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Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe
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Powerflite
Posted 2021-08-28 7:11 PM (#614580 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I got tired of looking at the rust under the trim on the right front fender. It bugged me because I didn't know how bad it really was under there. So I took it apart and checked it out. Turns out that it isn't very bad at all. There was a small section of rust through at the front face as well, but that was it. The vast majority of the fender is very rust free. So I decided to fix it so I didn't have to look at it anymore. I used small strips of scrap metal to fill into the voids and it came out quite well. It will require a little filler to smooth out the weld & grinding marks, but should be very thin. The front edge is straight now too, though my bent piece of trim does a lousy job of showing it off.



(58FF Rusted Right Fender Hood.jpg)



(58FF Primed Right Fender Hood.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Rusted Right Fender Hood.jpg (127KB - 108 downloads)
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56D500boy
Posted 2021-08-28 8:46 PM (#614581 - in reply to #614580)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Nathan: Do you use Rust Converter on the back (hidden) side of the repair to slow down the rust "creep"?

Just curious.

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Powerflite
Posted 2021-08-29 12:38 PM (#614593 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I just sprayed some red primer/sealer into the backside after I finished welding. This isn't the final coat of primer for this fender and none of the backside is cleaned or prepped yet. I will likely sandblast the whole thing before it gets done for good.

The original fuel tank in this car has a rip in the bottom and lots of loose crap in it that looks to be a mixture of old gas, rust & dirt. Not very impressive, and the more you mess with it, the more comes out of it. I cleaned up another old tank I had and it looked quite good inside and on the bottom, but the top side was rusted out on it in at least 12 places over a large part of the top surface. Ugh. Too much work to mess with it. With that many holes over a large surface area, I would have to cut it all out, weld in a large new piece, and then braze over all my welds. I don't want to do that so I put it into the scrap bin.

The only other one I have that's the same style, is a new one that came out of my '57 Windsor. On that car, I had used a cap that was supposed to be vented, but apparently wasn't vented enough. It caused the tank to collapse and expand, causing a hole to develop at the sharp crease. I fixed that and used it again, but it happened again and I swapped it out. I hate to lose my $300 tank for good so I brazed over the hole to use on this car and it's now fully sealed. But I can see another sharp crease that I should braze over, just in case it has issues in the future. Once I do that, I'll primer & paint it again and install it to see how it goes. Hopefully, with a well-vented cap, I shouldn't have any further issues with it.



(58FF Old Fuel Tank.jpg)



(58FF New-Bent Tank.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Old Fuel Tank.jpg (251KB - 101 downloads)
Attachments 58FF New-Bent Tank.jpg (125KB - 100 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2021-09-02 3:45 PM (#614693 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Now that I have the tank out, I am putting in a hitch to pull our camping trailer at the same time. This will give us a backup for using the Savoy. I was going to modify a hitch from a '99 Ford Windstar as it has the perfect width to work, but unfortunately, it places the reciever a little too high, and you have to insert it into the frame to get it out far enough, so it requires chopping up the frame rail. So I decided to make my own instead. I purchased about $45 worth of 1/4" thick plate & tube from a metal supply store. The tube will be inserted into the rear part of the frame and a receiver will bolt to it from below the frame. The rails will be welded to the tube and bolted further forward on the frame like a typical hitch. I hope it works out as well as I am planning.



(58FF Hitch Frame Support.jpg)



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56D500boy
Posted 2021-09-02 4:29 PM (#614695 - in reply to #614693)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Powerflite - 2021-09-02 12:45 PM I hope it works out as well as I am planning.


I presume that you have sketched this out in "3D" (isometric view). Always helps me to visualize what needs to be done.

That and going to bed (at night) and falling asleep thinking about it.

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Powerflite
Posted 2021-09-07 3:34 PM (#614813 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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No, I'm just wingin' it on this one. It's pretty simple, I just have to determine where and how I am going to weld nuts to the structure. I'm not moving very fast on it, but I have the side braces done now.

I had decided to swap a 2.93 gear in a 983 case, so that it would be really easy get get highway gears; but I eventually decided that I really did want the 2.76 ratio after all. So I shortened the axles, installed the 2.76 gears, & set the preload properly. I will have to swap out the u-joint to a conversion joint because my driveshaft has the larger size on it, and the 741 case gears have the small size. I ended up needing to replace 2 studs that hold the backing plate on because, I determined that the small nuts they use can't take the load on them very well. So I replaced all the nuts with taller nuts from a later 8 3/4 housing. I was surprised to find out that the right side brakes were missing the brake shoe mounting pins, and yet, the brakes didn't have any noticeable issues on that side. I'm sure as I begin to use the car more though, that issues would have shown up, once I got at least 20 miles from home. I installed the proper hardware onto them to limit my future roadside adventures.



(58FF Highway Gears.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Highway Gears.jpg (178KB - 95 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2021-09-18 12:33 AM (#615143 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I finally finished welding the hitch together and drilling & installing all the captured nuts in the tube. The 2 outside attachments on the rear face mount to the frame on the factory holes and the other two provide vertical supports for the receiver since it mounts further back than as designed; and these supports will make it much stronger. The cutouts on the braces are there to clear the brackets welded to the frame for the rear leaf spring attachment. Hopefully the welding hasn't caused it to shift much. We'll see tomorrow after I test fit it in the frame.

Edited by Powerflite 2021-09-18 12:37 AM




(58FF Frame Inserted Hitch.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Frame Inserted Hitch.jpg (121KB - 98 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2021-09-21 3:53 PM (#615251 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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This is how it fits in the frame. Because of how it sits in there, it gives it a lot more strength than it would otherwise have. The bumper-mount style receiver will bolt to the bar using those 4 bolts, but also, to 2 bolts in the rear of the bar to give it additional support. I also installed the tank, but haven't cinched it up tight or wired up the new sender in it yet.



(58FF Hitch Installed.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Hitch Installed.jpg (154KB - 91 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2021-09-29 7:45 PM (#615469 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I replaced the pitman arm seal on the power steering box and replaced the driveshaft boot and put it all back together. I was wrong about needing a conversion joint. I had forgotten that the large pinion gears used the same size u-joint as the small pinion gears in the 50's era. So I just packed new grease into the u-joint and installed it. I also unstuck the fast idle cam with some carb cleaner, connected the fuel line to the gas tank, and put 5 gallons into the tank so I could go for a ride.

After I came back, I noticed my power steering still leaking. Not as bad as before, but not good. At first, I thought it was coming from the pitman arm again, but upon closer inspection, I see it is coming from the upper seal by the column connection! It doesn't usually leak from there. I'm not going to tear it apart just to replace that seal, as I would rather just get it rebuilt instead. But hopefully it doesn't leak bad so I can drive it a little before I have to do that. I liked how it handled with the additional leafs & new shocks. It's just a little too stiff, but should be perfect for towing my trailer. So I decided to install the leaf spring clamps back onto the springs. I didn't want to use the original bolt to hold it as it isn't captured, and just spins, and it would be difficult to get it back on with the additional thickness. So I just welded them together. Probably no more work to get them back apart than to deal with that bolt again anyway.

I am hoping to take this car to John's party at BigM on Friday-Sunday, but I'm not sure I can get the registration done & work out any new bugs in that short amount of time....



(58FF Spring Clamps Welded.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2021-10-09 12:43 PM (#615699 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I drove the car down for VIN inspection & registration. The DMV inspector lady was very clueless. After she had looked over the car, including the engine compartment, I mentioned to her that these old cars don't require a 2nd VIN inspection. She told me that I didn't even have a 1st VIN on it! So I pointed it out to her, as she was staring right at it. She said that it's missing too many digits. Then she told me that the half-ripped off sticker on the rear door jam would need to be replaced, and was required. I said, really? So I looked at it, and it was a spark plug sticker noting when they were last changed. I told her that she didn't have any idea what she was talking about, as those official stickers weren't used until 1970 - and to go look it up. That must have worked because she transferred me to another person and I got it done. You never know what kind of hassle you're going to have to go through due to absolute cluelessness. The government really needs to train these people if they are going to do this job. It's not like this car is a 1934 Auburn or something.

On the way back from the DMV, I noticed my timing was too far advanced, or that I need to run a better grade of fuel. So I'll probably try retarding it a little. Also, at one point I smelled brake lining burning and afterward, my brake pedal dropped significantly. Not sure what happened with them so I'll need to check it out. The power steering is still leaking, but it isn't too bad now. I just have to keep an eye on it every now and then. The e-brake holds really well in the forward direction, but pretty lousy in the rearward direction. Anyone know what would cause that?

I took the car to it's first car show this morning. It's funny to see people's reaction. Most people have no idea these cars even exist and have never seen one before. They also tend to think that the roof rust can't be fixed.



(58FF Licensed.jpg)



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Lancer Mike
Posted 2021-10-09 10:20 PM (#615731 - in reply to #615699)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Congratulations, Nathan!  Registration is a big step forward for this car.  I wish I could help with that weird e-brake issue, but I have no clue what might be the cause.  I usually try to have patience with those DMV folks - they train them to deal with about 95% - the rest they have to learn on the job.  All's well that ends well, right?

Cheers and congratulations again!  It has been a treat to see all your amazing work pay off.  I bet the brakes could be readjusted.  Sometimes the first drive can kick the springs in funny ways.  Maybe a spring broke?  One more back on the road!



Edited by Lancer Mike 2021-10-09 10:22 PM
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DejaVu
Posted 2021-10-10 5:25 AM (#615738 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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Yes congratulations Nathan, the rate at which you resurrect these vehicles is amazing! Great stance on this vehicle too, thumbs up.
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mikes2nd
Posted 2021-10-11 12:28 AM (#615749 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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yeah parking brake has pull(the little nut on the cable and spread adjustments), the adjustment for throw is probably okay, maybe just widen it a bit?

I had to put the rear end up off the ground to test mine. you can feel/hear the pads working with engine off(i turn tire with my foot have someone pull and release. if you take the cover off you can carefully put you hand up in there and see how he pad moves out and in.
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Powerflite
Posted 2021-10-11 3:35 PM (#615764 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Thanks Mike & Ian, I'm really happy about being able to use it. I think this is my first '57-'58 big body car that I can actually drive around, more than around my yards.

I checked out the brakes and found that the rear reservoir was completely empty! Good thing I have a dual master on there. I was braking on borrowed time. Checking it out, I found that the right rear wheel cylinder decided to blow. When will I learn to just replace all the hydraulics whether it works or not? It would probably save me a lot of trouble that way. I replaced the wheel cylinder and got it bled again. While it's up on stands I decided to do a bunch of stuff that I want done before I take it back down again. I have also installed a PCV to it now. It should run without as much engine smell coming into the cab now. Another good reason to run the later style carb on there. It has the port on it for the PCV connection. Nice. This carburetor looks terrible, but it runs really well. Next, I'll pull the driveshaft back off & check out the e-brake to see if there is anything obviously wrong with it.

Edited by Powerflite 2021-10-11 3:50 PM




(58FF PCV Install.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF PCV Install.jpg (210KB - 86 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2021-10-11 8:38 PM (#615774 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I didn't see an issue with the park brake, but when I went to put the drum back on, that inner spring popped off pretty easily. I'm looking to see if I can get it to fit on more securely, and try adjusting the dial to see if that helps. After trying to get it back together, I realized that the spring wasn't fully seated on one side. And the reason was because there was interference from the brake support spacer sleeve. I tried to push that down around the inside of the rubber "brake support spacer", but for some reason, I couldn't get it to go down all the way. The only way I can make it work is to remove that sleeve from the assembly. I don't know what is causing the interference, but I suspect that the rubber on the support spacer is too hard and jamming it up. Would it be OK to run it without the sleeve?

Edited by Powerflite 2021-10-11 9:17 PM




(58FF Park Brake.jpg)



(eBrakeDiagramFrom58ChryslerFSM.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Park Brake.jpg (129KB - 111 downloads)
Attachments eBrakeDiagramFrom58ChryslerFSM.jpg (99KB - 104 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2021-10-12 3:13 AM (#615779 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I tried multiple times with various methods, but I can't get that sleeve to sit far enough down to make it work. I would have to tear the whole thing apart to do it, and probably end up having to replace the rubber support as well. So I just took the sleeve out and put it back together. It seems really tight & solid now, unlike before, and seems to have fixed the problem. I hope it doesn't wear into the trans without the sleeve in there. We'll see. I'll have to keep an eye on it for any changes in how it works. I also replaced the front shocks with some much better KYB's and retarded the timing a little to prevent the pinging I experienced before. I'll give it another test run tomorrow and see how it goes.

The fuel gauge isn't currently working, even though I have power out at the sender and the sender is working great with the proper resistance. Looks like I'll probably have to swap out the gauge, but in the mean time, I am bringing along an ohm meter to measure how much fuel is in the tank when I need to know.
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Powerflite
Posted 2022-01-19 6:37 PM (#618623 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I test drove it that day for less than a mile from my house, the night before fall fling, and all disaster broke loose. Every time I stepped on the brake, trans fluid would puke out of the dipstick - lots of it. But I didn't know about it until after I turned around to come back home and saw the long trail in front of me. As I was turning around, the rear tire side-swiped a broken cinder block and ripped the side wall. Part of the tire also came apart and snapped off the brake line to the wheel cylinder. So I had no rear brakes, a bad tire and very little transmission fluid in the car, all from a short 1 mile run. The engine bay & front bumper were also drenched in trans fluid. I managed to get it home and figured out that the vent hole at the top rear of the trans was probably plugged. I foolishly decided to separate the rear-most plate from the trans so I could get to whatever was plugging it up. Big mistake, because once those rear bolts are removed, nothing keeps the trans internals from falling out everywhere because the internal C-clips aren't strong enough. I heard some bearings fall out into the trans pan and knew it was game-over.

So I swapped the transmission from the '57 New Yorker 4drht into it, which was a very low mileage car (albeit, very rusty!). The steering box was also leaking more and more from the top of it now, so I decided to take it out and get it rebuilt at the same time. I took it to a local rebuild shop and they seem to have done a good job with it, but I haven't driven it yet. I have just tested the trans & gear box with the whole car sitting on jack stands, and everything seems to be working well so far. But for some reason, my speedometer stopped working now. Not sure why yet. The power steering hose also starting leaking once I messed with it, so I replaced it, but it doesn't seem to fit very well for some reason. I'm not sure how it was supposed to be routed. I'm just glad it isn't hitting the exhaust like my heater hose was. I used some plastic ties to tie it to the other hoses and keep it away from there.



(Transmission Vent.jpg)



(58FF Rebuilt Gear Box.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2022-01-19 6:54 PM (#618625 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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While it is up on jack stands, I decided to tackle the wheel well rust. I took a grinder to remove the bondo on the right rear and found an expected dent in the quarter and very little metal left around the outer structure. The outer rim was also bent in from the bondo and de-bondo process so it was hard to figure out where everything belonged without a good replacement panel. So I cut a section from the wheelwell of the 300D I parted out. I had to fix a couple of small rust spots in it first, but nothing extensive. It also isn't long enough to do the entire area, as it was rusted at the bottom, but at least it put it back to the proper shape & position. I also compared the final width of the lip to my other cars before I welded it in place.

At the left side, I found a single small rust hole in it. So I hit it with a wire wheel and another small portion of the panel below it caved in from rust as well. There are likely more issues at the very bottom too, but I didn't want to dig into them yet. I made some simple patch pieces for that side and welded those in as well. I still have to weld in patches on the inner panels, but that will likely have to wait for another time.

Edited by Powerflite 2022-01-19 7:07 PM




(58FF Right Quarter Rust Exposed.jpg)



(58FF Right Wheelwell Welded.jpg)



(58FF Left Wheelwell Welded.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Right Quarter Rust Exposed.jpg (139KB - 60 downloads)
Attachments 58FF Right Wheelwell Welded.jpg (90KB - 56 downloads)
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mikes2nd
Posted 2022-01-20 2:18 PM (#618635 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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My trans was puking also, and it wasnt plugged.. My new trans so far is working good and I used a brand new torque converter.

I havent busted into the trans yet. You can actually remove that vent plug from the trans, just pry it out. I doubt its clogged... its the reverse servo or something locked up, causing it to puke.
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Powerflite
Posted 2022-01-21 1:27 AM (#618647 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I pulled the vent cap on all 3 of my transmissions. The '59 Sport Fury trans was plugged with a gasket that went over the hole on the inside. The '57 New Yorker 4drht trans (which I doubt has ever been touched) that I am using now was perfectly clear. And it turns out that my '58 Fireflite trans was also covered by the tailshaft gasket. So I'm not sure what to think, but it's odd that two of these transmissions have a gasket that's covering the outlet. I'm not sure if that was the problem on the Fireflite trans or not, as you say, it could have been caused from something else. But I'll be sure to check for it in the future, just in case.

I had just enough time today to clean up the welds on the wheelwells. They came out pretty well, but I can feel a low spot on the left side that I need to fill with more metal, as well as going back over both sides to eliminate all the little holes you can see by shining a light up through it. I'll tackle that tomorrow. After I clean up the welds again, then I'll give it a layer of sealer to more easily detect any high spots that I missed, and cut them down.



(58FF Left Wheelwell Welds Cleaned.jpg)



(58FF Right Wheelwell Welds Cleaned.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Left Wheelwell Welds Cleaned.jpg (122KB - 53 downloads)
Attachments 58FF Right Wheelwell Welds Cleaned.jpg (83KB - 56 downloads)
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ToMopar
Posted 2022-01-21 4:16 AM (#618648 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Nathan,- it looks that the wheelwell fix quickly
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Powerflite
Posted 2022-01-21 9:13 PM (#618673 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Thanks Tom, it's nice to have quick progress after working on the trans & steering box for a while. The left side was pretty easy, but the right is going to require quite a bit more work still.

I forgot to mention that whenever the quarter panel loses the connection to the wheelwell like mine did, that the weight of the body will sag and cause an outward bow in the quarter panel. And this car was no exception. The bow is slight, and hardly noticeable until you look down the panel or put a straight edge to it. So to fix it properly, you have to press a long, straight board to the side of the panel to straighten it, and then weld the wheelwell lip to it. The bottom part of the lip that runs horizontally gives it the most structural strength in that direction, so it's critical that that part gets welded while the panel is straight. If not, you will permanently weld that bow into the panel. After finishing the welding and removing the 2 x 8" board that was pressed against the panel, the quarter panel is now straight again.
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Powerflite
Posted 2022-01-26 12:18 AM (#618779 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I managed to pick up a set of NORS fender emblems for the car. I'm not sure who made these, George Laurie maybe, or maybe Emblem Magic. But I got a good price on them so I was happy about it. They will replace the nasty looking ones that I currently have.



(58Fireflite Emblems.jpg)



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Attachments 58Fireflite Emblems.jpg (158KB - 55 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2022-02-24 7:25 PM (#619771 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I am very happy to pick up a full set of roof trim for this car, along with the bottom rear window trim. It hides all the roof rust quite nicely. Now I don't have to cannibalize the parts from my red Fireflite. I'll have to put all the trim screws back in place now, after I fix the rusted sections.



(58Fireflite Roof Trim.jpg)



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Lancer Mike
Posted 2022-02-24 8:23 PM (#619773 - in reply to #619771)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Hi, Nathan - that is a great price on those emblems!  The seller, Ed is a really cool dude too.  Did you get that $49 button emblem on eBay in December too?  That was a steal-yo!

 

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Powerflite
Posted 2022-02-24 8:38 PM (#619776 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Yeah, I purchased 4 of the plastic emblems for both cars, and I found out they were made by Pati here near Long Beach, California. That's good news because I believe she is making more of them and she has her gold plating on plastic worked out really well now, so they look really good. But no, I didn't get the $49 emblem. Must have been someone else. I purchase one from Mopar Mel, of all people, and actually received it, but I still need more for my other car.

Mike, if you can get her an original '58 Adventurer hubcap emblem, I'm sure she could make them for us. I would like a bunch of them as well, but I don't have one to copy.

Edited by Powerflite 2022-02-25 11:27 AM
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22mafeja
Posted 2022-02-25 1:18 AM (#619781 - in reply to #619776)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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That`s a sharp finned parking lot you got there Nathan...awesome..
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2022-02-25 8:17 PM (#619798 - in reply to #619776)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Powerflite - 2022-02-24 6:38 PM if you can get her an original '58 Adventurer hubcap emblem, I'm sure she could make them for us. I would like a bunch of them as well, but I don't have one to copy.

I'm working on it!  Finding one of those is tough!  I didn't realize Ed had more than one set of those emblems.  Glad you picked them up.  This one will make you green

button emblem

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Powerflite
Posted 2022-02-26 4:05 PM (#619824 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Thanks Ralf. I purchased four '56 Plymouth coupes recently so I could make a fun lineup if I put them all together.
Mike, oh, I did purchase that! My mind had hazed it over for some reason. So I only need one more now. I guess my mind is aging faster than my body.
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57burb
Posted 2022-02-28 7:05 PM (#619885 - in reply to #618623)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Powerflite - 2022-01-19 5:37 PM

The power steering hose also starting leaking once I messed with it, so I replaced it, but it doesn't seem to fit very well for some reason. I'm not sure how it was supposed to be routed.


Is it the same for '57? I think the '58 power steering bits are different, but can't remember what is changed. Comparing your photo to my car, maybe the hose is routed backwards. Not sure.



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(20180308_212000.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2022-03-02 11:33 AM (#619926 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Thanks Danny, the fittings are completely different on either end so I can't swap it around. I made a custom hose on my '57, so it fit awesomely. But I think this one is designed more for later applications as they said it worked from '57-'68. I'll take a look at my old one and see how I can modify it to make it route better.
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Powerflite
Posted 2022-05-21 12:33 AM (#621632 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I purchased some new wheels for this car from the fling and put new whitewall tires & '56 Chrysler spinner wheelcovers onto it. The DeSoto just looks right with these covers. I really like them on there. The front has a '55 base cover, while the back is using the '56. Trying to decide which one I like better, but I am leaning toward the smooth '56. While it is up, I'm going to replace the speedometer cable. I had tried to mend the broken end on it before, but it didn't hold. Now I have a replacement for it, so that should solve the problem.

Edited by Powerflite 2022-05-21 12:36 AM




(Turquoise 58FF Whitewalls.jpg)



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Lancer Mike
Posted 2022-05-21 3:52 PM (#621644 - in reply to #621632)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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No doubt, Nathan!  Once you have the spinners, the pie plates lose any luster they may have had (which twern't much).  You should try pairing one with the 57 wheel covers.  They look good and you can say that really is a 58 De Soto wheel cover.

 

Cheers!

Mike

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Powerflite
Posted 2022-05-21 7:09 PM (#621649 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Yeah, I prefer the look with the '57 DeSoto covers, but I hate 14" wheels. So that means I have to use the Chrysler covers instead. The smooth '56 Chrysler cover does looks surprisingly good with them though, so I'm not complaining.



(58FF Chrysler Wheelcover.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2022-05-22 10:48 AM (#621656 - in reply to #621649)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I was wrong about the speedometer. My repair to the cable held up fine. The gear in the transmission was stripped for some reason and it was difficult to turn. I swapped it out for the gear from the original trans and now it works again.

The door latch stopped working on the car, getting jammed everytime you try to close the door. So I took it out and replaced it with one from the '57 Windsor I parted out. I lubed it up really well before I installed it. While I had the door panel off, I installed an outside door handle into the driver's side as well. As usual, I had to modify the attachment point to the latch in order to get it to work flawlessly. Now I can open and close the door properly again. It's the little things that count



(58FF Munched Speedo Gear.jpg)



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Lancer Mike
Posted 2022-06-01 9:06 PM (#621872 - in reply to #621656)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Hi, Nathan -

I have a full set of those smoothies for the '56 (minus the spinners now) that are in really nice shape.  Do you want 'em?

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Powerflite
Posted 2022-06-05 2:51 PM (#621930 - in reply to #621872)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I have the smoothies from these spinner caps as well. But if you don't want them, I'll take them. I think 1 or 2 of mine are dented. Let me know the shipping and I'll pay you for them.

The left valve cover on this car had been swapped out for a later '59-'64 4 bolt version at one point. The right side is the original, but is dented in near the down draft tube area. It's fixable, but it's easier to just replace it. I was able to find a set of replacements on Ebay for a good price as it seems he didn't know what he had. Looks like someone installed their '58 361 into a charger or other muscle car at some point. I'm going to clean them up, paint them silver and install them on this car to make it correct again.



(58DeSoto Valve Covers.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2022-06-14 11:01 AM (#622131 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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The covers weren't as straight as I thought they were. There were a number small dents in it that required fixing. I didn't need to use any filler afterward, but I did need a good layer of primer to sand down into the fixed areas. They're now straight enough to paint and I'll install them once my new gaskets arrive in the mail.



(58FF Valve Covers Sanded.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2022-06-16 12:51 AM (#622163 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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The engine bay looks slightly better now. But it's gonna take more than a nice pair of valve covers to make it good. At least I have the right covers on there now.

Edited by Powerflite 2022-06-16 1:39 AM




(58FF Valve Covers.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2022-06-18 1:03 PM (#622217 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I tried to take the car to a car show last night, but it completely died on the freeway on the way there. At first, it seemed like I had run out of fuel, but after giving it fuel, it still wouldn't start. I had to call a tow truck to take it back home. Turned out that the ignition module died on me. That's the first one to give me any trouble from all my vehicles, and this one wasn't very old, with very few miles on it. Weird. It might be that my generator is putting out some voltage spikes that killed it. I'll have to get an oscilloscope to check it out. But it seems that I need to carry an extra module on me now, whereas, I have never worried about it before. I put a combined 120K miles on my '56 Plymouth, '67 Cuda, '63 Nova with the same module and all of them are still working. But this wasn't a very fun experience.

Also after I replaced the ignition module, I had to give a little more clearance to the brake pushrod. It worked great when it was cold, but as the temperature of the car increased during the heat of the day, the pushrod & pedal assembly would expand with the heat and push on the brakes, causing a drag. Figured it out when I came back from a trip and the car started to bog down in the middle of driving. I smelled brakes so that gave me the clue for what the problem was.

Edited by Powerflite 2022-06-19 1:23 AM




(58FF Dead on Freeway.jpg)



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