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Old 05-11-2011, 09:50 PM   #26
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Thanks Chuck. Coming from you I consider that quite a compliment.

I stopped off after work tonight and for a little over $100 I bought oil, filter, tranny fluid & gasket, battery hold down bracket (new battery is just sitting up there, nothing holding it), four cans of Duplicolor Self Etching Primer (all they had) and some VHT silver for the valve covers in my upcoming El Cheapo "Krylon Rebuild". The engine runs so good but looks SO bad. Anyone have a GOOD product for painting those gnarly headers? I'd like silver ala ceramic coating (but I'm too cheap) but I can do with BBQ black.

Also have to pop off the wheels and take a look at the brakes. LOTS of pedal but all that means is they've been adjusted up. I want to see if the wheel bearings have been updated too.

I can't recall if I mentioned it above but I have a new-to-me Hobart 140 MIG welder (that I don't know how to use) and I have that kick panel to repair. Since that's a hardly noticeable area after its repaired, I think its a marriage made in Heaven! I don't have the bottle/gas, mask, gloves or leathers yet (Harbor Freight anyone?) but I'll get to that soon.

If I get better while doing the kick panel I'll take on the passenger cab corner, a couple misc holes in the bed rails, and if I REALLY get good (yeah, right) I'll make a run at those dash holes.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:11 AM   #27
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Dan-
The more I look at that truck the more I like it. You've got a solid, driving runner and I'm jealous. The vehicles that I have had the most fun with were the ones that were runners, but needed a little TLC. It seems like every little thing you do makes a huge difference. It makes it fun.

When I said "flush", I meant just a simple drain/filter/re-fill. I would suggest a new set of valve cover gaskets before you do the engine paint work. For de-greasing, I have had great luck with Purple Power, which is super cheap and sold at Walmart. I use it at 100% strength for heavy de-greasing. As far as a coating for the headers there are many options, but you have to ensure that the headers are clean (preferably sandblasted). I like the look of a gray/silver header, but have had great luck with an exhaust paint (black) that Honda sells at their motorcycle shops. You have to weight the cost of sandblasting versus the cost of a new set. Take a good look at the current headers you have. They might be cheapies, so spending a lot of time and money on them might be a bad deal. The beauty of a small block Chevy is that parts are easy to find, and even though there are many different applications of headers, 80% of them look identical. You might find a brand new set on Craigslist for cheap.

The rust repair inside the cab is a great place to learn how to use the MIG. As far as the dash, you can buy a repair panel and weld in new sections, but that means you will have to re-paint the dash. Maybe you can check the hardware section at Lowes or Home Depot for escutchions that you can use that will cover the holes temporarily. Maybe a large beveled washer coupled with a thin aluminum faceplate? You never know until you look.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:14 PM   #28
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Excellent suggestions one and all Chevyrestoguy, thanks. Especially the Honda motorcycle paint. I'll definitely check that out. I have also read here a few times that guys use BBQ paint and it holds up.

Today I took a "mental health day" and played with my toy all day. I changed the oil & filter, dropped the tranny pan and cleaned the screen. Excellent news, the inside was pristinely clean. Fluid was still red and clear. No particles in the screen. Minor sludge at the bottom of the pan. Of course I washed all that out.

I also pulled the tailgate - Man, that gate is arrow straight. only two extremely minor dents, hardly noticeable at all. I can't believe its 55 years old! Feather out all the chips in the paint and got rid of the minor surface rust. I have pictures of all this but don't have my cord so I can't download the pic's til tomorrow. I still need to drain/fill the the rearend. Anyone know how much fluid it takes for a Chevy 10 bolt? I'm planning on using Castrol 90 wt, unless someone thinks there's a good reason to go with something else?
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:44 AM   #29
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

My radio panel looked like that when I started, except it had square cuts. I welded in patch pieces between the oval and round holes then build up the raised parts with weld. Grind, weld repeat until close. I then used JB weld to fill in the inperfections, filed, grind, repeat. final dab of rage,sand and here is how it turned out. You can buy the whole panel put I don't think there was as much work in fixing what was there.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:55 AM   #30
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Dan-
The 10 & 12 bolt rears are a real simple deal to service. You'll have to pull the rear cover, which is messy and stinky. Take a good look at everything inside, give the bottom of the housing and the backside of the cover a good wipe to get any of the big chunks of dirt and grit out, and install the cover and gasket with a light coat of silicone. On the front side of the snout, passenger side, you will see a pipe plug. That's your fill port. Fill the rear end until the gear oil is level to the bottom of the hole, and you're done. It usually takes about 2.5 quarts of fill it up.

One thing to remember. If your rear end is a posi, you'll need the gear oil that's specific for a posi. Once you get the cover off, you'll know if it's a posi or not. A posi will have clutch packs on each side of the carrier.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:07 PM   #31
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Thanks Chevyrestoguy and Orrie G for the good advice but also for sharing my enjoyment of this rattletrap! I like to think that if we lived down the block from each other we'd be talking over the same stuff standing in one of our driveways over beers.

It's amazing to me that no one at an auto parts store can tell you the capacity on a 350TH or a 10 bolt rearend. They're pretty young for the most part but I know there ARE young guys/girls who like & know cars. Apparently they just don't hire 'em. As you'll see below, if you tell them you don't know what make/model/year the tranny came out of its like asking a monkey to do a math problem. See the pan gasket I got from the (probably) 19 year old woman at the counter. I ended up at the good old reliable greasy independent parts house for the right one.

Pan vs. Gasket from Pep Boys. What's wrong with THIS picture?


Tranny appears to be sano, fluid is clear-red, sediment is minimal and normal (I think) Opinions?


EDIT: I'd better add this pic to let you know I clean out that pan and hammered out the crease in it


Front brakes are mildy worn. Last brake job was pro or experienced or would'nt have the white moly grease where it should be and certainly would'nt have brand new adjustment hole rubber plugs. Note 5 lug hubs are not drilled old 6 lug hubs. A late 80's "update" while keeping drum brakes


Fun stuff. My tailgate is nearly pristine even after 56 years!! two barely noticeable dings, zero cancer. Feathered out and painted Duplicolor Etching Primer.

Before:

In Process:

After:


Last edited by Dan in Pasadena; 05-13-2011 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:03 PM   #32
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Dan in Pasadena
Looks like it's shaping up nicely.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #33
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Yup, I really enjoy noodling around with this thing. Probably inudating the board with too many photo's...but that'lll pass...probably

Going to look at some CL tires this afternoon. Soon as I find some and mount my vintage Torque Thrusts the truck will look hella better...at least to me!
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:28 PM   #34
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Oops, Forgot a couple things.

The tailgate on this truck looked so pristine after I painted it I could'nt bring myself to leave it completely unprotected by taking off that monstrosity of a bumper as I'd planned. So I took off the giant angle iron that was going to kill my shin eventually and tossed it. A fast and dirty sand and spray job sorta/kinda improves the look back there. The 20 some holes lightens the weight

Bumper Before:

Closeup:

After:


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Old 05-13-2011, 09:06 PM   #35
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

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sorry, but $4800 seems steep to me...
hey man - I want to clarify my comment. I in no means meant anything negative about your purchase. You obviously love you're truck and that makes the price worth it. Enjoy you're project!!
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:07 PM   #36
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

You got lucky with that tailgate for sure. Looks way cleaner with the "new" bumper.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:47 PM   #37
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Keep the pictures coming....the more the marrier!
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:17 AM   #38
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

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hey man - I want to clarify my comment. I in no means meant anything negative about your purchase. You obviously love you're truck and that makes the price worth it. Enjoy you're project!!
Mr. Tucker, We are TOTALLY cool. I've got zero problem with anyone's opinion or information about what trucks are availabe in other parts of the country. In fact I like knowing what's out there. Yes, I'm loving this truck. It's lust I suppose but I've wanted this exact truck - '55, SWB, big window, mildly built 283, auto, 5 lugs and little to no rust - for SO long that getting it is truly sweet for me.

Unfortunately guys, more pictures ARE coming. I just like keeping a running record of my progress so I can later come back and see in an organized way how far I've (it) has come. Tomorrow? I'm mounting my "new" vintage 15x7 early Torque Thrust mags! I'll definitely be posting about those over 15x10 slot mags on it now.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:52 AM   #39
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

That price is GREAT if you ask me. Here in Florida it is almost impossible to find a truck. Let alone with a V8 and 10 bolt rear. Way to go, drive the wheels off it.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:54 AM   #40
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Keep'em coming Dan!
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:58 PM   #41
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Ok you guys, I got the 15x7 vintage Torque Thrusts mounted today. Since this will be a weekend, Home Depot driver for a while so I bought used, but excellent tires from CL. I was looking for 235/70's and ended up with 237/75's. A bit taller (1/2") than the 70's but honeslty on this truck, at stock height it looks fine. It looks like an old guy's truck...which it IS!

Daughter borrowed my camera but I'll have it back tomorow and will post. I still have to find the small machine screws to put the center caps on anyway. They're cool "SoCal Speed Shop" caps from back in the day.

STARTER PROBLEM: The PO told me I'd sometimes have to hit the starter solenoid with a screwdriver(!) when the truck is hot. It happened today but luckily I was at a friend's house so I just hung out til it cooled. When the starter works, it works fine. No grinding, nothing. So I'm wondering if it needs a new starter or if I should just buy a replacement solenoid? What are your opinions? Yes, I know & agree about "while you're in there" - but its about $65-70 at NAPA vs $16-18 for just the solenoid. Frankly, I can use the $50 difference for other things on the truck right now. Like new plugs & wires, etc.

Also, does anyone have any experience with upgrading an old points type distributor to an electronic via the Pertronix kit? Advice appreciated.

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Old 05-15-2011, 09:21 PM   #42
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

sweet!
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:59 PM   #43
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

I promised photos ... and my daughter hasn't made it over with my camera (surprising, huh?) SO here are some admittedly terrrible cell phone pix so at least you can kinda see what I was up to this weekend.

$40 to dismount the tires from the F150 rims they came on, mount, balance and remove replace existing slots on it. Oh, and repair one screw hole I hadn't noticed when I bought the tires. I also bought a set of chrome lug nuts with locks from Pep Boys for I think $27 so I don't feel I'm in it for too much. To you younger guys, yes the sidewalls are tall and the truck needs to be lowered. But for a driver I'm liking the tire-to-wheel well distance in the rear and in the front if I can at least cut in half the distacne from the top of tire to the wheel well I'll be happy for awhile. Anyway, I'm so happ to have matching, safe rubber on it that is balanced and hold air! The ride back on the freeway felt like a Lexus compared to the ride over!!





I was told these are original SoCal Speed Shop caps from back in the day, BEFORE the shop was resurrected as it is now. ANyway, I like them alot.

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Old 05-16-2011, 12:00 AM   #44
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Nice looking wheels.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:58 AM   #45
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

SUPER COOL truck. Glad to see you are Driving it and did not tear it apart. Enjoy it. This is a truck most people will look at and say Why don't I have one of these?
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:23 AM   #46
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

I like it!
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:04 AM   #47
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

I installed a Petronix magnetic pick up on a Model A coupe with SBC (Since Sold), cost was $80 dollars was real easy there was no modification to distributor. All you do shim distance from cam lobe to mag pick up, it is pretty easy just follow instructions,they are very good.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:46 PM   #48
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Quote:
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...This is a truck most people will look at and say Why don't I have one of these?
Kinda like YOURS!

Yours is the SUPER COOL truck. I can't wait til mine is improving appearence wise.

I've still got to R&R the rearend fluid - maybe today. And I have to throw in new plugs, wire, cap, rotor. For the time being just to get it running tip top I think I'll just put in new points & condensor. Haven't done THAT job in about 35 years!!
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:19 PM   #49
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Dan, I'm really enjoying this build. That tail gate looks sharp. Keep up the good work Buddy!
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:26 PM   #50
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Re: Danny Boy is BAACK! w/ '55 Big Window

Nice truck congrats on your purchase. I will be looking forward to your updates.
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