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  • More 50 Commander

    Well its been a bit since we have provided an update so here we go. At the end of the last thread we had the engine remounted as the previous owner used metal on metal plus it was just all wrong. See bottom of previous thread at HERE.

    So - what do you do with the engine out of the way - well you rewire the entire car of course. The previous owner did a semi conversion to 12 volt but...
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    The last thing we wanted to do was do a bunch of work and then burn the car to the ground because of 70 year old wiring trying to run twice the voltage running the wrong way! Well, out with the old and in with the new.
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    Now we have a fully converted wiring system with proper fuses and plenty of expansion options.
    Side note: I had to explain to my 29 year old son what the button on the floor is.
    DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
    1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

  • #2
    If your going to rewire the car then you have to realize that the gauges are 6 volts. One option is to step down the voltage (shunt???) to the gauges but when the gauges don't work your kinda forced to make yet another upgrade.

    The old gauges were - well - OLD. The speedo, fuel, and ampmeter (Oxford comma correct ) did not work.
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    With all of the old wiring out of the way there was really only one choice. I use the previous photo to do a little "Photoshopping" (is that a word??) and as usual presented the option to my son.
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    After a bit of money and time we have the new gauges installed.
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    We decided to add a tachometer even though we have an automatic transmission (Turbo 350). This was done just because we felt the old "blank" gauge would look out of place. We did consider refurbishing the blank but knew it would never look correct. We "had" to convert the speedo cable to an electronic system (2 wire) but with this we can adjust the speedo if we change rim/tire size.
    note: the photo above shows the car going about 80 MPH - this was prior to calibration.
    DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
    1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

    Comment


    • #3
      Again, while your this deep into rewiring some other "issues" become more obvious. One of these issues was the original vacuum powered wipers. While the system did work (ish) it has some drawbacks. One speed, low "power" (read as barely moves) and may not work if you step on the gas to pass that truck in the rain. So as before, out with the old.
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      And in with the new - shiny - improved electric model.
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      And the obvious placement of the knob.
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      We now have a much more reliable wiper system with more speeds than on and off.
      DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
      1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

      Comment


      • #4
        Stupid side project number, well, I think we lost count...

        I am sure many will notice that the steering wheel may not be period correct. It is a bit oversized but we are considering this to be "power steering". As such the horn button really does not fit well. The previous owner used a combination of rubber bands (damn I wish I were kidding here) and a type of rubber gel - filler from a tube? - to hold the original button in place. (here's wishing I had a photo) He also painted the inside of the button with primer???

        Well now we have a choice. Buy a replacement button ($100) or make due, we choose to make due as we can always buy the replacement if we made a mess of it. First thing was to see how closely we could "restore" the original to well, "original". Taking off the primer with steel wool was easy and with a bit of rattle can paint we had on the shelf we get the following:
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        This photo doesn't really show the darker edge effect but this does get better once it is in the horn ring. We then worked out how to attach the button to the steering wheel. We didn't want to do the very thing we mocked prior and could have simple glued the button in place. This option however has many draw backs and if we did really mess up we wanted an easier way to "undo" or work. (work = mistake) We we cast about in the garage we noticed the magnets on a cabinet and did a little test.
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        and YES, it will stick. Now we have the problem of a plastic button and a magnet. Again, standing there looking around (looking dumb) we thought, "can we use a bolt with the magnet?" How can we "dial in" the length of the bolt and how can we fix the bolt to the plastic button? Solution = bolt + tee nut + resin:
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        The tee nut allowed us to vary the length of the setup and once determined we simply glued the steel together and mixed up some casting resin. Once cured it was a moment of truth. The button now snaps into place.
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        ya ya ya, the steering wheel is not centered. Its a work in progress.
        DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
        1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

        Comment


        • #5
          Another stupid project (project may be an overstatement)

          So the engine re-mounting and rewiring meant the ChevyBaker sat outside for quite a while. As such when it returned to the garage we noticed the plastic radiator overflow tank looked a bit odd. The cap was kinda shiny and when we touched it - it just fell apart.
          Here is a prior picture:
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          Its your generic Dorman tank your can find at any car parts store. We needed a replacement and did not like the look of the plastic tank. Amazon to the rescue:
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          Sure it is a bit smaller but we believe it will serve its purpose while looking loads better. If we determine that the capacity is an issue we will simply get another and plumb them in series.
          DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
          1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

          Comment


          • #6
            I love the new gauges...they look great! cheers, junior
            sigpic
            1954 C5 Hamilton car.

            Comment


            • #7
              The gauges are 5 inch while the originals are 5 1/4. What you don't see is the hydro-cut ring (painted black to hide it) that mates up the smaller gauge to the larger hole.

              Well after double checking you can see them but you have to know what you're looking for.
              DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
              1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

              Comment


              • #8
                OK, the ChevyBaker is advancing to Daily Driver status. Until this point it has really been Garage Art and we are making headway.

                BRAKES:
                So now that the engine is in the right position and the car should not burn down with faulty wiring it was time to address the horrible brakes. We popped off the wheels and hubs to find the pads and shoes in pretty good condition.
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                3 of the 4 wheel cylinders however needed attention so check book be damned we bought 4. I had to read the label twice as the first time I think I skipped a step and gave myself a little fright.
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                We installed the new cylinders and repacked (I say repacked but we believe the previous owner did a poor job of it) the bearings.
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                Then, of course, we started to bleed the brakes. And, OF COURSE, we had an issue with the left rear. No fluid - nothing - pump pump hold - nothing. We disconnected the line and nothing. We then started towards the tee and saw that the break line was crushed completely flat. There was NO WAY this wheel ever saw break fluid. After a few calls I found a brake shop that was able to make me a "custom" 3/16" hard line.
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                You can see on the right (second bend) were, what we are guessing was a tow truck, must have done the damage. Probably when the previous owner drug it out of the field.
                DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
                1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Next stupid project

                  HOOD EMBLEM:
                  While I normally reference "we" when referring to the work done but I have to use first person in this post.

                  "I" both love and hate the 1950 hood emblem while my son is more "meh". Yeah its great but I could never clean it properly and it just did not look right. I ordered a new one (more on this below) and went about the process of removing the old version. Of course - the previous owner attached it with what I am guessing was two part epoxy. As I knew I had a replacement in hand I was less than gentle.
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                  I was able to somewhat salvage the part you can see though. I then proceeded to attach the new badge with a pair of "jam nuts" and lock tight just to be sure it would stay.
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                  OK, I hear you. "That's from a 51" and yes it is. In my defense there is a V8 in there and we are SOOOOO far from original I think I could justify anything at this point. So at this point I have a way cool emblem (I mean just look at it) and half of the old one. What to do - what to do. I then realized I had a completely separate issue on the dash. The previous owner (I'm starting to feel I blame this guy for everything) drilled a couple holes so he could have a manual pull switch and an indicator light for the electric radiator fan. (now rewired with a thermostat relay)
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                  We have considered (an maybe still are) adding a second power port (read as cigar lighter) here just to do something. It was then I had a thought (quite rare) and started polishing the original 50' emblem (read as mad at my thought for days). With some two part epoxy (I'm such a hypocrite) and two thin rare earth magnets - voila! The holes are gone??
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                  While the astute may realize that the holes are actually still there - I used two magnets so good luck seeing it. (no I mean it - its really hard to remove)
                  DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
                  1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You have a nice car that is becoming better with your "stupid projects". I checked out the link to your earlier thread. I thought I cut corners on my car, your previous owner did some scary engine mount work. When in my younger days, I put a 327 Chevy in a 68 Cortina. Yes, I question my sanity at this endeavor. Gotellis'Speed Shop sold a universal Chevy engine mount that uses the 4 holes on the front of the engine, like your replacement mount and uses donut rubber bushings. Your welded mounts reminded me of that. Thanks for the humorous writing style. Keep up the good work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      See you going through some of the same issues I just went through. I just got a 50 done. Like your gauges I almost went that route. But liked the original to well to rich them.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 3DTim View Post
                        See you going through some of the same issues I just went through. I just got a 50 done. Like your gauges I almost went that route. But liked the original to well to rich them.
                        Bee-youtiful!
                        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Do you plan to put a Color on it that you can drive down the Street without a full face mask on?
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                          StudeRich
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            LOL

                            Are you saying that the mighty Mitsubishi corporation may have been in error when they created "Plasma Purple"?
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                            While I joke - we are considering a new color but if I am honest the color is growing on me.
                            DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
                            1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DTHolder View Post
                              LOL

                              Are you saying that the mighty Mitsubishi corporation may have been in error when they created "Plasma Purple"?
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                              While I joke - we are considering a new color but if I am honest the color is growing on me.
                              The forum also has a poster from Aussie that painted his Hawk a similar colour...I personally don't have an issue with off-beat colours...lately Nissan has been offering some pretty cool bright colours that stand out in a crowded parking lot. cheers, junior
                              sigpic
                              1954 C5 Hamilton car.

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