Smartin

70 GS Stage1 Convertible in Tealmist Grey

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Looking at the multiple positions for the transmission crossmember makes me wonder if this frame was universal for other A body cars for the era. Can anyone elaborate on this?

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Yes, but I'm unsure of the span of cross-breeding.

 

Also keep in mind small block vs big block, and auto vs manual.

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Right on.  Pre drilled holes for 350 transmission (or 4-speed) frame position.

Big 65 Buick frames have holes for 4-speed frame position as well as the ubiquitous automatic position.  

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I had the blaster out yesterday so we could get this done before a nasty winter storm rolls through today and tomorrow.

 

There was am undercoating on the body that was like a hard plastic.  Similar to truck bed liner.  We were worried that it wouldn't come off with the blaster...but had high hopes.  It actually blew off pretty quickly.  I had him clean up the rolling chassis while he was here, as well as the underside of the trunk lid.  I now have the chassis in the shop ready to disassemble.  The body is in the house garage where it will stay until I finish the chassis.

 

There is one ugly spot on the body floor that needs attention, and a couple really small spots where seams overlap.  Other than that, it's really clean.

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Black epoxy made its way into the frame today. I have it completely disassembled, finally.  Tomorrow, I’ll have the steering box and shaft detailed.  Hopefully I’ll get the top coat on the frame, too.  Lots of new lines and bushings coming daily...

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Edited by Smartin (see edit history)
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Today, I tackled all of the control arm bushing removal.  All 16 of them.  Fun times!

 

I finished the steering box as well.  I'll get it mounted tomorrow, along with a few trinkets that have been painted already.  I'm waiting on all of the new control arm bushings to install, so I haven't painted any of those yet.  I blasted through (literally) my last sandblasting tip today, so hopefully my order from a few days ago gets here soon.

 

I topcoated the frame with Eastwood Chassis Black today.  It is really close in gloss level as just putting two coats of black epoxy on.  This adds just a touch more gloss, though.  I like it so far. 

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Very nice -- so, how did you restore the steering gear to make it look pristine (even the fasteners)?  Did you bead blast and clear the box, or is that paint?  I assume the rag joint is new...

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I cleaned every bit of oil, grease, and paint off the steering gear manually as much as I thought was not a complete waste of my time.  Mostly I was trying to get down to bare aluminum for the top cover.  As soon as that was clean, I made sure the holes for the hoses were plugged well...and then blasted the rest of it lightly.  Enough to get everything out of the nooks and crannies.  On the big cast housing, I used some Duplicolor cast iron spray that was left over from another job.  The end by the rag joint is actually chrome paint...just out of a spray can.  I left the aluminum top cap bare, and used flat black paint on the bolts to simulate black phosphate.

 

On the rag joint - that is the original one.  I bought a new one from The Parts Place, but the finish was a gold cad, and I didn't like the look of the two bolts that came with it.  So I blasted the original one clean and chrome painted the steel bracket.  I satin cleared the rest of it.  Bolts and nuts are flat black to simulate black phosphate again.

 

I left the long part of the steering shaft bare, and clear coated it.  The top coupler is painted a kind of cast color to simulate grey phosphate.  I disassembled that and cleaned everything up, then re-greased and assembled.  The rubber boot is in good shape.  They do reproduce those if needed.

 

95% of the fasteners on this car will be new and have the correct plating on them.  Some stuff like this I have to get creative, because if this entire steering box and shaft were completely disassembled, plated correctly, then reassembled (also assuming box is being rebuilt by a pro), then you'd be into it for like $1k time and material.  I just have a few hours into this and it looks and performs perfectly. 

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36 minutes ago, Smartin said:

Some stuff like this I have to get creative, because if this entire steering box and shaft were completely disassembled, plated correctly, then reassembled (also assuming box is being rebuilt by a pro), then you'd be into it for like $1k time and material.

 

Thanks -- I appreciate sharing the 'tricks' to yield a really authentic appearance.  I particularly like the flat-black bolt treatment; that is one thing that really caught my attention in the photos.  Too often the 'chunks' are restored and then assembled with original hardware that still looks 'old'...

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Santa came today with a pile of parts!

 

I made some progress on assembly, but not a ton.  Santa didn't come until 4pm.  I basically had everything ready to go beforehand, so I didn't miss a beat when they did come.

 

Tomorrow, all bushings are pressed in, and hopefully this weekend I'll have the chassis on the ground.

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I pulled the front upper control arm bits out and started fitting them together, and found out that the "faux" rivet kit from TPP for the upper ball joints is a total joke. The heads are so small they go nearly through the holes in the ball joints. Oddly enough, the size of the heads are correct if you install them upside down...but that's contrary to the idea of having the look of riveted ball joints. So I took the bolts that were supplied with the ball joints and ground them down until they resembled something like what was on there from the factory. Great...next!

The big convex washers that came with the shaft kit for the upper control arm bushings had a gold cad-like finish on them. I'm pretty sure these were just zinc or silver cad originally, so I just took them to the buffer and zipped the gold coating off. Magic!

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I am nearly ready to get this thing back on the ground. I just have the front brakes to install. I ran out of steam and time this evening...so tomorrow morning I'll pick back up.

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Beautiful!  Gonna need som mirrors to go under this car at MCACN!

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It's back on the ground now. I took photos before putting on those lovely 30 year old whitewalls and rusty 14" rallyes though

When I was installing the brakes, I screwed up and installed the left and right brake adjusters on the wrong sides. I went to do a preliminary adjustment and ended up tightening the adjuster all the way in...causing me to disassemble both sides to swap them. That's what I get for not double checking.

Brake and fuel lines will be here sometime mid week. In the interim, I'll bring the body back in and start getting that ready. I don't imagine it'll take long to get it cleaned up and ready for paint. The doors and fenders are in pretty good shape, with the exception of two creases in one of the doors. I have a suspicion that the fenders are "flat tops" and will need some help there. Trunk lid is nice. Hood is exceptionally nice, but I'll have to make the spring disappear on the bottom side.

Maybe end of February to see some color?

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Posted (edited)

After swapping the body shell back into the shop, I proceeded to work on removing the remainder of sand trapped all over the place after blasting.

 

Most of it was in the rockers.  Unfortunately, there is extremely limited access to these areas.  I opened up a 3/4” hole in the rear wheel house to extract the sand.  After looking into the hole with a flashlight, I found massive amounts of mouse nests.  So out came the straightened coat hanger, a vacuum, and blow gun.  4 hours later, both rockers are cleaned out...as well as the rest of the body.  The photos posted are from only one side.

 

Once that was done, I seam sealed the body.  Tomorrow I start block sanding.

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Edited by Smartin (see edit history)
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F---ing mice! They are everywhere it seems.  Good catch Adam!

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On to body work!  Holy cow, it is so much easier to do this with the body on a rotisserie.  I can just move the car up or down depending on where I feel comfortable. 

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Eagerly following your progress,  Adam. Talked with you at South Bend when Flight Pitches were a concern. Hope you can get to Strongsville.

 

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I have a hotel room booked...will see once it gets closer.

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While waiting on various dry and setup times on the body, I started on the doors and trunk lid...

 

Krinkly paint!

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I welded up the emblem holes in the trunk lid due to it coming from a Skylark.  I'll have to locate and drill new holes for the GS emblem before paint. 

 

I hosed the second round of super build on this afternoon.  Hopefully only one or two more rounds of this.

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