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Hello from the UK - ‘54 Dodge Suburban


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6 hours ago, Don Colliau said:

That looks like a nice solid car!

It’s solid now, but there were a few issues. The front floorpans were more suited to a Flintstones car and there were some small holes in the water traps. These have been sorted and some careful paint matching done so they’re not obvious repairs. I’d love to know where this thing was sat for so long as the body was 95% solid but there was a ton of oily, sandy mud coating the undercarriage. I imagine it did a lot of it’s miles on unpaved roads. 

 

5 hours ago, woodrow said:

Where I live wagons are really coming into their own. Yours is an awesome example  of why they are so cool! Like all you've done with the vehicle but I love the results with the motor.  from where I'm looking it looks like it's better than brand new in appearance.  Good luck.

Thanks. Wagons are hot over here too. I think this is the only one in the country - maybe the whole of Europe as I’ve never seen another. I wonder how many are left in the world as they only made just over 9000 65 years ago. 

I’m glad you like my approach. I was initially going to go with a modern drivetrain - Icon derelict style- but I think it would’ve lost some of the character. A flathead six is a very rare sight at shows over here too....

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Had some problems logging in to my account and realised this thread was in need of an update.... Nothing major done, just some tinkering and tweaking. Sorted a few little niggles and have been en

A small update - spent a few evenings over the last few weeks repairing the steering wheel. Unfortunately it was in rough shape as the sun had got to the plastic and it was brittle and cracked. In som

Sorted my running issues out so took advantage of a break in the thunderstorms to go for a drive....

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A small update - spent a few evenings over the last few weeks repairing the steering wheel. Unfortunately it was in rough shape as the sun had got to the plastic and it was brittle and cracked. In some places the metal was showing. Whilst I loved the look and originality, it wasn’t safe and wouldn’t have been deemed legal and roadworthy over here. I found a NOS green wheel, but it was too pricey for me ($500) and I toyed with the idea of casting a new one in resin, however it would’ve been an expensive experiment with no guarantee of colour match. In the end, I opened up all the cracks and used an epoxy putty to repair it. There was a lot of sanding but it was complete and solid. In an attempt to get the translucent look of the original, I got a paint match and added some pearl clear to the finish. In the sun, it’s hard to tell the difference and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. It’s not perfect, but neither is the car! Some pics for you....

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As the whole country is still on lockdown and movement is restricted, I thought I would use the time wisely and give the old girl a tune up. 
I connected a vacuum gauge and with a warm idle, I’m only getting a steady 8 inches of vacuum indicating a manifold leak or late valve timing. 
I’ve checked the manifolds and can’t find any trace of a leak and given the engine was only rebuilt last year, it’s unlikely the chain has skipped a tooth. I’m scratching my head with this one as I really don’t want to tear it apart if I can help it!

Any ideas??

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Posted (edited)

Had some problems logging in to my account and realised this thread was in need of an update....

Nothing major done, just some tinkering and tweaking. Sorted a few little niggles and have been enjoying keithb7’s YouTube videos that have prompted me to address a few things (thanks Keith!). 
Fitted a new water pump as the original was starting to groan, new oil and filter, coolant flush and refill, and a wipe down done, ready for the first drive of the year over the Easter weekend. 

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Edited by Ron175
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3 hours ago, Ron175 said:

Had some problems logging in to my account and realised this thread was in need of an update....

Nothing major done, just some tinkering and tweaking. Sorted a few little niggles and have been enjoying keithb7’s YouTube videos that have prompted me to address a few things (thanks Keith!). 
Fitted a new water pump as the original was starting to groan, new oil and filter, coolant flush and refill, and a wipe down done, ready for the first drive of the year over the Easter weekend. 

F5F460E6-65F9-435D-99B0-2722E299A093.jpeg

128FD922-8627-4852-B7EF-C3CD4EA019B0.jpeg

3C7E8AD8-D79D-44A3-B77D-E1E36F216258.jpeg

74C765E5-F988-4F19-9248-BFC4A6363927.jpeg

D80F767B-988C-43A6-B752-C889EEF05CD5.jpeg

The wagon looks amazing. What did you use to shine up the old paint? I also like the stance. Did you take one coil out of the Aerostar springs?

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5 hours ago, tom'sB2B said:

The wagon looks amazing. What did you use to shine up the old paint? I also like the stance. Did you take one coil out of the Aerostar springs?

Thanks. I’ve tried a few things with the paint but my objective from the start was not to go overboard with it. I’m not really a fan of ultra-shiny patina paint, especially the clearcoated look. I also wanted it to be very low maintenance. A couple of years ago I tried Gibbs oil, and that worked nicely but it was very expensive over here and now seems impossible to find. Instead I went with a couple of coats of Collinite 476S wax - https://www.collinite.com/product-category/automotive/

I put it last summer and it is very durable. 
 

With the springs, the rear is on 2” lowering blocks and I cut the Aerostar springs 1 coil to get it level. It probably looks lower as I went with a 185R15 tyre - it originally ran 6.70 or 7.10 bias plys which apparently convert to a 205/70/15 radial but I was apprehensive of putting such a wide tyre on a narrow rim. I think it looks ok. 

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Boiled linseed oil works to preserve old finishes.  Apply with a rag rub in wipe off excess.  I have an old garden tractor that was bought by my grand father in 1952.  I started cleaning it up last year and used a mix of 50 50 auto trans fluid and acetone.  I was worried the acetone might remove the paint so I did the drive wheels and the handle bars.  It worked well.  Removed the grease, a lot of the surface rust and left a semi gloss finished surface. You might want to try it down low on the body or the firewall or inner fenders and see what it does in your situation.

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Wagon's looking good.

Who did you get to do the machining work on your engine only asking as my Plymouth's in need some work?

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3 hours ago, 61farnham said:

Wagon's looking good.

Who did you get to do the machining work on your engine only asking as my Plymouth's in need some work?

Buntingford Engine Services - they’re local to me. I put it together. 
 

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Managed to find something that I have been looking for for a few years - a NOS, late ‘54, wagon specific, two-wire fuel sender. The fuel gauge was the only thing that wasn’t working and now it does! Gives me a bit more peace of mind when driving. I did have a ‘60 Beetle that used a stick to check the fuel level...

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29 minutes ago, normanpitkin said:

hi ron ,i shellacked the cork float on my 48 chrysler fuel tank sender unit as the old one just disintegrated on removal.

This one was covered in old shellac, but modern fuel with ethanol in will soon dissolve that. I coated the cork in cyanoacrylate (super glue) before installing - hopefully it will be fine. 

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I am eaten alive with envy. I have  a soft spot in my soft head for 2 door station wagons,and your's is perfect in every respect. I wouldn't change a thing if it were mine.

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