da_raabi's build thread v2

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by Da_Raabi, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    821
    68
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    After the recent debacle over at photosucks, I decided to create a new build log with all the highlights of my ongoing '80 project. This is the original (now rather pic-free) thread here:

    http://nastyz28.com/threads/1980-first-timers-project.225933/

    I originally bought this car as a Junior in college. I bought it right around 1-23-2011. I lived in an apartment with no garage and a no-working-on-cars rule, so I stored it in a my girlfriend's dorm parking lot with a tarp over it. On a scale of 1 to 10 for skills with cars, mine was about a 3. The biggest job I had ever personally taken on was changing the shocks on my old '99 Durango.

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    A Little Story: I bought the car off a redneck in the woods outside Orange City, FL. When I test-drove it with a buddy, we might have left my girlfriend behind as collateral... She still won't talk about the experience (just kidding, she was fine!) When we went back to get the car with a trailer, the GPS took us a different route... which ended up taking us through somebody's back yard. Driving along and suddenly we realized that something was not right. Friggen GPS... Yes, this was a craigslist deal. Why do they always end up turning into stories?
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    Here is how it sat in that parking lot:
    Pic1_2011-01-23.jpg
    Pic2_2011-01-23.jpg
    Pic3_2011-01-23.jpg


    So here are some details:

    --Originally a base-model with a v6, th350, a/c, power everything, t-tops, nothing special really
    --Someone swapped in a 350 at some point

    THE GOOD
    --Fairly clean body, just a couple small bubbles of rust in a few spots
    --350 seemed slightly fresh... slightly
    --Weld wheels were cool
    --Thrush glasspacks with long tube headers made it sound like a dragster
    --New carpet!
    --Its a Camaro, the car I always wanted!

    THE BAD
    --Somebody had a serious hard-on for silicone. It was all over the engine. You cannot know how much silicone they used. Whole tube-fulls I'm thinking
    --The same person had an even bigger hard-on for textured tan paint. In the engine pic above you can see it clearly. It was all over the engine bay, most of the interior trim pieces, and some other stuff too. This paint has been the bane of my existence since I bought this car. It does NOT like to come off!!
    --The cobbed-on electric fan barely worked and frequently overheated the engine. Seriously. The power wire was just shoved into the battery terminal when you wanted the fan on. Can you say big blue sparks??
    --Fuel gauge was broke
    --It ran like crap and it had no A/C
    --Tires were GONE
    --Probably tons of other stuff I'm forgetting

    So you may ask why I bought the car at this point. Honestly? I have no idea. I tried to pick up the same girlfriend a couple weeks after I got the car and made it half-way there. Ran out of gas. Nice. Believe it or not I have not driven the car since then...

    On to Part II: The first Storage Unit...
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  2. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    821
    68
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Part II: The First Storage Unit

    Shortly after getting the car, I started really tearing into it. My first discovery was that the nice, new carpet (which was constantly soaked with water due to the pretty-much-gone door/window/t-top gaskets) was hiding an almost completely rusted-out floor. Greeaaatttt....

    It was about that time that I decided to get the car in a garage. Since I did not have one myself, I started renting a 10x30 storage unit over in the woods by the airport. Nice place... not. No power provided, but they had two light bulbs. So what did I do? I got a light socket adapter and ran power off of that! Safe? Hells no! Did it work! Hells yes! "Works good, lasts long time!"
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    A Little Story: When I bought the car, it came with a ton of other parts/junk. 2 Pontiac engines, another transmission, an extra set of fenders, etc. etc. I stored all of this stuff on the back porch at my apartment. Around that time, my very old-school grandparents (from England) came to visit. They were immediately introduced to my Durango with a side-exit Flowmaster Super 44, some random guy riding a motorized bar-stool down the road near my apartment, and finally the apartment itself with car parts everywhere... Lets just say they were a bit... shocked.
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    Once into the storage place, I started really tearing the car apart. Like completely. With abandon. I had never done this before, and I'm still paying for my lack of organization today. I threw away a LOT of good parts that I will always regret. But hey. I was 22 and dumb.

    Here are a few shots from the Storage Unit 1 days...

    SU1_Pic1.jpg SU1_Pic2.jpg SU1_Pic3.jpg SU1_Pic4.jpg SU1_Pic5.jpg SU1_Pic6.jpg SU1_Pic7.jpg SU1_Pic8.jpg SU1_Pic9.jpg SU1_Pic10.jpg

    It was around this time that I realized the current Storage Unit was no longer going to work. I had no room, the power situation was NOT going to work for welding in a new floor pan, and bugs were becoming a nuisance. I don't much like spiders, and I was getting some BIG ones in there. When I started finding Huntsmen spiders hanging over my work table I said screw this!

    So on to Part III: Storage Unit 2!
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  3. Bandit723

    Bandit723 Veteran Member

    2,251
    262
    Oct 1, 2016
    Waupaca WI
    Looking forward to your repost.....
     
  4. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    821
    68
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Part III: Storage Unit 2

    When power became a major issue at the old storage unit, along with the bugs, space, etc etc we decided to upgrade. So I signed up for a much larger storage unit north of town with a friend who needed to store an overflow of tools (which I could use) and his '55 T-Bird sorta-project.
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    A Little Story: So how do you transport a car with absolutely nothing forward of the firewall? Carefully. I called a wrecker service and they brought out a flatbed, lojack wheel dollys and a 4x4. We used an engine hoist to lift at the firewall and put it down on the 4x4 on the dollys. This allowed the front of the car to roll. Then we hooked the wrecker winch to the rear axle (from the front) and pulled it up onto the flatbed. It actually worked really well, but it was suitably redneck for me!
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    The new storage place had lights, free electricity, and lots of room so I broke out the welder (Harbor Freight Stick - eee gads!) and got to work on the floors.

    Pic1.jpg Pic2.jpg Pic3.jpg Pic4.jpg Pic5.jpg Pic6.jpg Pic7.jpg Pic8.jpg Pic9.jpg Pic10.jpg
     
  5. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    821
    68
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Continued work...

    Pic11.jpg Pic12.jpg
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    Found this guy holding the steering gear to the frame. I call it the Titanic bolt!

    Pic14.jpg

    During this time I also had the diff rebuilt with 3.73 gears, an Eaton posi I found on eBay for cheap, and I got the axle tubes welded. Topped it all off with T/A rear discs.

    Pic15.jpg
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  6. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    821
    68
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Next I moved on to the front end. I got a set of solid body mounts from DSE, as well as their firewall fill plate.

    I hit up Custom Works for their G2 suspension with SPC upper control arms. I opted for the 2" drop front and back. Also went with 1LE brakes up front, below you can see the difference between the original and the 1LE rotor.
    Pic21.jpg
    Pic20.jpg
    Pic19.jpg

    Around this time I sold the Weld wheels and got a set of 3rd Gen 5-spokes. I much prefer these over the plain drag wheels. Plus handling will be much better (the old front wheel was only about 3-4 inches wide)

    During this time life also started getting busy. Both my girlfriend and I graduated with our undergrads, she went to work as an aircraft restoration mechanic and I started my graduate degree.

    Then we got married.

    Then we had a baby.

    But I still had time to keep working!

    I found a hood on craigslist. It wasn't quite what I was looking for... but it was a hood!
    Pic22.jpg

    Then we decided to move into a house. We were still living in that same apartment from the very beginning of this whole saga and decided 2 adults, 1 newborn, and an 80lb husky mix was too much for a 1-bedroom apartment!

    So, on to Part IV: The House!
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    821
    68
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Continuing on, I picked up an old 454 in unknown condition and did a little work on it. Ended up deciding it was in need of too much work, and traded it for a pair of Military J-Code 6.2L diesels. Figured I'd put one in my truck. Well that did not happen so...

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    A Little Story: I listed both engines for sale on craigslist. The first one sold to a couple hispanic guys. Nice guys, but when they pulled up in a BEAT S-10 to pick up this 800+ lb engine I was... amused. Especially when they climbed out. I swear each one was well over 400lbs. So in total that S-10 hauled over 1600lbs down the road. They strapped that engine in the bed (strapped to the fender wells...) and off they went. I sold the second one to a guy that was using it as a backup for the 6.2 he ALREADY HAD in a 90's Camaro! It was nuts! He claimed over 40 mpg with it! I'm telling you, craigslist never fails to amuse!
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    IMAG0426.jpg
    454_3_zpsdd951345.jpg
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    Here are some other oddball shots I found from various stages of the project...

    IMG_20110727_164942.jpg

    New full-length floor board arrived at my university... So I took one of the golf carts to get it!
    IMG_20110615_141956.jpg
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    IMG_20120601_155319.jpg
    floor6.jpg
     
  8. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    821
    68
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    One of those fun little projects we did was install longer lug studs in the rear axles. The originals were way too short for the third-gen wheels I wanted to use, so after a little research I found that a set of Hummer studs would work if I just reamed out the holes a tiny bit...

    IMAG0578.jpg
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  9. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    821
    68
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Part IV: The House

    Well, it was around then that we had our first baby girl, then we moved (finally) a house with a garage. Kept right on working all along, got some brackets made up to bolt up a set of Hyundai Genesis seats, found a 454 out of an RV: http://www.nastyz28.com/threads/looking-at-an-rv-454-friday.305688/, installed brakes, etc.

    Here are some pics:

    seats1_zpsca2b3b1f.jpg
    DSC05153_zps23b7cf19.jpg
    20160623_193834_zpshf14ikne.jpg
    20170130_145210_zpsctwolczp.jpg
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    13466394_10154198404300140_8905263288097831972_n.jpg
    13532992_10154198404695140_8582642082156055563_n.jpg
     
  10. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    821
    68
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Shots of the infamous RV 454...
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    14141659_10154350334650140_8508859191963512918_n.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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