Affordable Classic: Cooling and Fueling – 1961 Pontiac Laurentian

It has been quite a while since I have posted an update on the 1961 Pontiac Laurentian. Unfortunately progress on the car has slowed but it has not stopped. The usual suspects of work, vacations as well as a server move on this site have got in the way. Additionally my wife decided we needed to sell our house and buy a new one so I am currently undergoing that process. However a side effect of the imminent house move is an increased priority for getting the car mobile to avoid another trailer ride. As you can see the new water pump is in as I concentrated my efforts on cooling and fueling issues.

After the water pump the radiator was cleaned up and installed back the proper place. Sure beats tripping over it every time I go in the garage. I certainly could have given it a bit of paint but that would have lead to a cosmetic overhaul of the whole engine compartment. Another day perhaps as I am aiming for clean and functional at this point. A new thermostat is a obvious item to change as the old one was well pass its best. The coolant passages were given a bit of clean as well.

The heater hoses looked really old so I figured they were worth replacing as well. So I bought about twelve feet of hose to cut up in replacement sections.

Connect one end, roughly measure and cut. Repeat. These are some of the longer heater hoses I have come across.

I was able to buy a new lower radiator hose. No such luck on the top one so bought one that sort of, kind of had a similar shape in a section. Again I had to cut it down. Happily each side would have worked so I have a spare now.

All the new hoses are now in with a few replacement hose clamps that I had lying around.

The hose fitting on the new water pump came with an absolutely silly end and when I poured in coolant it pissed everywhere. A more reasonable looking replacement was sourced locally.

Next up is the gas tank that was in unknown condition. It could be full of old and vanished gasoline as the car had been sitting since 1981 or so. The guy I bought it off bypassed the tank and used a whiskey bottle for fueling but that is hardly a long term solution. Interestingly the tank straps used wood as spacer. I was able to undo all the fasteners with only a brief struggle.

It is very possible this tank has never been out after the car was assembled. A fair amount of dirt and pebbles hit the floor.

Success as the tank is out. Luckily it was good news as it was left almost empty and thus looks very decent given the time it sat. This allowed for a quick do it yourself style cleaning before the re-installation.

Nice and solid under there.

The gas tank went back in reasonably smoothly after wrestling with the angles of entry. A new rubber hose is still needed and then it can be hooked back up for a test run.

One last minute detail before we close this segment is a Mexican blanket to cover up the not so perfect seats. I am not usually one for buying tourist items when on vacation but I was fine with buying this blanket in Mexico a few years ago. I neglected to mention it to my wife at the time but I was sure that I would eventually have a car that could make use of one someday. I have a couple other affordable accessory item ideas as well.

The whole Affordable Classic series:

  1. The Search Is On
  2. Landed One – 1961 Pontiac Laurentian
  3. Dragging It Home
  4. Assessment and Planning
  5. Little Fixes
  6. Shocks and Brake Removal
  7. Disc Brake Mounting
  8. Cooling and Fueling
  9. Back into the Brakes and Other Odds and Ends
  10. First Drive!
  11. Last Minute Fixes