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Everything posted by devildog93

  1. Sure there are bad shops, but there are even worse customers who can't comprehend english or it just doesn't register with them. I see guys come through every other day with cars that have 100k on them that have never had an oil change and they wonder why the lifters are noisy. I work in oilfield country, so it is fairly normal to see a guy with a $60,000 truck ruining it by towing a trailer loaded down with 100,000 pounds and bitching that the truck has no power under load. I guess i am just saying the retardation goes both ways. A couple of questions about your vatting. I assume they were just paid to dip it and call it good. At that point i would have driven it back to the shop, blown it out and installed new freeze plugs. Did you pay them to do that as well and they didn't? Maybe there was a breakdown in communication as to what stage you were wanting and what you got. I don't know anything about that shop, but i know a lot of problems arise from lack of or improper communication between parties.
  2. Exhaust won't be an issue. I will be remaking the exhaust from the manifolds back and will likely be dumping them just in front of the wheels. The exhaust was rusted out from the rear wheels back, so i cut it and dumped them in front of the rear wheels to experiment and see what it sounded like. With no muffler and straight pipes it still isn't real obnoxious. i will likely be experimenting with a glass pack or something then some turn-downs to send it away from the car and towards the ground and see what it sounds like there. After i try a couple of things i will get set on one thing or another and get to mocking it up. I will likely be another month in body work before i even get to that though. I don't suppose the fronts have to be 245, it was just a leaning. 225 will be just fine. The rears are the important part for traction if i get it to the power level i am expecting but i still want it to keep a similar stance to yours. Just a quick, fun drive back and forth to work car that can cruise comfortably on the highway or hang out with the hot rod crew around town and not be the fat kid so to speak. A little sleeper action would be nice.
  3. Great news and congrats. So would ordering the wheels with a different backspacing been the way to get ahead of the problem you think?
  4. I love the look of that. Very sharp looking without being crazy over the top i think. That is a lot of red for sure. Did you have any work done to the heads when you had it apart?
  5. I have learned the hard way about rust. Take what you see and multiply it by at least 3. If you aren't familiar with the car and don't know the common rust spots it might even be higher. I know if i used the x3 rule when i picked this car up it would have fallen far short. I have also found that just because it doesn't have surface pitting doesn't mean anything. Usually a good inch or two past what is known rust is also bad. The mig welder has taught me that. The metal i thought was "good" was actually swiss cheese with rust pits throughout that i just could not see. Once i started welding it was running away from the arc faster than i could lay down a bead. This also taught me that if i have a question as to the integrity of an area i can lay a bead on it. If it sticks it is likely good metal. Ah well, i am learning as i go and trying to add bodywork to some degree to my mechanical/electrical/electronics background. I figure if Chip Foose and a host of others can do it all i can at least give it a try. At this point all i would have to do for a frame-off is pull the frame, and if i had the room i would after seeing some of the guys working their frames here and the impressive work they have pulled off. It is just one big experiment and everything can be done again at some point if i need to. At least now i know what will likely be the last places it rusts again down the road. I have a question for you Ed. How sad was it chopping up a parts car Riviera? I know it was dead and picked apart, but it would still bug the crap out of me. Then again, by the time i am done my car will have sheet metal and associated parts from about 5 different gm models. So far i have 78 and 73 camaro metal, a corvette ribbed air cleaner from around 70 and a couple of other things laying around from camaros, firebirds, and cadillacs. Hell, if i go through with your idea i can add Ford Explorer to that for the rear end. Maybe i'll call it the frankenstein-mobile. I suppose that would be better than what my shop-mate called it when i got it. He named it the Fred flintstone-mobile due to the front floorpans being half gone and the ability to push it around the shop by sticking your boots to the floor without having to exit the car. -Jeff
  6. No i did not keep track of my hours and that was on purpose. #1 - I did not want our paint and body guy to laugh at me about it and #2 i really didn't want to put a number to how slow i am with it. i enjoyed the last part a lot and i am getting a little faster. If i was doing it to flip it i would have stopped after i got it running and stopping properly. I am now past the point of no return and i will likely never give it up.
  7. It has been a while since i updated, but i have been at it a bit. Here are a few photos of what i was working on. Those were a couple of trunk patches i welded in. I missed a picture of the right repair of the cup underneath the trunk, but it wasn't a big deal, maybe 3 inches by 1.5 inches wide.I then shifted to the outside and the dreaded project of former a quarter repair panel from scratch. I did have the passenger side to mirror it off of. Lots of measuring, re-grinding, cutting and re-cutting pieces,etc. I used a mig welder and a 73 camaro hood for patch panels. So i am pretty much done with the major work on that side. I have some work to do on the underside, but that was the most of it. Just finish grinding, a bit of hammering to get the lines as close to perfect as i can, rust inhibitor and a little bondo and i think it will look like new, at least in that spot. -Jeff
  8. Combining hp/torque and good looks. I count myself extremely lucky to stumble upon the 1st gen Riviera last year. Prior to that i had no clue about them and even thinking back i have seen maybe 3 in my lifetime in person(i'm 44). I was a trans-am/firebird/anything hot rod fan prior to finding out about them and i am now converted. Very cool car with power and some comfort. Can't beat that. Add to it the fact that most people don't even know what it is and that just makes it better. -Jeff
  9. Ed, i'm not quite ready to pull the trigger on roller rockers just yet. I am shooting for December for my mechanical shakedown and would like to pull and rebuild the transmission in that month. At the same time i figure it would be a good idea to go ahead and do any engine work at that time. The mechanic in me wants to blow it apart and at least give it an overhaul, but i have a couple things slowing my roll on it. #1, it runs pretty damn good as is. #2, if i blow it up the chances of my ocd kicking in and taking it to a full rebuild would be pretty high. It does not smoke or knock and has good power as it stands, although it leaks and drips transmission fluid. Again, not trying to hijack the thread, i will update mine with a few of the things i have done in the last couple of weeks with pics later today. I love that guys post their build threads, i just wish i had the commitment to blow it all the way up like you guys have done going frame-off. Unfortunately, we have a ford falcon and a mustang we are playing with that are already taking up half the shop with engine/trans swaps, so doing a 100% tear-down was not in the cards for mine at this time. I will pull it off and eventually remove every bit of rust that has infected the car at some point because it has gotten personal, just not this year. Tom's rockers definitely seem like the way to go without changing the engine bay fit or the mechanical operation, i just wonder about availability and how long a wait i will have upon ordering them. It seems to be like ordering specialty barrels for firearms. You get on the list and maybe you get them 8 months down the road...or at least that is how i am reading the ongoing thread at the buick v8 forums. On a sidenote, i am really starting to get converted off of our original power plants. I love the idea of the nailhead, but it just seems like they got cut short and they went another direction with the 430/455 line. Every so often we turn up a good deal on a buick 455 or perhaps something newer. With all the custom parts required for the nailhead engines, from pistons to rockers, i am really starting to get annoyed. I love the look of the car and i love the powerplant currently, but i may build something else for a little drivetrain insurance later on down the road that i can actually get parts for without having to be part of a custom run.
  10. I like the painted fins look a lot. Always good to bang ideas around and see what other guys are doing before i get to it. I'm not sure even what valve covers i'm going to end up with yet, but i have a while before i get back to the engine compartment. I am leaning towards the t/a roller rockers that require the taller valve covers at the moment, but that is just one idea out of 5 i have bouncing around before i get there.
  11. I hope you took me the right way. I wasn't saying your machinist is shady in any way, i was just saying i personally would like to have my hands on it and be rock solid in my thoughts on the car being right as rain before i turn it over to a customer. The more extensive the repair the longer i want to have it in my hands prior to turning it over. If i do even an engine swap i drive it around town for a day or two for a shakedown. Also, i totally agree that 106 bucks is getting off damn cheap and i am happy you did not get bit worse than that. As to having an engine stand to break in motors and such, i guess it isn't really all that necessary if you have the car itself. It would just make it a lot easier if you shelled it upon break-in to tear it down and find out what went wrong. In a perfect world where parts did what they were supposed to do and everything breaks in correctly this would not even be necessary. Unfortunately, we have all seen long time motor rebuilders with stories of flat cams within 10 minutes of start-up and worse lately. Different machining practices, break-in oils, and people just being more few and far between that work on 50 year old cars all plays a factor i am sure. I know the number of people i would consider old hands on old cars has been cut in half since i went to auto school 20 years ago to now. The number of machine shops in my area has gone from 7 to 1 in that same time.
  12. Have not gotten that far yet at all. I did pertronix upgrades and fireball 2 upgrades to the ignition and that is it so far. Kind of doing what i need to before i start playing. By the way, after re-reading my posts i did not want to seem like i was hijacking this thread at all. I would also suspect a vacuum leak for this bog you are having if the carb was rebuilt correctly and you are confident in that. Especially if after doing that it is exactly the same, then i suspect you need to keep looking. Let it idle and spray carb cleaner around any suspected leak points until the idle picks up. Another trick is to cover up the air intake slowly over the carb and try to kill it. If it does not die then you surely have a vacuum leak, and it will be trying it's best to pull air through that hole while you are choking it off, so you may be able to hear it then.
  13. I haven't torn the transmission apart, yet, but even the th400 seems to have a real smooth shift that is hard to feel. And Jbeganny, if you are questioning the validity of my claim, so be it. I could take pictures of the front of the shop, but any of the cars could have done it. The only car i have personally owned that ran stronger was a 78 trans am that had a transplanted 1973 455 in it that had been beefed up a bit. From what i know this 425 nailhead is bone stock and has never been dug into. Perhaps i am on the lucky end of things and this runs better than most, but i somehow doubt it. This isn't even a dual quad car, but it still seems to run extremely well. On the minus side it leaked about every liquid it had when i got it, all rubber is destroyed, all electrical connectors are brittle and garbage, it was a rust bucket?(90% fixed at this point), window motors are trashed, etc. So i am not saying i have a gem by any means, just that it runs 3x better than it looks. After i get it put back together i will most definitely be doing a transmission rebuild before running it daily. That comfort shift bugs the **** out of me.
  14. As for what to expect performance-wise, i can tell you what my 64 ran like after sitting for 30 years. I rebuilt the carb, put in new plugs and wires, fireball 2 ignition, changed the oil,replaced the fuel pump, fuel lines and tank before i ever even tried to start it. It started up without too much of a problem and i promptly took it out front of the shop and ran some smoky burnouts, then up and down the block where it performed fairly well shaking the tires loose well in second and barely going to 3rd gear. Not bad at all for a car that had been neglected badly and was half eaten with cancer. I really expected something bad to happen that would give me a reason to do a total rebuild, but it never came. 4 or 5 more passes over the next couple of weeks and still nothing. I have it blown apart now, but i still start it up a couple of times a week and let it run for a bit. I'm not sure how much better or worse the 63s run, but i thought i would give you a few rubber to the road details from mine to compare with. I still plan on blowing apart my motor in the next year and going through it at some point, but my first impression of the 425 nailhead is pretty damn favorable. Rock solid is the phrase that comes to mind if i had to pick the fewest words to describe it.
  15. You make a damn good point, and if i had a shop that specialized in rebuilding engines i would in fact have a bench test setup and i would do the break-in at the shop to avoid unforeseen crap ending up in my customer's hands. Then again, i don't have this mystical shop with a engine test stand, but i have in fact seen them....so they do exist in places. Hell, i have seen guys that build motors that have engine dynos and will print up the specs on your specific rebuilt engine. I would venture a guess that these guys don't come cheap, but you get what you pay for. There is a reason they are not all over the place though. I know we talked about it at my shop and Doug pretty much shot the idea down. Reason being, most of our customers don't want a dyno spec sheet and are not willing to pay for it. Of the 4 engines we did last year, only one was a rebuild. We took in 3 cars with shelled engines that ended up putting in motors from a place in Texas that sells low miles Japanese import engines. The price can't be beat. Bottom line is that people are not willing to pay for the work and the time involved in a rebuild. People want their cars to run and don't budget for catastrophic failures like engines and transmissions. So if and when these do indeed fail they are a bit leery of paying you the 18.7 shop hours(by the book in this last case) for just replacing the long block, let alone rebuild costs. They skimp on the rebuild and buy a used one in some cases. Can't say i blame them in all cases, but in my own personal driver i will pay to have someone do it correctly and stand behind it if i cannot do it myself.
  16. I don't think that is what they meant when they said break it in.
  17. I cut my pipes to dump directly in front of tires. I'm still working out how to fit glass packs in, or if i even want them when i decide how the engine side of the exhaust is going to run.
  18. Gotcha. Yea, i am keeping mine with the original stance, so no lowering, but i will probably play with the tiREs when i get to them to get what i want under it without rubbing. I would like to go 235 or 245/60 in the front and 275/60 in the back if at all possible, but i guess we will see.
  19. The circumference is the same between 17" wheels and 20" wheels? How do you figure?
  20. Well the main thing i took out of this thread is that i should not have much of a problem if i go with 17s:o Thanks for that fellas. Good luck with your 20s, but i like to be able to use the whole turn radius and not worry about chewing up tires. By the way, if i didn't say it before, i really like the flat black paint. I read the car craft article where they shot a whole car in rustoleum pro flat black and after seeing yours i am definitely leaning that way now.
  21. I am not an engineer or anything, but i would think the risk you run with using a solid over rubber is possibility of breakage and noise. The noise would be like when we went from rubber front end bushings to polyurethane for instance. A lot of 70s camaro and firebird owners went to the aftermarket poly kits. If you know what i'm talking about then you know there was a specific noise they made. I think some of this was reduced by using graphite if memory serves correctly. They were a bit stiffer, but noisier. As to why you wouldn't use, say, a hockey puck in place of a rubber bushing - well, for those specific instances when you throw a ton of force in one area i would think it could just break in half. Maybe if you curbed it or something similar...a force spike of some sort. The rubber would turn the spike into a curve where the solid would not lessen it much. Rubber adds to the cushy feel with the trade-off being instant response, like with taller tires versus low profile tires.
  22. The bad side i would cut out and replace. The brace looks good. Sand/grind off or derust it however you can and hit it with rust converter and call it done. The panel with the small rust holes - i would sand down to metal to see what i had to work with first off, but doesn't look too bad. Rust converter again, maybe some 2 part epoxy filler to fill holes then sand it down and put splatter paint on top of it after priming. All in all it is in far better shape than mine were. My good side was your bad side. I would be quick to cut out those panels if i saw rust though since you know there are braces underneath that will tend to collect water. Again, it isn't just what you can see. You have to assume both braces have had water in them a while. Probably nothing major, but you might want to get to them to hit it with something before it becomes more than a cosmetic nuisance. More for peace of mind knowing they will be a solid for a while if you attack them now while you are on it.
  23. The rubberized undercoating works well if you have prepped the surface. I have seen a few people go so far as to have bedliner material sprayed on by a bullet dealer or something similar. One guy had his whole 89 bronco painted in bedliner. I don't think i would ever go that far, but it still looks good after 10 years and he sure doesn't worry about people dinging his doors at the home depot parking lot. A few people i've seen use the chassis black coating from eastwood with good results. I have yet to do mine, but i think i am going to go with the chassis black or something similar.
  24. Good points Ed. Nothing replaces a welding machine, but some of the new panel adhesives look like they would certainly work if you didn't have access to one. The problem with rust is there is always more that you can't see, so i try to attack it vigorously when i can. Playing catchup with rust is not something i want to do over and over. When and if i have to do it i make as sure as i can that it won't be coming back soon in the same spot. If you have access to a brace that is the time to hit it with converter and make sure the structural integrity is good rather than having a body mount break at an inopportune time, like while driving down the road. These cars are 50 years old, so fighting cancer is going to be a big survival skill for any owner. Even if you don't have access to a mig welder, i bet you can find a muffler shop with an old hand welder that could help you out. I know i would patch a brace or a run a trunk patch in a couple of hours for just about anyone for a cheeseburger or two.
  25. Working fiberglass around rust is a band-aid from my meager experience. Eventually it will come back, and usually with a vengeance. Here was my thinking when dealing with the trunk area and the bracing: First, i have a mig/tig welder and plenty of replacement sheet metal that i can form. For flat pieces this is definitely what i lean towards. Welding and rust don't go together, If you try to weld a piece that is too thin or rusty it will disappear and run away from you as you are welding, so you are not left with a choice really. You either eliminate the rust before you weld or as you weld. Speaking from recent experience it is easier to deal with it prior instead of stopping your welding, setting things up for cutting/grinding, and then going back again. Ok, so i removed all the visible rust from the trunk, leaving a couple of gaping holes above both braces. One brace had been rusted through. I cut the rust out of it and fabbed a piece to weld in. After removing the body mount bolt and getting things almost as good as new i hit everything i wasn't going to weld to with black rust converter. I'm not sure if it was necessary, but if it saves me work down the road i'll call it good. I then mig welded my patch panel and covered it with rust converter yet again after cleaning. i will be going over the floor from toeboard to taillight with por-15 silver, then seam sealing and laying down splatter paint over that. So to shorten it, i cut out what i can and replace it. I use rust converter anywhere i welded and on anything i think might have a possibility of rusting again. Without a mig welder i think you could do the same thing with panel adhesive, rivets, or even fiberglass. Fiberglass would probably be my last choice.
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