Wednesday, July 03, 2013

More NAPA parts

Three other parts available at NAPA include:


Brake switch: SL113
Heater control valve:  660-1402
Rear axle seal:  18695

Friday, June 28, 2013

Need a fuel pump to the block gasket? NAPA stocks them, part #FPG 6579. Same as an early '50s Chevy.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Happy Wheels

The front end on my coupe hasn't felt right lately - lots of "clunking" on turns or bumps and shaky wheels if I hit a big bump. Had it looked at at a front end place and found that the bolt holes in the Third Arm had "egged out" - become oval over time – so that the wheel had movement in it. Took the part to a machine shop and had the holes bored out and sleeved to the right size (3/8") and got it remounted today.

This is a fairly easy fix, no need to take the whole wheel apart, although it is very important that everything be reconnected good and tight, especially the ball and socket joint to the drag link (and tie rod ends if you still have the original style). Those have been known to pop out unexpectedly, leaving you with a inoperative steering wheel. Not a good thing!

Here's a picture of the piece in question.

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Coupe overheating

Got the coupe out this weekend for its 47th annual startup and was surprised to find it overheating in just a few miles of driving. I had the nose off before taking it out to do a few various repairs, as I have done a dozen or more times before – new spring shackles, valve adjusting, paint the block, etc. – and have never had a problem after putting it back.

It acted like a stuck thermostat, but replacing it did nothing to cure the problem. Since the water pump is fairly new and the radiator in good condition, I suspected I had air trapped somewhere in the system. Sure enough, draining the radiator and block, then slowing refilling with the engine running cured the problem.  While I was at it, I gave the system a good flushing and refilled with new antifreeze.

Next up: what's the clunking going on in the rear?  I suspect a broken spring. Always something eh?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Automatic Choke

Now that the cold weather is here, I've noticed a choke problem with the coupe. I suspected the screen that filters the heat from the exhaust manifold into the auto choke housing was clogged with carbon. Took it apart today and sure enough, the small screen that cover the entry hole was clogged. I used a wire brush to clean it up and reinstalled it. Now it's a matter of making sure the "winter" (rich) / "summer" (lean) setting is correct for this weather.

The screen fits along the rim of the inner housing on the left side, above the exhaust gas hole.






Here's a shot of the clogged screen.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Valve adjusting

Not much car activity this summer due to a torn Achilles, but I did get the valves adjusted on the coupe this week. If you've never done it before – and I've always avoided the job – it's actually pretty easy.

1st, ignore the manual's advice to do it with the [warm] engine running. You'll likely burn your arm off on the exhaust manifold! I do it with the engine cold and give the adjustment one extra thousandth.

Here's how I did it.
• Remove the fender piece that gives you access to cyl. 1-3.
• Remove the fuel line from to the carb, the air tube to the heat riser and the gas pedal linkage. I also had to remove a plug from the back of my fuel pump to get enough clearance.
• Remove the bolts holding the valve covers on, incl. the breather tube, and the valve covers themselves. Bingo, there are the valves, which look like this.

From Pontiac Pictures


You will need two 9/16" open end wrenches, one skinny one (you may have to grind down on of your wrenches for this job), and a feeler gauge. The book says they should be adjusted to .009" "go" to .011" "no go", meaning a .011 feeler gauge shouldn't fit between the gap (9 or 10 would). It also says leave them a little loose for high speed driving. Chilton's says give the gap an extra .001" when adjust them cold, so I was shooting for .011 "go" .012 "no go."

Take out the plugs (blow air in the plug head holes first), then take off the distributor cap. Turn the engine until you are top dead center on cyl. #1 (when the points are wide open and the rotor is pointing to that position), then that cylinder is ready for adjusting. Work right through the firing order to get them all.

Place the skinny wrench on the lifter head, then the lock nut just above it is loosened (carefully so you don't skin your knuckles) with the other wrench. The top nut, also 9/16", is then turned to the right to narrow the gap, to the left to widen it.

The feeler gauge fits between the bottom of the valve and that upper nut. I found that hand adjusting the nut with the feeler gauge in place let's you get a better fit. Not so easy on #3 & 4 cylinders though.

Once they are all done and double checked, button it back up and you're good to go.

Friday, April 08, 2011

46th Annual Coupe Startup Day

Got the coupe running for the season today, for the 46th year that I've owned it. Runs like a charm. 104,364 original miles, 39K more than when I bought it in 1965 for $75.

From Apr 8, 2011

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

PA Cabriolet

Helped a friend drive his new '49 Nash from Canton OH to his house in eastern PA and got a chance to see the Master Six cabriolet owned by Paul Beilchick in Heilwood, PA. Paul owned one as a kid, sold it when it went to war, then got this one in 1970, which he restored.
From Apr 6, 2011


Also got a chance to see what the original rear view mirror looked like, the only unoriginal piece on my car. Hope I can find one at Hershey some day.
From Apr 6, 2011


Here's the Nash in the OH snow. Haven't gotten the coupe out yet -- a very late spring here.

From '49 Nash Road Trip

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Voltage Regular

Pontiac had a very odd voltage regulator for 1935-36, which is notoriously unreliable. It was replaced soon after, but the replacement is larger and doesn't mount cleanly on the firewall.

New ones are extremely hard to find, but they can be done in solid state electronics. Mine failed on the coupe this fall so I've had it rebuild by Wilton Auto Electric in Wilton, NH. $85 gets you a new one using your original case, so there is no change in appearance.

Here are some pics:

From Pontiac Pictures


From Pontiac Pictures


The guy is very responsive and I'm confident it will work fine, but won't know until spring.

Here's his website: http://www.wiltonae.com

I'll probly have him do another one I have just to have a spare on hand.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Day

December 19th was the last day for driving the coupe, perhaps the latest I've been able to use the car since I drove it in college over the 1966-67 winter. Off to bed in the barn for the next 3-4 months. :-(

From Pontiac Pictures

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Tail lights

Had to replace a TL bucket harness & the crossover harness on the coupe recently and discovered a key difference between the oval vs round lights. The round lights are wired to a Terminal post inside the lamp; the oval light wires go directly to the lamp sockets. That means that you need to order the brass end piece and plastic collar when you order a bucket harness for the early style lamp, and solder it on the wire. The round lamp just needs a terminal connector crimped on to the wire, much easier! I got my harnesses from RI Wiring Supply and they were perfect.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crank

I got a crank for my cars at Hershey last year, but didn't get around trying it out until yesterday. The first thing I learned was that the bumper hold for it goes up, not down like I've had it for years. The 2nd thing was that you have to have the right number of spacers in your front radiator brace to allow room for the crank to get by the radiator. I knew I was short and sure enough, it won't fit the coupe. That'll be a next spring project.

Here's how the bumper should be mounted:

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration



Also, got contacted by someone about a 1937 Pontiac in Switzerland. Here's a picture. Sweet ride eh? Too bad about the incorrect chrome headlights and Packard hood ornament though.

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Flathead Reunion

Here's some video of the 2010 Flathead Reunion. Lots of fun.

video

Sunday, September 12, 2010

2010 Flathead Reunion

Just back from the Early Times Chapter of POCI's Flathead Reunion in Dover, VT. This is a terrific event, with a lot of great people and beautiful cars. If you are not an ETC member, check them out at www.earlytimeschapter.org.

Friday was 100+ mile tour that included a stop at Hemmings.

video

Saturday was a car show, where a lot of people dressed up in period clothing. India managed to model 4 different outfits.

1937 Sedan
From 2010 Flathead Reunion


Our cabriolet
From 2010 Flathead Reunion


1946
From 2010 Flathead Reunion


1948 Convertible
From 2010 Flathead Reunion


1940 Special Six & owner Dick Stitt
From 2010 Flathead Reunion


Next year in Quincy, IL. Don't miss it if you live in that area.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Coupe front end

Just finished some major front end surgery on the coupe with the help of my friend Paul: new kingpins and steering box components primarily (bearings, bushings, Pitman shaft), but also had a new ball made for the Pitman arm that was out of round about 1/4". Also cleaned everything up and lubed all components well.

What a big difference it all made. The steering is now quite tight - for a 75 yr old car - and no more "happy wheels" when you hit a bad bump. I have to take it to a spring shop to replace a loose RF shackle on Tuesday. Just couldn't get the old bushings pressed out of the frame.

The key seems to be proper adjustment of the steering box as per the shop manual. Not easy to do, but essential to getting play out of the system. The trickiest part is getting the steering wheel centered and positioned correctly with the top spoke pointing up. TIP: Don't put the horn wire/button back on until you are sure it is positioned correctly! And expect it to take several tries.

Did the king pins by replacing them first on a spare axle I had as bench work. When I put it all back together, I learned of another difference between early and late production cars: The original spindle shafts are 1/2" longer than the replacement! The difference is made up in the size of the nut holding the drums on. Fortunately I had the smaller nuts as well. Never have read or heard about that difference, so you heard it here first.

One of these cars is going to the Pontiac club's Flathead Reunion next week in Vermont. Which one will depend on the weather forecast for Wed-Sun. If we are in for any hurricane style rain, it will be the coupe; other wise the cabriolet. I have no faith in the ability to stay dry in the cabrio in heavy rain!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cabrio rear end

The cabrio is back on the road, with its new high end rear axle gear set and a new running board. Car buddy Paul Austin helped get both reassembled this week and it is looking and running great. I'm a big fan of that 4:11 rear and heartily recommend it to anyone owning one of these cars.

From Rear axle


Thank heaven for Hundley Acuff and his running board business. The guy does amazing work.

From Rear axle


From Rear axle

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Coup Rear End

I've had the high gear set rear end in the coupe now for a month or so and am VERY pleased with how it performs. It is a great improvement, one I would call a 'must do' for everyone owning these cars who doesn't live in the mountains. Much less RPM, but still plenty of torque. I've got the rear out of the cabriolet now and will have it done this week.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Running Boards, redux

So I get the cabriolet out of the barn last weekend. Starts right up, runs great and I take it for a spin. Then I get out and notice: a GD porcupine has taken about eight bites out of the rubber on my LH running board! I couldn't believe it, after all I went through to get them restored. The insurance does cover the damage though, so now I need to take it off and get it down to Hundley Acuff. Meanwhile, the carcass of a certain rodent is now laying out in my back 40.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Another Cabriolet found

Hemmings Classic Car ran another photo of my cabriolet in this month's issue, which prompted a call from 88 y.o. Paul Beilchick in Heilwood, PA. His first car, bought for $100 in 1941, was '36 Pontiac Master Six cabriolet. He sold it when he went off to the Navy in WWII, but found another one in 1976 that he restored.

Here's his original car (note 1937 hood ornament), with him in the driver's seat:
From Pontiac Pictures


Here's the car he found in 1976 in Oregon:
From Pontiac Pictures


And here it is today, as restored by him:
From Pontiac Pictures


His car now makes four that I know are restored, and the only other Master Six version. Surely there must be a few more somewhere out there though.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Paint

It hit 60 today, so I got a chance to paint the rear axle assembly. With luck, I'll get in back in the car in a week or two. I used Hammerite black to seal the rust, having first scrubbed it all down with a wire brush attachment on my air grinder.

From Rear axle


One good thing about this work: it was a good opportunity to clean up some parts that have never seen daylight. These axle spring mounts have a groove on one side to take grease. After 75 years, that groove was filled with dried up grease, preventing good lubrication. All fixed now.

From Rear axle


Here what it looks like today. Next comes brake reassembly, this time with new springs and rebuilt wheel cylinders.

From Rear axle

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wheel work…

While I've got this thing out, I want to really clean up and be sure all parts are serviceable. The wheels were first. I removed all the brake parts and found one wheel cylinder had frozen up. I've never really understood the adjustable eccentric nut and anchor nut - mine have been frozen for years I'm sure - but they are an essential part of brake adjusting, or so the manual says.

Here's the wheel will all parts in place:

From Rear axle


Here it is with only the backing plate left in place (they are riveted on). The anchor nut (top) and eccentric nut are still in place (left). It took some heat on them to get them loose, then they got soaked in rust remover.

From Rear axle


Next off were the axle connectors to the rear springs. One came off with no trouble at all; the other is still on the axle, stuck fast. Two machine screws hold the two halves together. Lot's of old grease inside, which I wanted to clean out.

From Rear axle


Notice the metal band that anchors this part to the axle.

From Rear axle


Now that it's all apart, I need to clean up the small pieces, hone the wheel cylinders and rebuilt them, paint the backing plates with Hammertite or POR15, grease the emergency brake cables, get new brake springs, then reassemble everything to "as new" condition. One of the backing places is bent, so I have to figure out how to straighten it. I'll use anti-seize on the adjusting nuts, so hopefully I can now adjust brakes by the book for years to come.

All I need now is some warmer weather to do the painting.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Progress!

Went to Peter's shop today to watch him do the rear end surgery. He had all the guts out and had already replaced the pinion gear. It needed a new front pinion bearing, which gets all the thrust, but not a rear one. It's the only bearing that we'll reuse. Here's what it looks like in the housing (notice the ugly brake lines - they got replaced as well):

From Rear axle


The ring gear is normally riveted to the carrier, but the only option now - discussed in the shop manual - was to bolt the gear on. He used Grade 8 bolts, cut to length, with self sealing nuts & red Lock-Tite to hold it securely. The bolt heads were so snug that we couldn't use a wrench on several and had to wedge the bolt head against a screwdriver to hold it in place when tightened. BTW, the bolts went to the outside surface, heads to the gear side. The books says otherwise, but that looked to be the best fit.

Once tightened, the side bearings had to be pulled off with a gear puller. That took some doing as they were very snug. One just pulled apart and heat was required to remove the inner race. Both were rough and noisy, ready for replacement. The news ones I got one eBay worked fine.

From the looks of it, it appeared that someone had been into this assembly before. It wasn't me these past 45 years and you wouldn't think a car with 68,000 on it when I got it would need rear end work. But apparently it did. Hope it never does again.

Here's a view of the carrier housing. The ring gear is on the opposite side, the left side bearing is still attached.

From Rear axle


Here's Peter applying the heat:

From Rear axle


Next "the pumpkin" was ready to be fit into the case and the side bearings adjusted to the proper fit with the pinion gear - a critical step. As it happened, the bolts rubbed on the inner case, preventing the ring gear assembly from turning properly. That was remedied by grinding down the bolts to be absolutely flush with the nuts, something to remember for when we do the same thing to the cabriolet.

From Rear axle

(notice the new brake lines installed as we working by one of Peter's techs)

From Rear axle


I had to leave before he got the axles, spider gears, etc. installed, but it was all fairly straightforward. One learning: don't try to use NOS rear axle seals. They get dried out and are useless. However, NAPA carries a modern replacement that will work perfectly. The part number is 18695. You can also likely cross match all the original bearings to a modern bearing. Nice to know.

I missed all the fine tuning of the gears, which is the most critical step in the rebuilding. All in all though, I learned a lot and look forward to the day it is all back together.

And, a reminder from the manual, rear ends have to be broken in just like engines, so I'll need to take it easy for the first several hundred miles.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Speedometer gear

When you change to the high speed rear end, you also need to change the speedometer driven gear from a 13 tooth gear a 12 tooth gear. It is the same gear used on a 1934 Chevy Master and a new one can be found at Northwest Transmission Parts in Ohio (937-442-2811, ask for John). $32.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Coupe Rear Gears

I'm celebrating 45 yrs of coupe ownership by switching the ring & pinion set from the mid-range ratio to the plains ration (4.11). I've done about everything on these cars, but never rear end surgery.

As it happens, getting the rear axle out of the car is quite easy. After lifting and securing the car, drain the gear oil, remove the wheels, put a jack under the differential case. Then detach the axle from the rear springs, disconnect emergency brake cables and the hydraulic brake line, and take apart the spring shackles to lower the springs. The assembly can be pulled back - no need to disassemble the universal joint – and rolled out on the brake drums. Put the wheels back on to make moving it around easier.

Here's the unit after removal from the car:
From Rear axle


I rolled it out to the driveway and scraped off the accumulated grease and dirt with a scraper and wire brush. I then washed it down with kerosene. I plan to put a good coat of frame paint on it before putting it back in.

One thing I learned in the process: Not only were the axle ends painted to indicate what gear set was inside, so was the differential case. In this case, the paint was green to indicate the mid-range gear set.

Axle paint:
From Rear axle


Case paint:
From Rear axle


I put a dab of blue paint when done to indicate the high range gears.

I'm not brave enough to attempt to switch out the gears. Old car friend and master mechanic Peter Brown will do that work, but I do hope to watch and document. Peter picked up the assembly today and will get to it sometime next week. We'll also replace all bearings and seals as long as we're in there.

When done, I hope to gain top end speed, improve gas mileage, and lessen engine wear. We'll see. Andy Lee did the same to his coupe and says it made a big difference. If so, I have another set of gears to do the same with the cabriolet.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

1933 Pontiac

I knew from the Early Times Chapter connections that a 1933 Pontiac cabriolet lived in Bridgton, about 30 miles away. Greg Crosby's, the owner, father bought the car in 1963, when Greg was in high school.

Eager to see it, I made plans to meet him at a local cruise night in Bridgton on Wednesday. Enjoyed meeting him and was able to give him a horn button for my car that looks like it will fit his as well. That was the only piece he seems to be missing. The rest of the car in quite complete and runs great. Here are a few pics:

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration


From 1936 Pontiac Restoration


From 1936 Pontiac Restoration

Wiper Motor Repair

I haven't had working wipers in the coupe for a few years now, so thought I try to remedy that. Often just a shot of Marvel Mystery Oil will cure the problem of dried out leathers. I disconnected the hose at the manifold, stuck it into a paper cup of MM oil, then moved the wiper blades by hand hoping I might suck some up there. No luck with that.

That meant taking the motor out, not a fun job, especially with the car having a radio. First, I disconnected the battery, knowing from experience that the transmission arms would drop down on the light switch, shorting something out for sure. Then, with a light shining up there and a long shafted screwdriver, I stuck my head down on the floorboards, with feet up over the seat (this gets harder every year). I disconnected the two transmission arms, being careful not to stretch out the spring clip that holds them to the motor. Then I removed the two mounting screws. Getting them out was pretty easy, as was working the motor out of there.

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration


I poured a little MM oil in the vacuum inlet and worked the action to get it down where it needed to be. Then I took off the on/off linkage plate on the front side to see if it might be jammed up and it wasn't (if it was, I'd spray it with WD-40). I then hooked the motor up to the manifold hose off the engine to see if it worked. Bingo, it worked great. Now I had to get it back in.

First, working from the right side looking up, I got the motor in position with the on/off lever in the correct [engaged]position, then I mounted the screw. There is just enough room on this side to make that possible.

But no way was I going to be able to get the left side screw in. That required taking the glove box out, not particularly hard, but an extra step. That exposed the mount very clearly and made it easy to get the screw in.

I had also noticed that the fit of the hose over the inlet elbow was looser that I like. Even though the wipers worked fine with the motor hooked up, I left the g-box out until I can get a hose that fits a little tighter. That makes it a two-part job, but better to do it only once eh? [Always to check first to see if the hoses are the problem. They can collapse under vacuum.]

If doing this again, I'll just take the glove box out first to give me more room under there to start with.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Manifold cosmetics

Manifolds can get pretty ugly over time. Here's a trick I learned from a machinist that works well for me.

I use spray graphite to give them a nice gray finish. I get mine at NAPA:

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration


Here's what my coupe manifold looked like yesterday. Note the shop towel behind to catch overspray. You can see the emerging rust spots.

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration


And here's what it looks like after the graphite treatment. You need to reapply the stuff periodically, but it gives them a nice gray finish.

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's home…

The cabrio is back. India and I drove up to Pittsfield yesterday morning to pick it up. First I had to reinstalled the mid-engine mount and make a few other minor fixes, but I was on the road by at 1:00, on a fabulously beautiful spring day. Top down, temps in the 80s, sun in my face, iPod in my ears -- it was just a delightful 3 hr., 100 mile drive home on the back roads of Maine, getting lots of attention along the way.

It took 3 hrs because I was trying to keep the speed down to 35-40 in deference to some new engine parts. It ran strong, handled well, BUT there is still making the mystery noise. That isn't what I wanted to hear.

It is much less noticeable, and can only be heard when decelerating when engine vacuum is high. Guess I need to get my spare motor rebuilt and ready to drop in if it gets worse, which I expect it to do I'm afraid. We'll see. In the meantime, I hope to drive it on a regular basis while the weather is good.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Precision Rubber Redux

I got an interesting call yesterday from Alberta. Long time readers will remember my VERY frustrating running board experience with a Mr. Richard Loesch, owner of Precision Rubber in Alberta and a thoroughly despicable character who took my money, lied through his teeth for two years, and did absolutely nothing with my boards.

The original Precision Rubber was a reputable company, but was acquired by Mr. Loesch after its founder's retirement. Mr. Loesch then ran it into the ground, defrauding many people along the way. Another person bought the equipment out of Loesch's bankrupcy and apparently proceeded to do the same thing – defraud more old car owners.

Anyway, Pat Rowden, the original owner of Precision Rubber and developer of the process, has teamed up with a guy who restores cars for a living to resurrect the business under a new name, Running Board Rubber (www.runningboardrubber.com). That owner, Kris Arneson, called me to update me on the company – I suspect my horror story keeps reappearing whenever Precision Rubber gets searched on Google – and tell me that he's the real deal and can deliver a quality product.

I have no idea if that is true, but it sounds plausible. I'm sticking with Hundley Acuff in GA for 6-cylinder running boards, but if you have an 8-cylinder car you might want to check these folks out. (I'd be sure to ask for customer referrals before sending them my boards.)

There is a real need for a company who can do this kind of work and I hope these guys are what they say they are. If any of you have experience with them, let me know and I'll post it here.

Photos

Here are some photos from last time. The first is a shot of the motor from below, before we put the pan back on. Ain't it clean! Ken prefers the old style non-detergent oil, but I hate the idea of sludge buildup so use the modern detergent oil, 40 weight in this case given the generous tolerances we found in this motor.

From Pontiac Pictures


Here's a shot of Paul after sealing in the pan gasket. I made that gasket from a sheet of cork Ken had on hand - easily done. Note how clean it all is having been sandblasted inside and out. And that the oil drain plug area has been repair. This is the pan that came off of the 1939 engine that the cabriolet came with.

From Pontiac Pictures


And finally, you know you always have an audience for a project like this, full of good advice to offer. Here are Ken (rear) and 85 yr. old Bob from Pittsfield. Bob's father was the town's Pontiac dealer back in the day and Bob the Chevrolet dealer. A good way to spend a day.

From Pontiac Pictures

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Fixed … maybe!

I left my camera in Pittsfield, so no pics this week, but we've got the motor all back together, got it running and did NOT hear any sign of the knocking noise. It only ran for 15 minutes or so, but it got plenty warm and previously would have been making the noise under those conditions. So things are looking good and I'm a happy man. We'll see if it holds up over time.

As usual, it wasn't a straight line to assembly. We couldn't get the oil pick up tube and splash pan to align properly - apparently it got bent during removal - so I cannabilized the old '39 engine to see if that tube matched. It did and it's now in the car. We also noticed that the oil pans were the same for both years and that the '39 oil pan was in better shape (the old one had the drain plug repaired and it was obvious). Blasted it clean, painted it and now it's on the car.

What was the source of the noise and how did we fix it? We have no idea, but think it could have been either the broken valve spring dampener or a bearing that didn't sit right in connecting rod #4's bore.

Ken will be finishing up some body work / adjustments and I should have the car back by May 1st. Yeah!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Getting close…

Assembly is the best part of any car restoration / repair job, eh? We got a lot done yesterday on the motor and should have it running after the next trip up. We started the day with a good cleaning of the cylinder head, block head, bores, crank journals etc. Also used the opportunity to degrease the side of the engine and get some new paint on the head and valve covers.

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration


From 1936 Pontiac Restoration


Next came the pistons and rods. We put rubber hose over the cap bolts to prevent any scratching,used the ring compressor and dropped each assembly in the proper bore (bearing tabs on the rods to to the front of the engine), put on the caps (reversing the tab position), torqued the bolts to 50 lbs., and finished each cap off with a stainless cotter pin. Paul did find that the bearing on #4 appeared to be misfitted last time, which MAY be our noise. He cleaned up the tab and groove and now we'll hope it works properly. BTW, for future reference, the bore of this engine is .040" over, the rod bearings .010" under. The Hastings part # for a .040 compression ring is 29119.

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration


After our traditional lunch break in town…

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration


We got the valve train reinstalled. Having the right tools for this is a must. First a spring compressor to get them fitted back in position above the lifters so the valve stem can be dropped in, then the removal tool to lift them up so the keepers can be inserted (you can find these tools on eBay). I only got one in backwards. This was the first time I ever messed with valves on these cars and found it was pretty easy (with the right tools).

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration


Paul cleaned up the head bolts on a wire brush, finding several that looks problematic. I've got a lot more at home though, so no problem there. We got the head on and located properly. At the end of the day, here's how it looked.

From 1936 Pontiac Restoration


Next time we'll tighten down the head, mount the oil pan – I got some cork from Ken to make a gasket – put back the manifolds, hook up all the other stuff and get it running.

This is definitely an engine with some wear on it, that is plenty of clearance in key places, but there's no reason it shouldn't be very serviceable. It looks very good on the inside. If we still have that damn noise I'm going to be very disappointed. Stay tuned!