62 Pontiac Catalina Mild Custom Finished


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I've been unable to get in gear on a new build lately, so I figured that starting a WIP would give me the incentive to get going. I haven't done a WIP in quite a while, and have only done one on MCM, so hear goes.

I saw this AMT kit at the local hobby store a couple of days ago. Since I have 80 to 100 kits "on deck", I figured I needed another one. Glad I bought this one; looks to be excellent in the detail department.

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Although I am impressed with the detail and engineering (so far) of this kit, the build options seem to be limited. The race version looks cool, but there's going to a bunch of these built that way. The other half of "2 IN 1" is custom. Stock could be a nice model, but the kit wasn't really meant for that. I'm going with mild custom. There won't be much needed that's not already in the box. In fact, this would make a good choice for an out-of-box build. I won't be able to keep from adding plug wires, so out-of-box is probably not going to happen.

The kit comes with some parts to lower the suspension, but that won;t likely get the car down where it needs to be, so some minor suspension tweaking mods will be in order. This is where I want to be.

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My official start to any kit is glueing the engine halfs together. The cool thing about this 421 is the interlocking ridges on each half rather than locating pins. This design seems to line things up better. I usually have to adjust and clamp engines together. This one falls right into place.

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One more thing; I can tell already that I'm gonna wish this was a bubble top.

Edited by Alyn

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Posted · Report post

Hmmm, looks like one I need to find a copy of Alyn! As far as the bubble top goes, I agree! Snag a '62 Bel-Air and start hacking! It should fit on there very nicely!

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No Hacking!

One of the reasons I picked this kit was to do something simple. No custom body work, no hacking, just a pretty basic mild custom. I always love doing engines, so I may throw something that way, but no body mods. B)

thanks for checking in Mike.

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no body mods

absolutely no body mods.

After gluing the engine together, I chopped the top B)

2 1/2 inches. Just enough to give it some attitude, but no more body mods.

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finished the plastic work tonight. Now for some Plasticoat primer and a light skim coat of putty. The door handles and trunk emblem are going to go and there's a couple of holes in the front fenders that will be filled. Then it's on to finish sanding, although I may have to rebuild a few small areas of trim around the top.

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Still working on detail shaping and sanding on the chopped top. To break up the routine, I've also started on the motor. The supplied oil pan has a deepened sump to suit the racing version. I'll try to keep this one low, so I had to restore the oil pan back to somewehre near stock.So, not only is the top chopped, but the oil pan is as well.

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The motor also comes with two fours for the induction system. For no particular reason, this will be changed to some kind of Hilborn style injection. Here's the beginning of the new system which requires a valley cover (piece in the center).

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Here's a couple of mock ups of where she's at so far:

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The piece across the front is a cooling system cross-over. There will be a flange in the middle to connect the upper radiator hose. It's a bit big, so I'm going to build another one in a smaller diameter. Hopefully, all that wide open space in the middle will be filled with enough fuel lines and lingage to look pretty.

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I really liked this kit when I put it together. The worst problem I have seen with it is the alignment of the front bumper. If you look at a lot of the builds of this car, even on this site, the ends of the front bumper are angled up.

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That's a nice looking body, Antonio. Jimmy Flintstone usually brings a ton of product to our Heartland Nationals contest in June. I'll have to look for that one. I love the early sixties bubble tops

Thanks for the tip on the bumper, Ken. I'm not sure what the front end will end up like, but I'll be watching out for the bumper fitment.

Last time (and the only time) I tried to scratch build fuel injection, I hand-flared some 3/32" aluminum tube for the stacks. This time I'm taking the easy way out and using wire ferrules. Here's version 1

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Here's the ferrules mocked up. Much more uniform.

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I'm not going for the gasser look, so the ferrules were cut down to size. Here's where they're at so far. The rear injector base was damaged ( I knocked a big chunk out of the plastic) and had to be repaired.

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Can u buy the ferrules at like radio shack? That's a clever idea better than rivets and i think much better looking. Great job so far too i will be watching this one 4sure.

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I really like where this one is headed! I may "borrow" your fuel injection idea for a couple of builds I have coming up. Keep up the great progress! B) I'm just curious as to what size ferrules you started with?

Edited by Tonioseven

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Alyn, I can see right now that this is on the way to being one heck of a nice build. I like how you are taking the time to do the engine modifications along with the body modifcations on this custom.

Jason, you can find ferrels in the pipe fitting section of your hardware store but, Im not sure that you are going to find something this small there unless they are for 1/8" lines.

Edited by Skydime

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Thanks, guys. Jason, I doubt if Radio Shack carries these. Most of the ones I've been to lately carry fewer and fewer electronic parts. Radio Shacks have pretty much become cell phone and gadget stores. I found the ferrules at a local electronics distributor called Electronics Supply Co. here in Kansas City. I was was able to walk right in and shop around, but I think you can buy from them on-line at http://shop.eskc.com. Try that and search for "ferrule". I have 2 sizes made by Wago with the smaller one having a part number on the bag of 216-104 (1.5mm). The one on my engine isn't marked, but I think it's the 216-106, 2.5mm size. The nice thing is these babies are only 2 cents. While you're looking, search for the wrap wire too. Use the search term "kynar" and you'll find 6 different colors of scale spark plug wire at abut $10.00 for 100ft. I don't know what their minimum order quantities are for on-line buying, but if it's low enough, this could be a great source for these items.

Antonio, I can't take credit for this idea. A couple of years ago when I built the first injection setup, Don Mueller (Wisdonm on-line) recommended them. At least, I think it was him. I've since seen others use them as well. They make great exhaust tips too.

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I'm still working on the engine, but at least it's starting to look like one.

mock up of the right bank injector casting with stacks mocked up:

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Here's a mock up of all the major scratch built parts on the engine. the parts are just setting in place, so final assemble should take care of the gaps. the new, smaller water cross-over pipe looks much better.

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Here's most of the remaining parts for the engine assembly. Each part will get it's own paint treatment. The oil pan will be painted black followed by a coat of Alclad chrome. The generator will be semi-gloss black with an aluminum end plate. Most factory cast headers would be a dark cast iron color with some rust weathering. Pontiac cast these headers in aluminum, so these will be painted bright silver with some heat stain weathering (talent willing). The starter motor will be black with the solenoid painted silver and gold. The oil filter will be silver and white, and the fuel pump assembly will be silver, gold and black. I need to drill out the distributor and add an aluminum tube shaft on the bottom. the cap will be black. Finally, the fan pulley/belt assembly will be the most complex with shiny black on two pulleys, Pontiac engine blue on the crank pulley, silver on the generator fan blades, and matte black on the belt.

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and some more ...

Got paint on the major parts. The Pontiac engine blue is simply Testors 1162 flat blue enamel (the little square bottles). The manual transmission is a stainless steel metalizer and the bell housing is cheap hardware store silver.

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Here's my scratch build fuel distribution block. The hole on the top will support a throttle linkage bell crank. The black hoses will curve around and plug into the outer side of each injector, terminated with a small aluminum sleeve. The braided hose will connect up to the fuel line filter (part of the kit supplied fuel pump assembly. Normally, this type of fuel injection would not use the factory mechanical pump, but i like the look of it.

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One final picture to show where I'm at so far.

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thanks for taking a look. I hope to have an update soon on either the bodywork, or suspension.

Edited by Alyn

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Posted · Report post

Looking fantastic. Keep it going, this one's going to be another winner.

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The engine is looking amazing with all those little details.

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Very nice! The engine detail looks great. Thanks for the hint on where to find ferrules. :)

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Great work. Like the engine details. The wire ferrules are really nice, I like to use them as well. The chop & the stance are cool.

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Pull up a chair Ladies and Gents, the Master is about to amaze us with his prodigious skills!

Alyn, bet you never thought I knew big words like that, did ya? :D

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Posted · Report post

Love the details on the engine so far!!

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Thanks, guys. Glad you like the details. They're why I like building engines so much; lots of details. Mike, if anything, I may be a master at hiding my mistakes. You, on the other hand are a master of ideas. I always enjoy watching how you settle for nothing less than the best possible way to solve a modeling problem. love it

I tried to get the miscellaneous engine detail parts painted tonight for some show and tell, but there's still a few colors to go. Tomorrow is "date night" and there's an IPMS show in Leavenworth Kansas on Saturday. Hopefully, I'll have another engine update over the weekend.

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Alyn, I really like your injectors, they look so real!! I might copy your setup for an old Nova "Rat Packer" that I'm halfway into. It will be built as the first issue called Twister. Guess it was reissued not too long ago. I have the old first issue box.

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the engine is going to look great. i like the attichopped top. B)

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looks killer and i dig that scratchbuilt fuel block. great work!

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Aw, yea! Love that chop!

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