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Username Post: WillyT 53 BelAir Four Door        (Topic#308569)
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
02-22-14 06:49 PM - Post#2429417    

So I posted this initially over on the HAMB, but as you can imagine (if you visit there often), I'm a bit out-of-place.

Anyhow...I bought the car back on Labor Day (2013), drove it around a little but and jumped straight into the restoration. I've got several pics so far, so I'll try to post a bunch and get ya caught up to where I am now.

My disclaimer: rookie car restorer. Rookie welder. Love these old cars and just want to make mine look good again. The car had an AWESOME presence just like I bought it, but it was in pretty bad shape. The pics from when I got it do the car GREAT justice, as you can't see all the problems.

Weigh in, critique, and give advice please. I take criticism well.
William


Attachment: image_zpsbf7cc4c1.jpg (135.84 KB) 102 View(s)






 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
02-22-14 06:54 PM - Post#2429419    
    In response to WillyT

[image]http://[/image]

[image]http://[/image]

[image]http://[/image]

53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


 
Fitzback 
"10th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1277
Fitzback
Age: 53
Loc: St-Hyacinthe, Qc. Can.
Reg: 01-23-08
02-22-14 06:56 PM - Post#2429420    
    In response to WillyT

Look at your frame carefully, and buy as much as you can good reproduction parts, like body mount. I did mine before they were available, it's a lot of work.

Unless that, have a good time and post pictures!

Fitz.

La vie est belle! 1953 Pontiac Pathfinder deLuxe 2 doors sedan + Victory Vision tour

Fitz



 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
02-22-14 07:00 PM - Post#2429421    
    In response to WillyT

I started by removing what trim remained. I have all the trim except the small rear gravel guard for the pass side rear door.



[image]http://[/image]

53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
02-22-14 07:20 PM - Post#2429427    
    In response to WillyT

Started stripping the paint. Original primer, original paint original paint second coat (car was a two tone), the newer primer and the top coat.
[image]http://[/image]

[image]http://[/image]

53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


 
ThreePennies 
Contributor
Posts: 117
ThreePennies
Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 10-07-13
02-22-14 07:24 PM - Post#2429432    
    In response to WillyT

Will... Looks good. I just bought a 4dr 53 this summer as well. Reminds me a lot of mine, very similar to yours. Im new to the hobby but diving in head first, learning on the fly. This is definitely the place you wanna be, everyone here has been more than helpful. Keep posting the progress!

53' Bel Air


 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
02-23-14 04:44 AM - Post#2429520    
    In response to WillyT



Found the first hidden rot in the bottom of the drivers side back door. The trunk has rot, as do quarter panels ( rear), inner and outer rockers and front floor pans. Piece by piece, it's all getting replaced and repaired. I should say that while I will buy some replacement sheet metal, We are going to do plenty of it ourselves (my Dad and I).

Here's my first official purchase: front and rear seats off www.eBay.com. Dad drove 4 hours one way to Mobile, AL, and picked them up for $160! Covers and foam are obviously shot, but the frames are great and fit perfectly.




Got the doors , fenders, hood, and grill all removed.



Now to the rockers...lots if rot, rust galore, but it's all gone. We made our inner rockers ourselves. Not original, but heavy and strong! We're happy with them and with the low stance of the car, they'll never even be seen













And a "dry run" to see the fit of the outer rockers.





 
rayb2 
Contributor
Posts: 124
rayb2
Loc: Big Rapids, MI
Reg: 09-11-11
02-23-14 05:05 AM - Post#2429525    
    In response to WillyT

Looking good. Can not wait to see the progress.



 
pat59 
Contributor
Posts: 420
pat59
Loc: Philly
Reg: 11-17-12
02-23-14 06:10 AM - Post#2429545    
    In response to rayb2

Looks good. Keep on keeping on!
-Pat



 
Bob_Hayden 
"16th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 6809
Bob_Hayden
Age: 71
Loc: Indianapolis, In. USA
Reg: 07-17-01
02-23-14 06:17 AM - Post#2429547    
    In response to pat59

Looking good!!!!

Bob Hayden's 54 Chevy, 350 Engine with TH400 Tranny and 94 4X4 Blazer Rear End with 3:23 gears.(FINISHED PICS) </a> My 54 Albums

2014 Silverado Double cab (BLUE)


 
bobg1951chevy 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 7024
bobg1951chevy
Loc: Hendersonville, N.C.
Reg: 02-18-08
02-23-14 07:49 AM - Post#2429568    
    In response to Bob_Hayden

Great to see such progress. Thinking you and your dad are doing this together? Can't get a better project to work on, as a "team".

Bob G.

1951 Styleline Deluxe 2 dr sedan. 1955 235" 3 speed std.
1951 Styleline Deluxe Sport Coupe. 1962 246" 3 speed std. o/d.










 
70fierro 
Member
Posts: 810
70fierro
Loc: National City, Ca
Reg: 09-20-05
02-23-14 08:18 AM - Post#2429579    
    In response to bobg1951chevy

Looking good. Doing the job right might be tedious but youll keep that old chevy on the road for another 50 years. Great work, i like the 70s vibe with the wheels. Cesar



 
rawaag 
"9th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 347
rawaag
Loc: Williamsburg Virginia
Reg: 06-12-09
02-23-14 08:45 AM - Post#2429590    
    In response to WillyT

Nice fabrication and fit. I didn't have the rust as bad as you have, but we blasted what we found and coated it with Por 15 and it made it a nice job. My son and I did most of the work except for metal fab which we bought from EMS. Keep up the good work and keep us posted.

Ralph


 
rrausch 
"13th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 13577
rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
02-23-14 09:35 AM - Post#2429612    
    In response to rawaag

That's some nice work you're doing. You're going to have a lot of fun with that car.

1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
02-23-14 06:33 PM - Post#2429814    
    In response to WillyT

My replacement outer rockers didn't cover the extreme lower part of the pontoon, and it was rotted, as was part of the dogleg. So, I simply cut it out. After having done so, simple is not the word I would choose. Nevertheless, after all is said and done, all's well that ends well.













After sanding down the metal compound, it'll look like the passenger side, which I think turned out really nice.



53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
02-23-14 06:45 PM - Post#2429822    
    In response to WillyT

I moved the car over to Dad's house so it would be closer to all the right tools. After getting it there we lifted the body with his Kubota just enough to get it on our homemade rolling rack. Not much to it, but this thing rolls so smooth and the body is very secure.







Thanks for the nice comments. It's been a lot of fun working on an old car and I've especially enjoyed working with my Dad. He's been a Ford man all his life - has never owned anything else - but it's been fun watching him get into this Chevrolet.

53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


 
Fitzback 
"10th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1277
Fitzback
Age: 53
Loc: St-Hyacinthe, Qc. Can.
Reg: 01-23-08
02-23-14 07:24 PM - Post#2429840    
    In response to WillyT

And the frame, what is look like? especialy the body mount in front of the rear Wheel?

Are the corners braces of the far rear crossmember are there?

Fitz.



La vie est belle! 1953 Pontiac Pathfinder deLuxe 2 doors sedan + Victory Vision tour

Fitz



 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
02-24-14 04:04 AM - Post#2429915    
    In response to Fitzback

Fitz, I'll take some more pics. I had to rebuild one body brace near the rear tire (passenger side). The rest seem to be OK.

Dad cut and re welded new metal into one side of the frame at the same spot as that body brace. It looks really good and strong so I think we'll be fine there.


53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


Edited by WillyT on 02-24-14 04:11 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Fitzback 
"10th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1277
Fitzback
Age: 53
Loc: St-Hyacinthe, Qc. Can.
Reg: 01-23-08
03-17-14 07:09 PM - Post#2436647    
    In response to WillyT

mostly too late, happy birthday!

Fitz.

La vie est belle! 1953 Pontiac Pathfinder deLuxe 2 doors sedan + Victory Vision tour

Fitz



 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
03-21-14 09:17 AM - Post#2437482    
    In response to WillyT

Sorry for the delay in updating!

After both inner rockers and outer rockers were out in place, welded in, ground down, and ready for primer, I needed to replace both front floor pans.

[image]http://[/image]










53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


Edited by WillyT on 03-21-14 09:21 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
chevyjay 
Contributor
Posts: 128

Age: 41
Loc: Margate , Kent, UK
Reg: 11-20-13
03-22-14 01:41 AM - Post#2437671    
    In response to WillyT

Hey WillyT, great job you are doing there, check out my resto i too brought it over from the HAMB, ive had all the traumas that you have and am currently doing my inner front fenders, which are shot, and i cant get any over here in england so im having to make patches for them lol, anyway great build you have there and its so much like mine, i saw pictures of mine a few years ago first and that made me want it then i pulled it apart and thought OH MY GOD!!!still well done on where you are so far!!!

1951 Chevy styleline four door, getting the 350 sbc treatment....


 
steel woody man 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 81

Loc: Yucca Valley, Ca.
Reg: 07-23-08
03-27-14 09:36 PM - Post#2439603    
    In response to WillyT

You say your a "Rookie" but all professionals started off as rookies.
If you don't mind me quoting Jim Rohn the famous motivational speaker who produces audio programs for Business and Life. He said “If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.”
I wish you all the best on your project and your goals.

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.
Albert Einstein



 
rrausch 
"13th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 13577
rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
04-14-14 12:25 PM - Post#2444543    
    In response to steel woody man

Looks like you are doing excellent work on your car. Keep posting your progress.

1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
06-05-14 02:03 PM - Post#2458865    
    In response to rrausch

Sorry it's been so long since I wrote an update. Here are some pics of the work we've accomplished since then.

Floor pans in and coated.



Now on to some sheet metal work in the trunk.





53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
06-05-14 02:10 PM - Post#2458867    
    In response to WillyT

still working in the rear





and now the leaf springs...donated from another CT member, Bikeless Bill.




and the rear-end...cleaned, brushed, painted and reassembled.






53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


 
53 green machine 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1213
53 green machine
Age: 44
Loc: South Shore, Nassau, N.Y.
Reg: 06-01-14
06-16-14 04:44 AM - Post#2461921    
    In response to WillyT

Wow that's coming out awesome! Keep it up! Makes me want to pull mine apart and make it nice like that! My rear passenger wheel well outer and trunk inner will need this at some point. I only hope it will go as fast!

1953 Chevy 210 4 door, with Power Glide

See the USA in your Chevrolet!

http://s48.photobucket.com/user/lifastpitch/libr ar...


 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
07-19-14 06:08 PM - Post#2470402    
    In response to WillyT

Before -



Little help from the Shop Manual!


After!


The front cross member and suspension gets completely rebuilt. Blasted, primed, painted, refitted with new king pins, new coil springs (which will need to be cut), all new rubbers, new brakes, and new wheel cylinders.










53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
07-19-14 06:31 PM - Post#2470406    
    In response to WillyT

Steering Column de-greased, then pulled, then cleaned and stripped - ready for primer.




Now with ALMOST all the body metal work done, (still a few very small holes to clean and weld up), I've started stripping the paint from all the rest of the body parts. Here's the hood. It feels good to get them all clean and ready for primer.




Media-blasting the Firewall. Dad set the body back down on the chassis. I had to be very careful to cover up the front to keep from blasting away our pretty new paint. It got dirty still, but it'll clean up. Ideally, we'd have left the body on the rack we built, but Dad needed the room in his shop.



And my best friend, the 3M stripper on the cowl, dash, windshield pinch, etc. That dash had about 7 coats of paint on it! About two layers down was a metal flake green. I don't have the final picture, but it's all spotless now.








Then I've started on the roof. Three different applications of the paint stripper and I can start again with the 3M wheel. (I'd been paying about $13 bucks a piece for these things at Auto Zone, and then found them at Tractor Supply for $9, and then at WalMart for $8. Just FYI)



So this is where the car stands right now. I have some other pictures of things like the exhaust manifolds I've blasted and painted with high temp silver, my seat frames that are bare, one painted, one not yet - I've got the radiator restored and painted, ready to install, etc. I'll get some pics of that stuff, but it's random.

Next up, inner fenders. One will need work, I can already tell.

See ya on the next update!

53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
09-30-14 06:29 PM - Post#2487818    
    In response to WillyT

Man, it's been a long time since I updated. It seems like there hasn't been much progress, but looking back at my pictures, we have made some headway. We may have gotten ahead of ourselves just a little bit, but who cares - we picked out our paint and went ahead and got a gallon mixed. Once we got it, we couldn't wait to see what it was going to look like, so we hit our paint-ready firewall and cowl. Much FUN on that day! The paint covered pretty good, but has a lot of metallic, so we'll probably let a professional spray it for us. The top will be white, as will the spear on the back quarters, but the rest will be this blue. The pictures really don't do it justice.
















After a few layers of clear, I think this thing's gonna turn out OK.

We then took a break from the body of the car and focused on getting our engine back like we wanted it. Totally stock, (Offenhauser valve cover came with the car when I got it and I don't have an original). This wasn't a rebuild; mainly a go-through, clean up, repaint, regasket and seal, and replace things we could. To be honest, internally - this motor was CLEAN!!! It ran really good before the tear down, so we didn't feel like we needed a total rebuild. Once looking inside, we agreed not to "fix what ain't broke".






















Few things left to button up on the engine - fuel line connections (we lost a piece), hook up accelerator, etc. Hopefully, we might fire it up this week.

I also bought my white paint the other day, and we hit a few parts with it. These are pieces of the steering column. I think the white and blue will go together nicely.





I've done a TON of work getting the inner fenders done. Rot repair, weld, re-weld, grind, clean, and paint with POR 15. I've heard some bad stories about POR 15, but I love it so far. No pics (thought I had some) but they look fantastic. Here's a couple of the fan blade and brake/clutch pedals, and a final pic of how the car sits right now.









53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


 
WillyT 
Contributor
Posts: 120

Age: 42
Loc: Alabama
Reg: 11-21-13
11-16-14 07:56 PM - Post#2499207    
    In response to WillyT

A few updated pictures.

Inner fender - one needed patching, but they were both in pretty good shape. This one is painted with POR15.



All primed up!







Painting door posts.





And the dash









And now on to the outside.



Door hinges. They're now installed.



And a little bit of steering wheel rehab. Can't wait till I'm sitting behind this thing!




53 Bel Air 4-door.
Ephesians 2:8-9


Edited by WillyT on 11-16-14 08:01 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
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