my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible
dlyle
Posted 2017-02-27 1:39 PM (#534814)
Subject: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
After much anticipation I finally brought home my “new”’ 1957 Fireflite convertible. I bought my first DeSoto on January 12th of this year….a shell pink and white 56 Fireflite. I had intended that to be my sole adventure in to Desotomania. I liked the car so much that I decided to go look at a 57 that a friend had been trying to sell for years. I had seen the car many times before but never really thought about trying to buy it as it was out of my price range.

I looked the car over and took a lot of pictures. I talked to Jim Mikolajczak and Ed Petrus about the car and they both told me I should jump on it. Ed was familiar with the car having talked to the original owner and getting pictures of it. That was neat because I could see what the car looked like 6 or 7 years earlier. Anyway, I decided to pull the trigger and went up with a little cash to put the car on hold. The owner agreed to pull the ad off Craigslist and to not sell it to anyone else.

While I was looking the car over a young girl drove up and told the owner “I found two buyers for your DeSoto.” Turns out she works for a local GMC dealer owner and she scours Craiglist looking for cars to flip. The boss gives her 10% for anything she can get and sell. She dresses up in 50’s attire and takes pictures with the cars for the sale ads. When told the car was already sold she kept saying “well then why is it still here?” She was pretty insistent and really wanted to bring the car home to her boss. After turning her attention to a nearby 36 Ford she took some pictures and finally left. I know how it is when cars are for sale. Money talks. I didn’t want someone to snatch this away from me so I worked to get the car in my possession as quickly as possible as I knew the owner was getting a lot of calls for the car.

This particular Fireflite had a build date of May 9th 1957. It was shipped to Champion Auto Sales Co. in Erie Pennsylvania. From there it was sent to Arndorfer Inc. in Milwaukee Wisconsin where it was sold to Joseph Kramasz Jr. on May 27th 1957. From what I understand Joe went in to the dealer and they wanted to sell him another car on the lot but he wanted this particular car so they had to send it from PA to WI. Joe immediately drove the car to his home in California and it has remained there since. In 2011 the car was sold to Dan Driskell and then to me. Now I just needed to find a way to get it home. It wasn’t a driver as it hadn’t been run in months or possibly years. The last time they tried to start it they were unsuccessful.

Yesterday turned out to be a sunny day so my buddy Dave and I hooked up the trailer and made the 75 mile trip to get the car. We brought a can of gas and the day before I had hooked up a charger to the battery. The plan was to us a come along to get it on the trailer. Just for the fun of it we poured some gas in the carb bowl and turned the key. It fired right up but soon died. The clear fuel filter was empty. Yup it’s out of gas. Poured a gallon or so in the tank and then filled the carb again. It fired again and then the filter filled with fuel. It was alive and sounded great. No ticking no smoke just a smooth idling car. I pushed the D button on the dash and gave it a little gas and it moved. Looks like the come along wouldn’t be needed. The ramps were already in place so up on the trailer it went.
On the drive home we got lots of thumbs up. Pulled in to a gas station to put a few more gallons in it and a guy in a 66 Mustang pulled in and offered to trade his Mustang for it. While I was unloading it a few more cars stopped to ask about the car.

Plans right now are to get it cleaned up and see what it needs. The car sat under a carport for 6 years so it does have a little paint bubbling on the right sweep down low. I’ll get that fixed as soon as possible. The chrome on the back bumper is flaking a little so will redo that too. Will eventually pull the engine and paint it. First need to make sure it runs and drives without any issues. Tires have zero miles but will need to be replaced.

Options on the car include power windows, brakes, steering, seats, top, dual rear antennas, dual headlamps, Solex glass and undercoating. It also had accessory group 1 which consisted of a heater, white sidewall tires, radio (less searchfinder) instrument panel cushion, clock, dual exhaust, windshield washer, rear seat speaker, hand brake signal, outside rear view mirror, prismatic mirror, and vanity mirror. Paint is code LKL and the interior is code 642. This car does have a search tune radio and came with an ARC record player. I’m not sure if the record player was ever mounted but it was sitting in the trunk. The trunk also had two boxes of what appear to be NOS Mopar keys and locks.




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GregCon
Posted 2017-02-27 2:00 PM (#534817 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Dang!
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-02-27 2:53 PM (#534824 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Congrats Doug. Nice snag. Looks fantastic.

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PolaraPaul
Posted 2017-02-27 3:27 PM (#534825 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Glad to see more on this car that has been occasionally on Craigslist! Thanks for sharing, and please some engine, interior, and trunk pictures when you get a chance. Hope you bring it to Spring Fling.
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big m
Posted 2017-02-27 3:30 PM (#534826 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Score!!!!!!!!!
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-27 4:49 PM (#534830 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Here are a few more shots after an initial bath.



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mrho455
Posted 2017-02-27 5:13 PM (#534832 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Doug, SWEEEEETTT!!

Glad you pulled the trigger


when are you gonna sell me your SEA FURY???
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Chrys 68
Posted 2017-02-27 5:24 PM (#534833 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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soiouz
Posted 2017-02-27 5:41 PM (#534835 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Wow, that is one top of the line beauty right there! Congratulations!
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-27 5:58 PM (#534836 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Here is some of the documentation that came with the car including the sales contract, owner certificate, and owner's information guide.



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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-27 6:04 PM (#534837 - in reply to #534832)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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mrho455 - 2017-02-27 2:13 PM

Doug, SWEEEEETTT!!

Glad you pulled the trigger


when are you gonna sell me your SEA FURY??? :)


Gonna have too much fun with the Sea Fury....cant get rid of it.
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57DODGECONV
Posted 2017-02-27 7:49 PM (#534845 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Very nice looking Desoto ,Glad to see it find a good home have fun with it .
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imopar380
Posted 2017-02-27 8:27 PM (#534849 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Wow, nice. Someone, at some point, somewhere spent some money on that car. Too bad it was neglected for a long time, but it's great that it survived as well as it has.
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GregCon
Posted 2017-02-27 9:40 PM (#534851 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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So is this the car the car we discussed here several times where the owner didn't seem like he really wanted to sell it?
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b5rt
Posted 2017-02-27 10:00 PM (#534854 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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That's the score of a lifetime. Congratulations!
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-27 11:25 PM (#534857 - in reply to #534851)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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GregCon - 2017-02-27 6:40 PM

So is this the car the car we discussed here several times where the owner didn't seem like he really wanted to sell it?


Yes, this is that car. Guys from Sweden looked at it and several people tried to send cashiers checks to get it without even seeing it in person. As the owner told me "it's not a bad car to be stuck with."
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-27 11:29 PM (#534859 - in reply to #534849)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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imopar380 - 2017-02-27 5:27 PM

Wow, nice. Someone, at some point, somewhere spent some money on that car. Too bad it was neglected for a long time, but it's great that it survived as well as it has.


The original owner did spend quite a bit on it. I've got receipts in the tens of thousands of dollars for the car. I can probably tell you how many batteries it's gone through since 1957! I think I saved it in the nick of time. Interior is still good as is the canvas convertible top. The paint will shine up fine and I'll repaint a few spots to make it nice. the engine will need to be pulled for a good detail. Right now its painted red
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1955Coronado
Posted 2017-02-28 1:04 AM (#534860 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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My God - that's a *find* to behold. Definitely the score of, well, *many* decades. If there's any flaking on the back bumper chrome, judging from the pictures, it'd take a magnifying glass to notice them.

This baby is *definitely* the things that dreams are made of. Many congrats for rescuing this beauty and being Johnny-on-the-spot with the means to do it when that door knock came
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ToMopar
Posted 2017-02-28 3:17 AM (#534861 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Wow, congratulation to this bull's-eye.

It would be nice for me to see more from the green interior
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firedome
Posted 2017-02-28 10:06 AM (#534875 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Ya, this one's been for sale off and on for some time, been several threads on here about it.
Glad it's staying close to home!! Congrats on impeccable taste, cars don't get any better.
We've had both '58 NY and '57 300C converts... I'd take this FF over either of them!
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wizard
Posted 2017-02-28 10:48 AM (#534879 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Awsome - congratulations
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2017-02-28 11:05 AM (#534881 - in reply to #534859)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Such a cool car! Congratulations - totally awesome!


So did Joeseph Kramasz live in Wisconsin and move to California? - he probably saved it from a rusty demise by getting it out of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin!
There has to be a story behind all those keys and locks!

So lucky the Bee-Bop Queen didn't get it.


If it were mine, I would not touch a thing except to get it running well and driving safely. Enjoy it now.
See if you can drive it 500+ miles south on the Pacific Coast Highway for the National De Soto Club convention this summer and back!
Who cares if it has a red engine, a couple of paint bubbles, a flaking bumper, or radials for a while?
This car can always be restored when it needs it. Too rare to see one that doesn't just get traded around like a trophy.




Edited by Lancer Mike 2017-02-28 12:25 PM
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moparsteve
Posted 2017-02-28 11:13 AM (#534882 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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looks like a brand new car!! with power windowss and seats! rear bumber taillights and housing look brand new!

from the invoice 700 down and he financed it. 700 cash and close to 4000

for a car a lot of money in 1957!

cant wait to see what doc says about this! he may know of it.. he has a 58.

whatever price you paid wasant cheap ... restored a six figure car. and how many

57 fireflite convs left?
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Hyfire
Posted 2017-02-28 11:24 AM (#534883 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



100252525

Congrats! What a great looking car! Great choice!

Josh
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-28 12:05 PM (#534885 - in reply to #534861)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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ToMopar - 2017-02-28 12:17 AM

Wow, congratulation to this bull's-eye.

It would be nice for me to see more from the green interior


Here are a few shots. I've done no clean up yet so it is really dirty.

I'm missing the chrome piece on the passenger door. The one that the door handle goes through (shown in last picture). Does anyone have a spare one of these?

Also looking for some better rear ash trays if anyone has any spares. Mine are very rusty inside.

Edited by dlyle 2017-02-28 12:14 PM




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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2017-02-28 12:14 PM (#534886 - in reply to #534883)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



50005000500050002000500
Location: Parts Unknown
Nothing good can come from this. Trust me.

I had considered trying to buy this car and selling my 58, but have had
too many irons in the fire since coming home from AFG to get all sideways
on my objectives. I like my 58 too much anyway.

This car has the key option that makes or breaks a car for me .... power
windows. I have been endlessly amazed by how many top end Fireflites (and
NY'ers) survive with manual windows. Not sure if that is reflective of original
build ratios, but I would expect more high end cars to come with high end
equipment than what I have seen over the last 40 years. Maybe dying
power options led many of the fancier equipped cars to the junk yard in
the early days ?

The 1960 Buick dealer brochure shows a car in these colors. Back when
I was all about 58-60 Buicks, I loved the colors and hoped to find one like
it. A refreshing break from the monotonous and predictable. This car will
be striking with some proper Goodyear 2.25" wide wides.

I am guessing this car is still in the Bay area ?

Edited by Doctor DeSoto 2017-02-28 12:16 PM
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-28 12:16 PM (#534887 - in reply to #534875)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
firedome - 2017-02-28 7:06 AM

Ya, this one's been for sale off and on for some time, been several threads on here about it.
Glad it's staying close to home!! Congrats on impeccable taste, cars don't get any better.
We've had both '58 NY and '57 300C converts... I'd take this FF over either of them!


Yeah, I've seen it in person for four years now. Finally caught my eye the right way and decided it had to come home with me.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-28 12:41 PM (#534890 - in reply to #534886)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Doctor DeSoto - 2017-02-28 9:14 AM

Nothing good can come from this. Trust me.

I had considered trying to buy this car and selling my 58, but have had
too many irons in the fire since coming home from AFG to get all sideways
on my objectives. I like my 58 too much anyway.

This car has the key option that makes or breaks a car for me .... power
windows. I have been endlessly amazed by how many top end Fireflites (and
NY'ers) survive with manual windows. Not sure if that is reflective of original
build ratios, but I would expect more high end cars to come with high end
equipment than what I have seen over the last 40 years. Maybe dying
power options led many of the fancier equipped cars to the junk yard in
the early days ?

The 1960 Buick dealer brochure shows a car in these colors. Back when
I was all about 58-60 Buicks, I loved the colors and hoped to find one like
it. A refreshing break from the monotonous and predictable. This car will
be striking with some proper Goodyear 2.25" wide wides.

I am guessing this car is still in the Bay area ?


Yes, still in the bay are down in Morgan Hill.

I was thrilled that this one had all the power options. From what I can see the windows work but I don't think the seat does. The four way window switch on the driver door isn't stock. I have the right one but it needs rebuilding. I think the rear ones do too.

Does Goodyear make a 2.25" wide white in a 8.50" x 14"? I was having trouble finding tires. BR Goodrich makes a 8.50 x 14 and a 9.00 x 14 with a 2.25" whitewall. Ideally would like to find a radial with a bias look but I think they are smaller......nothing in a 8.50 x 14 size that I can find. I seem to recall the tire needs to be at least 28" tall so need at least that height.


Edited by dlyle 2017-02-28 12:48 PM




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hemidave
Posted 2017-02-28 6:12 PM (#534906 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Congrats, that is a great purchase. I especially like the '57s because of the Hemi, and I also love power windows. This car has a great color combo besides the 50s pastel colors. You don't see many yellow/green combos. I say enjoy it just as it is, cars in this condition gather a lot of attention everywhere, lately more than restored examples.
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-02-28 8:00 PM (#534913 - in reply to #534906)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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hemidave - 2017-02-28 6:12 PM Congrats, that is a great purchase. I especially like the '57s because of the Hemi, and I also love power windows. This car has a great color combo besides the 50s pastel colors. You don't see many yellow/green combos. I say enjoy it just as it is, cars in this condition gather a lot of attention everywhere, lately more than restored examples.


Here is another 57 (big window hardtop)

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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2017-03-01 1:21 AM (#534925 - in reply to #534913)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: Parts Unknown
Radials look like radials .... wide and squat. I am a stickler about
some things on these cars, and tires/wheels top the list. If they do
not look right, they ruin the car's aesthetic appeal. Bias plys may not
track as well as radials, but they look like sh!t. I like my 1950's driving
experience to be as authentic as possible anyway. I can drive my new
stuff if I want that tighter road feel.
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spinout
Posted 2017-03-01 4:31 AM (#534927 - in reply to #534925)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: Bjorneborg, Finland
It's generally known fact, that correct tires do much favor to the overall appearance. Solution for combined balance for tighter road feel and appearance
would be a bias-ply looking www radials.

Btw, here's another yellow '57 Fireflite convertible, but with green sweep and different interior colors. It does have www bias-ply tires, but prefer original
hubcaps than those wire wheels..



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sidesho_bob1961
Posted 2017-03-01 6:37 AM (#534930 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Great car....hope you were able to get it for a lot less than the seller had it listed for....
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RUSTORICHES
Posted 2017-03-01 10:04 AM (#534941 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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I can't help but comment and compliment you on your convertible I always tell myself no matter what I paid for it "It's Mine". These cars don't come up for sale often and you should be ecstatic that you now have it home which I'm sure you are. The car obviously found the perfect home by looking in the garage. Have fun with it and enjoy the little bit of work on this car to bring back to original will be rewarding.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-01 11:49 AM (#534943 - in reply to #534925)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Doctor DeSoto - 2017-02-28 10:21 PM

Radials look like radials .... wide and squat. I am a stickler about
some things on these cars, and tires/wheels top the list. If they do
not look right, they ruin the car's aesthetic appeal. Bias plys may not
track as well as radials, but they look like sh!t. I like my 1950's driving
experience to be as authentic as possible anyway. I can drive my new
stuff if I want that tighter road feel.


Can you please post a pict of your car so I can see what the tires look like on it? Also what size are they? Would possibly go with the Goodyear Super Cushion but I'm not seeing them in the size I need....8.50" x 14". I think the 8.00" x 14" would look a little too small.

They do make a radial that isn't wide....looks pretty much like a bias ply.



Edited by dlyle 2017-03-01 11:59 AM




(8.00-14 (194x326).jpg)



(acr-bias-look-radial.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-01 12:03 PM (#534944 - in reply to #534927)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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spinout - 2017-03-01 1:31 AM

It's generally known fact, that correct tires do much favor to the overall appearance. Solution for combined balance for tighter road feel and appearance
would be a bias-ply looking www radials.

Btw, here's another yellow '57 Fireflite convertible, but with green sweep and different interior colors. It does have www bias-ply tires, but prefer original
hubcaps than those wire wheels..


I'm with you......not a big fan of the wires.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-01 12:06 PM (#534945 - in reply to #534941)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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RUSTORICHES - 2017-03-01 7:04 AM

I can't help but comment and compliment you on your convertible I always tell myself no matter what I paid for it "It's Mine". These cars don't come up for sale often and you should be ecstatic that you now have it home which I'm sure you are. The car obviously found the perfect home by looking in the garage. Have fun with it and enjoy the little bit of work on this car to bring back to original will be rewarding.


I appreciate the compliment. Can't wait to start getting it cleaned up and ready for summer. The parts wish list is growing. Anybody have air cleaner brackets available? Mine is just held on with a nut at the carb.
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soiouz
Posted 2017-03-01 12:14 PM (#534948 - in reply to #534943)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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dlyle - 2017-03-01 11:49 AM

Doctor DeSoto - 2017-02-28 10:21 PM

Radials look like radials .... wide and squat. I am a stickler about
some things on these cars, and tires/wheels top the list. If they do
not look right, they ruin the car's aesthetic appeal. Bias plys may not
track as well as radials, but they look like sh!t. I like my 1950's driving
experience to be as authentic as possible anyway. I can drive my new
stuff if I want that tighter road feel.


Can you please post a pict of your car so I can see what the tires look like on it? Also what size are they? Would possibly go with the Goodyear Super Cushion but I'm not seeing them in the size I need....8.50" x 14". I think the 8.00" x 14" would look a little too small.

They do make a radial that isn't wide....looks pretty much like a bias ply.



I was considering those "bias-look" radials made by coker before I actually saw them installed on a car that had been driven for a month or so. The white band was cracked all over and they really looked bad. I opted for the super cushions instead and am very satisfied.

These DeSotos came with 8.00 x 14 originally, no?
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57burb
Posted 2017-03-01 1:04 PM (#534956 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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A lot of the repop 8.50s and 9.00s are a little skinny in the tread for my personal taste on these big late '50s cars.

This tire is just a little shorter than them (27.0 instead of 28.0) but has another inch of tread width. They will fit your 14x6.5" (Fireflite/NewYorker/Adventurer/300) wheels great.

Good price and free shipping too. If you go to Summit's online catalog, they show it to have a 2.25" whitewall.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Set-of-4-Coker-Classic-Bias-Ply-Tires-G78-1...
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2017-03-01 9:36 PM (#534984 - in reply to #534956)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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My car has been off the road for years now, so the tires are old. I seem to
recall they are BFG 850x15's ??? My situation is a little different than yours.
In 1957 DeSoto made some pretty good looking wheelcovers. In 1958, they
decided to take a different approach and make some of the ugliest wheelcovers
ever to grace a DeSoto. This is not acceptable to me, and as my DeSoto ownership
goes back FAR beyond the current paradigm, I sought out original wire wheels
when repops were not made, rarely seen, and liked the deep dish, elegant look
they brought to the car.

Since those days, every FL convertible now wears wires and they have become
something of a tired cliché.

So, now what ? The 14's look too small in the wheel openings, the wires are
becoming overdone, but get you 15" tires that nicely fill those openings. If I
owned a 57 Firedome, I'd be thrilled to strip the 2nd bar of side trim off, lose
the color sweep, and run 15 steelies, painted body color, and dog dishies. But
no sweep 58's look a bit silly, it wasn't even an option on a Fireflite, and dog
dishies would be entirely inappropriate on a top end model ! So, I am stuck.

I toy with the idea of building a set of 15" steelies that have the proper rib to
hold a 14" 58 Adventurer wheelcover, but that is WAY out there after getting
the bodywork done. Theft would be a real threat with those. They are made
of solid unobtainium and may prove too tempting for the kind of scum that
would pop them off wherever I might have it parked.

I will be forced to cross this bridge at some point, but right now it is not an
issue.

With the great looking 57 color sweep, wheel covers, and other details, your
only problem is fitting a larger tire into that wheel well. Maybe use my idea
of a custom steel wheel that holds a 15" tire and a 14" wheelcover ?
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58coronet
Posted 2017-03-02 1:49 AM (#534997 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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dlyle, great looking DeSoto and a n awesome find!
On your tire question, I can offer a bit of advice based on my buying experience lasr year. I purchased a set of Goodyear Super Cushions in 8.00 x 14 size for my '58 Dodge Coronet and couldn't be happier with the looks, ride and performance. These replaced a cheapie 20 year old set of discount radials in 215/75R14 size, and they are about 2 inches taller than those old radials. I think you would be more than pleased with a set for your DeSoto. I was amazed how much better my car rode with these Super Cushions. My experience is that bias plies handle very well as long as the front suspension and steering are tight and aligned to original specsgood luck with your beautiful, rare DeSoto!Mark
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-02 10:33 AM (#535011 - in reply to #534948)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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soiouz - 2017-03-01 9:14 AM

dlyle - 2017-03-01 11:49 AM

They do make a radial that isn't wide....looks pretty much like a bias ply.



I was considering those "bias-look" radials made by coker before I actually saw them installed on a car that had been driven for a month or so. The white band was cracked all over and they really looked bad. I opted for the super cushions instead and am very satisfied.

These DeSotos came with 8.00 x 14 originally, no?


The Firedome and the Fireflite came with 8.50 x 14 or the optional 9.00 according to the owners handbook. Firesweep had the 8.00 x 14.

Funny though because the smaller 8.00" x 14" has about the same height as the 9.00" x 14" and has a wider tread width. Seems like it doesn't do me any good to go with the 8.50 or 9.00" x 14" tires.

size diameter section width tread width whitewall price
Goodyear Custom Super Cushion 8.00/14 28.67 8.29 4.95 2 1/4 $200.00
BF Goodrich 8.50/14 28.1 8.35 4.75 2 1/4 $223.00
BF Goodrich 9.00/14 28.68 8.8 4.8 2 1/4 $227.00
American Classic Radial 8.00/14 27.59 7.7 5.9 2 1/4 $266.00
LeMans (on car now) 7.50/14 27.68 7.78 4.675 2 1/4


Edited by dlyle 2017-03-02 1:21 PM
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big m
Posted 2017-03-02 11:23 AM (#535014 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Contact Kelsey Tire in Missouri, they have the correct Goodyear Super Cushion bias-ply tires available. I just bought another set for my 58 Fury.

---John
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-02 2:10 PM (#535024 - in reply to #535011)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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dlyle - 2017-03-01 11:49 AM Funny though because the smaller 8.00" x 14" has about the same height as the 9.00" x 14" and has a wider tread width. Seems like it doesn't do me any good to go with the 8.50 or 9.00" x 14" tires.


Doug: I think that you are trying to use modern tire math to compute bias ply tire heights. Modern math says a 225/50/16 tire has the same overall height as a 205/55/16 tire because width and aspect ratio come into play to calculate the side wall height. I think with those old bias ply tires, the side walls were pretty much the same height regardless of the nominal tread width.

*I think*
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-02 4:03 PM (#535027 - in reply to #535024)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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56D500boy - 2017-03-02 11:10 AM

dlyle - 2017-03-01 11:49 AM Funny though because the smaller 8.00" x 14" has about the same height as the 9.00" x 14" and has a wider tread width. Seems like it doesn't do me any good to go with the 8.50 or 9.00" x 14" tires.


Doug: I think that you are trying to use modern tire math to compute bias ply tire heights. Modern math says a 225/50/16 tire has the same overall height as a 205/55/16 tire because width and aspect ratio come into play to calculate the side wall height. I think with those old bias ply tires, the side walls were pretty much the same height regardless of the nominal tread width.

*I think* ;)


No modern math here. From what I can tell the 8.00, 8.50, or 9.00 are just referring to section width.....
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57burb
Posted 2017-03-02 5:00 PM (#535029 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I noticed your build sheet indicates whitewall tires, but not a specific size. Maybe I missed it.

My '57 New Yorker build sheet says it came with 9.00-14. Would a Fireflite have been the same? I'm asking since both cars came with larger wheels than came on Windsor/Saratoga and Firesweep/Firedome.



Edited by 57burb 2017-03-02 5:02 PM
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-02 6:37 PM (#535041 - in reply to #535027)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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dlyle - 2017-03-02 4:03 PM
56D500boy - 2017-03-02 11:10 AM
dlyle - 2017-03-01 11:49 AM Funny though because the smaller 8.00" x 14" has about the same height as the 9.00" x 14" and has a wider tread width. Seems like it doesn't do me any good to go with the 8.50 or 9.00" x 14" tires.
Doug: I think that you are trying to use modern tire math to compute bias ply tire heights. Modern math says a 225/50/16 tire has the same overall height as a 205/55/16 tire because width and aspect ratio come into play to calculate the side wall height. I think with those old bias ply tires, the side walls were pretty much the same height regardless of the nominal tread width.
*I think* ;)


No modern math here. From what I can tell the 8.00, 8.50, or 9.00 are just referring to section width.....


Exactly. But in contrast to radials where the height of the tire is based on both the section width and the aspect ratio, i.e. 50 = the height of the tire is 50% of the section width (x 2) + the wheel diameter, the bias ply tires just had a side wall height, e.g. 5", regardless of the section width.

Sorry. Just being my pedantic engineering self.

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GregCon
Posted 2017-03-02 6:53 PM (#535043 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I really like this car more than the 'multitude' of Adventurer converts you see.

But ... I'm not with you guys on the radial issue. That's because even back in the day no one like bias ply tires.....it was simply all there was. That's at least applicable to the skinny-ass tread. I do agree the sidewalls look 'nicer' but I'll trade the wider rubber available in radials any day of the week.

If I lived in a small town in Iowa .... I'd be fine cruising around on bias ply's. But here in the concrete jungle of Houston, it would be asking for death to take to the road with 4.5" of bias ply rubber at each corner. Even with good radials (and discs), driving a FL car requires some definite foresight....but drum brakes and bias ply's? That's a near-guarantee of fresh sheetmetal.
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1957sotos
Posted 2017-03-02 8:59 PM (#535054 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Wow, very nice car! I have both, a 57 Flite and a Dome that is the same color as yours. The Dome has 225/75R14 skinny white radials and the Flite has 8:00-14 Super Cushions. Yes, the Dome handles better, but the Flite looks very right with the wide whites. Yes the size should be 8:50-14, but Goodyear no longer makes these.
And you should consider going to the Desoto convention as is. Mine were the only '57s there, and about 6 '56s were present.

Perry
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Fireflite56
Posted 2017-03-02 11:30 PM (#535064 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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From the Chrysler Historical information sheets I have, my '59 Adventurer is listed as having 5 - WSW Nylon 9.00x14 and my '59 Fireflite Sportsman 2 door is listed as having 5 - WSW Rayon 8.50x14.

Perry - are these your two cars? I took these photos in MD last summer.



(IMG_3238A.jpg)



(IMG_3239A.jpg)



(IMG_3236A.jpg)



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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2017-03-03 12:24 AM (#535065 - in reply to #535064)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I do not own old cars for their handling. If that were the point, I'd have a Jag,
Corvette, or Ferrari. No, ... I own these cars for their looks FIRST, mechanicals,
performance, safety all fall to a distant second.

There are many things a person can do to improve the reliability and performance
of these cars without making them look like an old beater. NOTHING makes a finned
car look like a beater moreso than ugly-ass radials. I would crush my cars before I
ever drove them around on radials. It is one point I will not budge on.
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1957sotos
Posted 2017-03-03 5:08 AM (#535068 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Fireflite56, Yes they are. That last photo shows a good comparison of the tire differences in the front wheel well.

My wife drove the black one 3 hours to the meet with no driving issues. (She chose that car because of the A/C.)

That was one hot meet. Perry
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Viper Guy
Posted 2017-03-03 9:15 AM (#535073 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Here's a suggestion that will work for any tire size to help fill up the wheel well for looks on FL cars. Since the factory stock wheels are set "in" toward the chassis (not wide track), put about a 5/16" spacer between the brake drum and the wheel. It will move the wheel out a little and you will still have enough threads on the studs to properly hold the wheel in place. I would only recommend this if you are not using the car for a daily driver and I also suggest that you check the lug nut torque occasionally. I've driven thousands of miles with no issues whatsoever and, in my opinion, it does improve the looks and no one will know they are there - except you and those you tell.

Also, I've driven older cars that came with bias ply tires and tried radials just to see and feel the differences. I like the radials for driveability and safety and would prefer them for those purposes only. For authentic original appearance, I stick with the factory original bias ply and they work well enough for occasional driving like cruise in's, shows, etc.

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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-03 11:40 AM (#535078 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I choose to go with the 8.00 x 14 Goodyear Custom Super Cushions. Would have preferred a radial but they would have been close to an inch shorter and I don't want puny looking tires. Now I need to focus on cleaning up the wheels. Were the wheels originally gloss black or another color?

Edited by dlyle 2017-03-03 2:11 PM
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Powerflite
Posted 2017-03-03 12:16 PM (#535081 - in reply to #535078)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I think Jay Leno said it best when he said "You want to keep an original car original; except disc brakes and radial tires...disc brakes, and radial tires." I couldn't have said it any better.
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soiouz
Posted 2017-03-03 1:54 PM (#535084 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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This thread has diverted to a bias vs radial debate for too many posts, now, but I just have to put this here.. I'm with Doc on this, and I too, am interested in these cars for their looks above all, and on looks alone (not discussing safety or handling), to anyone debating bias vs radial (or wire wheels vs hubcaps too, for that matter), here are two pics of my car, a before and after, just for good measure.

I did change a few things here and there between those two pics, but mostly, the change is wheels and tires. I think the pics speak for themselves:



Edited by soiouz 2017-03-03 1:56 PM




(17078545_10154360127461938_180963136_n.jpg)



(17101964_10154360127791938_1028086624_n.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-03 2:09 PM (#535085 - in reply to #535084)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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soiouz - 2017-03-03 10:54 AM

This thread has diverted to a bias vs radial debate for too many posts, now, but I just have to put this here.. I'm with Doc on this, and I too, am interested in these cars for their looks above all, and on looks alone (not discussing safety or handling), to anyone debating bias vs radial (or wire wheels vs hubcaps too, for that matter), here are two pics of my car, a before and after, just for good measure.

I did change a few things here and there between those two pics, but mostly, the change is wheels and tires. I think the pics speak for themselves:



There were some very similar pictures I found that helped me decide. I think these Goodyear Custom Super Cushion 8" x 14" tires look perfect.



Edited by dlyle 2017-03-03 4:16 PM




(supercusion.JPG)



(park4.JPG)



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big m
Posted 2017-03-03 3:46 PM (#535091 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Those appear to be the Goodyear Super Cushions.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-03 4:15 PM (#535094 - in reply to #535091)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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big m - 2017-03-03 12:46 PM

Those appear to be the Goodyear Super Cushions.


Yes, 8.00" x 14" Look just about perfect for me.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-03 4:17 PM (#535095 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Got one thing accomplished this week. Got the car registered and insured in my name and cleaned up the license plate.



(IMG_2002 small.jpg)



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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2017-03-03 10:09 PM (#535121 - in reply to #535095)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I think you'll be very happy with the Super Cushions. I have a fresh
set in the shop that I will dye the whitewalls black on (they do not offer
them as blackwalls) and put on my Plaza:







(rr qtr shot 2 06 Feb 2013.jpg)



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GregCon
Posted 2017-03-03 10:59 PM (#535123 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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The issue is not so much radial vs. bias itself, but the rubber compounds used in bias ply's is often less 'scienced out' and the contact area is so small.

I don't own FL cars for handling as in gonna race around a track or up a mountain...but handling in terms of being able to navigate public roads? Yep, they gotta be able to do that. A FL car here in Houston with drums and bias ply's is gonna be good for about 1/2 the speed that all the other cars are driving, which in and of itself is a hazard even if you could stand it.
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2017-03-04 12:40 AM (#535126 - in reply to #535123)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Is there an "up" side to living in Houston ? The towering mountain
vistas ? The clean air ? The heat ? The humidity ? The delightful
country atmosphere and good "old car" backroads ?

It took me 30 years, but one day it occurred to me that living in a
sh!thole was a CHOICE, and no one was holding a gun to my head
and making me stay. It took another year to research where I wanted
to go and get my affairs in order. Never regretted anything except
taking so long to come to my senses.

Live as if you are dying. Life is too short to make excuses for bad
prioritizing.
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GregCon
Posted 2017-03-04 7:59 AM (#535131 - in reply to #535126)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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LOL. Well Houston is not the greatest place in the world but it's better than people think it is. Plus you can make a lot of money here...which comes in handy when you have Forward Look Disease.
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2017-03-04 2:28 PM (#535156 - in reply to #535131)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I made a lot of money in Seattle, but it cost a lot to live there. Was a bit
of a wash. What sunk the deal for me was the 8 days of warm and sunshine
each year, 600 days of rain (I think my math *might* be off a little, but it is
close ) ....
the endless sprawl that makes it a major production to get out in the sticks,
and the attitude .... the Beemer/Lexus douchebag, look-at-me, stunt driver,
looking down there nose at everyone attitude of gated neighborhoods, glassy
high rises replacing everything old and cool, endless "retail" filling in all the old
farms and open space ....

Everything I love to do is outdoors and basically the place is just not friendly
to outdoors activities, metal objects that rust, top-down driving, ANY sort of
pleasure driving without the stunt driver team up your ass or throwing you
into panic braking situations .... it was time to leave.

I had sold 30 years of my life down a rathole andhad nothing to show for it.
I left and it remains one of the best decisions I ever made. Quality of life out-
weighs just about all other considerations. I'll never get those 30 years back.
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firedome
Posted 2017-03-05 1:27 PM (#535208 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Couldn't agree more when it comes for a place to drive... and live, life it too short to compromise on quality of life. It's why we spend 6 mos/yr in Vermont, and soon will move back full time. Gorgeous mountain back roads, pristine air, fabulous lakeshore drives, lowest crime rate in the US, and you'll never see another FL, well, one 57 Dodge and 59 Imperial represented here excepted lol. And we can be in Montreal, better than ANY US city, in a bit over an hour.

AS far as the subject '57 DeSoto, the bias Goodyear Super Cushions look sooo much better!

Edited by firedome 2017-03-05 1:30 PM
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soiouz
Posted 2017-03-06 9:46 AM (#535263 - in reply to #535208)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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firedome - 2017-03-05 1:27 PM

And we can be in Montreal, better than ANY US city, in a bit over an hour.



I am planning on moving back to Montreal later this year. I love that city so much!




I cannot wait to see pics of the DeSoto convertible when its new tires are installed. It will really compliment that gorgeous car!
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61_Imperial
Posted 2017-03-06 11:33 AM (#535267 - in reply to #535263)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Beautiful car, I doubt you need anything, but I just got a 57 Desoto I am parting out (posted on this forum)

Thanks,
Ryan
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2017-03-06 1:16 PM (#535272 - in reply to #535267)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Montreal, ..... I love the swaying palms on a cool summer evening.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-06 1:16 PM (#535273 - in reply to #535267)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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61_Imperial - 2017-03-06 8:33 AM

Beautiful car, I doubt you need anything, but I just got a 57 Desoto I am parting out (posted on this forum)

Thanks,
Ryan


Just sent you a PM Ryan. Im on the hunt for these parts.

pinchweld chrome (by rear bumper)
air cleaner brackets
battery hold down and inner post
rubber hood stoppers (for sides of hood on body)
front emblem (may have found one)
chrome piece on passenger door (handle goes through)
exhaust venturi pieces
Seat belts (may have a lead on these)
dual rear antenna plastic/rubber base pieces
power window switches
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-06 1:19 PM (#535275 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Did a little work on the car this weekend. Brakes locked up while backing out of the garage so I've got brake parts on order. In the mean time I did a little polishing. Paint looks great. Needs to get some pictures outside because the garage lights make it look like different shades of yellow.


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soiouz
Posted 2017-03-06 1:46 PM (#535280 - in reply to #535272)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Doctor DeSoto - 2017-03-06 1:16 PM

Montreal, ..... I love the swaying palms on a cool summer evening.


Climate is not the only thing to take into account when thinking "quality of life".

Montreal has bustling culture, incredibly diverse and good quality restaurant scene, cheap accomodation, incredibly low crime rates, world-class museums, parks everywhere, farmer markets with high quality produce on the cheap, very relax and cool lifestyle, good and stable investment environment, world-class hospitals (yes, even in our free universal health care system), etc, etc. ....plus, the very hot and humid summer evenings almost make up for the cold and dark winter evenings.






....back on the DeSoto at hand: it does looks like the paint is very nice. That's a good polishing job!

Edited by soiouz 2017-03-06 1:56 PM
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2017-03-06 5:47 PM (#535296 - in reply to #535275)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: The Mile High City
Looking better all the time! ...and it started out great!
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dlyle
Posted 2017-05-25 5:05 PM (#540907 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Progress has been very slow with the kids soccer practice and games and everything else. Right now the whole front end is off the car. Just about everything has been powder coated. NOS front end suspension and brake pieces have been lined up and are cluttering up the garage floor. I've got to find the time to get the front end and brakes back on. Then the exhaust will come off for replacement. I've got a stainless steel Waldron's exhaust that will go on it.

Below are some pictures of the under car detailing. Still has a long way to go. The rear end is getting cleaned in car but will come out soon to get final cleaning and new seals etc. I'm sure the pinion seal needs replacement. there was about 0 pounds of caked on grease on the center section. The gas tank was pretty dirty underneath but is slowly getting cleaned. Most of the rust spots are coming off. I prefer to not have to replace it. Will eventually take it out for cleaning on the inside. One thine at a time its getting closer to driving again.



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Lancer Mike
Posted 2017-06-21 5:34 PM (#542589 - in reply to #535064)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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any updates?
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dlyle
Posted 2017-06-28 1:49 PM (#543056 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Progress has been slow. I've spent countless days under the car with a wire brush getting it all cleaned up and painted. The exhaust practically fell off the car. Some parts I just tore out with my bare hands. All the parts are getting cleaned and painted. I'll try to get some pictures.

I took out the gas tank for cleaning. The inside didn't need anything. It was very clean inside. I've got new stainless brake lines and stainless exhaust. Still need to take the driveshaft out to detail and replace the u-joints. Will also replace the rubber on the shackles.

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61_Imperial
Posted 2017-06-28 2:14 PM (#543058 - in reply to #543056)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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You are going to turn those drums before you install them with the paint on the shoe mating surface, right??
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dlyle
Posted 2017-06-28 2:23 PM (#543060 - in reply to #543058)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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61_Imperial - 2017-06-28 11:14 AM

You are going to turn those drums before you install them with the paint on the shoe mating surface, right??


already turned....that's masking tape that's painted over. Notice the one on the lower right has it removed......





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dlyle
Posted 2017-06-28 2:37 PM (#543061 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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All the hardware that came off the car got a bath in Evapo-Rust to remove any rust. Most came out pretty clean. The second picture is one of the small piles of stuff that has to go back on the car. Everything wrapped in brown paper is the stuff that came back from powder coating.


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57desoto
Posted 2017-06-29 6:23 AM (#543106 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Where did you find the exhaust extensions that bring things up through the bumper ends? Originals or repros? The one I see looks great. That would be something to carefully document/measure for reproduction purposes, and I'm sure could easily be sold. I had my local bumper shop make mine, but yours looks better.



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dlyle
Posted 2017-06-29 12:53 PM (#543133 - in reply to #543106)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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57desoto - 2017-06-29 3:23 AM

Where did you find the exhaust extensions that bring things up through the bumper ends? Originals or repros? The one I see looks great. That would be something to carefully document/measure for reproduction purposes, and I'm sure could easily be sold. I had my local bumper shop make mine, but yours looks better.


I hunted and found all original NOS parts. I only have found the left connector but found both venturis. I still need the connector on the right side but Ive got my exhaust guy duplicating both sides in stainless. He's been pretty busy so no movement yet.

Funny thing with this car I can always find various pieces that go on the left side of the car. The right side is always tougher though.

Edited by dlyle 2017-06-29 1:00 PM




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Powerflite
Posted 2017-06-29 1:03 PM (#543134 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Smart move to go to stainless while you still have the good dimensions available.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-06-29 1:21 PM (#543135 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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One of the things that has stalled my progress is trying to find a good set of replacement lower ball joints. I've tried several and am avoiding the oversea variety. I have a set of NOS Mopar joints but am shocked at how loose they are. I've read some things that say "Chrysler ball joints are allowed vertical looseness". Still can't bring myself to use these. The 60 year old ball joins that came off feel very tight. I'm used to new ball joints being stiff but these NOS pieces are just way too loose (see video).

I've got a set of older Moog lowers on the way. I've heard the older Moog stuff is really great.

https://youtu.be/a8ivqymcKHk
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Powerflite
Posted 2017-06-29 1:41 PM (#543136 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I don't understand. If your old ball joints are tight, why are you replacing them? You could just clean them up and replace the boot.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-06-29 1:52 PM (#543137 - in reply to #543136)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Powerflite - 2017-06-29 10:41 AM

I don't understand. If your old ball joints are tight, why are you replacing them? You could just clean them up and replace the boot.


Yeah, I'm wondering that myself. Just seems 60 year old parts would be worn out. The new ones are Mopar 1843248 which is the same thing thing that is in the car.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-06-29 2:37 PM (#543146 - in reply to #543134)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Powerflite - 2017-06-29 10:03 AM

Smart move to go to stainless while you still have the good dimensions available.


Stainless hasn't let me down yet. The old exhaust system could be twisted and bent to remove because there was so little that hadn't rusted away. Brake lines are all stainless now too. The Waldron's exhaust I got was all stainless so I thought I might as well have the collectors done to match.

The venturis will be ceramic coated too so they don't rust or deteriorate. I'm toying with the idea of an electric cutout so I have the option of going out the venturi or a turn down. Don't want to ruin my tail light towers.
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1957sotos
Posted 2017-06-29 7:36 PM (#543180 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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I wouldn't let the myth that the exhaust discharge out the bumper corrodes the pot metal towers bother you. I've got several sets from those with and those without the bumper discharge, and
they all corrode the same. Even from Firesweeps that have a blankoff on the back-up socket. It's just normal pot metal. I like how the surround is satin black in the background. Has anyone
tried the spraychrome application on the towers? I've heard horror stories of distortion when trying to do the "normal" chrome plating route. Just looking for an easy way out. The biggest
problem I have with the bumper discharge is the gasses tend to be sucked back into the trunk when going down the road. By driving with the rear vent windows open, this tends to help, even
when running the A/C. Perry
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BSoto
Posted 2017-07-06 5:13 AM (#543623 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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1957sotos - you're night about getting the taillight towers rechromed. They're such thin pot metal that they will often distort. When they are buffing them the heat builds up and they tend to get narrower in the back - which shows up after you put them on and the body color shows through because it's too skinny to cover the gap. When I had mine done, one was close enough that we pulled it apart (hold your breath when you do it) and it fit fine. The other one was just too distorted - so I talked with the guy who did chroming. He explained the process and said if I could get another one, and build a wooden buck to go on the back it would help hold the shape during buffing. He also did the plating free the second time, which was a nice gesture on his part. I just traced the outline on a piece of 1" shelving and cut it to fit the inside. Then you have to bevel the edges because the taillight tower flares toward the car. I filed the edges with a rasp until it fit inside pretty snug and sent it along with the new piece to get chromed. This one came back in great shape. If you're going to get them rechromed, do yourself a favor and make a couple of bucks to fit inside them. Its pretty easy to do and the results will look a lot better.

Also - dlyle - incredible car with a great story. I love it. I went through the same thing with the exhaust on my 58 and its a pain to get done, but I vote to do it original. Don't worry about the chrome - if you have to redo a few pieces in 10 years then its not a big deal.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-07-06 11:52 AM (#543649 - in reply to #543623)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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BSoto - 2017-07-06 2:13 AM


Also - dlyle - incredible car with a great story. I love it. I went through the same thing with the exhaust on my 58 and its a pain to get done, but I vote to do it original. Don't worry about the chrome - if you have to redo a few pieces in 10 years then its not a big deal.



I agree. It's been a lot of trouble finding the pieces so I want to celebrate when I see that exhaust coming through the bumpers.
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Powerflite
Posted 2017-07-06 1:09 PM (#543656 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Thanks BSoto for the great info on using the bucks for polishing.
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flagator10
Posted 2017-07-24 10:49 AM (#544736 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


Member

Posts: 14

I agree with getting exhaust through the bumper ends. I'd be very interested in the dimensions if your exhaust guy can pass this on as I've not been able to find any as I restore my '57
Thanks!
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dlyle
Posted 2017-08-21 4:27 PM (#546692 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Finally a little progress. Got most of the front end back on the car and started installing the new stainless steel brake lines too.



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bbrasse1
Posted 2017-08-21 6:33 PM (#546702 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Nice job!
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dlyle
Posted 2017-08-22 3:19 PM (#546758 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Thanks. Wish there was more time to work on it. Ive only driven this car about 2 miles so Im ready to get some more miles on this.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-09-06 12:49 PM (#547842 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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A little more work completed on the brakes. Got the new shoes, wheel cylinders, seals, and rubber and hard lines in. Will be going with DOT 5 Silicone all the way.

Waiting on the retainers and springs for the rears. My car didn't have them when I got it.


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dlyle
Posted 2017-09-26 4:38 PM (#549219 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Finally made a good amount of progress on the Fireflite I was trying to get it ready for a show this past weekend but it didn't happen. I did get it running and driving for the first time in many months though.

The big job was getting the exhaust and front end all back together. That took a lot of doing but is mostly done.

The engine detailing still has a way to go. My intent was to just get the car to move under its own power again. Now that is I need to focus on electrical. I don't think the headlights are supposed to come on when you hit the brakes

On the to do list are, electrical, generator rebuild, possibly a power steering pump rebuild, plugs wires, Pertronix, cap rotor. When I do that I'll pull the valve covers and get them bead blasted and detailed. Then I can paint the spark plug wire covers too.

Edited by dlyle 2017-09-26 4:51 PM




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dlyle
Posted 2017-09-26 4:52 PM (#549221 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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This car had been in a 10 plus year slumber but with a little effort and some ATF the power top went down.





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dlyle
Posted 2017-09-26 4:55 PM (#549222 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
I love the color combo with the green seats. Need some chrome redone on the windscreen frame pieces by the sun visors.



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dlyle
Posted 2017-09-26 4:59 PM (#549223 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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The 8.00 x 14 Super Cushions look better than I thought too. Wish they were a little bigger but these will do. Need to find a set of good hup caps now. All of mine have curb rash.



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dlyle
Posted 2017-09-26 5:05 PM (#549225 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Almost forgot the most fun part. It works and keeps time for many days so far.



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Viper Guy
Posted 2017-09-26 11:00 PM (#549236 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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e-Bay seems to always have '57 stock wheel covers for sale. Prices are all over the place though but some I have seen look to be like new.

Your car sure looks good - maybe you will have it in Branson, MO next August for the National DeSoto Club convention. Yes, yes, yes?





Edited by Viper Guy 2017-09-26 11:03 PM
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57desoto
Posted 2017-09-27 5:57 AM (#549243 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Doug, although I have taken the time and painstakingly painted the letters on the spark plug covers, and they can look nice if done well, what I recommend now is just buying a set of decals. They pop right into the letter recess and are straight and sharp-edged -- nicer than any painting I've done. Several sites sell them, and they show up all the time on Ebay.

GREAT work on everything you've done.
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60 Imp
Posted 2017-09-27 6:42 AM (#549244 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Location: North Australia
She's looking good Doug.

I went with silicone fluid in my 60 Imperial (rebuilt with all standard parts) and am very happy with the performance. One thing to consider is change to a pedal arm brake light switch as the original master cylinder switches are know to leak the silicone. Perfect time if you are upgrading the electrics. The headlights coming on with the brakes is a ripper!

ps, the threads like this one showing guys rebuilding their cars is my favorite topic. Your car and your workmanship are exceptional, thanks for taking the time to share the pictures. Should this thread be in the members rides forum with the other rebuilds ??

Your workshop also looks awesome!

Steve.

Edited by 60 Imp 2017-09-27 6:49 AM
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57burb
Posted 2017-09-27 10:58 AM (#549263 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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You are doing a beautiful job. That car was a really nice one to start with. It has cleaned up very nicely with mostly elbow grease and basic service parts!

The letters are fairly easy to detail with paint. I would not recommend attempting it with a brush. There is a lot of opportunity for error with all those letters!

Make certain the wire covers are painted with a catalyzed paint. You may need to apply a clear coat over what is there.

Once that paint is cured, mask up everything except the general area of the letters. You don't need to mask each letter individually, but you don't want to get paint down into the screw mounting areas.

Paint the letters the color you want them. After that color has dried, remove the masking tape. Take a lint-free rag with some paint thinner on it, and wipe away the new paint from the wire cover. Do this carefully and you will have sharp, crisp edges around each letter.

It's important that the base be catalyzed, or else you will be wiping it off with thinner too!

This example was done quickly to give someone else an idea of the technique. You can get your edges much sharper with patience. This also works with license plates. Just keep in mind that the color on the raised surfaces needs to be painted first.



(paint001-2.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-09-27 3:53 PM (#549290 - in reply to #549244)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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60 Imp - 2017-09-27 3:42 AM

She's looking good Doug.

I went with silicone fluid in my 60 Imperial (rebuilt with all standard parts) and am very happy with the performance. One thing to consider is change to a pedal arm brake light switch as the original master cylinder switches are know to leak the silicone. Perfect time if you are upgrading the electrics.

Your workshop also looks awesome!

Steve.


Thanks Steve. I've been using the silicone brake fluid for years and love it. Only problem is that it always kills those brake light switches so you have to go to a mechanical switch.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-09-27 3:57 PM (#549291 - in reply to #549263)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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57burb - 2017-09-27 7:58 AM

You are doing a beautiful job. That car was a really nice one to start with. It has cleaned up very nicely with mostly elbow grease and basic service parts!

The letters are fairly easy to detail with paint. I would not recommend attempting it with a brush. There is a lot of opportunity for error with all those letters!

Make certain the wire covers are painted with a catalyzed paint. You may need to apply a clear coat over what is there.

Once that paint is cured, mask up everything except the general area of the letters. You don't need to mask each letter individually, but you don't want to get paint down into the screw mounting areas.

Paint the letters the color you want them. After that color has dried, remove the masking tape. Take a lint-free rag with some paint thinner on it, and wipe away the new paint from the wire cover. Do this carefully and you will have sharp, crisp edges around each letter.

It's important that the base be catalyzed, or else you will be wiping it off with thinner too!

This example was done quickly to give someone else an idea of the technique. You can get your edges much sharper with patience. This also works with license plates. Just keep in mind that the color on the raised surfaces needs to be painted first.



Your letters look great. I've used that method too and have had great results. I often do it by hand with a brush like on these covers for my Hillman. These were painted and then clear coated.

For my Desoto the valve covers need to come off first so I can bead blast and then paint or powder coat.





(IMG_5585 (2) (1024x768).jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-09-27 4:01 PM (#549292 - in reply to #549243)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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57desoto - 2017-09-27 2:57 AM

Doug, although I have taken the time and painstakingly painted the letters on the spark plug covers, and they can look nice if done well, what I recommend now is just buying a set of decals. They pop right into the letter recess and are straight and sharp-edged -- nicer than any painting I've done. Several sites sell them, and they show up all the time on Ebay.

GREAT work on everything you've done.


Thanks for the tip Ed. I tried finding those stickers for my 392 but never did. I'd much rather do the stickers if I can find them.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-09-27 4:05 PM (#549293 - in reply to #549236)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Viper Guy - 2017-09-26 8:00 PM

e-Bay seems to always have '57 stock wheel covers for sale. Prices are all over the place though but some I have seen look to be like new.

Your car sure looks good - maybe you will have it in Branson, MO next August for the National DeSoto Club convention. Yes, yes, yes?




Ive been searching ebay for covers. No shortage of them on there so hopefully can uncover some good caps.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-10-13 6:15 PM (#550253 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Making a little progress with the wiring. I now have working turn signals on the right side and the rear signal on the left side. No indicator or front left so I'll need to sort that out. All the parking lights work and the dash lights do too.

The parking brake light had been MIA but I found it back behind the kick panel put a bulb in it and it works now. The map light doesn't work so will spend some time on that. I need to work on the courtesy lights too. Both are missing sockets and wiring.

I got the brake lights working too and now the headlights don't come on when using the brakes. I had to fiddle with the wiring and replace the brake light switch. I'm using Dot 5 silicone fluid so it killed the old switch right away. The new switch claims to be silicone compatible so we'll see. It's from Ron Francis part number SW-32. If it fails I'll fab a mechanical switch.

Edited by dlyle 2017-10-13 6:21 PM




(brake switch.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-06 5:24 PM (#551739 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Still working on the wiring. Have just about everything working. The courtesy lights and the map light were a challenge. The switches to both were corroded so I had to clean the contacts to get them to work. The ground lead to both courtesy lights was MIA so had to swap in another set of lights. No the courtesy and map lights come on when you open the door or when you do the switches for either.

Still need to figure out the front left turn signal and dash indicator light. Will have to get in to the column switch to see what's going on.

This is just a sampling of the extra wire that came out of the car. They had a rear speaker and a 2 volt lead to the power seat that was routed to the trunk for what I assume was trailer wiring.



(IMG_5712.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-06 5:28 PM (#551740 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Have the rear and front seats out too. While i was fixing the courtesy lights I took the ash trays apart for cleaning. They came out nice after a rust removal bath.



(IMG_5705.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-06 5:53 PM (#551743 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Here is a quick video of the radio now working. It's now am/fm bluetooth handsfree and all that other jazz. I couldn't just do a am repair as there are no stations that play music where I'm at. You can briefly see the clock is now working again too.

I got the ARC record player for the car fixed too but that will go in at a later date.

https://youtu.be/OOSvAYXUItM

Edited by dlyle 2017-11-06 6:08 PM




(IMG_2153.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-06 6:00 PM (#551744 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Here is a before and after picture of the ash tray.



(IMG_4908 (500x375) (2).jpg)



(IMG_2178.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-06 6:04 PM (#551746 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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new courtesy lights. Old ones had no lenses.





(IMG_2181.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-06 6:20 PM (#551747 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Got my generator fixed. It was converted to an alternator by Gener-Nator. Don Allen does exceptional quality work. It has an internal regulator so the eternal one is bypassed. He even put on a tag that reproduced the numbers on the original generator.

http://www.gener-nator.com/



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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-06 6:28 PM (#551748 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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This is what the generator strap used to look like on my car.



(IMG_4972 (375x500).jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-07 7:18 PM (#551817 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Also got the new battery tray and hold down installed.



(IMG_2185.JPG)



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Lancer Mike
Posted 2017-11-07 9:42 PM (#551823 - in reply to #549243)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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color me amazed!
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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-09 7:13 PM (#551940 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Anyone out there have a set of air cleaner brackets?
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Highball57
Posted 2017-11-11 1:02 PM (#552049 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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What a Dream Car...congratulations on its acquisition and your progress!

On the subject of Power Windows (my favorite option), the "Ward's 1958 Automotive Yearbook"
states the percentages of installations for 1957:

Imperial - 91.3 %
Chrysler - 16.1 %
DeSoto --- 7.9 %
Dodge --- 2.1 %
Plymouth - 0.9 %

TG
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-11-11 2:20 PM (#552062 - in reply to #551940)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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dlyle - 2017-11-09 7:13 PM

Anyone out there have a set of air cleaner brackets?


Doug: Looks like might have been a one piece, at least on a poly engine. Should be easy enough to make.

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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-14 5:55 PM (#552240 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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On my car it appears to be two brackets.

Front 1822 056
Rear 1822 055

I think the earlier cars had a single bracket part number 1738-341. Might work on mine too.

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57desoto
Posted 2017-11-15 6:29 AM (#552264 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Definitely 2 brackets for the '57 DeSotos that have air cleaner housings with attachment points on the outer edges. Some housings only have one attachment point, so obviously only one bracket. In no case that I'm aware of, however, was there a single, 2-point bracket.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-15 10:43 AM (#552273 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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My car does have the two attaching points that you mention Ed.

The parts book shows 1 bracket for cars with before engine number 17796. These take 1738 341.

Engines 17796 and later take the 1822 056 for the front bracket and 1822 055 for the rear bracket.

I'm scheduled to go meet the original owner of the car this weekend. He thinks he may have some parts for the car but I'll have to dig through his garage to find them. I've also asked for any photos he may have of the car.

I've talked with him on the phone a few times but am thrilled to get to meet him in person.

Edited by dlyle 2017-11-15 10:57 AM




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56D500boy
Posted 2017-11-15 12:28 PM (#552277 - in reply to #552240)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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dlyle - 2017-11-14 5:55 PM
On my car it appears to be two brackets. Front 1822 056 Rear 1822 055
I think the earlier cars had a single bracket part number 1738-341. Might work on mine too.


Agree with your assessment. They must have figured out that the metal between the two ends of the one piece bracket was an unnecessary cost and that it could be eliminated in favour of the two piece bracket. There is the engine number break point in Note 3 on this page:





(57DesotoAirCleanerBracketPNs.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-15 1:14 PM (#552283 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Thanks for posting....my scanner is flakey so I've given up on it. The single bracket is different and only has one attaching point.

Edited by dlyle 2017-11-15 3:22 PM




(air_cleaner_bracket_single_A (2).jpg)



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56D500boy
Posted 2017-11-15 1:57 PM (#552288 - in reply to #552283)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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dlyle - 2017-11-15 1:14 PM
Thanks for posting....my scanner is flakey so Ive given up on it. The single bracket is different and only has one attaching point.


I didn't scan that page. I did a COPY IMAGE from the 55-58 Mopar Parts pdf that I recommend to 55-58 owners. Then I import into Irfan View and resize it down. Then I upload it.

Back on topic, interesting that Desoto did a bracket down to the head/valve cover interface. Dodge just has a bracket off the wire cover as per the example below. Either way, I hate those air cleaners since they hide the hemi valve cover so much.



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-11-15 1:58 PM
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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-15 3:23 PM (#552299 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Anyone out there have pictures of the 2 correct brackets?
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-11-16 7:16 PM (#552438 - in reply to #552299)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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dlyle - 2017-11-15 3:23 PM
Anyone out there have pictures of the 2 correct brackets?


No but that recent post regarding a 58 Chrylser Poly for sale has a photo that might help



Blown up and lightened a bit, you can see the bracket better:



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-11-16 7:18 PM




(58ChryslerPolyAirCleanerBracket.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-16 7:26 PM (#552442 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Think those are different...that's not a hemi right? We're getting closer though.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-16 7:28 PM (#552444 - in reply to #552049)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Highball57 - 2017-11-11 10:02 AM

What a Dream Car...congratulations on its acquisition and your progress!

On the subject of Power Windows (my favorite option), the "Ward's 1958 Automotive Yearbook"
states the percentages of installations for 1957:

Imperial - 91.3 %
Chrysler - 16.1 %
DeSoto --- 7.9 %
Dodge --- 2.1 %
Plymouth - 0.9 %

TG


Wow if you had a Plymouth with power windows you've got a rare one
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ToMopar
Posted 2017-11-17 6:07 AM (#552500 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Hi Doug,

here are some pictures with the bracket
by the way, I am searching for this backet too.





(br01.jpg)



(br02.jpg)



(br03.jpg)



(br04.jpg)



(br05.jpg)



(br06.jpg)



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oldhippie
Posted 2017-11-17 7:57 AM (#552506 - in reply to #552500)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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ToMopar - 2017-11-17 6:07 AM

Hi Doug,

here are some pictures with the bracket
by the way, I am searching for this backet too.



(sorry, I was mistaken, don't have it.)

Edited by oldhippie 2017-11-17 4:30 PM
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-11-27 11:49 AM (#553232 - in reply to #552299)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Doug: Photos of the one piece bracket from the 57 Dodge AirCleaner for sale post:



REF: http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=67337&...

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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-27 4:52 PM (#553251 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Thanks for the pictures guys. Gives me an idea of what I'm looking for.

Edited by dlyle 2017-11-27 4:55 PM
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dlyle
Posted 2017-11-27 9:19 PM (#553264 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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So I'm trying to gather info on what the correct fabrics look like for the interior. My car has code 642. It's not original so I don't have samples of what it should look like.

I've got samples from SMS and also a photo out of the 1957 Desoto fabric book. The colors look different as does the grain. Does anyone have pictures of what original of a 642 code interior should look like? Would love to see some original photos.

The first picture is what my seats look like now. Funny cause when I do a search I find several cars that are very close to these colors...which I think are wrong. The green is too dark.





Edited by dlyle 2017-11-27 9:25 PM




(00v0v_fZUzUvKDjtZ_1200x900.jpg)



(code 642.jpg)



(SMS samples.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2017-12-11 6:29 PM (#554103 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Look what I found cleaning out the glove box. It is from 1961.



(IMG_5810.JPG)



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Windsor59
Posted 2017-12-12 12:20 AM (#554134 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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You do a nice serios work. Being great convertible
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dlyle
Posted 2017-12-12 12:22 PM (#554163 - in reply to #554134)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Windsor59 - 2017-12-11 9:20 PM

You do a nice serios work. Being great convertible


Thank you! Cant wait til it's out on the road again.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-12-27 5:22 PM (#555087 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Here are some shots of the original radio and ARC automatic record changer installed. The am radio is now AM/FM Bluetooth.

I've had other AM radios repaired and then they just play talk radio. It was important to me to have the ability to play 50's music. I can play Pandora via wireless connection and it sounds great.


https://youtu.be/OOSvAYXUItM

Edited by dlyle 2017-12-27 5:37 PM




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dlyle
Posted 2017-12-27 5:25 PM (#555088 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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here is a video of it playing.

https://youtu.be/7DHhH4SQCns

https://youtu.be/3IWJPqLNmNE
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dlyle
Posted 2018-01-19 7:41 PM (#556582 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I finally collected all the pieces to get the exhaust through the rear bumper. After exhaustive searching I came up with all NOS pieces.



(IMG_5901.JPG)



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dlyle
Posted 2018-01-19 7:48 PM (#556584 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I don't want these to suffer from corrosion so I sent them to Jet-Hot and got them coated with their Classic Polish. I've used it before with long term great results.



(venturi 1.jpg)



(venturi 2.jpg)



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dlyle
Posted 2018-01-19 7:52 PM (#556585 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Took the rear bumper off. It's getting more difficult everyday to find a place that does chrome in California. EPA is closing lots of chrome shops. The bumper is now off the car and in the hands of a chrome guy. Hope he does a good job. This is a test run so if they don't work will find another place.



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Lancer Mike
Posted 2018-01-20 11:17 PM (#556645 - in reply to #556585)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: The Mile High City
Our last bumper re-chrome shop was
bought out by a marijuana grow house.

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bbrasse1
Posted 2018-01-21 8:10 AM (#556663 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Great job!
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dlyle
Posted 2018-01-22 1:09 PM (#556745 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Had the carb redone including plating all the linkage. It turned out nice and seems to work well.



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dlyle
Posted 2018-01-22 1:12 PM (#556746 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Thanks to a fellow Forward Look member I know have the correct original air cleaner brackets.



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dlyle
Posted 2018-07-16 7:57 PM (#566700 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I've made slow but steady progress on the car in the last few months. I finally got the exhaust exiting out the bumper the way it came from the factory. It was a bit of a nightmare but its nearly done. Spent the better part of a day fiddling with it. Had to loosen up the complete exhaust to get everything lined up. Finally got the last bolt tight and noticed the right venturi had moved. This means it will have to come apart again to adjust.

Very pleased with how it sounds.


https://youtu.be/pqUdJWmvMM8

Edited by dlyle 2018-07-16 7:59 PM
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dlyle
Posted 2018-07-16 8:19 PM (#566702 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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After owning this car for over a year and a half I'm just starting to put some miles on it. Was running fairly well and then it started acting up on me. The car started sputtering so I limped it back home. It was acting like it was out of gas so I put about 3 gallons in it. The car doesn't have a working fuel gauge. Started it up and it was a letter better but the car would really act up if you hit the brakes. Here's what I discovered.

First thing the tank had to come out to fix the fuel sender. I'd had the tank out for a cleaning before and tested the sender by manually moving the arm up and down with a stick. Seemed to work fine but I didn't count on the cork float being sunk. I took the old tank out and replaced it with a tank from Van's Auto. A very nice tank. Looks just like my original tank. Anyway, I took a flashlight out and shined it in the old tank. To my surprise the darn pick-up tube was several inches off the bottom of the tank. It was the original sender and looked just like the NOS sender I'd bought to replace it. Only different was the original was not bent correctly. I drained 5 gallons out of the tank and I think at that level the fuel pump was sucking fumes. I took some time to make sure the bend was correct on the new sender and bolted it back in to the car. Filled it up with 5 gallons and checked the gauge. put 6 more gallons in and checked again so now I know where the needle will be for 5 or 1 gallons.

The after market pump on the car seemed to be spewing oil in my engine compartment so I put a NOS piece in there. Started the car up now I have a steady stream of fuel in the filter glass. Car runs well until you hit the brakes. Clamp off the booster line and it still runs well when hitting the brakes. The booster is shot! Packaged it up today and sent it to Booster Dewey. Also need to pull the choke valve on the exhaust manifold. It's stuck solid.

When I took off the booster I found an original stamping on the firewall. Said Paint OK. Found some markings on the tank too. Let me know if you want to see those.









Edited by dlyle 2018-07-16 8:30 PM




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dlyle
Posted 2018-07-16 8:27 PM (#566703 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Veteran

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Last night I put a new 6 way power seat switch in the car. The old one only worked in a couple of directions. All is well with the new switch but I get a little shock when touching the seat switch button. The wires all appear ok and are not pinched.

Is this just a bad ground issue? I always disconnect the battery...just in case
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dlyle
Posted 2018-07-24 3:32 PM (#567143 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Veteran

Posts: 236
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
Had a little spare time so I decided to tackle the driver's side antenna. It was frozen, chrome was gone, and the bakelite piece was replaced with a boot from a spark plug wire. I had a new base gasket from Gary Goers and that really helped clean up the look. The shiny new mast was purchased from ebay.



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dlyle
Posted 2018-11-28 11:53 AM (#574279 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Veteran

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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
Put a nice wheel on the car. I found the same color wheel on ebay so I had that recast so I could save mine in original condition. The one on ebay was listed as being for a Studebaker but I knew better. It came with a really nice horn ring so I saved that and had mine rechromed.

The wheel was recast by Quality Restorations in Poway California. Dennis Crooks is his name and his work is exceptional. When he does your wheel he asks you about what color you want. You can have it done to match the current color as seen on the outside of the wheel...which will have faded over time. Or he
can match the wheel based on the inside color that is exposed when cutting off the original material. I had him match the unfaded original color. He has to ask because the wheel color you get back will not look exactly like the wheel color you sent him.

Edited by dlyle 2018-11-28 12:05 PM




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dlyle
Posted 2018-11-28 12:11 PM (#574281 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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The last weekend of September was the annual Taste of Morgan Hill car show. I think there were around 200 cars this year and of course this was the only Desoto. There was a 58 Dodge though. I tried to have the car ready for this last year but it was not quite done. This year we made it.

I was parked next to two other cars that were very similar shades of yellow.



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56D500boy
Posted 2018-11-28 12:25 PM (#574282 - in reply to #574281)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Looking fantastic there Doug. Well done.

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matt
Posted 2018-11-28 2:19 PM (#574286 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Location: Malmberget, Sweden
Nice cars those Desoto ragtops
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CustomRoyal
Posted 2018-11-28 7:56 PM (#574306 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


Extreme Veteran

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The car looks great. Fantastic job Doug. That steering wheel is PERFECT!
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dlyle
Posted 2018-11-28 8:26 PM (#574309 - in reply to #574306)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
CustomRoyal - 2018-11-28 4:56 PM

The car looks great. Fantastic job Doug. That steering wheel is PERFECT!


Thanks. Two reasons that I replaced it. First of course was to make it look better and second was to get rid of the vomit smell that comes from that old plastic. Smells much better now.

Edited by dlyle 2018-11-29 10:48 AM
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christine-lover
Posted 2018-11-29 12:50 PM (#574340 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Expert

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Very beautiful car, love the colors together. You’ve done a hell of a job on it!
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dlyle
Posted 2018-11-29 6:34 PM (#574363 - in reply to #574340)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Posts: 236
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
christine-lover - 2018-11-29 9:50 AM

Very beautiful car, love the colors together. You’ve done a hell of a job on it!


Thank you! I've always been a fan of yellow cars and I like the semi obnoxious green interior too.
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57burb
Posted 2018-11-29 6:49 PM (#574364 - in reply to #574363)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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That car is just awesome. They did a fantastic job on the steering wheel. Your work to keep it original - and very nice - is paying off. Glad to see you enjoying it!
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billy
Posted 2018-11-30 11:42 AM (#574408 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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very nice ride Doug....
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wizard
Posted 2018-11-30 11:50 AM (#574409 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Board Moderator & Exner Expert 10K+

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Very nice car, great work! What about the green rubber floor mats - are they repops or NOS?
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dlyle
Posted 2018-11-30 12:33 PM (#574413 - in reply to #574409)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Posts: 236
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
wizard - 2018-11-30 8:50 AM

Very nice car, great work! What about the green rubber floor mats - are they repops or NOS?


Thank you. Floor mats are repops. By the time I'm done with the interior I'll have just about every shade of green represented.
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soiouz
Posted 2018-11-30 3:32 PM (#574426 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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God, that car is gorgeous! I love everything about it! My new favorite on this board! Wow!
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dlyle
Posted 2018-12-03 12:00 PM (#574560 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Thanks guys. I'm having a blast with it.

Does anyone know where I can get the grommets that hold the sunvisors in? Does any one repop these or is there a substitute?

Edited by dlyle 2018-12-03 12:01 PM
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ToMopar
Posted 2018-12-04 5:32 AM (#574594 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Elite Veteran

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Doug

maybe you'll find the answer in this thread: http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=15643&
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christine-lover
Posted 2018-12-04 1:33 PM (#574624 - in reply to #574560)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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dlyle - 2018-12-03 12:00 PM

Thanks guys. I'm having a blast with it.

Does anyone know where I can get the grommets that hold the sunvisors in? Does any one repop these or is there a substitute?


Try the company that bought out Goers.
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dlyle
Posted 2018-12-04 5:48 PM (#574651 - in reply to #574624)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Veteran

Posts: 236
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
christine-lover - 2018-12-04 10:33 AM

dlyle - 2018-12-03 12:00 PM

Thanks guys. I'm having a blast with it.

Does anyone know where I can get the grommets that hold the sunvisors in? Does any one repop these or is there a substitute?


Try the company that bought out Goers.



Thanks. Found them on page 36 of his catalog.





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mikes2nd
Posted 2019-04-26 9:09 PM (#581391 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


Expert

Posts: 4286
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wow for sale...

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_id=114&ipn=i...
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2019-04-26 9:55 PM (#581394 - in reply to #574651)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: The Mile High City

Oh, gadzooks!  Now I gotta get them lil grommits.  I'm usin' a snip of fuel hose.

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ToMopar
Posted 2019-04-28 12:13 PM (#581443 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Elite Veteran

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Doug, you finally gave up??
https://www.ebay.com/itm/223495788566
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moparsteve
Posted 2019-04-28 2:17 PM (#581447 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


Elite Veteran

Posts: 1155
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Location: somerville mass
with a fireflite conv.... how many are left 57 58 59? in this fine cond with benrus clock and hi-way hi fi? theres a 57 adv.

5carpenters car 300g and the guy in Italy but this one should get 175

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dlyle
Posted 2019-04-29 1:23 PM (#581512 - in reply to #581443)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
ToMopar - 2019-04-28 9:13 AM

Doug, you finally gave up??
https://www.ebay.com/itm/223495788566


Not really willingly. Have some unexpected medical bills that I need to stay ahead of. Just hoping I can find a good home for it.


I know what I've got in to it but what are these things going for?

Edited by dlyle 2019-04-29 1:26 PM
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Mike McCandless
Posted 2019-04-29 2:16 PM (#581517 - in reply to #581512)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


Expert

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dlyle - 2019-04-29 1:23 PM

ToMopar - 2019-04-28 9:13 AM

Doug, you finally gave up??
https://www.ebay.com/itm/223495788566


Not really willingly. Have some unexpected medical bills that I need to stay ahead of. Just hoping I can find a good home for it.


I know what I've got in to it but what are these things going for?


It's really difficult to price. You've done an exceptional job with the car. My comment for difficulty in price, is that it's unrestored and restored. Collectors in this price range often want one or the other. I think they get confused when it falls into the middle. I think it's a killer car. I'm busting at the seems with little room at my place. I've been selling off some lesser cars the past year to clear room as we finish up projects. I think for you to get your number, you'll need to fully document the original nature of it and that your restoration aspects were done for safety. Sadly, an auction is likely your best place to get your number, but if you're pressed to sell quickly, that's likely not an option for you. There are a host of auctions coming up in August on the west coast that might make sense for you. The downside is if you don't get your number, you're back to square one. Tough spot, wish you the best.
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dlyle
Posted 2019-04-29 5:17 PM (#581528 - in reply to #581517)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Veteran

Posts: 236
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
Mike McCandless - 2019-04-29 11:16 AM

dlyle - 2019-04-29 1:23 PM

ToMopar - 2019-04-28 9:13 AM

Doug, you finally gave up??
https://www.ebay.com/itm/223495788566


Not really willingly. Have some unexpected medical bills that I need to stay ahead of. Just hoping I can find a good home for it.


I know what I've got in to it but what are these things going for?


It's really difficult to price. You've done an exceptional job with the car. My comment for difficulty in price, is that it's unrestored and restored. Collectors in this price range often want one or the other. I think they get confused when it falls into the middle. I think it's a killer car. I'm busting at the seems with little room at my place. I've been selling off some lesser cars the past year to clear room as we finish up projects. I think for you to get your number, you'll need to fully document the original nature of it and that your restoration aspects were done for safety. Sadly, an auction is likely your best place to get your number, but if you're pressed to sell quickly, that's likely not an option for you. There are a host of auctions coming up in August on the west coast that might make sense for you. The downside is if you don't get your number, you're back to square one. Tough spot, wish you the best.



Thanks for the info Mike. I agree that the car is in a kind of an in between state. One of the things I liked about the car was that it was unrestored and I could still see some of the originality showing through. Had to get it road worthy and hence the parts that had to be restored. Everything I did was done with the intention of long term ownership so everything was done in stainless steel etc. As you know the price of ownership of one of these is not cheap...there are just too few to be found at any price.

I've followed the auctions over the years but am hoping to avoid that route. I thought I had the car sold already but it fell through. I have several others showing interest so we'll see what happens.

Doug

Edited by dlyle 2019-04-29 5:39 PM
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