1958 Buick Caballero

Discussion in 'Station Wagon Projects' started by jmt455, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Oh, I remember those "laying on my back across the bench" days, working on that one customer's '55 Star Chief; to date, that has been the most satisfying customer car project I have ever worked on.
    That dash certainly looks like it would control a Buck Rogers spaceship, doesn't it?
     
  2. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, it's definitely a great example of "jet Age" automotive design!
     
  3. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    Lots of updates this week; I'm catching up on recent progress.

    I found an original brake line on a car that was being parted out locally.
    I didn't think it looked like an OEM piece, but a google search and some bookwork made it clear that this was the correct part.

    I took my time and used a tubing bender plus a few different diameter pipe fittings and even a 3.5" diameter resonator case to make the proper bends; came out pretty good.
    [​IMG]

    I had a professional glass installer come over to install the windshield.
    He filled the glass channel in the rubber gasket with bedding compound and laid a bead of bedding compound into the glass channel on the body. He inserted a cord into the pinch weld channel of the rubber gasket; the ends of the cord were positioned at the bottom, center of the windshield and taped to the inner glass surface.

    Here, we are setting the windshield in place. You can see the cords taped to the glass.
    [​IMG]


    That began a lengthy process of using the cord to coax the rubber channel over the pinch weld flange, while continually positioning the glass into its correct position.
    [​IMG]


    Here's the end result:
    [​IMG]

    Now I get to install the moldings.

    While the installer was here, we test fit all the flat glass into the appropriate channels and I bought enough glass setting tape of the proper thicknesses to install all the door and vent window glass. I also got enough bedding compound to install the quarter and liftgate glass. I plan to tackle those pieces myself.

    With the windshield installed, I moved on to installing the front inner sheet metal and the engine compartment wire harness. I started on the driver's side, since most of the harness and the battery are on this side. First piece was the inner wheelhouse, along with the core support extension.

    [​IMG]

    The +12V junction block and the main section of the engine and lighting harness are resting on the inner side of the wheelhouse.The new master cylinder brake line fit perfectly.
    [​IMG]

    Retaining clips aren't installed yet, but the harness length and fitment looks great.
    This is the headlight and horn connector on the left side of the core support.
    [​IMG]

    More soon!
     
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  4. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Very nice. I've used the 'cord' method of installing flat glass in pickup cabs, but never a windshield. That was experience at its finest. Oh, and excellent job on the brake line. It's funny how we look at things that don't look quite right, but they are the way they are because an engineer had to make it that way. I think in that instance, it's the fact those older frames flexed, so having the bends and the curl allow it to move with the flexing.
     
  5. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy The crazy kid in the sandbox

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    That vacuum booster looks brand new, unless I missed something. Did you sandblast the old one, to get it to appear that way or are new units still available?
     
  6. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Hillbilly Deluxe

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    This looks stunning!
    [​IMG]

    And I love seeing your "helpers" pitching in on the project (y)

    [​IMG]

    I must admit, every time I see "1958 Buick Caballero" pop up in my IN box I get excited. I always look forward to your updates.
    It's going to be one magnificent automobile when you are finished. :bowdown:
     
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  7. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy The crazy kid in the sandbox

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    I do, also, as long as they don't resemble Cheech or Chong. Speaking of them, I hope those kids aren't getting buzzed by any fumes emitted from that adhesive

     
  8. MotoMike

    MotoMike Well-Known Member

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    Joe, do you have a list of the options this car came equipped with new?

    (I got to make an appt with my eye doc for some sort of safety shield glasses to keep my eyeballs from popping out of my head every time I look at this car!)

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    That's a 1958 booster from a parts car. It has been cleaned (glass bead blasted) and plated to match the original finish, then rebuilt with all new seals and hoses, along with a new master cylinder shaft kit.

    Nope, the grandkids aren't around when any volatile cleaners, paints or adhesives are in use.
    However, I can't speak for those two characters in the body shop.


     
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  10. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy The crazy kid in the sandbox

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    Yeah, they look like types to suspect, when adhesives mysteriously go missing
    That's a good idea, before you end up having people write songs about you

     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  11. Cameronscott99

    Cameronscott99 Member

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    I check every day for updates.
    Looking forward to the next one.
     
  12. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    Got back from a 3 week vacation on May 17, so I will be catching you up on April's progress...

    I installed the center link and set the toe-in close to the alignment spec in the service manual.
    This should be adequate for short moves (on and off a trailer for the near future) until I get the car aligned.

    April 15 was a big day; my son-in-law and my wife helped load the IP into the passenger compartment. This was not without incident - the passenger door tried to close on my wife's finger and I managed to kink the wiper control cable when we were bringing the IP forward toward the windshield.

    Both my wife's finger and the wiper cable responded well to first aid.
    [​IMG]IMG_4505 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    I made the dash to cowl seals by sewing a vinyl outer wrap around 2 sections of foam-wrapped cord. These seals go between the dash panel and the lower cowl door opening.
    [​IMG]20180415_140109 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    I miscalculated the clearance for the cross-car air duct hose. I had installed it in the same space that is occupied by one of the IP hanger struts. I released one of the hose clamps in order to load the IP; I will go back and re-route the hose after all the dash to firewall connections are completed.

    The front hood ornament came back from plating in 2 pieces; I told the plater that I would re-assemble the parts. The plater drilled and tapped a pair of holes to accept 2 6-32 X 1/4" screws in place of the original peened heads to attach the "V" to the base.
    [​IMG]20180416_151421 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr


    I shortened 2 screws and assembled the parts with a tiny drop of silicone to act as an anti-rotation lock.
    [​IMG]20180416_151508 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    Part looks great!
    [​IMG]20180416_153339 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr
     
  13. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    Time to install the fuel tank!
    Painted the straps, pre-positioned the tank, sending unit wire and straps where they needed to go, then lifted the empty tank into position. It was a lot easier than I expected.
    [​IMG]20180423_075133 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    While under the car, I removed all of the plastic wrap that had protected the frame and running gear from body shop dust and overspray.
    Looks pretty good under here!
    [​IMG]

    20180520_152840 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    With the dash in the car, I could see that there was a big gap between the outer edge of the dash panel and the door opening. When the car comes back from having the hood and fenders installed, I will get some helpers to assist with re-positioning the dash. The part of the dash closest to the front seat has to be rotated "up" to close the gap and allow the seals to do their job. The gap is very exaggerated due to the angle of the photo, but you can see how the bottom, front edge of the dash is tight to the door opening, but there is a big opening at the upper curve that needs to be addressed.
    [​IMG]20180419_080412 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    Installed the main dash harness, fuse block, park brake warning lamp and began connecting all the instruments. Here's a look at the fuse block and the park lamp switch, mounted to the driver's cowl.
    [​IMG]20180419_080448 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    Routing the control cables for the vent, heater and defroster controls.
    [​IMG]20180419_080511 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    Engine compartment to main body harness connections all buttoned up!
    [​IMG]firewall detail - bulkhead harness connector by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    Installing all of the underhood sheet metal, except the 2 access panels behind the front wheels. Those pieces will be installed after the under-seat heater hoses, radio antenna, speedo cable and power brake hoses and tubing is completed.
    [​IMG]right frt wheel and sheet metal before fender installation by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    Managed to re-position the steering column clamp without removing the dash panel from the car; THAT was a relief! Here you can see that the steering column lower clamp is in place and the outer "wings" of the dash panel are held away from the doors with painter's tape. Don't want any scratches now!
    [​IMG]temporary installation of IP by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    The power brake reservoir I got from Pete Phillips was a 1957 version, which meant it had the tube on the bottom of the tank. The 58 version had a 90 degree inlet tube at the TOP of the tank. It was bothering me that this would be easily identified as a '57 tank, so I decided to re-work the tank to position that tube on top.

    I removed the tank from the car and, after making absolutely certain that I could swap the brackets end-for-end, I drilled out the spot welds holding the two mounting brackets to the tank. Here's the end of the tank with the bracket removed:
    [​IMG]Vacuum tank with brackets removed by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    And here are the brackets:
    [​IMG]mounting brackets - vacuum tank by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    Re-attaching the brackets:
    [​IMG]Lower bracket - vacuum tank by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr

    Tested and re-installed with tube on top!
    [​IMG]20180419_131300 by 2manycars2littletime, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
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  14. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Wow, getting down to the last page, eh? I always likened a big project to the "Death of a thousand paper cuts."
     
  15. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Hillbilly Deluxe

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    Great progress you are making there! It's coming together nicely.
    Thanks for the updates. I can't wait to see the finished product.
     

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