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Ecklers AutoMotive
Username Post: Holes, Cracks and Rot found under car        (Topic#355001)
57_BelAir_for_the_folks 
Senior Member
Posts: 652
57_BelAir_for_the_folks
Loc: Mission Viejo, CA
Reg: 06-07-01
01-28-19 12:24 PM - Post#2758395    

It appears the previous owner used undercoating to hide a wealth of garbage under Dad's 57. I can't believe that with all the work we have had done, no one ever pointed this out, and after 17 years of ownership, it took a pre purchase inspection by a perspective buyer underneath for us to see.
After looking at the underside on the lift, the rear floor brace is the most obvious flaw, but upon closer inspection of the pictures I took, I wonder if these issues can even be repaired short of a frame off fix.
We are not looking to spend more money on the car, but trying to determine the cars new value in light of this new found revelation.
Here's what I found...

Images are full size so you can see the detail, hope this doesn't cause any issues.

Right side looking back


Left side looking forward


I have all the worst case scenarios running through my head, I knew the car was not a show piece, but never expected this to be hiding underneath.
FYI this car has been garaged and driven < 2000 mi in 17 years before we saw this.

I could use an expert opinion of what to do now. Maybe someone could recommend a tri 5 restorer in the Orange County Ca area to give us an estimate of repairs to make the car safe/new estimated value so we can sell the car.



57 2dr sedan + the 57 BA HT, now owned by the folks :-) See the USA in your Chevrolet!


 
Ecklers AutoMotive
Shepherd 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1812

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
01-28-19 03:03 PM - Post#2758403    
    In response to 57_BelAir_for_the_folks

Most of thst can be improved, concentrate on the supporting areas and braces. Seen much worse, depends on what your plans with the car are.



 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11270
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
01-28-19 05:36 PM - Post#2758416    
    In response to 57_BelAir_for_the_folks

I'm afraid when you take that gunk off, it's going to be a lot worse than the pictures show. Some of that gunk looks pretty thick. To fix it right, it's going to take a full floor with braces and some frame repair. Depending on the condition of the rest of the car, will determine if it's worth it to you.


Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
HYPR 
"16th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 10753
HYPR
Age: 67
Loc: Shaking and Burning!
Reg: 07-19-01
01-29-19 04:05 PM - Post#2758503    
    In response to 57_BelAir_for_the_folks

Hi Chris,
Long time no talk to. Gee that is really too bad. That looks really bad. I remember when you bought the car. I thought you had it up on a lift to inspect it when you went to buy it. As they say it is domino effect once you start one thing it tends to snowball. Other than doing a full frame off I don't really see any other easy way to make the needed repairs. I also don't know how to value the car that in reality will end up needing a complete restoration. The sad part is the Tri5's have really dropped in value over the past few years as the older crowd have moved on. When it comes to American Classics and Rod hobbyists the younger buyers (Late 30's to 50's) are more focused on Muscle Cars or Rat Rods (the late 20's to mid 30's gear-heads). The only surviving Tri5 interests these days are the Trucks with more interest in the '55-'57s. However there appears in some parts of the country a growing interest in the late '50s to '72s. Will the market turn back around to our cars? I am not sure it will even with the popularity of the LS transplants.
I have lately seen examples of Tri5's that just a few short years ago were selling in the mid $60K's now selling for the mid $30K-$40K range.
I am afraid that with the amount of work your Dad's car will need you are looking at a selling price with something in the teens. That is with the other condition I remember back last time I saw it.
Bob

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/222599
To be born a Redneck is by chance, to live as one is by choice!
Preserving the Redneck tradition one day at a time!


 
CharlieC 
Senior Member
Posts: 1832

Loc: Flower Mound, TX,
Reg: 03-27-02
01-30-19 10:00 PM - Post#2758626    
    In response to 57_BelAir_for_the_folks

You need to resize your pics down....

Unless you're trying to sell your car as being in pristine condition, I'll take the half full approach and say you have a couple problems, but I wouldn't think full floor/body off just yet. The car is 62 years old, so there is going to be some irregularities, some that matter, some that don't. The spring hanger and body mount are nothing. That floor brace can be changed without too much trouble, maybe repaired as is.

Now, you certainly have some rocker rot at the fender intersection, perforations on the inner rocker and the previous repair issue to deal with. So 12-14" of rust through issues starting at fender/rocker and running back.

I'd get that undercoating off as best you can with a portable blaster, torch and wire wheel/brush, etc. and see what you have. Mine was much worse...

IMHO, there's nothing structurally unsafe with the car given those pictures.

Charlie



"Yeah, I'm just going to clean it up and make it a driver." May 2002

'57 BelAir Conv. GMPP LSX/L92-440 T-56 (almost...)
'74 K5 Blazer 4x4
'14 Ram 2500 Diesel MegaCab 4x4


 
WagonCrazy 
"12th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 3176
WagonCrazy
Loc: So Cal
Reg: 06-07-05
01-31-19 11:24 AM - Post#2758663    
    In response to HYPR

  • Quote:
Hi Chris,
Long time no talk to



Is this Chris who brought his 57 out to CFAC many moons ago, and had ignition issues during the cruise route?

I have a memory of a pic posted somewhere of about 6 guys stuffed under an open hood- all trying to diagnose the issue.

57 Nomad -LS1 with C4 suspension
59 Apache Fleetside Shortbed BigWindow



 
57_BelAir_for_the_folks 
Senior Member
Posts: 652
57_BelAir_for_the_folks
Loc: Mission Viejo, CA
Reg: 06-07-01
01-31-19 01:26 PM - Post#2758679    
    In response to WagonCrazy

Hey Guys,
I appreciate the responses. I found a local shop that will throw the car up on a lift and give us some recommendations.

It would be nice if the car could be made safe (if not "correct") with body still on frame, so that a new owner could at least drive it until they decide to do a frame off.

I was really worried about that crack and rust in the spring mount, thinking that a 5 lb mallet could probably break it clean off with only a few blows. I would not want to test its structural integrity by driving the car with 6 full size adults and hitting large bumps in the road. Really scared to think of what might happen.

Is this safe as is? Can it be fixed by welding the crack with mount on car?


Wagon Crazy, this is the same Chris. I found a copy of that photo taken at CFAC 2006 after my coil hot lead shorted on the firewall wiping out my ignition system.



HYPR, I never had a chance to look under dad's ride, before I bought it. It was an ebay purchase from FL, and the PO obviously duped me, by only showing the car's positive aspects.

When I bought my 57 sedan in CO, I did get under it and inspect it. I think you were remembering that from my photo essay of the trip home. >>See the USA in your Chevrolet



57 2dr sedan + the 57 BA HT, now owned by the folks :-) See the USA in your Chevrolet!


 
498 chevy 
"10th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 471
498 chevy
Age: 68
Loc: hayward ca.
Reg: 09-28-07
02-01-19 10:23 AM - Post#2758752    
    In response to 57_BelAir_for_the_folks

looks like my floors on my 55 4dr wagon.

http://www.picturetrail.com/webe


 
Shepherd 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1812

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
02-01-19 10:57 AM - Post#2758756    
    In response to 57_BelAir_for_the_folks

That needs to be fixed/braced/reinforced in some way!



 
56sedandelivery 
Dedicated Member
Posts: 5640
56sedandelivery
Age: 67
Loc: Everett, Wa.
Reg: 02-26-08
02-01-19 02:19 PM - Post#2758767    
    In response to Shepherd

The old "roofing tar fix"; lather the stuff on to cover anything/everything you don't want seen. Similar situation; my wife had a 65 Rustang that she would't part with for love or money. Everyone told her 65 Rustangs were worth a lot of money; just not this one. I bought a replacement 63 Ranchero with a 260 V-8 and 2 speed automatic, raised up, Appliance "psuedo-Cragars" , BF Goodrich trans Am Radials, nice paint and interior. Turned out, the entire rear undercarriage and bed were covered with 1/2" hardware cloth (why do they call it "cloth") and covered in roofing tar. Well, she did't like the car, I wound up using the entire front and rear suspensions, rear end, brakes, to replace those on her Rustang. The hulk hauler got what was left. It was't until 1990, when I finally had enough; took her to the local Ford dealer one Sat morning, and had her drive a NEW Rustang 5.0 LX, and she let me trade the 65 in. The dealer redid the interior, painted the car, and flipped it for a whole lot more than we got for trade-in. At least I finally got out from under that 65 Rustang; my cross to bear on this earth. Sort of sounds like your 57 was done in a similar fashion. There should be a law, some sort of recourse. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.




 
55DRIVER 
Poster
Posts: 36

Loc: Chicago burbs
Reg: 11-10-08
02-01-19 08:53 PM - Post#2758796    
    In response to 57_BelAir_for_the_folks

My 55 hard top is as bad or worse than yours. My spring hanger was re welded by a friend years ago and holds up fine. I don't know what your plans are but I put 110,000+ miles on mine so far as is. My car was always meant to be a driver and it has taken me from Key West to St.Paul, Myrtle Beach to Devils Tower. I do inspect for critical flaws before and after every major trip and repair as needed. I don't plan on selling mine so I'm not concerned about the resale value. I'll just keep enjoying the ride!




 
Bad56Sedan 
"13th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1118
Bad56Sedan
Loc: Pasadena, Texas
Reg: 04-29-04
02-02-19 08:05 AM - Post#2758816    
    In response to 57_BelAir_for_the_folks

"I will take the opposing view on the spring hanger"
naturally someone has to?
the material used to make that rear spring hanger is thick, is it ΒΌ" ?
They are tough to remove from the frame and the frame is usually rusty behind what is removed,
I am just saying for that thick metal to have cracked like that something is wrong,
I wonder if closer inspection might show the hanger has tweaked and cracked due to a rusted frame rail?
Notice the crack is from bottom up,
so is the upper part at the spring eye let pushing towards the frame slightly?
the force is exerted on the bottom of the hanger as weight is added to the car.
Or is the rear lower original weld actually broke loose?
Just a suggestion,
Or was the hanger bad from the factory?
I am not a metal/rust ologist, engineer or a zoologist.
Just simply making a suggestion



VC56S 2 door Sedan, 39 Years



Edited by Bad56Sedan on 02-02-19 08:20 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
WagonCrazy 
"12th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 3176
WagonCrazy
Loc: So Cal
Reg: 06-07-05
02-02-19 08:52 AM - Post#2758818    
    In response to 57_BelAir_for_the_folks

HI Chris! Great to see you back!

On that spring mount...I would take it to a welding shop and ask them to clean off the undercoating and weld it up. That should relieve your fears of it breaking.

As for the whole floorpan being rusted...well...all of these 60+ year old cars have some rust, so with my (now sold) 9 passenger wagon, I just bought the aftermarket floorpan (2 piece) and had the old one cut out and welded in the new one. That took care of the cancer on my wagon..the rest was all just a very thin layer of surface rust that could be removed and primed/painted.

57 Nomad -LS1 with C4 suspension
59 Apache Fleetside Shortbed BigWindow



 
G. Baker 
Poster
Posts: 49

Loc: Ontario Canada
Reg: 12-18-15
02-04-19 06:35 PM - Post#2759034    
    In response to 57_BelAir_for_the_folks

Sell 'as is'
There is a ton of hurt beneath that undercoating.

The time has come to move on.
Run Gomer Run!

Sorry.



 
Mcloud 
Poster
Posts: 63

Age: 66
Loc: NY
Reg: 12-02-14
02-04-19 08:29 PM - Post#2759040    
    In response to 57_BelAir_for_the_folks

Chassisworks, Chris Alston, etc., for a complete, new, modern chassis! Not cheap, but maybe worth it in the long run.

1950 Styleline Special, 216, 3-On-Tree, stock. 1955 Bel Air, stock V8.


 
Old Buzzard 
Contributor
Posts: 415

Loc: Madison, GA.
Reg: 10-13-07
02-08-19 07:28 AM - Post#2759367    
    In response to G. Baker

  • G. Baker Said:
Sell 'as is'
There is a ton of hurt beneath that undercoating.

The time has come to move on.
Run Gomer Run!

Sorry.



Absolutely..
As for a $30K aftermkt frame, under a car you are selling Are you kidding?

Chuck
Hotrodding and dragracing since 1955..
Injector inspector, and certifiable EFI nut.
Back to 55, again, for the 6th time.


 
56KIE 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 31
56KIE
Age: 57
Loc: Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Reg: 12-13-18
02-08-19 10:09 AM - Post#2759387    
    In response to Old Buzzard

30K for a new frame, WOW.
we can get a new frame for about 22K Canadian up here. that would be about 15K US. was looking at it for my Nomad @ 21K Canadian, with rack & pinion steering 4 wheel disc brakes, corvette suspension, ETC.
still I agree expensive for something you are selling.



 
4dr 57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4603
4dr 57
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Reg: 11-10-04
02-14-19 05:25 AM - Post#2759905    
    In response to 56KIE

  • 56KIE Said:
30K for a new frame, WOW.
we can get a new frame for about 22K Canadian up here. that would be about 15K US. was looking at it for my Nomad @ 21K Canadian, with rack & pinion steering 4 wheel disc brakes, corvette suspension, ETC.
still I agree expensive for something you are selling.




Weld up what you can and let the floor go for the next owner. You can always use some tar remove around the rear suspension attachment points if your concerned. But more than that will probably be a whole new can of worms. Floors weak.




 
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