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Post Info TOPIC: New to me 53 Pathfinder.


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New to me 53 Pathfinder.


Hello folks, a week ago I bought a 53 Pathfinder that was sitting in a field since 75. Requires total restoration. I wasn't even car shopping, but I saw this car and something about the hood ornament and the dashboard really had me. All four wheels were locked up so my friend brought over his drum puller and now I need a full set of brakes. Engine is stuck, although its reported as "ran when parked" lol. Going to pull the head tomorrow and have a look there first.

Had no idea this was a chev chassis until I found this forum. Car had the keys in it, and a bunch of receipts and stuff from the 74/75 timeframe. Was like an archeological dig. Guy I bought it from says the previous owner is still alive and has his phone number if I ever wanted to call him. Plan is to get it mechanically sound as cheap as possible, I have a lot of experience fixing old cars for next to nothing so other than buying brake parts, I can clean the carb cheap etc. Then body restoration will begin, floors and rockers will have to be replaced first.

I was pleasantly surprised when I removed the seat cover and the front seat is in excellent condition considering the age. Very cool looking car, so far I'm enjoying working on it. Just want to get it mobile so I can move it around the yard while I work on it, hopefully get the engine running without too much trouble. Always wanted to work on a 50's car! 



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A Poncho Legend!

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Cool find! I'm pretty sure 53 Chevy rockers and floors will work (and possible rear 1/4s). Be sure to keep us updated on your progress!

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welcome from another 53 pathfinder owner!

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http://canadianponcho.activeboard.com/t51640378/timbuks-first-invader/ http://canadianponcho.activeboard.com/t63146560/timbuks-second-invader/  vancouver island



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Welcome from Canada's east coast.

Nice! Bring it back alive.



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'64 Parisienne CS "barn find" - last on the road in '86 ... Owner Protection Plan booklet, original paint, original near-mint aqua interior, original aqua GM floor mats, original 283, factory posi, and original rust.



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A hardy welcome aboard from Milton, Ontario. Looks like a real diamond in the rough. Feel free to ask any and all questions to the C.P. brotherhood here in any and all regards to your 53 Poncho. Good luck with your 53 journey and we need lots and lots of photos here at C.P., concerning your restoration. Cheers. 



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1957 Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe sedan restored 261 six

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



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Welcome aboard.
Keep us in the know as you bring it back to life.



-- Edited by norontcan on Wednesday 18th of September 2019 10:20:12 PM

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Welcome and a great find
and
good to see another one is gone make it.

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Thanks Guys! It's great to have found a forum like this for the Canadian version of the Pontiac. 

Couple of updates. I managed to get four tires holding air, and moved the car into the garage. Pulled cylinder head off. I was pleased to find out there was still antifreeze in the block. I was worried it had straight water in it. It was not green, it was clear (and dirty), but there is no doubt it is antifreeze due to the smell and feel. Was antifreeze not green back in those days? The upper rad hose had a big split so I was worried when the thermostat housing had a massive amount of rust, but I've cleaned that out. One valve needs to be replaced, its missing a chunk. Going to soak the piston rings and see if that frees things up. The oil pan looks like it got pushed up, so I'm thinking of pulling the motor out and removing the pan to have a look at things. 

I noticed it has a 160 thermostat. I suppose that was normal back in the day, but can you run them hotter? A 180 or 195 perhaps? Just can't see it having much heat in the winter or being at full efficiency. 

How hard will it be to find a new intake valve? There is a ridge in the cylinders, but not as bad as I thought it would be. The car has just rolled the odometer over, so I would suspect this engine was rebuilt before it hit 100k miles?

Is it a good or bad idea to machine the head to get more compression? 7 to 1 just seems so low to me. Have to get it cleaned at a shop anyway.

I may do a ring job, but not too sure yet, I'll see how bad or good things look when I pull the pan. The spark plugs all had a nice brown color. No black, and no oil at all. There was a fair bit of carbon that will have to be cleaned out of the combustion chambers, most of it is quite loose and able to flake off. I'm sure glad I didn't listen to people and just spray oil down the plug holes and try and start the engine. 

Tore carb apart. Was real dirty on the outside, not bad on the inside. Found a tag inside the car for a new carburetor, so I may have lucked out. Took carb apart and its soaking in my ultrasonic right now. Might take a few days to really clean up but likely won't need a rebuild kit, even the gaskets came off nice. 

Radiator is in excellent shape and we figure it was new, or almost new in 75 when it was parked. 

 



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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not sure about valve i got a part number for the keepers and i think i got my head gasket from gasket city in ontario 100 bucks for that theres a high compression head that adds 4-5 hp haha they came on auto cars

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My mistake, its actually an exhaust valve. 



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Some updates. Carb is cleaned and ready to go. Pulled engine out. Drained about 4L of oil out, was dark, not quite like tar, more like gear oil consistency. Pulled oil pan. Had about an inch of goo on the bottom. Sure glad I didn't fire it up, that crap would have wreaked havoc in there. Removed number 1 rod cap, bearing looks awesome, no copper showing, standard size. Will pull the rest later to verify mains etc. Everything above the pan looks super clean.

Engine turns over freely, was locked up due to car being picked up by forklift and the pan and flywheel cover were mushed. Will now be looking for a pan, flywheel cover and oil pickup. Might try to clean the oil pickup filter thing, its slightly bent and may be salvageable.

Found a local source for valves and piston rings. I'll likely break the glaze and put in new rings since I have it all apart. Also, I may just clean the pan, reinstall it and the head and pressure wash the whole engine block as it is totally filthy, about an inch of gunk outside from oil leaks and dusty roads.

Need a complete engine gasket kit, but holy crap are they expensive! 

Any leads on a gasket kit anyone?



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A Poncho Legend!

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I'm not up on the early 50's Pontiacs. What engine does it have?

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Sorry, it's the 239ci Straight 6 flathead engine. Here is a kit on ebay in american dollars:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/GMC-Pontiac-208-222-239-Full-Engine-Gasket-Set-Kit-BEST-w-COPPER-Head-1935-54/171749240067?fits=Model%3AChieftain%7CMake%3APontiac&epid=1629999874&hash=item27fd0d6d03:g:zJ8AAOSwTO9Z83nB



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Started taking the engine apart and I can't get the harmonic balancer off. The pulley has broken in a few places, can't find any leads on a new balancer. Anyone know where to buy one?

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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we have a member on here but i have not seen him for a while look for fitz send him a pm he would be able to help with that harmonic im sure

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Thanks! I'll send Fitz a message.



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Poncho Master!

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Try Graves Auto in Ontario I got a lot of parts from him when working on a 51 Pontiac 239. He advertises in Old Autos.

Al

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I've always been partial to '53 for a number of reasons. Nice to see you rescue this one! To respond to your question about the 160 thermostat it was common in those days to put 160's in for the summer to help the car run cooler and 195 in the winter to generate heat. They didn't want to take the thermostat out in summer as it would take longer to warm up the car and get it running smooth. Good luck with your project!

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