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Posted By: red_green17 Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Sun Sep 20 2020 04:56 PM
So I am pretty excited to start this thread as I am hoping it helps me document the restoration of my Gilbarco 996C which has been a long time coming. The oump has sat jn my garage for just over a year and a half and I feel like it has sat there long enough!
Thia is going to be my first restoration, so I expect I will learn a ton. The pump itself holds significant sentimental value to me. This pump was the original pump at my great aunts gas station from the Ottawa Valley. She ran the Shell station for 60 or so years from her early 20's to her early 80's! Even there, she only retired because of a broken hip around 2012/13 and sold the station property to the town who demolished it about 5 years ago. Originally this pump was on the island with a second pump and dispensed home fuel oil and was put out and to work right after rolling off the manufacturing line. By the late 60's it was moved off the island as she upgraded to modern pumps and was relegated to the side of the station. About this time it was painted green - people would pull up thinking it was gas so she felt it was easier to slap a quick green coat on it so that it stood out as being different. Growing up it was situated behind her garage at her house which neighboured my grandparents so we used to see it all the time as well as play with it. I was always under the impression it was pulled around 70-73 but as I have done some more investigating, the latest inspection sticker shows 1983 which would suggest the last possible use was in 1985 (which coincides with the year I was born which was neat). Unfortunately my aunt passed away a couple years ago and I was able to get the pump after her passing. I had asked once about 10 years ago but she had no interest in selling. Despite selling every other pump she had over the years (often for next to nothing), she never gave this one up to anyone or did not want to scrap it. So I feel pretty lucky!

The other amazing thing was that this sat in the elements from its manufacture in 1950 to 2018 when i got it into my garage

Originally I was going to send it away to be restored. There is a great company out of Lindsay, Ontario who does phenomenal work. Unfortunately when I contacted about a quote, they had a 15 month wait time and a cost of approx. $4500. So I decided that rather than wait and find the money, I am going to do this myself. I spent the last couple of years trying to think of how I am going to restore it and what to do with the guts. Neither was an easy decision. As much as I loved the petina, I have decided to do a full restoration to what it looked like back on the island - that beautiful shell yellow with red stripes. I have also decided to remove the guts as I would like this to go into my rec room. We are planning on moving into a new house next year so it would be the perfect opportunity to do that. Despite this, I may save the guts or may sell them - gavent figured that out yet.

Some other stuff:
As ugly as the green paint was, it served as an outer layer to preserve the pump and thankfully there is nothing more than some surface rust on it today. I got very lucky with that since it was sinking into the ground when I pulled it from behind the garage.

I was able to grab the parts list which has been invaluable so far with research and as I start to disassemble.

The keys were lost to time, despite having one of her pump key rings, so I intend to take the lock and get a new key cut if I can.

As suggested by others in another post, I am also bagging and tagging all the parts, screws, etc. I plan on soaking screws and washers with rust into vinegar to clean the rust.

I am also going to save what I can from the original parts and try to limit replacements as much as possible.
Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Sun Sep 20 2020 04:59 PM
To get things rolling, here are some pictures of it as it was behind the garage. You can see the base paint job peeking through the fading green paint.
Right now, I am going to have a big job trying to find some of the red and yellow paint inside the pump to color code to....or the correct color codes online!

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Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Sun Sep 20 2020 05:06 PM
And here is the start of the strip down.
In the future, if anyone is wondering how to open this version of the 996 - It took me forever to get the doors off as I had to find a way to disengage the lock from the top since I don't have the key to unlock the pump. I had to pull the door as forward as possible, while my father jammed a flathead screwdriver into the top slot pry the locking mechanism upwards. Meanwhile, I pulled the door forward to unlock the door.

Alternatively, you could cut the top holder with a grinder (since it is just a strip of metal) and then weld it back together

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Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Sun Sep 20 2020 05:57 PM
So i have all four sides off finally. The two side panels were additionally bolted to the floor and had a job as one bolt snapped in half when trying to get it out. That'll be a problem for when I deal with the base.
The lock side was the last to go and presented a problem as I needed to free it by freeing the lock mechanism and the overflow spout. Lastly I had to remove the handle or the hose to finish the job. I punctured the hose and had it spit fuel on me, so it was an easy call to slice it in half after I drained the fuel in the hose. I made a makeshift plug with a garbage bag and tape to keep it contained for the time being

I also pulled the faceplate off to expose the computer. I gave the numbers a wiped own, along with the faceplate and both looked fantastic. This was also where I caught the inspection sticker from 1983 as it was affixed to the one faceplate on the inside.

I tossed on a picture of the top to show what the door locking mechanism looks like for context.

Next steps will be removing the motor (i checked the belt and both the motor and the pistons move as they should still), somehow remove the electrical conduit and boxes so i can remove the wiring and rewire (hoping to clean up the porcelain sockets and reuse them) and remove the air exchanger which i suspect is the source of the remaining fuel in the pump. There also is a small leak of oil on the pistons so the seals are toast there for sure. I am nervous about removing the sight glass and having fuel pour out. Inspecting one of them after taking the bracket off showed me that the seals are basically glued to it after years in the elements so will have to scrape off and hope it slides out with penetrating oil.

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Posted By: Gasman84470 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Sun Sep 20 2020 06:10 PM
Good stuff. Thanks for the update. It kind of has a neat patina to it. You could change your name to yellow_green. Steve wouldn't mind LOL. Keep up the good work.
Posted By: SandPCollector Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Sun Sep 20 2020 07:26 PM
This one is going to be a labor of love because of the family connection. Good luck with the restoration!
Posted By: petropumps Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Sun Sep 20 2020 07:32 PM
Looks like a pretty straight forward restore...should go well for you. If you’re going to try to reuse the original hardware, get yourself a parts tumbler...soooo much easier.

Good luck!
Posted By: MATT ALVAREZ Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Mon Sep 21 2020 03:58 AM
Nice pump. I like the original ad glass. They are a Canadian design. I have collected some and they all came from Canada.
Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Mon Sep 21 2020 01:06 PM
Thanks all!!!! Have to say that its been a fun project so far. Not sure if the spouse will allow it but may not be the last pump i restore!

Gasman - I may have to right! With his new podcast, he probably has enough to worry about anyway!

Petropums - that is a great idea! I had not even thought about one of those at all. Figured vinegar would be best. May have to see what i can find and pick one up. The vinegar so far has produced results but not as clean as I would like so this could be the answer.

Matt - i think one of the draws for me for this pump was always the ad glass. I have one seen 2 sets of these come up online for sale at auctions or whatever and was always too late on them. Have been wanting to grab a second set as a spare. I didn't know a lot about them, so I appreciate mentioning that they are a Canadian design. Just makes this pjmp better!
Posted By: farmboy70 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Sun Sep 27 2020 02:10 AM
See if you can find Evapo rust. It is a great product to dip and soak parts. It will remove rust only. Its sold on Amazon if you cant find it locally.
It will not harm the finish of the metal and is non toxic and safe.
Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Sun Sep 27 2020 02:46 AM
Thanks Dave. I had never heard of this so I will see if I can get some and try it out. I figure its worth a go!

So for today's update, no pics but mostly spent time doing all the removals needed to lift the computer and the electric motor. Having some family visit tomorrow so I will be having a few extra hands to lift those out. The computer is going to be put aside for now as I will get that a thorough cleaning later on since I can do that in my basement work bench (perfect for when the weather gets cold!). In the meantime, I am still committed to draining the remaining fluid inside and stripping things down to the point where I can send the whole package off for sandblasting and painting.

I also removed the lock today as well. Since I have a perfectly good period correct lock but no keys (and it being unlikely that Gilbarco made master sets or the same key for this model), I am going to see if I can make my own based off the lock.
Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Mon Sep 28 2020 07:58 PM
So i had an opportunity for a few good hours today with the weather being so warm and balmy.
Most of what I did was stripping the doors and side panels as I wanted to get things prepped for sandblasting and all that fun stuff. I broke a few rusty screws so I will need to get some replacements.

One door cleared off very easy. Seals pulled out and glass came out easily on both. However the trim on the other door had a few stubborn screws. One in particular is a screw base but what looks like a nail head while the other problem one is a screw that has the head which is rusted and soft. Between these two non original screws and how half have washers while the other have have wingnuts on the back, i can tell my aunt just used whatever was around. I am going to try to salvage and use what I can from this, so hopefully an overnight soak with some liquid wrench will take care of that.

Incidentally I did notice that the red strip peeking through the green paint was indeed a decal and not paint. It doesn't appear to have a shell logo like the NOS decals I bought 2 years ago, so maybe I'll upgrade!
Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Mon Sep 28 2020 08:18 PM
I also took off the ID plate and caught a perfect patch of original paint. I may take this to get it analyzed so I have the correct yellow.

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Posted By: Speedracer Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Mon Sep 28 2020 09:32 PM
You may want to think about taking the green off, down to the original yellow, and leaving it looking like a used pump, as opposed to blasting. Would be a cool looking patina pump.
Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Tue Sep 29 2020 12:37 PM
I was really thinking about it. I know the pump screams patina! Thats one of the decisions I have really struggled with since I got it. I tipped the scales towards a full restoration as I have some surface rust i want to clean up on the bottom and because I got the NOS decals. Figured I had an opportunity to bring them back to where they were when my aunt first got them. But man its such a hard call to make!

What I found also interesting is that it had been sloppily painted a brighter yellow before the green. I found spots where this yellow is coming through including when I removed that round ID plate above. So go figure. It was areally bright yellow which surprised me as the original yellow had an orange tinge to it.
Posted By: BrianH Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Tue Sep 29 2020 01:31 PM
Man, I would really consider wet sanding the green off to get down to the original yellow and leave it as-is. There are so many restored pumps out there and very few originals left. Would be good to preserve all the existing pumps with good original paint and markings. It's your pump so do what you want but if it were me, that's what I'd do.
Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Tue Oct 06 2020 01:25 AM
So a bit of progress made recently. I have the computer removed completely from the pump. Its in great shape, save for the dirt and grime. I read on a few older posts that its worth it to haul this to a pay and spray to give it a good pressure washer clean out which I did Saturday. Spent the last day and a half drying and seems in good shape. Still needs a once over with some brushes to really make the numbers pop, but thats an easy project for this winter.

I also got a pair of keys made up for the locks. The originals have been long lost to time (despite how we could find the key chains) and I did not want to go with a generic aftermarket set. For $18.50, it was great value and likely a dollar or two cheaper than the aftermarket ones too!

Up next will be cutting out the rest of the rubber hose and working to remove the piping to the pistons and exchanger. Not looking forward to this too much since I know there is still diesel in here and I am expecting it to be a messy job!

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Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Tue Nov 10 2020 04:51 PM
So been awhile since I posted.....but definitely isn't a reflection of the work!
I havent had as much time to work on this as I would have liked. We had a cold snap in mid/late October so I havented been in the garage as much. Having a 6 month old hasn't helped my free time either!
But its been nice over the last 6 or 7 days so I have made some more progress.

I have prepped all of the doors and side panels. I was not able to recover the tax sticker unfortunately. But I was able to remove it. The Shell decal also has proven difficult to remove. I am expecting it is a lost cause to remove it while maintaining it unfortunately. I guess I won't be framing it after all. Same goes for the decals hidden under the paint. I havent been able to scrape the paint layers off to reveal it. I am confident it is identical to the NOS decals I already bought.

During the cold snap, I managed to get enough of the 20 mins here, 30 mins there time strung together to scrape off the old paint from the metal. I am going to work on removing the dents as much as I can. I tried a bit of buffing and was happy enough with the results, but the scrapes are still too noticeable. When it cools down in a week or two, I am going to try wet sanding to fix this and have high hopes I can restore them.

I also removed the old hose completely and tossed it. This includes cutting the nozzle end as well. I have had no luck removing the nozzle from the hose as it is pretty seized. I soaked it in cleaner for 3 weeks which rid the gas smell and removed the excess gas and gunk, so thats a plus. Once I get going disassembling the nozzle (man I hope I can), I still need to figure out how to remove the pitting.

I also removed the backplate and today removed the electrical housing. The electrical oump was giving me a hard time as I needed some help to lift it enough to get the conduit removed, but finally got it free. I'm going to clean it as best I can but will strip the wiring and try to get it rewired. Hoping to use the original sockets and switch. The electric motor, I likely will sell as I have no use for it. I was going to remove that and the pistons and keep the guts but the pistons have been leaking and I probably won't get around to rebuilding it with new seals anytime soon. Hesitant to keep something sitting around leaking fluid.

As for new parts, I have been able to get some replacement machine screws to replace some that were broken from removal. I am also going to try to find new rubber spacers as everything on the pump is toast! If anyone knows where to buy replacements, I would be super greatful as I can't seem to find any!

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Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Tue Nov 10 2020 04:52 PM
And the top. Ots spotless inside!

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Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Sat Apr 03 2021 01:26 PM
So now that its getting nice weather wise here in Ottawa, I am slowly getting back at the pump. I was hoping to get a lot of the little things done over the winter, but mostly just accomplished cleaning up the computer a bit.....which ended up sitting on the floor beside my workbench in the basement.
I've been preoccupied helping an elderly family member sell off some stuff (picking and selling has been something I have done as a side hobby for a couple years, so I was happy to help) which has tied me up more than expected this winter. Needless to say, it is exciting to get back at the pump. My goal is to finish the restoration this summer!

To get the gears going, I decided to start with the ad glass. I love the ad glass in my pump. Not only are mine rare but I think they're super fun and unique. They're definitely weathered which I enjoy. I have been on the hunt for replacements as I had concerns these had a crack, but I have only seen them come available twice in the last 6 or 7 years - both auctions that had ended long before I found them. The rubber from the seals was also a problem because there was a clear residue left. Cleaning them up has helped considerably, but left a bit of a stain unfortunately. The glass itself isn't really chipped or beaten up which is very encouraging. There is paint loss but I am going to leave it as is. The shine is still there when I polish them so no complaints!

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Posted By: MATT ALVAREZ Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Sat Apr 03 2021 05:00 PM
They cleaned up nice. I really like these ad glass. I may have been the one who got one or two of the past auctions you saw.

Looking forward to seeing your pump done.

Here are a couple pumps with these ad glass and a U.S. pump like yours.

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Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Tue Apr 06 2021 01:00 PM
Thanks! I figured it would have been a big battle to clean them up but for the most part they washed clean relatively easy. Now my only problem is the paint loss, but I think I am going to keep the, as is and not have them touched up.

And thanks for posting those picutres!!!! In the years of looking, I have seen pictures with this ad glass once and it isn't any of these, so its been neat to see them elsewhere. It always surprised me since it wasa popular slogan they had for a few years and you'd expect these would be more prevalent.
It certainly is likely you've beat me to the punch on the auctions for these in the past. I will gave to make sure I even the score up on the next one!
Posted By: red_green17 Re: Restoring my Gilbarco 996C - Sun Jun 12 2022 12:54 PM
Wow it's been over a year since I updated!
So not much has happened worth updating. The pump had the remaining parts disassembled last summer. I have even tied up with 2 problems since then. Life, and specifically getting married last fall. But also the fact that I can't find anyone locally who can sandblast and paint for small jobs like this.
So my goal this summer is to get it painted and back together. A tall ask and a Longshot......considering we have a little one on the way in August! And I still don't have anyone to paint. But the hope is that I will find someone anyway and get a start.

The other good update is that I was able to find an auction that actually had the "you can be sure of shell" ad glass in it. And of course I made sure I won it! So I have a spare piece of ad glass to potentially replace the stained on that I already had in the pump. So slowly coming together!
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