BUILD THREAD Project Olds Cool (Updated 6/5/20 Start of reassembly!)

Texas82GP

Texas82GP

Geezer
Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
5,731
113
Spring, Texas
Donovan,
I'm anxious for the next installment on this car and/or the Juggernaut. I'd rather an update on both but I guess I'll settle for one or the other.:p
 
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 2, 2015
2,762
113
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Donovan,
I'm anxious for the next installment on this car and/or the Juggernaut. I'd rather an update on both but I guess I'll settle for one or the other.:p
Was away for awhile...I too was hoping to see an update on this one......
You're right guys, I've been totally neglectful of updating this! My apologies, I've been thinking about getting back to it lately, but haven't quite made it there yet.

I did however just post a fairly significant update on the Juggernaut's thread tho, hopefully that'll keep y'all entertained 'til I can get back on this one!

Stay tuned...

D.
 
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 2, 2015
2,762
113
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
So after entirely too long, I'm finally getting back to adding more info to this thread.

Last year was a fairly busy and important one for progress on the car, and with spring once again upon us, I need to get the work already done on the car up to date so that I can start posting this year's plans and progress and hopefully keep the timelines of everything straight.
So here goes...

After picking up the car, I had plans of keeping this one on a "beer budget", no big expenditures, barter and trade for parts and services, etc. At first this went fairly well... more on this later!
I traded an unused T56 transmission crossmember to my friend Dana in exchange for a set of rare 1980 correct Olds 442 wheels, complete with center caps. The tires that were on them however were complete junk, dry rotted and wore out. Another friend had a set of 14" tires in decent shape, they were Walmart specials and certainly nothing wonderful, but at least they were road worthy and safe to drive on. A case of beer netted me these, while yet another case got them installed and balanced at a mechanic's shop with a guy I used to work with. Here's the cheapy tires installed on the 442 wheels, and on the car. Note the crushed in quarter and moulding... A casualty of some previous owner's encounter with who-knows-what.

IMG_2125.JPG


IMG_2126.JPG


IMG_2127.JPG


While this was ongoing, I tackled all the little things that one finds with a "new to them" car. First off, a good cleaning. The car was the previous owner's daily as far as I could tell and it showed. The interior and exterior both were filthy. I cleaned out the junk and garbage from the trunk and interior, and gave both a good going over with the shop vac. Next, I tackled one of my personal pet peeves, tracking down and replacing all of the burnt out and not working lights. Both high beam lights were burnt out. One of these was cracked, probably leading to burning out. Both low beams worked, but one was so horribly cracked that it came out in pieces once I got the trim ring off. Next, the marker lights in the fenders and bumpers were made operational again, and all the factory grounds for them were removed and the connection points cleaned up and reinstalled.

On an interesting note, this car is equipped with fender mounted turn signal indicators, these in themselves are kinda cool. Each indicator is split up into 3 sections, each section with its own color. White, blue, and amber. When the signal lights are activated, the amber section flashes, indicating the signal light is on. This also stays lit up when either the marker or headlights are turned on.
When you turn on the headlights, the white section lights up. When the high beams are activated, the blue section is illuminated. This is all done with fibre optics, and it all still works believe it or not! This was pretty cutting edge stuff for 1980 if you think about it...

As part of the fender-indicator package, there is also a small plastic housing mounted in the inside of the car, centered above the rear window. This small interior colored housing has 2 small red lenses in it, and uses more fibre optics from the tail lights to light up the lenses when signaling or braking. These two tiny lights are clearly visible in the rear view mirror day or night (but mostly at night), and are not noticeable to anyone else. Wild! I had no idea this was even an option on a Cutlass, it's the first and only time I've seen this.

Next, it was time to make some upgrades. I had (and still have) various bits and pieces in storage and leftover or unused for various reasons. This included a "like new" set of KYB front shocks, a set of Competition Engineering 3 way adjustable rear shocks, and a set of single adjustable UMI rear lower control arms. These parts all found their way onto the car one evening to replace the old and worn out stuff.

A post here on the forum from Mr. Evil noting that he had removed a set of lowering springs to replace them with some factory height ones caught my attention one day. I decided to PM him just to see what he was doing with the old ones, and he said that I could have them for the price of shipping. Score! (Thanks Rick, you're STILL the man!!) The rear lowering springs went in, but I made a deal with a local G body owner on a set of brand new unused 2" drop spindles, rather than attempting to fight with removing and reinstalling the front springs. The spindle and spring swap was performed on a Saturday afternoon, and went together just as easy as you please.

The car was starting to look quite a bit more presentable by now (and certainly a lot more safe), but the exterior still needed a lot of attention. The paint, the vinyl roof, the bumpers, and all the trim was all covered in sticky tree sap. You know the stuff, that yellow crap that sticks to everything, and if left untouched will actually stain surfaces. A little trick I learned in the GM dealership detail bay years ago, is to use isopropyl alcohol (more commonly known as gas line antifreeze) to remove the sap. This stuff dries it out and easily removes it, yet doesn't hurt the paint. A bottle of this and several rags later, I finally had all the sap removed. I tackled a couple of little interior nuisances, replaced the dim and burnt out dash lights with newer, brighter, more modern LED ones. Got the radio and cigarette lighter working again, as well as the high speed on the blower motor. 88Hurst Olds supplied me with the missing ashtray for the center console, along with the missing cigarette lighter in the dash.

Here's 2 pics showing just how bad the vinyl roof was... It's in poor shape, and will get removed eventually, but for now I tried to clean it up as best as possible.

IMG_2117.JPG


IMG_2148.JPG


Here's a couple pics from a cruise I took one night, it was starting to look a LOT more presentable.

IMG_2120.JPG


IMG_2121.JPG


IMG_2122.JPG


IMG_2123.JPG


IMG_2124.JPG


Stay tuned guys, LOTS more to come!

Donovan
 
Opie Knievel

Opie Knievel

Whiskey Fueled Midnight Mechanic and Moderator
Moderator
Sep 6, 2010
1,506
113
Brodhead, Kentucky
So after entirely too long, I'm finally getting back to adding more info to this thread.

Last year was a fairly busy and important one for progress on the car, and with spring once again upon us, I need to get the work already done on the car up to date so that I can start posting this year's plans and progress and hopefully keep the timelines of everything straight.
So here goes...

After picking up the car, I had plans of keeping this one on a "beer budget", no big expenditures, barter and trade for parts and services, etc. At first this went fairly well... more on this later!
I traded an unused T56 transmission crossmember to my friend Dana in exchange for a set of rare 1980 correct Olds 442 wheels, complete with center caps. The tires that were on them however were complete junk, dry rotted and wore out. Another friend had a set of 14" tires in decent shape, they were Walmart specials and certainly nothing wonderful, but at least they were road worthy and safe to drive on. A case of beer netted me these, while yet another case got them installed and balanced at a mechanic's shop with a guy I used to work with. Here's the cheapy tires installed on the 442 wheels, and on the car. Note the crushed in quarter and moulding... A casualty of some previous owner's encounter with who-knows-what.

View attachment 64713

View attachment 64714

View attachment 64715

While this was ongoing, I tackled all the little things that one finds with a "new to them" car. First off, a good cleaning. The car was the previous owner's daily as far as I could tell and it showed. The interior and exterior both were filthy. I cleaned out the junk and garbage from the trunk and interior, and gave both a good going over with the shop vac. Next, I tackled one of my personal pet peeves, tracking down and replacing all of the burnt out and not working lights. Both high beam lights were burnt out. One of these was cracked, probably leading to burning out. Both low beams worked, but one was so horribly cracked that it came out in pieces once I got the trim ring off. Next, the marker lights in the fenders and bumpers were made operational again, and all the factory grounds for them were removed and the connection points cleaned up and reinstalled.

On an interesting note, this car is equipped with fender mounted turn signal indicators, these in themselves are kinda cool. Each indicator is split up into 3 sections, each section with its own color. White, blue, and amber. When the signal lights are activated, the amber section flashes, indicating the signal light is on. This also stays lit up when either the marker or headlights are turned on.
When you turn on the headlights, the white section lights up. When the high beams are activated, the blue section is illuminated. This is all done with fibre optics, and it all still works believe it or not! This was pretty cutting edge stuff for 1980 if you think about it...

As part of the fender-indicator package, there is also a small plastic housing mounted in the inside of the car, centered above the rear window. This small interior colored housing has 2 small red lenses in it, and uses more fibre optics from the tail lights to light up the lenses when signaling or braking. These two tiny lights are clearly visible in the rear view mirror day or night (but mostly at night), and are not noticeable to anyone else. Wild! I had no idea this was even an option on a Cutlass, it's the first and only time I've seen this.

Next, it was time to make some upgrades. I had (and still have) various bits and pieces in storage and leftover or unused for various reasons. This included a "like new" set of KYB front shocks, a set of Competition Engineering 3 way adjustable rear shocks, and a set of single adjustable UMI rear lower control arms. These parts all found their way onto the car one evening to replace the old and worn out stuff.

A post here on the forum from Mr. Evil noting that he had removed a set of lowering springs to replace them with some factory height ones caught my attention one day. I decided to PM him just to see what he was doing with the old ones, and he said that I could have them for the price of shipping. Score! (Thanks Rick, you're STILL the man!!) The rear lowering springs went in, but I made a deal with a local G body owner on a set of brand new unused 2" drop spindles, rather than attempting to fight with removing and reinstalling the front springs. The spindle and spring swap was performed on a Saturday afternoon, and went together just as easy as you please.

The car was starting to look quite a bit more presentable by now (and certainly a lot more safe), but the exterior still needed a lot of attention. The paint, the vinyl roof, the bumpers, and all the trim was all covered in sticky tree sap. You know the stuff, that yellow crap that sticks to everything, and if left untouched will actually stain surfaces. A little trick I learned in the GM dealership detail bay years ago, is to use isopropyl alcohol (more commonly known as gas line antifreeze) to remove the sap. This stuff dries it out and easily removes it, yet doesn't hurt the paint. A bottle of this and several rags later, I finally had all the sap removed. I tackled a couple of little interior nuisances, replaced the dim and burnt out dash lights with newer, brighter, more modern LED ones. Got the radio and cigarette lighter working again, as well as the high speed on the blower motor. 88Hurst Olds supplied me with the missing ashtray for the center console, along with the missing cigarette lighter in the dash.

Here's 2 pics showing just how bad the vinyl roof was... It's in poor shape, and will get removed eventually, but for now I tried to clean it up as best as possible.

View attachment 64718

View attachment 64719

Here's a couple pics from a cruise I took one night, it was starting to look a LOT more presentable.

View attachment 64708

View attachment 64709

View attachment 64710

View attachment 64711

View attachment 64712

Stay tuned guys, LOTS more to come!

Donovan

Wow what a difference between the tree sap covered look and the cleaned up look! The car looks great.
 
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Reactions: Rktpwrd
Longroof79

Longroof79

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Oct 14, 2008
10,865
113
Gainesville, Fl
Lookin' good, D.
It's too bad those wheels weren't available in 15". They seem to almost get lost in the wheelwells.
Otherwise, I always liked that style wheel. The car looks great overall.

How's Dana, btw?. He hasn't been on the site in quite awhile.
 
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 2, 2015
2,762
113
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Wow what a difference between the tree sap covered look and the cleaned up look! The car looks great.
Thanks man.

The car has certainly come a long ways already since I picked it up, but it still needs a fair amount of work before it'll be up to my standards.

The whole idea behind this car is to "return to my roots" so to speak, and make simple upgrades as time and money allow. I have The 'Naut for the crazy custom cravings when the creative urge strikes.

Ultimately, I'd like to not have the car down and inoperable for long periods of time, but I may have to come to a point where that's no longer possible. I'll elaborate on that a little later tho, as I'm getting a bit ahead of myself...
That will be touched on and discussed once the progress is brought up to date on here.

Thanks for the interest my friend!
 
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 2, 2015
2,762
113
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
It's too bad those wheels weren't available in 15". They seem to almost get lost in the wheelwells.
I totally agree Jack. It shows how far we've come since these cars were new and popular. In comparison, the front brakes on The Juggernaut are bigger in diameter than the wheels were on these cars when they were new. The '81-'88 guys were a little luckier when GM went to 15" wheels standard on their cars.

I too love the look of these wheels, to me they're the Oldsmobile equivalent of the popular N90 wheels that came on the Monte SS's. Just in the wrong size.
Lol

Your comment about them "getting lost in the wheelwells" is spot on to what I thought shortly after installing them. They sit so far inboard especially in the rear, that it looks goofy and disproportionate. I equate it to a woman with toothpick legs under a giant ballroom skirt.
Haha
It bothered me so much that I went out and purchased a set of 2" wheel spacers for the rear and installed those. They positioned the wheels further out closer to the edge of the quarters, and helped the look much better.
Not sure if it's really noticeable in this pic, but the spacers are installed (with the original rallies) here:

IMG_1731.JPG


How's Dana, btw?. He hasn't been on the site in quite awhile.
He's doing well from what I can tell. He lives 3 hours away in a different city, but we try and stay in touch as much as possible. He usually tries to stop in for a visit whenever he's in town, even if it's only for a couple of minutes.

He was here on the site quite recently, he posted on The Juggernaut's thread not that long ago. I think now that spring is here, his interest in the wagon has rekindled a bit. You should send him a PM and give him a hard time for being such a stranger!
Lol

Thanks for your comments, appreciate it sir!
 
Longroof79

Longroof79

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Oct 14, 2008
10,865
113
Gainesville, Fl
D,
The spacers give the wheels a different perspective. It looks good with the wheels pushed outward a bit. Do you really trust 2" spacers though?

I know the Olds ralley wheels came in 15". My friend had them on his '77 Cutlass Salon. Apparently the 15" variety are not easy to come by, not counting the chrome 442, H/O wheels.
The aluminum wheels are still very cool looking despite being 14".

Yeah, you're right, I should send Dana a PM to break his chops. Like, "Where the heck you been, dude"?...I think you're right that he did post recently. Like a phantom, he comes out of nowhere....lol!!

OldsCool is a righteous looking ride. It does look very presentable. I certainly would not mind cruising around in it.
 
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