1958 Buick Caballero

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

  1. MotoMike

    MotoMike Well-Known Member

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    Looking good! Appreciate all the detail/coverage of you hard work. Look forward to news from the Autorama.
     
  2. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the positive comments!

    I haven't really been holding out re: Autorama. We just submitted the application this week from Masterworks, the company that did the body work and paint.
    It will be displayed in their booth and it will also be competing in the restored category.
     
  3. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    You're going. No doubt about it. There's no way your wagon's not getting shown there, as you're too close to completion.
     
  4. fannie

    fannie Well-Known Member

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    This is great news, how exciting. The car is looking amazing :thumbs2:
     
  5. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Hillbilly Deluxe

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    I was just giving you a little good natured ribbing. What an exiting thing it must be to have a vehicle in that show. Quite an honor.
     
  6. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Of course, when the Autorama is over, your next photo-heavy thread will be the Autorama....:coco::yikes:
     
  7. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    First step in assembling the front seat back was to clean, paint and inspect the seat frame and spring unit.
    [​IMG]


    The transverse spring wire that supports the individual zig-zag springs (essentially the lumbar support) was fractured and had to be replaced.

    This frame came from low-mileage car and was in excellent condition. The clean, shiny metal you see is as the frame appeared when the old trim cover was removed! I coated it with a clear protectant to preserve it.

    Initial test fit of the trim cover and side panel to ensure that all the seams will be covered by the side panels as designed and sewn.
    [​IMG]

    I installed the 2 screws that will ultimately attach the ash tray to the seat back. Having the screw heads in place will make it much easier to locate the attaching points for the ash tray after the trim cover has been attached to the frame.
    [​IMG]

    Visible at the top of the above image is the first point of attachment of the seat cover. There is a wire-reinforced upper bolster that is attached via hog rings to the upper frame rail.

    The heavy felt isolator is installed between the two layers of springs in the seat back spring unit and the trim cover is drawn over the perimeter of the frame and retained with hog rings.
    [​IMG]

    After installing the cover and verifying the fit of the side panel, the upper bolster looks loose and baggy. The area beneath the french seam required additional padding to fill out the cover contours.
    [​IMG]

    I removed the cover and added thin layers of cotton/poly blend padding to better match the cover shape
    [​IMG]


    After re-installing the cover, fabricated stuffing tools like these make it easier to manipulate the last bits of padding into the necessary position under the corner:
    [​IMG]


    End view of the seat back after revising the corner padding.
    [​IMG]

    Front seat back, ready for assembly to the cushion:
    [​IMG]

    The 1958 Buick foam seat cushions were among the earliest applications of molded urethane foam seating components.

    The Special models retained the traditional spring and pad designs for the seat cushions and seat backs.

    The Century, Super, Roadmaster and Limited models were equipped with foam seat cushions, but retained the "spring and pad" seat back pads with rubberized horsehair pads.

    I disassembled the seat frame and cleaned and painted the steel structure. Since the cushion frame had some surface corrosion, I used a more aggressive treatment and then painted the frame black.

    I inserted a stiff reinforcement layer of woven carpet material between the springs and the foam layer, hog-ringing the carpet to the zig-zag springs to ensure that the underlayment would not shift with occupant entry/egress. The carpet replaces the original layer of cotton burlap, which had long ago lost its ability to support the foam and isolate it from the springs.
    [​IMG]

    New foam is installed, along with a layer of non-woven cotton/poly felt to retain the rear endge of the foam to the frame. The felt also acts as an insulator/isolator between the rear section of the trim cover and the "bar cover", or rear bottom section of the frame.
    [​IMG]

    The foam is trimmed to shape and "skived" or contoured at the perimeter to give a smooth appearance of the cover after assembly. I have found that an electric carving knife works great for shaping and contouring the urethane foam.
    [​IMG]

    The pink chalk mark highlights the center of the frame and the center of the trim cover. I always start in the center and work outwards from the center to establish and maintain the proper cover position on the seat.
    [​IMG]

    Like the original design, I added a layer of padding and burlap above the foam, then applied the trim cover:
    [​IMG]

    The first step in retaining the cover was to hog ring the rear "tie-down" to the lower portion of the seat frame, just beneath where the forward edge of the seat back would eventually be positioned. Then, working out from the center, hog-ringing the perimeter of the cover to the frame.

    After building up the assembly, I determined that I needed additional padding to get the required comfort, fit and appearance. The cover was too loose on the pad assembly.
    [​IMG]

    I removed the cover from the frame and added a thin layer of padding over the entire seating surface, with additional layers around the perimeter to provide a more full looking perimeter.
    [​IMG]

    The second build-up was much improved
    [​IMG]

    Attaching the seat back to the cushion is accomplished with 6 - yes, 6! - 1/4-20 bolts.
    [​IMG]

    Adding the ash tray and robe cord to the seat back:
    [​IMG]

    It took 3 of us to manuever the seat into the car, but we managed to position it without any injuries or damage:
    [​IMG]

    It will be challenging (impossible?) to install the seat side panels in the vehicle, but the side panels are still at the anodizer's facility. If necessary, the seat will be removed to allow installation of the aluminum trim panels.
     
  8. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    That's probably a safe prediction!
     
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  9. Nova66mussl

    Nova66mussl Member

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    My complements!!! You are doing an outstanding job. This is a gorgeous car and proves that wagons ARE very cool.
     
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  10. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Hillbilly Deluxe

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    Always great to see the progress on this build. I can't wait to see it finished, but I'll be a little sad when there are no more restoration updates...
     
  11. fannie

    fannie Well-Known Member

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    He's got a few more to do that we can follow. :rednose:
     
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  12. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Hillbilly Deluxe

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    I'm looking forward to it.
     
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