Todays I started.... long way to go with my Wildcat

ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
I am really on pins and needles waiting. He received the heater core on Tuesday, so I am hoping to get a call today. Might be tomorrow though. I don't want to bother him as when he is on the phone, he isn't working on a vehicle, slowing things down. But man, it is hard to wait when I know it is so close. I am certain that everyone on this board has been in a similar situation. Waiting is hard, but the end result will be great.😳
 

ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
So, while waiting for a call that never seems to come, I did a little more research on my car. She is Model 46637-Custom Two-Door Sport Coupe. The were 10,800 made in the 1966 year and my girl is 9033, close to the end of the run. There weren't that many made in total of the Wildcats, total 68,584‬. By far, the most rare are the convertibles. Only 5480 convertibles were made for the Wildcat in '66. I would rather have the hard top myself. I never felt comfortable in a soft top. Don't know why. I know that my boys would have freaked if it had been a convertible. My eldest had an accident about 18 months ago. He came over a hill and hit a moose at 110 kph (70 mph). He didn't have any chance to avoid it as he was about 80 feet from it when he saw it. His youngest brother, my son Mathew, was killed almost instantly. He still blames himself. He was worried about the Wildcat not having all of the safety features of a new car. I reassured him that the body of the Wildcat is far stronger than anything made today. I didn't get into crumple zones or obstacle avoidance. I just let him know that this was basically a town car now and his Mom and I would be perfectly safe.

Anyway, another day, still no call. I am getting really antsy to drive the car. I have my plate and insurance, a GPS to help me keep to speed limit (No KPH (metric) on the speedometer and I don't want to put little stickers on it), and, as soon as I install it, a kick butt stereo. Now, I just need the car.:bur:I can't blame Ed, the mechanic, I just have to wait my turn. I feel like driving out there and seeing if it is at least in the shop, or still in the parking lot. Well, wait and wait. I better go get my wife from Nana Daycare (Casino) while I can still afford to drive my car when I get it. Everyone have a wonderful evening.
 

ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
I just received the call from Ed. My car is ready! Yeah. I will be going out after lunch as he is closed for lunch hour. I can hardly wait to drive it home. that is going to be different as I have been driving pickups since 2008. In the car, you are a lot lower to the ground. Waiting is over!😁
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ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
So I drove her home this afternoon. That was a different feeling from an F150. It will take a little getting used to but, darn, it was fun. She rumbles, I am not used to that as my truck is an 3.5L Ecoboost. No rumble, turbo whine. I put my toe into it to accelerate from 60 (35) to 100 (60). Ok she goes like a scared kitty. I could feel the acceleration. I won't be doing that too much, but, it was fun. It is wider than my F150 and about the same length. When I got in I tried to reach over my shoulder for the seatbelt. Right.... lap belts. I felt silly, but will remember next time. I am going on a trip this week, but next week I will start the body work. That is something I remember how to do.
 

ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
I need to do some work on the carburetor. It drives great on the highway or city roads, but stalls when you come to a red light. (I think it just hates to sit idle
o_O
). I am going to try increasing the idle until I can have the carb kit I purchased installed. Right now, I don't have the money to hire someone. It really isn't driveable as it is though. I don't want to have to start it at every light. I really wish I would have paid attention (I was going to say closer attention, but hey, let's be honest, I didn't have any interest and didn't pay attention) when my Dad tried to teach me. I was only interested in cooking at that time and had electronics as a hobby. Who knew cooking would be a hobby and electronics my life
:)
. Sorry Dad, you were right when you told me you couldn't always hire someone and need to know this.
:(
. I wish I could tell him, but I can't. The car doesn't idle at all when it is cold (the COLD light works, how good is that?). When it warms up, it idles for about 10 seconds then stalls. If you put it into reverse, it stalls. It has only been driven about 1200 Km (720 Miles) in the last 10 years. I might try putting some Carb Cleaner in it. Maybe that will help as it has sat so long.Ray has too many toys to run them all. His favourite is his '57 Lincoln, then his '63 convertible Lincoln. He also has a 64 Lincoln hardtop, but it has trouble with brakes. His daily driver is a right hand drive BMW two seater. Nice little car, but it has the cargo capacity of two postage stamps. He has a Caddy for winter (has 380,000 Km 175000 miles on it). He has a 1 ton Dodge Diesel with a deck on it for work, he works in the patch as a pipeliner. They pay him for his truck.

Anyone with any advice on my Rochester carburetor problems would be greatly appreciated.

My wife is chiming in to get things ready for tomorrow. Everyone have a good day!
 

ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
Today I started the bodywork to repair the "small" hole I found over the drivers rear fender. "Small", famous last words, as usual with body work. First step, remove the trim and mud flap. The pinholes in the metal started at the front of the wheel well and continued around to the back behind the wheel. Ray had mud flaps installed on all four tires. I removed this one and, even though it rained 2 days ago, was still damp. Hmmm, now, if I remember correctly, trapped moisture and dirt = rust. Right, makes sense with what I found. I used my cordless drill and wire wheel and started to remove any rust I found. I used my wire wheel... and used my wire wheel... and used my wire wheel. Good thing that the batteries recharge fairly rapidly. Okay, I think I got it all. I put the fiberglass reinforced Bondo on , thinly. One layer, two layers three. sanding in between. I used putty glaze for the last layer. 80 grit, 180 grit, 300 grit, 400 grit. Now, use my handy-dandy handle on my primer can and spray. 2 light layers of primer. Oh oh, severe thunderstorm warnings, rain, time to quit. The last layer was dry, I was planning to sand it but, the rain interfered. When the rain quit, wouldn't you know it, 2 small bumps that I couldn't see before. Ah well, tomorrow is another day. Good start for one day.
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ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
Today I installed the stereo in the car. I haven't installed the back-up camera yet, the heat got to be too much (95 F), 36 C. I was just dripping on the seat. I tied all of the cables under the dash. While I was there, I noticed some wiring that appalled me. A connector with 6 wires, about 3 inches from one end, all wires taped, with the tape slipping. Umm.... can't have that. Even with the heat, I trimmed all of the wires, one at a time, soldered and heat shrink over the splices. Now, that makes me feel better. I am going to have to go under the dash one morning while it is cool and trace everything. I noticed some cut off wires under there, but the heat beat me. After 19 years in Lethbridge, I still cannot handle the heat. I am more suited to a moderate climate, like in Northern BC where I grew up.

I was going to install the stereo in the dash, but, in the end, I couldn't force myself to cut out that dash. It seemed like sacrilege to cut the dash so the original equipment (AM Radio) wouldn't fit ever again. Just couldn't do it. So.... I built a box for the speakers and a box for the stereo. I cut the doghouse tray Ray had in there to fit between them. I will attach a picture to show. I am not unhappy with how it turned out. Installed, but nothing modified that cannot be put back in a short time. Sounds really good. It has Bluetooth, MP5 (video), USB and SC card inputs. I installed 4 speakers in the car, so it sounds like a new car. It has controls on the steering wheel to, similar to a new car. I didn't install the backup camera yet, too hot to get under the car right now. I plan to take her out on a trip to Fort McLeod this weekend to let the carburetor cleaner I put in run through. I put some fuel stabilizer in as she is not going to be run much this year, until I get the Carb situation solved.





Well, it's tomorrow (Feel asleep without posting this). I got home from my appointment in Calgary and, being bored easily. I purchased some Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish as well as some steel wool, just to see if I could clean up the chrome trim. $17 seemed like a small investment to test out what I skeptically saw on YouTube. Well, I have to say, wow. They were telling the truth. It doesn't take a lot of elbow grease, just time and persistence, and the chrome that I practiced with came out beautifully. I did the trim above the wheel well I repaired and the 4 housings around the headlights. I am impressed. If it continues this good, I may not need to get the trim re-chromed. That would be a major money saver.




One done and one just washed. When I watched the video, I was certain it was a gimmick, but, I am glad to say it wasn't. Wash with soap and water, dry, use Mothers and steel wool and work over all of the chrome surfaces a couple of times. Let dry a bit, then use fresh steel wool and once again work it over a couple of times. Wipe with a microfibre cloth and voila, almost like new. Me one happy camper😃. I will have to remove the bumpers to work on them but that is a weekend job (one weekend each) as there are not enough hours in the day after watching my Muffin, Aria while Mommy and Daddy work. I would highly recommend this method to anyone who wants to re-furbish their own chrome, and is on a budget. Just be forewarned, it is time consuming. If it does this good a job on the front chrome on a 53 year old car, then I have to say again, wow.

Well, everyone have a good evening. I am going to post this before I fall asleep again.
 

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ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
I spent 5 hours today polishing the front chrome on my girl. I love the grill, but today, having to polish each one finger in the grill 3 times, (Wash, polish with steel wool and , steel wool, the a cloth), I wished for simpler grill. Now that it is done, it looks great. I love the way it shines. The shape of the grill is something you would never get today, with it's angles. The bumper was easier, still took 90 minutes to take care of. Now, when I get more money, I will do more of the chrome. For now, I hurt (Age sucks, 30 years ago I could have done the whole car).

Chrome grill.png
 

ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
I took the car for a 60 mile (103 KM) drive just to determine what I needed to fix next. First, the carburetor. If you don't give it a little gas at intersections, she will stall. After driving to Fort McLeod, I turned around at a cross road. As soon as I took my foot off the gas to wait for traffic, it stalled. It started easy enough though. Then, while parking, when I put it into reverse, it stalled about 3 times. Definitely something wrong there. Second, lots of heat in the cabin. A cable may have come off under the dash (Yup, found it). Third, there is a squeal that I think is the vent on the passenger side. Jenny thinks so as well. I will have to check that. The carburetor is the main thing though. That is a safety issue. On the highway, she goes great. Lots of power to be had. I accelerated up the hill without even trying.
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ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
I used the last of my polish to work on some of the chrome down the side of the car. The chrome on the side started out white and when I was done, looked like a mirror. I am shocked. I am looking forward to tomorrow when I can afford more steel wool and polish. I love the way it is turning out.i just whish I had access to the funds to fix the carburetor. Ah well, all in good time. In the meantime, I will continue to fix rust and polish what I can. There is a small leak on the power steering pump on one of the connectors. Need to look at that.

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Anaduff

Associate Member
932
788
93
St. Paul, Minnesota
Buick Ownership
2019 Insignia GS, 2003 Jaguar X-Type
Looking at the interior, it seems there is more chrome in there than there is on the entire front of the car! I suppose you can save that polishing for the winter (you still have winters up there, right?).

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ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
Yup, lot of chrome in there as well. The interior chrome is in good shape, it is the paint that needs to be refurbished. We have winter, but, I grew up in the North (Prince George 54-40 North). After that, I lived in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Up there, a 70 degree summer day is considered hot and winter can be, well, cruel. In Lethbridge, we are only an hour north of the US border and have multiple Chinooks ( Native - meaning Snow Eater) every winter. I love Chinooks, you can go from -20 C ( -4 F) to plus 10 ( 50 F) in a matter of hours. Takes your snow away overnight. We never seem to have snow for more that a week or two at any time.
 
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ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
Well, my Brother-In-Law, Ray, has rebuilt my Rochester Carb. He said that a number of the screws in the carb were loose, which signifies that the seals were shrinking. There was quite a bit of gunk in the carb, but it is clean again. Now to take it home and re-install it on my old girl. Then, make an appointment with the mechanic to tune it up so she runs like new again.
:)
. Of course, now it is coming on Winter, so I plan to purchase a cover for her and have put fuel stabilizer in the tank. I am not going to run her in the winter, she is a summer girl.
______________________________
 

ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
Well, I made an appointment to get the carb and engine tuned up. After that, the paint job. I just ordered a car cover. $385 US on for 1/2 price at carcovers.com. It comes with wind straps, a storage bag, a cable lock, microfibre wipes and an antenna patch. With the money I am putting into my old girl, it is time to take good care of her. As I said, I have admired it since Ray first got it 12 years ago, but never thought she would be mine. I used to hate seeing snow piled on it but it wasn't mine, so kept my peace.

A guy named Lee has left 3 notes on the Wildcat now, asking to buy it. I am going to have to call him and let him know that the car isn't for sale, ever. I used to always want a Mustang, but now, I enjoy the fact that she is a bit of a rarity while Mustangs are common. There have to be 50 old Mustangs in Lethbridge, But only one other Wildcat that I know about. It is al coming together. Next spring, a trip back up to Ray's place and re-build the motor. It only needs a little work, so will be able to rebuild it in-frame. At least, as of now, that is the plan.

For a nerd who only used to car about music, computers and drones, I am finding this expensive, but rewarding.
 

ChuckBridges

Member
119
22
18
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Buick Ownership
1966 Wildcat 2 door
Well, I picked up my car today. Unfortunately, when Ray rebuilt my carb, he made some mistakes and bent some things. Bob had to rip it down and rebuild it from the ground up. Luckily, he had a couple of spare "donor" carbs hanging around. It starts nice (Pump 2 or 3 times, it's a carb after all). It starts, idles (a little lumpy, but Bob said that is the way they idle). It does idle, it does run great and has a ton of power. I gave it a little too much gas at one point, and, since we have a lot of snow right now, taught me a quick lesson. This is not my 3.5 litre ecoboost F150, this is a 425 Cubic Inch muscle car. The mechanic, Bob asked me if I wanted to sell her. He already had plans for it. Air bags, 20 inch rims, gloss fleck black body and a gold roof. Nope..... not for sale. I explained that she was a gift that I had admired for about 12 years. She is now my baby.

Now, it is winter, sort of. It is Lethbridge after all. 2 days ago, -17 (~ 1F), today +7 (45 F). The snow will be gone in a few days and I will remove the battery and put the new car cover on her. Time to put her away for 3 months.:( I got some looks driving it home. Some were admiring, some looks were "Why is that idiot driving his car in this weather?" Only to get her home. I am glad that Ray put Mud & Snow tires on her. She drove well, but a lot different feeling than a F150.
 
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chenani

New member
9
1
3
Aurora, CO
Buick Ownership
2000 LeSabre Limited 4dr
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Where I started to where I ended up. Took a while, but it can be done. All the sheet metal, driveline and mechanical work was done by me. Paint was mixed by me and applied by people who were much smarter. If I can do it, anyone can, so you’ve just gotta get on it and be willing to make a mistake and learn from it.
Wow. Thanks for the pics. Takes me waaaaaayyyy back👍🏾
 
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