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1951 Pontiac Chieftain - Electrics

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I started tonight from inside the car, with the intention of removing the toe board panels that surround the brake pedal, in order to remove the brake pedal.


Little wonder this would catch on the brake as it was depressed; some ham-fisted person had smashed it into place and tightened it down on the squint.


Bashed it straight with a hammer, rubbed it down and applied rust converter.


Etch primed then painted in Nearly The Correct Blue.


Rinse and repeat 2x more. Need to buy some sheet metal bolts to hold it all together, half of them are missing.

Didn't get to pulling the pedal off, that's a task for tomorrow.



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Tonight's hugely inspirational update is brought to you by 88¢ of bolts.

I also found a piece specific to "H" VIN cars- clutch pedal blanking plate. Cleaned that up and threw a bit of paint onto it, can fit that up onto the toe-board.

I pulled my back out last night so updates may be slow...



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I hadn't thought to offer the blue up against the car. That's not a bad color match for something off the shelf at Wal-Mart.


Said plate fits into the first piece of the assembly right there.


All fitted in and held down correctly. No squeaks, clanks, rattles. Very good!



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2 hours ago, PhilA said:

Wash your mouth out with soap



did someone say Foot operated switch?! *runs away before getting shot* :mrgreen:



(to be pedantic to my self, IIRC thats actually something to do with releasing the "hand" brake...)

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3 hours ago, hairnet said:


corn head grease??

why corn head yall

Goes in the gearbox at the head of a corn picking machine. Apparently the shafts take a beating and the grease likes to come out. So, the grease is designed to become moderately fluid where it's worked, and slump over when it's stopped. Where it's not worked it remains moderately solid and doesn't liquefy and run through poor seals.



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A little work again tonight. The day cooled off enough to work outside.


I couldn't get the clevis pin to budge whilst on the car, so I unscrewed the master cylinder shaft out and pulled it off that way.


Straightened and cleaned the adjuster shaft, ran a tap down the threads and painted it up.


Cleaned up and painted the brake pedal.


I think possibly someone had been neglecting the lubrication schedule.


Cleaned up the clevis pin, grease nipple and rubber pad.

That concludes tonight's work. Paint is drying.



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I need to go to the hardware store and see if there's anything I can find to repurpose as a dual pipe clamp. When taking the lower heater pipe out I saw that there's a screw hole in the frame where the pipes pass through, to stop them chattering.

Also to note, both heater matrices were disconnected when I got the car, with the heater circuit bypassed. Upon removing the rubber hose, I was presented with clean yellow coolant. This is a good thing; means at least the lower matrix has had anti corrosive mixture in and by the looks of it has no major leaks.

The heater valve is all covered in staining, so I'm guessing either the valve or the matrix (or both) are toast.

I am going to remove the defroster heater box, partly because I want to paint around and behind it, partly to replace the seal that's turned to so much tar and the rest to check the matrix, flush it and see if the valve is any more good.


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My Toyota uses a bowden wire/twist tap to control the heater water flow. Boring BUT Reliable....

Watching you comb through this motor is really interesting - I must say my watching ColdWarMotors has made me very aware of model/make similarities and (of course) Jonathan W for how to get them running!

Keep at it m8 ;)

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This has a thermostatically controlled bellows valve, to keep the cabin at the temperature you dial it to (calibrated in the range of cool to warm). 

Apparently they are known to leak. One type you cannot take apart, the other is able to be repaired. I don't know what type mine is, so the upper heater box needs to come out and apart to find out. Also there's going to be years of detritus in the defroster heater. It's also a lot easier to remove the nuts from it with the dash removed.



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One Harrison upper heater box.


...which has been leaking.


Ludicrously complicated thermostatically controlled valve appears to be the culprit.


Pulled the rest of it apart to clean and paint.


A big gap remains. I need to figure out how to remove the fan and ducting to replace the fan motor with a 12V version.


The heater matrix flushed through fairly clean. It certainly isn't blocked, and doesn't appear to leak, either.

Next up, catalog to see if there's a replacement valve available, and at what cost.



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I am glad for the workshop here, that much is true. It beats having parts of the car stacked up in the car or in the house, and is much better than being outside on a sloping gravel and dirt driveway like at our last house.

As for the time- right now I'm trying to make the time to see if I can beat the deadline of September to get it back on the road. 1-2 hours after work if the evening allows.



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Yes, but they used the flexibility of the plastic to provide a floor mounted pedal. This one has an actual hinge...

The brake pedal is chassis-mounted, if you want to be pedantic :P


Heater valves appear to be available as a rebuild/core item. They are, however, expensive.


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Ebay7 - RANCO heater valve

That's the correct one for the car but the rubber is 60+ years old and I don't like the price

There's places that service and rebuild these valves for less so I think I'll go with that option, that way it's got modern rubber parts in that shouldn't spring a leak upon being pressed into service.



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