Jump to content

1951 Pontiac Chieftain - The List

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, PhilA said:


Bloody hell...small world!

I think that's probably the thing about the web which has surprised me the most, the way it makes the world so much smaller.  I think stumbling across someone on four separate forums on four totally, utterly divergent subjects was my record.  Only noticed about three years in when I clicked that they used the same avatar and actually the same name, just long-hand, short-hand and one included a random number on the end for reasons unknown.

...Says me whose original YouTube username back in the dark ages was Ladanut275.  I to this day have no idea why I stuck 275 on the end as the username was available without it!  What puzzles me even more is why I didn't just use this name.  Zel took over as my online persona pretty much exclusively towards the end of 2003, so by 2005 when YouTube came along why I felt the need to cobble together some random handle I've no idea.  Without access to a time machine that shall forever remain one of life's mysteries.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tonight, I decided to strike one thing off the to do list.

The rear right glass now winds down but with the lower stop missing the mechanism would fall out the end of the upper runner and the window would jam in the fully down position. I didn't have enough metal to make a closing panel with a stop, so I decided to improvise.


Started with a piece of flat steel bar. Marked and cut it to size, with a 9/16" hole in.



You can see my line of thought here against the upper runner.



Slots in and pops over the mounting point, braced with strength.



Filed down a little and using a longer bolt that went further through, a washer and nut do up onto the other side and lock it in place.

Now the window winds all the way down but doesn't get stuck at the bottom.

Gonna put that door back together tomorrow, that leaves the driver's door to finish.



Link to post
Share on other sites


Tonight, I pulled the driver's side door glass. For what it's worth, glued the chunk that recently fell out back in.


I found a very rusty sash channel in the bottom of the rear right door. It still had the rubber in so I cleaned that up and replaced the wire insulation and fitted the sash channel, which gripped nicely.


This is a replacement glass. Little wonder it got caught, look how straight* it was cut.


I cut a length of metal and applied marine pu sealant to the back.


Got that clamped in place to set overnight.



Link to post
Share on other sites


Fitted the window back in, the modified runner works well enough for now; got the handles and door card back on and secure. The bottom of the door card is bad but eh. The door closes with a nice clunk now, no rattles.


Some firsts today too. First time all the doors function correctly and all work as they are meant to (99%).

Also, I have locked all the doors with the key and have secured the car for the first time since I've owned it. 

Not too bad




Link to post
Share on other sites

Vacuumed the car out tonight, adjusted the dome light cover so it clips on properly and cleaned the glass.


It's actually getting towards being presentable.

Just needs the grille fixing on securely, a couple of rubber fuel lines replacing that I don't trust, the exhaust and intake gaskets replacing, rear manifold stud, the heat riser gasket replacing, new fan belt, alternator bracket fitting with nylocs, battery relocating, coolant change, oil change and brakes redoing.

Then it's good enough to put on the highway.


Hatches are battened down for now, tomorrow gonna be windy.


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, paulplom said:

Is there an equivalent mot required for it?

Yup. It's gotta be tested.

In this state, any vehicle to be used on the highway must be inspected for safety annually (or biannually with a more rigorous test). Exemptions to that are things like farm machinery, ATV's and exempt antique vehicles.

I cannot register this as antique- there are stipulations and criteria it does not meet, so it's tested and treated as any other road vehicle when it comes to that.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so: The List.

Rebuild brakes
Replace rubber fuel lines (*)
Replace intake and exhaust manifold gaskets
Replace heat riser gasket
Windshield defog tube (*)
Refit glove box (defog tube first)
Rewire battery to trunk (*)
Manifold stud (*)
Crank breather tube (*)
Air filter needs oil
Coolant change
Fill screen wash
Oil change
Rear axle oil (*)
Grease everything again (*)

That's everything between now and putting it on the road. There's more, but that's the prep list.


(*) - Item that I don't have in stock

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Mr Pastry said:

Phil, what is the attitude of the general public and garages in the US to "old cars" - for want of a better term?

It's certainly a bit different to the UK. A new vehicle here doesn't depreciate like the ski-slope drop in the UK; it's a lot more level. My 13 year old truck sold, at a dealership in P/X for $7500; a running, driving vehicle represents an expensive investment in a lot of cases.

Sunset on a lof of vehicles here is approaching 18-20 years old, that's where the "beaters" exist, the autoshite. Generally by then the cars have been driven into the ground- there's a lot of "got problems, don't run, haul it away for cheap" adverts going on for cars that vintage. Past 25 years old, a car is considered antique and the value begins to creep up.

Garages will take on most cars here without too much prejudice though the cost of repairs often outweighs the value of the vehicle after about 15 years. Between then and 30 years is the low malaise point for a lot of cars, after that people start being willing to fork out money to get a "classic" going again, and it goes up from there.

My Pontiac, as an old heap, gets a lot of positive reaction from anyone who sees it. There's not a lot of snobbery over older cars, in general people are happy to see something older than them being driven about and are genuinely interested by it, or have the standard "grandpa/father/uncle/friend had one of these but it was an Oldsmobile" attitude.

I am tempted to bring this one to the GM dealer in town and let them puzzle over servicing it...



Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, PhilA said:

am tempted to bring this one to the GM dealer in town and let them puzzle over servicing it...


Do it, I bet they will scratch their heads then ring some retired employee to come and sort it. Unlike the UK, where the scratching the heads involves working out how many thousands they can screw you for because they cannot plug it into a computer that tells them what to do.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, busmansholiday said:

Do it, I bet they will scratch their heads then ring some retired employee to come and sort it. Unlike the UK, where the scratching the heads involves working out how many thousands they can screw you for because they cannot plug it into a computer that tells them what to do.

I just want to see if they would put down oil change $, new filter $, air cleaner element $ and a whole bunch of things it doesn't have...

Link to post
Share on other sites


Familiar sight again today. Pulled the wheel and brake drum off the passenger side front.



Removed the old flexi, fixed the mounting bracket, got the new cylinder in. Old one was leaking. 



Got everything back together, checked clearances. All good. Going to move on to the other side tomorrow if time allows.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By davidfowler2000
      Edit: This is longer than initially anticipated.
      As some will have noticed, Mr cms206 of this parish reckons the death knell for the SVM is close with his recent purchase of a Saab. Going with the fact I still have a 100% Volvo fleet, as does Mr rml2345 of this parish I would personally say it's just diversification. Especially considering the amount of non Volvos cms206 has had these days.
      This aforementioned diversification continues a pace. Although the paperwork still needs to be done, I have some non Volvo incoming.

      My aunt got the above pictured 205 back in about 2002 and ran it for about 3 years. By her accounts she put it in the lockup, got a Nissan Almera for whatever reason and basically put the 205 in to the long term deal with pile. It was initially SORN on the blue log book. Back when there was a theft of blue V5s at Swansea and everyone in the country got sent one of the new red ones, one never arrived for the 205 and after that it was properly forgetten about. Well she did. I've been keeping it in my mind every day since then. During a discussion over my birthday dinner a few weeks ago, she mentioned that she was going to pay the gardener she gets in to trim the trees to break in to the lockup because the padlock had rusted solid and she was desperate to use the space in the lockup. I said I'd do it free if I could assess the car. If it was completely fucked, it would have to get dragged out and put on a truck to go to the scrap heap. If I could get it moving, I would make it a project.
      Next day - 18th January:

      Time to break open the padlock then. Big screwdriver through the hasp and burst it within 3 seconds. Now to have a look at the car. It's dirty, 3 tyres are flat, one of them creased and the 4th is still at about 10psi. After FIFTEEN YEARS! A gentle rock confirms suspicions that all the wheels are locked so time to get all the wheels off and set about the brakes with a big swing press.
      The back wheels moved eventually. Judicious use the big hammer, two wheel bolts reinserted and a breaker bar as a lever got the back wheels turning. While the wheels were off I thought I'd see if they held air.
      All 4 tyres held 35psi. None of them appear to be cracked and the rubber is still "soft" to the scrape of a finger nail. Lack of sunlight attacking them I suppose but it'll get 4 new ones if it becomes roadworthy.
      After doing the back wheels, the front wheels quickly proved they could be a major problem. I took the calipers, pads and discs completely off the car and even with 2 wheel studs inserted and using the 3/4 drive breaker bar with an extra foot of length over the 1/2 bar, neither wheel / shaft would turn. So either the bearings had seized, the CV joints in the driveshafts had seized or something very sinister was happening inside the gearbox. By this time it was getting dark and cold so time to put it all away for another day.
      Another day - 24th January:
      Various discussions were had on the Scotoshite WhatsApp chat and the end result being Mr 320Touring of this parish agreed to come round for a shufty. He was wanting to check up on another car in a lockup only a mile or so away so it was a no brainer.
      As before, front wheels off, bar on the wheel bolts... nothing. What to do next? We need to use the car's own power to try to free off whatever is seized on the front wheels but the car is nose in to the lockup so we can't get jump leads to it. We need to drag it out but we don't have a tow rope however we manage to find what appears to be a self tightening dog collar / leash in the car and decide to cue MAXIMUM SKETCHINESS!!!

      A gentle tug from the ML of doom proved the NSF wheel is tight but not seized however the OSF is not moving. Fuck it... drag it while pushing from the front. If we need to shove it back in there's an old tyre in a pile of rubbish waiting to get uplifted by the council that can act as a cushion and the ML will do the job no bother. We also took the front brake discs off to minimise any drag from those.

      We decided to drag it out just enough to get my jump leads on to the battery. We had already taken the battery out to try it on the leads outside the car. Surprise surprise* it was so dead it had gone open circuit so there was absolutely no magic pixies flowing in to it. Luckily I had an old battery from the 740 that was the same size so that was obtained, inserted and then put to work. Time to leave it to charge for a wee bit.

      Now that we've got some electricity going from the ML in to the 205 it's time to see what will happen. Thanks to Mr Touring for providing the videos...
      At one point we were vexed by the daft French screw on battery terminals
      We were getting a bit desperate by this point. We used quite a lot of "easy start" and the amount of electricity was causing problems.
      We took a break at this point for 10 mins or so. Mainly to make sure we didn't get too frustrated but also to make sure the maximum possible amount of electricity was in the actual battery so that the leads were just there as a boost. This was clearly a good idea...
      Learning from all the antics of the last 15 mins or so we left it for another 5 mins. Using a clamp meter we let it get to the point that almost no electricity was flowing in the leads and therefore an almost complete charge and spraying the "easy start" ahead of time, results were finally had...
      YAY! MUCH ELATION! Oh and that old diesel stinks. Time to get the leads off, move the ML and let the 205 tick over for a few minutes to let the engine settle. Next we found out why the front wheels were not for turning...
      So yeah. All the CV Joints were completely solid. But anyways it was mission accomplished for the day. We got it moving and a general once over suggests that it should be easily salvageable therefore if auntie wants the space in the lockup, it's going to have to go somewhere. Time to put it back in and wrap up for the day.

      Thanks to 320 Touring in assistance. The list of work is substantial but not insurmountable. It needs - a battery, front discs, front pads, front calipers, front lower arms, front driveshafts, possibly bearings, rear drums, rear shoes, rear fitting kit, probably handbrake cables, flexi hoses all round, 4 new tyres, 3 of the 4 doors don't work properly, a water leak at the water pump but that can get done with a new cam belt, probably a thermostat, engine oil, filters all round, fresh fuel, a good clean, handbrake light, oil pressure light and a rear screenwash leak inside the tailgate.
      Oh and a sidelight bulb...

      Interim time:
      Lockup secured in Cumbernauld.
      Car transporter trailer booked for Wed 12th Feb to move it. The V70 will do the honours.
      Another bit of tinkering - 4th February
      So it has been agreed the V5 will be transferred in to my name. With an impending trailer move, I thought I'd go back and have another look at things and reassemble the front brakes. I've already installed a new battery so it can be started without the need for leads and it does so quite happily even though the fuel coming from the tank smells like paint. I drove it about in circles for 5 - 10 mins to free up the CV joints and scrape the rust off the brake discs. I also did some straight line tests pulling away in 2nd which seemed to free up the turbo actuator.
      I also found the radio code so I got that working but you'll have to take my word on it 'cos YouTube will just give me a copyright flag.
      I shall leave this one here just now. Not much will happen for a while. There will of course be the drama of the trailer move but once it's in the lockup a plan of action will need to be drawn up. A sensible first course will be, I think, to find someone who will give it a once over for MoT viability before any new parts are obtained. All the obvious stuff should be easily DIYable but I don't know what lurks underneath. Some things like the timing belt and water pump will be paid for but the rest will just get picked away at in due course.
      I also found some period souvenir parking tickets...


    • By captain_70s
      I'm a masochist from Leeds who is running two rusty, worn out Triumph Dolomites as my only transport in rural Aberdeenshire. You might recognise me from various other forums and Facebook groups. Realistically I need to buy a modern car of some sort, but instead I find myself looking at £300 Citroen BXs and Triumph Acclaims on Gumtree and thinking "yeah, that'd fit right in with the rest of the broken cars I can't afford".
      On to the cars, the main attraction being my 1976 1850HL "50 Shades of Yellow" that I bought for £850 and is currently my daily driver, here is a picture of it before I sanded off some surface rust and sprayed it badly in the wrong shade of yellow with rattle cans:

      Within a month of purchase I managed to plant it in to a steel fence backwards after a botched gear change on a wet roundabout and ruined the N/S rear wing, although judging by the other dent that's packed with filler it looks like somebody had already done the same. I also managed to destroy a halfshaft and one of my Sprint alloys (good for an extra 15hp) in the incident, so now it's sitting on it's original steelies but painted black (good for an extra 5hp).
      It's only broken down on me twice. once with some sort of fuel delivery related problem which may or may not have been an empty fuel tank and once when the thermostat jammed shut and it overheated and blew out some O-rings for the cooling system. It has recently developed a taste for coolant and oil which is rather annoying, although it's done 89,300 miles which is about 80,000 more miles than BL engineering is designed to last, I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines... 
      I tried to keep ahead of the rust a bit by rubbing down the arches and re-painting them, but apparently rattle can paint isn't great when you are spraying it at -5C, it also highlighted how although my car might have been Inca Yellow in 1976 it's now more of a "cat piss" sort of shade. So I ended up with the wrong shade of yellow which has rust coming back through after 5 weeks. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
      The other car is the first "classic" car I bought, so I can't bear to sell it. It's a '77 Dolomite 1300 and it cost £1400 (about £400 too much) and has been nothing but a pain in the arse:

      It looks much prettier (from 100 yards) but that's most due to the darker paintwork hiding the rust. It lives a mollycoddled life in my garage, where it somehow still manages to rust, and is utterly rubbish. 0-60 is measured on a calendar, top speed is 80ish but at that point it uses more oil than petrol, it rarely ventures over 50mph and if you encounter an incline of any sort you can kiss that sort of speed goodbye, along with about £20 of 20W50 as it vanishes out of the exhaust in the form of blue smoke.
      One of the PO's had clearly never heard of the term "oil change" so it developed into brown sludge that coated everything internally with the next owner(s) blissfully pouring fresh oil on top of it. This lasted until about 600 miles into my ownership when there was muffled "pop" from the engine bay and the car became a 3-cylinder. The cause was catastrophic wear to the top end causing a rocker arm to snap:

      As this was my first classic car I'd assumed it was supposed to sound like the engine was full of marbles, it wasn't.
      I put the engine back together with second hand bits declared it utterly fucked and promptly did another 5000 miles with it. After about 3500 of those miles the oil burning started, valve seals have gone so it's been relegated to my parent's garage as a backup car and something to take to local car shows as the 1850 is now embarrassingly ugly. I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines (deja vu, anybody?) Oh, I also recently reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta and royally fucked up the rear bumper, rear panel and bootlid. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
      There have been two other cars in my life. My first car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris 1.0 an it's replacement a 2012 Corsa 1.4T. I didn't really want either of them, but it's a long story involving my parents and poor life choices. Ask if you want to hear it!
      So that's a brief summary of my current shite. If you want more pictures or details of anything do say as I've got photos of almost everything I'd done with the cars.
    • By Peter C
      Woke up this morning, had a little time before I had to leave the house for work, had a quick look at what’s new for sale on Retro Rides and saw an ad for a W124 200E manual, located 15 miles from home. I had no intention of buying a car today but I had to have it! I called the seller and arranged a viewing.
      2 x rusty front wings (TADTS)
      1 x rusty rear arch
      Needs a polish
      Tracking is out because new track rod end was fitted for MoT
      Engine has oil leak/s
      Good points:
      It’s a W124 200E!
      5 speed manual transmission
      New clutch
      Brand new MoT
      Superb MoT history
      4 x as new Continental tyres
      Last owner for 15 years, her husband before that for 4 years
      Very tidy MB-Tex interior
      Drives well
      All electrics work
      The dealer kindly delivered the car to my house but I managed a pez station shot on route:

      Remove front wings, cut away rust and apply plenty of wob.
      In-situ similar repair for rear arch
      Clean and polish
      Service engine
      Adjust tracking
      Leave patina and enjoy the car as it is
      I will update this thread once progress is made.









      Hopefully these two will become good friends.

    • By SiC
      Go to this link to avoid the 4 page chat on the buying process: https://autoshite.com/topic/41278-2002-renault-clio-ii-172/?do=findComment&comment=2092395
      Decided now is definitely the time I need to scratch this itch. I don't suppose anyone has one going or thinking of going at the moment?
      Really need to sell the Laguna before I pull the trigger but if someone is getting rid for a decent price...
    • By New POD
      Car : y reg Omega 3.2 MV6 196K
      Rocker Gaskets replaced last summer at about 183K with genuine parts.
      Proper cleaned out breather tubes on top of engine. .
      Oil changed at 193K with genuine GM Fully Syth and Filter. (Cast Housing)
      No leaks until 3 weeks ago. Started small, I always check the oil before a long journey (and I do a lot of them) and I've been adding a bit more often but now on Thursday I had to top up after 100 miles into a Journey, and Then again 80 Miles later (on Sunday) and again this morning at 70 miles into a Journey, AND then another 70 miles this afternoon, and now 70 miles on it needs more. I calculate about 6 litres for about 450 miles. That's a lot of rust proofing on the exhaust and lots of it on the floor.
      I've not had it up on the ramps, (as Snow and rain and doesn't fit in my garage) but had it running and had a look at the filter housing area, and seems to be pouring down the back of the engine.
      At first I wondered if the little wiring plug next to the Oil Filter Housing is likely to leak? but seems to be above that. (Car is too low to see without ramps)
      When the Rocker gaskets were leaking before it was all very slow. Yes there was an advisory on the MOT, but nothing like this.
      And it hasn't been leaking in at least 12K since I did them.
      So what are we thinking ?
      I blame JohnK !!!!!

      There is oil on the rocker cover because Spillage

  • Create New...