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1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration
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JGC403
Posted 2018-03-26 3:02 AM (#560494)
Subject: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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Car is 90% done, there are just a bunch of little things that need to be finished and some stuff that needs to be fixed to make it correct. I'll post some pictures tomorrow, I already know of some stuff that needs to be changed for it to be correct. I want to update somethings to make it a little more drivable. I want to make it as correct as I can except for the couple of changes I want to do and if I can make the updates and still have them look stock all the better. I am going to change the solid fan out for a clutch fan, change the distributor to Mopar small block with electronic ignition and ad HEI ignition, and last ditch the 2bbl intake for a 4bbl.

The DeSoto lettering that is on the hood and decklid should be gold? I have some time tomorrow and would like to powder coat them if that is the correct color.

The 4bbl engine still used the same type of air cleaner assembly as the 2bbl engines? Only difference is the diameter where the air cleaner sits on the carb?

Are all the radiators the same size? Did the AC cars have a larger radiator?



Edited by JGC403 2018-03-26 3:06 AM




(DeSoto_Hemi_1R.jpg)



(DeSoto_Hemi_2R.jpg)



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Attachments DeSoto_Hemi_1R.jpg (248KB - 113 downloads)
Attachments DeSoto_Hemi_2R.jpg (248KB - 138 downloads)
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57desoto
Posted 2018-03-26 5:51 AM (#560496 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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Hood/trunk letters are indeed gold. I believe the radiator for AC cars is the same as non-AC cars, but has a shroud and a 6-blade fan. (Non-AC cars have no shroud and a 4-blade fan.) Air cleaners LOOK similar between the 2-bl and the 4-bl carbs, but the 4-bl has a hole through the snout, and a wingnut holds it straight down on the carb. The 2-bl design sits on the carb throat "lip" and there is a clinch ring that goes around the union, with a finger "twist" gadget that closes the ring and clamps the 2 together. The two air cleaners really can't be modified to interchange without major work.
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57burb
Posted 2018-03-26 10:59 AM (#560504 - in reply to #560496)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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The 2bbl air cleaner also uses a smaller (shorter) air filter element.
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macedon
Posted 2018-03-26 12:20 PM (#560508 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: RE: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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This is off my factory A/C 4dr hdtp 57 Fireflite. My factory A/C sedan 57 Fireflite looks just the same. Well, it's painted and in a car that runs. So not quite just the same. This is what the rad shroud looks like. At least on Fireflites anyhow. Others here might be able to say if the Firedome was the same.



(radshroud.JPG)



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JGC403
Posted 2018-03-26 1:39 PM (#560517 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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Thanks for the replys. I found a 4bbl air cleaner housing I'm thinking of getting to modify to fit a Holley carb.

I found a couple of threads about using the Hayden 2765 clutch. I'll grab a more modern Mopar 5 blade fan. Looks like the swap shouldn't be that difficult. I need to pull the crank pulley and water pump pulley to paint them silver anyways.

What kind of finish should the gold hood and trunk letters have, glossy or flat?
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57burb
Posted 2018-03-26 2:39 PM (#560520 - in reply to #560517)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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The Holley carburetor will have a larger intake throat diameter than the stock Desoto WCFB (Carter Four Barrel).

Another LARGE concern is that the 1957 Mopars have VERY little hood clearance compared to the earlier cars. It didn't help matters that by 1957 all Hemi engines (Dodge, Desoto, and Chrysler) were tall-deck variants. That's why these cars had such a goofy air cleaner arrangement to begin with. Put a dob of clay on the top of your current air cleaner and shut the hood... you will see just how little room there is. Whatever you decide to do, make sure the hood will fit.

All of the 1957 Desoto letters I have seen were plated and had a brass-like tone that fades over time. This shot of an Adventurer is what I recall all the letters I've seen looking like.



(57_adventurer_hood.JPG)



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Attachments 57_adventurer_hood.JPG (93KB - 126 downloads)
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JGC403
Posted 2018-03-26 8:18 PM (#560544 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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Thanks for pointing that out, I haven't even considered hood clearance. Looking at how it sites you would think there was plenty of room. I was going to get the 4bbl intake manifold that hothemiheads sells, and that is a high rise manifold and sits 1 1/2" taller than stock. So the only way to switch to a 4bbl is to find a stock 4bbl intake and that isn't going to be cheap. I'll check hood clearance and If I can't make the aftermarket stuff work I'll just keep the 2bbl setup.

http://www.hothemiheads.com/desoto/intake_manifolds/intake_1x4_dual...


Looks like if I powder coat the DeSoto letters with the gold I have it should be a very close to that. I was thinking that if they were supposed to have a shinny more real gold appearance I could try and electroplate them with gold.
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JGC403
Posted 2018-03-26 9:14 PM (#560546 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: RE: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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If you notice something that isn't OE correct let me know. I'm trying to bring it back as original as possible.
-I know the side view mirrors aren't correct, I have the originals I just need to get them re-chromed
-I don't think the interior is correct
-Inner fenders should be black, I talked to my dad, they were originally black, he had done a color change. The car was black and blue. The inner fenders were black so that is why he assumed they were supposed to be body color.

Some more pictures:

Edited by JGC403 2018-03-26 9:26 PM




(DeSoto_2.jpg)



(DeSoto_1R.jpg)



(DeSoto_Interior_1R.jpg)



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Attachments DeSoto_2.jpg (246KB - 109 downloads)
Attachments DeSoto_1R.jpg (240KB - 108 downloads)
Attachments DeSoto_Interior_1R.jpg (242KB - 115 downloads)
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JGC403
Posted 2018-03-26 10:30 PM (#560548 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: RE: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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Location: GREENEVILLE, TN
More pictures:



(DeSoto_Restoration_3R.jpg)



(DeSoto_Restoration_1R.jpg)



(DeSoto_Restoration_2R.jpg)



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Attachments DeSoto_Restoration_3R.jpg (236KB - 170 downloads)
Attachments DeSoto_Restoration_1R.jpg (241KB - 114 downloads)
Attachments DeSoto_Restoration_2R.jpg (235KB - 100 downloads)
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JGC403
Posted 2018-03-26 11:42 PM (#560551 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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Is the inside of the hood painted, or insulated?
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mikes2nd
Posted 2018-03-27 12:43 AM (#560554 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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the rust pics are the before????
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macedon
Posted 2018-03-27 9:17 AM (#560569 - in reply to #560551)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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JGC403 - 2018-03-26 10:42 PM

Is the inside of the hood painted, or insulated?


Neither.
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JGC403
Posted 2018-03-27 12:16 PM (#560577 - in reply to #560554)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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yea, that is what the body looked like after my dad dragged it out of a field and stripped the body down 25 years ago or so. Black and blue was the original color, but my mom didn't like it.

Edited by JGC403 2018-03-27 12:19 PM
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tnlowrider
Posted 2018-03-27 9:38 PM (#560592 - in reply to #560577)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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Let me know if there's anything you need or might want to look at. I live in Bulls Gap and have a few parts cars and may be able to help out. Nice Firedome! VERY RARE in East Tennessee! Tim
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JGC403
Posted 2018-03-28 6:03 PM (#560642 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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This is gunna sound like a stupid question, but where is the dipstick? I looked around the engine bay for a good 10 minutes and couldn't find it.
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tnlowrider
Posted 2018-03-28 6:36 PM (#560644 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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The dipstick tube sometimes gets lost. It presses in at the back of the engine near the distributor.
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JGC403
Posted 2018-03-28 7:05 PM (#560645 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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OK thanks, I'll have to look again tomorrow.
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Leadfoot1000
Posted 2018-04-01 12:12 AM (#560866 - in reply to #560517)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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JGC403 - 2018-03-26 10:39 AM

Thanks for the replys. I found a 4bbl air cleaner housing I'm thinking of getting to modify to fit a Holley carb.

I found a couple of threads about using the Hayden 2765 clutch. I'll grab a more modern Mopar 5 blade fan. Looks like the swap shouldn't be that difficult. I need to pull the crank pulley and water pump pulley to paint them silver anyways.

What kind of finish should the gold hood and trunk letters have, glossy or flat?


On my 57 New Yorker I’m currently installing the 2765 fan clutch and an 18” seven blade fan from a late 60’s mopar, to replace the original six blade fan. I’m also installing a shroud, like the one pictured above, that was removed from a 64 New Yorker, and bolts right up to the sides of the original 57 radiator. You just need to install clip nuts to the existing mounting holes. You should consider getting a fan that will move as much air as possible. My car was running kinda hot on very hot days, I’m hopeful these additions and getting the radiator rodded out (it was about 20% plugged) will solve the issue.
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JGC403
Posted 2019-08-20 11:55 AM (#586281 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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Progress has been slow, but we are making some. I have been working on my Jeep trying to get that back on the road at the same time. I finally rebuilt the carb and got that back on. We took the front and rear bumpers off and got them straightened and re-chromed.

Something was wrong with the original ignition system, either something with the points or could of been the balast resister since one of the terminals was loose in the ceramic block. Anyways we didn't feel like messing with the old points system so we converted it over to electronic ignition that I put together. Fires right up now and idles nice except for the lifter/pushrod tick. Charging system wasn't charging so we did some research on that, ended up taking apart the voltage regulator and cleaning the points up on that, now that seems to be working fine.

We were able now to get it out of the garage and wash her, and buff the paint. There seemed to be something growing on the paint that need to be buffed off. But once that was done we put a coat of wax on her and she should be good for a while now.

Still don't really trust the brakes, we bleed them. There just doesn't seem to be any brakes till the pedal is near the end of its travel. Its a hard pedal, but its all the way at the bottom or near the bottom of the stroke. There are no brake fluid leaks. We want to convert it over to disc brakes in the front with a dual reservoir master cylinder anyways so that problem will hopefully go away when we do that.

Got the dipstick installed. We got the engine up to operating temperature and I had the dipstick in the freezer overnight. Found a screw driver that fit inside the dipstick tube and with a couple of taps with the hammer drove it into the block, that seemed to have worked pretty well.

Going to be taking a bunch of pot metal pieces off and getting them re-chromed in the near future. And I got to pull the steering column to put the new column to body seal in and a new steering isolator while I'm in there.

I found these 2 oil ports on the generator, how often, what type and how much oil should the generator get?


Edited by JGC403 2019-08-20 12:01 PM
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57desoto
Posted 2019-08-25 7:30 AM (#586534 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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Service manual says to use engine oil (30W or 10w-30) every 1000 miles, but doesn't say how much. I'd guess a couple of drops would be plenty.
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JGC403
Posted 2019-12-18 9:24 PM (#591792 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: RE: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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I think its been about 4 months that the Chrome shop had all of my parts and they are finally back. Will be installing them everything on the car and posting updated.

Now the sheet metal that is behind the grill, should that be body color or black. You can see what I'm talking about in the picture below, you can see that it is red in this picture behind the mesh part of the grill. (this is before we had the grill straightened and re-chromed)



Edited by JGC403 2019-12-18 9:36 PM




(DeSoto Gril2l.jpg)



(taillight black out2.jpg)



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Attachments DeSoto Gril2l.jpg (48KB - 27 downloads)
Attachments taillight black out2.jpg (58KB - 26 downloads)
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ToMopar
Posted 2019-12-19 5:39 AM (#591800 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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The sheet metal behind the grill should be black
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ToMopar
Posted 2019-12-20 4:15 AM (#591824 - in reply to #560508)
Subject: RE: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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macedon - 2018-03-26 5:20 PM

This is off my factory A/C 4dr hdtp 57 Fireflite. My factory A/C sedan 57 Fireflite looks just the same. Well, it's painted and in a car that runs. So not quite just the same. This is what the rad shroud looks like. At least on Fireflites anyhow. Others here might be able to say if the Firedome was the same.


David,
is this fan shroud original ?
On all of the 57 DeSotos I've seen never such a fan shroud are mounted....
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JGC403
Posted 2019-12-20 8:54 AM (#591828 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: RE: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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ToMopar - 2019-12-19 5:39 AM

The sheet metal behind the grill should be black


Thank you.


ToMopar - 2019-12-20 4:15 AM

macedon - 2018-03-26 5:20 PM

This is off my factory A/C 4dr hdtp 57 Fireflite. My factory A/C sedan 57 Fireflite looks just the same. Well, it's painted and in a car that runs. So not quite just the same. This is what the rad shroud looks like. At least on Fireflites anyhow. Others here might be able to say if the Firedome was the same.


David,
is this fan shroud original ?
On all of the 57 DeSotos I've seen never such a fan shroud are mounted....


I think it is for factory A/C cars


Anyone know about the taillights? The taillights assembly is 2 chrome pieces, one part the lenses bolt to and the other part bolts to the fender. The part that bolts to the fender is in the picture below, should it be blacked out like that? I have been searching online and there are no good pictures that I could tell from. Does anyone have an un-restored set of taillights that they could check for any signs of paint in that area?



Edited by JGC403 2019-12-20 9:01 AM




(taillight black out2.jpg)



(DeSoto taillight assembly.jpg)



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Attachments taillight black out2.jpg (58KB - 26 downloads)
Attachments DeSoto taillight assembly.jpg (122KB - 27 downloads)
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macedon
Posted 2019-12-20 4:37 PM (#591846 - in reply to #591824)
Subject: RE: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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Pictures of my 57 Fireflite with factory A/C. I think this is original, but as you know 60+ years is a long time. Things get changed. I think this is correct though.



(shroud1.JPG)



(shroudb.JPG)



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Attachments shroud1.JPG (121KB - 25 downloads)
Attachments shroudb.JPG (121KB - 27 downloads)
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JGC403
Posted 2019-12-21 10:43 AM (#591870 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: RE: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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This is what I'm talking about. I finally found a picture with the blackout treatment around the taillights that I was talkin about. Is this Correct?




(1957-desoto-adventurer-std.jpg)



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Attachments 1957-desoto-adventurer-std.jpg (100KB - 27 downloads)
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ToMopar
Posted 2019-12-21 2:07 PM (#591880 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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The blackout treatment around the taillights is just paint.
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JGC403
Posted 2019-12-21 2:52 PM (#591884 - in reply to #591880)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration


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ToMopar - 2019-12-21 2:07 PM

The blackout treatment around the taillights is just paint.


Correct, but is it OEM correct? Most restored cars that I have been seeing its not blacked out around the taillights. So I'm trying to figure out if its correct and most people just forget to do it.
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Viper Guy
Posted 2019-12-21 8:55 PM (#591895 - in reply to #560494)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome Restoration



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The area in question was not blacked out from the factory.
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