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Our '53 Custom Finally "Finished"

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  • Our '53 Custom Finally "Finished"

    I know, I know, never say "finished" when discussing a lengthy restoration. But, just maybe we are at the end of the journey that started Labor Day weekend, 2003, when we trailered our car to Yuma from South Dakota. We have been showing it since March, 2011, but an engine rebuild and persistent overheating have kept it in the restoration shop off and on for almost half the time since then. The engine now runs great and the overheating, even with the AC running, was finally solved by Jim Whitener of Jims Rod Shop, who started the final restoration in April, 2009. Between 2003 and 2009 we had two false starts with other local people who were in over their heads.

    With my recent retirement after 45 years of teaching, we are rarin' to go with four in state shows on the schedule in September and October. I guess the moral of our story is if you're patient and willing to spend the money, eventually good things will happen.

    Car history and restoration pictures are in my signature link in case you haven't already seen them.
    Tim-'53 Starlight Commander Custom and '63 Avanti in Yuma, AZ

  • #2
    Congratulations!! What did he find and change to solve the overheating problem? So I trust it will make it to the Pacific Southwest Zone meet in October?
    Pat Dilling
    Olivehurst, CA
    Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL

    LS1 Engine Swap Journal:


    • #3
      I talked to Jim many times, advising, and troubleshooting on the phone about this car. What was the cause anyway? I threw everything I had at it-- I hope I helped in some small way. I hope the high temps were simply 'engine break in temps' and just went away after a few 100 miles........


      • #4
        Why is it many people leave the "answer" out of it fixed, post for others to benefit from ?



        • #5
          To answer above questions. Yes, Pat, we will be at Pacific SW Meet in October. Are you coming? Overheating fixed by combination of new aluminum radiator and addition of a second radiator fan that is thermostatically activated. He also added a solenoid that allows me to increase idle speed when AC is on by tapping the accelerator.
          Tim-'53 Starlight Commander Custom and '63 Avanti in Yuma, AZ