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Thread: Had a wakeup call on getting some repair work done on my 57

  1. #1
    Registered Member Belair-o's Avatar
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    Had a wakeup call on getting some repair work done on my 57

    I have worked on rebuilding my 57 for a number of years and have a few items that I figured to farm out as I reach the end.

    First, I wanted to get the frontend aligned, so started calling around - nope, we don't work on cars that old, I was told repeatedly. When I asked if they had any suggestions on where I might get the work done - nope, but you might try a Mom & Pop place. I finally found a shop that had one guy who could work on it.

    Next, I wanted to find a shop to get the AC system pressure checked and charged, to get the differential pinion seal replaced, to get the TH350 kickdown linkage seal on the top of the case replaced, and to see if they could tweak the tuning any better than what I have done. I called and called - nope, we don't work on cars that old. Finally found a one-man shop that would work on it.

    I had no idea how much things have changed, but should have. When I have needed some machine work done, I have found CNC files required and x-pieces needed for them to talk to me. Hard to find a machinist with the old school tools to do the one-off jobs. There are a few still around, but not so easy to find.

  2. #2
    Registered Member busterwivell's Avatar
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    I haven't run in to the issue, myself. I have a couple of local shops I can depend on. My local tire guy works for a chain of tire shops. His alignment guy has been there 40 years. The good news is all of them are younger than I am (but then again, most of the world is..........)

  3. #3
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    A buddy of mine is very picky on what old cars he works on. Parts quality and availability are just one factor. Others include there is more money to be made saster on late models.

  4. #4
    Registered Member Rocketman's Avatar
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    And it is only going to get worse. I had the hydra-matic transmission in my 54 Olds rebuilt about 5 years ago. Guy did a great job but he died about a year ago.
    Glenn Hargrove

    USAF (66-70) Viet Nam Vet

  5. #5
    Registered Member 55 Rescue Dog's Avatar
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    I have recently farmed out 3 jobs for my daily drivers, which I seldom do, so I can spend the time working on stuff that no one else could do on my old 55. Plus, the mechanic I have can do the jobs I don't want to do 4 times faster, and I don't have to buy another tool. I don't want to squeeze an ice-covered car inside to work on either. Time is money anymore.
    Last edited by 55 Rescue Dog; 02-25-2022 at 04:10 PM.

  6. #6
    Registered Member Belair-o's Avatar
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    I hope the two shops I take my 57 to will do a good job. We are supposed to have a break in the snow, so will venture out on relatively salt-free roads. My blue SUV looked white after I had it out to go to a doctor this week, they really lay the salt on the roads these days.

    The way I found a shop to take the car was calling into a local radio show that does a show on cars on Saturdays (Car Talk on AM 560). One of the hosts was kind enough to call around to a number of shops, and find one that would work on the car, and based on his knowledge, do a good job. Got my fingers crossed that the weather will hold, and the work will go well.

  7. #7
    Registered Member Tabasco's Avatar
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    If you have Vintage Air you can go to their website and click on "distributors". They tell if they are stocking, installer, or assistance. One of them might be able to help with the air.

  8. #8
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Vintage Air provides great technical service support over the phone... at least based on my one experience calling them.

  9. #9
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    A year ago someone backed in to my 72 Cheyanne Super at younger buddies funeral [50 heart attack while driving to work]. I went to the insurance companies preferred shop and was told they don't work on old vehicles.

  10. #10
    Registered Member Belair-o's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips on the Vintage Air website and phone support. Appreciate it.
    Lots of skills are being lost, hope we don't get a rude awakening someday.
    Regards, Doug

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