75 Malibu family car budget build

Discussion in 'Station Wagon Projects' started by burners, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. burners

    burners Well-Known Member

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    So look what just arrived via UPS.

    New seals installed and a stiffer torsion bar.
    steering_box.jpg

    steering_box_2.jpg

    Seat belts for the 3rd row. 4 pt with an inertial reel.
    seat_belts.jpg
     
  2. Fat Tedy

    Fat Tedy Island Red Neck

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    I like...but then I'm dated also...I prefer the turbines and it's higher ride hight:)

    I like your wagon, although I don't do mags fo the most part your origonal pic.....looks the era I was from when it came to wheels:D(y)
     
  3. burners

    burners Well-Known Member

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    I installed the steering box today and aligned it. Test drove it for the first time in about a month. I like the new, quicker ratio and the steering effort is better. I'm changing the steering wheel and encountering a few issues with the adapter kit. I'll figure it out tomorrow. I have the wheels and tires that will be on it for a while. I got a real good deal on them. They are 17x9 wheels and 255-45 tires. I'm not completely happy with the look of the wheels but I really like how the ride height is looking but I still may go lower.
    stance.jpg

    Fat Tedy, It's funny because the turbines have only been on the car for the past 5 years or so. The car originally came with rally wheels.
     
  4. burners

    burners Well-Known Member

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    So I haven't worked on the wagon a whole lot recently but the reason why I need to and the reason why I haven't are the same...My 4th child and 2nd son was born this last Saturday night. He's healthy and the delivery went smooth. My wife is recovering well but I need to help out with the kids so she can properly recover. Anyway, I'm ecstatic to have another baby boy!
    [​IMG]
     
  5. gray07

    gray07 New Member

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    Congradulations, and i also love the turbines and the car higher, but its your wagon you build it the way you like it.
     
  6. snooterbuckets

    snooterbuckets New Member

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    Congratulations Burners. He's a looker for sure. Sounds to me like you're doing everything in your power to fill every seat in your Bu!! Excellent job.
     
  7. burners

    burners Well-Known Member

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    I've been working on the car a lot recently since it's time to carting the entire family around in it. I also have a trip coming up soon so there are a lot of things that need to get done to make it livable. I finished the 3rd row seat but don't have time to document all that I did there until later. Some advice from gpd294 was very helpful in getting the seat belts sized for the kids. I'll detail that as well.

    Last week my oldest daughter (6 yrs old) helped me shine up the paint a little. It's never going to look great but at least it shines now and I can wash it without getting uneven colored streaks from the oxidation. I also discovered that the windshield wipers didn't work and after some searching it discovered that I hadn't plugged in the connector after I had the dash out because I tucked it under the carpet thinking it wasn't being used. I'm I bright one, eh? Good thing I got them working because we encountered some heavy rain on Thursday night coming home with the whole family.

    On Sunday I got quite a bit done. I changed the oil, re-jetted the carb (it's now looking a whole lot better on the A/F meter), hunted down and fixed an exhaust leak and swapped on an A/C compressor. I had to wait for some A/C charging gauges/manifold before I could get the system charged.

    New compressor. Oooo, pretty.
    ac_compressor.jpg
     
  8. burners

    burners Well-Known Member

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    Further update, I needed a replacement HVAC hose and Kevin suggested McMaster-Carr. I buy a lot from them but hadn't even thought about looking to see if they had anything. Sure enough they did. It's a perfect fit for the diameter and it will be far more durable since the old one only lasted 36 years. Anyway, it was about $9 a foot. I installed that yesterday.

    duct_hose.jpg

    I've had a lot of other things going on as well. The speedometer was reading 15 mph fast at 60 so I pulled the gear to have a look. It was a 26 tooth gear and the most I could get was a 31 so it will be closer but not perfect. Summit had it and I got it in two days. Now it only reads 6 fast so at least I'll be doing an honest 94 with the speedo pegged.

    So I'm obviously working on the A/C but what's going on here?
    blower_fan.jpg
    Well, the blower fan wasn't working at all. Pulled the fan and it tested fine. There was a good ground and nearly 12 volts at the fan but it turns out there was no current. Not enough to even light a test light. Tracking it down yielded a bad connection at the blower relay. Once that was cleaned everything worked great. So why the JB Weld? Stripped threads holding the fan in place.

    blower_fan_mount.jpg
    My technique is to fill the stripped hole with epoxy, coat the screw with some car wax and thread it into the hole. Once the epoxy cures it is easy to unthread the screws since the epoxy won't stick to the wax. It works great.

    My front door strikers were shot and it turns out that the 73-77 Chevelles have a different design than the previous years. OPG wants $27 a piece for replacements but I found that Doorman makes them under the help! brand at O'Reilly's (and most other autopart stores). The are only $8.99. YeeHaw, now the doors close like they are supposed to.
    door_striker.jpg
     
  9. burners

    burners Well-Known Member

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    Hey there's more if you aren't bored yet. I think the part I'm most thrilled about is that I charged the A/C today (first time I've ever messed with A/C systems) and it actually works. It's blowing 45 deg air out the vents on an 85 deg day. I think that's pretty good.

    Another item of note would be that I changed the centerlink out. After the rebuilt steering box and changing a tie rod and sleeve there was still some noticeable play in the steering. It was tracked down to the centerlink. I found a closeout special for a genuine TRW part from RockAuto for only $27. It was $10 for shipping and it arrived the next day. All the play is gone now that it is installed.

    Overall things are shaping up quite nicely for the basic functions of the car. I was very happy with how it handled in the pouring rain. It was very stable and confidence inspiring. I discovered that the headlights needed re-aiming but I got that finished tonight as well. More updates to come but it may be a little while.
     
  10. Fat Tedy

    Fat Tedy Island Red Neck

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    baby Boy, Congrats man!!!:2_thumbs_up_-_anima Wish baby, mom and you the best.:tiphat:
     
  11. burners

    burners Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the well wishes. I am truly blessed to have my children. The new little boy is a wonderful addition to our family.
     
  12. burners

    burners Well-Known Member

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    Well it's been close to a month since I've updated anything here. Honestly not a whole lot has been done but I did take the entire family on a two week trip in the beast and it did quite well. Overall it was about a 1500 mile trip in total and the car performed well and drew comments just about everywhere we went. As we got to our destination (Galveston Island) I got a little clunk sound which I couldn't find the source of. Once at the beach house I figured it may be a wheel bearing but nothing seemed terribly loose and my bottle jack leaked enough fluid out so that I couldn't jack the car up to investigate. Well I headed for town and it immediately started groaning so I knew it was a wheel bearing. I drove the 8 miles or so at 25 mph just nursing it along. Once at Auto Zone I found they had a nice parking lot and figured it was bad enough that I needed to change it there.
    wheel_bearing_1.jpg
    So first off I had to buy some hydraulic fluid to repair the jack. Since I didn't have my usual supply from my shop I needed to buy wheel bearing grease, shop towels, hand cleaner and the bearings. $50 got me everything I needed, not bad at all.
    wheel_bearing_2.jpg
    As soon as I pulled the caliper off a handful of rollers from the inner bearing fell out on the ground. My only concern was that the spindle wasn't damaged. It turned out to be fine. The inner bearing was completely destroyed.
    wheel_bearing_3.jpg
    Many of the rollers had flat spots ground in them. Anyway, knocked the races out, but the new ones in, greased the bearings, installed the new seal and buttoned everything back up. Total elapsed time was 1 hr 30 min and it was a very comfortable day. It couldn't have worked out any better.

    The rest of the trip was no problem other than I've got a part throttle lean condition that had the engine knocking. Switching to mid-grade fuel solved that. I need to change the power valve spring in the Q-jet. Oh, the odometer flipped over for the 4th time. I actually didn't notice it until it had 44 miles on it. It's like I have a brand new car with all those zeros in front of the miles. This at least marks a new chapter in its life. It will be better than new soon.
     
  13. KevinVarnes

    KevinVarnes Well-Known Member

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    Looking good. Now you can sell in on ebay or craigslist and advertise it with 44 original miles.
     
  14. silverfox

    silverfox New Member

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    :rofl2::rofl2::rofl2::yup: (y)
     
  15. gray07

    gray07 New Member

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    Great looking car, cool little vacation with the family.
     

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