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Discussion Starter #1
I have been inspired by perple76's awsome restoration that i have decided to start work on my car. Although i dont have his budget i want to do it right. I started by dissasembling the front clip. I sent the headers out for ceramicoating, the fenders are off and getting de-rusted. i found a local guy that does media blasting and does it dirt cheap. since i cant post pictures yet (not sure why) here is a link to mi picture site.

http://picasaweb.google.com/DnRLemyre/BuickResto5509#
 

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I understand what you mean about being inspired by his restoration. I think I have worked on my car more in the last month than I have in a year. My winter project is the front end on mine. I am thinking of getting hold of a small blast cabinet in the fall. Still shopping for that. I have a `67 Impala that needs many parts blasted as well. Good luck !
 

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Me too. I have finally gotten out to the shop to get my car together. He has done so much in a short time and I have done so little.

I do feel good that the disassembly has finally ended, everything that needed removed and cleaned or replace has been done. Parts are starting to go on and it is exciting to see it come together.
 

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Same here, I was sick and tired of looking at my wagon with a sheet over it, full of boxes. I've since sandblasted the engine bay, painted it and installed the all new CPP front end, brakes, lines... everything. I think I might even get the engine in it next month!!

It is exciting!
 

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Must be a trend happening. There has been more work done on the '77 in the last 3 months than in the past 3 years since purchase.
 

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Add me to the list. I've decided even though I don't get home and through with supper till after 7 and it's not raining, I can get some stuff done.

Now if I could just keep from changing my mind.
 

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Thanks for your kind words, fellas. I'm glad my project was such an inspiration to so many.

Not meaning to rub anyone's noses in it, but you can't imagine how good it feels to have this car done, and it just performs beautifully. The car really does everything extremely well, and it has even turned a head or two going down the road. Best part - 75mph = 1850 rpms.

I've put just over 200 miles on it so far, and not even a hint of any mechanical/electrical/braking problems. The project has really been a dream come true for me from start to finish. I'm still in a fog, though, about having it finished. I barely know what to do with myself now that I'm not having to spend 4-5 hours a night out in the shop.

I had a build book created over on shutterfly with all of the pictures I've taken throughout the course of this project. Even I have to shake my head at how much work was really involved in getting this car up to the level that I wanted, and the hours involved is just astonishing.

Keep turning those wrenches, guys. The one thing the world needs more of are nicely restored and maintained 4th Gen cars.:yes:

J
 

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Discussion Starter #8
perple76.. where did you come about getting a tremec 6 speed? junk yards want 1,500 and new they are about 2,500. as much as i really want one. it and all of the parts that are needed to convert auto to manual are just a big expence. plus i would need some kind of bracket to change it over to B.O.P bolt pattern.
 

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Now if I only knew where to apply for some 4th generation stimulus money ! :rolleyes:
 

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perple76.. where did you come about getting a tremec 6 speed? junk yards want 1,500 and new they are about 2,500. as much as i really want one. it and all of the parts that are needed to convert auto to manual are just a big expence. plus i would need some kind of bracket to change it over to B.O.P bolt pattern.
Wish I had some insider's secret on that one, but in the end I just had to come up with the cash.

I am not a big fan of junkyard and/or used transmissions at all. With Muncie 4 speeds you have little choice, because all that's out there are either used or rebuilt, but with the Tremecs you have the option of going brand new, and that's what I recommend.

You have run into the same scenario that I did - a "good" used one from the junkyard runs $1500+, and then you get to figure out whether or not the previous owner was a leadfoot as well as how good he was with a stick. I decided that this project was too extensive to go with someone else's junk, so I bought a new one. And yes, $2500 sounds about right.

Here's another thing to think about. There are a blue million different kinds of T-56s out there - vipers, corvettes, cobra mustangs, LS engines, LT-1 engines, you name it. Different input shafts, different tail shafts, different gear ratios, splines, etc. I think it's pretty hard to tell one type of T-56 from another, and this conversion is hard enough as it is. I decided to consult with an expert to make sure, at the very least, that I got off on the right foot with having the correct transmission for my application.

In my case, I went with the "aftermarket" version of the T-56, which comes with the .62 sixth gear. It also comes out of the box set up for an old-style gear driven speedometer, which I love. Mine also came with an adapter plate drilled to mate it directly to my (stock) aluminum bellhousing. I was also able to use my stock clutchfork, throwout bearing, and pedal assembly.

The "major" mods involved in putting in the T-56:

1. Significant cuts on the floorpan and construction of new transmission tunnel

2. New 26 spline clutch (I went with a Centerforce D/F - 11")

3. Shortening of the driveshaft (done at a local shop for about $100)

4. Fabrication of the crossmember - I used a TH350 transmission crossmember, cut off the mouting tab and re-positioned it. Relocated it back a few inches and it works like magic.

5. Reverse lockout - I purchased a hurst 6spd ball with a thumb button that we wired directly into the lockout. The thumb button activates the lockout, so I don't have any extra switches in the dash or console.

So, give or take, I have $2500 in the tranny, $300 in the clutch, $45 in the pilot bearing, $100 in the driveshaft, $60 in the shifter ball, and probably $60 in welding supplies and sheet metal. Roughly a grand total of $3100. Everything else I already had.

There are plenty of posts on this forum about the difficulty involved in putting a manual transmission in an automatic car. I'll save those discussions for others on the forum who are more knowledgeable about the nuances of this part of the conversion.

All that having been said, it's probably the best upgrade I could have done on this car, and would spend the money all over again if needed. The Tremec works flawlessly, really suits my driving style, and of course obviously will improve gas mileage and durability of the engine, just from pure RPM reduction.

I love the Muncie 4 speed, and have installed them in several of our hotrods over the years, but honestly shifting a Muncie is kinda like shifting a Mack truck compared the T-56.

If you are even slightly leaning this direction, I HIGHLY recommend going for it. Once you get it all straightened out, you'll be glad you endured the headaches (and the finances) of the swap.

I have tons of pics of my swap. Let me know if you want to see anything specific.

J
 

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I agree with with buying new. I usually try and get as complete an estimate as possible for a particular upgrade and wait until I have the money before I order. With my limited time I would rather do it once. I have had my share of lets just say "not fun" experiences with used manual transmissions.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
started work on the gauge cluster and body guy is slowly starting on the front fenders. as you can see, the fender brace is totally rotted away, does anyone have a fender in bad shape they dont need that has a good brace they would be willing to sell?

http://picasaweb.google.com/DnRLemyre/BuickResto5509#



p.s - not sure why i can't post pictures
 

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I just recently finished converting my auto to a tremec 5-spd in my 1976 nova. If you have any questions on pedals or anything just let me know. It was definitely worth the trouble though.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
worth the trouble maybe, but what about the expense? I guess the 100,000 dollar question is, do you have a set of pedals to sell?
 

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Open a Photobucket account, post them there and paste a link to them here. It has the benefit of being able to use them at more than one site and uses a minimal amount of bandwidth.
 

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I actually used pedals from a late model camaro. The brake booster rod length had to be changed and the plate that the brake light button pushed against had to be raised a little. I then used a combination of linkage between a 1974 nova and camaro linkage. I had to weld the z-bar bracket that would normally bolt to the chassis to get it to line up right. Its all together now though and if you want pictures or want more details on what parts I used exactly just let me know. It sounds complicated but I was surprised at how well everything went together with a few modifications.
 

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Can you post a photo of the cross shaft and pedals installed. This would help a lot of folks that can not find the correct linkage. I have a Camaro set up and if installed without modifying it will hit the brake line bracket, but clears the headers better than the 4th gen set up.
 
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