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Discussion in 'Station Wagon Projects' started by RMay, Jan 7, 2014.
Glad to see the progress.
New Tubular A-arms and disc brake conversion almost complete. I was lucky and able to reuse a few parts since the previous owner had replaced springs, shocks and installed a sway bar and some steering parts shortly before I purchased the car.
Man, that is awesome!
NICE RMay! Keep plugging along! Would be nice to meet up this summer, with you driving this terrific project! Lets all of us hope for the best!.....Longroofs Rule!
Started reapplying a first coat of undercoating in the rear wheel wells. Additional cleaning remains for the floor sections before more undercoating can be done.
Finished installing the rest of the steering components and visually have it lined up. A full alignment will be done after the car is back running.
Still going over options for freshening up the original 283 or possibly replacing it. Upgrading the wiring harness is also something I would like to do.
The 283 is a nice SBC displacement, but if something went wrong, parts are not cheap to find. If you want to go SBC, find a more modern engine, and build from there. I would personally recommend a 350, 400, or put together a 383. Use decent aluminum heads, a good street/strip cam, and whatever induction and ignition you feel comfortable with. I would imagine you're not going for any kind of high performance, but you could have a very decent mill that makes good power with nice exhaust notes.
If I decide against the original 283, I would most likely go for a new crate engine. There are also those who suggest an LS conversion. Getting an LS is simple enough but I would need to make additional modifications, and have a lot of help to get it properly set up. My focus has always been to build my cars as drivers and on a reasonable budget. Two of my other builds have small block 350 carbureted engines and a third was already an LS. All have sufficient performance and reliability for the type of driving I enjoy.
Of course...you *could* slip in a 396, as that engine was offered in the Chevelle that year.
Original gas tank still had some of the Sam's Club gas I put in it 8 years ago. Pulled the tank, drained it and started cleaning the old undercoating off. Found the 55 year old tank to be in amazing shape. Plan to take it to a shop on Monday to get it cleaned and tested. If all goes as expected, I will re-coat the outside and plan to continue using it in the car. The brackets, straps and the filler neck are also in great shape. I will clean everything up and give the filler neck a protective coat of POR-15. It is nice finding so many parts that I am able to re-use on this build. Money saved on parts but my labor is another story. Glad I am not paying myself by the hour.
That's a good chunk of finding a relatively clean car...the majority of parts that don't need major surgery to be re-used. Will you be coating the tank's inside?
The outside of the car did not look as clean as what I am finding under it. The car was a driver with bad paint, body rust and some fiberglass filled dent repair. All that was body panel replaced or repaired when I did the conversion to a 2 door.
The place I deal with has a Renu process for tanks so I will consider their recommendations after they do the inspection and testing.
I was lucky with my Ranchero's tank, considering all the sitting it's done over the last twenty-five years. I think I've only put on about 30K miles on Babe, all told.