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Username Post: 1956 Bel Air
GreatNorthWoods 
"5th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1018
GreatNorthWoods
Age: 77
Loc: Littleton, New Hampshire,...
Reg: 03-31-02
02-11-19 07:06 AM - Post#2759606    
    In response to mrrmrenfield

Congrats on the purchase of your 56 and welcome to the forum. We all love 56s. How about a picture or two? I have some ideas about some of your problems.

Yes, I believe you have a bad rear main seal. If the engine is in good shape, it is worth pulling the pan and replacing the seal. That would be a lot cheaper than a crate engine. That said, if you want more power or if the engine is tired and ready for a rebuild, a crate engine might be just the ticket. I replaced a tired, high mileage, Camaro TPI engine in my '53 with a carbureted Blueprint 350 and never looked back. It was money well spent.

First thing I would do on the speedometer is pull the cable. It may be frayed or need lubricant. Check the routing of the cable housing too and be sure there are no kinks anywhere. If that looks okay, then you may need a new or rebuilt speedometer head. After disconnecting the cable housing from the back of the speedometer try to spin the speedometer from the back and see if the needle moves normally. If it seems hard to turn or does not spin freely, the speedometer head may be bad.

Temperature gauge could be either the gauge or the sender. Is it a mechanical or electrical gauge?

Dash lights are controlled with the headlight switch. They should come on at their brightest when you turn the knob all the way counterclockwise and diminish in brightness as you turn the knob clockwise. If they do not come on the rheostat in the headlight switch may be bad and replacement of the switch may be in order. However, there could also be a loss of power or ground to the instruments so that would also be a possibility. I've never pulled a 56 dash cluster so someone else will have to help with that.

Sounds like you may have vacuum wipers. You may have to replace your wiper motor or have it rebuilt. There are conversions to electric wipers available if you would prefer that. There are people around who rebuild vacuum wiper motors. Check around.

As far as power brakes go, that would be very easy. A 1963 Chevy power brake master cylinder and booster is a bolt on for your 56. There are kits available to convert to discs but that would require a different master cylinder. I did the 63 Chevy swap to a 57 Chevy I had years ago. Worked great. The 63 master cylinder is a single reservoir cylinder and most prefer a dual for safety purposes. If you go with discs you will need a disc/drum master cylinder with dual reservoirs.

Vern

1953 Chevy Belair Sport Coupe - 355 Blueprint Engine, 700-R4, Vintage Air, EZ Wire, Ididit column, Cruise/Tilt, 59 Vette Steering Wheel, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, Posies Springs, Coker Radials, Nova 10-bolt, Mustang II front, Continental Kit

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