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Old 10-08-2021, 05:20 PM   #701
Vic1947
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Over the last couple of weeks we attended a few car shows / cruise-in's and I've had enough for the season. I'm ready to get on with the repairs the old gal needs. First up is to remove the radiator, ac condenser, fans, shroud and wiring. Then off comes the intake, carbs, regulator and etc. After that, I'll remove the front seats and console. Last of all, the exhaust pipes back to the mufflers, the driveshaft, the rest of the wiring and nearly all the hardware holding the transmission.

Once I get to that point, I'll have Hot Rod Express haul it to their shop and yank the tranny the rest of the way out. It goes to Nicholls Performance Transmission to have the internals swapped into a different (un-cracked) case. They will also inspect and repair anything they might find. They will also source a different converter for it that doesn't flash to 3000 rpm every time you tip in the throttle a little bit.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I've been preparing for the switch back to EFI. All that will remain of my original setup is the sheet metal intake. It has a new (correct) Nick Williams throttle body, new FIC 60lb injectors and a new Holley Terminator X ECU and harness. I've been building a calibration file based on my sensors and other engine components. I'll write it to the ECU when I get everything assembled and see if it will start. It has a self learning feature, so I hope to be able to get it running well enough to make it to the tuner down in Belton if need be.

I'm keeping the Painless trans controller which I hope isn't a bad decision, but I've been tweaking it some recently and it's made a lot of difference in the way the tranny performs. I'll probably have to start over with the new converter, but I have a route I run to test my changes with convenient places to stop and make adjustments on the fly.

So the radiator is getting pumped out today in preparation for removal. It will probably look a bit sad over the next couple of months but it will be worth it.
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57 Chevy Wagon - California Dreamin'
Crusty Rusty Leaky Squeaky 67 Consigned 4/2019 Dresden, Germany
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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Old 10-08-2021, 06:52 PM   #702
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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Originally Posted by Vic1947 View Post
Over the last couple of weeks we attended a few car shows / cruise-in's and I've had enough for the season. I'm ready to get on with the repairs the old gal needs. First up is to remove the radiator, ac condenser, fans, shroud and wiring. Then off comes the intake, carbs, regulator and etc. After that, I'll remove the front seats and console. Last of all, the exhaust pipes back to the mufflers, the driveshaft, the rest of the wiring and nearly all the hardware holding the transmission.

Once I get to that point, I'll have Hot Rod Express haul it to their shop and yank the tranny the rest of the way out. It goes to Nicholls Performance Transmission to have the internals swapped into a different (un-cracked) case. They will also inspect and repair anything they might find. They will also source a different converter for it that doesn't flash to 3000 rpm every time you tip in the throttle a little bit.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I've been preparing for the switch back to EFI. All that will remain of my original setup is the sheet metal intake. It has a new (correct) Nick Williams throttle body, new FIC 60lb injectors and a new Holley Terminator X ECU and harness. I've been building a calibration file based on my sensors and other engine components. I'll write it to the ECU when I get everything assembled and see if it will start. It has a self learning feature, so I hope to be able to get it running well enough to make it to the tuner down in Belton if need be.

I'm keeping the Painless trans controller which I hope isn't a bad decision, but I've been tweaking it some recently and it's made a lot of difference in the way the tranny performs. I'll probably have to start over with the new converter, but I have a route I run to test my changes with convenient places to stop and make adjustments on the fly.

So the radiator is getting pumped out today in preparation for removal. It will probably look a bit sad over the next couple of months but it will be worth it.

I'm glad you got to have fun with it for a while. Looking forward to you getting comfortable to drive it cross country for a little "California Dreaming " and visiting here!
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Old 10-09-2021, 10:26 AM   #703
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Thanks Dale. Kathy is already looking forward to our west coast road trip next spring. There's a lot we haven't seen and if we get ahead of fire season, we'll put you on the itinerary. Fingers crossed you get some extra rain this winter.
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Old 10-09-2021, 06:51 PM   #704
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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Thanks Dale. Kathy is already looking forward to our west coast road trip next spring. There's a lot we haven't seen and if we get ahead of fire season, we'll put you on the itinerary. Fingers crossed you get some extra rain this winter.
I would love to meet ya two. We're hoping for rain too.
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Old 10-12-2021, 12:00 AM   #705
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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Thanks Dale. Kathy is already looking forward to our west coast road trip next spring. There's a lot we haven't seen and if we get ahead of fire season, we'll put you on the itinerary. Fingers crossed you get some extra rain this winter.
Just made that trip from Florida to 29 palms in so-cal took a lot of pictures here are a few
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Old 10-12-2021, 12:06 AM   #706
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Old 10-12-2021, 12:14 AM   #707
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Old 10-12-2021, 10:48 AM   #708
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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Just made that trip from Florida to 29 palms in so-cal took a lot of pictures here are a few
Now that's the life! We no longer have a camper, but we had some really good times when we did. Thanks for the pictures. Sweet rig!
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Old 10-12-2021, 11:34 AM   #709
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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Now that's the life! We no longer have a camper, but we had some really good times when we did. Thanks for the pictures. Sweet rig!
X2! What a tow rig....beautiful combo!
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Old 10-12-2021, 11:35 AM   #710
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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Over the last couple of weeks we attended a few car shows / cruise-in's and I've had enough for the season. I'm ready to get on with the repairs the old gal needs. First up is to remove the radiator, ac condenser, fans, shroud and wiring. Then off comes the intake, carbs, regulator and etc. After that, I'll remove the front seats and console. Last of all, the exhaust pipes back to the mufflers, the driveshaft, the rest of the wiring and nearly all the hardware holding the transmission.

Once I get to that point, I'll have Hot Rod Express haul it to their shop and yank the tranny the rest of the way out. It goes to Nicholls Performance Transmission to have the internals swapped into a different (un-cracked) case. They will also inspect and repair anything they might find. They will also source a different converter for it that doesn't flash to 3000 rpm every time you tip in the throttle a little bit.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I've been preparing for the switch back to EFI. All that will remain of my original setup is the sheet metal intake. It has a new (correct) Nick Williams throttle body, new FIC 60lb injectors and a new Holley Terminator X ECU and harness. I've been building a calibration file based on my sensors and other engine components. I'll write it to the ECU when I get everything assembled and see if it will start. It has a self learning feature, so I hope to be able to get it running well enough to make it to the tuner down in Belton if need be.

I'm keeping the Painless trans controller which I hope isn't a bad decision, but I've been tweaking it some recently and it's made a lot of difference in the way the tranny performs. I'll probably have to start over with the new converter, but I have a route I run to test my changes with convenient places to stop and make adjustments on the fly.

So the radiator is getting pumped out today in preparation for removal. It will probably look a bit sad over the next couple of months but it will be worth it.
Vic, I admire your patience and skills. You don't seem to get excited when you have to redo something, so that might be why your builds are always so nice. This wagon is over the top and I'm glad you are going back to EFI. I got hooked on that 57 Ford build a few years back and only recently realized that was you. You have had some nice rides.
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Old 10-15-2021, 11:41 PM   #711
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Vic, there's a guy that just moved to I think the Waldo area that was a head tech guy for Holley and is doing tunes/Diag. His name is Andrew Borodin, I can hunt up his contact info if you'd like.
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Old 10-16-2021, 07:30 PM   #712
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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Vic, I admire your patience and skills. You don't seem to get excited when you have to redo something, so that might be why your builds are always so nice. This wagon is over the top and I'm glad you are going back to EFI. I got hooked on that 57 Ford build a few years back and only recently realized that was you. You have had some nice rides.
Thanks very much Russell. I've always liked working on them more than driving, so they haven't tended to hang around too long after they're done. Having some things to fix over the winter will keep me occupied and maybe allow me to drive this one a bit longer. I had that Ford for many years, but once it was done, it wasn't too long before it was gone. Needed the space and the $$ for the next build.
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Vic, there's a guy that just moved to I think the Waldo area that was a head tech guy for Holley and is doing tunes/Diag. His name is Andrew Borodin, I can hunt up his contact info if you'd like.
That would be great if you could, Chip. I found a couple of articles on him and maybe an email address but no phone number. If the email is good, I could probably get a phone number if he's settled in by now. Thanks for the heads up. He might be an even better resource than Todd based on his background.

I've been tearing stuff apart in preparation for redoing the fans and the transmission. Pulled the thermostat housing and it looks like it has the correct thermostat in it (LS style) with a 160 degree rating. So there's no reason to think hot coolant is bypassing the radiator and contributing to my overheating issues.

However, this also brings up an interesting situation. I have two temp senders - one in the rear of the passenger side head and the other in the driver front. The pass side sensor feeds the temp gauge and runs about 5 degrees hotter than the driver front. The ECU uses the cooler reading front as its input. Going down the highway in 70 degree weather, the gauge reads 175 - which means the ECU is probably seeing somewhere around 170. That's still 10-15 degrees warmer than where the thermostat opens. I don't know that you can expect the temp gauge to read 160 just because the thermostat opens there but most passenger cars read within a few degrees of the thermostat opening value. Which leads me to wonder if I have other factors to consider than just the radiator size, shroud design and fan cfm.
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Crusty Rusty Leaky Squeaky 67 Consigned 4/2019 Dresden, Germany
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Old 10-23-2021, 09:30 PM   #713
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Russell said it right! The way you finish is a whole different level. I'm looking forward to your road trip stories, then onto the next build!
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Old 10-24-2021, 05:34 PM   #714
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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Russell said it right! The way you finish is a whole different level. I'm looking forward to your road trip stories, then onto the next build!
Thanks, John. You're no slouch when it comes to finishing one nicely!

The guys at HRE are understaffed due to Covid and other unforeseen events, so I'm headed down to Sunbelt Rental tomorrow to pick up a transmission jack. Gravity and I can drop it out but I'll have to have HRE reinstall it.

Before removing the exhaust, I marked the tubing for a pair of high flow cats. They may help lower the sound level in the car, but I'm really hoping they cut down on the stink. The carbs have been running a bit rich and will make your eyes water if you hang around too long while it's idling. The EFI (Part Deux) should make it burn more efficiently if all goes as planned.
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Crusty Rusty Leaky Squeaky 67 Consigned 4/2019 Dresden, Germany
Silver Streaker "Mecum'd" 4/2013 Gone to Texas
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Old 10-27-2021, 10:11 PM   #715
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

As always, pick up the phone and we'll help you get it back in there. We ain't that bright, but we can lift heavy things.
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Old 10-28-2021, 10:53 AM   #716
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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As always, pick up the phone and we'll help you get it back in there. We ain't that bright, but we can lift heavy things.
Thanks, Chip! I may take you up on the offer. HRE is still trying to get back up to speed. Rick suggested it might be better for them to send a couple of guys to the house to stick the tranny rather than load up the car and transport it both ways to their shop. I'll check their pulse again when the trans is ready for installation.

I've been busy welding the cats into the exhaust tubing. Not my best work, but good enough. Hard to weld overlapping thin material. I didn't want to use U or V-band clamps. Don't want any air leaks to disrupt the O2 sensor readings. Also picked up the .090 aluminum sheet for the new fan mounts.

Plenty of items left on the punch list. Winter is around the corner and there's nothing better than turning on the heater in the shop and working on the car when it's too crappy to be outside.
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Old 10-29-2021, 01:51 AM   #717
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

No worries, just let us know. We'll need to do it to Dad's truck too, we'll need practice.
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Old 11-05-2021, 04:45 PM   #718
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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No worries, just let us know. We'll need to do it to Dad's truck too, we'll need practice.
Well, I ended up getting the practice, so I'll have to help you guys instead.

I took B-I-L Rick's advice and used a transmission jack to do the install. Didn't want to rent the 500lb monster I used the last time, so I went down the street to my local HF and plunked down $199 for one of theirs. It sat a bit high (I thought) so I lowered the stop for the pad and built my own lifting plate. By doing this, I was able to decrease the minimum height by 2". Turns out I didn't need quite that much but it was nice to have the clearance.

It went in with no problems at all. I got the locator pins started and then progressively tightened the four lower bellhousing bolts. All the bolts are in now as well as the crossmember, so it's just a matter of reassembling the various parts and tightening all the bolts to spec.
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Crusty Rusty Leaky Squeaky 67 Consigned 4/2019 Dresden, Germany
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Old 11-05-2021, 05:29 PM   #719
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Great job on the transmission jack mods.
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Old 11-06-2021, 06:16 AM   #720
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Nice job, I like the jack mods too!
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Old 11-06-2021, 09:56 AM   #721
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Thanks, guys. In retrospect, I should have used 1/4 plate, as the 1/8 was a bit flimsy. But other than that, it worked great. I figure it would have cost a lot more to have HRE do the work, so I saved a few bucks and ended up owning the tool to boot. I probably wouldn't use it to pull an Allison or any other extra large, heavy transmission but for the 4L70E it was just right.
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Crusty Rusty Leaky Squeaky 67 Consigned 4/2019 Dresden, Germany
Silver Streaker "Mecum'd" 4/2013 Gone to Texas
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Old 11-08-2021, 11:42 PM   #722
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Great work! Now you'll have it in the way, and bothering you. Just wishing someone would borrow it. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more)
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Old 11-09-2021, 09:52 AM   #723
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

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Great work! Now you'll have it in the way, and bothering you. Just wishing someone would borrow it. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more)
Exactly what I was thinking! If I only knew someone that needed to borrow a jack to pull the transmission out of their truck, I wouldn't have the dang thing underfoot. Hmmmmm
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Old 11-15-2021, 06:32 PM   #724
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

Dual 11" Spal fans are mocked up. It was tricky getting them packaged in the available space, but they're gonna work. I had to give in and take the fan shroud/support to a local machine shop (Lindsay Machine) to have the circles waterjet cut. I fixtured the material up on my little mill but didn't have the right tooling for the job. Took the part to them on Friday and it was done this morning. They also cut the bolt holes in the exact locations as well. Went together like a Swiss clock. Their WJ machine is accurate to .0001" which is much more precise than I figured it would be. Technology - you gotta love it.

Making progress on the wiring front as well. The Holley Terminator X Max harness needed some revisions to a few of the Metri-Pak plugs. Also, some of the wires were either too long or too short, so those have been modified. Now I just need to get the harness situated. I drilled and tapped the driver side fuel rail for a fuel pressure transducer. The Holley software will use the input if it's available. I had planned to thread the sender into the regulator, but the harness dictated that I place it up front near the throttle body sensors. I didn't want to tear the harness that far apart to relocate the plug so this will have to do.
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Crusty Rusty Leaky Squeaky 67 Consigned 4/2019 Dresden, Germany
Silver Streaker "Mecum'd" 4/2013 Gone to Texas
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Old 11-26-2021, 06:25 PM   #725
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Re: 57 Chevy Wagon - Californa Dreamin'

After all the work I did to weld in the high flow cats, I was finally ready to install them. When I got everything in place, the flanges at the front of the mufflers where the v-band clamps fit had about a 1/8" gap on both sides. There was no way the band would draw the flanges together enough to seal up. It seemed the only solution was to remove both sides and lengthen the tubing the amount I needed. However, after I pulled the assembly off the passenger side and started to remove the driver side, I could tell that without being attached via the H-pipe, it fit perfectly. I lightly tightened the muffler clamp and the exhaust manifold flange bolts with no issues.

So, I carefully reassembled the passenger side and found that back to the H-pipe, it was right on the money. From the H-pipe to the muffler was a different story. I had a bit over 1/4" gap now. It appeared that the muffler on the passenger side had moved back after I originally disassembled the tubing. I knew I'd scribed marks on the tubing to make sure the cats didn't alter the overall length. The good news was that I only needed to modify one side. I cut a 3/4" section out of the tubing between the H-pipe and the muffler flange and replaced it with a 1" section. Fits fine now.

The fan assembly is finished and the radiator + a/c condenser and lines are back in. The Terminator X Max is mounted under the dash and the wiring is nearly complete. I'm about ready to set it back down on all fours again. By the first of next week, it should have the intake on and hopefully in the not-too-distant future will be ready to fire up.
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Crusty Rusty Leaky Squeaky 67 Consigned 4/2019 Dresden, Germany
Silver Streaker "Mecum'd" 4/2013 Gone to Texas
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