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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been working on my 65 Chevy II 400 for a while now and decided to start a build thread. There are several other threads on this site that I have used to help and I plan to link to each of them along the way.

My car started out as a red, straight 6 with a 2 speed powerglide.

The Plan:
Engine- Chevy 5.3 LSX Fuel Injected conversion (LS1 Intake, Comp Cam 54-424-11, camaro style accessory drive)
Transmission- Kiesler RS-400 w/ American Powertrain hydraulic clutch
Color- Pearl Blue
Wheels 17" Billet Specialties split spokes (17x8 w/ 5.25 BS front, 17/9.5 w/ 7" BS rear)
Tires 255/40 in rear 235/45 in front
TCI Mustang II front suspension with 2" drop spindles and disk brake kit and power steering
Rear- 10 Bolt with Auburn Gear Posi and CPP disk brake kit (GM Metric Calipers)
1.25" drop springs in the rear (multi-leaf)
Vintage Air gen IV unit
Retrosound Stero (Custom Auto Sound Kick Panels and 6x9s hidden in the package tray)
Dakota Digital Dash Cluster

I purchased this car from a guy who started the project but had to sell it because of other things going on in his life. After looking at some other cars that were in really bad shape, I found this one and it was relatively good in comparison. It is surprising how a rusty car can look good after seeing a rotten one. Although I found several rough areas, I have managed to work through them.

Here it is on a trailer coming home.

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I started out taking everything apart and getting ready to instal a TCI Mustang II front clip.

I found a pretty rusted out spot on the fire wall. I started cutting it out until all the rust was gone then started welding back in material on each layer of steal until it was back to original.

I used some cheap "High Zinc" weld through primer and it didn't work very well it made it very difficult to start the arc. But then I bought some from SEM and it worked much better.

I used a Lincoln 140 welder from Home Depot. It works great until you have to weld something structural, then it just isn't powerful enough. If I had it to do over again I would get a 180 or 190 amp welder.

Welder Thread: http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183421

Firewall thread: http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183397













I had to cut into the side of the cowl to weld in new nuts for the clip supports to bolt to.


 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The drivers side A-Pilar was pretty rough so I cut off the cover and made a new piece out of scrap metal.

voodeuce sent me to a local steel recycling place that sells brand new metal that is industrial tailings. It is brand new steel that is sold for the price of scrap.

I used some 6" sheet metal pliers to bend the new piece to fit.





I removed all the lead from the pillars and welded/smoothed the area.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The Tail Panel was pretty rusty and when I bought the car I thought there was a reproduction part made. As many of you know this is not the case so I found a member here with one for sale and picked it up!

I also got some aftermarket tail light metal. However the tail lights sold as 62-65 are not right for the 65. Since the tail lights are different on the 65 the cut out for the light is completely different. So I only cut the parts of the aftermarket tail lights that I needed and welded them in.

During this I fixed the back end of the frame rails and the replaced the bumper bracket support that angles from the frame rail to the outside bolt on the rear bumper.

Before














All Done
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
After the move I picked up a new air compressor. I got an Ingersoll Rand 60 gal 5 hp that puts out 18 cfm. I have been running it for a year now and it works great.

If you notice the airlines on the wall behind it you can see my air dryer system. The pipes go up and down the wall then to the regulator. At the bottom of each run is a valve that I use to drain the moisture as it builds up. On a humid day I can build up a pint or more of water inside the valves in about an hour of use. I had to modify the design because the heat of the air compressor would make the PVC soft and then blow out. So I added another up and down out of metal piping that allows the temperature to dissipate before it gets to the PVC.

When I paint I plug a Campbell Hausfeld dessicant dryer in line with the hose after the regulator.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
The previous owner of this car was an artist with bondo. I could tell he had a lot on the quarter when I got it, but until i tested it I didn't realize it was nearly an inch thick and that he completely rebuilt the body lines with it. The metal underneath looked like a deck of playing cards overlapping each other over the wheel well. So I cut off the quarters and replaced them.

Hind sight being what it is I don't know if I would do full quarters again or if I would do skins. All I know is that the quarters did not fit well at all and it took a lot of work to even get them close. I used Goldenstar because I heard that some people had good luck with them, but I did not (not sure if I can bash them here, but it is the truth)...

Since the aftermarket quarters are universal to the sedan, convertible and coupe, I did the normal cuts on top to make them fit the coupe. I also had to split the door jamb and completely change the curvature to match the door (fit stock quarter perfectly), then I and to cut the back apart to change the curvature of the deck lid (fit stock quarters perfectly). Note I had to do these cuts on both sides.

I should have taken them back but by the time I fit them and realized how bad they were I had already done some cutting on them. I don't know if you can return them at that point?

Reference: http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189055



Previous owner did some strange cuts and didn't even weld it back together... This was behind the deck of metal playing cards he welded in.










 

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67 4 door, 65 wagon (in pieces)
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:wow: That's some nice, thorough work. That thing will be better than new.

Can you come do mine when you're done? :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Next came the minitub. I chose to tub it to the frame rail and did not notch the frame. This gave me about another 1.5" in each tub.

Link to 62Civa's work: http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38891

My Link: http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=199138

I picked a line to split the stock wheel wells that would give me enough room to weld in a strip on both sides. I drilled out as many spot welds as I could and then just made up the rest as I went along. I cut out the rear axle bump stops to make room. I didn't put them back in...

I don't know if I needed it but I put a brace in before I cut out the back deck support and trunk hinge. I drilled the spot welds to get the bottom half out, then cut it off shorter to weld back in on top of the well when it was shifted in. I had to cut the brace on the drivers side down a lot more because of the different shape in the wheel well. It is much more square because the fuel tube goes to the tank in the back of that well.

I don't have any good pics of the drivers side but it was the same process.

I cut part of the back brace out to make room for the tub, then I put it back in with an overlap to tie it back together.






Here you can see the braces I put in the make sure the back panel didn't sag.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
After the minitub I moved the leaf springs in 2 inches to make room for the tires.

I also update to a set of multi-leaf springs from JC Whitney. They fit very well.

I copied 62Civa's ideas. He sent me plans to make new front leaf hangers, then I used sliders in the rear. I moved the front mounts backwards a little bit to make room for bigger tires, then I spaced the sliders so that it would have the proper range of motion with weight on the vehicle. In some of the pics you can see the slider moved all the way forward (no weight on the axle) but then when all the weight is on the vehicle and my buddy was jumping in the trunk the sliders never bottomed out on the other end.

It was a little tricky to get the sliders lined up because the frame rails in the Gen 1 are angled out at the back. When I did this I completely did the passenger side, then moved the leaf perch to match, then did the drivers side. By doing this I was able to keep the rear end centered and my stock drive train angle.

Link: http://s28.photobucket.com/user/62civa/library/Minitub?sort=2&page=2

Original front mount


New front mount made by 62Civas plans


New Front mount tacked in place


Slider (note the hole in the front brace is so I can get a socket to the bumper bracket bolts)


Now my mock up 275 40 R17 will fit nicely! ( measured everything out and made this, my measurements also include the thickness of the brake disk)


2" lowering block kit from CPP and their rear brake kit
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After all the metal work in the back I mocked up the aftermarket fenders (previous owner purchased and threw away originals). They did not fit worth a hoot...

The body lines between the doors and aftermarket fenders did not match up/down or in/out. So I found some originals off of a 62 and they worked great.



See the big gaps?


Gaps are not even


Gaps are off a little, but the contour was better on the drivers side


62 fenders fit great!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
After final mock up of the panels I got everything stripped down to find a lot of surface rust pits.

I used Ospho to clean it up. Per the guys at SPI i soaked the metal, scrubbed it with a brush and repeated until it was cleaned up. Then to make sure all the acid film was removed I re-wet the acid with more acid and then washed it all off with distilled water. When the flash rust showed up I know I had it clean. Then I went over it with a DA and 80 grit before spraying. I used a cheap Harbor Freight sand blaster to clean up any areas where I was worried there might be an acid film. I also used to blaster to strip the hard to reach areas such as inside the cowl and door jambs.

Roof Before


Roof After


Cowl Before


Cowl After
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I used SPI epoxy to seal all the bare metal. It laid down very well and I am very happy with it. Then I did my filler work over the top of that using Rage Extreme. Once that was done I coated it in 2K primer from Evercoat. I only used a 2.0 tip for the first coat of 2K, but plan to try a 2.5 for the second coat.

I used voodeuce's spray booth made out of PVC pipe. It has 2 20" box fans in the rear and filters in the front to collect over spray. The front flap comes down and uses 2 long zippers from Sherman Williams to close the door. This worked very well at keep the car clean during spraying and also kept the over spray off the rest of my stuff.



 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I started by spraying SPI epoxy down in the cowl vent. When I sprayed into the cowl vent I taped off each of the vent runs and covered the surrounding area. By using a touch up gun I was able to spray at various angles to cover all visible areas inside the vent. Then I removed the tape etc. Then I put some painters paper on some wire and slid it up through the side of the cowl to cover this area. I did that so when I am done spraying color I can pull the paper back out with the wire through the side vent and the area will still be black without a bunch of over-spray on everything.



After that I sprayed the insides of everything, then the outside. I covered all the bare metal I had at this time to include inside the trunk and under the dash etc.




After second coat of SPI


Once this was done, voodeuce and NovaGuy helped me reassemble everything. Then me and voodeuce did all the filler work. Once that was done I sprayed the 2k primer on everything that would be painted with color. Since epoxy only has a 7 day over coat window I had a very long week of spreading filler and getting ready for the 2k primer. the 2k primer doesn't have a super short overcoat window so after that I could relax and start blocking the 2k primer.

Sorry no filler pictures, a lady does go out in public and show all her blemishes :D







The tools
Cheap Harbor Freight Touch Up Gun (does not work all that great)
G6600 primer gun from TCP Global. Started with 2.0 mm tip to spray 2k primer but will try 2.5 mm tip to try and get a better pattern.
using the Devilbiss Finish line gun to spray the epoxy. It works very well.
Anest Iwata LPH 400-plan to use this for base and clear. Want to get a purple air cap that is specifically designed to spray pearls.
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
When it was too cold to paint I started playing around with the drive train. Since this car was originally an automatic I sold all the old hardware and then cut a hole in the floor for the new shifter hump. I used a regular repop part and it fit ok. I plug welded it in place with very few problems. I did have to raise a 2"x3" area for the back of the transmission to not touch the floor.

I mounted up the 350 HO and the Kiesler 5 speed. Then I mounted my hydraulic clutch setup.

Link for Hydraulic Clutch: http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183727
Link for Bell Housing: http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205397
Making changes work with new front clip: http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181423
Keisler Thread: http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186269

Engine/Trans bolted together




TCI clip leaves about 1/2" between the HEI distributor on the 350 HO and the fire wall.


There was plenty of room next to the engine for the brake booster. Then I mounted the hydraulic clutch master cylinder down to the right of the booster. I cut the flange off the top of the hole for the steering column and welded in a plate to mount the bracket. I put a lip on it to stiffen it back up.



To fix geometry issues with the stock pedal and the new clutch master cylinder location I cut out a new bracket for the clutch pedal. In this location I get the proper range of motion for hydraulic clutch setup. I had to play around a bit until I was happy with everything here. The Wilwood master cylinder only has about a 1" travel and it is recommended that for a proper clutch feel there should be a ratio of approximately 5-6 to 1. I plan to make a pedal stop at the top of the pedal, but will worry about that later. I just don't like the way a bolt in the floor looks when used as a pedal stop.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
Now you are all caught up on what I am doing. This weekend I am trying to finalize my first cut on the 2k primer. With any luck I will be spraying again in the next week or two.

Will post more pics then.

Hopefully I can pack enough information into this thread to make it different than the usual thread.

Cheers
Bret
 

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