1966 OLDS 442

Update your progress on your various car projects.

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby GMJohnny » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm

I got the dash project wrapped up this morning. Another three plus hours devoted to stuff nobody
can see. I removed the courtesy lights from under the dash. I re-configured my tach wires so I can
use the hot point on the fuse block for my distributor upgrade. While doing my clean up under the
dash, I found the factory wire hook up for the reverse lights. I had found a way to make them work
when I got them working, but the harness I found went through the firewall in a factory way, so I
put it back into service. After this was all done, I got the shop vac out and cleaned up before installing
the seats. Now the interior is looking way better than it did going into winter. I decided to fire it up
and take it out for a spin. It fired up after a few hearty pumps and did everything as it should. I was
able to road test my Redi-Rad radio set up and it was perfect. I love the sound of the 10 OHM single
speaker coming out of the middle of the dash! Before heading in for the day, I programmed the rev
limiter on my new distributor. I'll wait until next weekend for that job, assuming the weather holds
for me.

GM

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby GMJohnny » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:19 pm

I happened upon a dash for a 1966 at Carlisle, which I purchased for resale. The dash is packaged
and will be shipped tomorrow to my dash guy. The dash guy had no interest in the ignition switch or
the light switch, so I removed them and put them into my spare parts bin. The knob on the light switch
was way nicer than the one in the car, so I switched it out today. I also got the nut to hold the ignition
switch in and put it on the car. Just nicer chrome on both, so a freebee upgrade. I also repaired the
wiper wire clip. The wires were almost falling out, barely working. I disassembled the clip and soldered
the wires to the clips inside of the plastic and reassembled the clip. I keep threatening to install the
distributor. It's the only project on the bench for now, so it has to be next.

GM

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby GMJohnny » Sun May 12, 2019 6:22 am

The stars finally aligned this weekend and we were able to get the distributor in yesterday.
Fred decided to brave the unusually cold May day and help me do the install. I started and
ran the car early in the morning. The goal was to have the engine warm and ready to fire, so
I could skip the choke sequence once the distributor was in. It was a good plan, but things
didn't go that well. The distributor was ready to go, the 12 ga. wire that was to be run
from the fuse panel was pre-fabricated, and the old tape that wrapped the wires (no wire loom
on this bunch of wires from the factory) was already removed. We took the old distributor out and
the new one fell right in. There were minor, easy wiring things to do -- hook a positive and negative
from the Pertronix unit to the coil. We did this, taking time to use my "Carlisle found" shrink tube
to keep the job neat looking. After replacing the old coil with the new Pertronix Flame Thrower III
and re-wrapping the wires with new tape, we were ready to start. Crank it over....no spark. We
did this about six times, checking various things as we went along. We had a good ground and good
12 volts at the coil, so we were stumped for about 20 minutes when it dawned on me that, even
though we had 12 volts at the coil, it might not have 12 volts in the "crank" position. I was right.
The old system on the car had a resistance wire going to the positive on the coil to keep the voltage
at 9 volts - it keeps the points from getting burnt. This gets replaced, the new distributor wants 12 volts
all the time. There's a separate wire that provides 12 volts during crank (it's yellow) and I thought that
I could eliminate it with the wire from the fuse panel. WRONG! In an effort to keep the original-ness of
the car in tact, we taped the yellow ( and resistance wire ) very nicely in the wire loom BEFORE firing
the car. We had to undo that, find the yellow wire and put a new end on it. After that, the car started,
and very minor adjustments were made to get it running. It runs very well, and the surging that I had
with the old distributor is 95% gone. The rev limiter works, as I set it to 5,100 rpms initially, and it was
bouncing off of that in a test run. I changed it to 5,300 already. A little work with the adjustable vacuum
canister and this chapter can be closed.

GM

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby GMJohnny » Sun May 19, 2019 7:14 pm

The weather was pretty good early this morning, so I took the 442 to breakfast. The last time I drove
it, I adjusted the distributor's vacuum canister to remove more vacuum while driving. The car hated it and
was bucking like crazy while going downhill and light cruising. When I shut the car down to go into the
restaurant, the car had a bit of run-on. I decided that I'd adjust it a bit more before the ride home. I made
a quick turn of the screw in the vacuum canister and, while in the process of starting, the car was hard to
crank. It started, but got me thinking a bit. Before heading to Tiresmoke Central to install Fred's goodies,
I got the timing gun out to double check our work from the install. Turns out we had the lead before vac
advance set at 14 degress. I pushed that back to 8. Bingo! The ride to and from Chesterland were the best
the car has driven since I've owned it. Success at last! I was able to set the idle down a bit as well. I think
that I have this one licked. I'll drive it a couple more times to make sure that it doesn't need a minor adjust-
ment, but for now, I'm satisifed.

GM

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby GMJohnny » Mon May 27, 2019 6:51 am

This project is one of those things that didn't effect the performance of the car, but just
drove me insane. The hood liner, for some reason, was separating on the driver's side. I had
tried everything to put it back together ( staples, duct tape, spray adhesive -- three times )
before I finally waved the flag and decided to put a new one on. Fred hooked me up with the
kit as a birthday gift. The kit was pretty easy to install, fit well, and unbeknownst to me, came
with the period correct clips. ( It also made me nuts that the wrong vintage clips were used in
the last install! ) In anticipation of doing the project, I bought a bag of 12 clips off of the internet.
( If anybody needs clips, DON'T BUY THEM, I have more than I can use now! ) I put the extra clips
in the parts storage bin. The whole project took about a half hour, and looks great. I also replaced
the trunk light bulb with the correct size bulb for the fixture -- the old one worked, but was the
wrong style bulb.

GM
Attachments
hoodliner-2.jpg
BEFORE -- Sagging & Ugly
hoodliner-4.jpg
AFTER
hoodliner-3.jpg
AFTER

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby GMJohnny » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:25 am

It has been SOOOOO rainy. It makes road time incredibly difficult to come by. I did get a chance
to drive to breakfast on Saturday morning. It sprinkled a few times, but the roads stayed dry. The
sky opened up for the rest of the weekend, so I was forced to work in the barn. I put a new fan belt
on. I was running my spare because I broke the one that was on the motor trying to find top dead
center the lazy man's way. ( Put tension on belt with left hand, put big ratchet with socket on alternator
bolt with right hand.... snap! ) I also put new air cleaners on. The air cleaner element is foam and the
old ones were showing some age. They're glued together to make a circle, and the glue was failing on
two of the three. I super-glued them together a couple of times and that was annoying. The new ones
are nice and soft. These two jobs took a total of about 25 minutes. I also decided it was time to give
the car a nice buff out. I haven't done that yet since I've owned the car. I used old-school thinking and
went with a circular buffer and glazing compound. It's amazing what a difference it made. The car always
shines, but it's REALLY good now. Standing five feet away I can easily see my face clearly in the paint.
I used a pneumatic buffer from Fred's garage. I've never used air power before. The unit worked well.
It was a bit of a pain swinging a 3/8" air line over your shoulder as opposed to an electical cord, but I
got used to that quickly. The worst part about the air buffer is the water it spits out while buffing. I
couldn't have picked a worse day to do the job, as the humidity was 150% and it was warm. The glazing
compound was struggling to dry as well. With all this being said, I powered through and in just under
two hours, the glazing job is done. I still need to wax the car, which I will get done before the next time
out.

GM

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Basement Paul
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby Basement Paul » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:39 am

If you ever have big air jobs to do, Fred has that evaporator at his place that should cure that water in the lines problem.

-BP

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby GMJohnny » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:10 am

Basement Paul wrote:If you ever have big air jobs to do, Fred has that evaporator at his place that should cure that water in the lines problem.

-BP


I'm sure it would've made a huge difference. The next time I go to use the buffer, I'll use it for sure.

GM

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby GMJohnny » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:53 pm

I took advantage of a Monday vacation day to wax the 442 today. It was a pretty quick job, as all
I needed to do was put a protective coating on the already buffed out paint. I used a Mequiar's cleaner
wax that I've used many times before. I had two bottles of the stuff, so, naturally, I used the bottle with
the least amount of wax left in it so I could finish the bottle. I started my application on the hood, and
worked my way counter-clockwise around the car. It was humid again today, so the wax was taking a bit
longer to dry than normal. I applied wax to the whole car, then went to wipe the wax off. For some reason,
the wax that was on the hood WOULD NOT DRY! I had to buff the hood about seven times to get the wax off
of it. The rest of the car was fine. Fortunately, I switched to the fuller bottle after the hood, so I'm thinking
the wax blend was not quite correct on that bottle. In any event, the wax job took about an hour and a half.
It left me some time to install the speedo ratio adapter. The closest I was able to find was +13.4%. After installing,
I checked the speedometer against the gps. I'm pretty close, it looks like I'm about a couple of mph
when cruising @ 55 mph. Good enough! I also found the time to degrease the engine and clean up the
engine compartment a bit. It was starting to look a bit rough under the hood, it's way better now.
Next up is the rear seat belt install.

GM

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby GMJohnny » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:02 am

While searching out Oldsmobile parts that I really don't NEED ( but want ), I found a guy who had
a whole set of seatbelts for the 442. Keep in mind that you can get reproduction seatbelts for all
1966 Oldsmobile seatbelts, except for the kind that I have. ( These reproductions are about $100
for the rears ) Mine has the "carriage" button on it, and is ultra-special enough to be not reproduced.
Anyhow, I emailed the guy and asked him if he had just the rears. He did. He refurbs them and sells
them shipped to your door for $120. I took the leap of faith and PayPal'd him the $. I was getting a
bit nervous when they didn't show up in a week, but a quick phone call got them there the next day.
( He forgot to send them. ) They look perfect. I hated the old rears that came with the car. They
were date coded 1990, and they were after market belts. The project took about an hour to do,
which included cleaning the carriage emblem on the front seat belts as well.
The day before ( this is me taking advantage of a 4 day weekend ) I installed front wheel bearings.
I've been noticing a bit of a growl from the left front, especially at higher speeds. I could make the
growl disappear by steering hard in either direction, so I knew the bearing was going bad. I ordered
a set for both sides, with seals for $45 delivered to my house. I haven't done front wheel bearings
of this style in about 25 years! It was just as I remembered, and so easy to do. The only rear struggle
I had was removing the outer race on the passenger side. After beating it and getting nowhere quick,
I took out my die grinder and ground a notch in it. Two whacks later it was out. I had about an hour
and a half in the project. I test drove the car for a good long cruise and it's unbelievable what a
difference it made in the ride. No vibrations! Strangely, the race was what was causing the issue, not
the bearing.

rearseatbelts2.jpg
rearseatbelts1.jpg


GM

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby GMJohnny » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:11 am

I seemed to be in the mood for grunt work this past weekend. Not only did I do the
wheel bearings, I replaced the u-joints as well. I purchased them from Advance Auto
online, and picked them up at the store. For some reason, it's 25% cheaper that way.
The work wasn't horrible and took about 2 hours to complete. While disassembling the
old u-joints, I made the mistake of pushing a cap completely through the yoke. I was
unable to get it to line back up with the hole it came out of. The only way to remove
the cap was to grind the end of it at an angle so it would slip out of the yoke. After
making that mistake, I was careful to not duplicate it. I used my huge bench vise and
two old sockets as a press to finish the job. It took longer to grind the one u-joint down
than it did to do the rest of the job, but in the end, I won the war. Two greaseable u-joints
in place.

GM

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wxo
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby wxo » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:32 am

GM, the only thing better than reading about your improvements to that beauty would be to get behind the wheel (and shifter). :mrgreen:
I really love my TBSS, but I miss the third pedal and the Hurst on the floor.

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Basement Paul
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby Basement Paul » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:41 pm

Don't miss it, convert it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwcWn-rYFJM

-BP

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby GMJohnny » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:31 am

wxo wrote:GM, the only thing better than reading about your improvements to that beauty would be to get behind the wheel (and shifter). :mrgreen:
I really love my TBSS, but I miss the third pedal and the Hurst on the floor.


You're welcome to take it for a spin the next time you're up in the area!

GM

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wxo
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Re: 1966 OLDS 442

Postby wxo » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:41 am

BP:
I have fantasized about the manual conversion, but it's not to be. Randi can drive a stick, but does not like to do it. Too much anxiety. She likes driving the TBSS and makes it easy for us to interchange vehicles. Also, I am not up for such a major project. I'll stick to building engines w/Maverick if that happens along again. :mrgreen:

GM: I would love to get behind the wheel of your Olds. Can't wait. :D


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