Vote for The Forward Look Network on the Mopar Top 100 Sites 

Back to Work on the '59 Two Door Wagon; Rust, Fearsome Critters and a Massive 318

From: Kenny J.
Email: kjosephson<at>
Remote Name:
Date: September 01, 2003


Now that the truck is done, I decided to attack the two door wagon from Texas. Since both front fenders had rusted through at the "eyebrows", the passenger side was rusted through at the bottom and I have a much better pair, I decided to simply pull the entire front clip (except the core support & hood. That will remain until the engine is pulled.) The headlight filler panels inside both front fenders were pristine. Weird. The cowl itself had a couple of rust holes along the bottom of the vertical seams. The inner fenders were rock solid, even the battery tray. I wound up snapping about 1/4 of the bolts, even though I used hand tools and had sprayed them with solvent repeatedly over the last several months. The crushed front valance was wrapped around the frame "horns", bumper brackets and the bottom of the grille panel. Yet it looks as if a really skilled body worker could massage it back into shape and perhaps make it look presentable with a skim coat of bondo or fiberglass. I may keep it as a spare, since it wasn't as bad as it looks and I have a replacement. The exoskeletons of large spiders and insects were found in various tight spots, along with numerous abandoned cocoons and wasp nests. It appears to me that they have some rather fearsome critters in the Lone Star State. :-) I did have to work around two active black widow webs. These critters are prevalent in this area and seem to prefer living in the dark recesses of undriven vehicles. They are also nocturnal and tend to have their lairs in very secluded locations. The large web led into the backing plate of the passenger side brake drum and the smaller one into the jack stand on the passenger side. I found and killed the smaller widow. I nailed the large one last night when she emerged to rebuild her web. For those who don't encounter these spiders, residual spray on the web usually won't knock 'em down. You need to spray the actual spider. Kind of a shame. A sleek, beautiful critter, but I can't afford to get sick if I accidently disturb her while reaching into the recesses and crevices of the frame and suspension. Black widows are also very fast. So by destroying their webs during the day, you can usually catch them off guard as they are spinning new ones. Otherwise, they can run into hiding before the bug spray can hit them if their webs are intact. One advantage to living in the high desert is you seldom encounter paper wasp nests under the dash on salvage yard runs! :-) I washed out the cowl and front frame sections. I also resprayed the various engine bolts with more solvent. I plan to pull all the accessories, the intake and exhaust manifolds and perhaps the heads before pulling the engine itself. The bad news was the discovery that both rear side freeze plugs were out, the passenger side missing completely, the driver side resting on the starter. I hope the block is intact, but I have a spare '58 block just in case. That was as far as I got yesterday. I got home from work at 0645 after working all night. I ran out of steam by mid afternoon. I have my choice of a couple of good machine shops once I pull the engine. That will be the next task. I have worked on Polys before, but never actually pulled one. What a massive beast! K.


Last changed: July 19, 2018