OLDSmobility.com Project Car

My own '67 442 (clone)


OLDSmobility.com Project Car

Postby OLDSmobility » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:34 am

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Re: OLDSmobility.com Project Car

Postby OLDSmobility » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:36 am

NOTE: The first 22 posts in this thread were previously posted to the ROP forums, and are dated as to their original post date there.

Fri Jun 18, 2010
Back in the late '80s I had a friend who wanted to find an old musclecar to restore. I did some looking around and found a '67 Cutlass post in a repo lot which had been abandoned years earlier with a blown-up engine. He bought it for $150, and then after deciding it would be too much work for him, he sold it to me. I dropped a 455 from a '73 wagon into it and drove it around for a couple years.

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One day while on a roadtrip I drove by a field that had two '67s (a Cutlass and a 442) and a '66 442 shell parked out in it. I tracked down the owner and purchased all three for $1250, figuring to just part them out. Upon getting them home however, I found that the Cutlass body was in much better shape then the one I was driving, so the decision was made to part out my driver instead. The 442 had been rear-ended and needed bodywork that was beyond my capabilities, but donated all the cool parts. Here's a (crappy) shot of the three cars together at one time:

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My other driver was a '68 Toronado, and I ended up pulling that 455 to build up for my 442 clone project.

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I dropped it in, replaced most of the interior and then got ready to drive this around for a while...but before the motor even got broke in, there was an 'incident' which allowed contact between a piston and a valve, which exploded the lifter, bent a pushrod, and actually ripped the rocker arm pedestal away from the head!

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Here's the last time it was roadworthy, back in 1995:
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Due to circumstances in my life, I had to put the Olds into storage for a few years. When I got it back out, I decided to redo my amateur resto-mod with a complete body-off. I pulled the body off, scrounged up a '72 Pontiac LeMans chassis to set the body on in the meantime, which allowed me to move it around as needed, and sandblasted and painted the frame (with Dupont single-stage urethane) and got the suspension pieces powdercoated. But then life REALLY got busy...and again it got pushed off to the side, while I got married, had four kids, blah blah....for the next 12 years.

Until yesterday....
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Re: OLDSmobility.com Project Car

Postby OLDSmobility » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:37 am

Fri Jun 18, 2010

(click the images in this post to enlarge)

The painted frame has been stored in our one-car garage for the past couple years, and so last summer I got the PST polygraphite suspension bushings pressed into the front and rear control arms. About a month ago I decided that it was time to get serious, and get the Olds out and get back to work on it. Fortunately it's been in a dry warehouse for the past 12 years, so there was no deterioration of anything. Over the past month I've been slowly accumulating the parts I'd need to get the rolling chassis done. I just installed a pair of Hotchkiss 2" lowering springs and am waiting for a pair of disc-brake backing plate gaskets to arrive before installing the new rotors and calipers and finally getting the front end back onto the ground on it's own feet. Some of the parts that have been steadily arriving include:

- Rear boxed control arms from PMT, which includes adjustable uppers and the crossmember braces
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- front/rear braided stainless lines from Inline Tube (I also set another set of Russell lines...I'll compare to see which is better.)
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- body bushings from Supercars Unlimited
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- new backing plates, rotors, calipers, seals and bearings for the front

Two days ago I bought a double-axle trailer off Craiglist, and then yesterday (on my birthday!) I pulled the car out of storage, loaded it up onto the trailer and brought it home!

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Today I get home after work to find two large packages waiting for me.
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The first package is the 9" Ford rearend housing from Quicker Performance. Any day now I should also be receiving from them a pair of 31-spline Moser axles, complete drum brake setup and an Eaton Tru-Trak center section with 3.50 gears.

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The second package was a complete Magnaflow 2-1/2" stainless dual exhaust system with an X-pipe. I did a quick mock-up in the driveway to make sure I had all the parts.
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So...sometime within the next few days I'll be getting started getting the rearend housing painted, and then getting it installed with the PMT control arms and factory rear springs. And as soon as those backing plate gaskets arrive, I can finally get the rest of the front suspension completed. Hopefully the rear axles and center section should arrive within a few days and I can get them installed too...and then the '67 will finally be setting on it's own feet for the first time in 15 years!
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Re: OLDSmobility.com Project Car

Postby OLDSmobility » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:39 am

Fri Jun 18, 2010

I'm actually very lucky with this 442 project, in that the body itself is 100% rust-free and dent-free. The front and rear bumpers will need to be replaced, but everything else is amazingly well-preserved. All it's gonna need is a sanding and paint.

I do have a correct 442 louvered hood, but it's got a couple minor issues that I'll worry about after everything else is done, and add it later. Here are a few pics of that:

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As you can see, the top of the hood isn't too bad, except for the rear of the left side, which is going to take a little metal-work to fix. However, the bottom of the hood is a disaster area!

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As you can see, some previous owner decided to use a freakin' chain saw to cut away the hood bracing under the louvers! :shock: The saving grace is that I have a section of bracing cut from a Cutlass hood. What I'm going to do is carefully cut out a 'trim ring' from that patch panel which I'll attach to the bottom of the hood around the cut-out area. It'll not only keep the underhood insulation in place, but will really clean up that hack job. I'm also seriously playing around with the idea of coming up with an OAI setup which will seal to the bottom of the hood directly under the louvers.

Oh....and I thought I'd share with you guys the place that all this action is going to take place. This is my little one-car garage.
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This picture was taken several weeks ago before I started assembling the front suspension. It's getting pretty cluttered in here now, with all the boxes of new parts piling up.

And after the rolling chassis is together and I'm ready to get to work on the body, you guys are gonna get a kick out of how I plan to strip and paint the underside. ;) Stay tuned.
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Re: OLDSmobility.com Project Car

Postby OLDSmobility » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:40 am

Mon Jun 21, 2010

The 3.50 Tru-Track arrived today. :D

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Now I'm just waiting on the axles, and I'll have everything for the rear suspension. I was going to paint the axle housing this weekend, but decided I'd better wait till all the parts are here so I can do a mockup before painting...just in case there's a problem and something needs to be returned.
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Re: OLDSmobility.com Project Car

Postby OLDSmobility » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:41 am

Wed Jun 23, 2010

The Moser axles arrived today, as well as the disc brake backing plate gaskets I've been waiting for.

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I now have (I believe) everything I need to completely reassemble the front and rear suspension, so I decided I'm taking the day off from work tomorrow to finish up some suspension component painting, and will also be painting the rearend housing....and then the final reassembly begins! :D
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Re: OLDSmobility.com Project Car

Postby OLDSmobility » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:41 am

Thu Jun 24, 2010

I didn't get quite as much done today as I'd hoped, since I got called back into work for a few hours...but I did get a boatload of attaching hardware (bolts, nuts, brackets) cleaned up and painted.

I then assembled the rearend assembly to make sure everything fit properly before painting, and everything looked great, so it got disassembled again and prepped for paint. Here's a couple shots of it just prior to painting, after I'd roughed up the surface and wiped it down with POR-15 MarineClean:

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Then I had to apply POR-15 MetalReady to the housing, which etches the metal and gives it a phosphate coating. I had to stand out in the driveway for a full half-hour, spraying it down every 4-5 minutes for a half-hour, making sure to keep it wet....which kept me busy, since it was a little over 90 degrees today with a light breeze.

Then the application of the POR-15:

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And then after allowing it to set up for about 3 hours, just before it's completely dry (barely tacky to the touch) I gave it 4 good coats of Krylon semi-flat black.

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Yeah, I know some of you might be shaking your heads at my choice of paints, but I know from personal experience that as long as the proper prep is done beforehand, this recipe works extremely well and is very durable. Plus it's inexpensive, easy to apply and easy to touch up down the road should the need arise.

I'm going to give the paint another day or two to fully cure and then I'll get this thing reassembled and installed in the chassis.
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Re: OLDSmobility.com Project Car

Postby OLDSmobility » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:42 am

Fri Jun 25, 2010

Took another vacation day today and got quite a bit done. The front suspension is done, the front brakes are 98% done....just have to mount the calipers (waiting for some paint from Eastwood) and stainless flexible lines (gotta order some brackets tonight). Oh, and I need to get some new bearing dust caps. (You'll have to excuse the dirty frame...I haven't had a chance to get it outside to hose off a year's worth of dust.) :oops:

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I also got the rearend housing 98% mounted, just have to paint the rear springs and install, and then tighten everything down. I'd have assembled the rearend, but I'm still cleaning up the backing plates, and I need to get a gasket for the center section.

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Just as a sidenote....I think I lost a few pounds today working in the garage. Even with the front and rear doors open, there was very little moving air, and it was like a freakin' SAUNA! At one point my cigarette got extinguished by sweat dripping from my face. :lol:

I'm hoping to get in some garage time tomorrow too, and will get the steering linkage and front swaybar mounted...and I'd like to get the rearend completely assembled too, but that'll depend on whether I can get the backing plates cleaned off enough to paint, or if I'll have to take them somewhere to get sandblasted. There are just too many nooks and crannies that my wire wheel won't reach.

Since I'm very close to making this a roller, I need to sit down sometime within the next week or so and make a decision on wheels, but I've been searching for several weeks and I really can't find anything I even like! :?
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Re: OLDSmobility.com Project Car

Postby OLDSmobility » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:43 am

Fri Jul 02, 2010

Just a few updates of what I've been up to over the past week:

I got the stainless fuel lines installed, upgrading from the single 5/16" line to a 3/8" line with a return line.
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I got the Ford 9" third member installed and the rear brake backing plates cleaned up and painted a couple days ago, and went to install them today, but got a little surprise. When I ordered the rearend I told them to set it up for stock brakes, which they did with the appropriate tube flange, but neglected to tell me that the big-bearing axles wouldn't fit through the standard GM backing plates. In this picture you can see how much I was going to have to enlarge the hole in the backing plate by the scribed line:
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After about 30 minutes each with the die-grinder, the holes were enlarged and trial-fitted...and they fit great:
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I then installed them and the rear axles. I was told not to install axle seals, since these axles use sealed bearings. Instead, I had to put a thin coat of silicone around the tube flange and on the bearing race before installing:
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The axle retainers from GM are T-bolts, but the rearend fabricator uses Allen-head capscrews...which unfortunately wouldn't clear the tube flange without a little grinding on the head of each one:
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I got the front end 99% done by installing the front sway bar (with PST polygraphite bushings), the steering box and linkage and shocks (Monroe Sens-a-tracs), and the front calipers and stainless flexible lines. (However, when installing the front control arms, I apparently installed one of the lower control arm bolts backwards, with the nut end protruding out towards and contacting the linkage. So I'm doing to have to do a little disassembly just to turn around a single bolt. &#$%!!!)
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I decided to see how the pre-bent stainless brake lines for the stock 10-bolt would fit, and was happy to see that they'll work with some minor rebending.
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The cool news is my new wheels and tires came in today!
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The wheels are Centerline Qualifiers, 15x8 with 4.5" backspacing for the front and 15x8 with 4" backspacing for the rear (since my Ford rearend is 1" narrower than the stock 10-bolt). The tires are Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/T's, P235/60s for the front and P275/60s for the rear. When I ordered these a few days ago I forgot to order lugnuts too, but did that the next evening and they'll be here any day now, along with some chrome Centerline valvestems. When they arrive I'll get the tires mounted, and will be able to roll the chassis outside for a good cleaning.
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Re: OLDSmobility.com Project Car

Postby OLDSmobility » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:44 am

Sat Jul 03, 2010

Another busy day today. I finished up 100% with the front suspension/steering brakes, and got a pair of junker wheels/tires bolted on. The rear axles are in, and even though the brakes aren't completed, I was going to bolt on a set of wheels on the back too and then roll the chassis outside today to clean it up with the garden hose, but then discovered another small detail that I'd overlooked....the front wheels studs are 7/16" and the new Moser axles have 1/2" studs, so I don't have lugnuts to use. I wish this fact would've dawned on my a little earlier, so I could have had the front rotors drilled out for 1/2" studs before they were installed. Oh well, it's not a huge deal.

I decided that it was time to get the body off the trailer and then get it lifted off the Pontiac chassis. I need to get the bottom side of the body cleaned up and painted before replacing it on the chassis in the garage. Doing a body-off in a driveway with minimal equipment isn't something that everyone might try, but I've had a little experience doing it, so I knew it would just take a little time. And to say the following procedure is 'red-neckin' it is a major understatement...but it gets the job done.

First, I got the car down off the trailer. (Can you tell how I'm planning on doing this by what you see in the second picture?) ;)
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I started with the back end, using nothing more than my 3.5-ton hydraulic jack, four jackstands and a bunch of wood blocks. I'd jack it up as far as I could, block it, lower the jack and add some wood blocks, and jack it up a little more. Needless to say, this is very time-consuming, since I had to take things slowly, making sure that it was steady...I didn't want to damage the car, or me!
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Once the back was high enough, I was able to set up the barrels and string the pipe between them and then remove the jack and blocks. I forgot to take some pictures while lifting the front end, but it was basically more of the same. The front actually went up a lot faster than the rear. Here's a few pics of the completed body lift:
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I then rolled the Pontiac chassis out and pushed it up onto the trailer and took a couple more shots:
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No more than 60 seconds after taking that final shot, we got hit with a passing rain shower which lasted about 10 minutes. I gave a thumbs-up to the big guy for holding off until I was finished. ;)
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I tried rocking this thing hard and it's rock-solid...however, I am going to add an additional brace in the middle of each length of pipe as a center support, and while I'm up under this thing working on it I'll have a few additional backups as well, just in case.

Anyway, as you can see, the bottom side is actually pretty clean, so it probably won't take me more than a day or two to get it ready for paint. I'll be using my usual recipe of POR-15 and then hitting it with rattlecan paint just before it sets up, while it's still barely tacky.

Stay tuned!
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