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Username Post: 56_Kruiser's Build Thread - '61 BelAir Bubbletop        (Topic#302726)
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
09-19-13 05:13 PM - Post#2383703    

I thought I'd start a thread to provide status on the build of my bubbletop while I'm working it. I plan to open separate threads if I have questions and issues, but I may try to reference/link them during status in here.

I'll probably post occasional pictures if there is any change to see, and link a gallery for more if anyone happens to interest. Here's three pics:







I have close ups of some of the not so good stuff, such as rust bubbles, I need to repair in the gallery. Interesting how much nicer it looks in the pictures than in person.

Today is the first day I have done any actual work on the car. I am working on trying to get the doors and fenders aligned. This car has obviously been taken apart to put a (very mediocre) paint job on the car, and door/fender alignment is not good at all. this is the thread on my alignment discussions.

One of the things I have to decide is whether or not to keep the induction hood. I have traditionally liked that look. I'm not at all going original with this car, but not sure about the hood.

Among plans for the car:

  • Crate LS3/430 Engine
  • New 4L70E tranny
  • Two tone Orange/Cream paint (as discussed in this thread )
  • Disk brakes all the way around (already have 11" drilled on the front. Not sure if I want to change them out or not)
  • Level 3 Air Ride
  • Custom gauges (undecided between analog and digital. Like analog, but the capability of the digital is appealing)
  • Custom interior
  • Some version of Budnik wheels
  • Door handles ( Kindig )
  • Complete re-wire
  • I wish Raingear made wiper system for this car, but they don't
  • Vintage Air
  • Power Windows (Maybe)



I'm anxious to do the work, but it will be a slow start, as I have a rental house I need to completely update and prepare for sale.

Also looking forward to discussing with folks here. Hopefully I can provide help to others, as I'm certain I'll be getting help as well.

Wish me luck

1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


Edited by 56_Kruiser on 03-15-18 03:56 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Ecklers AutoMotive
TEXAS 62 
Contributor
Posts: 143
TEXAS 62
Loc: Crowley TX.
Reg: 08-26-13
09-19-13 05:52 PM - Post#2383721    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

man it looks really nice, ill be watching this build. keep up the good work



 
Verne_Frantz 
61-64 Subject Matter Expert
Posts: 5556
Verne_Frantz
Loc: Hightstown,NJ USA
Reg: 08-22-00
09-19-13 06:18 PM - Post#2383727    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

"Among plans for the car:


•Crate LS3/430 Engine
•New 4L70E tranny
•Two tone Orange/Cream paint (as discussed in this thread )
•Disk brakes all the way around (already have 11" drilled on the front. Not sure if I want to change them out or not)
•Level 3 Air Ride
•Custom gauges (undecided between analog and digital. Like analog, but the capability of the digital is appealing)
•Custom interior
•Some version of Budnik wheels
•Door handles ( Kindig )
•Complete re-wire
•I wish Raingear made wiper system for this car, but they don't
•Vintage Air
•Power Windows (Maybe)"

I think you've just nailed the complete list of today's definition of restoration.

Verne






 
kingkreeton 
"6th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1309
kingkreeton
Loc: Houston TX
Reg: 04-15-11
09-19-13 06:36 PM - Post#2383735    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

I'm stoked to see you finally get the car home and start tearing into it. Keep posting pictures as you make progress.

I know you didn't ask, but if your looking for feedback, I would vote no on the cowl hood.

Either way, I'm certain you car will look great and looking forward to watching it come to life.




Shane
64 Impala SS:
Chevy Performance 350HO
4 Speed Muncie

Proud member of Big Blue Nation, University of Kentucky Basketball. "Go Big Blue"


 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
09-19-13 06:50 PM - Post#2383742    
    In response to kingkreeton

Thanks, Shane.

Sure, I'm interested in what everyone thinks. I'm of a suspicion that most here would vote no on it. From a lot of the reading I've read here, it feels like most like the original look. In fact I think some are probably cringing at my list of planned changes saying ->

1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
Tri5man 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3764
Tri5man
Loc: Possums Crotch, KY
Reg: 06-26-07
09-19-13 07:13 PM - Post#2383748    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

Roger, I think its a super nice car especially for what you have in mind for it The mechanics you have planned for it sound great. I'm sorry, but I just can't get my mind around that orange and cream paint scheme. Just think what that car would look like in Tuxedo Black. Go with the power windows they are nice to have. I have them on my 63.

63 BelAir 2 door post, 56 BelAir 2 door post







 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
09-19-13 07:48 PM - Post#2383763    
    In response to Tri5man

... No apology necessary...Grinning here. I recall your suggestion for black in the other thread.

Yup, that would look nice.

But I've had black, and just don't like fighting the dirt and heat it brings.

I'm sure you won't hold it against me


1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
beagrizzly 
"10th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2001
beagrizzly
Age: 69
Loc: south texas
Reg: 08-04-12
09-20-13 04:33 AM - Post#2383806    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

I, for one, wouldn't hold anything against you. it's your car. do with it what you want. if someone has a problem with your build, they need to get their own car. then they can do what THEY want to do.

as long as you do the best you can afford, and the best craftsmanship you can do, go for it. we'll encourage you every step of the way.

it looks like a great start. keep the pics coming.

griff

if you're gonna be a bear..................

1960 Biscayne (the 6T)
2005 Yukon XL
2007 GMC Sierra Classic 8.1
2009 Silverado
2011 Escalade ESV


 
JasonZ 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11591

Age: 31
Loc: San Antonio Texas
Reg: 02-21-03
09-20-13 04:44 AM - Post#2383810    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

I'd roll with the paintjob for now. For sure take care of the rust now. A paint job is a easy $10,000

And that hood is absolutely badassness looking!! Is it functional?! fiberglass or steel?

Don't go BROKE trying to look RICH. Act your WAGE!!


 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
09-20-13 06:53 AM - Post#2383837    
    In response to JasonZ

  • JasonZ Said:
I'd roll with the paintjob for now. For sure take care of the rust now. A paint job is a easy $10,000

And that hood is absolutely badassness looking!! Is it functional?! fiberglass or steel?



Yup, I'm going to take care of the rust, for sure. Probably will use repair panels. In fact, even though the quarters aren't 'bad', if there were available, I'd probably put new full quarters on it.

You know, even though I'm painting it myself, the paint job will still probably cost close to $10,000. Ok, slight exaggeration. But as comparison, my candy job I did on my '56 back in 1999 cost me $2500 in materials then.

I'll put you down as a positive vote on the hood. The main thing I worry about is if the bondo finishing it in will ultimately crack and ruin paint. It has cracks visible now, which of course I will be repairing.

BTW, yes, sit is functional. I have never know what function they provide, but presume it facilitates hot air coming out and fresh are coming in.


1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
09-20-13 06:55 AM - Post#2383839    
    In response to beagrizzly

  • beagrizzly Said:
I, for one, wouldn't hold anything against you. it's your car. do with it what you want. if someone has a problem with your build, they need to get their own car. then they can do what THEY want to do.

as long as you do the best you can afford, and the best craftsmanship you can do, go for it. we'll encourage you every step of the way.

it looks like a great start. keep the pics coming.

griff



Yeah...I was actually just kidding. I know you wouldn't 'hold it against me'. For those who would, I wouldn't be worried about it. Everyone has different tastes.

I'll keep the pictures coming.



1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
Tri5man 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3764
Tri5man
Loc: Possums Crotch, KY
Reg: 06-26-07
09-20-13 06:30 PM - Post#2383987    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

Roger, I'm just joshing you about the paint. I'm sure you know that. Too bad we'll never know how the gaps were when these old cars left the factory it would be interesting to know.

63 BelAir 2 door post, 56 BelAir 2 door post

Gary



 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
09-20-13 07:14 PM - Post#2384000    
    In response to Tri5man

Yup. Kidding with each other is what us old car guys like to do.

I'm heading to a nice car show in Ottawa Ks tomorrow morning. Hoping to at least see a '61 there to scrutinize the fit. Typically that show has around 1600 cars, give or take.




1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
wagonmaster 
Senior Member
Posts: 8885
wagonmaster
Age: 70
Loc: Loganville, Ga.
Reg: 04-28-00
09-21-13 04:00 AM - Post#2384047    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

Boyd Coddington did an Orange and Cream '61 a few years back and it looked good. See if you can find the re-runs of American Hot Rod to see it. Love the Bel Air, good luck with it, we'll all be watching!

Hey T @!


In Memory of Mike McVeigh- The "Mad Spring Wacker" He roams the Forums of CT forever in our hearts and minds!

http://www.picturetrail.com/wagonmaster55

Joe


 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
09-21-13 05:56 AM - Post#2384067    
    In response to wagonmaster

Guess what! That 61 by Coddington is what inspired me to do this. I saw it at Colorado back in 2006. Have seen the show, would like to see it again, In fact, I started recording American Hotrod in hopes it'll show up.

FYI...that car is pictured in my thread linked in OP about colors.

Regarding painting, I am going to go with similar colors. It will be an orange from HOK, and more of a cream. That one, the lower half looks more yellowish.

I actually didn't want to go with that color combination, because I felt like I was copying it. But my family has talked me into it.

1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
SS540 
Contributor
Posts: 705
SS540
Loc: Down in Texas
Reg: 03-29-03
09-21-13 06:42 AM - Post#2384071    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

Go for it!!!

I really like the cowl hood too. I wish someone had made a fiberglass version for the 59's.

Sounds very similar to the build I did on our 59 Biscayne. Lot of work, but worth every minute of it.

Wayne & Sherri Scott
59 Biscuit LS3 Restomod


 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
09-21-13 04:56 PM - Post#2384203    
    In response to SS540

This induction hood is an original hood, with a fiberglass unit put on. It is cut out on the hood and functional. The top of the hood shows the bodyo work was done very well, albeit some cracking showing now. The underneath is fairly good, but not as nicely done as the top.

I'm debating the best method to attach the repair of the cracking. Someone suggested using fiberglass, and it may be less prone to crack. I'm not so sure about that.

I'm hoping to hear that using a good quality of putty will do the job.



1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


Edited by 56_Kruiser on 09-21-13 04:57 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
10-19-13 06:14 PM - Post#2392352    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

Got the trim taken off today. Sending it to Dave Kosmann. Won't be doing much work in the car, as I'm starting a remodel project on a house I need to sell.

But, at least I got this done today.



After pulling the door panels and looking down inside the doors, as least one of them needs a patch. Not sure if they make full door skins. I'll check, and need to decide whether to skin, or put in a patch panel.



1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


Edited by 56_Kruiser on 03-15-18 04:23 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
10-19-13 07:26 PM - Post#2392375    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

For this build thread, if I open other topics relevant to this build, I'll link them here.

Just opened one about door skin and / or patch panel, here .


1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
Tom_Kochtanek 
Contributor
Posts: 411
Tom_Kochtanek
Loc: Columbia, Missouri, USA
Reg: 11-19-02
10-24-13 06:38 PM - Post#2393837    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

Roger:
That's quite a project you have going there. Going to be a great car when you finish. The fun part is had during the build when you get to make all those decisions. And write a lot of checks out!

Finding s solid set of quarters might pose a problem, pretty sure they haven't repopped them as yet, but maybe that's changed.

I have a 1961 Belair Sport Coupe as well, been playing with it on and off for about 7 years now. Mine will be closer to stock, as it was born with a 348 three speed. Just comes down to time, space, and monies!

We're not too far apart, I live a couple hours east of you along I-70 in Columbia, MO. I look forward to following your project, maybe it will rekindle my efforts as well.

Best,
Tom



Edited by Tom_Kochtanek on 10-24-13 06:39 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
10-24-13 06:58 PM - Post#2393847    
    In response to Tom_Kochtanek

Hey Tom...

I pass through Colombia every so often. I grew uo in K.C.

Let the kindling work, get that car going.

Lots of work and money. My main reason for the purchase was to have one to work on. I really enjoy that. But at my age now, it won't be as easy as my 56 was 30 years ago. Won't be as many young guys hanging around to help with the heavy work either

I had a fella on the site here contact me that has a 4Door qtr panel (original) that I plan to pick up for the driver side. That'll leave the passenger side though. I was surprised to not find any patch panels for lower doors. Haven't gotten much feedback on quality of new door skins which are made now. I did open a thread on that.

Hope to be writing at you again soon.


1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
Tom_Kochtanek 
Contributor
Posts: 411
Tom_Kochtanek
Loc: Columbia, Missouri, USA
Reg: 11-19-02
10-25-13 05:54 PM - Post#2394115    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

Roger:

I have made some progress on the '61 Belair over the years, but still have a long ways to go. Everything's been removed from the frame but the body. That the next step. I have a few other nice drivers with dual quad 409s that seem to keep me occupied.
If you're ever passing through consider looking me up, I can give you a tour and maybe you can get me going again :).

Best,
Tom



 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
11-10-13 07:48 PM - Post#2398473    
    In response to Tom_Kochtanek

Well, not much progress. Haven't had time to work on it yet. One accomplishment: Got all the chrome taken off and sent to Dave Kosmann. All the side trim is on the way back to me. I won't really need it for quite a while, but it'll be ready when I do.

I received a coupon book from www.HarborFreight.com, and got the cherry picker on sale. I thought I'd throw it together, and yank the engine up, and put it on an engine stand. Should save some space. But...as you can see from the picture, of course...the cherry picker cannot roll up and get over the engine to lift it because of the pallet. When I get some more time, I'll have to cut the thing off at each side so I can get the picker over it.

Hopefully, I'll be where I can start some work on it by first of December. I am expecting to go up to Omaha area this coming week to get the quarter panel. Still need something for the passenger side though. I wish the repop panels were better.




Edited by 56_Kruiser on 03-15-18 04:34 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Motoswiz 
Contributor
Posts: 270

Loc: Florida
Reg: 11-12-12
11-11-13 06:10 AM - Post#2398559    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

from the pic it looks like you only need to cut one side of the pallet bottom. check your load rating, you may be able to run the picker arm out to the last hole. And spin the crate around so the transmission face is already facing out for your engine stand mounting. Nice looking mill.

1963 Impala 4door
1948 Chevy 1.5 ton Dualie
North Florida


 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
11-11-13 02:34 PM - Post#2398699    
    In response to Motoswiz

I have been thinking I can only go in from the direction it is sitting now, as the engine is in sort of a hole. But, you prompted my grey matter a bit. On the left of the engine is a refrigerator, which would be movable easy enough.

All the way out on the picker is 1/4 ton. Engine weighs, according to shipping manifest, 565. So it would probably work, but not sure I want to test that.

1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
beagrizzly 
"10th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2001
beagrizzly
Age: 69
Loc: south texas
Reg: 08-04-12
11-11-13 09:10 PM - Post#2398805    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

the only problem with running the top arm out is the bottom legs need to go out the same amount. otherwise the thing will nosedive.

ask me how I know.

looking good. keep that frustration going. it will keep you on the project.

griff

if you're gonna be a bear..................

1960 Biscayne (the 6T)
2005 Yukon XL
2007 GMC Sierra Classic 8.1
2009 Silverado
2011 Escalade ESV


 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
11-12-13 08:20 PM - Post#2399053    
    In response to beagrizzly

  • beagrizzly Said:
the only problem with running the top arm out is the bottom legs need to go out the same amount. otherwise the thing will nosedive.

ask me how I know....

griff



Makes sense. I'll keep an eye on that.

I received my polished side trim today from Dave Kosmann. I've only looked at 8" of one piece, but that 8" looks real nice. Gonna keep it all wrapped and in the PVC while I work the project.

But at least, some progress

1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
Tom_Kochtanek 
Contributor
Posts: 411
Tom_Kochtanek
Loc: Columbia, Missouri, USA
Reg: 11-19-02
11-14-13 02:53 PM - Post#2399467    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

Glad to hear that you are pleased with his polishing. That's all I've ever heard. Tried doing it myself a while back and learned just how long it does take, and how slow I am :).

Best,
Tom Kochtanek



Edited by Tom_Kochtanek on 11-14-13 02:53 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
12-31-13 05:34 PM - Post#2412261    
    In response to Tom_Kochtanek

Finally...started actually working on the '61.

The shot below is capturing the start of the clock to get this thing up to par



It has resulted in some interest in input from the community here. I opened a thread on the body work questions here .

Feels good to get started.


1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


Edited by 56_Kruiser on 03-15-18 04:38 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2824
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
01-01-14 07:11 PM - Post#2412620    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

I've done a bit of sanding here and there. Just enough to determine I probably will be needing to get various patch panels:

  • Both wheel wells
  • Passenger door skin, likely driver door skin will be done too.
  • Right lower front fender. Haven't checked the left one yet.


Interestingly, the fenders over the headlights seem solid.


1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
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