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Pontiac of the Month

58Bonne's 1958 Bonneville

2021 September
of the Month

Stephen Young

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Everything posted by Stephen Young

  1. Lots of beauties to choose from this month. The voting groupings make it difficult, because the picture groupings don't apparently correspond - or did I miss something? (That can happen.) Also, the voting titles don't call to mind the car, in most cases. I found it easier before. Maybe a title like "Joe's blue 67 GTO Convertible"?
  2. Hi, Danny, I sure like the dual sidemounts. That blue 27 Buick looks great, but the sweep of the 31 Pontiac fenders, with the spares nested into them, looks better to me. The holding apparatus looks pretty neat and straightforward. A two inch wider rear end shouldn't be a big problem - it's only one inch per side, and if your wheel/tire combination isn't too wide, I'm guessing/hoping you should be fine. Unless you particularly want to, you wouldn't have to space out the front wheels - the track difference won't be readily apparent - it'll never be seen by a drunken man on a galloping horse fleeing for his life pursued by a seven-man ad hoc posse in a February snowstorm at midnight after holding up the stagecoach to Abilene. And it shouldn't matter functionally - manufacturers have done that. The Caprice rear end I put in my 53 Pontiac is wider than the original, and it works fine. I think your prospects for clearance should be better than mine were, your fender openings being fully arched. Stephen
  3. Hi, Dan, That 350 sure looks as if it could motivate the Pontiac along, if it really had to. Nice to see some progress. Is the rear end you're planning on using wider or narrower than stock? I'm taking a guess that the original Pontiac wheels won't work with it - might have trouble with the torque the 350 puts out, even if they fit. Plus they need tubes, and are narrow. What are you planning to use for wheels? Maybe wheels with different offsets are available to accommodate the different differential width, if that proves too snug either way. I see the post "Wrong topic moved to my main build page" - how do I find that? Stephen
  4. Danny, Sounds like fun, except the 25% of fender bolts that didn't come. I see the nose of what I'm guessing is the El Camino - great color, but I don't see any oxy/acetylene or oxy/propane tanks. Heat is a great persuader, when available, for stubborn fasteners. Have you seen the inductive coils used for heating seized fasteners? I haven't, only on video. Looks amazing, and no flame or tanks or hoses or fuel cost or rental. Or helmets or bulky gloves or wayward sparks or tip cleaning. But probably more limited, in what they can reach, than a torch. Looks like lots of free space on your firewall for creativity. Master cylinder, heater hoses, windshield washer fluid reservoir, A/C filter/dryer/accumulator, mural, graffiti... Watch out for that tear in the fender - it looks like it wants to tear clothes and hurt people. Has Mrs. Danny said yet what color you want it? Was it dark blue or black to begin with? Stephen
  5. Did you get this sorted out? Since it feels like it's starving for fuel, it would be good to know, as Frosty asked, if the fuel pressure at the rail drops when the engine dies. There's a pressure regulator at the end of one rail, I think, on the return line. I've never had to replace one, but if the fuel pressure does drop, maybe... And I'd like to try a different injector in #1 - if a spare is not readily available, switch #1 with #3 and see what code comes up. If still #1, probably not the injector. If #3, probably is the injector. But one bad injector should just make it rough running, not dying.
  6. Isn't the T1000, aka in Canada the Pontiac Acadian, being a version of the Chevette, a rear wheel drive? The J2000, later Sunbird, after the Chev Monza-like Sunbird was discontinued, and later yet the Sunfire, were Chev Cavalier front drive kinfolk. Some Sunbirds , and maybe J2000s, used an OHC L4, maybe 2 litre. My cousin had a turbo GT, and it had some git-up-and-go available.
  7. A very nice 40 Pontiac made its appearance at the A&W get-together last evening, and I noticed the rear spring shackles had long tails. The owner had no idea what that was about, nor did a guy who had owned a similar car with the same setup. Anyone know what I'm talking about, and what the tails were about? These days, odd appendages often relate to the field of Noise, Vibration and Harshness, but maybe not in 1940.
  8. I associate the green color with a service/test port for the EVAP system, which as I understand it, aims to hold 1 psi pressure above the gas in the tank to restrict evaporation. So a well glued repair should be able to stand that kind of pressure. Maybe it wouldn't be an easy part to find a replacement for.
  9. Danny, I measured the spindle/backing plate bolt pattern on my 53 Pontiac at 4 1/4 vertical and 3 1/4 horizontal. So you can compare yours, if you're so inclined. Stephen
  10. Dan, Just for the halibut, since you've got a drum off, why don't we compare your spindle/backing plate bolt pattern with my '53's? Wanna? Stephen
  11. Dan, There are disc brake conversions out there, at a price, for later Pontiacs - Starbird comes to mind as one source. I wonder if the spindle-to-backing plate bolt pattern changed from the '31 to the '40 Pontiac. (Lower control arms from '52 Buick Specials interchange with '40 Buick Specials, so maybe Pontiac didn't change dimensions back then just for the fun of it, like manufacturers seem to do now.) The toughest part in the disc brake conversion, I think, is the caliper mounting bracket, the next being the inner bearing fit to the spindle. Kit suppliers have designed the brackets, and spacers for the bearings, to adapt common (often Chevy) calipers, rotors, and bearings to the spindles. Pictures of the brackets, in catalogs and on websites, tease me with the possibility of making them up from flat stock. Cutting torch, grinder, welder, drill press, tap set - how hard can it be? (Said the guy who has only thought about it.) Probably need to decide first on the rotor size, and caliper. Inexpensive trial fits could be done with used parts, and pipe/tube for trial bearing spacers. Sound like fun? Stephen
  12. Danny, Oooh, yeah, that looks great. Is that the 26 Buick you mentioned seeing? What a nice setup! Power steering and everything. I think I see a transmission throttle valve cable at the carb - the lower one - so he's using an automatic. Either he's running two V8s, back to back, or that firewall's CHROME! Gotta git me one of those. (It'll never happen.) I'm hoping, but not sure, that your engine bay is as wide as the one shown. Buick, Olds and Pontiac shared quite a bit by the time they made mine, but I don't know when they started. What you really need to know are the dimensions - for instance, height of your axle at the king pin hole, king pin diameter, bolt pattern of your spindle to backing plate bolt holes, and sizes of the spindle itself - length and diameters at the bearings. Knowing what you've got, you can intelligently check what suppliers have, whether new, used, Hudson, Corvette, (they used king pins up to '62) or ... Stephen
  13. Hi, Dan, Only 30 lbs of dirt under the hood? That Pontiac has led a sheltered life, hasn't it? I noticed in the engine picture that the six has two cylinder heads - just like your 4.3 and your 350! Or not quite. You must have a problem with the spindles, that you're thinking of new ones. As I said earlier, I have no experience with solid axle front ends. But I wonder, if you still want to stick with the solid axle, whether compatible spindles would be available from places like Speedway Motors. Their catalogs give dimensions you could compare to your Pontiac's. Thinking of driving the car, the tilt steering column is a great feature, just supposing that Mrs. Danny occasionally lets you in the driver's seat, and your dimensions don't exactly match hers. (As to arm length, I mean.) As to non -power vs. power steering, you have to choose your pain. My '53, at over 3600 lbs, was no picnic to steer when I got it, ("No job for a lady" - forgive the incorrectness) and I put power steering on it. Your '31 is lighter, I imagine. The power steering boxes are always bigger and heavier, and there are mounting, hose routing, and pump/belt clearance considerations, but the end result is a nicer driver. A serpentine belt/bracket setup is likely available for your engine, if there's enough under hood room. Lots to think about. But what fun! Stephen
  14. C. Danny, Where did I get the strange idea that your '31 is a Chev? Not from your post. Excuse me for the cruel injustice. Must be the "inline six" bit. If you'd said "flathead six", I may have caught on - or not. Stephen
  15. Hi, C.Danny, Since you rashly asked for suggestions, ..."I'm glad you asked!" Unless you are "married" to the idea of a crate 350, (and who can really say anything against that choice, it is a good one), I'd think hard about whether I'd be happier in the long run with a Chev 194-230-250-292 , or Pontiac 215, straight six in the '31. Pick your displacement for the power level/economy you want, (Leo Santucci gets close to Bugatti Veyron horsepower from his modified 292 in a 53 Studebaker drag racer, but he doesn't say anything about fuel economy. Another guy runs mid -eight - second quarter miles with his, in a 36 Chev pickup.) and you'll find the six a more comfortable fit in the tall, narrow engine bay. These sixes are good, good looking, solid, torquey engines, and are appreciated and admired for the fact that they're not another run-of-the mill small block V8, used by everybody and his dog team. To get a bit more unusual, Pontiac's OHC straight sixes could be had with factory four barrel manifolds, which would enable the use of a carb or the FAST-type fuel injection. They're maybe not as handsome as the Chevys, though, so bear that in mind. Everybody will want to look at it, but they've already seen 4,772, 916.7 crate 350s. Ho hum. Intakes in different hot rod configurations are available for the Chev/Pontiac OHV sixes, too, as are headers, dual exhaust outlet manifolds, cams, shiny parts, - you know, your basic necessity extras. The sixes sound wonderful when equipped with dual exhaust - just You Tube "straight six dual exhaust" for a listen. Warning - this could strongly influence your decision. You don't mention transmission preference or axle ratio, (or budget) but if you contemplate cruising, a five-speed, maybe even six speed, manual, or an overdrive-equipped automatic, and a low numerical axle ratio (such as 2.73:1) make for a calmer highway experience than other choices. Been there. I have no experience with solid front axles, but I understand that they can be made civilized for current highway cruising speeds. I like the idea of using yours - they look good. The Speedway Motors catalogs have interesting tips on them, mostly in regard to cars wearing that obscene four letter F word you used about your 9" rear end. Pity, that. But the info would apply to your almost-as-good-as-a-Pontiac car. Hope you have a ball with your project. Work safely. (Takes way less time to protect yourself than it does to heal.) Stephen
  16. Hi, Mike, I was surprised to read that your 69 Bonneville has a single chamber master cylinder - I thought all North American cars went to dual chamber systems in '67. I checked Rock Auto's website and see only dual chamber master cylinders listed for 69 Bonnevilles. (I had a 69 Grande Parisienne, Canada's answer to the Bonnevile. Really nice car.) I wonder if there is a proportioner valve, or a combination valve, on your car near the m/cyl (usually brass, usually within 2 feet of the m/cyl). This would suggest that the car originally had a dual system. If nothing is there like that, and you go to the dual m/cyl, you're going to need such a valve - it splits the two lines from the m/cyl into four for the wheel cylinders (and calipers, if the car has front disc brakes.) Some earlier cars/light trucks had one output line from the valve to the rear, and one to each front wheel. I couldn't find one on Rock Auto. The prices I saw for the m/cyls were pretty low, so I'd go with a new or rebuilt one. The junk yard route has the advantage of being able to get the push rod between the booster and the m/cyl, and the proportioner valve, if you should need it. Your single chamber m/cyl leaves me unsure what to expect when you take it off of the booster, as to whether the push rod is the same as for the dual m/cyl. You do have power brakes, right? There's another possibility, if you're feeling venturesome. The m/cyl for an 89 Buick Electra, for instance, has four outlets - one for each wheel. I think it may very well bolt up to your booster. Going that route simplifies plumbing a bit, especially if you already have front disc brakes. Otherwise, Speedway Motors, and very likely others, sell residual pressure valves, which they recommend. I don't have them, though, in the split/dual brake system on my 53 Catalina (all drum brakes) and they (the brakes) work well. Hope this has been food for thought, or at least interesting. Stephen
  17. Hi, Eric, You're far from alone, I think, in having to wait for enough funds to get on with a project. I'm among those with some considerable experience of that. So you don't have anything to be embarrassed about or to apologize for, as far as I'm concerned. We can't all be Jay Leno. Reminds me of the saying, "You can't have everything - where would you put it?" I'm hoping and expecting that you'll get the ol' Fiero on the go before too long, and the world will be a better place with it back on the road. Hang in there. There seemed to me to be a lot of pertinent stuff in that tech bulletin. You'll git 'er sorted. Stephen
  18. Eric, I looked up your clutch on Rock Auto, and the first listing referred to GM bulletin 87-7-55, which I "Googled". If you haven't seen it, you could have a look. Stephen
  19. Hi, Eric, The clutch not engaging suggests three possibilities to me : Clutch disc failure, pressure plate failure, and release bearing binding at its center, holding the pressure plate released. There may be others; I don't know it all. I like the third one best. But first, I'd verify, by removing the slave cylinder, that the clutch isn't being held in the released position by some weirdness with the slave cylinder. If the clutch isn't engaged, with the slave removed, I'd expect to find trouble in one of the components inside the bell housing. With the slave removed, can you momentarily connect the starter S terminal to the starter battery cable terminal, and see if, with the car in first gear, ignition off, and nothing fragile, like toes, in front of the car, the car tends to move? That check should tell us if the issue is internal or external. Stephen P.S. With the slave cylinder removed, I'd try moving the lever it contacts in both directions - I'm imagining using a vise grip advisedly. Maybe just a little nudge would free up a stuck or binding release bearing. S
  20. Hey, Poncho Punchers, Here's my two cents worth - maybe everyone already knows about them - I'm a big fan of Rock Auto. Their on line catalog is excellent, and can be used for information and parts pictures, to find out what other years' (sometimes other makes) parts will fit your car, and more. I call it an encyclopedia. Plus, they sell parts. Stephen
  21. Hi, Eric, No offense taken . Your clutch is a puzzler, and I'll be delighted if I can ask the right question to help you sort it out. To isolate the problem a bit, (by the way, I like the suggestion to run the engine for a while to warm things up), will the car start while in first gear? It would lurch forward as soon as you start to crank, if the clutch is engaged, and sit still if the clutch is stuck in the released position. Knowing the answer to this will suggest where to think next, whether inside or outside the bell housing. (My cousin had a red 4 cylinder Fiero, 1984 I think, and it was pretty sharp. So the V6 must be a blast. Also, I worked on one (4 cyl) that had had an engine transplant that needed some tidying up, and wouldn't run right. Carbon plugging the MAP sensor vacuum source in the intake manifold was the culprit there. I looked like a genius to the customer, but I wasn't - someone told me to check there. My late uncle, a mechanic, told me that sometimes we look like idiots, and sometimes like geniuses, but most times the truth was somewhere in between!) Did the clutch problem start right after the engine transplant? I'm wondering about the contact of the clutch lever with the release bearing, and remembering vaguely that that could be tricky. If it worked and you were able to drive the car after the transplant, it would be fine. Also wondering whether the release bearing is free to move on the transmission input shaft. I think the slave cylinder piston pushes a lever that clamps to (and turns ) a shaft that has (inside the bell housing) a fork that engages and operates the release bearing. Does that seem like your setup? Or does the slave cylinder piston push on a lever that pivots on a ball inside the bell housing and forks onto the release bearing? Stephen
  22. Hi, Jim, Nice educational video on 4 valves vs. 2. I didn't have the sound on (but the pictures were good) Maybe the sound pointed out one advantage of 4 little valves vs. 2 big ones, that I was told about, whether accurately I can't say - better for air pollution reduction. In defense of the 2 valve OHV setup older Pontiacs use, I say the extra cost and complications of the extra moving parts are fine if you need them, but the Chev small block V8s seem to meet pollution standards while producing abundant power and excellent fuel economy with only 2 valves per cylinder. I remember a magazine comparison test report of a Ford GT, Viper, and Corvette. The 'Vette compared very well with the others in performance, except as to fuel economy, where it very significantly outperformed both - something like 20 mpg vs. 11 or 12. So it makes me wonder if we get more complicated designs for no real world advantage. Stephen
  23. Hi, Eric, "Car thinks i's in neutral always" , and "seizing/not releasing" have me wondering if the clutch disc is actually stuck in the released position, that is, not contacting the flywheel. I haven't run into this, but maybe we can think it through - if you talk slowly and don't bustle me. Wouldn't it be, if the car thinks it's in neutral, that the clutch is not "engaging", rather than not releasing? If I grasp the situation correctly, you can run the engine, shift into gear, let out the clutch pedal, and get nowhere - fast. Right? (I'm a retired certified mechanic who hopes not to appall you with my shortcomings.) Stephen
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