Colossus - the 1970 Concours frame replacement project

Discussion in 'Station Wagon Projects' started by chevygod, May 17, 2011.

  1. chevygod

    chevygod Well-Known Member

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    Another update, been taking a while due to weekend birthday parties, working on other cars, and pulling a motor from a '73 Suburban before it goes away. However, as the days have gotten longer i have been able to get some stuff done in the evenings.

    So was able to get the front parking light housing rebuilt and repainted.
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    This required sandblasting, replacing/rebuilding the pigtails and hooking the plugs into the harness. With new lenses works and looks nice.

    I have put a pair of used KYB's in the rear, have treaked the settings on the vacuum modulator on the trans for snappier shifting, and have put over 200 miles on it driving it to work and around town. Seem to run hot in traffic, no pinging, but no gage yet either so don't know if it's just that I have no carpet/insulation, or...? Never noted it on any of my other cars, but cannot remember driving them a lot with out some sort of floor covering. At speed on the freeway seems OK.

    Need to weld up some damaged rack mounting holes in the roof (people do funny things to old cars...), get some sort of paint on the roof, and mount the rack/spoiler. Also need to document another project I think everyone will like.

    More when it happens.

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  2. 7tvista

    7tvista Member

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    Really nice job!! I had no carpet in my 70 Vista and I couldn't believe how hot it was in the car. You may not be running hot. After I put in some used factory carpet (this car is a beater) it was much cooler and quieter. Did you get a new gas tank for your car? If so where did you get it? Looks to be the same tank that the Vista Cruiser has. I have really enjoyed your thread- Keep up the great job!!
     
  3. chevygod

    chevygod Well-Known Member

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    Hello 7Tvista

    Yeah, thinking carpet will help a lot.

    It's not a new tank, just a decent original. Heavily cleaned.

    Based on what I have seen and measured the Vista tank is a little different. You need one?

    Best,
    Tom
     
  4. 7tvista

    7tvista Member

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    My tank doesn't leak but looks very questionable on the bottom. They are known to get rusty at the bottom because all the crud getting thrown on it from the rear tire. I would like to get a spare at some point. I don't think they are repoping these like they do for the 2 doors. My car is quite a beater and I drive it in the warm seasons as a daily driver bur I may restore it one piece at a time in the future after I retire so I am sort of collecting better parts as I go along. Again, Thanks for your thread- I sure have enjoyed it! Greg
     
  5. chevygod

    chevygod Well-Known Member

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    Besides water getting into the tank thru the fill spout (thru filling, or a leaky/loose cap and washing/rain) which will cause rust-out from the inside, the worst damage I have seen in So Cal from rust happened to tanks that had been dragged or backed over something, and had the metal gouged or wrinkled due to the hit. This looked to have taken the galvanized coating off allowing rust to start. On a spare tank I had a seam ha been sprung due to such a hit. It had been repaired via soldering and looked very good.

    Of course, back where snow and such is present, all kinds of over rust issues can develop.

    And I am glad the thread is being enjoyed, that is why it is being shared.

    Best,
    Tom
     
  6. the Rev

    the Rev senior junior Charter Member

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    holy Tom..i missed the maiden voyage??!!

    congrats brother....dang...gotta feel good:D
     
  7. pilgrim

    pilgrim New Member

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    BIG job done.
     
  8. chevygod

    chevygod Well-Known Member

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    'Nother minor update.

    Still driving it, no major issues, so far...

    Replaced the AC blower motor (sux doing this with the front clip on, oh well, learn from my mistakes), so now it no longer howls when moving the air out of the vents. Also reinstalled the steering column lower bearing, which had popped out of its plastic retainer. Amazing how much the steering improved. Yeah, feel stupid about this (again, learn from my mistakes).

    Also completed all of the wiring bits for the back window, and it works for the first time in the time I have had it, maybe even for deacades, based on the interior damage from having the window down and the weather in. Even was able to get a tailgate keyswitch rekeyed from scratch, so it works from the dash and the tailgate.

    Little by little it is becoming a more respectable wagon. At least as respectable as a 454 Chevelle wagon can be...

    Best,
    Tom
     
  9. chevygod

    chevygod Well-Known Member

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    Got something done, was not originally going to do it, but WTH...

    Rediscovered I hate column shifters. Not a big deal, had one in a 72 Monte which disillusioned me so much I replaced it. I had hoped to keep a wagon, more, well, wagonny I guess, with a bench seat and column shifter. The bench was first to go as it was pretty trashed, and I had a pair of buckets in stock.

    So, after driving the car a while I realised I still don't like column shifters.
    I have a factory 68-69 console (no lock, had seatbeltbuckle clips?) with PG shifter in the garage. Not nice enough to sell and make money off of, had lots of visible damage from it's previous owners. Gave it to a friend for his 68 Elco, but when he sold the car I got it back. After having it for 20 years would kinda forget about it until I tripped over it again. Decided I can store it as easily on the car as on a shelf in the garage.

    Much more fun to shift...
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    Cleaned up, repaired and reglued, has all of the internal wiring but needs a new rear lens, as well as new inserts for the trim plates. Those inserts are a b!tch to remove! If I had known how much that would suck I woulda left the scarred up one there! Never had that much trouble back in the day.

    Now the lack of carpet and the horrid seat covers really show. But at least I have a place to put my drink... And the seats were free.

    Best to all, updates when they happen,
    Tom
     
  10. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    The console looks right at home in there, Tom.
    Good decision!

    If you decide to swap in a 4 speed OD trans (700R4, 200-4R, 4L60), you can buy a shifter conversion kit from Shiftworks that lets you keep the OEM horseshoe shifter, but gives you the correct shifter detents and indicator for the OD trans.
    [​IMG]
    http://www.shiftworks.com/chevelle-68-72.htm
     
  11. chevygod

    chevygod Well-Known Member

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    Hi JMT,
    Thank you for the heads up on the conversion kit.

    As I was having "perceived" issues with the cable length and then shifter operation (my own fault in adjusting) I was looking for a conversion detent plate to make the 2 speed Powerglide shifter work for a 3 speed TH transmission. Turns out I didn't need one, but found a 2-to-3 plate at Shifterworks, and saw some of the other goodies they have there.

    Need more time and money tho...
     
  12. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    :agreed:
    Yeah; I think more time and money would always be nice...
    but we'd find a way to use it up and spend it all.
     
  13. chevygod

    chevygod Well-Known Member

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    OK I looked for the original quote, goes something like, "What is a station wagon without dogs in the back? Empty!" Sorry, I cannot remember the original author here on the forum.

    My take, "What do you call a wagon without a roof rack? Aerodynamic!"

    But glad its back.

    Got the damaged hole in the roof welded up, painted said roof, and put the rack back where it belongs. Nice to not be tripping over the dang thing.
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    Got the <damaged> scooped hood painted, the 2 painted surfaces make the rest of the car look like scheit. Another project for another time.

    Also did the Jeep Grand Cherokee steering box upgrade, described by others in detail here. http://www.chevelles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=334534 Really makes for a tighter steering system for anyone with a 64-72 GM A-body wagon.

    Getting close to calling it good and just driving it without messing with it.

    Best,
    Tom
     
  14. chevygod

    chevygod Well-Known Member

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    OK, have been driving the wagon every fourth-fifth week or so, rotating my driver cars so they don't rot.

    And after all that has been done, I still had lotsa clunks and pops in the suspension. I know I made everything tight, really swung on those fasteners. Made driving the thing kinda embarrassing as it sounded like and old truck with all the noise, and it worried me that I had a cracked frame or something else wrong. SWMBO wouldn't let me go thru this again...

    So decided to go underneath and check things out. Figure I would crack everything loose and retighten. And most of them were only a little better than firmly hand tight! Huh!

    So, all have been really cranked down now, I will check them again after a few miles, but thing I am moving forward again.

    Now need to concentrate on the interior. Moving forward again.

    Tom
     
  15. chevygod

    chevygod Well-Known Member

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    OK, getting some stuff done, and hoping to determine what bits and pieces I no longer need so I can get them out of my garage. To that end, I am trying to improve, ever so slightly, the interior of the wagon. So onward with the rear cargo area and it's cleanup and redo.

    Stripped all of the panels out and cleaned the heck out of everything. Just used a hose and scrub brush and went to town. Kinda like hosing out a trunk...
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    Have read about folks using the "Peel and Seal" covering for noise and heat abatement, figured I'd give it a go
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    Seems to make the flatter panels a little less ringy.

    As I have repairs to the outer window ledge and quarter panel on the passenger side, I won't put anything in those areas until much later
    I posted elsewhere about the speaker holes in my spare rear panels, which are green.
    [​IMG]

    No more green.
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    I note the shade difference on the passenger side panels, but I plan to fog all 3 from one can of paint just before install to eliminate this.

    These panels are not Grade A or concourse resto parts by any stretch of the imagination. But they are better than what I had, and can be (not easily) replaced later if I find better ones or can get covers bought/made when I get rich. Besides, the cargo areas of wagons usually get used heavily, and I'm planning on using mine.

    More when I get something accomplished,
    Tom
     

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