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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47

    '55 Chevy LS1 / T56

    I've been watching multiple builds on here for ideas to incorporate onto my pending '66 Mustang build and noticed an interest in '55 Chevy builds and a desire for more so here is my current (3 years and counting) project.

    Nearly 40 years ago a '55 Chevy 210 was my first car - never drove it and sold it to pay for college. After 50+ cars I figured it was time to go back to square 1.

    Pulled this completely rust free 2 door out of a self storage facility a few miles from where I work. Had a 350 small block of unknown origin / condition and a 700R4. Craigslist took care of that for me.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    Brought it to my work and got busy with the updates. It came with a 9" Ford coil over rear suspension, Heidts tubular front control arms, 4wdb and boxes of parts.

    First order of business was to get some room under the rear for a wee bit more tire.

    - - - Updated - - -
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    After a bunch of cutting, welding, grinding and bodywork here was the semi completed result.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    Spent some time smoothing the firewall, eliminated the battery box, wiper motor and a myriad of holes. Trans tunnel seam went bye bye as well
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    Used the purple / blue and white paint as a filler, blocked the car down, shot some grey epoxy and black urethane then brought her home for a few rounds of pre-assembly.

    The '55's of my youth that stuck in my mind were black primer ratty ass hot rods. I can't shake that image...
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    Found a donor engine and trans in Phoenix and made it mine. Pulled from a 2000 Camaro Z28. Spent considerable time fitting, re-fitting, and fitting some more.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    The vision in my head for this car was a twisted vintage mishmash.

    Example, vintage looking wheels but in modern sizes, V8 stickshift but fuel injected and overdrive.

    The V8's of my youth were Chevy orange - yes, I painted an all aluminum LS. I like the look.


    The T56 was painted silver when I got it, stripped that to find yellow paint underneath - WTF? Stripped it to raw and brushed it with Scothbrite. Sprayed the bellhousing orange for a twist on the modern look.

    Wheels are Vintage Wheel Works V40's. 18 x 9.5 rear, 17 x 8 front. 295-45-18 rear tires. Will be upgrading to 11" wide rear rims shortly.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    608
    Country Flag: United States
    Very cool... Love the modern twist on a vintage hotrod!
    -Chris
    '69 Corvette
    '55 Chevy Hardtop
    AutoWorks Middletown, NJ
    @autoworksnj for corvette and shop car pics
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...e-Build-Thread

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    Its kind of hard condensing three years of work into a few posts. Lots and lots of work took place to get it to this point as you guys are more than aware of.

    Computer and wiring harness went out to 150-tunes for their magic. Computer is mounted up under the dash on custom made brackets.

    Front suspension got stripped off, rebuilt and reinstalled on a newly painted front frame. Steering box is a new '500' Series power steering unit.

    A Tanks Inc EFI tank was installed (right side up really!) once I built and installed a set of brackets to center the tank on the trunk floor. Steel fuel lines were run from front to back and flared out to 37 degrees and linked together with black AN fittings.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    I wanted to use as many of the factory parts on the swap as possible - hydraulic clutch master and slave included. Spent some time designing and building brackets and modifying the '55 pedal to work with the LS stuff. The bracket I built mounts behind the brake master cylinder and uses the late model master cylinder with zero mods - nice if it ever goes out in the middle of nowhere USA.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    Doing a complete re-wire with an American Autowire harness. battery was moved aft to the rear shelf. All lights are new repops and all connectors are going to be Weatherpack. Don't want any issues with 65 year old wire or components.

    This is where the project currently resides. I did do some temporary wiring to start the engine - she kicked over on the first twist of the key and that was after sitting for four years!

    Currently running battery cable and keeping it all nice, neat and safe. Will be completely wrapped, clamped and will have heat resistant covering as it nears the starter.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    My twisted vintage vibe for the interior. '65 Thunderbird seats, '65 Impala console, "69 Camaro steering wheel and a new Ididit Tilt column. Seams on dash were welded up, the glovebox and ash tray were welded together (not shown) and an aftermarket wiper system was installed under the dash which explain the hanging wires.

    It will get an old school chrome Hurst handle once I zero in on the style and shape. Maybe '61 Impala handle.

    The last picture is the car heading off for safety prior to the onslaught of the Holy Fire in Lake Elsinore this past August. That day was the first time I had it on the ground and rolling since it arrived at my house. Front end needs to come down a bit - remember its a vintage vibe ( gasser-ish style) hot rod not a ground scraping corner burner.

    I had to throw the front fenders on it to get it out of my garage. The car was loaded with all the parts I had accumulated. Aligning sheetmetal is on the list of things to do.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    Weekend duty consists of wiring, wiring, wiring and all the related efforts to be able to run wire. Like making a protective tunnel thru the front pillar.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    battery is mounted with positive cable protected by a Blue Sea fuse block. I will be adding another up front before the alternator for additional protection.


    The panel is for access to the in-tank pump and sending unit. Makes serviceability so much easier.

    Next weekend - back to pulling and routing more wires...
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    1,129
    Country Flag: United States
    nice..keep up the great work
    keep the wheels a spinning and the Beavers a grinning(burt reynolds-smokey and the bandit)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    431
    50 cars? Oh good - it's not just me then!

    Nice project - keep up posted with updates!
    1971 Camaro - 406 / T56
    2016 Camaro SS convertible
    2018 Colorado 4x4

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    Wiring work consumed my Friday night thanks to a Del City delivery I was waiting for.

    Inside the box were a few terminal blocks and a power distribution block. Plan was to use these for my front mounted relay-driven accessories like electric fan and H4 headlights.

    I'm trying to keep my wiring ultra safe, clean and hidden as much as possible. I decided to utilize the panel on the driver's side of the radiator to mount my electronics. First pic shows the layout of the relays, blocks and input power. Second shows it hidden from view.

    I just laid out the panel and adapter so I can cut on the CNC plasma on Monday. Then the fun task of wiring it all up.
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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    Here are the CNC Plasma cut panels. Solid panel is my mounting plate for all of the components. Frame now has a 1/2" lip around the perimeter.


    Frame will be drilled for nut serts. Top has been laid out for all components and will have nut serts for serviceability as well.

    Should have it all assembled and wired by Monday. Stay tuned for next weeks update.
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,549
    Country Flag: United States
    What a great project! I have actually been really thinking about a tri 5 lately. Love what you are doing with the relay panel. I've been trying to find a clean way to wire up my relays in the front of the car and I'm definitely going to copy this and apply it to my Camaro.


    New Project: 1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Z51 brakes, 12 bolt

    1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    47
    Halloween treat consisted of drilling holes and installing nutserts onto my relay panel. I absolutely love these things when mounting components onto sheetmetal. Pics of front and back of an installed insert. Clean and effective for assembly and removal.
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