Wagon Progress

MP&C

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Thanks!!



Last night we got some details crossed off the list, our radiator sits on the front side of the core support but the overflow can't stay on the front side as it would spew all over a painted splash pan. So we marked the core support baffle to align with our overflow AN fitting and as Jared was drilling the hole and installing the grommet, I got to bending some 1/4" stainless tubing. Now it will drain behind the frame rail...

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Since McMaster had made a delivery we got some of the Oetiker clamps installed. Yeah, I think I like this cleaner look...

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My buddy Jeff Ford down in Aiken SC was working on installing a floor pan patch and had omitted the flange in the radius corner below the toe panel.

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So in addition to busting his chops, we put together this video tutorial so he could do the next panel in one piece. Hope it helps someone else as well..



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MP&C

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Well today was slated as lift-off day. So we got our lifting eyes installed on the body this morning and set up the lifting devices.

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We loaded the frame onto the trailer, figured a winch would be easier than pushing..

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Getting the body ready to separate from the rotisserie...

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With the body bolted down, we moved it outside to take some pictures..

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Here is the room we have behind the engine for access to the O2 sensor connector...

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Our attempt to install the rear bumper so we could look at it with some chrome on the rear end did not fare well. The bumper brackets did not line up correctly, just my luck, so we added length and welded the original holes closed so they can be moved to the correct location...

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MP&C

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So this weekend we played with blocks. Made from 2x6's, and gave the wagon a lift kit. This should help in using a creeper for any underside work..

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Mike wanted to get started on the wiring harness, but we thought it best to install the brake bracket assy first. As luck would have it, the plastic bushings did not fare well with the install. We took the opportunity to make bushings out of oilite bronze, something more fitting in a 55 Chevy over plastic.

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MP&C

Member
They are just about perfect for creeper work underneath.


With the brake pedal sporting new oilite bronze bushings, Mike got all the pedal assemblies installed, and hole drilled in the floor for the parking brake cable.. Then on to underneath stuff, installing the flex plate bolts and torqueing them down. We used the starter to bump the engine around, and found we also needed to shim the starter, so that was done.

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The AC vent brackets were folded using the magnetic brake....

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Then trim the ends and one more media blast session to get it ready for epoxy primer.

Jared and I worked on getting all the body mounts snugged down, and then turned attention to the rear bumper. In the stock configuration this is slightly wide, so we had opted for a slice and dice and making the three piece bumper into a one piece..

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We had intended to get this done prior to paint, just one of those things that slipped through the cracks before it got sent out for paintwork. We did have some rags used between the bumper and body to prevent any damage, and removed them for pictures. The final fitment after tacking:


Our data plate for the firewall had been looking pretty sad....

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…...so much so that we had thought about leaving it off the nice shiny firewall..

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But we had sent some pictures of the carnage to Bob at Alternative Chrome in Kutztown PA, and he said he could clean it right up and add a sealer for us.. Much better...

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Sparky

Promoted Users
Nice Progress Robert. Did Bob dip that data plate? If it was completely destroyed are there guys who can reproduce nice replica data plates?
 

MP&C

Member
Not sure how it was done but given the letters look undamaged, I would guess he did. Then it was sealed.. Yes, you can get replacements made, but I think they need to have the old one in their hands so they are making a direct replacement.


Starting some of our electrical work, since the fuel pump and float assembly both connected using ring terminals, we wanted to use some weather pack connectors so there would be a quick disconnect. We had purchased one of the weather pack "kits" from Jegs in order to have a selection to work from as we put the car back together..

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On our standard terminal lugs, we pulled insulating sleeve off the back side so we could use a "W" crimp, and then covered with heat shrink.

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Some anti seize was applied to the connection to help keep corrosion controlled, and some braid loom and heat shrink was used to add some protection.

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Weather pack connection, wires stripped just enough for the W crimp, strain relief crimp remains on top of the wire's jacket insulation.

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Next, to finalize our parking brake situation, we needed to drill a hole in the floor, which then had epoxy primer applied to the perimeter. Once cured, we installed a rubber grommet and fed through the floor. If you recall, the Lokar cable did not fit the opening in our donor brake pedal assembly, so a thick washer with the correct smaller hole was found, and the bracket hole was opened up to the outer diameter of the washer...

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Then the washer was TIG welded in place..

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Next challenge, the brake assembly had an internal pedal return spring that would now rest on the cable and rub in the same place on the ends, so in order to minimize any wear through the cable strands, the spring was relocated to the side of the frame at the adjusters where a shoulder was machined into the adjustment fittings to support the spring ends and not rub into the cable.

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To further protect the cable from spring rub, as there surely would be deflection of the spring as the brake was applied, we test fit some heat shrink to act as a protective sleeve. The internal liner of the Lokar cable was roomy enough for the heat shrink to pass up inside, so concept test complete, we ordered some high heat Teflon shrink tubing from McMaster. This was installed over the cable, with plenty of extra slid up in the liner, and assembled all the parts..

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That should hold us.....
 

MP&C

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I was a bit more slow lane than I'm used to... :D



Back when we were shaving all the holes in the firewall, the dimmer switch in the floor actually went THROUGH the floor where the connections were made on the outside, and only the push actuator stuck through the floor. Not wanting anymore electrical connections outside the floor than needed, we welded up the center hole, and kept the floor nuts to bolt the new one inside.. Any never gave it any more thought. Until this weekend. Our dimmer switch, a DS115 has a bolt pattern of about 1.75" between hole centers. The factory nuts are about 2.625" between hole centers. Oh well, back up and punt has become second nature with this project..

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So we started by fabricating an "adapter bracket" using 16 gauge stainless and a 1/4-20 press stud.

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Next, the left bolt needed to be 1/4-20 to fit in the hole of our dimmer switch and with the floor hole at 5/16-18, we need another adapter. So two set screws of appropriate size were welded together, and this allows using an allen wrench to install and hold while tightening the nuts to hold down the dimmer switch.

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The right screw remains 5/16-18 through, but we are going to find something with a smaller (shorter) profile for under the carpet.

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…..with plenty of room for the wiring inside

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Mike and Jarod got the fuel tank along with fill and vent tubes installed...

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…..and then finished our "flexible" lines from the hard lines on the frame up to the EFI.

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We still have clamps to install.. Up at the EFI, 30* fittings were used to give us a downward trajectory but yet high enough to keep off the heat of the intake (that the 45* would have done).

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MP&C

Member
Some weekend progress... Fine tuning the rear bumper fitment.

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Driver's side fits well to the profile of the rear of the quarter...

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Passenger side not so much, so the bumper is marked with some fineline tape for where we will sand down the edge to better match..

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Leading edge of drivers side needs some trimming...

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….as does the center section behind the tail pan..

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Next, in order to test fit the front bumper and provide the same "trim fitting" we will need to install the doors and front fenders. So our hinges got some new braid loom and a pull wire installed for the hidden wiring..

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The tapped holes in the door's nut plates were chased to insure the fresh paint did not interfere with the bolts..

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All buttoned up for the day, and under Kramer's watchful eye..

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MP&C

Member
So a few months back when we bought the Powell Hammer there was this tubing notcher sitting there. It was for sale as well and I knew exactly who needed it. One phone call and it was sold minutes later to my buddy Mike Phillips in Downingtown PA. I brought it to my shop to hold it until he had a chance to come pick it up..

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In the meantime, Mike had some equipment he was selling. I had my eye on a press brake and Cousin JB (upholster in Fairfax SC) could use his jump shear. So Saturday was the day for equipment delivery/swap, Mike and his wife Stacy made the trek to Southern Maryland to the shop and dropped off my new press brake, dropped off JB‘s new foot shear (until it can make it to SC) and picked up the tubing notcher that I’m sure will be a welcome addition at Phillips Hot Rod & Customs for the next cage install.

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So once we get the new press brake hooked up we will likely have one or both of these leaving...

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Chris_Hamilton

Trying to be the best me, I can be
Robert you are a continuing inspiration to me and plenty of others as well. :cool:Terrific stuff. You take such good pictures as well. Thanks for sharing this build and so many other postings. One day I am gonna make it up there and stop by to say hi.
 

MP&C

Member
Thanks for the comments guys! Chris, stop by anytime..


More progress on the wagon, more bumper action. Part of the problem with using three pieces to form the bumper with a nice wide bumper guard to hide the overlaps, is there is less of a smooth transition from end to end. So in using those individual parts to make a single bumper, we need to trim to correct this. While on the car, painters tape is used to lay out a smooth transition from end to end.

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An air body saw is used to cut off the bulk and roloc sander for cleanup afterward...

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Jared has been helping out with the bumpers, here making tight fitting plugs to fill in the old bolt holes for a smooth look on the outside.

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Our front bumper center section had a bit more damage to repair, the center section showed it had been used to pull/tow/?? in a previous life... As the car was pulled, it added some creases as the center pulled outward..

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A bit of off-dolly with a rather large hammer and we're much better now.

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The center section also had a stepped flange on either end so the outer pieces would be flush when mounted. As we are making one-piece bumpers, the step is trimmed to length and the step is flattened using a precision flattening device..

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Video version:


Next, we wanted shaved fasteners but also still wanted some fine-tune adjustability. So that eliminates the old weld bolts on the back side caper.. Next option was a bracket that accepted the carriage bolt but also allowed some adjustment side to side. This design was graciously shared with us by Laszlo Nobi (aka Chevynut) as he had done on his 56 Nomad build (see here: https://www.trifivechevys.com/showthread.php/5013-Nomad-final-assembly ). So we started with 2 x 2 x 1/4" thick square tubing. The 1/4" thickness allows for the height of the "square" of the carriage bolt, and we cut down on the width to just enough for the carriage bolt diameter, both to minimize size of the bracket and also to minimize the tendency for the center of the bracket to pull outward.

Square tubing is cut to length and sliced and diced as shown...

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Adjacent parts are beveled to insure full penetration on the 1/4" thick material..

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A 7/16 hex nut is used to maintain the 3/8 width so our weld does not close up the slot when the weld shrinks while cooling..

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The part is then cleaned up, here is our finished part that will weld to the back side of the bumper...


Meanwhile Mike has been working on electrical wiring, here getting the interior light wiring in place so we can load up and take to the upholsterer for headliner installation..

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MP&C

Member
Well we are about to get started on some automotive electrical work when the wagon returns from Upholstery, and in an attempt to limit/eliminate any need for butt splices, I was looking around for various automotive "W" crimp terminals that were available. I found a gem of a store, www.repairconnector.com that carries much of the old style crimp on terminals, as well as some of the newer stuff. We do have some new light fixtures going in, and to help in eliminating excessive connections (ie: butt splices) I found they carry the replacement terminals for lamp base sockets.. (and terminals for fuse blocks, and.....)

Some of the terminals we just picked up from Repair Connector
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Typical replacement light housing has pigtails that will require some type of splice...
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New lamp base terminals from Repair Connector
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These terminals will help us get rid of some splices..
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If you have a need to repair/replace any of your automotive electrical wiring, give them a look, they may have something you can use..
 
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