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Old 13th August 2009, 10:23   #61
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The doors had been eaten away at the bottom and new box sections and panels were fabricated and welded on. The end result was pleasing. I know; we ought to have removed the door handles and trim before working on them, but by then, there was so much activity going on simultaneously that some things began to be overlooked. I did have them removed soon after these photos were taken
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Old 13th August 2009, 10:44   #62
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Excellent details sir, thanks once again for sharing this with all of us.

cheers
Jaggu
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Old 13th August 2009, 11:34   #63
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Absolutely spellbinding narration. I am waiting with bated breath!!
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Old 13th August 2009, 11:56   #64
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Thank you so much for sharing such a nice pictorial of the Restoration work.

Its an eye opener for a lot of us who didnt know what all goes in a restoration process like this

Waiting for more.
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Old 13th August 2009, 15:55   #65
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Once the floorboards and doors were done, the running boards were fitted on. We had by then closely inspected two more Fleetmasters from the Karnataka Vintage and Classic Car Club; incidentally, both the President and the Secretary of the club own Fleetmasters and were very generous with their time and their cars, allowing my team and I to clamber all over and inside them taking photos, measurements and noting references. Based on the patterns that we noted, we folded the running board elements in a bending machine and then fine tuned the fitting on the car. The results were very good, we got a nice fit for the doors, with no unsightly gaps. However, this was a tedious job as the doors had to be fitted on and taken off, countless times! To duplicate the curved portion of the running board under the front end of the front doors, one had take cardboard patterns from the other cars we measured - there was nothing, not even the tiniest bit of metal on our car, which we could go by.
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Old 13th August 2009, 17:04   #66
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Wowwww....very nice detailed photo's. keep em coming

Hats off to you SIR.

cheers
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Old 13th August 2009, 20:55   #67
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Thanks, everybody, for the appreciation. Actually, the entire team that worked on the car did an out of the world job. One daunting task for the tinkers was to make the scuttle that lay between the front dumb irons. The metal had deteriorated to a delicate tracery and there was no option but to rebuild it. The finished product is placed next to the original, to give you an idea of the work that went in!
Attached Thumbnails
A lightning quick restoration - '48 Chevy Fleetmaster-zzj_picture-1.jpg  

A lightning quick restoration - '48 Chevy Fleetmaster-zzj_picture-2.jpg  

A lightning quick restoration - '48 Chevy Fleetmaster-zzj_picture-3.jpg  

A lightning quick restoration - '48 Chevy Fleetmaster-zzj_picture-4.jpg  

A lightning quick restoration - '48 Chevy Fleetmaster-zzj_picture-5.jpg  

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Old 13th August 2009, 21:05   #68
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All i can say is WOW! Thats hell lot of metal work, its like a proper hand beaten and made vehicle!

Kudos to you and the team!
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Old 13th August 2009, 23:43   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
All i can say is WOW! Thats hell lot of metal work, its like a proper hand beaten and made vehicle!

Kudos to you and the team!
Buddy, as per me, few of those metal sheets are machine pressed

But this project is just going great. Tonrag, the approach and execution is so damn neat.

Keep them coming buddy.

Last edited by PAVAN KADAM : 13th August 2009 at 23:44.
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Old 14th August 2009, 00:29   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonrag View Post
Thanks, everybody, for the appreciation. Actually, the entire team that worked on the car did an out of the world job. One daunting task for the tinkers was to make the scuttle that lay between the front dumb irons. The metal had deteriorated to a delicate tracery and there was no option but to rebuild it. The finished product is placed next to the original, to give you an idea of the work that went in!
Damn good what an effort, but isin't the new panel has shorter width than old one, did it created a problem while assembling the bumper??

Or it may be just me, apologies if am wrong.
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Old 14th August 2009, 14:42   #71
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Dear Tonrag,

This restoration must have been a nightmare. But the tinker seems to know his job. We wait for the final pics.
Though the car was rotton to the core, you were lucky in that the car was still together in one piece, that does help.
I have also built a Canadian Chevy Fleetmaster and have just 2 pics, when taken out from Chor Bazar and when ready. Would post after you have finished, and that too when I find the pic of "before"
I understand that your car is finished, so I cannot say keep up the good work. Hope the car is being looked after now.

Another project to suggest is the Sentinnel steam truck lying in the Visveswaraya Museum/Institute in Bangalore.

Cheer harit
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Old 14th August 2009, 19:35   #72
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Quote:
Buddy, as per me, few of those metal sheets are machine pressed
Only the box sections for the running board were machine pressed, Kadam. We did it to get a clean bend. Of course, finally they were all hand beaten into shape.

Quote:
Damn good what an effort, but isin't the new panel has shorter width than old one,
Actually the panel has two parts, the part right between the dumb irons, and immediately in front of the radiator had completely rotted. The front part, which is wider and immediately behind the bumper was OK and we welded it back to the newly fabricated part. You can get a better idea when I post more photos of those parts.

Quote:
Another project to suggest is the Sentinnel steam truck lying in the Visveswaraya Museum/Institute in Bangalore.
Yes, I agree, Harit. But doing up a steam truck is an entirely different ball game! While the cosmetics can be done, the boiler will have to be done by a professional and certified periodically for use. In more practical terms, I was looking at the articulated bus thats' parked in front of the Bangalore bus terminal. The other projects that I'm keen about at are the petrol engined narrow gauge rail cars that were used in Matheran and Shimla, which are preserved in the National Rail Museum, Delhi. Lets see! Something is brewing there and if it works out, Team-BHP will be the first to know.

Today's post shows more tinkering work. The front wings were a challenge to the art of panel beating. They were crumpled and rusted.. First, the paint was scraped off after applying caustic soda. Then they were tapped out. I was fascinated with the process and tried my hand at it, with little success. I’ve bought a set of panel beating tools and hope to master the art some day. The trick seems to be in not hammering the piece directly, but to allow the dolly held underneath to guide the metal into shape. The hammer is also hit slightly to the side of the dent that has to be smoothened. The finished work was a tribute to the skill of our tinkers.
Attached Thumbnails
A lightning quick restoration - '48 Chevy Fleetmaster-zzj_picture-1.jpg  

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Old 14th August 2009, 19:49   #73
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While the tinkering was going on, our mechanics were at the Chevy’s innards. However, as they dismantled the car, we realized that it had not suffered mechanically at all. The odometer had shown about 40,000 miles, but I couldn’t gauge if that was original. But then I thought, what was the need to reset it, if the car was never intended to be sold, and led a cosseted life till the death of the Roerichs in the early nineties. I couldn’t trace the original driver, but some of the older people who had worked on the estate mentioned that the car used to be driven regularly. I therefore presumed that the car might have run about 1,40,000 miles. The differential, wheel bearings, front suspension, etc. were thoroughly checked, but there was not much wear and tear. A set of new bearings and oil seals were all that was required on the differential.
The engine sump was removed to check the bearings and we discovered hardly any scoring. The oil pump was taken out and overhauled. A compression test indicated that the engine was developing good compression. We then had a conference of the mechanics and I went by their advice, not to open the engine, but to start it.

[FONT=&quot]For every restorer, the day that the engine is started can be either one of euphoria, or one of frustration. Either way, it will be unforgettable. My day did not belie my expectations. A day earlier, when I had gone out of station I got a call that the car was ready to be started. I told my chief mechanic not to go ahead – I wanted to be there. The next morning, at around 8.30, we cranked up the baby. As the starter turned, draining precious power from the six volt battery borrowed from my Austin 7, we anxiously waited for some signs of life. The starter grinded on, and our anxiety mounted. But then, we heard a cough, and the Bendex disengaged. Well, well! Another round of checking the spark, the distributor, another adjustment to the carburetor and an order to engage the starter. A couple of turns, a cough, a couple of coughs, some sputtering and bingo, she started! We were surrounded by the glorious smells of petrol and smoke and soaked in the burbling of the engine and the rhythmic clackety clack of the tappets. There was no roughness, no crankshaft noise and she revved smoothly. Our baby was breathing now. Strong filter coffee flowed in celebration. [/FONT]
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Old 14th August 2009, 19:57   #74
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Once we had the engine running, we had to move quickly as the tinkering was nearly over and the painters had to come in. The engine was removed from the car, giving space for the painters to work. We also opened the gearbox at this time. Luckily, here too, there was not much to be done, just a general cleanup.
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Old 14th August 2009, 21:40   #75
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Hi Tonarg did your team have previous experience working on vintage /classic cars prior to this? Just curious. They seem to pretty damn well what they were doing. Just a suggestion can you put timelines on the titles of your photos eg: day2, day3 etc so we get a sense of the pace for this project.
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