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Also, if you are of a mind to do so, the 150 side trim is now being reproduced, I have heard. Which can be handy, since the original trim can be difficult to find. I was lucky to find a good set (a PO had installed the Bel Air trim on my car, also), but the trim can be spendy.
I must have missed something along the way...Not sure why G-man would be interested in 150 side trim

Car Wheel Tire Vehicle Land vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
As I mentioned before, the previous owner seemed to care more about how the car looked, than how well it functioned. The emergency brake is a perfect example. When I bought the car the emergency brake was non-functional. After close examination, the emergency brake cables coming off the new rear disc brakes were tied with bailing wire to what remained of the original emergency brake brackets bolted to the frame.

I consider a non-functional emergency brake as a safety issue . . . so, I definitely wanted to fix this.

As you can see from following the photo, the bottom section of one of the original emergency brake frame brackets was missing. (The original bracket is on the top of the photo and the new replacement bracket is on the bottom).
Wood Gas Metal Scale Bracket


I was glad that reproductions of just about all the emergency brake components are available and I replaced most of them, including:
  • center frame mounted brackets
  • front cable from the pull handle to the idler lever
  • cable clevis pulleys
  • idler lever (offset)
  • return spring
  • brake adjustment linkage
I got most of these components from Danchuk (they were still selling retail to the general public at the time). I know that the frame mounted brackets are also available from Classic-To-Current Fabrication.

I bought the offset idler lever (which I would recommend) from Eckler’s Classic Chevy.
I am not sure who else sells this item.
Tool Rectangle Font Fashion accessory Auto part


I read that offset idler lever prevents the driveshaft from hitting the idler lever on cars that have shorter length transmissions than the original stock transmission (which can affect on how close the driveshaft is to the idler lever, potentially causing interference)

After much effort and adjustments, the emergency brake now functions
Another problem solved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I wanted a little bit more of an old school aggressive rake stance on the car. It appeared that the rear leaf springs might be original. One of the previous owners had added “helper spring” kits to correct some weakness in the rear leaf springs . . . which is really just a band-aid.

To improve the rake stance of the car, I decided to replace the existing worn out 4-leaf rear springs with some brand new 5-leaf units.

I also decided to install a CPP rear shock bar, in case I still wasn't happy with the raked stance and wanted to add some rear air shocks in the future.
Automotive lighting Circuit component Audio equipment Office equipment Office supplies



Then the “While I’m At It” disease struck . . . . . . and I figured “While I’m At It”, since I am replacing the rear springs, I might as well install new spring shackles, axle U-bolts, leaf spring plates with shock mount studs, rubber bump stops, hardware, bushings, etc.

I bought the 5-leaf springs from Danchuk.
After the new leaf springs were installed to the frame, I struggled for about an hour trying to get the stock axle to seat into the leaf spring center bolts. It turns out that the diameter and height of the leaf spring center pin bolt were both too bg. So I had to grind down the diameter and height of the spring center pin to get them to fit into the stock axle.

The leaf springs were made by a company called Standen out of Canada. I called Danchuk’s customer service department and told them about the issue with the leaf spring center bolt being incorrect and they seemed to care less. I asked Danchuk to talk to manufacturer about this issue, so that another Tri-Five owner doesn’t encounter the same problem. Not sure if they ever did. I also asked Danchuk why they were selling leaf springs made in Canada instead of leaf springs made in the USA, since they were always touting “Made in USA” in their catalog. I mentioned to them that there are many companies in the USA that make leaf springs. Again, I got an indifferent response from Danchuk.

Finally got everything installed and the new leaf springs raised the rear of the car over an inch (measured at the top of the rear wheel well). Car rides better as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I also want to raise the back of mine. When I told the guy I got it from he said "I sent a lot of time, trouble and money doing that". Sorry... 🤣
The new rear leaf springs I installed helped achieved a better raked stance and the rear P255/50R16 tires (which are 26-3/4 inches tall) also help.
 

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The new rear leaf springs I installed helped achieved a better raked stance and the rear P255/50R16 tires (which are 26-3/4 inches tall) also help.
Mine has the frame pocket mod and 255/45/17's and 2" lowering blocks. Going to start with removing the lowering blocks. It's way too low to suit me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
The wiring going to the electric fuel pump mounted on the frame rail and the wiring to the fuel tank sending unit were in rough shape. So in the process of rewiring them, I wanted to use wire that could take some abuse, since some of the wiring would be exposed under the car.

I ended up using wire made by a company called ANCOR, which specialized in marine wire for tough environments. The jacketed cable I purchased had three insulated #14 AWG conductors encased in a protective sheath and is called “bilge pump cable”, designed for heavy use environments within boats. The wire strands are tinned for corrosion resistance and the outer casing around the three insulated wires is VERY TOUGH.

Eyewear Tool Metal Cable Wire


I have used ANCOR wire over the decades on my boats and it is quality stuff. ANCOR wire isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for and if you want reliability, this is wire to use.

The outer jacket on the bilge pump cable is so tough that it takes multiple passes with firm pressure using a utility knife to cut the outer jacket in order to strip the outer jacket back. This cable is perfect for an application were wiring may be exposed running down a frame rail or going through holes in metal.

Gas Circle Font Electric blue Publication


I paid $60 for a 100 ft. spool of three conductor cable (14 gauge wire0 a year ago. Now its 40% more at $103 for a 100 ft. spool. Even though is now $1 per foot, I still think its worth it the price for the quality , , , , and its made in the USA.

I bought my spool of cable on Amazon (see link below) but many marine suppliers sell it as well.

Ancor Marine Grade Electrical Bilge Pump Premium Tinned Copper 3-Cable Wiring : Boating Wire : Sports & Outdoors (amazon.com)
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
In order to run the new wiring from my new fuel tank sending unit to the dash fuel gauge, I had to lift up the carpet along the driver's side. I found rot and holes in the floor where the floor meets the rocker panel.

This is a photo of the area of rot at the bottom of driver's door opening, where the floor meets the rocker panel.

Motor vehicle Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive design


Also . . . . you can see some of the 64 year old original 20 gauge wiring, which was very brittle.
This wiring is fire hazard in my opinion . . . .and must be replaced.

Here is a photo of the area of rot just behind the driver's door at the location where the driver's side inner rear quarter meets the floor.

Tire Automotive tire Road surface Asphalt Tread


I didn't notice these areas of rot / rust when I was buying the car since the carpet was black and everything under the car was black and the interior floor was black . . . . making it difficult to spot.
I did look at the underside of the car when buying it by laying on a piece of cardboard on the ground. . . . but you can only see so much doing that.
Sometimes you can't find all this type of stuff until you start taking a car apart . . . and you can't really start taking a car apart until you own it.

I will be removing the entire carpet to examine things more thoroughly to get a better idea of what I am dealing with.
 

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This is probably not what you expected when you bought the car But this rust in these areas of a 57 are almost normal these days. I had to have extensive repairs done to the floors, braces, trunk, inner trunk walls, tail pan, rockers, inner rockers. The work was beyond my ability and tool box so I had ol 55 east coast chevy make the repairs 2011/2012. Don Sr. ( now deceased) and his son, Don jr. did the work. I was talking with don jr last year and he told me he is booked up. He said every car that comes in needs the kind of work I had done. He told me that all the really good cars are already built to the point that sometimes it’s just cheaper to buy a new body.

So I think you are making the right move. Pull the seats and carpet and see exactly what you have under there. Might be a few patches need to be installed, might be more extensive. You won’t know until you get it apart.
 

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He told me that all the really good cars are already built to the point that sometimes it’s just cheaper to buy a new body.
EAXCTLY what I should have done.
I understand there was a vender at the last show with a complete body for a decent price.
 
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
After pulling up all the carpet, I found a lot of areas of the floor that had been filled with Bondo by one of the previous owners

I chipped out all the old Bondo so that I could get an idea of exactly what I was dealing with.
I found a significant amount of holes in the floors (front & rear).
Areas where the metal appears to have thinned out significantly over the last 64 years.

I have attached some photos.

Here is a photo of the driver side floor (in the area where the driver's feet would be where the floor meets the toe board.

Wood Automotive tire Bedrock Terrestrial plant Soil



This is a photo of the area where floor meets the driver side rocker panel.

Brown Automotive tire Wood Automotive exterior Motor vehicle


Here is the front passenger side floor near the toe board.

Wood Road surface Asphalt Composite material Wire


The rear floors were just as bad. the front floors.

Also, the inner rockers are total junk. The majority of both inner rocker panels were missing and one of the previous owners had some sheet metal just tacked over the rust.

Most of the floor braces also had Bondo on them. After chipping away the Bondo, I found that the outer end of most of the floor braces had rotted out and someone had just tried to spice the ends with some VERY THIN sheet metal stuffed into the interior of the floor braces and covered them with Bondo. What a hack job!

I decided to go ahead and fix all this with new metal. I am going to cut out all the floor sections, floor braces, and inner rockers that are no longer solid and weld in the appropriate new steel reproduction replacements.
 

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After pulling up all the carpet, I found a lot of areas of the floor that had been filled with Bondo by one of the previous owners

I chipped out all the old Bondo so that I could get an idea of exactly what I was dealing with.
I found a significant amount of holes in the floors (front & rear).
Areas where the metal appears to have thinned out significantly over the last 64 years.

I have attached some photos.

Here is a photo of the driver side floor (in the area where the driver's feet would be where the floor meets the toe board.

View attachment 367815


This is a photo of the area where floor meets the driver side rocker panel.

View attachment 367816

Here is the front passenger side floor near the toe board.

View attachment 367817

The rear floors were just as bad. the front floors.

Also, the inner rockers are total junk. The majority of both inner rocker panels were missing and one of the previous owners had some sheet metal just tacked over the rust.

Most of the floor braces also had Bondo on them. After chipping away the Bondo, I found that the outer end of most of the floor braces had rotted out and someone had just tried to spice the ends with some VERY THIN sheet metal stuffed into the interior of the floor braces and covered them with Bondo. What a hack job!

I decided to go ahead and fix all this with new metal. I am going to cut out all the floor sections, floor braces, and inner rockers that are no longer solid and weld in the appropriate new steel reproduction replacements.
That's all you can do.
 

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Given the "extensive termite damage" you have, I suggest you use a complete floor pan. They have all new bracing, inner rockers, body mounts, etc, installed.
Toe board patch panels are an easy way to repair those areas, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Cut out all the rotted floors, floor braces and inner rocker panels.

The center transmission / driveshaft tunnel was solid and in very good shape, so I left that alone.

Cut out and repaired one side of the car at a time. A friend of mine owns a plasma cutter, so I first tried using that to cut the old floor panels out . . . . but it didn’t go very well.
I think the plasma cutter likes clean metal . . . . and the existing metal had lots of crud on it.

I found the most effective tool for cutting out the floors to be an electric angle grinder with a 4-1/2 inch cut off wheel. That setup went through the sheet metal floor like butter. Also used a pneumatic 3-inch cut off wheel.
I used an air chisel to peel open any original welded seams where good metal and rotted metal met.

Here is a photo of the passenger’s side front floor cut out.

Hood Wood Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Bumper



Each complete side took 2 full days to cut out.



Here is center section of passenger's side floor cut out.

Wood Gas Automotive exterior Composite material Bumper




Here is passenger's side rear floor section removed.

Hood Tire Automotive tire Tread Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I wanted to share a couple of mistakes I made when I was cutting out the floors . . . . and maybe this will save others from doing the same.

Mistake #1
I should have covered the interior of all the glass windows with cardboard, old blankets or thick plastic to prevent damage to them. When I was cutting the floors out with the cut off wheels, glowing hot metal sparks were flying off the cut off wheels and hitting the glass.
When these tiny white hot metal slivers hit the glass, they melted onto the glass. So now the interior of all my glass is covered with hundreds and hundreds of tiny metal slivers melted into them. I can pop the slivers of metal off with a razor blade but it still leaves a hundreds of tiny little melted spots on the glass that you can feel with your hand.

(I bought a new windshield and a back glass and I plan on replacing them soon. I ordered the windshield and back glass panel in separate orders from Auto City Classics. I am pleased with Auto City Classics because the windshield and back glass were packaged very well to prevent damage and their prices were in line with other suppliers. In addition, Auto City Classics did not ship these as truck freight but instead Auto City Classics shipped them as an oversize FedEx package, so the shipping was only $110 per item, compared to most suppliers that ship these as truck freight, which definitely would have cost more).

Mistake #2
I should have worn better eye protection.
I wore safety glasses when I was using the cut off wheels, air chisel or during any grinding . . . . however, the safety glasses had small gaps on the sides that allowed tiny slivers of metal to get into my eyes.

These are the type of safety glasses that I was wearing.

Glasses Vision care Eye glass accessory Automotive design Eyewear


I few days after cutting out the floors, my eyes swelled up so bad I could barely open them and could hardly see anything.

I ended up having to go to an eye surgeon to have a sliver of metal removed from each of my eyes. Had to wear an eye patch on one of them for 3 days and treatment of antibiotics in both. Took about 18 days for my eyes to fully heal and return back to normal.

I should have been wearing better protective goggles like these . . which have a gasket and fit tight to your face and prevents anything from coming in from the side.

Helmet Bumper Automotive design Personal protective equipment Bicycle part



In addition to the protective goggles, I should also have been wearing a good quality protective face shield such as this.

Hood Toy Vehicle Automotive design Automotive side-view mirror


I bought these items AFTER my eyes had been injured . . . to make sure this never happens again.
Got them off Amazon and they had good reviews.
I have been using them ever since this happened and will continue to do so in the future.

I got lucky and my eyes recovered . . . . but don't make my mistake . . . it could have been much worse.
 

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Wow! What an experience...Thank you so much for not being bashful and passing this vital information on to our members.
 
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