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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Apr 2021
      Posts
      69
      Country Flag: Canada

      Barn Find 56 Bel Air LSA w/ TR6060

      Hey guys,

      Now that the Chevelle build is wrapped up I'm getting around to building the 1956 Bel Air I picked up in January of 2020. I use the term "picked up" loosely in this situation because getting the car was actually a huge hassle. I purchased the car from a gentleman in New York in January for 2020 with an agreement that he would continue storing the car until I could come down and trailer it home. We planned on heading down to NY in April to tow the car home (the car was not running/driving). So of course now you may realize that some things happened in the world that prevented me from getting to NY to get the car. In March the border from Canada to the US closed due to covid so I was unable to get to the car. The plan then changed to we would wait until the border opened back up enough that we could drive down and pick the car up. We were expecting the border to be open in a few weeks or possibly a couple months, that obviously didn't happen so I had to start looking into getting the car shipped.
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      Getting the car shipped is where I really started to run into problems. New York has a weird system of registering cars that are antique that I still don't fully understand, but essentially I went through about 4 months of back and forth with the seller, the border, and the brokerage company before I finally had all the required paperwork to import the car.



      So rolling into August I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and the possibility of seeing the car in person for the first time (at this point I had still only seen the car in pictures). The car finally arriver around the end of August. The shipper was very good with sending me updates and pictures!
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      A little back story on the car, the gentleman I bought it from bought it from a guy in Alabama as a non running project, he then pulled it into a barn and parked it for 20 years. the car appears to have been either a drag car at one time or a car someone intended to turn into a drag car. It had slapper bars, open headers with collector extensions, a driveshaft loop and what appeared to be clearancing to the firewall to fit a big block and cut out distributor access.

      So to flash forward a bit to current day, I "finished" the Chevelle build in the summer of 2021 (they're never really done) and started working on the 56 shortly after, so I'm going to be playing catch up on this thread. The original plan for the 56 was always to be LS swapped with a stick but I did plan on driving it as it was for a couple summers (spoiler that didn't happen). In the end we decided that it wasn't cost effective to get the car running as it sat and I just parked the car from when it arrived home until late summer 2021.

      I did some looking at what transmission and engine combo I wanted to use and was originally planning to do a high RPM solid roller LS deal with a jerico or faceplated doug nash transmission.

      A little backstory on that plan is that it is essentially based off my dad's 56 which he has had as long as I can remember. It has a high compression (borderline race gas) 355 and a face plated doug nash trans. He used to race it when I was a kid, full weight, stock suspension, stick shift and ran a best of 11.31 before the track told him to slow it down or put a cage in it. I grew up in the back of this car, sliding around the back seat. Lots of good memories, and really that car is the reason I'm building my car now.
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      A couple pictures of my dad's car (he used to tow it with a 56 chevy truck to the racetrack).

      When the car arrived home I basically washed it, cleaned up some parts, checked out what all had come with the car and then took out the drive train (327 and a th350) and parked the car.
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      I knew going into the build that I wanted the car to be low, have a fairly big tire on the back and to be loud. I essentially wanted to build a more modern version to what my dads car was in my eyes.Name:  IMG_8012.jpg
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      I ended up stumbling upon a good deal on a low mileage (50k kilometres) tr6060 out of a smashed camaro. I picked up the trans along with the clutch. This started to slightly shift the plan of the build towards what could be described as a more user friendly combination. I was still planning on the solid roller high RPM deal but I was starting to consider something maybe a little more modern.


    2. #2
      Join Date
      May 2017
      Posts
      176
      Dude, a very nice Bel Air to start with! I'm building a 56 Chevy Bel Air as well. 495HP LS3 Crate engine, Magnum T56, Paul Newman Car Creations Chassis, C6 Z06 Brakes, just finished with a new trunk pan, floor pan, minitubs, recessed firewall, smoothie hood. Both cars should be very nice when finished!

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Apr 2001
      Location
      The City of Fountains
      Posts
      15,911
      Country Flag: United States
      Good stuff. Looking forward to updates.

      Andrew
      1970 GTO Version 3.0
      1967 Cougar build
      GM High-Tech Performance feature
      My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
      Instagram @projectgattago
      Dr. EFI
      I deliver what EFI promises.
      Remote Holley EFI tuning.
      Please get in touch if I can be of service.

      "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

    4. #4
      Join Date
      May 2012
      Location
      Kansas City, Missouri
      Posts
      546
      Country Flag: United States
      Nice car to start and also love the 56 truck that was towing

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Apr 2021
      Posts
      69
      Country Flag: Canada
      Quote Originally Posted by andrewb70 View Post
      Good stuff. Looking forward to updates.

      Andrew
      Thanks Andrew! I have been following along with the next iteration of the GTO, you do some nice work!

      Quote Originally Posted by thumper877 View Post
      Nice car to start and also love the 56 truck that was towing
      Thanks! Although my dad doesn't race that car anymore we still have the truck! It has an easy life now, no towing just the occasional car show.

      Quote Originally Posted by C Presley View Post
      Dude, a very nice Bel Air to start with! I'm building a 56 Chevy Bel Air as well. 495HP LS3 Crate engine, Magnum T56, Paul Newman Car Creations Chassis, C6 Z06 Brakes, just finished with a new trunk pan, floor pan, minitubs, recessed firewall, smoothie hood. Both cars should be very nice when finished!
      I appreciate the kind words. I'd love to see some pictures of your car, it sounds fairly similar to the direction mine is going.

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Sep 2017
      Posts
      636
      Country Flag: United States
      I can't wait to see your build thread progress.
      Looks like a real barn find.
      TANKMASTERJ
      https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...touring-Camaro
      Jasons Toys
      67 Camaro build
      2000 HD Softail
      1989 CBR Hurricane anniversary edition

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Sep 2009
      Posts
      2,291
      Country Flag: United States
      I love the background story, very cool! I didn't know cars that clean existed in NY!!


      1968 Camaro 6.2 w/ LSA, TR6060-Magnum hybrid, Z51 brakes, 12 bolt, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE
      1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Oct 2015
      Posts
      266
      Country Flag: United States
      Damn, pretty hard to beat a red/white 56. My favorite year of the tri 5's and a great color combo. Always wanted one. What are your plans for the body?
      My half a$$ed build thread.https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...elle-6-0-4L60E

      Tighten it till it strips & back it off a quarter turn.

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Apr 2021
      Posts
      69
      Country Flag: Canada
      Quote Originally Posted by TANKMASTERJ View Post
      I can't wait to see your build thread progress.
      Looks like a real barn find.
      Thanks! I would have liked to know some more about the history of the car, the previous owner didn't know much about the story of the car before he got it, but the car definitely wasn't on the road then either. I'm thinking the car probably hasn't been driven since the 70's but it's hard to know for sure.
      Attachment 198341
      As the summer of 2021 neared the end, I finally started really digging into the 56 build and got it pulled into the shop. The first thing on the list was to tackle the ugly, most ugly of all was the firewall. I got started by pulling the front clip off (because the car fit quite well as it was I kept track of all the washers, spacers, etc. that will help put it back, as well as drilling some locating holes).
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      cleaned the firewall up enough to see what was actually there
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      I bought a clean original firewall and made it fit
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      tacked in
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      welded home, I also did a quick test fit of the trans here and determined I would be cutting out the tunnel.
      This was really the first welding I had done outside of some small test pieces.
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      next up was the drivers rear floor pan
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    10. #10
      Join Date
      Apr 2021
      Posts
      69
      Country Flag: Canada
      Quote Originally Posted by ryeguy2006a View Post
      I love the background story, very cool! I didn't know cars that clean existed in NY!!
      Thanks! I don't really consider it a NY car if I'm being honest. The whole time it was in NY it was inside. That being said, it's definitely not perfect, I had to replace part of the firewall (from hackery not rust), 3 floor pans and the trunk pan (again not from rust) but overall the body is in excellent shape

      Quote Originally Posted by Alwhite00 View Post
      Damn, pretty hard to beat a red/white 56. My favorite year of the tri 5's and a great color combo. Always wanted one. What are your plans for the body?
      My favorite year as well! plans for the body are to leave it alone! I had to do some repairs that will be coming up soon but the plan is to leave as much alone as possible. I'm a sucker for original paint/patina cars especially with badass drivetrains, lowered with a nice set of wheels. That being said, thats exactly what I plan to do with this car!

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Oct 2015
      Posts
      266
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by lsx70 View Post

      My favorite year as well! plans for the body are to leave it alone! I had to do some repairs that will be coming up soon but the plan is to leave as much alone as possible. I'm a sucker for original paint/patina cars especially with badass drivetrains, lowered with a nice set of wheels. That being said, thats exactly what I plan to do with this car!
      Thank you, exactly what I would do with it.
      My half a$$ed build thread.https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...elle-6-0-4L60E

      Tighten it till it strips & back it off a quarter turn.

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Apr 2021
      Posts
      69
      Country Flag: Canada
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      I ended up doing 3 floor pans. They weren't super bad but I felt better replacing them and having the car super solid going forward. I also cut a rough hole for the transmission.
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      next up was tackling the trunk floor. At some point someone had welded a piece of angle iron along the rear panel (basically whats left of the trunk floor at the rear of the car in this picture). The trunk floor wasn't 100% solid and I wanted to delete the spare tire so it just made sense to replace the whole trunk floor.


      This is where things got a little interesting, when I was getting the trunk floor out , the back section that had the angle iron was hiding some other issues.
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      along with the rust in that corner and the same on the other side, the trunk lid didn't fit quite right. So we decided to slice the rear panel and move it over ever so slightly.
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      Trunk floor in.
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      while I was trying to avoid the rear corners I decided to patch the hole that had been cut in the upper firewall. This was another piece I used from the donor firewall.
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      I came up with this 2 piece patch panel to get the right shape
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      A bit of engine mockup, checking angles and making sure everything would clear.

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Apr 2021
      Posts
      69
      Country Flag: Canada
      A few fun boxes showed up after a while of waiting for it
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      This is ridetech's front and rear coilover conversion for tri five chevy's. The rear ditches the leaf spring set up for a bolt in 4 link and the front gets rid of the old control arms in favour of some tubular, geometry correcting control arms.

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      It was also time to start really figuring out where the trans was going to sit
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      My original plan for the tunnel was to buy an aftermarket one to put in, they ended up being quite expensive so I decided to try my hand at building my own tunnel. I didn't want to do the usual square tunnel because I wanted to keep the factory look. I was also getting a little more confident in my welding skills at this point

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      A coat of black and it was ready for dynamat!

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Sep 2009
      Posts
      2,291
      Country Flag: United States
      Looks great!! What engine and transmission mounts will you be running? Doesn't look like the Tri5 has as much aftermarket support for LS swaps as other platforms.


      1968 Camaro 6.2 w/ LSA, TR6060-Magnum hybrid, Z51 brakes, 12 bolt, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE
      1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Apr 2021
      Posts
      69
      Country Flag: Canada
      Quote Originally Posted by ryeguy2006a View Post
      Looks great!! What engine and transmission mounts will you be running? Doesn't look like the Tri5 has as much aftermarket support for LS swaps as other platforms.
      Thanks! You're right, there is much less LS swap support for the trifives than there was for the chevelle when I did it. I used williams custom chassis mounts along with their transmission crossmember, I had to modify the crossmember slightly because it's made for a t56. the mounts and the crossmember are both weld in where the chevelle holley setup was completely bolt in.

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Apr 2021
      Posts
      69
      Country Flag: Canada
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      Things in the rear are buttoned up and fitting well, the trunk closes now and the gap is much nicer.
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      on to some bodywork
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      lots of sanding involved but things are shaping up nicely
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      I like this shot of the car on jackstands, you can see the motor mounts welded in here
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      taped up
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      time for some primer
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      a couple shots of the corners where there was some major rust repair
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      so the plan from here was to paint the frame gloss black, the firewall semi gloss black and do the underside of the car with black raptor liner. I'm leaving the trunk and the rest of the back in white primer until I can move the car into the paint booth. The plan for it then will be to get something as close to matching as possible and blend it into the existing paint.

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Apr 2021
      Posts
      69
      Country Flag: Canada
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      Lots of progress happening at the front of the car. Frame and firewall are painted and some of the front suspension is on, the spindles are not here yet, but they're really all thats left for front suspension.

      In the rear I ran into an issue where the main bar for the 4 link wasn't wide enough to touch both frame rails. I called ridetech support and the tech was very helpful and easy to work with, he tole me that it is a fairly common thing on these cars because the jigs they used in the 50's weren't very accurate. He told me I could either make spacer plates or wrap a ratchet strap around the frame and pull it tight. Because this car fits really well as is I didn't want to pull the frame (I was mostly worried about the doors not closing), so I opted to make the spacers.

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      A nice tight fit.

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      rear bar bolted up, you can also see the painted frame and raptorliner on the floor in this shot.

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      I was originally planning to bolt the rear bar as per the instructions, but I decided I would be happier knowing it was welded solid considering it supports the entire rear suspension. everything will be cleaned up and painted again.

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Nov 2006
      Location
      Ma.
      Posts
      5,514
      Country Flag: United States
      Your progress looks great, nice job.
      Wayne
      Car FINALLY home !!!!!! lol
      Project FNQUIK https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ghlight=FNQUIK

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Sep 2017
      Posts
      636
      Country Flag: United States
      Wow your making some great progress fast. I'm watching this closely. Who doesn't love a tri 5 ina modern build
      TANKMASTERJ
      https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...touring-Camaro
      Jasons Toys
      67 Camaro build
      2000 HD Softail
      1989 CBR Hurricane anniversary edition

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Apr 2021
      Posts
      69
      Country Flag: Canada
      Quote Originally Posted by Motown 454 View Post
      Your progress looks great, nice job.
      Quote Originally Posted by TANKMASTERJ View Post
      Wow your making some great progress fast. I'm watching this closely. Who doesn't love a tri 5 ina modern build
      Thanks guys! its moving along well!

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