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1968 Olds 442

Heres another something that I didn't plan on sharing, but I figured I would since I haven't been able to get far on my Caddy this winter. This is my dads car he bought last winter when he was out in AZ. It came from Desert Valley Auto Parts. Being retired, he has time to drive around and look at junk. I thought I'd share as it's a lot of the reason why my Cadillac isn't painted. He worked on it all summer and I did all the painting and helped when I could. It was basically a gutted shell with the wrong engine. Sideswiped something along it's lifespan on the drivers side but has very little rust. It's a California built car and appears to have stayed out there and was beaten to death throughout it's life. I don't have photos when we got it but it had the hood/fenders/doors all on.
I'm partial to '64-'66 myself, but it's nice to see any Oldsmobile of that era spared the indignity of the boneyard.I may even have a part or two for that thing, brackets, pulleys, etc.
When we got the car I couldn't open the drivers door. Fender was pushed into the front of the door. Fender was hammered along door edge so he bought both new goodmark fenders. We were going to use these fenders as guides. Had to pull the A pillar forward to get the back of the door right with the fender. Maybe 1/4" it was moved forward but raised the back of the door and opened the gap it needed. Passenger side was fine. I wanted to get all this stuff fitting before we tore the car apart.

I had to weld at least 1/8" to half of the fender edge and shape to the door. I also did this on the back of the door also. Made very good gaps but didn't spend the time for absolutely perfect gaps. Just better than factory. I did this to both sides. I also didn't document it very good. This is the only picture I have. I liked the new fenders. Pretty good pieces compared to the thrashed originals.

Sent the hood hinges out to be rebuilt. One year hinges and these were pretty loose. Hood was a mess. It was punched in the nose hard and nothing fit right. We used the rebuilt hinges and bought new grilles/headlight surrounds to fit the hood to. Hood didn't fit/shut right at all. No pictures but the nose punch pushed up the center of the hood about 1" in the center. Dad looked for most of the summer to get a hood. One year hood so that was a no go. We shut the hood into the bucket on the loader tractor with blocks of wood at each corner. Then both of us jumped on the center of the hood to get it to relax. Took a couple hours of hillbilly fix'n but we were able to get the hood where we wanted. That is where the hood is today. It hasn't been stripped or anything. Just fitted and removed. Fit along the fender side was great. I still slightly extened the corners of the fenders where they meet the hood. Welded and shaped.

We had some weird oil canning going on in the center of the hood that went away once the hood was in shape. I'm glad we worked on shape instead of just trying to raise a dent. DSCF2220.JPG
Hi Brad. Nice work on your dads car. I may have some parts for a 69. If your going to the Olds homecoming June 16th. Stop by my swap space and introduce yourself. ~BOB
My folks live next door. They are here for 6months and AZ for 6 months. They'll be home in a couple weeks which got me started on the 442. I was going to do some work on the doors and fenders this winter but I didn't finish my homework. I block sanded and sprayed epoxy on the doors and 1 fender last week but I not how I wanted it to go. It's fun having him around all summer but my nerves are frazzled come fall and I'm ready to work alone.

I wish I had pictures of us fixing the hood. It reminds of the movie Oceans Eleven where Bernie Mac was buying a van and the 2 idiots in the background were standing on the rear bumper jumping up and down. We never knew the hood was raised up until fitting it with the new grills and fenders. He ended up with a cutlass hood and decklid out in AZ that he's dragging home. He wanted the decklid but the guy wouldn't seperate and the price was good.

Bob, I think I might go to that. Dad went last year but we had a show we had to do at he Edsel Ford estate. He has the list but I know I'd like to get some of the front sheet metal bolts with the anchors on the head.

This car has a red dirt/dust all over it and looks rusty but it sure is clean. No pitted metal. Sure looks ugly though.


Pulled the body and motor. Motor was a 69' 350 so we won't use it. I sat the body on a utility trailer and that is where it sits now.
Disassembled easy. I don't think I fired the torches up once. Definetly not a Michigan car.


Frame was stripped down. Still can't believe how nice the frame was.
Dad got first shift blasting while I was monitoring the moisture from the blast rig. We had just rigged up the aftercooler to see how it was going to work. Previously after a 1/2 hour of blasting moisture would be a big problem. It took an hour or so and no problems so we integrated the aftercooler to the rig shortly after. No more water which means no more messing around.


Blasted and epoxied all of the suspension pieces. Same with the rear axle. The axle is a 10bolt out of a 69' Tempest with a posi so it will be used. How long I don't know. Building a nice car to drive not sit around and rot at a car show or be picked apart by the "experts". New Eaton springs standard height and graphite/poly bushings front and rear. New ball joints and tie rod ends. Brakes will probably be wilwood so they will be done later.


Back together. You can tell the rear axle is out of another car because it has some rust pits. Rest of the car never did. 442's were the first Gm A-bodies that came with a rear sway bar and factory boxed rear control arms. I guess Olds was ahead of the pro-touring movement.


I believe the rear end is a Chevy 12-bolt, the 8.2" BOP rear ends were not as strong. In some high-perf BOP cars the 12-bolt was an option that could be special ordered. The '70 GTO I'm doing has a 12-bolt in it.
68 442's had a 12 bolt cover. So definately came from another car. Like crashtech say's, lots of these didn't survive and got swapped with something else. Nice work! Keep up with the pics!
The #'s on the axle tube dated it to 69' and a Tempest. We ran with because it would be easy to swap when the right one comes along. 12 bolts had scrawnny little axle shafts so even those weren't very tough. I don't think my dad will beat on it to bad. I'd put a Ford 9" in it if it was mine.

We da'd the paint off the outside of the new fenders and did a light blast on the backside. Doors were blasted Some dents in the doors but a perfect pinchweld. Hammered, dollied, stud gun, shrink disk the areas, then prepped and sprayed a couple coats of epoxy.