BUILD THREAD Project Olds Cool (Updated 2/21/19)

Clutch

Clutch

Comic Book Super Hero
Apr 7, 2017
3,352
4,581
113
Brick NJ
Now that's some good looking progress D it's going to look sharp!
 
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Royal Smart Person
Feb 2, 2015
1,882
5,882
113
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The way I see it the only thing that's gonna suck about the car when it's done is that you'll probably have to permanently mount a sign in the window that says NOT FOR SALE ! So that your not constantly harassed by random people.
Meh, you never know! I’m actually building this car to eventually give to my better half. I’ll continue to enjoy it until The Juggernaut is done, then she’ll get the keys.
I think it’d be a real kick to have both cars side by side at a show, one highly modified and one near stock looking. Then blow people’s minds and tell them that they both started out as the exact same car as they start looking for the differences.

However, if someone came along and offered the right number, I’d probably let it go. I’d take the money and put it towards one of my bucket list cars, either a ‘55 Chevy, a ‘67 Nova, or a ‘68/69/70 Cutlass or 442. And probably in that order too!
Now that's some good looking progress D it's going to look sharp!
Thanks Eric! I’m very happy to be done with the passenger side for now, and looking forward to getting this AstroRoof done, put back together, and reinstalled in the car.
Then onto the driver’s side...
:blam:
 
Longroof79

Longroof79

Geezer
Oct 14, 2008
9,731
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113
Gainesville, Fl
D,
I can imagine showing both cars at various car shows and events. I'm sure they'll both attract some significant attention. Keep up the good work, my man.
 
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Pharozen

Pharozen

Greasemonkey
Dec 19, 2012
197
35
28
Triana
Hey everyone, welcome to the documentation of Project "Olds Cool", a(nother) 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais of mine.

First, a little about the name:
In my own quirky way, I have a bit of a soft spot for puns. Everyone thinks they're cheap and low brow humour, but I tend to appreciate the thought and intelligence that goes into a good pun.

I came up with the name "Olds Cool" several years ago out of the blue thinking about the shortened version of Oldsmobile, "Olds".

In case it's not already painfully obvious, "Olds Cool" said quickly sounds like "old school". A perfect reference to the direction and build for this car, not to mention my personal experiences. Being in my mid-forties, I tend to be somewhat "old school" myself!
:rolleyes:

As many of you are already familiar with on here, my pride and joy (and sometimes the bane of my existence) is another 1980 Olds Cutlass, affectionately referred to as "The Juggernaut".
While the 'Naut has and will continue to be the main focus of my automotive passion for the foreseeable future, after 7 or 8 years of having it off the road and missing out on a large part of the hobby, I was jonesing to get back behind the wheel of a G body again.

Browsing through the local online classifieds one evening, I came across an ad for the car. It was a white 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais 2 door coupe, and was listed for $1000 CDN obo. The pictures of the car looked remarkably good, so I figured at the very least it beared further investigation for that price.

After contacting and arranging a time to meet the seller, I went to go inspect the car. Not being my first picnic and well aware of the trouble areas on G bodies, I gave it a thorough going over. To be honest, my first impressions were pretty disappointing. While areas like the floor pans and rear framerails were good, the car had been neglected for quite some time.

The car had been poorly repainted at some point in its life, the finish was not only dull and oxidized, but every square in of it was covered in tree sap from being parked in his back yard. The driver's door had the typical sag, the vinyl roof was torn and tattered, the interior was filthy, the carpet faded almost white from the sun, headlights burnt out and so on.

Being an original Calais model tho, the car was extremely well optioned. Buckets, console, rallye pac gauges and steering wheel, air, tilt, cruise, power trunk release etc. The rallye wheels even still had all their trim rings and center caps.

Not wanting to offend the seller by not at least test driving the car, we set out for a spin. Yet more disappointments awaited here. While smooth and reliable during part-throttle cruising, opening of the fours rewarded the me with horrible surging and loud back firing through the carburetor. Hmm. Not good.

Returning to the seller's house, I reluctantly offered him my "best price".
$800, take it or leave it.
I figured I could get at least that back out of it in parts if I had to. Knowing full well that the car needed some work, the seller accepted and the deal was struck. As a bonus however, the seller included a brand new carpet kit still in the box in the trunk. A lovely parting gift I suppose!

Here is the car as it arrived at my garage that afternoon:

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View attachment 59388

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Interior:
View attachment 59394

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The car pretty much screamed "old man's car", with its white wall tires, cheeseball mudflaps, body side impact strips, and fender mounted cornering lamp option. The car wasn't home 10 minutes, and the mudflaps and impact strips were outta there!

"Hmm. Maybe I can work with this "old man's car vibe" in my favour. This might make a great sleeper...!"

In addition to the somewhat rare fender mounted cornering lamp option, this car also had an Astro Roof, the first factory installed one I had ever seen on a G body. Better yet, it still worked and didn't leak!

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That's it for now guys, to be continued...

Donovan
Very Well Optioned car. I appreciate a good pun too!

I'll be going through this build page by page.
 
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Royal Smart Person
Feb 2, 2015
1,882
5,882
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I probably won’t have the time or ambition or both to do this week’s update tomorrow night, so I’ll cover it tonight instead.

I’m still waiting for work to commence on my door handles, I spoke with my machinist this week and he said hasn’t had a chance to even think about looking at them.
Damn.
So with that being said, I’m officially off the passenger’s side of the car for now and on to resurrecting the AstroRoof.

After closely inspecting the front brace, I decided the rust damage was just too extensive and the metal too thin to do anything with.
It doesn’t look too bad in these pictures, but the metal is literally paper thin on the outer edge and trying to spot weld it back on would’ve resulted in blowing huge holes in it:

e26e121a-3dfd-4f45-b6e0-13b14686adc2-jpeg.105724


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360b5e5e-6e2c-414c-8199-c6b98eabdd46-jpeg.105728


So, as hard as it was to make the decision that new metal would have to be welded in, I didn’t really see that I had much of a choice. You may have noticed a couple of Sharpie marks in the corners, these were tentative “thinking out loud” marks to determine where the best spot to section and replace the damaged piece should be.

I didn’t want to have to try and recreate the whole thing from scratch, overall it’s a pretty simple part but it does have some complex bends and studs in the corners for attaching the front roller brackets. I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of trying to figure out how to recreate it from scratch, so instead I decided to section and replace the existing piece:

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Doing it this way allows me to keep the replacement metal flat and simple. After transferring and tracing out the old piece on to some fresh steel and cutting it out on the bandsaw, I positioned it and clamped it for welding:

7f3b06fa-709b-4b9b-be43-a6e912d9883b-jpeg.105732


I took the short 1/4” square stock pieces out of the sheet metal welding clamps, and temporarily replaced them with some much longer 1/4” round stock scraps I had kicking around. Doing this allowed me to support the bottom of the pieces much better, and helped provide the slight curvature the brace has.

You can see them sticking out from underneath the front of the brace in this pic:

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Time for the hot glue gun:

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Yep, thaaaaat’s a lot of welding.
Once I had tack welds no more than about a 1/4” apart, I started working on getting all of it burned in and ground smooth. The easiest spots to start with were the corners:

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This was actually a very tricky piece to weld in. With no support or bends in the front edge, the replacement piece wanted to warp very easily despite spreading the tack welds around and quenching each one with compressed air. Eventually I gave up trying to keep everything from warping and decided I’d just deal with the aftermath afterwards.

After a LOT of welding and grinding (had to do both sides!) and some hammer and dolly work to get it all straightened out, I opened up the other half of the 5 holes that were in the middle. Only thing left to do was add spot weld holes with the metal punch to the edge. I doubled up the number of spot weld points, seeing as this is a reinforcing brace, I figured that would be a wise decision.

At the end of it all, this is how it turned out. This is the underside, the side that you would see if you looked up at it from underneath when it’s in the car...

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...and this is the inside, the part that faces the inside of the outer pan. This won’t be visible when it’s reattached to the pan, but it was necessary to have it finished and “right” anyways:

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These next three pictures detail where the brace gets placed back on the front of the pan:

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Earlier in the week, I got the remainder of the rust removed from inside the rear AstroRoof brace, it cleaned up with very good results. However I still needed to strip the remaining paint off of the outside of it. While I can easily access and remove most of it without any trouble, the corners where the studs are would be pretty tough. So Friday I took the brace into work and media blasted out just the corners. If you turn the air pressure down and are careful, you can safely do this without warping anything:

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While I was at it, I hit the roller bracket nuts and some other miscellaneous fasteners.

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Here’s where and how the rear brace orients on the pan:

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I have some metal work to do to the front outer lip of the pan itself, it’s where the bulk of the rust damage had occurred in the first place. It’s highly visible when the roof is in the open position, so I’m going to have to make sure I do it right and it looks perfect. I’m also going to touch up the spot weld holes in it where I went a little too deep with the cutter separating the pieces.

Other than that, the parts are almost ready to receive a little epoxy primer and paint on the insides to protect against future corrosion, then they can be welded back together and finished out. Hopefully that’ll happen sometime this week, so stay tuned....!!!

D.
 
1evilregal

1evilregal

Royal Smart Person
Apr 23, 2009
2,373
2,126
113
Greensboro, NC
once again, you've got me awestruck over your creativity and ability to problem-solve! when you're done with that car, it'll probably have less rust on it than the cars in the General's heritage museum!
 
TURNA

TURNA

Geezer
Jul 24, 2009
6,344
8,040
113
Socialist NY
once again, you've got me awestruck over your creativity and ability to problem-solve! when you're done with that car, it'll probably have less rust on it than the cars in the General's heritage museum!



 
olds307 and 403

olds307 and 403

Comic Book Super Hero
Oct 14, 2008
3,785
1,657
113
Melville,Saskatchewan
Looks great Donovan. What mm nozzles do you paint with? Also I assume you use an inline filter or water separator? Also what psi do you spray at? You are getting so close, keep up the ridiculously good work.
 
DRIVEN

DRIVEN

Geezer
Apr 25, 2009
5,200
4,190
113
Owyhee County
Wow. Just...wow.:oops:
 
Longroof79

Longroof79

Geezer
Oct 14, 2008
9,731
5,433
113
Gainesville, Fl
.....and the magic continues....:cool: :notworthy: Impressive work as always Mr D.
 
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