57 Chevy restoration | Uncategorized

HYDROBOOST BRAKES

My brake set up after the restoration was an angled 8″ dual booster, a 1″ bore cast iron master cylinder with the clevis pin one inch lower on the pedal to improve pedal ratio, 70’s big single piston caliper discs up front and 11″ Ford drums on the 9″ rear axle. After driving this car…

57 Chevy restoration

PROBLEMS

Finally on the road. I can’t deny it was an unusual experience, it was a bit like when I first drove it around the block for the first time on East 22nd st in Tucson, Arizona. The car now looked even better than it did way back in 1989, I wish I could say the…

57 Chevy restoration

FIRST FIREUP

Crikey it’s finally alive. Paul joined me under the hood checking the fuel lines whilst my wife Helen was on the key and checking the oil pressure. After patiently putting up with this build over the years Helen was quite excited that it all worked. 

57 Chevy restoration

FINAL CHECKS

With the steering done I’d now run out of excuses not to fire this thing up. I’d checked it all over time and time again but I’d built the motor 8 years ago and was expecting an epic, youtube failure lurking around the corner.     A proud moment, the first gallon of gasoline is…

57 Chevy restoration

ALIGNMENT

After a day googling the subject I tackled the steering alignment initially using a laser level and string.   It’s the first time I’d used a bubble gauge. To get the wheel angle right I spotted my cam degree wheel hanging up in the garage. I’m not planning on degreeing any more cams in the…

57 Chevy restoration

INTERIOR

I started with the headliner and the first job was soundproofing. There’s a ton of bewildering online advice about soundproofing products, some are cheap, some ridiculously expensive. I went for silent coat which seemed to get good reviews and was cheaper than Dynamat. The vinyl headliner had been rolled up in the loft for eight years…

57 Chevy restoration

ODDS ‘n’ SODS

I finished the dash by installing a Retrosound radio as these had good reviews and they have a bezel and knobs that look like the original. These were on sale at Moss Europe at the time so I snapped one up and ordered the bezel and knobs from Jegs as they were cheaper. It also has a…

57 Chevy restoration

GLASS & SIDE TRIM

Most of the original glass was de-laminated and shot to bits so another trip to Russ Pepper to pick up a new set. I wobbled between the grey tint or green for a while but went for the green in the end as this seems to suit the red and has a more classic look….

57 Chevy restoration

INTERIOR – SEATS

I’d recovered the seats about 22 years ago when I first bought the car and didn’t have too much bother at the time as I’d left all the original padding in place. This was now all in a shoddy state so everything needed to stripped off. A lot of the drivers seat springs were broken…

57 Chevy restoration

WIRING

After plenty of research on www.chevytalk.com I bought an American Autowire classic update kit. It’s hard to fault these kits as every wire is clearly labeled and the instructions are superb. There’s also forum tech help if you have any questions along the way. I’d recommend you buy a proper terminal crimping tool and maybe some…

57 Chevy restoration

AXLE – STEERING – COOLING

My Ford 9″ rear axle housing needed centring so this went down to Zane Llewellyn at Zannetec. Zane did a cracking  job, very reasonably priced and also supplied a pair a strange axle shafts. Paul Mitchell over at GS Autos rebuilt the diff, Paul sadly passed away last year which was a shock, he was…

57 Chevy restoration

PAINT

I’m scarred for life when it comes to the paint. After much deliberation I thought I’d commissioned one of the best painters in the country to paint my 57. Despite my unswerving patience and diplomacy, three re-negotiations on price, multiple promises of completion dates he persistently failed to do anything to time frames and agreed…

57 Chevy restoration

BODY ON FRAME

The main body was now straight and in primer and ready for having the firewall, dash and boot area painted before going back on the frame. I’d gone through a phase of thinking I’d like the car in Turquoise. After much deliberation I plumped for red again but fancied a richer red than the “orangey”…

57 Chevy restoration

STAINLESS RESTORATION

Hi Folks, this one’s a bit long-winded but I made a lot of mistakes on the stainless restoration early on so hope this helps someone going through the same thing. I’d read the book “How to restore metal auto trim,” spurred on by the fact that it had a 57 Chevy on the front cover…

57 Chevy restoration

CHASSIS FINISHED

With the frame now painted in 2K satin black it was another long round trip and a trailer rental to fetch it back to London. I’d bought a 3.25 ratio Ford big bearing 9″ axle from a bloke up near Santa Pod. He’d fetched around 20 of them back back from the US East coast…

57 Chevy restoration

BODYWORK BEGINS

With the frame brackets and mounts all sorted it was taken back to the paint shop to be shot blasted and painted in epoxy primer and 2K satin black, the rotisserie came in handy again. I was hoping the old doors would be OK with only minor rust in the corners, this inevitably turned out…

57 Chevy restoration

ENGINE ACCESSORIES

I’ll throw in some colour pics from now on although I tend to see everything in black and white through a camera. I bought my alternator and power steering pump brackets from Alan Grove as I like how simple they are and I’m not a big fan of tons of billet. They come in bare…

57 Chevy restoration

FRAME WORK

The old powerglide mounts had been burned off with a torch and the frame was really butchered in the past (not by me I might add) which needed patching. I also added a steering box support bracket at the top for the Delphi 600 steering box which I’d bought way back. Just after I’d done…

57 Chevy restoration

383 ENGINE BUILD

When I bought my 57 it had a 1967 350 HP small journal 327 and big valve fuelie heads. I’d researched the original GM cam and high compression pistons and worked out what it was. It was lively enough but despite the car mostly having to plod around London I’d recently taken a shine to…

57 Chevy restoration

ON THE ROTISSERIE

Once the strength was back in the body it was bolted up to the rotisserie, this was made using some plans I found here: credit to www.57rustbucket.com John’s website and 57 restoration was an inspiration and cracking reference for anyone attempting a tri-five restoration. Not sure what happened to John at 57rustbucket as his 57 build…