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balthazar

Project INVICTA

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Working like a dog on a month-long condo rehab, will be wrapped up end of this week. No work on the B-59 since cutting the header into pieces, but taking next week off. Of course, the high temps next week are in the mid 30s. Of course.

Did find some verified engine-related weights, so I was able to update the B-59s weight loss log. To date, I've reduced the car's weight by 401 lbs. There will be a multitude of things that change this number, but at this point they are unknowns, weight-wise. But as is right now, car 'weighs' 4080 lbs. That's not bad for a 217-in car with less than 15 lbs of plastic in it.

Edited by balthazar
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'During' pic of header construction. Arrows show severed collector, positioned on a movable wooden stand, but providing a 'target' for the re-flowing of the individual pipes. Was able to (initially) to re-use the 2 cut-off pieces, which you see taped/clamped here.

DSC05403.JPG

If you look back one page to the post dated Sept 13, you can see the original header configuration, showing how tube 1 and tube 4 would be going right into the steering box, basically sitting 'outboard of' tubes 2 & 3.

I also decided to (temporarily) mount the dash substructure and the steering column so I could eyeball the column-shifted trans linkage. I have to go with an aftermarket universal linkage (Lokar) anyway, but it should be fine.

Edited by balthazar
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With the hope of pushing spring-esque weather, have started some more work on the B-59. My buddy has been doing some experimenting with zinc plating, the interior door latches (inside the doors) are bare steel, so doing those and the trunk latching hardware. I saw the trunk latch tonight (no pic) and it looked excellent. Trying to think of other things to plate. BTW, also working on a derusting bath (reverse electrolysis). Still have the parking brake system to engineer (just found the original B-59 cable wheels this past weekend) and the headers to get back on. Temps supposed to break over the weekend (mid 20s today).

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Posted (edited)

Man, has progress been lacking. What else is new.
- - - - -
The B-59 has an upward-projecting rear license light. The lense is available repro, but the die cast unit is not and I've never seen a really nice one / NOS for sale. My car's rear bumper has a fist-sized dent near the outer corner, but apparently there was a lot of twist involved, because my license light housing is also quite twisted (in addition to all the pitting). I don't want to put like $250-350 into this, so going to cobble something. Here's the results so far on that. First: the stock piece :

Screen Shot 2020-01-04 at 10.25.11 PM.png

 

Here's my shot piece, and a new aluminum plate with a 1-W LED and 2 decorative retaining fasteners. I want to polish the aluminum so it looks more like chrome, and fashion some sort of little 'hood' for the lens so you don't see the light itself driving behind it. I hope that 1W isn't too bright, but it's a simple procedure to add resistors to dim it further. I want the glow of a campfire from 3 miles out on my plate.

IMG_1028.jpg

 

Comparison pic from online, but you can never tell until you see it in person :

Screen Shot 2020-01-04 at 10.35.36 PM.png

Edited by balthazar

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Posted (edited)

2 recent bits of progress.

Everyone lists the wrong sway bar bushing for my car (every B-59 that has a bar uses the same one). I know because I ordered it locally and tried fitting it to my car's sway bar bracket. Loose tooth city, (as Garfield would say). But this is the number all over the internet; Moog K5227. It's wrong. Here's that bushing on the B-59 of an internet 59er :

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 9.43.30 AM.png

^ This is a recently replaced bushing- look at it gap not only around the bar but inside the bracket. Not working very hard.
- - - - -

It took another local parts store who was willing to test fit bushings off the shelf in my bracket, which resulted in this. Now, I had to put a spacer around the bar, as the bore int he new bushing was 3/32-in larger. I used... a length of garden hose. But the bar is very snug (I compressed the assembly in a vise to mimic it being installed- the gaps close up almost completely). And by eliminating the lower bracket, I don't even have to modify the bushing. Success.

sway 6.jpg

Edited by balthazar
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Posted (edited)

And I bought this - I think it'll look 'boss' in the '59. I believe this design came out in '64 :

Screen Shot 2020-03-11 at 11.13.18 PM copy.png

 

'Dis is the plan :

IMG_1423.jpg

Edited by balthazar
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Posted (edited)

Been picking at various minor tasks on the B-59.
Put the instrument cluster, steering wheel & front seat back in for the fist time since I disassembled it. Wanted to gauge the intended aftermarket gauges, and an hidden ignition 'combination lock' to disable the starter. Fun to actually sit in it again.
Seat bottom is the original upholstery, seat back is an aftermarket cover. Interior is going to completely change over to black & silver, I think.

IMG_1673 copy.jpg

 

Seating position has always struck me as weird in '59 GMs. The front floor is still completely flat (last year of that), and the rooflines were lowered vs. '58, resulting in a very 'chaise lounge' position... but myself & my son sitting in it today found it's not bad.

B5902.png

Rear seat : shades of '70s F-Bodies :

B5901.png

Edited by balthazar
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Not trying to be Invictive, but why would anyone want to change a car FROM green to... something else?

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Deep Metallic Forest Green my dad had on his 49 Merc and it was amazing! :D 

It was very much like this:

image.png

Wish he still had it, but traded it in for a Mercury station wagon late 60's as my two older sisters and me made them go after a bigger roomy auto for the family.

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'49-50 Mercs are tops~ Great green above, but sure wish the builder hadn't eliminated the characteristic Merc 'swoop' in the body line. Two thumbs down on that point.

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Wanted to paint the rear wheel wells today- it was upper 60s here & dry.
One rear tire is off; but when I started brushing the well, lots of debris was coming down. The rear wells were the only part of the underside that had undercoating, and most of it is left... but some brushed off and some that fell is apparently mud from the '80s.
So after numerous stiff-brush & wire brushings, I went over the whole well with mineral spirits and yet another brush. Put a fan on it but ran out of time to paint... and temps here are going to belly for about a week. On to something else.

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*whip crack*

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Both rear wheel wells are painted, and the pass rear brake is rebuilt. Have Kevlar-impregnated shoes and finally got the right parking brake hardware. The rears are actually MoPar brakes- a direct fit onto the Dana 60 axle. The 'ME' is Moser Engineering axle shafts- the good stuff. Ain't snapping dem babies.

IMG_1708 copy.jpg

IMG_1726 copy.jpg

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• Driver-side rear brake is now done. That side drum (brand new) was painted satin black hi-temp paint, still have to spray the passenger drum. 
• Painted up some of the parking brake hardware and bolted it under the car. Funky wheels to direct the cable toward the back. Have to do fabrication there, will tinker with that soon.
• Thinking again about the front speakers- most likely spot is in the doors. I generally don't like that look but maybe I can mask them / make them work with the door panel. Mulling. But I put the vent window back in the door to check how much space I have.
• There was some of this, accompanied by Sounds of Brutal Acceleration :

IMG_1739.jpg

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Wow it's almost like driving an EV, you're reduced to making vroom vroom noises with your lips instead of your throttle foot. *sobs*

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Posted (edited)

Working on the car 6 days out of 7.
• strung up the new parking brake cabling, of course I'll have to modify it.  Axle is a Dana 60, commonly found under MoPars, so the backing plates are MoPar.  Parking brake assembly (cables) is '71-74 B-Body MoPar [Charger/Satellite/GTX].  Looks like it will work, tho the front cable off the pedal is steel-jacketed and I'm going to have to cut that off and get the cable naked.  B-59 uses pulleys to snake the cabling down & back under the car [below is B-59 diagram].  Have to run the exhaust first, but feeling confident.
• Stripped 2 front doors off a '60 Bonneville flattop I tore down a few years ago.  Needed another vent window regulator and some of the auto-specific screws on the inner doors.  In doing so I realized 1. the door latch mechanicsms are the same, and 2. I haven't seen the door latches off my B-59 in years.  So cleaned them up in preparation for painting.  Was missing one hinge-to-body bolt, so got that here. 

P brake 0.jpg

 

Edited by balthazar
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Worked on some layout plans for the interior. From the factory- the only interior light is 1 dome light. Thinking about adding courtesy lamps on the bottom edge of the dash, pointing downward to light ingress/egress. Also planning on where/how to mount an upgrade- 4-way flashers [not required until '67 federal law]. These additional lights require some hole drilling- so making sure a. I want to pull the trigger, and b. there won't be anything behind there that would interfere with new components.

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- - - - -
DONE :

IMG_1776.jpg

Here's a direct shot with the parking brake warning light lit (by flashlight).
The 4-way flasher knob should also flash red in the center when activated (there's a bulb in there, not sure if it blinks).

IMG_1774.jpg

Edited by balthazar

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10 min project: wanted to add under-dash courtesy lamps [inspired by my P-60 parts car]. Had these 1W LED mini lights I recently ordered, and they fit perfectly in these chrome cabinet washers. Not too bright at 1W, they’ll do some illumination of the entry ports. 

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Edited by balthazar
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Did some work on the parking brake cabling assembly. After carefully cutting the front cable's steel jacket off, the cable is likely too short by about 4 or 6 inches. Probably most of that is that the car this assembly is from has a 8 inch shorter wheelbase. Here's a shot of the rear & intermediate cabling loosely hanging. Routing it to the underbody will take up more linear length.

IMG_1783.jpg

Also held the center sections of the exhaust up underneath, planning the routing. Looks like it'll be fine but will need a few more pieces of pipe to fabricate. Again- this universal X system is likely all for shorter wheelbase cars.  You know; cars for girls. 😛

Finished sound deadening the package shelf tonight :

IMG_1782.jpg

Edited by balthazar
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Finally found my damned ashtray after looking for like 45 mins. Was on the roof of the '64 under some stuff.
That was the last piece in the dash so I can be sure what area I need to prep/paint so's I can bolt the dash structure in permanently; a contained area around the ashtray & glovebox; the dash top & other exposed bits will get professionally painted down the road.

With a front bench seat hip room measurement of 66.1", the B-59 provides a very comfy nap spot (I'm only 68" tall), either laying down or just leaning back. One of the reasons I didn't go bucket/console like everyone else building a period resto-mod car always does.

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