My 57 Chevy   
The fun of owning an antique auto.

Many miles ago I updated this page. I think I was having too much fun driving the 57 Chevy around to do an update.

July 24, 2016

I will have to dig back into my musty old memory to write down things that I have done.

Other than normal maintenance I don't think I did anything major, which explains the time lapse. When things are going well the tendency is to not rock the boat.

This year is different. My brakes are going out. Ever since I got the 57 Chevy the brakes pulled right and left, sometimes very strongly. That was always a worry that I would hit some one or something. Then the pedal was going to the floor.

So credit card in hand I bought new brake shoes , wheel cylinders, master cylinder and brake hoses. The price for these was not high so I bought local like I like to do.

I jacked up the car, pulled the  brake drums exposing the brake shoes. I took pictures with my Samsung Galaxy 8" tablet to save what they looked like, even though the brakes are very simple.

I tackled the drivers side first. Digging through my brake tools made easy work of removing the brake springs and shoes. I removed the brake hoses too. The wheel cylinder has a large 1 1/16th bolt head with buttons protruding to hook up the springs.

Passenger side shown.

Remove all the parts on the backing plate. Next to change the wheel cylinder, unbolt it. It is the shiny button at the top. In this picture it is covered by parts. The bolt is in tight but my 25" long handle breaker bar and 1 inch deep reach socket removed it OK. This the drivers side. It is a simple task to reverse the order and reassemble the brakes. The passenger side was a different story though. The wheel cylinder bolt was frozen in place. I ran the 57 Chevy over to a good friend who has a torch. By now the bolt head had already been damaged by my efforts to remove it so I couldn't get it loose. I would have to wait till later. I bought a used bolt from at the pricey $19.99. Gotta have it and after shipping and handling it was about $30.

Once the bolt came I went back to my friends place and we welded a 1 3/8" nut on top of the wheel cylinder bolt. We still had to heat up the steering top knuckle to break the bolt loose. It was a tough job but we we were happy to have it done.

The next problem was the front wheel bearings were going bad. I had a loud rumble from the font of the car and figured out that the bearings were bad, especially the passenger side. Eckler's came to the rescue again.

57-177715-1 Chevy Wheel Hub Tapered Bearing, Race, Seal Kit, Front, 1955-1957

 They had an inexpensive set of inside and outside roller bearings. The original bearings were ball bearings. They were good in the old days, but not anymore. Roller bearings are so much better. The conversion requires Chevrolet 1961 to 1968 front wheel hubs because the bearing sizes are different. I got my wheel hubs from the Internet on eBay

Search for 1961 to 1968 1957 chevy wheel hub.

I had to drill out 3 rivets to separate the drum from the old wheel hub. I tried grinding off the rivet heads but I couldn't punch them out. Start with a 3/16th drill and I used a 3/8th or slightly larger drill to finish. It is much faster to drill out the rivets. Make sure that the inside diameter of the old drum isn't too small, mine were and when I tightened up the wheel nuts the drum became pressed together to the hub so they won't come apart without a press. If I had known that I would have ground out the drums enough so there is a loose fit.

I had to beat out the old races from the hubs. Start with the larger race and place the hub on a wood block. There are notched inside the hub so you can use a punch and whack with a large hammer and punch. It took about 1/2 hour for each hub. Then clean the hubs with Brake cleaner spray.

I assembled the bearings and tapped them into the hubs with a punch. A press would have made the job easer for sure. If you did like I did make sure that the bearing races are perfectly seated into the hub. If they aren't the bearing will be damaged. Liberally lube the bearing races and rollers with high temperature wheel grease. Don't skimp here, really douse them with grease.

Drop the larger inner roller assembly (Loaded with grease) into the hub and tap in the grease seal. Put the hub over the spindle and insert the outer roller bearing (Loaded with grease) and inner race.

I found that the original washer was way too big and had to run to the auto parts store for smaller washers and smaller dust covers. Once that was done I reassembled the brake shoes. Next check the brake shoe adjustment and put on the wheel.

New hub installed. Notice the large washer, the original. I had to get smaller washers.

Make sure the hubcap is on solid, with no gaps along the wheel. I lost one cover that way. I was fortunate to find a local source to get another. Use a rubber hammer so the hubcap won't be damaged.

The results were pleasing, it runs so much quieter. I won't have to worry that the wheel bearings will seize up and ruin the spindles.

Amazingly my fuel mileage has gone up. At least on a long haul.   friends and I went to a very good auto museum. It is Gilmore's in Hickory Corners, MI. Google it, and go there, you will not be disappointed when you do.

My mileage was 26 mpg which is great.

That's it for now.


April 27, 2014

It has been almost 3 and 1/2 years since I looked at this page. Wow! Things sure have a way of taking off and leaving everything behind.

I finally got around to fixing my gas pedal. It had a broken pivot at the bottom of the pedal. By drilling a small hole at the base of the pivot and drilling out a washer in the side allowed me to screw the washer to the pedal. To hold it together I put an 8-32  2in screw and a  washer through the drilled hole of the pedal hinge. I put a washer on the screw head end and two nuts on the other end and finished the job.


Now the pedal is good as new. It is a lot safer as the pedal was jumping off the throttle push rod making it difficult to drive.


Nov 4, 2011

Here it is, fall 2011. This summer Judy and I went many a ride and some car cruises. West Michigan has many of them. The Cruise in Coopersville, MI was great. The evening was perfect and the cruise went through Coopersville twice. The other cruise we went on was the 28th St cruise in Grand Rapids, MI. It runs on Friday evening and all day Saturday. We usually drive from the west toward Grand rapids. It is a four lane road so all cruisers stay on the right side.  On Friday evening it takes about 1 1/2 hours to make the run. It's about 15 miles. No turns, straight east. The traffic gets heavy, making the going slow at times. My Chevy has a stick shift. My left foot usually gets very tired holding in the clutch.

We didn't make the Whitehall, MI to Montague, MI cruise since we went west to see my sister in Vancouver, WA. We like that cruise because it is close to home and has many cars, usually about 500. In previous years we had great weather. Maybe next year.

I painted the turquoise this summer. It turned out very nice. Now I don't have many shades of turquoise paint on it. I like how the paint shines! A friend and I did the job. No, it isn't easy to paint a car. The prep work never ends. It took two days to finish it but the results were great.

Oh, yeah, new fender mirrors. O'Reilly's had them and were an exact match to what was on the car. Easy exchange and no more rust. Didn't cost much either.

I had to replace the points and condenser this summer. It was causing a miss and really started to use a lot of fuel.  This fall I still noticed a miss still there. I changed the spark plug wires. I got them from NAPA and were Belden MAX wires. The engine perked up and I get much better fuel mileage. The price was very good too.

Notice the radio antenna? Its out a ways but it actually isn't all the way out. Its really long on purpose so the AM radio would work better. I leave it in some so I can back the Chevy into the King Canopy car tent.

I'll keep on making small changes as time goes by. For a car 54 years old, the old girl is going strong.


Sept 21,2009

My has time flown by! I new I should make more posts to this page, but ya know, Things kinda slipped by. But it's been a great summer to drive my 57 Chevy.

I upgraded the air filter to a paper filter, replacing the Bird strainer that was original equipment.  I found an  Onan 140-1228 filter that works good if you make a spacer nut 1 in long with 1/4 20 threads and a  1/4 20  1 inch long stud.

Prime Line
Litchfield, IL 62056-3029

Part # 7-02247

Replaces an Onan 140-1228

HT 2 1/8 X OD 8" X ID 6 1/4

This for a 6 cylinder 235 cu in engine with side mounted air cleaner can.

This summer I used my economy recovery check to buy new seat covers for My 57 chevy. The original seat covers had bad cloth and some damage to the vinyl. I ordered them from They had the exact pattern for my 57 Chevy. The results were great. It now looks like new. I removed the front seat first. The seat back comes out first and the bottom next. I removed the hog rings and discarded the old covers. I didn't use hog rings I used tie wraps. I punched holes (with an awl) at the tie points and pulled them tight. I don't think tie wraps were invented by 1957.  Wikipedia said they were invented in 1958. Anyway, they worked great.




I got a good name for my 57 Chevy. Here is how I found it. My wife and I went to Detroit to watch a Tigers baseball game. (they lost) We drove the 57 Chevy down and covered it at the parking lot for protection. When we left the weather was perfect, the crowds were large and about everywhere. We usually get all kind of attention from about everyone. Today was no exception. As we were about to enter  I75 the traffic cop turned and saw our 57 Chevy. He loudly said "Hot Dang!"   So now that's what I call the old 57 Chevy.


I had this sign made up by Victoria, my daughter in law. It's amazing how many people holler out "Hot Dang!" during a cruse or parade. I have since then modified the sign as some object about the word "dang". By adding a line to the N in dang it became dawg!
Permanent makers are all you need. So Hot Dawg it is.

March 25,07

Ah! Spring is here. It was nice and warm and sunny. Just what a spring day is supposed to be like. No, I didn't get my 57 Chevy out of storage, although I wish I could have. I worked around the house, cleaning and getting out the round picnic table. I had to dig out a small grill to cook some chicken. Mmm Good.

Next weekend is slated for the spring return of the ol' 57 Chevy.

The Ford Escort was nice, but my wife bought a late model Saturn wagon. (2003 LW300) It has a really strong motor. 3 liter, dual overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, port EFI. This thing flies! It also has Traction Control. TC uses the ABS braking control to apply the brakes on the spinning front wheels. It works most of the time. If you are on a downward hill and want to backup the hill and it's slippery you won't go anywhere. When I applied the power to back up, the wheels started to spin, and the TC applied the brakes. I didn't go anywhere even though the Tach said 2000 RPM! I had to turn off the TC to back up.

Jan 20, 07
I think I have found a car. It's a nice 1998 Ford Escort. It looks nice. Good price too.

I found a radio. I got it on eBay. It didn't work when I tested it. I expected that. I removed the top and bottom covers. I cleaned the dust and spiders webs out, replaced the burned out lamp and soldered every connection on the circuit board. Guess what? It still didn't work. I dug out my trusty Sencore tube tester  and checked all 5 tubes. Every one checked OK except the audio amp tube. It was weak. It will still work OK with that tube, just not as loud. The viberator worked, I really glad for that. Those are really hard to find.

I searched the 'net for schematics and I found one. Now I have to dust off my ole brain and figure out how to repair it. My first guess is the oscillator in the tuner isn't running. That's where I will start when I begin trouble shooting it. It works!, I just needed a really long antenna wire. Not much gain in the front end of the receiver. I did solder every connection on the circuit board.

After all of that, the car was modified for a modern radio. A large rectangular opening was created. I found a Pioneer CD radio in my TV shop and discovered that it dropped right in.  That's the only push button thing in the Chevy.

Jan 5th, 07: I am looking into getting the turquoise painted by Maaco.  The problem is, my 94 Chevy Cavalier wagon got broad sided by a stupid driver. (He ran a stop sign.) So I'm looking at some cars tomorrow. I guess the paint will wait.

Latest Note: Dec  24

I didn't win the radio. It was more than I wanted to spend.

Latest note: Dec 15

I bid on an original 57 Chevy radio. It looked good in the pictures. Naturally, the thing doesn't work. That's OK. The vibrator is probably bad.  If that's the case, I will have to scare up another. I soldered the PC board and checked the tubes. It does work, it just needs a long antenna.

Latest note: Dec 12

The clock hole in the dash is filled! I found a nice original clock on eBay last week. It doesn't work but I may be able to fix it.

Latest note: Dec 3

I'm looking at a nice clock on eBay. I hope that I win it. There is a big square hole in the dash to fill.  I found a nice clock on EBay, it doesn't work but fills the hole just fine.

Sometimes your dream car is just that, just a dream

I know that I have always dreamed to have a 57 Chevy. Now, I was 15 years old when this car was produced. I was just going into 9th grade! Those were heady years, with the birth of Rock and Roll, fast racy cars, and Sock Hops.  I was mesmerized with everything life was bringing to me.

I still admired all the 57 Chevy's that were around town. It truly is a marvelous design.
In 1955 Chevrolet designed the Bel Air that was a revolutionary design, and improved it in 1956.

In an attempt to take back the sales lead from Ford they created the fabulous 57.

They almost succeeded in doing that by selling 1.5 million cars.  Even though Ford sold more cars that year, what would you expect would hold the lead in cars now remaining?

It has to be the 57 Chevy. They looked so good, everyone saved them. They didn't all go to the scrap yard. Even today an old decrepit, beat up 57 Chevy will sell! Maybe even for $1000.00 but they are always found and sold. The market for restored 57's is impressive! They get priced up to $50,000 or even more. Today the 57 Chevy convertible is the car to envy.  Parts for the venerable 57 Chevy are everywhere, at good prices too.

Late October, 2006 I was browsing eBay Motors, wondering what the 57 Chevrolet was going for. If you haven't looked before, it is a nice trip down nostalgia lane. Every type of auto is on sale there, not only 57's Chevy's. But Wow!  There are a lot of 57's on the auction block.

I found my 57 on eBay Motors and got what I thought was a good deal. I'm sure it will grow in value, and I have a fun project to work on. You won't find a better way to invest some money, have a lot of fun, make new friends too. I plan to take it to some car shows this coming summer.

Now, a 2 door no post 57 Chevy with a V8 engine is probably the way to go.
I couldn't afford one of those for what they were going for.

I bought a 4 door six cylinder with a 3 speed transmission with the classic colors of turquoise and white. The mileage on the odometer was only 34,611 when I picked it up. I had to drive it back home from the west side of Chicago, but it drove almost like new. Not bad for a 49 year old car. It cruses at 65 MPH with ease. 

I have driven stick shift cars before, so I knew that I would do OK. Boy was I rusty when it came time to drive it. Automatic transmissions make it so easy to drive a car. The venerable "3 on the tree" separates the men from the boys though. You have to think about what to do before you do it. When to press in the clutch, What gear to chose when rounding a corner. How to start on a hill. Wow, I thought I had it mastered. But that's what driving an old antique is all about.

I have paint to do, bench seats to recover, and some trim and chrome to fix up. I'll leave the engine as is, along with the 3 speed transmission. I will clean up the engine compartment and keep it well tuned.

Lee Klemetti

P.S. Book mark this page and I will keep you updated on the progress.

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