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Post Info TOPIC: 1952 Pontiac Catalina Hardtop


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1952 Pontiac Catalina Hardtop
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Found the replacement for the Nomad.

Think it is called a Deluxe Catalina, but that is still TBD

Its a Stalled Resto-mod project, it seems I'm bat with 2 out

Purchased form a guy that is calling it quits after 2 years, the guy before spent a long time on it but now clear record

Lots to like, 350 SB with a 400 tranny, Power disks up front/Dual master, new Dual Exhaust, new Interior,  recent armature paint Job, Blah, Blah, Blah

 



-- Edited by BLyke on Thursday 11th of November 2021 12:29:27 PM

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

1951 Pontiac Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop 



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I don't think there is anything you cannot do once you put your mind to it.
Car has great look.
Should be fun.

Karl
P.S. you still have a small spot to fill.
I think those originally had a straight 8 in them, maybe you should switch it back?

thumbsup



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You certainly did find a replacement, looks like fun. Great road car and looks to be in great shape. Your pass to Back To The Fifties!

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Kevin

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Nice looking car Bruce. Congrats on the purchase.



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Thanks Guys!

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

1951 Pontiac Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop 



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Great looking car, Bruce!

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Beautiful! Looks like a fun project.

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Larry L.

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cool looking car!

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



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Looks like less work and more fun that some of your previous projects.

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Jon H wrote:

Looks like less work and more fun that some of your previous projects.


That was the plan, had more "seed money" and time to shop.

Long to do list, will start with non cosmetics issues



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

1951 Pontiac Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop 



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Jon H wrote:

Looks like less work and more fun that some of your previous projects.


That was the plan, had more "seed money" and time to shop.

Long to do list, will start with non cosmetics issues



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

1951 Pontiac Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop 



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Looks like the car is a "2537SD" making it a Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop
One of 1382 made that year, so about 4X rarer that the 71 Convert.rolleyesthumbsup



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

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Dang Bruce, you came up with a super cool car...nana



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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Lost in the 60s wrote:

Dang Bruce, you came up with a super cool car...nana


 Thanks Mitch, looking forward to getting is sorted out.



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

1951 Pontiac Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop 



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BLyke wrote:

Looks like the car is a "2537SD" making it a Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop
One of 1382 made that year, so about 4X rarer that the 71 Convert.thumbsup


 Starting in the very early 60's, the SD designation became Super Duty, for their new high performance program. Maybe keep your future options open to locating a Pontiac 389 engine and 400 trans and put 'er back to purebred...headscratch



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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It is looking like the engine and tranny are from 1974 (still need to verify on the TH400) and looks like it was a "350 T400 police" Version
Still trying to spot the casting date on the 3970010 block, K1223CMJ
The rear brakes are done, so its on to the carb and vacuum lines, seems to be running rich and slow to warm up.
Got a gas pedal from a 1976 Monte Carlo at U-Pul-it that I can mount the kick down switch for the TH400, practically makes the car a club memberrolleyes



-- Edited by BLyke on Saturday 25th of September 2021 09:25:17 AM

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

1951 Pontiac Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop 



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Looking for help on decoding this tag, not anything found on line yet to help with a "LRA" version



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

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Is there a number stamped on the left side of the case ? Should be a partial vin there somewhere.

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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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Lost in the 60s wrote:

Is there a number stamped on the left side of the case ? Should be a partial vin there somewhere.


 tried but still cant find itbanghead



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

1951 Pontiac Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop 



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Most commonly in the area in red above the pan, but some have been found on the bellhousing flange also. Either location may be difficult to see in the vehicle.

trans_TH400_vin.jpg



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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Being it has the electronic speedo setup I would have to believe that trans is likely going to be an 88-91 model year range.



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Chris P
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66 Chevelle 300 deluxe



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Yep, the "90" on the tag should indicate it's from a 1990 model vehicle. Other than that, I can't find anything else to help either. The "net" is letting us down.
It could, also, be named a 3l80, as GM changed the name in that are, but that designation has even less info.

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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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67ss wrote:

Being it has the electronic speedo setup I would have to believe that trans is likely going to be an 88-91 model year range.


Mitch = It could, also, be named a 3l80, as GM changed the name in that are, but that designation has even less info.

 

Thanks. think you guys have it right

"In the 1970s, the TH400 was used in heavier-duty GM trucks and it was available in 2wd and 4wd configurations. The naming of the TH400 was changed to 3L80 (3-speeds, Longitudinally positioned, 8000 lbs. GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight) in 1990 to make it easier for buyers to identify the transmission."



-- Edited by BLyke on Monday 27th of September 2021 08:26:09 PM

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

1951 Pontiac Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop 



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Bruce, I've spent a couple hours over the past few days, trying many different search terms and formats to track down ANY help decoding the LRA on your tag. If the info is out there, I can't find it, good luck. I suggest calling John, the transmission expert and see if he has any insight on the code. I would, but we are out of town on a camping trip all week. I am sending his contact number via PM for you.

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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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Lost in the 60s wrote:

Bruce, I've spent a couple hours over the past few days, trying many different search terms and formats to track down ANY help decoding the LRA on your tag. If the info is out there, I can't find it, good luck. I suggest calling John, the transmission expert and see if he has any insight on the code. I would, but we are out of town on a camping trip all week. I am sending his contact number via PM for you.


Thanks Mitch,

 guess I'm not the only one to strike out on the searching. for now its enough to know it was just a name change and that the 1990 TH400 was called a 3L80 rolleyes



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

1951 Pontiac Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop 



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Lots of progress today. Went to replace the plugs, cap and rotor, which all needed it... only to discover that the distributor clamp was tight, but was not on the ringrolleyes

It was easy to turn and suspect it had been slowly moving. running much better and sounds like a 350 should.

Still need to switch the plugs, but just had to give it a try, it needed almost a 1/4 turn, and from struggling to idle to a fairly hi RPM.



-- Edited by BLyke on Wednesday 6th of October 2021 09:33:34 AM

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

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I'll check tomorrow to see if I can cross that LRA code for a 1990ish trans. If you can find the Vin from the case, that would be ideal. Should be "L" and then 7 more, possibly "LZ" and 6 numbers.

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1972 Malibu
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1999 std bore 5.7, Vortec heads, Holley Stealth Ram, GM cam
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Thanks Bryan,
think I'm good for the moment, took a ~5 mile drive yesterday. still a lot to sort out but much better than even when test driving prior to buying.

Need to change out the gas petal to one with a kickdown switch and get all the vacuum  lines set up



-- Edited by BLyke on Wednesday 6th of October 2021 09:37:41 AM

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

1951 Pontiac Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop 



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0LRA transmission code is for a 1990 1500 Pickup, 2 wheel drive, standard cab, 6 foot box, with a 4.3L engine. It is option code M40.

I also checked up and down other models and 1989 and 1991 to verify. All had different codes.

What is that code? That's the specific "programming" inside the trans for the specific model and options of a vehicle. It's pretty much a designing of how the fluid runs through the valve body.
for example: option code 0HKA is for the same 2 wheel drive, 1500, standard cab, 6' box but with a 7.4 engine. Understandable, that's a 7.4L.

Here's where it can be a little goofy: 1990 1500, 2wd, 1500, 6' box but now EXTENDED CAB is code 0LFA.
Why? It has a different weight and the engineers actually take that into account.

Codes for a 1990 1500 2 wheel drive with the 3 speed auto: 0HKA, BA, HA, 0LFA, 0LRA, and 0LFA.

Same year, same model, GM also had the MD8 trans (aka 700R4/4L60) available and that had 15 programming version codes for that year alone.

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Bryan-NW 'burbs
1972 Malibu
Vaguely stock appearing, and the opposite of restored.
1999 std bore 5.7, Vortec heads, Holley Stealth Ram, GM cam
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bowtie wrote:

0LRA transmission code is for a 1990 1500 Pickup, 2 wheel drive, standard cab, 6 foot box, with a 4.3L engine. It is option code M40.

I also checked up and down other models and 1989 and 1991 to verify. All had different codes.

What is that code? That's the specific "programming" inside the trans for the specific model and options of a vehicle. It's pretty much a designing of how the fluid runs through the valve body.
for example: option code 0HKA is for the same 2 wheel drive, 1500, standard cab, 6' box but with a 7.4 engine. Understandable, that's a 7.4L.

Here's where it can be a little goofy: 1990 1500, 2wd, 1500, 6' box but now EXTENDED CAB is code 0LFA.
Why? It has a different weight and the engineers actually take that into account.

Codes for a 1990 1500 2 wheel drive with the 3 speed auto: 0HKA, BA, HA, 0LFA, 0LRA, and 0LFA.

Same year, same model, GM also had the MD8 trans (aka 700R4/4L60) available and that had 15 programming version codes for that year alone.


 Wow, thanks for the details on the tranny. with all that said, it sounds like it should be okay for the 51 and when the speedo drive gear is replaced i will be able to know just how fast its goingthumbsup

 



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

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Time for an update. been getting ready for some serious winter work.
Yesterday i decided to try and make some trim pieces to clean up the windshield, there was a gap from replacing the glass with a one piece Old's style
The material used was some i had saved from my Chevelle rear trim that i thought might be good for shimming at some point



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

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Dang, that's cool, Bruce. Looks nice.



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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Thanks Mitch
I need to get better on taking the before pictures
here is a few on the badging

Went the $2 route (VS $500+)



-- Edited by BLyke on Thursday 11th of November 2021 08:13:26 PM



-- Edited by BLyke on Thursday 11th of November 2021 08:15:11 PM

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

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They look 1,000% better than all faded...thumbsup



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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Wow Bruce! Forming the trim is amazing, and the emblems look way better.

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Larry L.

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Larry Lucast wrote:

Wow Bruce! Forming the trim is amazing, and the emblems look way better.


It was actually easy, once I figured out what to use and how to try doing it.

The first one didn't turn outrolleyes



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

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Since it was time for washing the 71 to put t he cover on, decided to wash the Catalina for the first time too.



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

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Dang !! that is a nice looking car and I'm not much of a Green fan... You're going to get a lot of attention at BttF with it...thumbsup



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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Lost in the 60s wrote:

Dang !! that is a nice looking car and I'm not much of a Green fan... You're going to get a lot of attention at BttF with it...thumbsup


Thanks Mitch,

I'm looking forward to next June, The 350 is now running pretty well,  will keep up in traffic a lot better than the Nomad did.



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

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1- Need to get better on taking before pictures
2 - Since I am still trying to figure out the gas gauge wiring.... (gauge is good, stepped the 12 volt down to 6, checked the grounding, ran a jumper sender wire....)
3- Decided to rework the drivers side seat mount, which lets say was very strange. Also decide to work on the car during the Vikings game and not just sit on the couch for 3 hours

Happy with the choice, even though it looks like the tank may need to come outrolleyes



-- Edited by BLyke on Sunday 28th of November 2021 07:12:14 PM

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

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Much better use of time. Your part turned out great, and the Vikings disappointed - again.

I have never remembered to take before pictures. Since my '79 Malibu will remain pretty much stock looking, I took a series of pictures of the engine compartment so I can get all the routing like it was. Since I have almost nothing else to do, I am having trouble finding time to work on either car.

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Tanks, but no Thanks?!
Since is is now December and winterish, and the sending unit seemed to be bad, it was time to pull the gas tank to figure out what exactly the PO had in mindrolleyes

From what I can surmise, they either had, or inadvertently purchased a 1953-54 gas tank (which was identified while searching for the correct one).

The bad news is the filler tube would not clear the frame, so they installed some 1X4 wooden cribbing to lower the tank. hey also cut the tube and added a joint. 

And yes, the sending unit is bad and seems to also be the wrong ohm range.

Sold the wrong one on Marketplace to a guy here in Lakeville

New tank is on order.

On deck is the rework of the Painless Wiring install and the conversion to 12 volt from 6 Volt. think it is still ~28-29 weeks to BTT50's, its all good.



-- Edited by BLyke on Thursday 2nd of December 2021 05:08:33 PM



-- Edited by BLyke on Thursday 2nd of December 2021 05:09:58 PM

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

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Well, you're dug in for a while now.
Good Luck with the Painful wiring. I'd be looking at an AAW or M&H replacement, but that's me.

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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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Lost in the 60s wrote:

Well, you're dug in for a while now.
Good Luck with the Painful wiring. I'd be looking at an AAW or M&H replacement, but that's me.


 Since it was already 75% in and converted to 12 Volt, its what I'm going withthumbsup



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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

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I understand, you have plenty of time and patience...tiphat



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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