Abandoned for 40 years: 1968 New Yorker 2 DR

Isaiah Estrada

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Hey gents, it has been LONG time since I’ve updated this thread at all. My apologies. I’m going to try and keep every update on the car strictly to this thread…

Today: March 3, 2022 marks 2 YEARS that the New Yorker got towed into my friend’s back yard.

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Here’s a Facebook flashback I got, if only I KNEW how bad this car was :BangHead:
Sometimes I say to myself: “Why didn’t you just wait to find a nice original one in GOOD condition that ran nice?!”
Then the thought also comes to me, If I would’ve just found a running car, I wouldn’t have appreciated as much as I WILL after this car is back on the road. Sure I would’ve loved it, but now knowing all the work I’ve put into it has lead me to being able to drive it is an award I’ll have for a lifetime!

We’ve made some substantial progress since my last update here. I have a new trunk that’s welded in

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All thanks to the help of my friend Arnold who has had his hand in building many beautiful cars! He is doing the metal repair on this car, which has led me to dismantle it even further than it already was. With the front and rear windshield out, he has to go in and repair the eaten out metal where debris got between the window gaskets / butyl and ate that metal to nothing. It’s pretty horrible, especially in the rear. Up front it isn’t bad

Here’s a few shots of the rear window

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I’ve since done a lot of prep work for new metal to be patched in.

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The rear package tray also needs to be reinforced, as it got pretty weak over time. The roof as a whole on this car needs a lot of work. That vinyl top did it absolutely no favors. This brought me to my next task as we work from the rear forward. Get those windows rolled down or out completely. The car has electric windows and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get them to roll down. So I had to hit up a few friends who were a huge help in guiding me through the process of removing the window regulators front and back. The fronts are so easy to do, the rear quarter glass … WHOLE other story. I had myself contemplating throwing the whole car away at that point :mad: Not really, but you get the point LOL.

She looks good with the windows down for the first time since the 1980

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Notice too I’ve also removed the surrounding trim for the windows.

Slowly but surely this car is getting to where it needed to be a LONG time ago, back on the road!

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Ross Wooldridge

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I am following your progress with great interest, and enormous admiration. You are doing everything right, learning so much in the process, and teaching us something too. Keep it up Isaiah. And remember, cut yourself some slack when things get tough, and remember, you can't make it perfect, and there will ALWAYS be something you wish was done better - this applies both to restoring a car and to playing music - something you and I know from both sides!!
 

Isaiah Estrada

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I am following your progress with great interest, and enormous admiration. You are doing everything right, learning so much in the process, and teaching us something too. Keep it up Isaiah. And remember, cut yourself some slack when things get tough, and remember, you can't make it perfect, and there will ALWAYS be something you wish was done better - this applies both to restoring a car and to playing music - something you and I know from both sides!!

Thank you Ross for those kind words! I treasure your friendship and all the valuable advice I’ve been given from you. People like you make this car a little easier to work on for me! Gives me a better hope of having it done soon. I will be hitting it hard in the coming months to have it prepared and ready for an interior and have door jambs, engine bay, beneath the windows etc all painted the body color I will go with. She will be a head turner for sure!
 

Isaiah Estrada

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With the interior nearly gutted completely, I had the dashboard, steering column and pedals in my way. The thing about this car is, although it was a Cali car it’s whole life - the rats living in it caused some major rust damage. When they got up underneath the dash and made nests and were peeing and making a mess, the car got humid inside and that acid from their waste caused some gross rust. This caused a lot of hidden bolts underneath the dash to be rust welded / fused together. When trying to remove the brake booster, I had the time of my life reaching behind the dash and trying to break free the four screws holding it on. I had to get creative! Luckily, I was able to get it done.

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The bolt sticking out of that stud attached to the bellow was absolutely frozen. I even tried hammering it out with zero luck. I do plan on selling this, as I am not using the factory drum setup. Whoever gets this and has it rebuilt will have to figure out how to remove that bolt :lol:. It was so bad that even when the brake pedal was attached, it didn’t move AT ALL.

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I am not a small person by any means. 6’2”, 230 lbs - when I had the drivers seat in the car, I could literally push my entire weight onto the pedal and it just didn’t move at all, not even 1 cm. Crazy how much damage such small animals can do!

Next task, get the steering column out. Was actually way easier than I anticipated. Job took 10 minutes to do

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She’s looking pretty empty about now

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Now the task: get the dashboard out! It amazes me at how few screws are holding it up. I thought there’d be more!

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Came out with a little effort, hardest part was removing the vacuum lines from the back of the heater control switch. Those were on TIGHT.

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Now it’s REAL empty in here! Today I’m going to try and remove the heater box. I’ve been told it’s a few screws on the firewall side. If I can get that out, then I can begin bodywork on the firewall and smooth it out. I will replace the ugly sheet metal screws with nice stainless ones and cap them off with little chrome bullets or something. I want the engine compartment to be nice and tidy!

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LocuMob

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You're kicking ass, kid. Can't wait to see it when it's done and slammed to the ground.
 

Isaiah Estrada

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You're kicking ass, kid. Can't wait to see it when it's done and slammed to the ground.

Thank you! I’m counting down the days… After I get the heater box out, I’m going to rebuild it and meanwhile when it’s out, paint inside and do the firewall in the black cherry Pearl color I decided on. That’s what’s keeping us from dropping the motor in! Then paint jambs, behind window seals etc . It’s gonna come sooner than I think!
 

Omni

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Isaiah
I truly admire your ambition and dedication. Many would nave passed on that car or at the least, parted it out.
Keep at it. Takes lots of pics to show what was done (and to remember all the 'fun' that was had). The education that you are receiving is priceless. Good Luck and God Bless.
Omni
 

Devinism

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I feel your (rust) pain. I had a restoration shop there in Santa Maria from the late 80s - 2005. That cool 'slight breeze', mixed in with the fog / overcast ate cars alive.
You're doing it right. Taking your time, asking for help and tips from some of us 'old guys'.
And that black pearl? Great choice.
 

Isaiah Estrada

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I feel your (rust) pain. I had a restoration shop there in Santa Maria from the late 80s - 2005. That cool 'slight breeze', mixed in with the fog / overcast ate cars alive.
You're doing it right. Taking your time, asking for help and tips from some of us 'old guys'.
And that black pearl? Great choice.
You get it!!! The car is in Nipomo right now actually, my friend lives down the street from Dana Klaft who I purchased it off of. But sometimes I feel like even Nipomo might get some heavier fog than Santa Maria! Especially since he lives closer to the Guadalupe side of Nipomo….

Thanks for the advice and encouragement! I did a lot of contemplating of colors over my time that I’ve been working on it, but every time I think of something new it always comes back to Black Cherry Pearl, so I told myself to stick with that decision and keep it! It may be a while before I have the whole car painted but it’ll be worth it!
 

Isaiah Estrada

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Isaiah
I truly admire your ambition and dedication. Many would nave passed on that car or at the least, parted it out.
Keep at it. Takes lots of pics to show what was done (and to remember all the 'fun' that was had). The education that you are receiving is priceless. Good Luck and God Bless.
Omni

Thanks Omni! I sometimes regret choosing this car, but I KNOW I will love it so much more than any other car that I could've just bought running! My friend who helped me find it tried convincing me to get the 1962 Chrysler Newport that was also on the property. I sometimes still regret not getting that car instead... I just couldn't see how nice they can be when they're all fixed up! Now that I do... it's become my dream car.

Nonetheless, this 68 is my baby and the memories I've already made with it make me know I could never put a price tag on this beautiful car. Seeing it back to it's former glory is something I dream constantly about and I feel like I'm starting to see a little light at the end of this dark tunnel!
 

stubs300

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I happen to be in a fortunate situation especially being a young man starting out in life. I work a good job that pays handsomely and I have hardly any major bills to pay. Given my car’s poor state, everyone told me “You should save up your money and fix this car up the RIGHT way and enjoy it!”

So how that handsomely paid job workin out now that your state's inflation and gas price is through the roof, and only going to get worse? You're going to have to cut corners somewhere or just blow it all off to experience! Good Luck
 

Isaiah Estrada

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So how that handsomely paid job workin out now that your state's inflation and gas price is through the roof, and only going to get worse? You're going to have to cut corners somewhere or just blow it all off to experience! Good Luck
It’s working out beautifully:) I can afford to live here in this beautiful state next to the beach and we just make do with what we have. No car of mine is ever going to have cut corners and I’m never going to give up on it :thumbsup:

Thanks for the support !
 

stubs300

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A word of advice, now is the time to pick a body color and scrub, sand, detail and paint the engine compartment body color, if you don't and paint it satin black, you'll never hear the end of it from the mopar guys:soapbox:

Not if he paints the car that color he won't!
 

LocuMob

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So how that handsomely paid job workin out now that your state's inflation and gas price is through the roof, and only going to get worse? You're going to have to cut corners somewhere or just blow it all off to experience! Good Luck
Stubb's, if you haven't picked up on this young man's determination, then you need to up your meds. :poke:He's even motivated me to get cracking on my projects.
 

Isaiah Estrada

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I admire any 6'3"230 lb. guy who willingly works under the dash.

It certainly is a pain… but it does help with the front and rear seats out and basically having everything else gutted! I don’t think I could manage it otherwise :eek: I’m definitely taking advantage of having everything out to rebuild and restore all the dash components and have everything functional!

Really excited to have the rebuilt cluster inside. The ammeter has been converted to a voltmeter now, all other gauges have been rebuilt and calibrated. Clock has been converted to a quartz mechanism. Gonna look awesome to see it working and functioning as it should!


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Isaiah Estrada

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Stubb's, if you haven't picked up on this young man's determination, then you need to up your meds. :poke:He's even motivated me to get cracking on my projects.

Thank you for your continued support and advice for my project! I’m glad to have so much support, largely outnumbers the negativity
 

Isaiah Estrada

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Today was another day full of good progress. Finally got the heater box out!

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Full of rat droppings …

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This thing is absolutely trashed! I have a rebuild kit on the way from DMT, I’m hoping it shouldn’t be too hard. Snagged a new AC/Heater core for the car.

Purchased it new on evilbay

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Need to figure out the evaporator next. It’s been exposed to the elements and is likely toast… I do need help locating some components if anyone can help! The vacuum diaphragms or whatever they’re called.. I’m going to need them new. I circled it… pardon my lack of knowledge on the proper name.

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Inside is lookin EMPTY. Firewall is clear of any obstructions now. Time to weld up unused holes and patch rusty metal. Then to body work it. Prime, sand and then paint! Once it’s painted and the heater box is back inside along with the dash, we can drop the 440 back inside. I look forward to that very eagerly!!
 
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Isaiah Estrada

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Getting schooled on bodywork with a planishing hammer! Going to be using this to form new metal for the car. Namely patching on the roof, around (and below) the rear window!

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