Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe
Powerflite
Posted 2019-11-22 1:26 PM (#590547)
Subject: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I purchased another DeSoto recently. This one was getting ready to be painted in North Hollywood, close to me. The owner either died or lost interest so the body shop sold it off to the previous owner. Unfortunately, because of how it was acquired, it has been completely stripped on the outside. The only part left on the outside of the car is the right door handle so they could still open one door.But the body is in pretty good shape for one of these cars. It's not as good as it first seems though. There is quite a bit of rust on the roof that needs to be addressed, as well as rust on the front right part of the quarter panel & wheel lip. There is also a littlle bit of rust here and there, but the floors and trunk are almost rust free as far as I can tell. The inner rockers are also rust free, but the outers have a cover over them, so not sure how bad it will look once I remove those, but they will likely need to be replaced properly. It looks to have been a spring special because it has the mounting holes and outline of the trim on the dented up trunk lid. I have most of the parts to put this back together except the rear bumper, the spring special trim, and the fireflite specific stuff, but the interior is mostly complete so that's good.

The original color was French Turquoise, not the lighter green re-paint that's currently showing. However, I can't verify it because the body tag is missing. I'll have to get an IBM printout so I can get a repro made. Fortunately, the VIN tag is still there and in good shape! The interior has been redone with new black vinyl everywhere, including the dash & door panels. I am not thrilled about the color choice, but am glad it is at least usable. The motor turns so there is a very good chance that I can get it running. It seems to be the original motor with a L-360 code, but is painted blue so it has likely been rebuilt before. I'm not sure what all those dots on the head are supposed to indicate. The dual exhaust system is also relatively new and in good shape. If I can get the motor running, I will spend my time finishing all the body work that needs to be done and then paint it before I put it back together. One good thing is I can't lose the parts during the paint process because there aren't any!



(58Fireflite LF.jpg)



(58Fireflite RF.jpg)



(58Fft Motor.jpg)



(58Fft Dash.jpg)



(58Fft Headliner.jpg)



(58Fft Seats.jpg)



(58Fft Trunk.jpg)



(58Fft Engine No..jpg)



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Attachments 58Fireflite LF.jpg (273KB - 50 downloads)
Attachments 58Fireflite RF.jpg (287KB - 54 downloads)
Attachments 58Fft Motor.jpg (225KB - 51 downloads)
Attachments 58Fft Dash.jpg (137KB - 53 downloads)
Attachments 58Fft Headliner.jpg (127KB - 54 downloads)
Attachments 58Fft Seats.jpg (171KB - 50 downloads)
Attachments 58Fft Trunk.jpg (162KB - 52 downloads)
Attachments 58Fft Engine No..jpg (190KB - 55 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2019-11-22 1:30 PM (#590548 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Nice radial tire! There is some bondo here but not bad. Most likely there is a little rust hiding under there, but probably not terrible. The right side is another story and will require quite a bit of work to remake that wheel lip properly. There is also a lot more rust on the sides of the roof than I would have expected there to be, probably caused by the wide roof trim. Since I don't have that trim, maybe I should delete it?

Edited by Powerflite 2019-11-22 4:10 PM




(58Ft Tire.jpg)



(58Fft RtR Quarter.jpg)



(58Fft Rt Roof.jpg)



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Attachments 58Ft Tire.jpg (160KB - 53 downloads)
Attachments 58Fft RtR Quarter.jpg (213KB - 50 downloads)
Attachments 58Fft Rt Roof.jpg (189KB - 52 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2019-11-22 1:36 PM (#590550 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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The trunk floor is practically in perfect shape with the original paint still showing on much of it. There are the remains of a very brittle original black speckled DeSoto trunk mat too.

Edited by Powerflite 2019-11-22 1:37 PM




(58Fft Trunk Mat.jpg)



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Attachments 58Fft Trunk Mat.jpg (226KB - 50 downloads)
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jboymechanic
Posted 2019-11-22 2:24 PM (#590557 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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How many vehicles are you up to now Nathan?
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Powerflite
Posted 2019-11-22 3:59 PM (#590562 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I find it's best not to count. But I am selling a '33 Chevy coupe and the '57 black/white Windsor coupe if anyone is interested.
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2019-11-22 7:05 PM (#590576 - in reply to #590562)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Nice, Nathan!  Even all stripped out, it still looks good!

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1960fury
Posted 2019-11-23 7:04 AM (#590597 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Just GREAT. You can't have enough FL's. I guess I'm alone with this, but I prefer cars in this honest, unrestored condition over overrestored clinical-clean wire wheeled trailer queens.
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Powerflite
Posted 2019-11-24 12:56 AM (#590637 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Thanks Mike, I agree. Yeah Sid, I see no use for trailer queens, but I should probably start painting something now.

My son helped me un-bury the front bumper to mount onto the car as well as the headlight bezels. I painted the bezels silver to go with the '58 DeSoto theme. Putting the front end together keeps the zoning police at bay and it also moves that bumper out of my backyard, which is great. We also mounted the extra set of bumper guards I had to it and installed a couple of missing parts in the interior, including the horn ring, turn signal stalk, some '59 A/C vents, a rear-view mirror and a glove box door. The glove box has a Chrysler emblem on it, but it is painted black to match and looks better than having the two holes there. I didn't install the mirror yet because I will paint it black first to match the dash pad.

I spent the rest of the day getting the motor ready to fire. I tried it out with the original points first. The starter worked, which was really nice and built up good oil pressure, but there wasn't any spark and the water pump started to leak out it's weep hole. That's about as much patience as I have for the original points setup so I pulled it out and started getting an electronic ignition distributor & coil ready for it. The oil in the motor looked brand new. Not sure what that means. Maybe it hasn't been run much since it was rebuilt?

Edited by Powerflite 2019-11-24 1:00 AM




(58Fft Front Bumper.jpg)



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Attachments 58Fft Front Bumper.jpg (251KB - 51 downloads)
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ToMopar
Posted 2019-11-24 9:20 AM (#590649 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Powerflite - 2019-11-22 6:26 PM
I purchased another DeSoto recently.


Congratulation Nathan ! my envy be with you

Powerflite - 2019-11-22 6:26 PM]
One good thing is I can't lose the parts during the paint process because there aren't any!


good Joke !
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56D500boy
Posted 2019-11-24 12:51 PM (#590667 - in reply to #590637)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Why am I confused about the hood?



VERSUS:

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firedome
Posted 2019-11-24 2:55 PM (#590672 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Nice find! My red & white '58 coupe was originally French Turquoise, and I wish it still had been original, it's a beautiful color, I would have painted it back to that color if I'd have kept it. There was a pic of a '58 in that color combo here sometime in the last year... gorgeous.
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Paul Hettick
Posted 2019-11-24 6:19 PM (#590689 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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Details on the black and white 57 Windsor coupe please!
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Powerflite
Posted 2019-11-24 9:46 PM (#590705 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Tom: You have nothing to be envious of! Your cars are awesome!
Dave: Not sure, only difference between them is more parts installed on it and paint.
Roger, yeah, I agree. That car is my inspiration. Jaw dropping gorgeous!
Paul: I sent you a PM, and the thread on the car can be found here: http://forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=49893




(French Turquoise 58 Fireflite.jpg)



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Attachments French Turquoise 58 Fireflite.jpg (199KB - 52 downloads)
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2019-11-25 1:57 AM (#590712 - in reply to #590705)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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So, the car goes in for paint, .... who took the trim off, and where did it go ?

Fireflite 2 doors are pure unobtainium. Great find, great car ... I look forward
to following along on this one !
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Powerflite
Posted 2019-11-25 9:25 AM (#590718 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Thanks Doc. I assume that the body shop would have included the trim with the sale of the car, so maybe it remained at the original owner's place? Who knows what happened to it, but it is gone now.
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57burb
Posted 2019-11-26 10:06 AM (#590779 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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A new mare in the stable!! Lots of good bones in this car, but it's a real shame the trim is missing. Maybe you can find a rusty coupe with all the trim for a good price?

Or you could just make a custom out of it. You're halfway there with that black interior...
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Powerflite
Posted 2019-11-27 3:16 AM (#590813 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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The custom part of it will be all the missing trim - especially the wide roof trim. but I don't see that as a big loss. That trim doesn't add to the design all that much. The side trim I will eventually get by welding 4dr trim together. It's a pain, and time consuming, but it works. Until, I can find the Fireflite fender medallions, I am considering machining some '55 DeSoto horn buttons to fit there. Might look OK if I paint them in a similar fashion.

I got the electronic ignition installed, swapped a good carb onto it and gave it another go. After fiddling with the timing a bit, I got it to a point that it would fire a full revolution or more, and then suddenly stop, like it hit a wall. It did this over and over. Very strange. I had the fuel line feeding out of a gas can, but the fuel pump didn't do anything as if it wasn't connected. So I had to prime the carb every time. I was messing with the timing more, and then the starter completely died. No movement at all, and no current draw out of it. Maybe the reason it would only run 1 revolution had something to do with the starter stopping it once it picked up some speed. So I'll need to fix that before moving forward. I don't want to do this in the dirt, so I'll set it aside until I get the work on the Savoy finished and free up some driveway space for it.
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60 Imp
Posted 2019-11-27 6:04 AM (#590816 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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Nathan, have you considered cloning your Wife??

You would get a good price for them I recon!

Nice looking DeSoto you got there.

Steve.
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1960fury
Posted 2019-11-27 6:34 AM (#590820 - in reply to #590712)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Doctor DeSoto - 2019-11-25 1:57 AM

So, the car goes in for paint, .... who took the trim off, and where did it go ?

Fireflite 2 doors are pure unobtainium. Great find, great car ... I look forward
to following along on this one !


I'd go with the 57 trim anyway. The 57 lower sweep was perfect and much nicer looking.
The side trim was just altered because they had to change something for 58 and the result was,
like with Plymouth, not an improvement of the original design.

Edited by 1960fury 2019-11-27 6:34 AM
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-01-13 4:55 PM (#592875 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I like the '58 sweep and will keep it that way since it's better to keep it stock anyway. To me, the side trim is 1/3 of the car, so that if I wanted '57 side trim, I would just buy a '57 instead. And getting 2dr trim for a '57 may not be any easier than for a '58. The only thing I am contemplating is if I should swap the roof trim from the red one onto this one. I kinda like it better without it. But I have plenty of time to decide later.

I didn't get much done on my cars this weekend, but I did spend a couple of hours straightening the two spring special trunk trim pieces that I got from Kurt. Thanks Kurt! The one on top is ready for sanding & polishing (the pattern you see on it are just reflections from my keyboard), but the one on the bottom still needs more work. I might have to get a pro take a shot at that one to finish it off. I still need more of these things so if anyone has them to sell, I would be grateful.



(58FF SS Trunk Trim.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF SS Trunk Trim.jpg (67KB - 40 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-01-14 12:48 AM (#592891 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I'm trying to make a model of the Fireflite emblem in case I can't find any to purchase. Does anyone have the plastic emblem separated from it that can measure the diameter & thickness (near the edge) for me? Thanks in advance.



(58FF Emblem.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Emblem.jpg (28KB - 38 downloads)
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2020-01-14 12:32 PM (#592926 - in reply to #592891)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Hi, Nathan:

 

I have three of the Fireflite emblems (I hope none from your cars).  Two I use and one is a spare.  Any tips on how do you safely remove the plastic emblem?  If I can get it out of there, I can take some measurements.

 

Mike

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Powerflite
Posted 2020-01-14 2:31 PM (#592936 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I think the back plate that holds the plastic emblem in, is spot welded in place. So you would have to drill that spot out, and then probably epoxy it back together. I didn't want to do that since I don't have a replacement plastic emblem so that's why I am asking. If you would like to sell your spare, I would be grateful.
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The Adventurer
Posted 2020-01-15 3:05 AM (#592968 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Annoyingly Goerge Laurie used to make them beautifully , but that wont be happening
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-01 1:49 AM (#595013 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I finished swapping the starter out of the car. It took me a while because once I disconnected it, I couldn't figure out how to get it past the torsion bar or exhaust. Both options were quite
painful for a typical R&R of a starter, in a field of dirt. Instead, I removed the master cylinder & throttle linkage. Then I was able to pull it out from the top. It had shorted itself out for
some reason, so I swapped it out with the '60 Chrysler starter I had. But I had to remove some material around the lower mount in order to get it to fit. Then I replaced the fuel pump &
plugged the oil pressure port because it started leaking. After some further timing adjustments, I got the motor to run. And I put it in drive & reverse, and moved the car around a little
(about 15 feet). Yay! Unfortunately, the brakes almost thought about working, but decided not to, and the motor would die almost immediately when I put it into gear. Not sure why it
was doing that, except it could be that it needs further adjustments on the carb & timing. The power steering was bone dry, and I had to fill it twice. Hopefully that is OK, but the generator
didn't even think about working so either that or the regulator needs to be replaced. Overall, a good day to get moving on this car again. Next, I'll move it over to my driveway to get it
really driveable by going through these issues.

Edited by Powerflite 2020-03-01 2:09 AM




(Turquoise 58FF Engine.jpg)



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Attachments Turquoise 58FF Engine.jpg (218KB - 29 downloads)
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22mafeja
Posted 2020-03-01 4:08 AM (#595015 - in reply to #595013)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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I noticed also that the starter has to be removed upwards and first you have to remove at least the master cylinder and the
linkage. Since I put a mini starter it had room to be fitted from the underside. The ministarter battery post came very close to the engine block.
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-01 12:10 PM (#595028 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Yeah, I noticed that if the starter were slightly smaller diameter, that I could fit it between the torsion bar & the frame. If this starter gives me any trouble, I will definitely purchase a mini starter for it to avoid the trouble later. I'm just more broke than usual, so I am hesitant to spend very much money right now.
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-06 3:34 PM (#595320 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I got the motor running better by rebuilding a different carburetor and installing it; as well as by retarding the timing a little. I took a chance and drove it from my lot over to my driveway without any brakes except the e-brake. It worked, but was a little scary because the e-brake didn't work as well as I thought it would. I kept it safer by often switching it into neutral to keep the speed down. Now I am working on going through the brake system to get it working properly. I would like to use the new disc brake system from Scarebird on the front that uses a 12" rotor, yet will still fit within 14" wheels, but I already have the old disc kit, and I am broke so I will just use that. I may swap it out to use on my '60 New Yorker when I have time to do it because I would like to continue to use the original hubcaps on this car.



(Turquoise 58FF Brakes Started.jpg)



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KcImperial
Posted 2020-03-06 11:01 PM (#595343 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Speaking of the Scarebird disc conversion, what do you think about it now using the smaller Chevy Celebrity calipers instead of the old kit that used larger Dodge Ram calipers?
I know the point is to now fit 14in wheels, but do you think that caliper is big enough to handle a full size car?
I've used their old kit before and was getting ready to do it again a few months ago until I found out the change. Kinda hoping to hear someone else's opinion or experience about the new, smaller parts.
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jboymechanic
Posted 2020-03-06 11:38 PM (#595345 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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That is why I've been using AAJ brake kits, big GM caliper for the full size cars.
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mikes2nd
Posted 2020-03-07 1:42 AM (#595346 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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the dodge ram calipers are big and I got powder coated nice ones, the new kit uses HD 1990 celebrity huh? eh its a similar big single piston as big as the AAJ kit...

I am happy with scarebird. 

 

looks like they both raised their prices?  AAJ is 250$ and Scarebird is 205$



Edited by mikes2nd 2020-03-07 1:46 AM
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-07 2:29 AM (#595347 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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The annoying thing about the Ram calipers is they stuck out too much on the ends. I had to trim them down a bit to even get them to work with 15" wheels. But they are nice and big, and work well with a large master that's pretty much required if you want to keep the original rear brakes. The large 2.935" piston worked well to apply lots of force to the 12" rotors. The Celebrity calipers are only 2.5" diameter which equates to a 38% reduction in force with an equal amount of line pressure. I would like to know how well it works too, and thought I would give it a shot, but probably not on a large Chrysler with a hemi motor.
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KcImperial
Posted 2020-03-07 2:57 PM (#595372 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Thanks for the info. I think we're both on the same page about the smaller calipers.
Hope I didn't hijack your page too much, definitely enjoy seeing all the work you do on your cars
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-07 3:08 PM (#595373 - in reply to #595372)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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No problem. Since this car is more visible now and I have intentions of being able to drive it before I get the body work done, I swapped the rear bumper & tail light bezels from the red Fireflite over to this car. I also stole the good lenses from my gold Firedome. It wasn't very easy to do because of the excessive rust on the back end of the red car, and the fact that they had welded the exhaust to those connectors that go up into the bumper. So I had to extend electricity over there to get it done, but it's looking more like a real car now.



(58FF Rear Bumper.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-07 5:39 PM (#595376 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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This steering arm lower bolt fought me all the way and won. I give up on it. I've tried everything on it and can't get it out with heat, a 20 ton press, smacking with a large hammer etc. Also, I think the bolt is broken inside it because I could turn the bolt (with a ton of force) on one side and it wouldn't move on the other side. With it finally removed from the car, I can't get it to budge one way or the other. I may have to get a different steering arm or take this down to get it wire EDM machined out of there.



(Steering Arm Stuck Bolt.jpg)



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56D500boy
Posted 2020-03-07 6:35 PM (#595379 - in reply to #595376)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Nathan: I have a neighbour with a Dodge Caravan wheel bolt that refused to budge during his front brake replacement. In the process he rounded off the "hex" head of the bolt. My recommended solution (which I was surprised he followed) was to center punch the head of the bolt and then start drilling it out, starting with a small diameter bit and then going progressively larger until the threads finally gave up clinging to the hub. It didn't take very long and he had the bolt out.

You could try something like that, especially if you have drill press to guide the bit (my neighbour did it on the car with a portable drill).

Maybe?



Edited by 56D500boy 2020-03-07 6:37 PM
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-07 6:54 PM (#595380 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I think I have sufficiently destroyed the temper (hardness) of the bolt now with the heat, that I might be able to drill it, but I don't know that I am willing to go through that. I would almost rather pay the $35 to get it EDM'ed out of there instead. But I'm too impatient, so I'll probably just dig out another one from my parts stash.
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-08 12:42 PM (#595407 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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That steering arm delayed my progress a while, but I pulled a new one from the original suspension of the white New Yorker sitting on my driveway. That steering arm didn't give me any trouble at all, and I was able to get the parts assembled yesterday. Next, I'll work on making up new lines & installing the new master. I will use one of the Mitsubishi Fuso remote masters that I had previously machined for these power brake cars.



(58FF Disc Brakes.jpg)



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scottbit
Posted 2020-03-08 8:17 PM (#595415 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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The Chevy caliper used in the Scarebird kit is also used by GM on the 85-89 Cadillac Deville. If it can stop that it should stop our cars as well.
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jboymechanic
Posted 2020-03-08 10:56 PM (#595417 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Nathan, do you have your brake pads installed properly? It appears your "worn pad warning spring" is on the outside pad, this should be installed on the inside pad as the pad pushed on directly by the caliper piston will always wear out faster.
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-09 1:38 AM (#595419 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Inside and outside pads cannot be swapped with each other, so that part is correct as it is shown. It would probably be better if it were on the inside pad, but that's not how they made them. But you can swap the outside pad from left to right which will put the squealer on the dragging or leading edge of the rotor. I have it on the leading edge to hopefully make more noise when it gets low.
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ToMopar
Posted 2020-03-10 7:20 AM (#595452 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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the visible car compels you to act Make a brake on the NY and spend the energy to another treasure.
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-10 12:16 PM (#595464 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Yeah, my priorities are somewhat convoluted. In about a month, I have gone from the Savoy engine to Coronet exhaust to New Yorker frame swap to Fireflite motor, brakes, etc. But there is a method behind all this madness, I think. I may be moving before the end of the year and I need to get as many of my vehicles driving well as I can, so I have to tow as few of them as possible. The rain here today isn't helping me much though, but I managed to get the hood on this car to latch yesterday. I can't drive it with a hood that can fly open. It was missing the latch on the hood, and the crossbar had every bolt broken off in the fenders. The lower mount for the crossbar is also mangled and disconnected. Not fun, but I grabbed a hood latch from the 4dr New Yorker I parted out and welded one of the captured nuts back into it as it had rusted it's way out. Then I removed all the broken bolts by heating the remains from inside the fender with a torch, and unscrewing them with vice grips. Then I adjusted the latch post higher because the fenders are mounted too low in the front. Re-adjusting the fenders and fixing the mangled lower mount are repairs that can wait for another day. But at least now I can latch the hood well.

I also mounted the new fender spears I purchased for the car to add a little bling. I'm not going to re-assemble everything on the car yet, even though I have it all, but these were easy and I wanted to see them on there.



(58FF Broken Bolts Removed.jpg)



(58FF Fender Top Bling.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Broken Bolts Removed.jpg (138KB - 25 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-10 8:13 PM (#595483 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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The rain gave me an opportunity to work on the interior. I stole a day/night mirror from the gold Firedome (the red Fireflite didn't have any mirror) and installed it along with the second ash tray and cleaned it up quite a bit. It looks much better now, but the carpet needs to be thrown out and I can't find out if anything works without a key....



(58FF Dash.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-11 10:04 PM (#595508 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Can't say that I'm impressed with the exhaust system on this car. I'd be tearing this out if I hadn't just redone the exhaust on 2 cars previous to this. I guess I'll leave it until I am ready to make more major changes to it.



(58FF What The Smeg.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF What The Smeg.jpg (145KB - 24 downloads)
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mikes2nd
Posted 2020-03-12 1:18 AM (#595509 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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hah get er done with the welder! doesn't look like it leaks?
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ToMopar
Posted 2020-03-12 7:23 AM (#595515 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Yes, the exhaust tubing under the transmission support and torsion bars is a challenge for all hobbyists and even official garages. I hate to "repair" this ever and ever again, too
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-14 1:07 PM (#595602 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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It doesn't leak so it does 'work', sortof. That gives me the excuse to deal with it later.

It's nice to have the motor out of my New Yorker so I can use it to mock up my brake lines before transferring them over to the Fireflite. I was expecting to have to use a 10lb residual pressure valve for the rear brakes so I made the line a little too short. But then I realized that this master was used with rear drums. so I pulled the loop lower on the end to make it work without having to redo it. This master may have issues working well with a hemi motor in there because of the downward direction of the lines. That outer line may collide with the valve cover. To use it with a hemi, I may need to angle the master upward or make some other adjustment. But for the Fireflite, it is fine.

Edited by Powerflite 2020-03-14 1:15 PM




(Brake Line Mock Up.jpg)



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Attachments Brake Line Mock Up.jpg (228KB - 25 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-14 10:04 PM (#595607 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I finished making all the new lines for the car and installed them, except the ones to the master. I am stuck for a while on this because I am waiting for parts to come in. I didn't realize that the Mitsubishi master had larger connections to the reservoir until I went to hook it up. So I am waiting for some 10mm hose barbs to come from China & 6ft of 10mm brake hose to arrive before I can "bench bleed" the master. I find that bench bleeding one of these remote master setups is best done while mounted on the car. While I am waiting, I need to shorten the push rod to the master and add an electrical brake light switch to the pedal. The stock push rod is adjustable so hopefully I just have to twist it in to get it to work - but I doubt it. It's rare for things like this to be that easy.



(58FF Remote Master Mounted.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Remote Master Mounted.jpg (205KB - 23 downloads)
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57burb
Posted 2020-03-16 11:08 AM (#595642 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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It's never that easy.
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-16 4:44 PM (#595649 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I was completely astounded to find out that it really was that easy. I was able to adjust it out with about 1/4" of adjustment to spare. Luck must be on my side today.

I couldn't find the piece of angle iron that I used the last time to make the brake light switch mount, so I decided to make it simpler with a thick, flat section from an old piece of brake hardware. I will weld this to the pedal frame to position the switch on the pedal. I used a Duralast JA411 stop light switch from an early to mid '80's Nissan because it is all steel construction and was a whole lot cheaper at Rockauto than the plastic GM versions. The only drawback to it is you have to tap the bracket to a 10mm size, but that's not a big deal. I will install it on the car once this blasted rain stops.....

Edited by Powerflite 2020-03-16 6:10 PM




(58FF Brake Light Switch.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Brake Light Switch.jpg (166KB - 24 downloads)
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netparts
Posted 2020-03-16 10:04 PM (#595657 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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Nathan... Just bought another 58 Desoto. It's a Firesweep 2 door hardtop. White car with red spear and top. Excited to get it out from the tangle of trees that had the car completely covered after 40 years of sitting.

Edited by netparts 2020-03-16 10:07 PM




(1958 Des 2 Dr HT.jpg)



(1958 Des 2 Dr HT4.jpg)



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Attachments 1958 Des 2 Dr HT.jpg (187KB - 27 downloads)
Attachments 1958 Des 2 Dr HT4.jpg (172KB - 24 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-16 10:39 PM (#595659 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Wow, that's quite buried in there! Hopefully the rust monster hasn't gotten to it yet.
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-17 7:40 PM (#595693 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I got the brake switch setup installed and took the seats out to take out the nasty carpet and clean up the floor. I inspected the floor more fully with everything out and it looks remarkably good, but not as good as I had first thought. For some reason, there was a lot of dirt packed into the front-most floor brace that rotted it out on both sides of the car, along with the floor above it. The floor above the seat mount is bulging from rust underneath it, as is typical, and there are a couple of small rust holes by the removable floor panel. Overall, really good and I didn't see any other issues on it. The round dips in the floors that are almost always rusted out are perfectly fine so it's odd that the braces were packed with so much dirt & rusted out so badly.

I also clearanced the bottom of the air cleaner to make it work with the '60-'67 carburetors that have the choke valve on them. That setup interferes with the bottom of the air cleaner quite badly and it's painful to swap out the entire choke setup to use an older style on it. So I decided to make the air cleaner work with either style. The later carbs flow better with larger throttle valves, so that's another reason to make it work.



(58FF Floor Rust.jpg)



(58FF Air Cleaner Clearancing.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Floor Rust.jpg (240KB - 25 downloads)
Attachments 58FF Air Cleaner Clearancing.jpg (251KB - 24 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-24 1:06 AM (#595942 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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The brake master has 10mm connections to the remote reservoir so I originally ordered 10mm hose to mate up to it. But once I received it, I found that it slid off the ports quite easily and it was difficult to get it to seal on there. So I ordered another 3/8" hose instead. That one fit much better and I was able to use more common English size connectors as well. I painted the master with brake fluid safe cast iron gray paint from Eastwood so that it won't rust and look nasty over time. Make sure you use shielded clamps on this hose as it is very pliable and I think that regular clamps would damage it.

I finally received the new hose on Saturday so I put it together today. I bench bled the master on the car and then connected it all up. The outer line on the reservoir was wanting to collide with the wires coming out of the firewall so I used a 90 degree connector on that side to avoid issues. The ballast resistor was originally mounted in this location, but that is going away soon so I won't miss it. I found that the '58 iron steering box is a lot smaller than the '57 aluminum box that I had used for my mockup. I should have anticipated that, but it slipped my attention. So I had to bend the line in closer to the steering box after mounting it. That made my front loop a little more loopy than it should have been. Oh well, not as pretty as I had hoped, but it works. After bleeding the brakes, I have a very solid pedal! It should be good to go, although I noticed that the rears were holding the tires a little even after releasing the brakes. Hopefully they loosen up with a little bit of driving....we'll see.

Edited by Powerflite 2020-03-24 1:19 AM




(58FF Remote Brake Master.jpg)



(58FF Remote Reservoir.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Remote Brake Master.jpg (169KB - 25 downloads)
Attachments 58FF Remote Reservoir.jpg (145KB - 23 downloads)
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mikes2nd
Posted 2020-03-24 2:33 AM (#595946 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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isnt that brake setup llike 500$? thats a wilwood remote setup?
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-24 10:54 AM (#595960 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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No, not even close. The master is from a '87-'04 Mitsubishi Fuso "FE" truck with front discs & rear drums and is cast iron. It cost me $65 at the time. Part number is Dorman M630742 and sells for $56 on Ebay. I had to machine the mounting holes to a slightly larger opening to fit a mopar, but it is made with 4 mounting holes that almost fit on the old mount so no adapter is required. The reservoir is the most expensive part, but is necessary because you need one that will fit in the available space. It is from Classic Industries and cost about $150. I didn't even have to mess with the adjustable pushrod. Just adjust it a little shorter and it works great with it.

Edited by Powerflite 2020-03-24 12:37 PM
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mikes2nd
Posted 2020-03-24 1:25 PM (#595967 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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hah wow that's a weird find. I just bought the adjustable pushrod(40$) and the hemi offset brake mounting bracket 80$...

I thought my reservoir fit? Ill do a quick video of test fitting. I may have to do what you did with the remote. I don't like that shiny machined brake reservoir though looks too modern

I tried to avoid it but obviously couldn't... now i have a chrome alternator and all kinds of polished crap maybe i can scuff it...

Oh i better paint my "Chrysler Firepower" black lettering also... i just noticed it looks wierd without it... like I "forgot" something...



Edited by mikes2nd 2020-03-24 1:30 PM




(enginehinges.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-24 1:32 PM (#595968 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I thought the same way, and figured I would anodize all of them with black color. But installing it on my black New Yorker, it wouldn't look as good in black so I became accustomed to the aluminum. I figure it will dull with time on its own. But I may annodize a couple of them for certain cars. I guess I could paint it cast iron gray like the master....

Edited by Powerflite 2020-03-24 1:33 PM
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57burb
Posted 2020-03-24 6:45 PM (#595974 - in reply to #595946)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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It's no big deal, but you might try disguising that brushed aluminum with gray or black paint. It draws your eye instantly.

I really like your master cylinder and fill solution. Dealing with the stock Mopar power brake arrangement in this era is such a pain in the butt. Personally I don't care much for the enormous factory vacuum canisters they hung on the inner fenders. Has anyone tried to fit an aftermarket vacuum reservoir inside the fender? Seems like that space could be used to hide one - and then hope it never rusts out.
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-24 8:46 PM (#595977 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Once you put a silver motor in there, it doesn't look so out of place. The main reason it does now is because the previous, previous owner of this car loved to make EVERYTHING black. That, and everything else is filthy except for these new parts. The problem with this master is the downward pointing brake line on the front port. That could be a pain to deal with on a hemi motor. I haven't scoped it out completely, but it'll be pretty tight with those wide valve covers under it. You could hide the vacuum reservoir under the battery tray like they did in 1960. Maybe get one from a '60 and see if you can fit it under there. I don't really mind them on the inner fenders except when you have auto pilot as well. Then things get obnoxiously crowded. So on my '58 New Yorker, I am tempted to try it too.



(57NY 392 Hemi Installed.jpg)



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ToMopar
Posted 2020-03-25 8:44 AM (#595991 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Nathan, sometimes I can not follow on which car you work at the moment,- and in which thread I am at the moment....
Is this 392 in the turquoise '58 Fireflite in whose thread I am into at the moment?
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mikes2nd
Posted 2020-03-25 9:44 AM (#595995 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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He has FWL attention deficit disorder... Im showing signs...
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-03-25 12:28 PM (#596006 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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This picture is from my black & white '57 New Yorker.
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-04-08 8:12 PM (#596599 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I drilled out the ignition lock and got the switch to be able to turn, then I started testing all the electrical parts. Almost nothing worked except the ignition & the headlights. I spent a day rewiring the generator to undo some of the unreliable connections in its harness and extended the front park light wiring to the junction block because they had been cut off previously. I also polarized the generator and the pulley turned so that tells me it is working as it should. The front left park light gave me a lot of trouble because the bulb housing wasn't making a ground connection to the lamp housing that it was connected to. I tried crimping it and cleaning it, and it works now. But if it gives me any more trouble, I will solder a wire directly to the bulb housing and ground it directly.

Now all the exterior lights work including the brake lights, but for some reason, the turn signals won't turn on at all. When I send power on the front post and turn the signal lever in the proper direction, the rear will come on, but they won't flash. I'll have to see if there is something wrong with the flasher unit. But without manually adding power, they don't do anything, even with the key on.

I also changed out the mangled cross-bar support in the front. I'm very glad I have a replacement and don't have to restore this one. That would be quite a chore!



(58FF Bent Support.jpg)



(58FF Bent Support Comparison.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Bent Support.jpg (165KB - 21 downloads)
Attachments 58FF Bent Support Comparison.jpg (222KB - 22 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-04-15 12:18 AM (#596860 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I pulled the speedometer cluster today to work on the wiring issues and removed the old ignition lock. The dash lights weren't working and the turn signals weren't working either. All the bulbs were good, but the flasher wasn't getting any power. I tested the flasher and it worked, but was really slow so I replaced it with an electronic version in anticipation of using LED bulbs in the taillights.

According to the wiring diagram, the black wire on the flasher should get its power from the ignition switch, and it's shared between the fuel & temperature gauges. Those wires have power at the ignition switch, but don't have power at the flasher. Supposedly there is a junction point somewhere in the harness, but I can't find where it is unless it combines on the back of one of the gauges, but it didn't look like that's how it worked. But, by manually connecting power to one side of the flasher with the green jumper in the picture, I was able to get all the turn signals working with the new flasher. I will spend a little more time trying to trace down the bad connection, but if I can't figure it out, I will cut the wire and connect it directly to the ignition switch.



(58FF Turn Signal Disconnect Bypass.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Turn Signal Disconnect Bypass.jpg (181KB - 20 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-04-15 12:29 AM (#596861 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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The dash lights weren't working because of the typical problem: a corroded dimmer contact in the headlight switch. While I was pilfering through my garage, looking for a set of locks I may have purchased, I stumbled on this brand new headlight switch I had. I had forgotten that I purchased it. That will save me from having to open up my old one right away. This one looks to be a newer manufacture of the old switch as it has a plastic connection for the dimmer wheel. I'm also posting pictures of the wiring connection on the back of it for future reference.



(58 Dodge-DeSoto-Plym Headlight Switch.jpg)



(58FF Headlight Switch Wiring Side.jpg)



(58FF Headlight Switch Wiring.jpg)



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Attachments 58 Dodge-DeSoto-Plym Headlight Switch.jpg (150KB - 20 downloads)
Attachments 58FF Headlight Switch Wiring Side.jpg (156KB - 21 downloads)
Attachments 58FF Headlight Switch Wiring.jpg (143KB - 21 downloads)
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ToMopar
Posted 2020-04-15 6:15 AM (#596863 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Hello Nathan

here are some pictures of my 57 headlight switch,- maybe it helps



(Wire Internal Switch Light 2697b.jpg)



(Wire Internal Switch Light.jpg)



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Attachments Wire Internal Switch Light 2697b.jpg (114KB - 20 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-04-15 10:39 AM (#596867 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Thanks, I'm surprised your switch is completely different. It's more like the Chrysler switch, but not even the same as that one. My '58 DeSoto switch is the same as the '58 Dodge & Plymouth, and that is one of only two to be used across brands ('57 Dodge & Plymouth is the other one). Most of the headlamp switches are specific to the brand and year. For instance, the '55-'59 Chrysler all use their own specific switch. Not very smart of them, especially when '57-'59 Chrysler fit in the same space and shape. But it looks like your wiring color code is very similar to mine.
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ToMopar
Posted 2020-04-16 2:09 AM (#596913 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I am sorry Nathan, that my picture doesn't help. I've seen that too, that the switch is different, but I post it anyway.....
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-04-17 2:08 AM (#596983 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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It's interesting that my switch is labeled similar to yours, namely that the dimmer switch line is labeled as IN. The port that you have labeled IO is labeled IG on my switch and is basically another park lamp post that goes on only with park lights and turns off when the headlights are on - maybe for the light on the ignition switch?

I finally found the problem with the turn signal power. The power line had broken off the connector from the fuel gauge and was dangling. But the connector was no where to be found, so that was odd. I soldered another connector onto it, and plugged it into the back of the fuel gauge and solved the problem. My new headlight switch has a lot of issues apparently. The tail lights are connected to the constant pink line, and the pink line is disconnected from the power. Additionally, the dimmer doesn't work. What a piece of junk. So to fix it, I would have to tear it apart and see what's going on with it. So I just used my old one. But I decided that I didn't care about dimming the dash lights, so it wasn't worth it to tear it apart to fix it. I just connected the orange dash lights to the tail lights and used the multiple connector on it to plug everything in. I also connected the front park lights to the tail lights so now they are on when the headlights are on too. Works great, and with the standard bulbs in the dash, it is the perfect brightness. I may have to fix the dimmer when or if I change to brighter LED's, but right now, this works well.

Edited by Powerflite 2020-04-17 11:46 AM
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KcImperial
Posted 2020-04-17 12:18 PM (#597004 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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That's a great idea to bypass the dimmer instead of tearing the switch apart and rebuilding it. Don't know why I never thought of that? Going to do it on one of mine now, thanks!
The Imperials are just as crazy with the headlight switches. on the 57-58's they basically changed from female connectors to male connectors. The main stem is slightly different too. That stem alone requires each year to have a completely different dash frame that would otherwise be interchangeable
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Suddenlyits1960!
Posted 2020-04-17 12:21 PM (#597005 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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You’re lucky “Powerflite”,I too am envious. I’ve wanted a 57-58 DeSoto coupe for years and have never seen one come up for sale locally. That’s a great color combination too. How come I get neighbors with modern plastic crap cars in their driveway? Lol.
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-04-18 12:54 PM (#597047 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Yeah, I'm surprised that the engineers were allowed to make custom 1 year/model only parts like that. I really like the color on this car too, it's kinda similar to Chrysler's parade green, but a little different shade.

I checked out the speedometer while I have it removed and noticed that I couldn't turn it at all. I took it apart and cleaned out all the dried up grease and still couldn't budge it. So I removed the whole thing and had to take a hefty wrench to it after soaking it in oil and was barely able to get it to move. I didn't think that dried grease could become that hard! After working it and soaking it in sewing machine oil for 2 days, I finally have it freed up, but I fear that I may have stripped the transmission gear because of how immovable this thing was. Hopefully, I can get it working again.




(58FF Speedo Repair.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Speedo Repair.jpg (160KB - 19 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-04-21 12:48 AM (#597166 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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The speedometer seemed to work well on the bench after I got it cleaned up and re-lubed so I put it all back together and took some pictures. I didn't hook up the radio because the wiring to it looked scary, so I left it off. I also disconnected the clock power line so it might not drain the battery just sitting there. I got the ignition lock to turn freely, ground off the pin and put it back in so I could use it with a screw driver until I swap it out. I also got the dome lights working but left them disconnected so I could leave the doors open without draining the power. I left the tail light wiring as stock because I didn't have any 1156 style LED's to connect them all together. I'm debating if I should have all three go off during brake & turn or just the upper & lower like on my other '58 DeSoto. I've never understood why car companies turn off the front park lights when the headlights are on. It looks better if you leave them on, to me, and it isn't hurting anything to leave them on.



(58FF Dash at Night.jpg)



(58FF Taillights.jpg)



(58FF Park Lights.jpg)



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Attachments 58FF Dash at Night.jpg (133KB - 20 downloads)
Attachments 58FF Taillights.jpg (100KB - 20 downloads)
Attachments 58FF Park Lights.jpg (113KB - 18 downloads)
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22mafeja
Posted 2020-04-21 1:56 AM (#597170 - in reply to #597047)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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I had a similar case with my 58 firedome speedo. I was surprised that it works perfectly now. Got to have patience..
Could you keep your fingers from resetting the odometer? My fingers never stays away from that...I never remember how to do it but the fingers know...
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ToMopar
Posted 2020-04-21 10:29 AM (#597179 - in reply to #597166)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Powerflite
I'm debating if I should have all three go off during brake & turn or just the upper & lower like on my other '58 DeSoto.


I like to see how it looks with all three, please share the electric scheme in case you do it.


I've never understood why car companies turn off the front park lights when the headlights are on. It looks better if you leave them on, to me, and it isn't hurting anything to leave them on.


Me, too. but I wonder because on my 69 Polara the park lights does't switch off when you switch on the headlights.
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57burb
Posted 2020-04-21 12:02 PM (#597183 - in reply to #597179)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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The purpose of parking lamps was to be able to allow other motorists to see the vehicle in situations where a car was in a dangerous place and could not be moved, but without having the headlights on, which would kill the battery quickly. They basically serve the same purpose as "hazard" lights on more modern cars. Remember that most roads and parking lots were DARK back then!

Your dash is looking really terrific, Nathan!

Edited by 57burb 2020-04-21 12:02 PM
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The Adventurer
Posted 2020-04-22 5:03 AM (#597209 - in reply to #597166)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Very excited seeing you get this car sorted out slowly ! Keep up the good work ! You are doing what I was dreaming of doing and can’t anymore ! Good work
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-04-22 11:12 PM (#597241 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Ralf: No, I just left the odometer alone. but I can see the temptation in changing it.
Tom: I will use some power diodes so I don't have to change to dual filament bulbs. I am even considering hooking up a sequential lighting module that lights from bottom to top. Kinda like a Jacob's Ladder spark machine!
Danny & James: Thanks, hopefully the gauges work too. At least I know that the ammeter works, and the oil pressure doesn't (because I disconnected it).

This car was driving me nuts because it ran really well at higher rpm, but had almost no power at low speed. It didn't miss, it just had no power. It ran so poorly at low rpm that I couldn't really get the rpm down low enough to adjust the timing on it. I got the inclination to check the intake bolts and found that half the ones on the passenger side were quite loose. I tightened them, and it seemed to want to start easier, and then I pulled the vacuum line off the distributor and it suddenly ran really well. Now it will idle nice and I can put it in gear with the brake on and not have it die on me. I'm not sure why it didn't like the vacuum advance on it. However, now there seems to be something in the torque converter/bell housing area that's occasionally making a cyclical scraping noise that doesn't sound healthy, so not sure what that will end up being. After I had polarized the generator as I previously described, now it charges the battery perfectly fine so that's nice. Not sure why it needed to be polarized, but it was an easy fix. I put the car in drive with the wheels up, and the speedometer didn't work. It's making a clicking noise down at the transmission end. Maybe the cable broke from when the car was moved before, or the gear stripped on it? I tried to time the ignition, but my timing light was too weak to see it in the daylight so I have to do it at night. The car's getting closer now and I feel better about it now that I can move it around easier, despite it's issues.
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57burb
Posted 2020-04-22 11:15 PM (#597242 - in reply to #597241)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Maybe the vacuum diaphragm in your distributor is ruptured, causing a leak? Just a thought.

Glad to see all the progress on this one!
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-04-23 11:31 AM (#597255 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I didn't even plug the line when I pulled it off, so it wasn't because of a vacuum leak. It probably just had too much timing, and fixing the leak at the intake was likely the thing that fixed it. Either that, or the mechanism inside the distributor was doing something funky.
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-05-02 7:48 PM (#597662 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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The motor started giving me a lot of trouble again. I couldn't get it started, it would just keep sputtering at me. Finally I checked on the starter and noticed that it was sparking. The main wire is tight, but internally, it somehow became very loose. That's probably the main cause of my trouble. When it shorts, it probably eliminates the voltage at the ignition too, preventing it from starting. Because of how much trouble this starter is to get in and out, I vowed that I would replace it with a mini-starter if I had to do it again, so I ordered a new one for it.

I have also been contemplating if I should replace the whole roof or just patch it along most of the sides. I have this replacement roof from a 300D that would work on it, but it sounds like a lot of work to replace it with how much inner structure is required to be dealt with. Also, I'm not sure how strong it would be afterward compared to the factory install. So I am leaning more towards using this roof to patch mine rather than replacing the whole thing. What do you think?



(300D Roof For Parts.jpg)



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Attachments 300D Roof For Parts.jpg (259KB - 14 downloads)
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56D500boy
Posted 2020-05-02 9:00 PM (#597667 - in reply to #597662)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Nathan: Tough choice on the roof. The existing one has lots of rust for sure (photo below from Pg. 1 of this thread):

As for the starter, you might recall that my 56 Dodge starter had an issue where one (or more) of spacers that kept the armature from banging into stuff had disintegrated, causing all sorts of hard starting grief. Once that got sorted, it starts like a dream (instead of a nightmare).

This thread (pertinent photo below): http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=70560&...





Good luck

Stay safe



Edited by 56D500boy 2020-05-02 9:01 PM
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22mafeja
Posted 2020-05-03 3:08 AM (#597675 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: RE: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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At least I would patch up the old roof. Because of that the roof is curved in that area I think it will succeed well with a lot of patience.
I would prefab the patches so it would be just one long patch per side.
Good luck!
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-05-09 10:31 PM (#598018 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I received my new mini starter today so that will be going in as soon as I can get to it. The trunk lid on this car is completely rust free, but had been beat with an ugly stick all along the back end of it. It also had part of the inner structure cut and poorly welded back together, as well as a suspicious bondo section next to the license opening. After looking it over, I decided that it would take far more work to try and fix this thing than it was worth, so I played a game of musical trunk lids today. I removed 3 '58 Chrysler lids from other locations and swapped them around. I originally wanted the black one on the Fireflite, but it was too small for the opening! I couldn't make it work. So I swapped the white one that I purchased from Gary Grossich onto it. After removing a broken bolt from it, it bolted onto the car without issue. The black one also fits well on my '57 New Yorker so that was good, but I was surprised that they were so different from each other. The lid I had on the '57 went to my '58 New Yorker because it's a spring special Chysler lid with the horizontal bars that really belongs to the '58. I will now cut up the green Fireflite lid to create repair panels for others, and use the sheet metal from it.

Edited by Powerflite 2020-05-09 11:00 PM




(58FF New Trunk Lid.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2020-05-14 4:21 PM (#598273 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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I have almost 4 yards of '56 Fury fabric that I don't have a use for. The camera can't capture how beautiful this fabric is, as it really gleams with gold in the light. Should be enough to use on 2 cars. I am considering sewing it over the top of this black vinyl in the original Fireflite pattern to make the seats look better, but not sure it would be worth the trouble. Might be better to sell it to someone else who could use it on a couple of Furys.



(56Fury Fabric.jpg)



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Attachments 56Fury Fabric.jpg (210KB - 6 downloads)
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mikes2nd
Posted 2020-05-14 4:39 PM (#598274 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe


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patch the roof... nightmare replacing the whole thing...
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ToMopar
Posted 2020-05-17 8:10 AM (#598384 - in reply to #598273)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Powerflite - 2020-05-14 9:21 PM
but not sure it would be worth the trouble. .


Thats the daily question with our hobby
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-05-17 1:43 PM (#598399 - in reply to #590547)
Subject: Re: Turquoise '58 Fireflite Coupe



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Yeah Mike, I decided the same thing. I cut up the spare roof, so I can't change my mind anymore. It'll be used to fix a number of vehicles that need repair sections on them. As for the fabric, my wife and I decided to just leave the black vinyl as it is. There would be limited benefit to sew new fabric to old vinyl, and the work involved would't be much different than re-doing it all.

I spent the last part of the day yesterday removing the old starter & installing the new mini starter. My days of removing the throttle linkage & master cylinder to pull the starter up out of there are over. I had to grind the side of the round adapter on the new one to match the profile of the original starter, but even then it wouldn't seat properly for some reason. Eventually, I got it to seat, but never figured out what the problem with it was. I removed the adapter from the motor and that helped make grinding it easier to do, and I tried re-clocking the starter to make it fit better, but ended up at the same location that it started with. To mount it, you have to use a longer bolt with a nut on the top mount - a little harder to assemble than the original, but not bad. I had to reconfigure the wires in order to get them to reach down there, and after it was finished, the starter relay stuck on for some reason. A little whack on it freed it up, but by the time I got the car ready to go, it was quite late in the evening so I didn't get a chance to try to start the engine yet.

Edited by Powerflite 2020-05-17 1:51 PM




(58FF Mini Starter.jpg)



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