Originally Posted by gdstock
I have 4 other project cars out back so a rotisserie is part of the investment, both in ease and safety.
I have some serios rust problem at the rocker extension and just inside the rear doors at the bottom. Cannot find these pieces so I may have to hammer it out of sheet metal. ALso some serious rust issue in the lip inside trunk. Don't really know how I am going to deal with that part yet. Don't want to just bondo like I have seen others done.
54 has 235 six cylinder with std trans. I am considering looking for a period powerglide and installing it, but not sure. Also thought about adding power brakes but all the ones I found are too big to fit up, and considered a Heidt's front suspension but have not figured out how to do the steering box as the Heidts includes rack and pinion steering. I am not solid on these items as I am also considering rebuilding it to original. But updated steering and brakes would make it a better driver.
I thought I would sontinue strippping and get paint and body work done and decide on the other as I go. I know that is opposite from others advice I have seen here, but the frame and suspension look good, engine was supposedly rebuilt several years ago and barely driven (pulled valve cover and it looks clean). So I am confident that it is mechanically sound.
This is only my second paint and body project. I spent the winter and spring rebuilding a Dodge Ram from transmission, engine, and suspension and the summer on paint and body.
I am hoping to learn everything I can here, and possibly get some great ideas for future projects as well.
Wow, that's a big project. I can appreciate that you'd like to get paint on the body. I'd like to make a suggestion. In the experiences I've had in the past when tackling big restoration jobs like the one your embarking on is to get a rolling chassis first and foremost. I understand that the drive train and running gear look good but, if your considering power brakes and such, maybe solve those issues first. After market boosters and universal masters are available. If you get paint on the body and need to modify the firewall to make a booster and master fit, well that would be a same. Same situation if you convert it to a power glide.
Seeing that you have a rotisserie your body will be fine if you need to get your running gear exactly the way you want it, (as long as you have the room). As far as rust issues, have you looked at getting a donor car? Rockers and patch panels aren't that difficult and it sounds like you do have some experience but a donor car would make it easier. Your looking at door, rockers and deck lid, a donor car may be cheaper and faster in the long run.
In conclusion, again, I would get the rolling chassis in order first. I don't want to sound rude but, carpenters when building a house don't put the roof up first. I hope you take that in the spirit that it was meant because it is friendly advice.
I wish you the best and if I can help in the future I'd be more than happy to. I have my ticket in both trades, mechanics and auto body and been in the trade for way to many decades and give you this recommendation from past experience.