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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    As I really want to get this car on the road and drive it, am rethinking just how far I want to go with it!



    At last nite's "Fender Friday" session, it was agreed that the condition of the car is so good that it would make sense to just do a really nice clean up job! Clean, paint and refresh everything to look good, like the frame rails, firewall, floors, brake lines, then just start putting it back together....

    New power steering box, power brake MC, new windshield wiper setup, put in the motor and tranny, new wire kit throughout, leave the existing paint and upholstery for now, it's really in pretty good shape!

    Then just drive it for awhile, and enjoy it. Then gradually work on the upholstery and patching up the existing paint here and there as needed, but keep it essentially as is! Eventually the front and rear glass need to be popped out and the glass frame reworked to clean it and remove rust, then reinstall the glass (it is in good condition) with new rubber, the existing stuff is hard as a rock!

    I'll get it on the road a lot faster then trying to do a complete frame off and body rework, and will be able to enjoy it a lot more, which really is the goal here, as I never intended this to be a "show car"....
    Just fast and fun to drive....

    And it will fit my budget for this car a lot better!
    Aloha,
    Willy


  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Started fitting in the old tubs I had cut out, to widen them. The "mini-tubs" as it is sometimes referred to.

    There are many ways to do this, this is just the way I choose to do it. This is not a show car, and is intended to be a daily driver, fast, handle well, but still, not going to take the time to do precision cutting and fitting on these tubs, just make them strong and solid.

    Started by trimming and notching the old tub I had cut out so it could be moved over and welded back in place:



    Trial fit:


    It's a pretty good fit, it will take a little more trimming and some hammering to get the fit I want, then will tack it in place and make a template for the piece to be added to fill in the gap....

    I used this same method on the '55 4dr gasser, this is how that came out....

    I will paint and carpet the hardtop trunk though, it will be finished nicely inside....

    Now to do the other side the same....
    Aloha,
    Willy

    LINK more pix on my web page....

    LINK to mini-tub job on the gasser...

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Things moving slower than I want, too many other things going on in life, like the "Honey-Do" list....

    Got the rear tubs both sides trimmed and fitted pretty well. Filled in the spare tire well and welded in some other pieces I had cut out back there when I was moving the springs in under the frame rails. Got the right side tub welded in place, still have to weld in the left side, then I will fill in the gap over the top on both sides, and weld in a supports for the trunk hinges.
    Willy


  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    CENTEX
    Posts
    67
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    Very nice box. I loved my short visit to Maui. I actually prefer it a little more than Oahu for obvious reasons (drag strip, traffic...) I hope to visit again before we head back to the mainland. Mahalo

    J
    J. Will.
    70 Chevelle Malibu, 69 Cutlass S convertible, 71 Monte Carlo, 16 Chevy SS (yes, that one)

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Glad you had a good visit. It's a very nice place to live, but as I am an ag equip. mechanical engineer by training and life pursuit, I couldn't come here and make a living nowadays. 45 years ago that worked very well for me. Ag is pretty much gone in Hawaii these days, it's basically tourism or nothing, so my four kids are all employed on the mainland in non-tourist endeavors! It's not that we hate tourists, they pay the civic bills with tourism taxes, but I see it as a potential financial failure for Hawaii if there is a severe economic downfall and people can't afford to come here for their vacations. There is very little forward thinking about diversifying the economy here, the politicians are very narrow minded in their scope these days. The sugar and pineapple industries, which were and could be very profitable, were done in when the mainland politicians wanted favor with Mexico, and enacted the North American Fair Trade Act (NAFTA), which allows Mexican sugar and pineapple to come into the lower 48 without any protective tarriffs. Since Mexico pays their workers about one tenth what any American would work for, it put the Hawaiian ag bizz (mainly sugar and pineapple, as they do the best in this climate and environment after 150 years of trying all kinds of crops) out of business. So tourism is our best bet right now, and does not look good for the long term if there is a hiccup in the national economy. But that's a whole 'nother discussion. I am an Ag guy by profession, so I hate to see them disappear.

    Got sidetracked by my '55 gasser project, as I wanted to get into the 11's or even the 10's at the track, but an eye accident stopped that, am aiming for Apr track date now on that project....

    Back on the hardtop, fitting the left side tub, got it welded in and had to fill in a lot of rotted metal on that side, cut and fit pieces of sheet metal, will post pix soon....

    Sometimes things move way slower than I think they should, but hey, kinda the story of my life....
    Aloha to all,
    Willy

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    It's gettin' there, slowly, but it's gettin' there...


    Need to put the supports for the trunk hinges, and a couple more small patches and then seam sealer and paint and the trunk and mini-tubs are done....
    Willy

    Home Page for this car....
    I get older n slower = My cars get older n faster
    Picture Trail

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    overseas
    Posts
    3,417
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    good work!!
    Kevin S. (overseas in Germany)

    1972 Buick Skylark GS 455 (Stage 1 Clone)

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    OREGON
    Posts
    365
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    Looks good... It does seem that life projects seem to get in the way of our car projects..

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Got the trunk done, will carpet it later:



    Started working on the inside floors, some patching/welding, but mostly rust removal, metal prep, then coating with the same bed liner I used in the trunk. Carpeting to follow.


    This project is moving along much slower than I planned, as my other rigs keep developing problems that need immediate attention, like the leaky water pump on my 55 pickup, and the failed brakes on my 58 pickup. It never ends!

    But it's still fun, even if it is occasionally frustrating!

    Aloha,
    Willy

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    297

    Default

    These projects never follow the timeline we allow for them, even when you pad the crap out of it. Looking good and keep at it. You will be driving in no time!

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Family, House projects, travel, my two trucks with tech problems, man, there's always something!

    Got the inside floors in pretty good shape, welded up as needed, scrubbed 'em good with a wire wheel, then Oshpho (phosphoric acid) to kill any remaining rust "goblins", then hit needed areas with a good quality Napa seam sealer, let that go off, good and hard, then hit it with a rubber compound of some sort from Rustoleum. Will list it in a future post....






    Just covering it up with the rubber compound makes a huge difference!





    There's these access holes in the front seat foot area on both sides, I think originally they had rubber plugs, but think I'll just make cover plates and screw them down with seam sealer around the edges...





    Moving on to the front frame clip and firewall...



    A lot of scraping, scrubbing, cleaning needed here, only a little welding, some fresh paint, then I can hang the new front suspension on...



    More later, thinking about what kind of motor mounts I want to fab for the LT1, getting close to fitting that and the T56 in place....
    Aloha,
    Willy

    LINK to floor/firewall repair page...
    I get older n slower = My cars get older n faster
    Picture Trail

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    583
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    Looking good, Willy!
    We used the side motor mount kit from East Coast Chevy. Just make sure you put the motor in the stock location, worst case being further forward. Any further back from stock and the T56 will have you cutting up your nice floor. Also, solid motor mounts make a HUGE difference in ride quality (for the better!). The frames are known to sag and flex in the middle so this helps prevent that. Just make sure you keep the trans mount rubber.
    -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

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Earl Williams, in the LA area of CA, makes a nice motor mount setup, looking at using that, or fabbing up my own. I went solid mounts on my '55 gasser, but with the stock rubbwer style GM tranny mount, and it worked out well. If there is any motor vibration from the solid mounts, ya can't tell over the blower noise, the DN tranny gear whine, and the glaspak mufflers!

    Will probably go solid like you suggest.

    When I did my 4x4 truck, with a big block Olds motor, I used poly suspension bushings in a motor side mount setup I fabbed, was trying to look for a photo, didn't find it, it is pretty darn solid, not much give in it, but I think the actual solid mounts would be better. This frame does have a little sag in it. Would love to jack the frame into proper alignment and install a complete race style cage to stiffen it up, but the wife says "NO", and she'll be driving this car too, so will just do what I can to stiffen it up. Am considering adding an "X" member, like the '55 convertables have, to my hardtop frame. It is the one piece frame rails, so would not be too hard to to that.

    I could wait until I have all the running gear, etc installed under the car, then design and install an "X" member as a bolt in that clears everything else. Threaded reinforced plates welded to the frame rails to bolt the "X" member to is how I envision it. Would add some weight, but as it is going to be a fairly hot daily driver, a little extra weight to stiffen up the frame would not be a problem. the motor was dyno'd at 520 ft.lbs.
    I get older n slower = My cars get older n faster
    Picture Trail

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    This project had to sit for awhile, some of my other rigs developed problems and needed attention, ya gotta keep 'em on the road and runnin', ya know?

    Anyway, dug out all the Heidt's suspension parts that I had sitting on the shelf:
    Upper and lower tubular A-arms,
    Coil-overs,
    2" dropped spindles,
    the earlier GM disk brakes for this setup, look like Chevelle to me....

    Also picked up a 500 power steering box, and a painted (well, I'm gonna paint it....) Ididit tilt steering column to go with it.

    Have the "new style" Earl Williams side mounts, they are very nice!

    The last time I had it on the road, I had narrowed a 9" and moved the leaf springs under the frame rails in preparation for the "minitubs". I had put "slappers" on the springs to prevent windup, but now have a set of CalTrax to put on. It will take a little bit of modification with the spring setup I have, but they should work well.

    Eventually the body is going to come off, but wanted to have the steering etc. parts all on there when I fitted the LT1 and T56 in, with the Hooker Super Comp headers, and welded in the new motor mounts. Plus I think that tranny is going to hit the floor tunnel, and that might need some modification.

    Got the frame well scrubbed in front, and painted it with the Rusteoleum black Hammertone paint, it came out nice. Still needs more paint where the motor mounts will go, but it's a start....

    With all that sheet metal gone, no motor, that front end is pretty light. When I jacked the bottom A-arm to compress the coil-overs for installation, had to tie the frame to a 4x4 under the jack! What fun....



    I'll post more pix as I get more done here, with the cleaning and painting, where wasn't much to show.

    The plan is to install the exhaust system, get all the hangers, etc. that will be needed welded onto the frame, then the body is coming off and the frame will get cherried out.
    Aloha,
    Willy

    Steering and Suspension Page

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Not a lot going on, other more "urgent" projects taking priority, but did manage to get the steering components cleaned up. They were badly encrusted with dirt, grease, who knows what:



    After about a half a day of careful scraping and lots of scrubbing in the solvent tank, they cleaned up pretty nicely, the ball joints feel nice and tight, so am going to reuse them:



    Now for some paint, new grease cups on the ball joints, and hang it back on the front end.

    I did consider putting a Rack and Pinion in this project, but as a mechanical engineer with 50 yrs of experience,
    I consider the R&P not to be any better then these old style steering setups, when they are setup properly.
    Auto manufacturers went to the R&P setups mostly because they were cheaper to produce, not because
    they were any better.

    Am traveling for a couple of weeks, so it will get done when I get back....
    Aloha all, and have a Great Thanksgiving!!
    Willy

    Steering and Suspension Page

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Hard to make any real progress with the holidays, travel, family visiting, all that comes first in our famly, but I have gotten a few things done:

    Got the steering linkage on and the steering arms were hitting the lower ball joints of the Heidt's assemblies:


    Grinding a small relief into the steering arms, just enough to give the necessary clearance, was easy enough to do:


    Got some grade 8 bolts with enough unthreaded shank to fill the holes in the steeering arms, then cut off the excess threaded stock flush with the spindles:


    The brake rotors came from Heidt's with 7/16" by 1" wheel studs, too small and too short!



    Pressed 'em out and pressed in some 1/2" by 1-3/4" wheel studs I got from Moser:



    Bolted up nice and snug now!


    Happy New Year to all!
    Willy

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    88
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2Loose View Post
    Something I always wanted to do, and now finally getting able to do it....

    I think I'm going to just jack the body up off the frame enough to get under it and clean and paint. There's too many projects going on around me at the "Old Dudes Shop", not much room, so am thinking just jack the body up enough to get under it and make everything clean, painted, and put it back together...
    LINK to the Old Dudes Shop Page....

    Started working on the floors today, chipping, scraping, cleaning it up, not too bad really, but some definite thin spots I need to address....




    And still need to weld in the "minitubs" and some other pieces in the trunk....


    Usually I fill in the piece behind the rear seat solid, but might make the back seat a flip down so a surfboard could be put in the trunk through this area into the back seat, or any other long object....

    I have the front bucket seats from the '93 Camaro the LT1 came out of, and the back seat, thinking of adapting it to this car....
    Aloha,
    Willy


    Set up a page for the work on the floors and trunk....

    Looking at where you are in the project, if you don't yank the frame out and do it up, you WILL regret it later. Here are a few pics of how I did mine. I guess I won't as photobucket is not working at this point.
    Anyway, I just lifted up the body and rolled out the frame. Once the frame was out I had it stripped in a few hours. I then sent it off to the sand blaster, then laid two coats of POR15 on the frame. You can brush this on, you know. Then I slid the frame back under the car and was good to go. The whole process took about two days. The key, prepare! Unbolt anything not needed before you roll the frame out. Line up your sandblasted, get the POR15 and brushes. Line up a trailer. Make it almost like a military operation..everything like clock work. If you do it right the guy that owns the garage won't even know it happened. My buddies that top in every week couldn't believe it. You mean you took two days off work and did all of this? You got it. Remember when you put the frame back under the car, it doesn't have to be completely assembled. You can bolt the rear end, control arms / complete suspension, brake lines, etc. on later.
    Good luck.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    88
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2Loose View Post
    Something I always wanted to do, and now finally getting able to do it....

    I think I'm going to just jack the body up off the frame enough to get under it and clean and paint. There's too many projects going on around me at the "Old Dudes Shop", not much room, so am thinking just jack the body up enough to get under it and make everything clean, painted, and put it back together...
    LINK to the Old Dudes Shop Page....

    Started working on the floors today, chipping, scraping, cleaning it up, not too bad really, but some definite thin spots I need to address....




    And still need to weld in the "minitubs" and some other pieces in the trunk....


    Usually I fill in the piece behind the rear seat solid, but might make the back seat a flip down so a surfboard could be put in the trunk through this area into the back seat, or any other long object....

    I have the front bucket seats from the '93 Camaro the LT1 came out of, and the back seat, thinking of adapting it to this car....
    Aloha,
    Willy


    Set up a page for the work on the floors and trunk....

    Looking at where you are in the project, if you don't yank the frame out and do it up, you WILL regret it later. Here are a few pics of how I did mine. I guess I won't as photobucket is not working at this point.
    Anyway, I just lifted up the body and rolled out the frame. Once the frame was out I had it stripped in a few hours. I then sent it off to the sand blaster, then laid two coats of POR15 on the frame. You can brush this on, you know. Then I slid the frame back under the car and was good to go. The whole process took about two days. The key, prepare! Unbolt anything not needed before you roll the frame out. Line up your sandblaster, get the POR15 and brushes. Line up a trailer. Make it almost like a military operation..everything like clock work. If you do it right the guy that owns the garage won't even know it happened. My buddies that stop in every week couldn't believe it. You mean you took two days off work and did all of this? You got it. Remember when you put the frame back under the car, it doesn't have to be completely assembled. You can bolt the rear end, control arms / complete suspension, brake lines, etc. on later.
    Good luck.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    You got that right!
    The plan is to get the motor in with the new side mounts welded in place, the exhaust system in with the brackets as needed welded in place, everything that needs to be welded to the frame done, then lift the body, roll the frame out, strip it, and clean and paint it. I've done wonders with POR15 with just a power wash and a wire brush before painting. But I want all the weld on frame additions in place before I do that.
    Willy

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Had to put the new upper A-Arm rubber bumpers in place in the frame, so had to jack up the suspension to do that, hauled out the 4x4, jack and rope again....


    and stuck that rubber bumper in there....


    Didn't want that bumper sitting crushed for long periods of time while I worked on the rest of the car, so stuck a piece of wood in under the upper A-Arm to "take a load off...."


    Fitted the caliper mount plates onto the spindles, they can be mounted on the front as easily as on the back with this particular setup, but I've always put them on the back...


    Fitted the calipers on, with the bleeder screw facing up....

    These are spec'd as 10.5" '79 - '81 Chevelle rotors and calipers, easy to get parts for...

    Loaded in the brake pads....


    And bolted up the 15" Torque Thrust wheels, they fit just fine, plenty of clearance!




    So now I have to bolt the tranny up to the motor, and fit it in place and weld in the new side motor mounts.
    Aloha,
    Willy

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