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Post Info TOPIC: Let the Build Begin!


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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RE: Let the Build Begin!


Just wondering if there are any updates on your fine 56 Pontiac? You are obviously going about it the right way and the work looks great. Any thoughts on the engine/tranny combo? Any updated photos on any of the work done on the car. Good luck and happy restoring on your fine 56 Poncho. Cheers. George.



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1957 Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe sedan restored 261 six

1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon low milage original 400 V-8



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long stroke wrote:

Just wondering if there are any updates on your fine 56 Pontiac? You are obviously going about it the right way and the work looks great. Any thoughts on the engine/tranny combo? Any updated photos on any of the work done on the car. Good luck and happy restoring on your fine 56 Poncho. Cheers. George.


 

Hi George,

Things are moving along slow and steady.  I've been finishing up a few small patches on the floor board and toe board.  The next step is to turn my attention to the rearend.  I picked up a second hand '55 Chevy rearend with a rebuilt differential (3:55 gears), new axles and new brakes.  It has a dented axle tube, so the plan is to pull off the newer parts and install them in my original rearend housing which is in good condition..

I've also picked up the new inner/outer tie rod ends, idler arm bushings and drag link rebuild kit.

As far as the engine/tranny combo goes, I was planning on going with the standard pair of 350's however, I've been thinking lately about staying all-Poncho and finding a used 400 Pontiac block and having it rebuilt.  I'm also liking that GM 383 Stroker crate engine.

Cheers,

Mitch

 

 



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Mitch it is good to hear further updates on your fine 56 Poncho. I like the thought of dropping a 400 Pontiac motor in her. Those were incredible engines that Pontiac put out, tons of torque. Continued good luck on your sweet 56 Poncho. As you know photos are always an appreciated must by the Pontiac brotherhood here. Cheers. George.



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1957 Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe sedan restored 261 six

1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon low milage original 400 V-8



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Photo update showing the breakdown of my original 1956 Pontiac rear axle (top) and the donor 1955 Chevy rear axle I picked up at a swap meet (bottom).  The intent is to use the best parts from both for the rebuild.  

My '56 Pontiac rear-end has original axles with a 3.73 (R41-P11) gear ratio.  The '55 Chevy rear-end came with new axles and 3.08 gears (R37-P12). I noticed that the carrier from the '55 Chevy has the extended gussets on the differential bearing mount which makes me think it may be a carrier from a '57.

The axle tube and spring perches on the '55 rear-end are damaged, so the plan is to clean-up and re-use my original axle housing and install the new axles and the '57 carrier with the 3.08 gears.  I think the 3.73 might be a bit too tall of a gear for the TH350 and 25" tall tires I plan to run.



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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gnipgnop wrote:

 

 

Photo update showing the breakdown of my original 1956 Pontiac rear axle (top) and the donor 1955 Chevy rear axle I picked up at a swap meet (bottom).  The intent is to use the best parts from both for the rebuild.  

My '56 Pontiac rear-end has original axles with a 3.73 (R41-P11) gear ratio.  The '55 Chevy rear-end came with new axles and 3.08 gears (R37-P12). I noticed that the carrier from the '55 Chevy has the extended gussets on the differential bearing mount which makes me think it may be a carrier from a '57.

The axle tube and spring perches on the '55 rear-end are damaged, so the plan is to clean-up and re-use my original axle housing and install the new axles and the '57 carrier with the 3.08 gears.  I think the 3.73 might be a bit too tall of a gear for the TH350 and 25" tall tires I plan to run.


 Mitch i think the 3.08 might be a far better idea, especially if you plan on doing highway cruising and are not Bill Gates in the wealth department. The 3.08 is an excellent "gas wise" idea. On the other hand if stop light or drag racing screaming is what you are looking for, then the 3.73 should do good by you. Thanks for the updates on that fine ride of yours. Please keep the brothers posted. Cheers. George.



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1957 Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe sedan restored 261 six

1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon low milage original 400 V-8



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Update on rear-end rebuild:

-New axles, bearing and seals

-Sandblasted, primed and painted:  axle housing, brake drums, carrier housing, backing plate, leaf springs, shackles and u-bolts,

-Rebuilt brakes, new brake lines and emergency brake cable

-New leaf spring bushings

 

 



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Poncho Master!

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gnipgnop wrote:

Update on rear-end rebuild:

-New axles, bearing and seals

-Sandblasted, primed and painted:  axle housing, brake drums, carrier housing, backing plate, leaf springs, shackles and u-bolts,

-Rebuilt brakes, new brake lines and emergency brake cable

-New leaf spring bushings

 


Excellent! Still on my 'to-do' list is building my original 56 rear end - I bought a new Auburn Positraction and new Motive 4.11 R&P (designed to fit in the 3-series carrier) and Ratech complete installation kit (bearings, seals, shims, crush sleeves, etc.), but I was planning to use the original axles ... any reason why you decided to go with new axles?

Thanks,

Dave

btw I have tall rear tires and I am aiming towards a Hot Rod and I don't care if I am 3,000+ rpm on the highway.



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56Pontiac  1956 Pontiac Pathfinder 2dr sedan, 496 - dyno'd 545 hp, stick shift, 4.11 posi - Hot Rod

  1964 Acadian Beaumont SD convert, 283 - factory 195 hp, Powerglide, 3.08 10-bolt - Cruiser

  2012 US-built crew cab truck - Daily Driver and Boat Trailering



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Thanks, Dave
My original axles were actually in pretty good shape however, I had gotten a good deal on a spare '55 rear-end that came with new axles, so I decided to go with them.

Your 4.11 posi will be a nice neck snapper and the Ratech installation kit you mentioned sounds like the smart way to go for a rebuild. :)

My 3.08 gears were in good shape so I decided to use them for the time being and later on when I have a bit of spare time (and money) I plan to rebuild my spare differential with a new set of 3.55's which I think is a pretty good "all around" ratio.

Cheers,
Mitch

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Poncho Master!

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Ah, that explains it

You might want to consider a modern 4- or 5-speed auto tranny with a looooooow first gear, would help you get off the line better with those tall 3.08's ? I had 3.08's in my 67 'Vette with 427, it was no race car but it would run sweet all day long and with that big block torque, didn't even need to downshift, it could pass anything on the highway in a flash :D

Agree about the 3.55 gear set, great all around ratio.

Keep it up!

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56Pontiac  1956 Pontiac Pathfinder 2dr sedan, 496 - dyno'd 545 hp, stick shift, 4.11 posi - Hot Rod

  1964 Acadian Beaumont SD convert, 283 - factory 195 hp, Powerglide, 3.08 10-bolt - Cruiser

  2012 US-built crew cab truck - Daily Driver and Boat Trailering



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Installation of the rear shock relocation kit.  It relocates the top shock mount from the body to a frame mounted cross-bar.



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2" dropped spindles, upper and lower tubular control arms, coil springs and shocks installed. 

I decided to cut off 3/4 of a coil from the front springs to try and compensate for the eventual lighter front end weight created by some of the modifications such as aluminum engine components, aluminum radiator, trunk mounted battery, lighter control arms, etc (approx 200lb reduction).  Combined with the 2" dropped spindles, I hope my guesstimate doesn't put me too low in the front (fingers crossed).  smile

 

Spindle, Upper and Lower Control Arms Installed.JPG

 



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Poncho Master!

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Only possible problem with too low in the front is cannot get alignment to spec (I had that problem and had to go to different upper A-arms to compensate) ...

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56Pontiac  1956 Pontiac Pathfinder 2dr sedan, 496 - dyno'd 545 hp, stick shift, 4.11 posi - Hot Rod

  1964 Acadian Beaumont SD convert, 283 - factory 195 hp, Powerglide, 3.08 10-bolt - Cruiser

  2012 US-built crew cab truck - Daily Driver and Boat Trailering



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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gnipgnop wrote:

Installation of the rear shock relocation kit.  It relocates the top shock mount from the body to a frame mounted cross-bar.


 I just recently did this over the winter on my 57 Pontiac. Mine looks a bit different than yours. I would recomend this mod to any one that is not building a museum piece kind of car. This is obviously what Chevrolet should have done in the first place. Well worth the minor cost and effort for a better ride and more quite ride. Continued good luck with your fine 56 ride. Cheers. George.



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1957 Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe sedan restored 261 six

1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon low milage original 400 V-8



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Installation of Heidts disc brake conversion kit.  Kit uses GM metric rotors and calipers.Disc Brakes 01.jpegDisc Brakes 02.jpegDisc Brakes 04.jpeg



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A Poncho Legend!

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gnipgnop wrote:

  Combined with the 2" dropped spindles,

I hope my guesstimate doesn't put me too low in the front (fingers crossed).  smile

 

 

 


         Sometimes LOW is good  lol lol lol  

 

th.jpeg

 

 



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427carl wrote:
gnipgnop wrote:

  Combined with the 2" dropped spindles,

I hope my guesstimate doesn't put me too low in the front (fingers crossed).  smile

 

 

 


         Sometimes LOW is good  lol lol lol  

 

th.jpeg

 

 


 

Good one, Carl!  smile

 



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Steering Linkage Installed - Inner/outer tie rod ends, tie rod sleeves, centre link, idler arm, steering arms

 

Steering Linkage 01.JPGSteering Linkage 02.JPG

 



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