As I bought it Nov of 2009, 83,000 original miles, 350 CT (circle track engine, don't know why!) 4 spd muncie, 10 bolt 3.73 posi. The body is incredibly straight. The rust issues were trunk pan, floor under rear seat-drivers side, floor under drivers feet and around the window glass. It had a vinyl top when new and that contributed to the rust around the windows. Well that led to water getting inside the car and rusting the trunk and pass. compartment floor. But I would rather replace those than any body pieces. The front fenders are rusted behind the front wheels, I am going to repair those. The only bondo on the car was left rear quarter, looks like it got hit, I replaced the sheet metal in that area. It has one crappy coat of paint on top of the factory mulsanne blue.
Start of disassembly, the worst part was the wiring, any splice (probably 20 throughout all the wiring) was done by twisting wires together & wrapping with black tape. Why this car had not gone up in flame was beyond me. The motor ran poorly,plugs 3/5/4/6 were only hand tight, the header gaskets for some reason enshrouded the plugs on 3-4-5-6 cylinders and you could not get a socket on the plugs, also the cam was noisy, turned out PO had put a Comp cam solid lifter circle track cam in it (still don't know why!). I used PB Blaster on everything prior to disassembly, that plus the fact that this car was in pretty good shape means I didn't strip one bolt, or have to resort to cutting anything.
under side was not to bad, the black stuff was not under coat and hitting it with the sandblaster it flew off with hardly any effort. I sandblasted the entire bottom just enough to knock the gloss off the original GM primer. Thank god it was summer, I would come home from work in my uniform, lay on my back under the car and blast away (respirator and shield on). When I was down, just strip out of my clothes and jump in the pool to get the sand off!
The after pic... shot with PPG DP74LF epoxy primer. Matches original GM color, well worth the $150/gallon (not including catalyst which ran $90).
Bought a Harbor Freight sandblaster, used Ace Hardware medium silica sand (run through a piece of window screen prior to using). Worked pretty good, 5 HP 30 Gal compressor was put to the test. Prior to dropping subframe I set car up on jackstands (level) and dropped all the body and frame alignment marks to masking tape on the garage floor using a plumb bob and checked measurements between marks against Fisher Body book specs. It was dead on.
All my parts; frame, suspensions pieces, gas tank, misc brackets, well anything that needed paint got shot on the side of my house.
Final paint, used PPG shop line JAU 9300 acrylic urethane with flatting agent for right level of gloss.
Front end shot, spindles and steering gear was done in the Classic industries mimic paint to look like raw steel. I reinstalled front subframe with poly bushings, the original set were not in that bad of shape. Once again, I jacked and leveled car. used a plumb bob to drop the alignment holes to pieces of masking tape on the garage floor and measured between them to ensure the frame was aligned with the body, I was only off a 1/16 of an inch which a slight tap of a hammer sqaured it away.
I tore the engine down and found cam assembly lube still in the lifter valley, the cylinders still showed a good crosshatch pattern. I don't think this engine had any miles on it. Plugs were completly black, terminals inside distributor were burned up, and that combined with the loose spark plugs and misadjusted lifters was why it ran poorly.
Did a bunch of research and decided to go with the LT4 Hot Cam. When I took the valve springs off all the intake valves had no seals, seems the comp cam that was in the motor had intake lift over .500 so instead of having Vortec heads properly machined for clearance PO just left the seals off. Heads got machined to accept .500 lift cam, bigger springs and screw in studs.
The motor back at home. The engine was running by August of this year, and I drove it out of the garage in October, albeit with no front end sheetmetal, and only a drivers seat for an interior.