post up the pics.
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Old August 5th, 2018, 02:48 PM
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Dennis, you are a wonder orf determination and a pretty good fabricator. The pics look really good, particularly the painted trunk area. Congratulations on a great progress report. The pics really help visualize what's been happening.
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Old August 5th, 2018, 04:07 PM
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Thanks Jerry. It's slow going, and sometimes I get tired of working on it, but I'm determined to get the floors finished and the body back on the frame before summer is over. Seems like every time I think I have an area done, I find more rust to cut out and fix. Like these lower front cowl sections. I thought they were pretty solid, but they were rotted and needed to be fixed.

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Old August 5th, 2018, 07:04 PM
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Amazing workmanship! It's always nice to have a template that you can mirror from side to side. This car owes you its life and will be a show piece when it's done.
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Old August 6th, 2018, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
Amazing workmanship! It's always nice to have a template that you can mirror from side to side. This car owes you its life and will be a show piece when it's done.
Thanks! Lots more work to do, but taking today off. Supposed to be 95 degrees here today
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Old August 6th, 2018, 08:50 AM
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Excellent workmanship! Thanks for posting the pictures! You are showing great progress.

My '46 project is on hold due to a move. Now I'm waiting for the floor to be poured in my new shop. Once that's done then I can move my shop things out of my wife's horse barn and get back to my projects.
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Old August 6th, 2018, 12:33 PM
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I'm really pleased to see some life in the 40s Oldsmobile owners after a long dry spell. I thought it had dropped off the edge of a flat earth There is a 46-48 Olds thread and it would help give continuity to all the things posted on these cars/projects to post there. At one point about a year or so ago there were about 20 1940s owners posting to that thread on a regular basis.

I'm going to plead guilty to not posting enough regarding the '47 Convertible but most of the last year or more has been going to my shop and cleaning up the inevitable "Why isn't this working the way its supposed to?" kinds of things. Not real newsworthy. Some I have given up on fixing on my own and taken to specialists because I lacked the know-how or patience. Yeah, it costs some money and it really hurts a charter member of the DIY club to admit you're sometimes better off handing it over to someone with professional skills.
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Old August 6th, 2018, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ncolz View Post
Excellent workmanship! Thanks for posting the pictures! You are showing great progress.

My '46 project is on hold due to a move. Now I'm waiting for the floor to be poured in my new shop. Once that's done then I can move my shop things out of my wife's horse barn and get back to my projects.
Thanks! And once that floor is done you'll be right back at that 46!
Originally Posted by 47 Convertible View Post
I'm really pleased to see some life in the 40s Oldsmobile owners after a long dry spell. I thought it had dropped off the edge of a flat earth There is a 46-48 Olds thread and it would help give continuity to all the things posted on these cars/projects to post there. At one point about a year or so ago there were about 20 1940s owners posting to that thread on a regular basis.

I'm going to plead guilty to not posting enough regarding the '47 Convertible but most of the last year or more has been going to my shop and cleaning up the inevitable "Why isn't this working the way its supposed to?" kinds of things. Not real newsworthy. Some I have given up on fixing on my own and taken to specialists because I lacked the know-how or patience. Yeah, it costs some money and it really hurts a charter member of the DIY club to admit you're sometimes better off handing it over to someone with professional skills.
Jerry, you're right, I probably should have started this off in the 46-48 thread. I know that thread has died down now, but it is still loaded with excellent info. Just need to do some digging to find what you need. I'll keep this thread going and throw a pic or two up on that one every so often to keep interest in it going. I know I'm guilty of not posting there lately, plus I miss some of the others that I was watching. Like Jenny, she has a coupe she was turning into a gasser and I was fascinated with it. Hope one day she comes back and updates us on her project.

And I hear you on the DIY club thing. It does hurt when you just have to bring it to somebody else to work on, doesn't it? I've been down that road a time or two!
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Old October 7th, 2018, 04:12 PM
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Well, got a bit more done recently. Floor is finished and firewall has been cleaned up. Took 71 years of grease and grime and old paint off the firewall and did some repairs to the cowl supports as they were a little rotted here and there. Now I need to pick a color so I can finish painting the firewall before putting the body back on the frame!
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Old October 7th, 2018, 05:10 PM
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Fantastic craftsmanship! Well done!
I wish I could do that sort of work; that car will be a work of art when you're finished! Wow!
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Old October 7th, 2018, 08:21 PM
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Smart Move Painting Firewall First

Originally Posted by Sporty45 View Post
. Now I need to pick a color so I can finish painting the firewall before putting the body back on the frame!
Smart move to pick color and paint firewall and cowl before bolting to frame, suspension, engine install etc. About impossible to do it right later. The only downside I see is that you sweat bullets to not chip or scratch as you go about the rest of the assembling. I didn't think of it at the time but a trip to Goodwill store would have turned up an inexpensive, used bedspread I could have taped over firewall while shoe horning engine into place.

An additional and important advantage is that its the first opportunity to get color on a large enough area so you can see if its really what you thought. Paint samples just can't do that. I picked a shade of dark green for my 47 and had it sprayed on firewall for the reasons stated above. When it was rolled outside in sunshine I knew immediately it wasn't dark enough. Back to the color cards and this time got it right with Jaguar Dark British Racing Green. Who knew there was a regular Jaguar BRG and a Jaguar Dark BRG?

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Old October 10th, 2018, 04:29 PM
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OK, so I picked a color! It's a 2006 Porsche color called Carmon Red Metallic, code M3W/E4
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Old October 10th, 2018, 05:35 PM
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Gorgeous color!
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Old October 10th, 2018, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Sporty45 View Post
OK, so I picked a color! It's a 2006 Porsche color called Carmon Red Metallic, code M3W/E4
Dennis, that's a nice rich red. Good pick. Did you shoot it yourself? When mine was shot they did the firewall and then the door jambs and anything else inside that needed to be the body color.
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Old October 11th, 2018, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by 47 Convertible View Post
Dennis, that's a nice rich red. Good pick. Did you shoot it yourself? When mine was shot they did the firewall and then the door jambs and anything else inside that needed to be the body color.
Jerry
Yes Jerry, I shot it myself. I've been doing body and paint work as a sideline since the early 90's. The door jambs and interior painting will get done before final exterior paint too. Right now I just want to get the bottom of the floors cleaned and painted, and the body back on the frame before winter. Next year I will start on the rest of the body work.
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