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Old 12-16-2020, 09:14 PM   #451
sduckworth13
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

The grille bar really does look great Vic! That shined up real nice!
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Old 12-18-2020, 12:35 PM   #452
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Give it enough time and you'll forget where the touch ups are. It's going to eventually get a few rock chips here and there, you'll touch those up too and move on

That doesn't mean I wouldn't have cried when that happened

This thing is simply gorgeous.
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Old 12-18-2020, 05:43 PM   #453
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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The grille bar really does look great Vic! That shined up real nice!
Thanks Scott, I'm hoping when it's installed the minor imperfections will disappear.
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Give it enough time and you'll forget where the touch ups are. It's going to eventually get a few rock chips here and there, you'll touch those up too and move on

That doesn't mean I wouldn't have cried when that happened

This thing is simply gorgeous.
Thanks, Jesse! You have to be closer than a couple of feet to see the chips now that I've filled them with color, cleared and compounded them. With a metallic it's really hard to get a perfect repair since the flakes never lay down like they do out of the spray gun. But I agree, by the time we hit the highway and pick up some road rash, it will all be a distant memory.

I've been giving my bead roller a tune-up. Welded some 1.5" square tubing to it to stiffen it up and stop the lateral movement when rolling. I'm also fabricating a fence for it. Plan to roll some offsets into a couple of pieces of aluminum for the radiator bracket and the tailgate. Too shaky anymore to freehand it. Will post photos when done.

Meanwhile, I made a trip down to the trim shop to check on their progress before they shut down for Christmas. They got the wheel wells finished as well as the panels that go between the wells and the quarter window trim. They put in a french seam and a couple of recesses which look really nice. Pictures don't do it justice. All the carpet is in as well. It's darker than it appears in the photos. Flash makes it look washed out. The list is down to the kick panels, door panels, the box for the stereo that fits up against the console and the carpet on the back of the rear seat. Jeff said they should be finished before the end of the month. Getting exciting!
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:19 PM   #454
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Looks good Vic?...!!
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Old 12-18-2020, 09:37 PM   #455
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Grill bar looks good to me. The interior is looking good this far.
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Old 12-20-2020, 03:58 PM   #456
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Thanks, guys! My bead roller project is complete except for disassembly, sand blasting and powder coating. As a test, I used it to roll the offset lines in the radiator cover/bracket and they turned out straight as a string. Kathy is my ace helper. She runs the handle while I feed the material. The reinforcement ribs make a huge difference in how smooth the rollers turn. And the fence is key to the straight lines. I should have made those mods a long time ago, but I do so little bead rolling anymore that it seemed more work than it was worth. Definitely found out that was not the case. Total material cost at Metal by the Foot was a little less than $40.

There's a YouTube video I watched on how to convert it to a motorized setup using a SBC flex plate, starter pinion, Foredom foot controller and a HF variable speed 1/2" drill. If you have a used flex plate and starter pinion laying around, you can do the conversion for under $100. However, as long as Kathy's arms hold out, I'll forego that mod.
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Old 12-30-2020, 12:34 PM   #457
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Door panels are done. All that's left to do are the covers for the lower part of the B pillar, the kick panels and the box for the stereo and a/c controls. Hope to pick it up tomorrow afternoon and bring it back home.
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Old 12-30-2020, 12:37 PM   #458
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

door panels look great..!
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Old 12-30-2020, 08:13 PM   #459
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

It's looking awesome!!
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Old 01-02-2021, 04:33 PM   #460
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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door panels look great..!
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It's looking awesome!!
Thanks, guys!

Thursday was a red letter day - wagon made it back home just ahead of the sleet, snow, freezing rain and just generally crappy weather. Feels good to have it sitting there when I breeze thru the workshop door. I've already been hard at it undoing a lot of their work. Despite my pleading to go easy with the glue gun, there's a lot of material nailed down where I need access. I think the prime directive for upholstery guys when it comes to glue is Moore's Law. If more is better, too much is just right.

Anyway this wouldn't be an issue if I hadn't decided at the last minute to tear out most of the wiring I already had in place before delivering the car to them. Now I'm having to route wires thru areas that they carpeted and glued vinyl down. Very gently prying up the material to get the access I need. I mounted the new main fuse block in the same general location as the original, but had to relocate the EFI fuse block. Time to start running the new wires. The American Autowire kit is much better quality and more easily customized. I was a bit surprised that the 22 circuit kit didn't come with dedicated fuses for power windows, seats, locks and etc. But it does have several generic slots. And due to it's modular design, I can repurpose any unused circuits.

Now all I need to do is squeeze my creaky old body under the dash and get on with it.
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Old 01-02-2021, 07:46 PM   #461
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

I'm glad it's home, but it sucks that you have to tear into it like that. I have faith in you though!!
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Old 01-04-2021, 10:36 PM   #462
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Glad it made it back home!
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Old 01-05-2021, 06:54 PM   #463
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Got a bit sidetracked from the wiring and finished the three point seat belt mounts and a few other things. Then removed the passenger side rear door panel and cut the opening for the speaker. Before it went to the trim shop, I'd cut the hole in the inner door panel and installed the rivet nuts that hold the speaker and grille. For some reason, they covered right over the hole and the screws, so it was up to me to finish it out. Had to remove/install the door panel several times to get it all lined up. In retrospect, it probably saved me a few hundred bucks by doing it myself, plus the finished product is just like I wanted.

Here's some progress photos. Still have to do the driver side door. I picked up the box that the stereo and a/c controls fit in today. They'd forgotten to do the french seams along the corners as requested, so they kept it thru the weekend for a do-over. Will post pics of the assembled unit in a few days. Inching ever so slowly toward some tunes, Rick.
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Old 01-06-2021, 12:49 AM   #464
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Looks good Vic.
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:01 PM   #465
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Howdy, Vic!
I have a ton of catching up to do. Life is starting to taste a little like lemonade, and the hobby is ratcheting up. I soooo look forward to reading through this. Your work has inspired me for life, and I'm proud to have a touch of your hands on my truck!!!
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:48 PM   #466
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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Looks good Vic.
Thanks, Dale!
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Howdy, Vic!
I have a ton of catching up to do. Life is starting to taste a little like lemonade, and the hobby is ratcheting up. I soooo look forward to reading through this. Your work has inspired me for life, and I'm proud to have a touch of your hands on my truck!!!
Hey John, been following along your recent posts on your thread. Glad to see you're easing back into the saddle. I'm so envious of your garage - I keep thinking how nice it would be to have that two post lift and all that room. Looking forward to progress reports and the lowdown on the machine shop saga. Take care!

I'm starting to think old age is really creeping up on me. When I went to pick up the front box for the stereo, etc. I had to have them make another run at it because they hadn't put in the french seams like I wanted. After I got it back home, I realized I'd forgotten my plan for the stereo surround. I had them trim the edges when they should have been wrapped. Had to call them and confess, but they fixed it right up. I test fit the box and the console to make sure they would mate up with the newly installed carpet. Had to trim the carpet and remove some of the pad, but it looks like they'll fit together nicely. As you can tell, I keep drifting away from the wiring but sooner or later I'll have to face it.
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Old 01-16-2021, 06:36 PM   #467
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Since my last post, I've been wandering aimlessly thru the various tasks that remain. I had a bit of a hiccup on the interior door handles. The ones I bought over a year and a half ago were for a pre-'49 GM car and didn't fit... surprise! So I had to order a couple more sets. Upon installing the first one, I found out the padding on the door panel was so thick it wouldn't let the handle retract after opening the door. So I had to build a fixture to hold the tapered piece so I could shave 1/8" off of it. Did all of them and they now work great.

I also installed the rear bumper which took me about three days. No matter what I did, I couldn't adjust it forward enough to look right. The RS chassis is slotted for 1/2" bolts instead of the 9/16" OEM bolts but that wasn't nearly enough to make up what I needed. Ended up taking the OEM brackets off and hogging them out another 1/2" to move the bumper forward the amount I needed. Had to use the porta-power and shim stock to get the necessary clearance on the passenger side as well. All in all, a bit of a goat rodeo.

HRE had trial assembled the rear bumper prior to blowing everything apart for paint, but no pictures exist to see how it fit at that time. I don't think the body could be that far off when they reassembled it. In the end you just have to chalk it up to "one of those things". All the lights are wired up with Weather-Pak connectors and all that's left to do is mount the license plate and the backup camera. Hate having to drill a hole thru the brand new bumper but it's for a good cause - cause I need all the help I can get when backing up.
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Crusty Rusty Leaky Squeaky 67 Consigned 4/2019 Shipped somewhere across the pond
Silver Streaker "Mecum'd" 4/2013 Gone to Texas
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Old 01-16-2021, 09:11 PM   #468
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Looking great Vic..!!
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Old 01-17-2021, 11:45 AM   #469
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

I drool everytime I see it. It's looking great!
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Old 01-18-2021, 05:11 PM   #470
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Thanks guys!

Made it down to Quality Finishing this morning with all my aluminum panels and pieces. They will clear anodize all of them. Said they have about a week backlog which isn't too bad.

Back at the ranch, I got the rear seatbelts and seat installed. Sounds easy when you say it fast, but like many other pieces it took some finesse. When they upholstered the seats, they were working without the car, so it's hard to blame them for the hiccups. The hinges for the rear seat back were on upside down and most of the trim around the border wasn't aligned correctly. In order to fit the hinges upside down, they had to drill four holes in the bottom trim piece. Fortunately, when I removed everything to correct the hinge position, I was able to reassemble it and cover up the holes.

The reason they couldn't get the hinges to go on properly was because the plywood back they made using my original as a pattern was cut wrong. I peeled back the material and used a coarse bit in my die grinder to get the clearance I needed to flip the hinge over into the proper position. After that, I was able to align the border trim and make it fit better.

I was a bit disappointed that the seams didn't line up better, but they're not off by that much, so I'll live with it I reckon. The seat belts help hide the worst of it and nobody looks at the back seat that closely anyway. Kathy is really amazed at how roomy it is back there and said it was big enough to take a nap in if I get her up too early when we finally get on the road.

.
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Crusty Rusty Leaky Squeaky 67 Consigned 4/2019 Shipped somewhere across the pond
Silver Streaker "Mecum'd" 4/2013 Gone to Texas
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Old 01-19-2021, 11:56 AM   #471
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Looking good!
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Old 01-20-2021, 05:30 PM   #472
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

The license plate frame arrived yesterday. It looked great, but needed to be recessed for the plate. Set it up on the mill and plunged about .090" into the backside and walked around the perimeter to where the plate would just fit down inside it. Now when it's tightened up against the bumper, there's no ugly gap showing along the top edge.

Carefully measured for the backup camera location and milled a window into the license plate for it to extend thru. The mounting plate for the camera came with double sided tape to hold it while drilling the holes for the fasteners. Put the LP in place with the camera sticking thru it. Gently stuck the camera to the bumper and removed the license plate. Marked the location of the mounting tabs, held my breath and pried the mount off the bumper surface. With the camera safely removed, I drilled a hole thru the bumper for the cable and then re-positioned the mount using my marks as a guide. Drilled four small holes for the mounting screws and the hard part was done.

All that was left to do was hook up the cable and reinstall the plate. The location may be a bit unusual, but I didn't want it perched somewhere it could get knocked off, broken or stick out like a sore thumb.
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57 Chevy Wagon - California Dreamin'
Crusty Rusty Leaky Squeaky 67 Consigned 4/2019 Shipped somewhere across the pond
Silver Streaker "Mecum'd" 4/2013 Gone to Texas
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:54 AM   #473
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Nice job on the camera and license plate frame....
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Old 01-28-2021, 12:19 AM   #474
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Can't wait to see it!
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Old 02-04-2021, 07:10 PM   #475
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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Nice job on the camera and license plate frame....
Thanks, Dale!
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Can't wait to see it!
Good to see you Chip. Thanks for the coil cover assist. Thinking you got the worst end of the deal. Rebuilding a Q-Jet was lots easier in my book.

I'm still wiring although there are fewer loose ends than when I started. I've gotten sidetracked a little. Drove 200 miles (one way) with Kathy last Saturday to get our first dose of the vaccine. Hope it's worth it. Believe it will be, but if either of us ends up with da RONA down da roada I'll be plenty steamed. Also took a break to reassemble the core support/fans/shroud assembly. Only after tightening the last screw did I realize I'd left out the bolts that hold the support to the frame crossmember. Naturally, there was no way to get them in by removing just a panel or two. Had to completely tear it down, put in the bolts and reassemble everything. Always something.

I've been working on the connectors coming out of the back of the Alpine head unit. I have so little room inside the enclosure I built that I decided to snip any unused RCA plugs and whatnot. I think it will all fit and hopefully work when finalized. My brother in law, Rick and I bench tested it quite awhile back so I know it worked at that time. As long as I don't booger up the installation, it should be good to go.
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57 Chevy Wagon - California Dreamin'
Crusty Rusty Leaky Squeaky 67 Consigned 4/2019 Shipped somewhere across the pond
Silver Streaker "Mecum'd" 4/2013 Gone to Texas
Maybelline - my '57 Ford 2dr Sedan "Mecum'd" 3/2016 Destination unknown
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