The engine fired up on the dyno. After some tuning and adjustments, we are sitting right at 392.7hp @ 4800rpm and peaking at 454lb-ft of torque at 4000rpm. Should make for a great cruiser in front of the 700R4 and 3.55 gears.
We pulled the trigger on a Concept One polished Victory Series serpentine kit and Vintage Air Gen IV SureFit System. We will go with the braided stainless Aeroquip hoses to tie into our AGR quick ratio steering box. Matt over at Matt's Classic Bowties was a HUGE help in sorting out what we needed from Vintage Air for the shaved firewall and ordered us the compressor delete kit so we didn't get stuck with two compressors.
The e-brake system is routed and rough-adjusted. Just a few more adjustments so we can trim and tie-up the excess cables.
The engine is making progress. The bulk is assembled and ready for the dyno down at Performance Solutions. The raw heads and polished intake turned out alright. We were concerned that they wouldn't match up very well, but there isn't much of the head that can be seen below the valve cover and headers. The old carb doesn't look as great, but it should work and will likely be covered by something big and polished. The e-Street heads weren't what we expected, but Matt assures me they will work as well for our application as the Performer RPMs for less cost. The plan is to see it on the dyno Friday 9/3 or Monday 9/6. Definitely need to clean up a few areas and add some dress to the package, but if it runs well. More images in the Power Train section.
Stopped by Performance Solutions today to see if we were going to make the dyno. No such luck. The short block is assembled and it looks like all the remaining loose parts are on the build shelf, but strangely absent were the heads... Nick mentioned they had not received their Edelbrock shipment for the day so perhaps are parts will be in and assembled in the next week or so. Still no rush, but I'd like to hear it fired up.
Expecting an assortment of parts from Classic Muscle Saturday so we can work on the emergency brake system and get it linked up to the new Wilwood setup out back.
Time has been flying by with little to no progress on the project. We paid off Clint at Ace Autobody & Customs so that is behind us. He is storing the fenders, hood, deck lid and rear valance for us while we work on the rolling chassis and body segment.
The interior is 90% covered in the second skin material. We ordered another pack just to make sure we had enough to completely cover the trunk when we get that far. We went ahead and painted the back side of the firewall area semi-gloss black to match the other black details. It matches very closely to the 60% black powder coating. To add a little thermal barrier to the roof, we installed a layer of Second Skin Audio Heat Wave Pro. It should do nicely.
Talked to Matt over at Performance Solutions early last week. He is thinking the engine may be ready for the dyno late this week. I can't wait to see how it does. We left the heads natural with the polished intake and polished valve covers. I'll have to see how it looks, but we may want to change out the valve covers down the road.
Continuing to roll-out more Second Skin as time and the arm will allow. About 80% of the interior is done minus the doors and we have a box left with 20 sheets so we should be able to detail the doors and trunk without too much trouble.
Got pricing for a Concept One serpentine system from Matt's Classic Bowties. Caught a thread over on Chevelles.com about the newer StyleTrac systems from March. I've sent a price request to Frank and Lisa over at Prodigy/GPSuperStore to see what they can do for us.
The main car body came home last week. The team from Ace Autobody & Customs picked up the rolling chassis Tuesday night and delivered the chassis with the body and doors attached. There are a few minor issues, but nothing that couldn't be addressed or will be resolved when we go back for paint. More images in the Body Work section.
We started laying the Second Skin Audio Damplifier Pro. It goes down pretty easy and we are taking our time to get good overlap and tight adhesion with the body. What a difference it makes! We spent too much, but the car will be very quiet once it is all done.
Matt over at Performance Solutions said the block checked out good and he ordered the new Eagle rotating assembly. Heads are targeted to be Edelbrock RPM's, but he will tear them down and have them polished to match the new polished intake.
Still debating on Serpentine belt systems. The front runner is the Victory Series by Concept One. They have a very nice integrated power steering pump and reservoir and ship the system with an Edelbrock Endura Shine water pump. The second choice is the Tru-Trac by Billet Specialties. The Billet version is very nice but also more money and requires an external reservoir for the power steering.
The color selection of the week: Back to Cortez Silver (or similar) with black stripes.
Updates have been slow to come lately, but with good reason. A minor tennis accident has had focus on the car sidelined a bit. Final review; Radius and Ulna fractured, compound extension of the Ulna, two (2) plates and fourteen (14) screws. I will be offering tennis clinics on what not to do later this summer. There will also be an advanced course on typing one-handed (Titled: Ergonomic keyboards are not your friend).
Dropped the engine off with Matt Compton at Performance Solutions Thursday. They will tear-down the engine, clean it up and have it sonically checked before we go too far. Still planning on a stroked 383 with the original 2-bolt block. Shooting for 380-420hp at the crank and able to cruise all day long with enough vacuum for the power brakes.
Stopped by Ace Autobody & Customs Friday and the body is nearly complete. Everything has been blocked, undercoated, and ready to jam the smoothed firewall. It may be ready to come home later this week if everything goes as planned. We still don't have a final body color selected yet! Still looking at Greys, Black, Silvers, and even a modern Blue with great pearls in the sun.
A couple weeks ago we received 120 sqft of Second Skin Audio Damplifier Pro and seven (7) sheets of Luxury Liner Pro. The combination should make for a quiet and very tight ride!
Not a lot of progress for March. Ace Autobody & Customs lost the primary guy that was working on our car and had a number of entries to finish up for the local car show. However, the last few weeks have picked up quite a bit and the car is progressing. The first coat of primer has been blocked on the body and doors, hood, and deck lid. Looks like we need at least one more coat of primer, but some pieces may take a third to get fully blocked out. Once the exterior is blocked, Clint will shoot an epoxy on the interior to seal it up and undercoat the bottom. At that point, we should be ready to drop it on the body.
We still haven't come up with a finish color... The Cyber Metallic isn't quite what we are looking for so we cruised the car lots looking for colors yesterday. The last time we went color shopping, we ended up buy a new car for my lovely bride so it was a safer venture this weekend. The BMW color we were looking for wasn't quite dark enough. Mercedes has a nice Steel Grey and Palladium Silver that looked really good. The metallic flake is very fine, would cover nicely and would balance with a black strip very well. Before we called it a day, we looked at a very interesting color called Urban Titanium Metallic. By itself, it looks like a silver grey, but next to a grey car, it takes on a warmer coloration with a hint of brown undertones. The only concern is with how large the metal flake is and if the black stripes would contrast too heavily with the course flake.
I suspect the car would look something more like this. The picture was captioned as a Shadow Grey, but the lighting must have been very warm because it had more of a bronze coloration.
It's official... I hate picking colors!
It's been a few weeks since there have been any updates, but really, nothing has been happening. I stopped in at Ace Autobody & Customsthe other week to see how things were progressing. The firewall is filled and smoothed. The next step is to undercoat the bottom and apply some more seam sealer and weld a few pin-holes up. After that, we should be able to join the fresh chassis and body before returning it to the house. Once home, we can start the interior and rough assembly.
We still haven't selected a color, but the new GM Cyber Metallic Grey and a couple of colors from Mercedes in the gray/silver range are on the short list. Final color and wheel selection might be the hardest part of this whole project!
As for the engine, I'm perplexed, befuddled, and confused. Part of my head says we want something different like a powerful LS3 as a pull-out from a 2010 Camaro. The only thing keeping me from that path is the added complexity of the harness and ECU. That, and they look kind of ugly. The other part of my head says, stroke the original block to a strong 383 with Trick Flow or Edelbrock heads and an Edelbrock intake topped by the 600cfm Edelbrock carb we have sitting in the garage. It would be simpler and cheaper in the long run, but lacks some of the new technology cool factor. That "cool" factor could also get us in trouble should have problems down the road. There is something simplistic and easy about a build GEN I small block sitting between the rails. What to do...
Still looking at new ideas for the interior. We originally planned on going with a traditional repop 3-hole SS-style dash, but with the direction the car may take, something more unique like a Paul Atkins Custom Dash and pad may be more interesting. I'm not sure we are ready for something that far out there, but if we go off the depend and drop in an LS1 or LS3 to go in-front of the 700R4, then why not... If we did, the seats would definitely need a different covering than the stock look. Truthfully, I'm not a huge fan of the pattern for the '72 seat covers, but I have a set in the garage.
Mated the old motor and new 700R4 transmission together to mock-up the cross-member placement. It all went together very well and one hole on each side of the frame was already in the correct location. The other hole was 95% in alignment and only needed a little work with the drill to drop the bolt through. More pictures over in the Powertrain section.
The body is in first coat primer and the work looks great. The straps that were added to the roof made a huge difference. The firewall is marked, but we need to review the wiring harness and some of the holes to be filled. Updates are in the Body Work section.
Ace Autobody & CustomsAce Autobody called today and the main body is in the first coat of primer. We need to go down and mark all the places in the firewall that need to be filled. With the A/C unit going under the dash, we can smooth the firewall. The interior will get a coat of epoxy primer and then a layer of Dynamat.
Added the pictures of the body work progress to the Body Work section. Decided to keep the rocker moldings after all. The factory holes are in the front section so they will be easy to reference for drilling the new rear holes. Our original rocker moldings look much better than anticipated and should polish up very well. Retrieved the NOS wheel moldings and they look brand new.
Worked on the hub and rotor assemblies for the front. We had attempted our first safety wiring of the inner hub, but hadn't verified the torque values on the bolts so this weekend we tore everything apart, re-torqued the bolts and safety wired everything. I think it looks pretty good. While we were at it, we pulled the mock-up bolts from the caliper brackets and applied the 271 (RED) locktite and torqued accordingly.
Merry Christmas Eve... Stopped by to see if there had been any progress on the body work over at Ace Autobody & Customs. They solved the thin roof issue by installing some nice wide steel bands from the inside and bonded them into place with some metal bonding adhesive. The front fenders are pretty much blocked out and a little bondo in some low areas. We marked all of the fender emblem holes, rocker molding holes, and hood pin mounting locations for fill and smoothing. Had second thoughts on the rocker moldings, but it would be easier to add them later if we decide to go back to them. We still have a set of original wheel well moldings that may be installed to accent the wheels. The hood was popping a little in the upper cowl area so they are also installing extra metal up there to stiffen everything up. The work looks good. Lets hope we have enough money to finish it...
Worked more with Bear and Todd over at Right Stuff Detailing and I think we came to a solution for the rear hard line to caliper attachment. It turns out they have the perfect hose that goes from a 3/8x24 inverted flare to a female -3AN. The hose is actually supposed to end with a 3/8" fitting for a Mopar application (Don't tell anyone), but their hose maker didn't have the right end type and mounted the -3AN and supplied an adapter. We will simply remove the 3/8" adapter and install a 1/8"x-3AN male elbow into the caliper and be set. As for the front-to-rear brake line, it seems they didn't ship one with our original order so a new one is coming along with the new flex line. Now to find some clips and we should be able to wrap everything up with the brakes!
We received the new brake lines from Right Stuff Detailing and ran into a few challenges. Things just weren't fitting up quite right and we had a discrepancy in fitting sizes coming out of the new proportioning valve for the rear brake lines. After a quick call to Todd and an email with Bear, it would seem we didn't receive one of the lines we need with the kit. There is a bridge line that drops from the rear of the booster/proportioning valve down to the frame rail to meet up with the front-to-back brake line. Still going to need quite a bit of tweaking to get everything dialled in, but I guess it's progress. If I had it to do over, I wouldn't relocate the proportioning valve and would keep it on the frame. This should give us better header clearance, but I think it would have been less hassle.
The rear brake lines are going to be a different story. The hard lines look great, but the adapter method we came up with isn't going to work. The ideal solution is to have a 3/8"-24 inverted flare to -3AN fitting flex hose, but I can't find that hose anywhere! It's going to take some sorting out to get everything connected. The guys at Right Stuff have been great to work with. I'm sure we will get it figured out.
After thinking about the polished booster and cast aluminum master cylinder, I went ahead and called Todd at Right Stuff Detailing back to have the distribution valve changed to chrome with the polished stainless bracket. He was thinking they had not shipped yet so we should be in good shape.
Contacted Frank over at Prodigy/GPSuperStore regarding wheels. It's tempting to take my lovely bride and kids up on the offer to get me wheels for Christmas, but I just can't do it yet. Other parts need to be paid off first and the body work isn't done yet. It's killing me with the old ugly wheels on there, but it's the right thing to wait. Yes... I'm mostly trying to convince myself...
Not much new progress this week. We ordered the brake and fuel lines from Right Stuff Detailing . Todd helped us out on the configuration and how to setup the rear axle how we want with braided stainless going to the Wilwood calipers. We are going with a conversion kit which will move the proportion valve next too the master cylinder and give more clearance for the headers down at the frame where the original distribution block was. We ordered the brass block, but I'm wondering if we shouldn't have ordered the chrome one... Hmmm
The BMR Fabrication springs and QA1 Single Adjustable Shocks finally arrived this week. They went right in place after a minor enlargement of the hole for the shock post. The new QA1 posts were a little bigger and there was a little powder coating buildup in the holes. Nothing a new 9/16" drill bit couldn't fix. At first I wasn't thrilled that the BMR springs only came in RED, but I think they look fine.
Today we rolled the chassis out to get a few pictures. Images are updated in the Suspension section. Next step is to install the engine mount brackets and order brake and fuel lines
Not a lot of progress over the holiday. Too much Turkey and too much Christmas shopping too early in the morning. I was able to pickup the freshly powder coated pitman arm from Primo's Powder Coating today. It looks great and went right onto the new AGR steering box. Once the arm was on, we were able to mock up the rest of the new steering linkages and idler. The new UMI Performance front sway bar is installed and we are just waiting on Summit to deliver the rear springs and shocks. Looking at the position of the adjusters on the QA1 front coil-over's, I'm thinking we should have rotated them to the back. I really don't want to tear everything back down to change it...
Summit Racing let us down. They had some sort of major computer system meltdown and the new BMR Fabrication springs and QA1 Single Adjustable Shocks that should have been here today, didn't ship until today. There is still some question if the shipment really left Summit today because their online system hasn't produced a tracking number yet. The tracking number their customer service rep gave me doesn't appear in the UPS system either. Disappointing!
The website updates have been slow to come, but the progress on the frame and suspension has been outstanding. We picked up the frame and all the peripheral parts from Donnie over at Primo's on the 9th. The rear-end went to Jim's Drivetrain Wednesday and we picked it back up Monday the 16th. The final selection was 1:3.55 gears. They will give us good grunt off the light, but still make for a nice cruising RPM with the 700R4 on the interstate. The 1:3.73 would have been another good choice, but after talking with Matt at Performance Solutions and Jim, the 3.55s should be a good intermediate gear.
The frame assembly has really come along. For the front-end, the SpeedTech coil-over conversions are installed along with the spindles and new Hotchkis steering kit. We picked up a new AGR 12:1 quick ratio steering box last week and Donnie has the pitman arm for matching powder coat.
For the rear-end, the UMI Performance parts are in stalled and the rear-end is attached. We decided against a full coil-over rear-end in favor of QA1 single-rate adjustable shocks and a set of BMR 2" drop coils. I REALLY wanted to go with a coil-over kit, but the retrofit kits seem to have bad press due to the angle of the shock and coil. The best solution is to get a weld-in kit, but with the rear-end powder coated, that's just not a good option. Besides, the coil-over kits are 2X the price of good shocks and coils. Let's hope it works out.
Pictures should be updated this weekend after Turkey day and a short road-trip Saturday.
Received the new spindles from Ground-Up today. They appear to be from Really Right Stuff Detailing and look great! I don't think we will need to get them powder coated as the body of the spindles is a nice black already. Kind of depends on how much it would cost but we will check with Donnie over at Primo's Friday.
Speaking of Right Stuff Detailing (GetDiscBrakes), Ryan from Ground-Up suggested I contact them regarding our brake line dilemma. At this point, I'm thinking we need to order a full set of power drum brake lines, use the stock distribution block, and cut in the proportioning valve prior to the distribution block. Not sure what to do with the rear end and new calipers. I was thinking they would need a shorter line and adapt to a flex line for the caliper, but I'm not sure. Hopefully Right Stuff can help me figure it out.
Big day for the progress of the car today! I met Clint from Ace Autobody & Customs at Primo's Powder Coating. We dropped off the frame, rear-end, cross member and all the peripheral mounting hardware. I took a set of the control arms from SpeedTech Performance and UMI Performance to compare coatings. Both SpeedTech and UMI appear to be using a full gloss powdercoat. We are going to have the frame and piece parts done in a 60% semi-gloss.
Emailed Wilwood regarding the brake kit we have from them and what they would recommend for a spindle solution. their recommendation is a stock style spindle and couldn't guarantee fitment with a drop spindle. We ordered a pair of spindles from Ground-Up and they should be here Thursday. If the timing works, I will drop them with the other parts at Primo's and see if they can put a gloss powder coat finish on them to match the control arms.
Stopped in to talk with Clint and the boys over at Ace Autobody & Customs on the way out of town last weekend and again this afternoon. The quarters look good, but I'm concerned about some serious thin spots in the roof. The heavy sand blasting exposed some thin areas where the vinyl had let rust start and the added heat from blasting didn't help. Chris didn't think it would be too bad, but it's a little concerning none the less.
Clint wants to put the body on a dolly next week and run the frame and piece parts over to Donnie Lau at Primo Powder coating Inc. I stopped today and talked with Donnie about the project and looked at a couple of powder samples. The gloss looks really good, but Donnie pointed out that it shows every imperfection and blemish. The 60% is just above a flat finish so it should work fine, but I'll take a sample of the new control arms from SpeedTech Performance and the rear control arms from UMI Performance to see what a good match would be. The plan would be to drop everything off later this next week.
Received new pictures of the progress on the quarter panel install from Ace Autobody & Customs. They are definitely making good progress! Sounds like they need to order another rear wheel tub to get everything dressed up. Clint also mentioned they received the new hinges for the driver side, patched the lower sections on the front fenders and started smoothing a couple of dents in the hood. Check out the updates over in the Body Work section.
Got a call from Clint over at Ace Autobody & Customs this week. Sounds like the new quarters are hung, the rear valance is welded in and one rear wheel tub has been fixed. The front fenders are fixed and they started smoothing the hood. They need to order another inner wheel tub for the other side because it ended up being worse than expected once they started trimming the rust out. Hope to get pictures later this week after the put the body back on the frame to check everything out and get ready for powder coat of the frame and hardware. I'd REALLY want to start assembly of the frame and suspension...
The new adjustable upper control arms arrived today and they look great!
Sent our original non-adjustable upper rear control arms back to UMI for credit towards a set of adjustable arms. Brad and Melody were great to work with and we should see the new arms in the next week or so.
Called Glenn over at Capital City transmission regarding more details on our 700R4 build. He considers it a mid-level build capable of 400-450hp without having any trouble. I think we are shooting for 360-420hp so we should be in good shape.
No updates on the body work. The shop was waiting for their welder to come back to start tacking up the quarters. Looking forward to starting assembly on the frame.
Having second thoughts about our non-adjustable upper rear control arms. With our plans to lower the overall stance of the car, I'm concerned that the pinion angle will not be correct for the drive shaft alignment. Brad over at UMI Performance suggested an adjustable control arm would be better suited for our application. I posted the arms on Craigs List to see if I can recover the cost and order the adjustable arms. UMI will take them back with a 20% restock fee.
The Hotchkis sleeves arrived and fit up to the control arms perfectly. We picked up a 2-Ton shop crane from Harbor freight on-sale plus a 20% off coupon. We looked at the 1-ton, but the reach was very short and I didn't think we could drop an engine and tranny into place. For an extra $45, it made sense to get the bigger cherry picker. I hope to hear back on the condition of the frame and if it straitened out when mounted to the body or if it will have to go to a frame shop for adjusting.
Received the QA1 shock kit today. The shocks look great!
Finally got in touch with Mark at Hotchkis and he set us up with a set of sleeves for their steering rebuild kit. Very nice guy and took car of us very nicely.
Better progress this week! The missing SpeedTech billet ball joint covers came in after a quick call to Prodigy/GPSuperStore. Seems they were overlooked in our original order. The QA1 shocks are supposed to be on order now as well. I can't wait to see them.
The rubber bushing kit for the body came in today so we dropped off the frame at Ace Autobody & Customs so they can join the frame and body and start tacking in the new quarter panels. We still need to make sure the body pulls the frame into shape or I have a feeling the frame will be headed to a frame shop for a quick tweak.
Matt from Performance Solutions and I swapped a couple more emails regarding our engine build. Sounds like he just finished a nice little 383 with Trick Flow heads, a COMP cam, Edelbrock 600cfm, Air gap intake, and flat top pistons. The has 9.25:1 compression, 16in of vacuum at idle, 400ft-lb or torque and about 360hp. Sounds about perfect for our project.
Not a great week for project updates. The body mounts weren't ordered and Goodmark was out of stock so we didn't transfer the frame to the body shop this week as anticipated. The new quarters are here and a mount kit has been ordered from CCP which should be here next week so hopefully we can move the frame over soon. I'd really like to get started on building the chassis after powdercoat.
The engine quote came back from Performance Solutions. It's higher than we originally discussed, but we also added the MSD distributor, Blaster coil, and a set of ceramic coated headers to make the system a little more turn-key. It would be a pretty basic build-up for Matt and his team, but for a similar price, we could drop in a finished 383 crate motor. I'd rather keep the money local and there are distinct advantages to having local support if we had any problems with the motor. I guess we aren't in a big hurry, but ideally I would like to have the power train mounted in the chassis when we drop the body back on.
The good news of the week is that our SpeedTech Performance shipment arrived. The bad news is that the QA1 shocks and billet ball joint covers did not. In talking with Roger over at SpeedTech, it appears Prodigy/GPSuperStore ordered the control arms separately and hopefully is having the QA1 shocks drop shipped. I haven't been able to get in touch with Lisa so I will have to call her Monday to see what is going on. The lesson learned; we should have ordered direct from SpeedTech. I like the guys at Prodigy/GPSuperStore, but they have a business to run for custom builds and they are hard to get email responses from.
Had a great call with Matt Compton over at Performance Solutions regarding a build-up of our engine. He had some good ideas regarding a full rebuild using our existing block and upgrading the heads, cam, and intake. Not sure if we will stick with our Edelbrock 600cfm carburetor, but we will have to see what makes the most sense. Should have an estimate package next week or so. While talking power train, he suggested using 1:3.55 gears in the rear-end with the Eaton Posi we are going to have built up. Matt finished an overdrive Mustang that was turning only 2600rpm @ 75mph down the interstate. Seems quite reasonable and probably better than what we would have had with 1:3.73 gears.
Separated the engine and transmission last evening so I can give back the hoist we've been borrowing (Thanks Bill!). The latest edition of Hot Rod Magazine has a coupon from Harbor Freight for a 1-Ton folding engine hoist. It's tempting to pickup the hoist for $100 and have it available when ever we need it. If I can't borrow one, we might just have to get one and sell it when the project is finally done. They sure are handy!
The engine is on the engine stand we picked up on Craig's List and ready to be torn down. Still not sure of the final direction. Part of me says just replace the heads and intake and see how long it gets us by. The other part says we are too far into the project not to tear the engine all the way down and build it back up or look at a crate motor.
Checked with SpeedTech Performance regarding the shipping of our front control arm and coil-over package. Turns out they didn't have an order for them on the books. Needed a quick call to Frank and Lisa over at Prodigy Customs (GPSuperstore) to let them know SpeedTech had stock again and since they already charged our card back the first week of July, it would be greatly appreciated if they would get our parts on order. Lisa called to confirmed the order today and everything should be shipping...
Summit Bucks were expiring in another week so we ordered the thrust bearing package for the QA1 coil-over's to make adjusting easier. Also ordered an Energy Suspension engine/transmission mounting kit so we can confirm an OEM style transmission mount will work with our new 700R4. There is conflicting information that our late model ('85-86) Camaro tranny needs a different tail-stock to mount up correctly. We will have to see, but it looks like everything will fit. Of course the transmission cross member will still need to move back.
Created the Suspension section outlining our plans for the front and rear suspension. The rear suspension is still undecided, but we very interested in the new SpeedTech Performance non-weld coil-over conversion with QA1 shocks.
Stopped by to take a look at the progress today and was surprised by how far the team at Ace had come without the frame. Both rear quarter are cut away and the piece between the rear window and deck lid is removed. Pretty scary looking really, but that's why I'm not doing the body work! More pictures in the Body Work section.
Degreased the new tranny with engine cleaner, Simple Green and a stiff brush. Sanded a few of the casting marks to remove the sharp edges and overhangs. Sprayed a full can of hi-temp primer to cover all the nooks and crannies. Not sure of the final cover so we will leave it in primer until we decided on the engine color and spray them together.
Picked up a freshly rebuilt 700R4 transmission from Glenn at Capital City Transmission with a rebuilt torque converter and generic TV cable. Looks pretty good, but could use some degreasing and a coat of paint.
The Hotchkis premium steering rebuild kit arrived today, but to our disappointment, the kit does not have the adjuster sleeves as shown in the pictures. Turns out, it's not part of the kit according to Hotchkis.
First images are back from sandblasting. It's pretty much what we expected, but the sandblasting itself looks great! You can even see the holes along the right rear quarter where the car took out a carport upright long before I took possession. You can also see where the body guys of long ago filled the gap over the rear wheel with a mixture of fiberglass and bondo. You can't escape the ugly truths with sandblasting. Fortunately, the floors look good. My loving and ever so tolerant bride dropped off the first installment check to pay off the sand blasting and order the sheet metal. She may regret the days I tried to sell the car and she wouldn't let me... Images in the Body Work section.
The new UMI Performance control arm reinforcement/frame braces came today. They look outstanding and the sale price with free shipping made them a great price. Sounds like the sheet metal will be ordered tomorrow (Friday).
The body came back from sand blasting and as expected, there is some work to be done. Looking at two full rear quarters, a rear inner wheel well, lower valance, rear window to trunk lid filler, front fender lower patch, and a set of driver side hinges. With all the new metal going into the rear end, it will make the decision to leave the vinyl top off a little easier.
Next step is to check the severity of the rear frame twist I noticed and re-join the body and frame for the panel work to make sure everything stays where it should. The quarters are out of stock until around July 20th so we may not see much work until everything comes in.
Ordered the transmission today. Should be ready to pickup later in the week once the torque converter and TV cable arrive. Decided to order stock spindles to go with the Speed-Tech control arms and QA1 coil-over conversion kit.
Called Right Stuff and In-Line regarding brake and fuel lines so we should be ready to order everything we need. Still a little confusion on how the rear brakes will hook-up so we may wait until the frame is back and the calipers are mocked up to see how the stock lines would have fit the brakes.
Dropped the rear end off with Jim's Drive train Specialists for tear-down earlier in the week and picked it up today. The original gearing looked like a 1:2.76 ratio which would explain the smooth highway RPMs, but poor out-of-the hole performance. Planned to change the ratio to a 1:3.08 or lower, but after talking to Jim and Glenn at Capital City Transmission, we are going to pickup a fresh non-locking 700R4. We will need to get a ShiftWorks 700R4 conversion kit for our staple shifter. Chassis, rear end, and misc parts should go out for sandblast and powder coat next week.
The body went to shop today. Clint and the boys from Ace Autobody & Customs stopped by first thing this morning to transport the body and chassis to their shop for body removal. After about an hour, the body was off and the chassis was loaded back into the trailer for delivery back to our place for re-assembly. Should be off to sandblasting the first of next week and we can see what the body work will require.