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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Albemarle, NC
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    darth nader: a $2000 challenge build

    his project is the next in a long lineof my particular brand of crazy. Generally, its a 2000 corvette withan automatic, 4.8 truck engine, and 62 corvair body. Its being builtfor the grassroots motorsports $2000 challenge.


    https://2000challenge.com/2000challenge


    this will be my third serious build forthe challenge. I have done many, many other builds. Each of thechallenge builds stretches my skillset, my mind, my abilities. Pushesmy personal envelope. I'm pretty sure that this may wind up the mostradical I will ever attempt, short of something hand built tubeframed.


    Just to prove my chops, ill link thelast two builds. These both placed 9th overall.
    2017 widebody AMC spirit
    https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/fo.../118042/page1/






    2019 sleeper mazda miata
    https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/fo.../134260/page1/


    there's been other builds. Lots. I canlink them for those interested, but don't want to make a novel of thepast.


    This one is different. Its a stalledproject, started by a friend, and bought by another friend. Iactually have no money in this, and probably wont. But its not acustomer car either...


    I guess ill just get on with the story.Cause its a hell of a story.


    A few years ago, Pat started somethingnuts. He wanted to build a car to take the number one spot at thechallenge. To do so, he mated a totaled c5 chassis to a rusted out 62corvair and a truck 4.8 from craigslist. His thread is here:
    https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/fo.../135556/page1/


    I had actually known his plan to buildthe first c5 corvette challenge car well before the thread went live.Hell, I named it! Since he is in Ohio, and im in NC, all I couldreally do was moral support, ideas, and scored some free trim to sendto him for the car. But I loved everything he was doing.


    the project stalled in early 2018. pattook care of his family and health. And then another build. And thenbought a 57 chevy. All the while this car sat outside, or in a fabricshelter. And it became a shelf. And sat. when I was there thisspring, I made a comment that when he wanted to let it go, to let meknow. I was joking. Mostly.


    He called me in early October. It wastime for the car to go. I prayed for a little while, and decided thatwhile this car is one I want to BUILD, its one I have no desire toOWN. I have a fully formed vision in my head for it, but pretty sureno one would buy it from me after the challenge for anythingresembling fair market value. So I passed after telling him this.
    Our other friend stampie in Florida hadapparently made the same offer. Stampie subsequently passed, sayingits one he wants to OWN, but doesn't have the time and place to buildit.
    Patrick then fired off a group text.Stampie wanted to own, not build. I wanted to build, not own. A dealwith the devil was struck, and there may have been some talk ofmoving a lotus europa from Florida (one I want to own) as well.


    Regardless Darth Nader was coming to myhouse. A car that I hadn't seen in a year, paid attention to in two,didn't take apart, and really knew nothing about. Pretty much theposter child of basket case parts car. Pat had bought a 1999 E55 AMGdown here through me, so he agreed to load it up and bring it southfor stampie.


    Tuesday of last week, it arrived atabout 8pm. Here's the breakdown of what was purchased, and delivered,from Patrick:


    C5 corvette automatic/corvair mutantand parts pile: $800
    included, upon investigation:
    1 complete set of c5 wagon wheels17/18
    truck intake, throttle body, andmanifolds
    all wiring and computers needed
    dash parts (incomplete)
    2x 17x9.5 c4 sawblades
    2x skinnies for the front
    extra stainless corvair trim
    wheeltub panels?
    A power steering line
    a radiator
    rollbar hoop
    3 seperate mouse nests
    tetanus
    tow strap
    10x 80lb injectors, new: 100
    stainless longtubes/x-pipe exhaust, nomufflers, new unknown brand $200


    to this we added:
    CAT turbo: free
    bus intercoolwer and piping $26
    seats: free


    20191022_213129by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr


    Wednesday morning, we started unpackingit to see what all was there, not there, undone, and needed. I beganto regret many of my life decisions up to this point that day....
    20191023_085147by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085159by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085218by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085323by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085344by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085357by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085405by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085418by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085422by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085511by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085631by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_090538by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_092550by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr


    so, enough with the parts packages. Igot it unloaded, and started looking at the carcass I was left withto create a beautiful creature from. Its definitely not a finishedbody swap. Not by a long shot. Since that's the biggest hurdle, wellstart there.
    Trunk (previously the engine bay) isactually probably going to be this simplest. Except for closing outthe wheelwells, its all flat. Much like it would have been in the c5.
    20191023_085636by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085641by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085647by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr


    next up is the interior area. Its bad.Really, really weird shapes and lots of oddities. The goal in my headis to have a finished, complete red interior with black carpets.Corvette dash and console, custom door panels, full cage, full HVAC,all the luxuries. Hell, a stereo too while were being extravagant!
    So here's what we have to work with.(by the way, if you have spare dash parts and console parts forcheap/free, let me know!) what we have to fight against here, andwhat I see as the biggest hurdle, is the firewall to corvairjunction. There's a few inch gap everywhere that needs sealed up,blended in, and made nice. I really don't know how I want to do thatyet. I also need to figure out where all the wires, clips, etc go. Noidea. In theory its a complete 2000 harness, that is good. Hopefullysomeone has a good diagram.....
    20191028_091242by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_090547by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_090740by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191028_114648by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr




    underhood is where the magic willhappen. What was under there was a truck 4.8 that has had open intakeports, exhaust ports uncovered, no oil filter, no dipstick or tube.Unknown how long air has been getting in like this. Most of the boltsunderhood are either missing or finger tight, near as I can tell. Abspump is gone, lines just hanging there. Lots of wiring to nothing.Accessories gone, but corvette crank pulley present. Plenty of roomthough!
    20191023_085232by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191023_085237by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr


    so, the first step after unpacking wascleaning. To do so, I packed all the ports and holes with papertowels, then sealed with duct tape. I grabbed the truck manifolds totest fit. Looks like they will be perfect for a front mount turboinstall. They do, however, slightly hit the brake booster. Iintentionally installed the intake backwards so I could get the partsof it that are never cleaned with the pressure washer. Came outpretty good. We need to add coil, wires, and gaskets to theaforementioned accessories. And a starter. And a million otherthings.
    Anyway, we hit everything with purplepower and a pressure washer. Every inch that was readily accessible.
    20191028_091359by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr


    while I had the pressure washer out, Idid the whole car, and changed the skinnies to the wagon wheels upfront. Car has drilled and slotted rotors and fresh pads!
    20191028_114648by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr


    while at the challenge this year, Iscored a pair of free seats. Unknown brand, unknown provenance, butthe price was right. Even had sliders! After pressure washing, Idecided to see how close the dash pad was to fitting (will needtrimmed about on either side to fit the a-pillars properly) andthen tossed the seats in to see if they fit (they do!). I had to sitin it and make vroom-vroom and boost noises afterwards. Its one ofthe commandments, I think.
    Screenshot_20191028-120853by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191028_113500by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191028_113504by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr
    20191028_113525by MichaelCrawford, on Flickr


    so that's where we are at for now. Thenext few steps are mostly parts procurement (water pump, alternatorbracket, dash parts, etc), and focusing on the first three areas ofwork: steer, stop, start. In that order. I should learn FAR moreabout the car in the process of those first three areas, and thethird area will be by far the most complex, as it touches essentiallyevery inch of the car near as I can tell.
    Michael Crawford

    1970 plymouth Duster back under construction:
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...uring-makeover

    1987 GMC S15 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ct-drivabeater


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Is that purple Neon an ACR?

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Albemarle, NC
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    Yes. 97 lapis blue, factory ac delete. Second time ive owned this car. Awaiting a full blown rotisserie restoration. Have tge numbers matching engine and trans as well as a TON of rare/vintage speed parts, mint stock parts.
    Michael Crawford

    1970 plymouth Duster back under construction:
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...uring-makeover

    1987 GMC S15 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ct-drivabeater

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by dusterbd13 View Post
    Yes. 97 lapis blue, factory ac delete. Second time ive owned this car. Awaiting a full blown rotisserie restoration. Have tge numbers matching engine and trans as well as a TON of rare/vintage speed parts, mint stock parts.
    My first ACR coupe was a '97, black, AC delete. I had that car for 8 years and put 141k on it. I sold it to a buddy who owned it another 7 or so years and then he sold it to a kid who had it another couple years until the front subframe gave out. Auto TB, Iceman intake, Pacesetter cat-back, Jamex springs and struts and 17" Enkei RP02's. Also held several custom stereo installs.

    I bought a white '97 ACR coupe out of the Chicago area back in '07, but it got stolen about 2 weeks after I bought it...while it was sitting in my driveway without any coolant in it waiting for a radiator. It got totalled by the insurance company.

    I bought a '98 R/T with power windows/locks/sunroof. It got mostly cleaning and maintenance. Engine got a cold air intake, auto TB, TTI under drive crank pulley, Mad Dog 50% short throw shifter with a black/red Viper ball shifter and Booger Bushings and custom stereo.

    I need to find another one as a daily. I've put about 98k miles on it since April of 2017.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Its actually really nice to find another neon nut here. I may have to cross post the restoration thread here.
    Michael Crawford

    1970 plymouth Duster back under construction:
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...uring-makeover

    1987 GMC S15 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ct-drivabeater

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dusterbd13 View Post
    Its actually really nice to find another neon nut here. I may have to cross post the restoration thread here.
    I'd love to see it. If not here, do you have any plans to post it on Neons.org?

    I wish I'd have kept my '98 R/T. I forgot the AEM cam gears in the mods list above, and I sold the car for like $1100. Sigh.

    Jay

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Theres actually a thread on the org of the first time i owned it, as well as buyi g it and the white r/t parts car that became my 2.4 swapped daily for a minute....

    But yes. Thread will be bith places when i get there.
    Michael Crawford

    1970 plymouth Duster back under construction:
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...uring-makeover

    1987 GMC S15 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ct-drivabeater

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Kennewick, WA
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    I like it, always been a Corvair fan and blending it with a Corvette seems like a challenging idea.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by dusterbd13 View Post
    Theres actually a thread on the org of the first time i owned it, as well as buyi g it and the white r/t parts car that became my 2.4 swapped daily for a minute....

    But yes. Thread will be bith places when i get there.
    What's your username over there? Mine was 97ACRCoupe.

    Jay

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Dusterbd13. I use it on every Forum I'm a member of
    Michael Crawford

    1970 plymouth Duster back under construction:
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...uring-makeover

    1987 GMC S15 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ct-drivabeater

  11. #11
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    I used to use 97acrcoupe on all the car forums I was on, but then after a while I got away from it since I didn't own Neons any more.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Albemarle, NC
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    Previous total: 1000ish

    new money:
    110 dash parts
    55 water pump
    starter 20.35
    dipstick tube, bolts, intake tube, mas air sensor, etc.

    new total: 1426.74

    ive spent the time since last update sourcing parts, and having stampie do the same. First, we needed a water pump.
    Screenshot_20191123-172950 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

    we were missing a coil. Was able to score a full set of 8 for 20 bucks shipped.

    We were also missing the starter. Grabbed one from pullapart. Stampie grabbed the MAF, ducting, and a ton of LS bolts for us. As well as a dipstick.

    20191122_173244 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

    I was able to score the missing dash and console parts from facebook marketplace.
    20191119_090442 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191121_194927 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

    saturday, stampie saw his car for the first time up close and personal. Him and his son came up from Florida just to see it. Steve also came by, as well as dad. Good day of planning, plotting, scrubbing, etc ensued.

    20191123_103658 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

    we have the cage measured and planned, got all the front suspension torqued and the rack bolted down. There's an amazing amount of filth on the underside of this, and lots of missing parts and hardware to track down. But we have a good start. Stampie is in love, and so is his son. Steve is working his cage magic, and I get to do whatever it is that I actually do.

    I plan to get the headers and brakes done in the next couple of days. So to begin that preparation, I wanted to paint the visible parts of the frame and engine block. This is something that I tend to do in stages. Paint the parts that are easily accessible now, that wont be later. It provides visual progress and motivation, and makes for a better overall product in the long run. I used a 1 inch brush and some rustoleum gloss black. Then bolted down the master cylinder, and mocked up the water pump.

    20191123_150810 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191123_171202 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

    next step is actually to m,ale forward progress by NOT working on the car. See, I have a long history of getting projects 90% completed. I have two (1999 miata, and megasquirted 1970 duster) that are 90%. I want them finished. THEN I can focus entirely on nader. While im doing the last 10% on those two, ill be tracking down missing hardware, and figuring out just what all is missing from the fuel system. Which im pretty sure is everything but the tanks.
    Michael Crawford

    1970 plymouth Duster back under construction:
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...uring-makeover

    1987 GMC S15 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ct-drivabeater

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Jefferson City, MO
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    Good on ya'll! Are there threads on here for those builds, or are they off-topic?

  14. #14
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    The duster has a tgread here and the links in my signature. The miata has a link in the first post
    Michael Crawford

    1970 plymouth Duster back under construction:
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...uring-makeover

    1987 GMC S15 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ct-drivabeater

  15. #15
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    Jefferson City, MO
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    Awesome.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Antonio, Tx
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    I think I've solved most of the same problems you're going to run into on the chassis swap. You're right in thinking the trunk is the easiest. The firewall was the most time consuming.

    https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...5-chassis-swap
    Instagram: CamaroAJ

  17. #17
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    honestly, we think the cage will make the firewall transition easier by plugging some of the hole with tube. after that, its a patchwork quilt approach.

    my buggest hurdle at this point is still figuring out how much C5 IS NOT THERE anymore. like the fuel system. and....
    Michael Crawford

    1970 plymouth Duster back under construction:
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...uring-makeover

    1987 GMC S15 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ct-drivabeater

  18. #18
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    Aug 2004
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    Why not use the C5 tanks? Thats what I'm doing with mine. C6 tanks also fit and I'm almost certain C7 tanks will fit it.
    Instagram: CamaroAJ

  19. #19
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    Previous total: 1426.74

    new money:
    fuel filter: 20.28 from amazon
    russel fuel filter adapter: 9.99
    4x 17x8.5 vette wagon wheels: 100
    sold full set of staggered c5 wagon wheels (leaving us 8 wheels!) -100
    stock c5 exhaust: free
    brake line tube nuts (on hand, value at .42 ea according to amazon) 2.55
    power steering pump from impala and resivoir from alero: 26.95
    rustoleum satin black: 5.98

    new total: 1491.97
    so, I had planned to just bolt in the headers and finish the brake lines and push it back out “in a couple days” in my last update.

    Well, it took a minute. Oh well.

    So, what have I been doing? Spending money. Not making great progress, but inching forward.

    First up was the headers. And starter, as you couldn't get the headers past the starter, or the starter past the headers. That was fun. I also had to slot every single hole in the headers, and the x pipe is about 4 inches off of fitting. Which is accurate with every single ebay header install ive ever done.
    But they're in, and the x pipe isn't. Starter is in and wired as well!i apparently took no pictures of any of this though.

    But I did take one of the fully installed water pump!

    20191213_152824 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

    during this process, I decided that the firewall looked depressingly bad. So, stripped and painted with rustoleum satin black!

    20191215_093939 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191215_101803 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


    then it was time for brake lines. Now, the c5 uses metric spec and bubble flares everywhere. However, I have American tube nuts, and a mastercool flaring tool. 3/16 is close enough for the smaller lines, and I drilled the inner diameter of the tube nuts for the bigger tubing that would have run from the prop valve to the abs pump. I'm not pleased with the work, and if this wasn't an already budget tight build, would have loved to redo the entire system from scratch for pretty sake. But, we made it work.
    20191215_090500 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr20191215_085946 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191217_180755 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

    while I was at it, I went ahead and ran the fuel lines. Seemed like a good idea. Was given a roll of spot rusty, dirty, and plugged by mud dauber nest 3/8 steel line. Im calling it free, cause it was. Had the few inches of flex hose in a box on the shelf, and bought the filter and adapter. Ran it roughly like the factory would have, while securing everything that should be secured before bolting the plate back in. made the end to the adapter with a used 6an tube nut that was on another piece of steel in storage.

    While I was back there, I looked at the trans. Turns out I have a missing switch on the shift input shaft, a missing wiring harness from the engine bay to trans, and no evap equipment in sight. No telling what else is missing. If you have any of those parts, speak up!!!


    20191219_160109 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191219_160118 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191221_122530 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191221_122535 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

    so, it was ready to roll out, right?

    Aw, hell naw. Tires still hit everywhere, and it sits way too high. And I want to chase some more wiring to see what we have/don't have.

    So, step one was plasma cutter!!!
    20191224_110357 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

    we cut out all the extra corvair metal, and radiused the wheelwells. As well as lowered the car as much as we can on stock bolts.
    20191224_120421 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191224_122810 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191224_140723 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

    dropped it on its wheels, and started chasing corvette wiring, and finding homes for stuff. Its going to be fun. Lots to do and figure out.
    20191227_114919 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191227_133939 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

    but it didn't lose any magic smoke!!!
    20191227_130710 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

    stampie and his son came by to pick up/drop off, and we pushed it outside finally. And it settled quite a bit, but still needs to come down another 2 inches to get to STOCK c5 frame rail height.

    But it looks incredibly bad ass. Oh so awesome!!!
    20191228_113315 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191228_113331 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191228_115111 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    20191229_143220 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
    Michael Crawford

    1970 plymouth Duster back under construction:
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...uring-makeover

    1987 GMC S15 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ct-drivabeater

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Jefferson City, MO
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    Looking good, dude! Can't wait to hear the start up!