Radiator notes

A rather random group of tasks accomplished today.

  • Sandra and I used EW Super Plus Oxisolv Rust Remover and my die-grinder with scotchbrite pads to clean up the rs rocker panel that we’d exposed a while back but hadn’t gotten around to painting. Once the surface rust was off, I sprayed it with Eastwood Clear Rust Encapsulator (tinted a little white). Same for a couple patches on the front of the hood and a small patch behind the rs rear door.
  • Used the plip machine to start cleaning other bits of the core support.
  • Cleaned up and actually painted the radiator itself using Eastwood’s radiator paint. I’ll have to see how it turned out in better light, but I think it turned out OK considering the humid, cold conditions.
  • Went out and found some weld through zinc coating to protect the metal I’m hoping to spot weld into place tomorrow.
  • Overall, quite productive day.

posted by @ 10:04 pm


Taking Apart the Core Support

Core Support
The core support was covered in surface rust and frankly was too big for me to walk into the garage (yes, it’s that jammed) so I took it apart today. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to get it back together once it is painted.

Note: The longer hose with the spring inside goes on the bottom of the rad. Anyone know what the spring is about?

Cool note of the day: Given the numbers on the radiator, I am pretty sure it is the original that came with the car!

posted by @ 10:54 pm


Removing the Radiator Core Support

Well, I thought about welding today, but given the rain and a lack of someone awake in the house to call 911 should I electrocute myself, I opted for another task today. I removed the entire radiator and rad core support. I want to paint as much of the engine as possible, and it was becoming apparant that I wasn’t going to be able to clean up the after effects of the great battery debacle without taking the front of the car off. Now I just hope I can put it back together again after I make it pretty.

Here’s the step by step of the disassembly:

  1. Remove RS and LS bumper support bars. These are just in the way and mine needed to be cleaned up anyway. The 5/8 bolt srews directly into the chassis. If there is a nut or something under there, it wasn’t obvious.

  2. Remove the wiring harness clips from the top support(s). There were 4 small clips and one large clip. The latter is used to hold the connector for the RS lights. There wasn’t a clip for the LS, but maybe that was lost?

  3. Detach the wires from the generator. The blue wire attaches to the terminal closest to the engine. Brown wire to the rs terminal. Each was attached via a connection loop using a 7/16 nut, then a small washer, then the connector.
  4. Pull the wiring harness from the generator through the rubber grommet on the rs of the support

  5. Unscrew the horn wires. The end loop ends up on the ls stud.
  6. Pull the wiring harness through the 3″-ish ls hole in the support.
  7. Drain the radiator. I put a length of tubing I happened to have on the drain at the front bottom of the rad. There is a “butterfly” type valve that is opened by turning counter clockwise.
  8. Disconnect the 5/8 end of the two transmission cooling lines from the bottom rs of the rad.
  9. Undo the upper hose clamps. I ended up disconnecting the hose from the water neck as the end at the rad was struck.
  10. Disconnect the lower hose on the ls of at the engine. (There is a spring inside the hose. Anyone know why??)
  11. Disconnect the 9/16 bolt and mount at the front of the core support. I used a long socket underneath and a stubby wrench to prevent turning up top. Order from the top: bolt -> washer ->brace ->square rubber mount-> chassis-> round mount-> large washer-> then nut. (Note: I had to screw the jammed nut onto the bolt to wiggle it out of the socket.)

  12. Large core support mount is attached via a 3/4 nut on the bottom. The large rubber mount actually slides inside mounting point on the chassis. (rubber-> chassis-> rubber.)
  13. Pull the entire assembly straight forward toward the front of the vehicle. (Note: Unfortunately I accidentally leaked some transmission fluid and antifreeze on the driveway at this point. You should be prepared for this.

Anyway, that’s how I pulled it off (there are more reference pictures here). I’m hoping that if I reverse this order, everything will slide back together without any major hassles.

posted by @ 8:13 pm


First Impressions of the Welding Tools

Well, I finally got to play with my new welding accessories and so far I’m impressed.

I didn’t have enough time to size any of the panels on Rocket, so I just played around with some scrap metal.

So far, the Spot Weld Gun is a “no-brainer.” I actually tried to burn a hole through both sheets of metal and I just couldn’t . With the amperage set right, a simple spot weld was just too easy to create. I’ll try it on the car next, but so far this looks like a tool that will get a lot of use.

The Stitch Welder is a little trickier. It’s a very cool device that seems to adjust the distance of the rod to the metal based on the strength of the arc. It’s a little like welding with a woodpecker but the results can be amazing. I generated a bead on my metal that looked much better than anything I’d done with my low end mig welder. And as an added benefit, I didn’t burn any holes through the metal.

That said, I still need to practice getting the arc started. Unfortunately I stick the rod to the metal too often and there isn’t an easy off switch for the wand. If you can’t pull the rod off in time, the rod turns to mush in no time flat as the entire length overheats.

One trick I am currently using is to use wire cutters to cut the rod in half. The shortened rod was easier to keep steady. Hopefully with practice, this won’t be necessary.

I’m finally off on holidays and most of my presents are wrapped, so I should have lots to post over the next two weeks.

If you haven’t noticed, the site’s photo gallery is toast. Some time while I wasn’t paying attention a glitch popped up in a small “Coppermine” file and my host provider can’t seem to find a replacement of the old version because the software was recently upgraded. As a result, the captions are toast, caput, gone. I think I may just use HTML from now on.

posted by @ 10:45 pm


2005 OCA Nationals

My wife and I were able to drop in on the 2005 Oldmobile Club of America Pacific Northwest Nationals last week as part of our vacation. We couldn’t attend any events (we were only there three days and had shopping to do), but made a point of dropping in on the vehicle display area for an hour or so each day.

A few thoughts/notes:

-WOW! There were some awesome vehicles there. Ones I wanted to take home (excluding the 1957 wagon from our local club) included an orange and white 1953 Fiesta convertible, a turquoise and white 1956 88 convertible and (odd for me) a cherry red vista cruiser.

- I got a couple things from the swap meet, but generally that part of the show was a disappointment for me. I had hoped to find a 60/40 rear seat for Oldsmotron. No luck

- I was able to answer a lot of questions about proper underhood colours, upholstery styles, etc. It was an awesome reference collection.

- Some people are seriously committed to the hobby and confident in their old equipment. Imagine driving 1400 miles in a 50’s era vehicle to be at the show.

- Only two 58’s were at the show and neither was a wagon. Oldsmotron is going to be VERY unique.

I’ve posted some pictures in the photo section of the site. I apologize in advance to folks hoping to see more images of 1960+ year model cars. I had a limited amount of memory and followed my own interests. (Please leave a comment if you have any links to other photos collections showing cars from the meet.)

posted by @ 5:52 pm

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