New here from Texas
I live in west Texas and am starting to do some restoration work. First time for a frame off resto is my 54 Bel Air.
Took about a week and half to strip down and start removing old paint and bondo. Found more rust and bondo than I thought it had. This one will go back as close to stock except 12v upgrade.
Working on obtaining 52 Chevy pick up. That one is not planned to be stock.
Just found this forum and hope to learn some things to make my projects more successful.
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.
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.
Do you know of someone that has added power brakes to one of these? I wonder how much cut and fab would be required. I already cut out front floor bords due to rust and have panels trimmed and ready to weld in. (soda blasted interior and hit with primer to prevent further rust after cuttion gout. Have not welded in yet.)
Room is an issue...wife is OK with this stuff as long as she can still park her car in grage, so my trucks bothe sit outside now.
Here is the rocker extension issue (both sides):
And the area by trunk is this (not the deck lid itself):
May try to weld up the spot slowly and gring off. Not sure yet. Any ideas?
If I may say, I wouldn't start welding until I knew what I was welding to. In saying that, with the amount of rust you have, I would suggest sand blasting the floor, rockers and your trunk "gutters" (as from what I can see in your pictures). That way you may find more areas that require repair now, not after it's been painted. Ah.... Do you have a sentimental attachment to the car? To be totally honest, the car looks fairly rough, and just wondering if there isn't a body available at a respectable price that is perhaps more sound.
I'm doing a complete custom, frame off, job now and the brake system is all after market. The booster and master system will bolt to the firewall. That being said there are many kits available that would allow you to mount the system under the floor. It just depends on what you want to achieve.
If your interested I could get you a list of suppliers that would be able to get you the product that you are looking for.
I soda blasted floor and most of car. A lot of it was surface rust only. The wort places for the rust was front floor pans, around the trunk and the rocker piece that is curved.
The master cylinder is underneath on this model and they seem pretty pricey. Being between jobs right now, I decided to start on the labor intensive, lets part intensive parts.
A list of supplieres would be great! I appreciate it!
Probably be relocating to central Texas by end of the month. Hardest part other than moving my rolling stock will be finding a place with a shop already built.
I understand I'll compose a list for you and get it to you shortly. Should have it in the morning.
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