Mid Century Cadillacs

General Category => Mid Century Cadillac Discussion => Topic started by: RobertM on September 05, 2018, 04:01:34 PM

Title: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on September 05, 2018, 04:01:34 PM
My 54 Sixty Special has been at the body shop since June.

It's a northern car (originally from Ohio, been in Connecticut since about '84), so I had the feeling there was some hidden gremlins underneath the paint, and boy was I right.  While it looked pretty solid, once the trim was off it turned out all four corners have needed sheet metal replaced.  Also, the trunk was completely rotted at the lip near the bumper.  Fortunately the floor and trunk pans were in good shape.  This was probably due to the factory tar undercoating that still protects the underside of the car. 

Here are a few pictures of some before and after areas:

A rear quarter before and after,
the bumpout area of the rocker before and after,
the trunk before and after
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on September 05, 2018, 04:09:56 PM
This was how much they cut off of the quarters to begin with, then they ended up going even higher.  The sheet metal fabrication of the rear wheel opening and of the skirt attachment is really well done. I picked the right place to get this work done.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on September 05, 2018, 04:13:56 PM
Left fender ...I got a nasty surprise when I took the trim off and found it almost rusted in half.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on September 05, 2018, 04:24:50 PM
They did a spray-out of the new color (cobalt blue).  I was expecting it to be almost black, but it was much more blue than I wanted; almost akin to the Cadillac engine blue.  This picture is inside the shop, once we brought it outside it was much lighter than I wanted.  So, we agreed he would darken the current mix and we can decide to either use that or start over. 
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on September 05, 2018, 05:23:48 PM
Cant wait to see her come together.  :P
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on September 05, 2018, 05:34:10 PM
Lou what are your thoughts on the the color?  Looking at these pictures, I guess it's pretty close, but I know when I saw it the 1st time I said that's lighter than I expected.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on October 03, 2018, 08:31:05 PM
We darkened the color significantly from the original mix.  This is what I was hoping for, the blue is almost black but the metallic really pops thru in the sun.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on October 03, 2018, 11:29:24 PM
That looks like the color of my car. It seems that when my Caddy was repainted many years ago, the previous owner had the same dilemma. They also opted for a slightly darker cobalt blue, which looks almost black. In bright sunlight you can then see the small metal flakes. That other color does look more like Cadillac engine blue, and also a bit on the lighter shade. You know you got that color just right when your car is mistaken for black, yet it is obviously not when compared to a black colored vehicle parked next to it. That deeper shade of cobalt blue has a jewel like quality to it that the original color lacked, in my opinion. Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on October 04, 2018, 08:52:43 PM
Thanks Clay/Lexi. The way you described it is exactly what I was thinking.  I'd love to see a pic of your car.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on October 06, 2018, 12:00:45 AM
Hello Robert. Here are some shots of "Lexi". She is hard to photograph and capture that jewel like quality in her paint. It is also hard not to think of her as black until you see her next to a black colored vehicle for comparison. I guess these shots will have to do but they don't show the color well. In the back end shot compare the black color of the CLC plate to that of the car. Still not the best comparison but some of the differences between this cobalt blue and black are noted. The trunk valance is close to black but elsewhere the color lightens slightly when illuminated by more direct sunlight. In the first shot one would think the car is black. The color is a little chameleon like. Now when I take more photographs I will try to capture those subtle hues. Clay

Edit: This shot from a Cadillac show has my cobalt '56 Limo parked next to a code 10 black '55 Limo. Again not the best, but some differences noted.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on October 15, 2018, 09:47:35 AM
Love your car! Thats a great color for a limo.

I got a nice surprise text this morning. The car is in North Carolina and I assumed the 2 hurricanes had delayed things. But instead they just finished the body and jambs!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on October 15, 2018, 06:48:35 PM
That looks gorgeous. Please keep us updated and post a shot of the finished product. Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on October 24, 2018, 03:00:46 PM
So The Body Shop sent me this picture of the hood and said they want my direction on how to proceed with something. Evidently there's a low area on the right that can be seen in the reflection of the man's arm as a slight zigzagThey are having a hard time blocking it because that area flexes. I told them it's too minor to worry about, but I figured I'd ask some folks here that know about body work if this low area will be an issue after its painted.  I tend to think the body shop is being a perfectionist, which is quite alright by me.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on October 24, 2018, 07:25:04 PM
Thats a bad spot to have that issue. You will be staring at it from the driver seat every time you are in the car. I would have them try and work it out. Not an easy job and they may not be able to get it completely out. The hood is very flimsy in that area. 
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on October 24, 2018, 07:46:11 PM
Lou, I'm not quite sure I understand what it is they say the problem is
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Roger Zimmermann on October 25, 2018, 05:29:13 AM
Well, as Lou pointed it out, it's the hood. On my Biarritz, the body shop had the same problem. They fix it by gluing a strong material under the hood. As the hood pad covered it, it was not a big deal.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on November 12, 2018, 11:56:19 AM
I think I damaged one of my tail light sockets when I was dissembling the car a few months back. I tried to take it out the wrong way, then realized too late it comes out thru the back once the whole light assembly is out.   :-\  The housing is still good but the socket ends of the wires and the spring don't seem to line up or move correctly now. Would anyone have a replacement for sale? Would this one on ebay be suitable?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/OLD-SCHOOL-REPAIRS-THE-ORIGINAL-TAIL-LIGHT-SOCKET-ALL-CARS-TRUCKS-40s-60s/311414644975?hash=item4881c260ef:g:uHIAAOSw~gRVvGFf
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on November 12, 2018, 04:57:08 PM
I think I have one in my '56 Caddy parts pile. Think the tail light housings are the same for '54-'56, and all 12 volt, so I assume that part would also be identical. If I have one its yours, just would want shipping. Will have a look tonight and post results with a picture just to make sure it will work as a suitable replacement part for your car. Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on November 12, 2018, 08:00:35 PM
Bob this is the part I found. Two tiny slot headed screws hold that plate in place and it pulls out from the front. Shots of front and back as well as end of lead showing spade connector. From a '54 - '56 driver side tail light assembly. If this will work let me know in this forum or by PM. Clay/Lexi

P.S. I can lightly media blast this so it will wind up looking quite good. As I am in the process of looking to have my compressor's pump rebuilt or replaced, may set me back a couple of weeks or so if you don't mind waiting. Let me know.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on November 12, 2018, 08:10:45 PM
Thanks Lexi, that's might gracious of you. I would need the 2-wire socket that goes to the tail light. That 1-wire socket goes to the reverse light.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: JAG56Cad on November 12, 2018, 08:51:34 PM
Bob,

I rebuild several rear í56 sockets for both tail and backup lamps.

The original tail light insulators have a prong extending a bit to hold the insulator inside the socket (if I recall correctly, I may need to check the storage cabinets to make corrections on the items below).    ;)

I did use the pig tails insulator you posted from eBay one thing I found with them is; the spring is a bit long so you need to apply more down force to twist the bulb, since the insulator does not have the prong to hold it inside it will extend close to the edge of the socket.

But overall they do fit the socket, now you know the cable for those were the cloth type you would need to clip the old ones over.

I may have more details for you tomorrow after I get a chance to check the ones I have in storage.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on November 12, 2018, 09:48:30 PM
Thanks Lexi, that's might gracious of you. I would need the 2-wire socket that goes to the tail light. That 1-wire socket goes to the reverse light.

Bob you're right. I must be loosing my mind, wrong light. Will go back and see if the tail light socket is there. Clay
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on November 12, 2018, 10:35:02 PM
Yes it is there. I drove the pivot pin out to gain better access to the rear of the socket assembly. Looks like a rubber grommet/strain relief holds the unit's wiring in place, where it passes through the pot metal housing. Would have to cut that strain relief to remove and hope the wiring with original cloth sheathing pulls out from the front. Not sure how this would pull out through the back as you noted, unless you separate the wires from the socket and remove that insulator. Don't want to foul it up so perhaps I can learn from your experience and you can advise on how to extract this without ruining it! Clay
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on November 13, 2018, 11:40:57 AM
Robert got your message and replied via PM. Now I know why Cadillacs were so expensive back in the '50s. It must have cost GM a fortune to install these sockets! Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on November 13, 2018, 12:02:08 PM
Lexi, got your pm. This is what I would need. No worry about the chrome bits. By the potmetal part. I meant the piece that holds the socket in place, where it screws to the assembly.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on November 13, 2018, 12:08:47 PM
The taillights came out nice. Fresh chrome and I replaced the red lenses. I have 3 original lenses available if anyone needs one. They are solid with some crazing. Not sure how I ended up with the 3rd one. I was Ebay addicted a few years ago, getting ready for this project.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: JAG56Cad on November 13, 2018, 12:12:27 PM
Bob,

Here are the ones from the í56 which I refurbished for the tail and backup lamp (bag).

Iíve installed new sockets for the backup one and use the old and/or made new square frames for them.

The one on the middle is the old one that is badly damage but still has the insulator the two small spring on each wire are gone, Iíve highlighted the prongs that slide in the socket groves to hold it in place.

The two on each side are the one I was able to rebuilt with new insulator (from new tail light sockets sets I had) new small spring inside and new wires cloth cover for the left side and standard wires for the right side.

Iíve also reply to you PM, just let me know.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on November 13, 2018, 03:34:40 PM
On another note, does anyone now if the trunk cardboard kit is the same for coupes and the 60S?  I had saved my old trashed trunk cardboard to try to use as a template to cut something new, but it seems to have grown legs and walked away from my basement. I have a bad feeling it is now at a landfill somewhere.

The only aftermarket kits I can find are for coupes.  I'm usually really good with the parts book, but it's hard to decipher what is what as far as trunk linings go. 34.9500 is sorted by color, so it must be just the carpet pieces.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: David King on November 13, 2018, 04:00:17 PM
You could check to see if karl at Original Leather Interiors, Inc. has the pattern for a kit.  He just did mine for the '55 Eldo.

Phone is (540) 980-7004‬

David
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on November 13, 2018, 05:57:23 PM
Lexi, got your pm. This is what I would need. No worry about the chrome bits. By the potmetal part. I meant the piece that holds the socket in place, where it screws to the assembly.

Yes, there is a pot metal bracket that holds the socket in place. You can have that as well. I am still not sure how all this comes out. Jose mentioned two retainer prongs on each side of the socket. I guess they come off? One surely must cut at least one of the grommets to pull the assembly out? Yes? No? Clay
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: JAG56Cad on November 13, 2018, 06:29:43 PM
Lexi, got your pm. This is what I would need. No worry about the chrome bits. By the potmetal part. I meant the piece that holds the socket in place, where it screws to the assembly.

Yes, there is a pot metal bracket that holds the socket in place. You can have that as well. I am still not sure how all this comes out. Jose mentioned two retainer prongs on each side of the socket. I guess they come off? One surely must cut at least one of the grommets to pull the assembly out? Yes? No? Clay

Clay,

The bracket that holds the socket is all one piece, I believe the socket is either pressed in or spot welded.  ???

The insulator can be removed just need to pull the wires out and then you can press the insulator down where one of the tabs are to allow it to be release on the opposite end tab. Is a bit tricky but it is doable.

The rubber grommet in most cases will be a ďgonerĒ if in bad shape but one can be made not 100% but close to it. Also the original wire with the rubber insulation can be reused if in good shape, most Iíve seen the rubber was cracked and crumbling.

One thing I found the original ones the wire ends did not have the brass contact buttons, the end of the wire had an oval washer piece and solder to hold them in place. The washer tend to fall apart with age and usage so the wire was just smashed into a ball at the base.   :o
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on November 13, 2018, 06:42:20 PM
Rob,

This is when having a Fleetwood makes life difficult. The trunk cardboard is different than the coupes. There is a compartment on the right side that is not found on coupes. Plus the other kicker is the fleetwood trunks are color keyed to the interior color of the car. When I did my 60S, i made my own trunk side boards from door panel board. Then i sprayed the board to match. It was a pain in the ass but it came out very nice. Attached pics shows my old Fleetwood trunk(green) the blue one is from an all original 54 Fleetwood(blue).
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on November 13, 2018, 08:01:23 PM
Lou,  What did you use for a template? Where did you maybe cut some cardboard in place?

Lexi, You just unscrew those 2 screws, push the grommet in and everything pulls out in the direction of the lens.  My problem was that I had never disassembled one before and I tried to remove the socket from the pot metal piece and started pulling things in the wrong direction.  I ended up damaging that piece that the end of the wires attach to in the socket.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on November 13, 2018, 08:25:21 PM
I made mine from scratch using cardboard for a template. They didn't have the coupe trunk boards available back then. Come to think of it the coupe and fleetwood trunk is the same size. You should be good to buy the coupe boards and modify them into fleetwood boards. The driver side will be ready to install, it's only the pass side that needs to have the compartment added.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on November 13, 2018, 11:12:49 PM
Lexi, You just unscrew those 2 screws, push the grommet in and everything pulls out in the direction of the lens.  My problem was that I had never disassembled one before and I tried to remove the socket from the pot metal piece and started pulling things in the wrong direction.  I ended up damaging that piece that the end of the wires attach to in the socket.

Socket and wires removed. Strain relief crumbling, so left. Don't think it comes out anyhow without ruining it. Round rubber "gaskets" or insulators that the 2 bolts pass through look good, (they were deteriorated on my other unit). So this pulled unit looks good. Someone had soldered a ground to it as explained in my PM to you, so I used my solder gun to remove as not OEM. Will try and get to post office tomorrow with it. Canada Post has rotating strikes right now, so there may be delays, but the part looks operational will soon be off to you. Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on November 15, 2018, 01:17:29 AM
Bob I sent you a PM. Clay
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on November 15, 2018, 12:20:16 PM
Very nice of you to do this for me. Thank you!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on November 16, 2018, 01:10:21 PM
No problem. The deed is done and part is on its way. Looking forward to learning that your ride is fixed and also seeing that gorgeous paint job when all done. Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on November 16, 2018, 05:37:24 PM
Ok another question has come up. Why would the instrument panel not seem to fit the dash now? The holes line up but the cluster seems too wide for the space now. Anyone have experience with this?  I love the dash paint btw.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on November 25, 2018, 04:00:42 PM
I went down to North Carolina to visit family for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Of course I also visited my big blue girl. All the metal fabrication is finally finished and the paint is coming along nicely. Interior parts and doors are done, the hood and trunk lid are in progress and the front fenders are next in line.

I cant wait to get her home so I can start putting the interior and windows back together and installing the 1000 pieces of chrome and stainless.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on December 04, 2018, 06:18:43 PM
Well have a look at this. I saw the trunk cardboard kit for a '54 62 listed on Ebay, so I asked the seller about making one for the Sixty Special.  It's my lucky day...  they told me it's a new item they just listed today.

 https://www.ebay.com/itm/1954-55-Cadillac-series-60-Special-Fleetwood-trunk-board-kit-8-pcs-19-colors-/302983889084
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on December 04, 2018, 07:38:08 PM
Lucky dog  8)
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: caddyguy on December 04, 2018, 07:53:35 PM
Did you order it yet? I'm wondering about the fitment, I know it might be a while before you get to it, but interested if any one has ordered it and if it fits well. G
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on December 06, 2018, 01:07:46 PM
Wow! What a great find when I did my 55 it had to be double the cost had to buy the material from LeBaron Bonney have my upholsterer cut it and sew the binding on. I donít know if you are aware of this but at least in 55 there were only three colors for the trunk I believe they were tan,blue and green just in case you what to stay original. Also in 55 the cardboard that goes behind the trunk latch which there are two and they are about two and a half feet long with oblong holes in it so you have excess to the six rear chrome trim pieces.

Keep Cruzin

Bob K
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on December 06, 2018, 01:55:29 PM
'54 also came in the same 3 colors.  This seller has several blues; their medium blue looks pretty close. I'll be ordering this for sure, likely early next year. I'm still kicking myself in the butt for somehow losing the original cardboard I was going to use as a template.

I'm looking forward to getting the car back from the body shop, probably right after the holidays.  There is a mountain of work left to do. Reattach the chrome I had replated, reattach all the stainless, install new carpet, reinstall the windows, new window channels and felt. The grill is also currently completely disassembled for polishing, that will be a fun project for sure. When I have the seats out to do the carpet, I'll also look into trying to get the power seat controls working. The trunk will come after all of that.

The one thing I wanted to do that will have to wait a while is reupholstering the seats.  That money went into the extra unexpected bodywork that was needed. They are still in nice original shape. SMS has had the door panels since June and gave me a January completion date (so I'm expecting March at the earliest).
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on December 07, 2018, 10:54:32 AM
Bob: I believe I still have my original trunk cardboard not in the greatest of shape but still usable for templates. If you need to borrow them let me know just pay the shipping and return them when you are done. Sounds like you have a lot of fun work ahead.

Keep Cruzin,

Bob Kielar
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: PHIL WHYTE CLC 14192 on December 08, 2018, 03:08:22 AM
So SMS are still their unreliable selves? They messed me around for over a year with my 54 door panel.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on December 08, 2018, 10:10:48 AM
Well, I shipped the door cards off in June, and SMS told me January.  From everything I've heard, March is probably optimistic.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on December 09, 2018, 10:14:34 AM
Iím not doubting anyoneís decision about getting door cards done by sms. When I had my interior done I supplied the materials from sms to my upholsterer and he had the door card material and the whole interior completed within a month. It turned out great.

Keep Cruzin,

Bob K
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on December 09, 2018, 12:50:05 PM
Just thought Iíd pass this information along. When I did my interior on the 55 Fleetwood I did the seats first. Then I did the doors and kick panels about a year later all material supplied by SMS. The gray material did not match at all so my upholsterer had to call them and first they said 3 to 4 months to get the different dye lot. He then called and asked for the owner and we had the correct material in 2 weeks and had no problems returning the the first material. So my suggestion is to get all your material at one time even if you have to wait to get the work done.

Regards,

Bob K
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on December 09, 2018, 05:03:07 PM
Thanks Bob,

That's a good idea.  I can order what's needed for the seats and kick panels now. I don't have an upholsterer yet, tho.  I'll have to guesstimate the yardage needed.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: PHIL WHYTE CLC 14192 on December 10, 2018, 01:52:18 AM
There's a lot of yardage needed because it's tuck and roll not top stitched. I think believe the parts manual may have the yardage required.  You don't want to be short of fabric when you come to do the job. It was the owner of SMS that I had the trouble with. Their fabric is great but their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. Phil
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on December 10, 2018, 08:09:32 AM
If memory serves me right SMS new the correct amount of material for the seats. Maybe they can figure out how much more you would need for the kick panels.

Keep Cruzin,

Bob K
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on December 17, 2018, 05:18:33 PM
Any suggestions on how to recrimp the mirror? Or should I just use adhesive?
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on December 17, 2018, 07:48:09 PM
I would glue it in.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on December 27, 2018, 02:47:42 PM
Next rookie question:  We are about to install the carpet (got it from SMS). I cannot figure out why the rear section has this flap on the tunnel area. What am I missing here?
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on December 27, 2018, 06:32:28 PM
Rob,

That flap was to necessary to keep the carpet from bunching up/wrinkling when layed in place because of the hump. In later years carpets were heat molded and that kind of flap was made obsolete. 
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on December 27, 2018, 07:02:37 PM
Makes sense I guess. I dont remeber that being there when we took the old carpet out.

We were a little surprised it came in 2 pieces with nothing under the front seat. I figure that way they don't need to be exact with the front to back measurement.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on December 28, 2018, 10:09:11 AM
Mine was the same way for our 55 Fleetwood. Did they cut the hole for the dimmer switch? If not be very particular and everything in place and smoothed out. The wife did ours she has a lot more patience then me.

Keep Cruzin,

Bob K
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on December 29, 2018, 02:10:01 PM
Why is it that in the car shows on TV, the interior is always an afterthought: "and by the way, we also reupholstered everything with this awesome leather interior. The customer should be thrilled."

They make it sound like it's a cheap and simple thing.

And I cant get a quote to do the seats on my 54 for under $6000. What the hell.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on December 30, 2018, 12:57:50 PM
Wow! $6,000.00 Iím glad I live in the Midwest. I know prices have gone up since 2010 when I did the seats for my 55 Fleetwood. The material from SMS was about $750.00 and the labor to sew and install with new foam an padding was $1,500.00.

Keep Cruzin,

Bob Kielar
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on December 30, 2018, 04:33:01 PM
It's crazy.  I'll keep shopping around.  The seats can wait for now.

Carpet is going in this week, doors and fenders are getting hung soon and then I get to bring her back home and do the fun parts.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on December 31, 2018, 01:36:32 PM
Have fun putting all that bling back on I did. Just remember be patient have some painters tape especially for the door/window trim pieces.

Keep Cruzin,

Bob Kielar
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 05, 2019, 11:51:20 AM
The grille is ready for wax and reassembly!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Roger Zimmermann on January 05, 2019, 01:26:13 PM
Good luck! I did the same for my '56cars; sometimes it does not go as expected!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on January 05, 2019, 05:02:47 PM
Good luck indeed. No coffee for this job. Patience required  ;D
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 05, 2019, 07:28:10 PM
What roadblocks did you come up against? Seems pretty straightforward. 
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Roger Zimmermann on January 06, 2019, 03:08:31 AM
Until there is a screw somewhere, the assembly is very unstable and elements can fall down!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 07, 2019, 08:40:20 PM
It was a productive weekend.  All the slats came together nicely. Always did enjoy a good puzzle! Gotta say my hands are like chopped meat from pushing on the sharp edges to get everything together.

 The top rail and screws had been sandblasted, primered and painted the weekend before. I hope to get the ends done in the next couple days. I think the chrome on those pieces should be riveted on, but I dont want to use my cheap pop riveter. Off to Harbor Freight I go to get an aircraft style rivet gun.

BTW I didnt do the polishing of the stainless grille slats myself. I was too afraid to do irreparable damage. I had them done professionally and am very happy with the result. Putting it all back together was fun.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: CAD161 on January 08, 2019, 01:07:56 AM
What a transformation, amazing job RobertM
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on January 08, 2019, 10:28:57 AM
Very nice Bob! Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on January 08, 2019, 11:28:51 AM
Looks amazing Bob!

Keep Cruzin,

Bob Kielar
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: David King on January 08, 2019, 12:23:24 PM
Nice work Robert,

Do have any detail photos of the clips/retainers and screws?  I am missing a bunch of those parts and need to find or make some.  My 55 grille is out for polishing now.

Thanks

David
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 08, 2019, 03:19:15 PM
David I can definitely do that for you. Give me a couple days. I have plenty of pics on my computer at home and can take more. Anything in particular?

Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 08, 2019, 03:22:00 PM
Did you know you cant buy solid rivets at Lowes, Home Depot or Harbor Freight? Yeah, me neither. Guess I'm waiting a few days for shipping so I can attach these pieces and get it all together onto the bumper.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on January 08, 2019, 06:27:22 PM
Rob,

How exactly does the chrome attach to the black part? I'm confused as to how this connects.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 08, 2019, 07:08:09 PM
They are riveted on. Here's a good picture of one (not mine). I want to use solid stainless steel rivets for a slightly cleaner look. Im just being picky.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on January 08, 2019, 07:25:58 PM
Ah, I see it now. That is gonna be fun to peen over the rivets. Are you making a jig of sorts?
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 08, 2019, 07:28:15 PM
Should be just enough room to use an air hammer attachment in the front. Plenty of room for a buck on the back side
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: caddyguy on January 08, 2019, 08:34:53 PM
Wow Bob, that grill looks great. I've been dragging my heels on doing that to my grill. I still have it off the car. G
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: David King on January 11, 2019, 06:25:16 PM
I tried finding the 3/16 x 3/16 rivet without success and since the penned end is the show surface, getting in there to upset it would be difficult.  I am going to use these shoulder bolts instead.  My parts are out for polish now and the base will be chromed soon.

Here is a link to the screw I will attempt to use.  https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/0175615?r=~%7Ccategoryl1:%22600000%20Fasteners%22%7C~%20~%7Ccategoryl2:%22600039%20Sockets%22%7C~%20~%7Ccategoryl3:%22602314%20Socket%20Shoulder%20Bolts%22%7C~%20~%7Csattr01:%5E%22Imperial%20(Inch)%22$%7C~%20~%7Csattr02:%5E%22Socket%20Shoulder%20Bolt%22$%7C~%20~%7Csattr04:%5E3/16%22$%7C~%20~%7Csattr06:%5E3/16%22$%7C~

David
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 11, 2019, 09:33:28 PM
I have 3/16 x 3/8 solid rivets coming, which should be right. Rivet length should be 1.5 times the hole diameter (3/16) plus the width of the metal being fastened.  That gave me almost exactly .375 inches.
(.1875 x 1.5)+.050+.050=.381
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 11, 2019, 09:47:06 PM
I got the trunk cardboard set in today. It feels like it's really nice quality. The board is more like luann than cardboard and the edge stitching is nicely done. I wont know about fitment for a couple of months. Will let you know about that.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: David King on January 12, 2019, 08:49:56 AM
Hi Bob,

The original rivet had a hollow end where they were peened over and there must of been a special tool to come in and upset them in a fixture.  Let us know how it works out for you doing this process with a solid rivet.  Wishing you good luck and success.

David
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 12, 2019, 10:28:19 AM
Thanks David. I don't think I'll have the skill to peen hollow rivets that nicely and will be happy with the smoother look of solid ones. Those shoulder bolts are a great compromise to go for the hollow rivet look.  Once I get started, I should find out pretty quickly if I'll have to change my mind and go with your idea
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 12, 2019, 02:28:19 PM
Mocked up the ends with stainless nuts and bolts for now
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: PHIL WHYTE CLC 14192 on January 13, 2019, 01:00:10 PM
Hi Bob,
That trunk lining kit, is that totally as the original finish? The reason I ask is because I don't have the original trunk lining in my car and would love to replace what is in there with the original set up.
Regards,
Phil
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: caddyguy on January 13, 2019, 07:16:13 PM
Bob, which blue did you get for the trunk cards,Light, Med, or dark blue? They all look similar on the drop page the seller has. G
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 14, 2019, 10:15:52 PM
Phil I cant be certain if its the exact same finish, since I seem to have lost my old cardboard. I dont know if you can tell from the photos, but it is slightly textured. I'll get a close up tmro.

G/caddy guy. The medium metallic blue is what I went with and it seems to be a nice match.

Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: PHIL WHYTE CLC 14192 on January 15, 2019, 02:25:13 AM
Thanks Bob, who is selling these kits? Phil
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: caddyguy on January 15, 2019, 06:12:28 AM
Phil, vendor is on ebay under Class-Teck-Cars and seller name Jackjilli. Look at item 302983889084. That should be it. G
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 18, 2019, 07:44:10 AM
I'm going this weekend for a final inspection of the car before I bring it home. Excited! Tons of work left to do, but the hardest parts are done.

Sorry Phil didnt see your question til just now. Heres the link.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F302983889084
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Roger Zimmermann on January 18, 2019, 07:57:26 AM
Interesting company. For more than 10 years ago, when I searched for a trunk cardboard kit for my '56 Biarritz, there was nothing similar, just a kit for a coupe which I had to rework. Anyway, it was better than nothing.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 20, 2019, 12:25:48 PM
Just inspected the car before I bring it back home. The metal and paint is finished and looks awesome! There are a couple minor touch-ups that need to be corrected (1 chip on a rocker and some other stuff to buff out), but all in all I am really impressed with the work. Now it's my turn to get to work.

There is a mountain of work ahead of me, but this will be the fun part. I dont have the funds to finish the interior this year. We did replace the carpet, paint the dash and all the door panel parts, but the rest will have to wait until next year. Reupholstering the seats are going to be a huge expense.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Clewisiii on January 20, 2019, 12:58:45 PM
The colors are great
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Roger Zimmermann on January 20, 2019, 01:11:28 PM
Nice! Now the work from your side can begin. I did that on 3 cars, I remember the excitement!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on January 20, 2019, 02:01:58 PM
Wow Bob. Just wait to you start putting the chrome bits back on. This car is going to look awesome.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 20, 2019, 02:47:10 PM
The shop and I are having a hard time figuring out where these go back to. We assume they are around the steering column, but cant figure out where or how.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 20, 2019, 03:18:14 PM
Lou, the metal work they did is unreal. The rear quarters are new metal from the top of the skirts down. You would never know, and look how well those skirts fit.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on January 20, 2019, 04:25:04 PM
The shop and I are having a hard time figuring out where these go back to. We assume they are around the steering column, but cant figure out where or how.

Bob,

Those look like the covers that go over the front seat frame in the rear. One for each side. 
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 21, 2019, 03:24:32 PM
Makes sense. Thanks Lou.

Another quick question. Any idea on a source for these? Restoration specialties said no. They are inside the inner upper window moldings to attach the molding to the door frame.  Probably the first of many "where the heck do I get these" posts.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Agent86 on January 23, 2019, 08:48:15 AM
The shop and I are having a hard time figuring out where these go back to. We assume they are around the steering column, but cant figure out where or how.

I thought those go in the trunk...
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Agent86 on January 23, 2019, 08:49:04 AM
Have you finished sanding and buffing the paint?


Cobalt Blue looks awesome on a 54-56 FW...


Congrats!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on January 29, 2019, 03:49:23 PM
The paint had been sanded and buffed by the shop and looked great. I may decide to do some more as well when she gets home.  She's on the way back to me and should arrive tomorrow or Thursday. So excited!

That solid rivet idea for the grill extensions was a short-lived experiment.  I couldnt get my air hammer to properly squeeze a few practice rivets. Went to the local fastener store and spent $3 on these button head bolts. Emulates the original hollow rivets pretty well and looks nice. My overthinking can sure get in the way sometimes.

Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: 57shark82 on January 30, 2019, 09:38:56 AM

Which paint shop did you use?  I need to repaint my 1937 LaSalle here within the next year and I'd love to find a quality shop like the one you used for your 1954!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on February 18, 2019, 05:34:33 PM
57shark62 I went to Carolina Auto Body in Pittsboro, North Carolina. It's a small shop literally in the woods. The owner is a real pleasure to work with. He only hires older experienced workers and it shows in the work.  All the metalwork that was needed killed my budget, but I have to say the final product is really nice.  I just got the car back about a month ago but haven't had the time to start putting her back together. That will start very soon.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on February 18, 2019, 05:42:22 PM
Haven't had much of a chance to do anything the past month, but I did manage to get the front bumper and grille assembled over the weekend.  I sandblasted and painted all the brackets and hardware. Most of the nuts and bolts are replaced, with stainless where possible. I will need to replace the fog light lenses eventually; one has a crack and the other is crazed.

For the next couple days it will be a big centerpiece on my kitchen table. I don't think I'd get away with that if I were married. 
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on February 18, 2019, 06:57:22 PM
That is beautiful. I do stuff similar to that all the time in my kitchen as well. A house is intended to be lived in. Nice work Bob. Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on February 18, 2019, 08:55:56 PM
Very nice bumper stand Bob.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on February 19, 2019, 09:27:13 AM
As a point of reference, here is the before.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: caddyguy on February 19, 2019, 10:29:26 PM
Bob you may want to power up the lights for some ambiance in the kitchen! LOL. Looks real good you should be proud.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on February 25, 2019, 10:25:06 PM
Still not able to get to work on the car but trying to get some small details out of the way. Any suggestions on how to paint the grooves on these? My plan at the moment is to sand the grooves a bit with a medium (120 / 150) grit, hand paint some acid etch primer into the grooves then finally do the black.  My girlfriend told me to use permanent marker lol.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: 57shark82 on February 26, 2019, 02:57:40 PM

I'd recommend taping off the grooves then using Testors flat black model paint.  I used that on some trim for my 1955 and it turned out great!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Perk2 on February 26, 2019, 03:16:57 PM
Hi,
I did a write up on this topic in the 61-62 Cadillac section when I did the dash on my 61 Cadillac Eldorado.
My dash was installed already, I heavily taped the surrounding areas, and thought I would be able to spray the entire piece, and then wipe off the paint from the high flats...well the paint dried much faster than I had anticipated. So ended up using a flat blade exacto knife to carefully scrape the paint off the flat surface, using MANY blades in the process to keep a sharp edge and clean removal of the paint after it dried, this also allowed for the paint to really get into the groves on all sides. Have a look at the photos I posted of my dash....came out very nicely....took a lot of patience doing it while in the dash.
I used a specific semi gloss black paint, mentioned in my write up after discussing with many on her.
Should be a little easier for you out of the car.
Good luck.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on February 26, 2019, 05:10:46 PM
I had changed my tack and started taping before I saw these replies. I was laying tape on the top, cutting down the groove and folding it in. I'll look over your post and see where I want to go from here.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on February 26, 2019, 05:24:42 PM
Bob,

Go to your local art store. They make paint pens from fine tip to wide tip. The pens have balls in them like a spray can does. The pen applies the paint directly where you need t. No taping required. If any paint gets where it don't belong, let it dry and take some 0000 steel wool to remove it. Did my 56 this way in 2010. Still looks great. 
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on February 27, 2019, 10:09:05 PM
Nice work and also images Lou, especially the last one. Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on March 03, 2019, 12:03:53 PM
Thanks Lou. I did go with the paint pen, came out nice. Took me 2 tries to get it right. First time I tried to clean things as I went with q-tips and paper towel but it left a ton of dust and paper fiber in the paint. The second time i let it all dry then tidied it up with 0000 steel wool. Much better.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: David King on March 05, 2019, 06:09:32 PM
Bob,

What is the part number on the paint pen you used as I have the same task to do with mine.

David
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on March 05, 2019, 07:18:26 PM
I got this one...might need 2, the tip gets messy after a while.
https://www.dickblick.com/items/21312-2024/
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on April 26, 2019, 02:45:53 PM
I havent been able to do anything since I got her back due to a busy life and crappy weather. Took her out and cleaned her up today. I'm really happy with the bodywork and paint. Chrome and stainless are going back on very soon!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on April 26, 2019, 04:30:16 PM
Bob she looks sharp and I love that paint! I am in the midst of an engine rebuild as well as major front end work and engine component and related items rebuild project. Got parts all over my living room floor and like you in the kitchen. Wife so far is putting up with it :)  Guess i lucked out there! Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on April 26, 2019, 06:04:11 PM
wow! just wait till the chrome bits get on the car. It will be a show stopper.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on April 26, 2019, 09:56:49 PM
That paint is Lexi's colour. It is well suited for your car. Post some shots when the chrome is back on, (unless you want to leave it in your kitchen). Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on April 27, 2019, 10:16:41 AM
If you look close at the rear quarter you can see some orange peel and its evident in some other areas as well so I've  decided to go the extra step and do a color sand and buff starting today. Sanding with 1500 grit then 3000 then a compound buff a polish buff and ending with a glaze buff.  It would be a lot harder to do with the bright work on, so it's now or never.

I spoke with the shop who did the work and he said there's no worries about going thru the clear. They did 2 coats of clear, sanded, then 3 more coats of clear then buffed. its probably not even necessary to do this but I think the final result will be worth the extra effort.



Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on April 27, 2019, 10:55:50 AM
Clay we live pretty close to each other, relatively speaking. Would be nice to get together sometime. I did what you are doing about.5 years ago and would be glad to offer assistance .
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on April 27, 2019, 01:16:32 PM
That would be great to have a car day together. If I recall though, you are in New England and I live in the People's Republic of Canada :(  We would need a Jetson's car. Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on April 27, 2019, 01:40:13 PM
Ah ok. For some reason I thought you were in Massachusetts.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on May 30, 2019, 06:12:55 PM
Between working overtime and umpiring baseball every day, I've managed to get in about 40 hrs of wet sanding. 1500 grit then 3000 grit is finally done on the whole car except the roof.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on May 30, 2019, 06:15:03 PM
3 rounds of buffing on the trunk lid completed today (compound, polish, glaze). Came out great! Will look even better when the sun finally comes out.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on May 30, 2019, 06:18:49 PM
Very nice indeed! Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on June 11, 2019, 01:10:18 PM
I had a feeling the sand and buff job I had started could have been better. The car is completely sanded but I stopped buffing after doing the trunk lid. It just didnt seem to have the pop I was expecting. I asked for advice from a friend who has his own body shop.  Turns out I was afraid of using the compound for too long and subsequently wasn't using it long enough. There was still 3000 grit dullness in the clearcoat. Heres what the trunk lid looks like now. Wow. Now I'm off to work on the rest of the car.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on June 12, 2019, 12:21:52 AM
That is great news. I as well am making progress on my engine and related components rebuild. Lots of little pitch battles experienced to get the car right. Yours appears to be coming along quite well. Do keep us posted with lots of pictures. Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on June 13, 2019, 07:35:51 PM
Not gonna bore you with one panel at a time, but boy is this going to be good when it's done.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on June 14, 2019, 12:00:00 AM
Go ahead and give it a try. We Mid-Century Caddy nuts don't bore that easily. Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RyanD on June 14, 2019, 05:53:05 AM
That does look fantastic, Robert. Can't wait to see this bad boy all done.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: 57shark82 on June 14, 2019, 12:15:05 PM

That paint looks incredible.  Out of curiosity did you use two stage, single stage, or lacquer?
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on June 14, 2019, 07:41:08 PM
Base coat/clear coat. Not sure how any coats of the base, 5 coats of clear.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: 57shark82 on June 18, 2019, 08:13:44 AM

Thanks for the info.  I'm going to repaint my 1937 Lasalle here soon and I want it to be as close to factory as possible...but I'm also open to the idea of the two stage paint for the sake of $.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on June 21, 2019, 08:04:29 PM
Moving along nicely. One quarter, one fender and the skirts are sanded and need to be buffed. 2 doors didnt need sanding but have yet to be buffed, and I'm going to buff the roof if I can figure out how to get up that high. I'd guess I am about 60 hrs into sand and buff so far, with about 15 or so left.

Here's a little progression of the hood. Wet sanded with 1500 then 3000. Ardex 1000 compound (coarse wool pad) , Ardex 2500 finisher (fine wool pad) then Ardex #5 machine glaze (foam pad). Its coming out great. There used to be some noticeable orange peel on the forward facing areas.  Definitely no longer.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on June 21, 2019, 10:22:29 PM
Holy geez that looks great! Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on June 22, 2019, 06:45:16 AM
Rob,

Take the air out the tires and the car will drop low to the ground. This will help your efforts to work on the roof. Makes doing the hood and trunk easier too. This only works if you have an air compressor to fill the tires back up  ;D ;D 
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: G Pennington on June 22, 2019, 10:23:36 AM
Going thru this same process on my '53.  Are you using a DA sander for the color sanding or doing it all by hand?
I used a DA w/1200 discs (wet) ok, but found the 2000 discs would stick to the finish so finished the 2000 sanding by hand.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: carguyblack on June 22, 2019, 11:36:32 AM
If you want a mirror finish with zero distortion, cross block it all by hand and then give it a quick buzz with 3000 with a DA right before buffing.
Painstaking but it makes a noticeable difference.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: G Pennington on June 22, 2019, 01:30:19 PM
I did numerous coats of Hi-Build primer and blocked between every couple of coats.  150/220/400.  3 coats base and 5 coats clear.  800 DA wet over rough areas, 1200 DA wet all over, then 2000 "soft block" wet all over.  Then polish.  Took a LOT of polishing to get to 2000 scratches out.
Never thought about blocking the clear.  Would be afraid of cutting thru it on any high spots.  Might try that when I get around to painting the '41.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on June 22, 2019, 05:41:31 PM
Thanks Lou.  I could bring my compressor to where the car is, might just do that.

GP Your car looks great! Would love to see more as you go. What color is that?  I did the 1500 and 3000 wet sanding of the clear by hand. Took a long time but I'm happy with the results so far.  No worries on cutting thru 5 coats of hardened clear. Nice garage, btw.  What I wouldn't give to have a decent garage. I'm currently renting half of a friend's detached 2 car garage because my home doesn't even have one.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: G Pennington on June 22, 2019, 06:25:04 PM
Color is Tunis Blue Metallic.  It's the original factory color.  Am still finishing up the polishing process
Next comes re-installing the chrome, wiring, etc.  Much work left to do.  May start a new posting on this site to document.
The shop is 25 x 30 and came with the house when I bought it in 2013.  First thing I did was finish the inside, insulate it, and install air conditioning (this is Texas, after all!).
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on June 22, 2019, 07:07:35 PM
My car was born Newport Blue and was repainted a different light blue in the '80s.  It's now Cobalt Blue, which is an original '54 color that is one of my favorites.

Chrome and stainless are next for me, too. It's all been redone, just waiting to get reinstalled. I'll need to figure out where to get some fasteners and clips, so some parts may take a while.  After that the interior and the trunk will be next to get some attention. Seats reupholstered, new kick panels, package tray and maybe headliner. The dash and other metal interior parts are already painted.

There is so much left to do, but a wise man told me something early on that has stuck with me throughout this project:
"Bob", he said, "Know how you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. You'll get it done if you are hungry enough."  I've kept that in mind and that has kept me from rushing and losing the enjoyment of doing this.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Roger Zimmermann on June 23, 2019, 01:43:17 AM
  3 coats base and 5 coats clear.  800 DA wet over rough areas, 1200 DA wet all over, then 2000 "soft block" wet all over.  Then polish.  Took a LOT of polishing to get to 2000 scratches out.
Never thought about blocking the clear.  Would be afraid of cutting thru it on any high spots. 
If I'm understanding well, you are sanding the color coat and then spraying the clear coat?
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: G Pennington on June 23, 2019, 12:08:11 PM
Didn't sand the color coat (base coat) except in a couple of areas where I messed up; in these areas I used a DA (800) and/or hand block (1200) to smooth excess orange peel, then applied an additional coat of base.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on June 30, 2019, 01:35:23 PM
Done with the wet sanding and buffing. 80 hrs or so worth. Chrome and stainless are next!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on June 30, 2019, 06:36:14 PM
Get that chrome on !    ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: 57shark82 on July 01, 2019, 09:43:47 AM

Wow!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on July 02, 2019, 05:20:43 PM
OK, so I suddenly have a legitimate dilemma.  I remember a conversation in passing with the body shop where I told him that one of the clips to the driver's side taillight had fallen down. Evidently, he took that to mean that there should have been a bracket for a clip in the same place as on the passenger's side. And he welded a bracket in place.  Just today, when I was about to install the driver's side taillight, I realized this mistake.  Oh boy.

Question for those who know better than I:  There is no space for me to use a cutting wheel.  Do you think I will be able to use a chisel on the half dozen or so welds to remove this piece without causing damage to the surrounding area?  Is there a better way?
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: South_paw on July 02, 2019, 05:47:19 PM
How much of it needs to be removed? I would use a large step drill bit and drill most of it out. Then file the rest of it off. Time must be taken not to create too much heat.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on July 02, 2019, 05:57:53 PM
It needs to be removed all the way out to about where the tape is.  That's supposed to be empty space where they hinge assembly goes in. If you look close you can see the welds.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on July 02, 2019, 06:09:07 PM
A drill should do it. Lou's comment regarding keeping heat down are valid. As with any power tool I am always mindful that they can suddenly catch and get away from you. There are mini die grinders that would probably do it while giving you a lot of control. They can be hard to find, but they are like an air powered dremel except they are tiny. Not all mini die grinders are the same. The ones I am thinking of are the thickness of a magic marker or less. Not much bigger than a crayon. Small 1/8 shaft bits would allow you to pick away at it, or use to file what is left after drilling the larger section out. Attached is a photo of one such unit with an American .25 cent piece for size comparison. A fraction of the size of a dremel, but uses their bits. I usually find dremels and regualr die grinders bulky for jobs such as yours. These mini ones may help out a lot. Central Pneumatics made this one. Good luck Bob. Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: David King on July 02, 2019, 07:18:21 PM
I would recommend not using a power tool for the major portion, just be slow enough to not make a mistake.  Some small drills in the corners and then use a coping saw to hand cut the piece out.

David
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on July 03, 2019, 04:29:23 PM
I decided this was a good excuse to buy a Drermel.  I bought the Dremel Micro (cordless). I cut the welds as much as I could with a cutting disc, and the piece split off.

Taillights are now in place; I have some wiring to re-solder.  And I have to figure out why the taillight covering the gas fill does not want to snap shut.  It might just need some time to work in the new gaskets.  I don't see any way to adjust it other than a little bit on the catch spring.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: PHIL WHYTE CLC 14192 on July 03, 2019, 04:35:07 PM
The hinged tailight has always caused me trouble on my 54 CDV. I put new Steele rubber on it and it wouldn't close. I cant remember exactly what I did but I think I probably cut away at the rubber. Anyway, it shuts now but as soon as it did shut it snapped a small part of the lens off where it meets the reflector/push button housing😡
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on July 03, 2019, 04:44:58 PM
Yes, I noticed a crack exactly there after I got it shut. I'm going to take a closer look at it tomorrow.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on July 04, 2019, 08:53:41 PM
Some things I learned today:

Repop parts usually don't quite fit right.
     -It's frightening to drill new holes in fresh paint.
Home Depot doesn't sell 1/4 x 28 (fine) hex nuts.
I wish my arms were 3 inches longer.
The bolts on Fleetwood hash marks are pot metal.  Don't overtighten them.
     -It's good when you happen to have spares available.

All in all, it was still a good day.  When there's a will, there's a way.
Happy 4th!
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: PHIL WHYTE CLC 14192 on July 05, 2019, 01:28:16 AM
 I have learnt over the years wherever possible, it is better to restore original parts rather than buy new parts. Unfortunately this isn't always possible. Phil
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on July 05, 2019, 06:07:56 AM
I decided to go with new "Cadillac" fender script rather than restore the old ones. They were pretty pitted and I couldnt see them coming out well enough. Ill get them rechromed eventually and if they come out nice I'll sell the repops. The new ones had pins slightly off tho so I had to expand the holes a bit. I didnt like putting a drill to the new paint but it came out fine. It was because of those scripts that I wish my arms were longer! The furthest holes were barely at my fingertips. 
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: PHIL WHYTE CLC 14192 on July 05, 2019, 10:05:35 AM
Hi Bob,
I would have done the same, I have never seen pitted pot metal replated successfully.
Phil
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: G Pennington on July 08, 2019, 01:53:51 PM
Bob,
Do you mind if I ask where you got the repro fender scripts?  The ones with the pins slightly off?
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on July 08, 2019, 02:31:58 PM
Ebay seller olddeadcaddy59.  He has them in gold and chrome, they look really nice other than the pins are slightly off, about 3/16".

Chrome:  https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F153533215804

Gold: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F153538173292
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: G Pennington on July 08, 2019, 03:52:39 PM
I saw those on eBay.  $100 cheaper than McVeys.  But I've purchased other items from McVeys (hood and trunk crests and bases) and have been impressed with the quality.  Wasn't sure about the eBay vendor.  Think I'll order a pair from McVeys and see how they fit.  Will post here.
I'm sick of getting repro parts that don't fit right.  Rear tail light lenses are a good example. 
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Roger Zimmermann on July 09, 2019, 01:18:48 AM
I suppose that the repro scripts are made with an original part as master. Due to the shrinking of the casting process, the pins are not aligned correctly.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on July 11, 2019, 03:47:14 PM
Everything in black got fresh paint while I wait for some fasteners for the trim. Pretty sure bumpers are going on tomorrow just have to pin down my son and a couple of his friends for a couple hours.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on July 18, 2019, 05:44:22 AM
What are you guys using for exhaust ports through the bumper...and how to center them? I'd much rather have the exhaust condensation go all the way out than into the bumper end. The bracket inside one of the bumper ends is pretty much unusable so that doesn't help.

What do you think of this? McVeys sells these 3 things separately: exhaust port insert, installation kit and insulator.  I think the total is about $232.  And knowing McVeys, the shipping will be about $40.
   https://mcveys.com/collections/miscellaneous/products/1954-and-55-exhaust-port-inserts
   https://mcveys.com/collections/miscellaneous/products/1954-1955-exhaust-port-insulator
   https://mcveys.com/collections/miscellaneous/products/1954-1955-exhaust-port-install-kit
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Roger Zimmermann on July 18, 2019, 06:03:46 AM
If you have access to an old tire, you can cut it and do your own insulators.
I don't know if the install kit is allowing for the exhaust dilatation, but it's something to consider. When I restored my '56 de Ville, I just discarded the tiny steel or brass "supports". Later, I saw that the mufflers were looking at the ends like an accordion. Then, I understood why those discarded parts were needed: the tubes can slide on them when the exhaust system is expanding. As the 1956 system is different than '54-'55, I don't know how the whole thing is installed.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on July 23, 2019, 12:25:12 PM
The lip of the trunk was really rotted out and all the metal is replaced.  Here's a dumb question...do I drill holes in the trunk for the license plate wires? This is the only pic of mine I can find that hints at where the wires may have went. I bought 2 wiring grommets to do this, but if it's supposed to go a different way, I'd like to do it right.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on July 24, 2019, 01:25:06 PM
When I took the car apart, there was a bracket attaching a fender and a grille extension missing. A friend just made me replacements for both sides and did a nice job.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on August 03, 2019, 12:59:41 PM
I've been away from the car for a few days.  Had a few minutes so I got the brackets holding the grille extensions to the fenders installed. These were the ones fabricated by a friend and fit like a glove. A small but satisfying victory. BTW You can see the rust repair that was done underneath the driver's headlight.  Looks great from the outside, seamless.

I'm nearly done with the exterior, just have to put on the exterior window reveal moldings, then the door windows will go back in next. Wish me luck there, replacing all the fuzzies and channels.  First time I'll have ever done that. Unfortunately I'll be kind of stuck at that point until I get my door panels back from SMS.  13 months and counting.  While I wait I will go get estimates on reupholstering the seats and other various interior stuff.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on August 16, 2019, 07:01:16 AM
Somewhat disappointing day. I got the bumper inserts from McVeys and I think they're not what I expected. I don't see the need for what these are. I'll return them and just get some $20 exhaust tips.

Also I spent hours over the past few days cutting and shaping insulators to go in the bumper ends, only to have one of the brackets break off in my hand and the other side is pretty much unservicable. If I had the foresight I would have had those brackets fabricated before the bumpers were re-chromed. No way I'm going to try to weld anything inside at this point and risk damaging the chrome outside.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on August 16, 2019, 10:23:25 AM
Hello Bob,
                 What a beautiful Cadillac you have. It would be nice to meet someday and take some pictures of are Cadillacs together. Here are some pictures of the license plate lights wiring on my 55 Fleetwood.

Keep Cruzin,

Bob Kielar
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on August 16, 2019, 10:42:06 AM
Thank you Bob. That helps immensely. The repair kit for the trunk lip didnt include the holes where yours are. I have a much better idea now of what to do.

That would be wonderful.  Where are you located? I'm in Connecticut.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on August 22, 2019, 06:02:41 PM
This car is fighting me, every single nut and bolt is a challenge. Slowly but surely I'm making headway.

Havent figured out the turn signal and brake light issue yet. Before I go taking the steering wheel off to check the turn signal switch I'm going to try and see if the brake switch might be the problem. And I somehow broke the shaft to the trunk lock. Might have to replace the whole thing. Small problem but aggravating nonetheless. 

I am very close to having the exterior completely finished. Door windows are next then I'm at a standstill waiting for SMS with my door panels. I have possibly lined up a shop to do the interior this winter.
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: carguyblack on August 23, 2019, 06:31:54 PM
Thank you for your tenacity! The car is simply gorgeous. Sometimes you just need to walk away from it for a day or so and when you come back, the problem you left seems more solvable. Easy for us to say, but it's worth every bit of time and expertise you invested in this car so we can all enjoy it. ;D
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on August 24, 2019, 12:05:09 AM
Bob not sure if your steering wheel is the same as my '56, but if it is and you decide to remove it, be very careful. Chances are no one has ever done so, and therefore loosening that big nut for the first time (under the horn ring assembly) can be dangerous. We don't have a locking steering wheel so you almost need someone holding it so it doesn't turn and work against you, when attempting to loosen that huge nut. It can put up quite a struggle. When it finally lets go, it can be very sudden and your wrench or whatever you used to remove it can suddenly let loose and take a chunk out of your steering wheel. Probably best to wrap your wheel with styro-foam and a thick blanket to protect it. Then use a puller to ease off the wheel itself, (not the hammer and backed off bolt method of removal). Be careful not to damage the brass horn contact button in the center. I just took mine off as I had to re-set my wheel after an alignment adjustment. I gripped my wheel between my thighs and had to use a 2 1/2 foot long breaker bar with a huge socket to get mine off. Wish I had someone holding the wheel so I could have diverted full attention to the nut removal. Unless you have been working out with a "thigh master", probably best to have someone help. Clay/Lexi
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: rare eldorado on August 25, 2019, 08:11:06 AM
Have  you tried using an air wrench or electric wrench ..makes work a lot easier ? I use air wrench set on medium....
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on August 25, 2019, 08:56:21 AM
Where my car was parked I had no access to air so that was not an option. But you make a good point. The hammering action would probably help a lot. Probably a safer way to get that nut off if you have access to air. Clay
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: RobertM on August 25, 2019, 09:03:55 AM
I havent tried to get the wheel off yet. Stepped away for a couple days. Just now got to the garage to test the brake switch first. If that's good then the wheel will have to come off to test the turn signal switch. The body shop did have the steering wheel off when the interior parts were out to be painted so that's a plus. Shouldnt be as difficult as if it hadnt been off in 65 years. 😊
Title: Re: Making progress on the '54
Post by: Lexi on August 25, 2019, 03:50:17 PM
Yes. Once I had mine off, it was easy removing it the second time. That first time was not fun though. Clay/Lexi