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Post Info TOPIC: I decided to pretend I am in at least the 20th century.


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I decided to pretend I am in at least the 20th century.
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This is the beginning of the story of building my 64 Malibu SS.  I bought it in 1998 and worked on it a bit for a couple years, then put it away.  I am now able to work a little harder, so am making progress. 

 

 

I bought my Chevelle in 1998.  It was a California desert car so had no rust.  It had only a few door dings and no sign of having been hit and fixed in the past.  It did have a bad enamel paint job.  It leaked every kind of fluid.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to drive it, so part of the deal was that the owner had to deliver it.

 First Day Home2.jpg

 

When I got it home, I drove it around the block a few times, and tried my best to get the tires to spin even a little bit.  Then I took the body off.  The frame has scratches on it from the dies when it was formed.  I had it sandblasted, painted it, and added dropped front spindles, slightly stiffer springs, and big roll bars.

 

 chassis from front.jpg

 

After putting the body back on the frame, we cut out the A/C firewall, and welded in smooth sheet metal.  In this case the “we” is my son-in-law Jason.

Jason Welding.jpg

 

My plan from the beginning included a one-piece fiberglass tilt front, so I sold all the front sheet metal, the 283 and powerglide, and the factory air conditioning.  The only source I could find for the tilt front was Unlimited Fiberglass, and they only sold fenders and hood separately.  The quality was terrible, but there was no other source, so I put many hours into making the three pieces into one unit that fit together.  Then I got into restoring Corvettes, so put the Chevelle into a pole barn until last spring.  Here it is in the light of day for the first time in years.

IMG_0941.JPG

 

First step was to finalize the hinge assembly, then to brace and reinforce the front clip.  The factory braces were for a flat hood, so I had to cut them out and re-bond them to the cowl induction hood. 

   IMG_0976.JPG

 

Then I added diagonal bracing to keep the assembly rigid while opening and closing

 Hood Braces.jpg

 

And added pegs on the hood, and “receptacles” on the cowl to keep the hood positioned.

  peg in hood.jpg

cowl with peg hole highlighted.jpg

 

 

 

Then I made the mounts for the bottoms of the fenders.  This is an “in progress” picture, followed by the finished piece.

IMG_1242.JPG

left bottom showing pegs.jpg

 

 

 

Meanwhile I am thinking about color.  I bought a couple of shades of red and sprayed the door and quarter.  And my grandkids helped decorate.  I am now leaning towards a metallic green.  There is a nice color on 2015 GMC pickups that I like.  But I have made a “final” decision on color at least five times so far.

manny chet names on door..jpg

2015 GMC green.jpg

 

 

Somewhere in here, I bought electric actuators to raise and lower the hood.  I made mounting brackets, figured out the DPDT wiring, and tested the whole system with a jumper battery.  The front went up and down beautifully!  So I took it all apart and wrapped it up until final assembly.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures, so you’ll have to believe me when I tell you I did it.

IMG_1250.JPG

 

 



-- Edited by Larry Lucast on Tuesday 3rd of May 2016 05:59:45 PM



-- Edited by Larry Lucast on Saturday 7th of May 2016 06:26:13 PM



-- Edited by Larry Lucast on Saturday 14th of May 2016 07:18:53 PM

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Larry L.

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Great start to your build thread, Larry.

Looking forward to more history and progress...thumbsup



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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Kind of like a fine wine, must ferment.

Looking forward to watching your build!
Karl

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I thought it would be a good idea to install the engine just to confirm everything fit.  I am using an engine out of a ’77 Corvette that we bought for parts.  Before we took it apart, we squirted gas in the carb and ran it for a few seconds.  It should run well enough for shakedown.  First I had to clean it.  I used two cans of engine degreaser, then a quart of lacquer thinner and a scrub brush to get it clean enough to spray it spray-can black.  In hindsight, I should have used a lighter color, because everything kind of disappears in the black. 

IMG_1196.JPG

Now it should just bolt together, right?  Wrong!  The headers I thought were Chevelle were actually Corvette, so I ordered a new set.  A Corvette power steering pump mount fit the engine, but not in the car.  So I bought a set of correct Chevelle mount brackets.  I have a later model steering gear box, so the Chevelle mount didn’t work either.  I ended up taking 2 ¾ inches out of the middle of the bracket.  Now it fits, although it doesn’t have a lot of adjustability.  I will have to find exactly the right size belt.

IMG_1245.JPG

I also made brackets to mount the radiator.  It needs to stand by itself as the core support tilts away from it.  I started with a ’70 Corvette radiator, which exactly fits between the tilt actuator, and between the frame and hood.  I had the drain moved and a different outlet installed.  Twin Flex-a-Lite fans exactly cover the core, and bolt on to the reinforcements across the top and bottom of the radiator. 

IMG_1206.JPG

 



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Larry L.

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Finally everything related to the engine seems to fit.

IMG_1248.JPG
IMG_1244.JPG

 



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Larry L.

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It appears the PS belt is touching the steering gear. I looked at Allan Grove and they have a set-up that may move the pump closer to the balancer for more clearance with the gear. The link is to a re-seller with a dimensional pic to measure yours and see if it would help. The part is less expensive from other sources.

http://www.fasttimesspeed.com/product-p/402l.htm 

I have Allan Grove brackets for all the accessories on my '38 and they are well built.



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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That picture was with a belt that is too long. With the correct belt, there is about 1/2" clearance. The link you posted is for long water pump, and I have short.

Thanks

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Larry L.

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OK, I wasn't sure which pump set-up you were running. The one pic I saw of the engine had a long pump on it. They have brackets for short too, but if you can get it to work as is, all the better.

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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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There were alignment notches where the body joins the firewall that catch the fiberglass when the front opens.  While I am certainly not up to Mitch’s ability, I did manage to weld in patches. 

 IMG_1256.JPG  IMG_1259.JPG

When I needed a break from applying and sanding fiberglass, I cleaned and painted the trunk.

 IMG_1022.JPG

And filled it with parts ready for final assembly.  And a trunk mounted battery box, which so far is just sitting there.

 IMG_1296.JPG

The last brackets are made for the bottoms of the front fenders to attach to the body.  Then I just have to get everything to fit just right before removing the front to work on the firewall and engine wiring and accessories. 

 IMG_1285.JPG

In anticipation of rewiring most of the car, I bought an assortment of wires.  Then I made a new front lighting harness.  It is much like the original except for later wiring colors and a quick disconnect.  The wires need to be much longer from the firewall to the core support because they used to run down the inner fender, and now they will go down to the frame and forward to the disconnect, then up to where they used to run.  I can’t remember where the horns mount so I will have to find a place where they are not in the way of the actuators or the wider radiator.  When I finalize all of that, I will wrap everything in original black wrap.

 IMG_1281.JPG

I found a TH200-R4 on a shelf in a pole barn.  And then spent more than I paid for the transmission buying everything needed to make it work in an old car.

 IMG_1033.JPG

Another candidate for color:  This is Ford Electric Green with blue flop.

 electric gree blue flop.jpg



-- Edited by Larry Lucast on Saturday 14th of May 2016 07:23:15 PM



-- Edited by Larry Lucast on Saturday 14th of May 2016 09:14:33 PM

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Larry L.

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Nice work and progress, Larry. You'll be firing it up in no time now..thumbsup



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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Even though I haven’t posted any updates, I have been working.  I finished the bodywork on the tilt front and fender extensions, and on the smooth firewall.  When I was satisfied with the fit, I removed the whole front, painted the underside, and put it on a rolling tool cart.  The small parts are inside the car waiting for their turn for paint.

lifting front clip off.jpg

underside of clip.jpg

small parts in car.jpg

 



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Running the front wiring.

front wiring mock up.jpg

I mounted the new brake booster and master cylinder.  When I took this picture, I didn’t have the lines parallel, but they are now.

Master cyl.jpg

 



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I assembled the drive train using the 350 I had used in mock-up, then covered it up until needed.

drive train covered in plastic.JPG

I had bought a tilt-steering column from an 80s Camaro.  I had Vanz Auto rebuilt it and made a mounting plate to match the factory opening.  Van made it the right diameter to fit nicely into the curve of the bottom of the dash.  I had to modify the pedal bracket a bit to make it all fit.

steering column installed outer.jpg

steering column instal inside.jpg



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The sheet metal appears to all be original except the passenger door, which is a different color inside.  This must have been done early, as the outside of the door was painted blue under the white.

passenger door inner color.jpg

My grandsons spent hours scraping the white paint off.  But the rest was really hard.  I tried chemical stripper that I had used before.  After 30 minutes, the paint was barely soft; and only the top couple of layers.  I tried sanding and could barely see any progress.  So I took it to the sandblaster.

at blaster.jpg

It came back mostly paint-free, although the back glass had damage from the sand.  He promised to make it right, and I assume he will if I keep after him.  There were a couple of spots where he didn’t blast off all the filler, but it was thin enough to only take a few minutes.  I found several places where a factory joint had been brazed.  It looked like factory work.  I had never seen that before.

after sand blast left rear.jpg

brazing in joint.jpg

brazing of joints.JPG

 



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Larry L.

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You've been making steady progress. The braze is factory, but I've never seen a naked '64, and there is more than on the '66's.
While you're into the Green spectrum, let me throw out another suggestion...Synergy Green..stirpot

Image result for synergy green camaro



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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I like that.

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Larry L.

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Larry Lucast wrote:

I like that.


 1 year only Camaro color. Very few cars this color around...thumbsup



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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It has been a long time since I posted, so I am just going to post a random selection of pictures.  Most are self explanatory, so I don't need to add amny comments.

IMG_2131.JPG

I bought some used wheels from a member, had them sandblasted, and painted them.  Chevelle Argent Silver is different from my 70 Corvette, which used a three-year-only formula.

Painted wheels.JPG

 

 

I bought a set of leather seats from an Audi TT. Fred at Convertible Tops and Interiors by Fred will make upholstery for the back seat to match this material and stitching.  He will do the same on the door panels. 

Audi seats.jpg

 

The firewall is ready for paint.

IMG_1016.JPG

My grandsons have helped a lot.  I told Manny he couldn't get out until he cleaned everything under there.

IMG_1037.JPG



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Larry L.

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Eastwood's version of Dyno-Mat installed.  The edges of the foil are sharp, so I had a lot of little cuts all over my hands.

IMG_2472.JPG

This is the color of my chassis and engine block, pan, and timing cover.  Everything else is aluminum or ceramic coated.

Engine and Chassis color.JPG

Laying out the new instrument cluster.

IMG_1883.JPG

The finished dash.

IMG_1932.JPG

Wiring the new gauges.

IMG_1938.JPG

This is the color.  It is a 2015 GMC color.  The green flops to black in shadow.  You can see at the bottom of the picture where it looks like I painted it black.  I have since done a better job of buffing.

IMG_1963.JPG



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Larry L.

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Wow, the dash looks GREAT !!

Yes, the foil on sound deadener is sharp.

Get a Lokar throttle pedal with a cable and you can ditch the rod and those studs in the floor for the old pedal. Lokar mounts to the original holes in the firewall and hangs like a newer style.



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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The storage compartment in my console.

console.JPG

One of the many trial-fittings of the console, including the mock-up of the shifter and switches.  I will have power windows, door locks, and trunk release.

IMG_2452.JPG

Heater controls.

IMG_2456.JPG

And a couple more progress pictures of teh console.

IMG_2462.JPGIMG_2464.JPG



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Larry L.

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Coming along very nicely. Are you hoping to have it done for spring?



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Looking good Larry!

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

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I hope to have it done some spring, although certainly not this one.

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Larry L.

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I think we need a tech session up there in March to get that car back on the road...stirpot



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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I'm game.

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Larry L.

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Cool, we can talk it over with everyone at Karl's and see about getting it on the calendar.
I'll mention it to Chris tomorrow.

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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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My engine was done before I remembered I was supposed to order the Performer RPM Air Gap manifold, so we broke it in and dynoed it with an old style Performer.  It made 488 ft lbs of torque, but only 440 HP.  Jeff at Wheeler says from his experience, it will make 500 HP with the new manifold, which is due Friday.  I have a video, but can't get it to post, so here is a picture of it sitting in place.

IMG_2555 resized.JPG

-- Edited by Larry Lucast on Wednesday 17th of January 2018 09:58:58 PM



-- Edited by Larry Lucast on Wednesday 7th of February 2018 09:18:56 PM

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Since my last post, about 20 members came over and got pretty much all of the mechanical done.  20180317_115919.jpg

 

Since then I have been working on the body.  If I posted a picture every couple of weeks, they would all look about the same, but I really was making progress.

IMG_2736.JPG

I used a laser to get the style lines straight, and blocked for hours.  Finally it was time for sealer.  GM used black sealer.

IMG_2827.JPG

Then it was finally time for color!

IMG_2824.JPG

 



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Larry L.

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The color is PPG Unripened Green.  Corvette called it Lime Rock Green.  I put on two coats of base coat, and one of clear.  By then I was too worn out to do any more, so I let it dry, wet sanded it, and put on two more coats of clear.  The car needs to be in bright light for the true color to show, so these are shots in my gloomy garage.

IMG_2851.JPG

This little guy settled in the last coat of clear.  I let it dry, then blasted him away with 100 PSI of air.  I was able to dab a tiny bit of clear in the hole he left, and I think it will be ok.

Fly.JPG

 

painted front view.JPG

Here is a close-up of the trunk lid showing the green, and how it flops to a smoky gray.

Trunk Lid color.JPG

 

Now just endless hours of color sanding and buffing.  Fred, the upholsterer says he will be ready in a couple of weeks, so I better get going.



-- Edited by Larry Lucast on Sunday 1st of July 2018 07:17:38 PM

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Larry L.

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The Green looks really cool with light on it. Appears to have a lot of flake in it.

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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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Looking good Larry!

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I last posted pictures six months ago.  Even though I have made a LOT of progress, it still looks pretty much the same. 

I wasn't sure I was strong enough, or steady enough to do all that buffing.  So I hired a veteran who had served two terms in a war zone in Afghanistan, and suffered from PTSD.  He missed a lot of days, and sometimes seemed pretty zoned out, but when he was on, his work was great.  My wife an I really liked him, but after two months of on and off work, we agreed he was done.  And then I started finding problems.  Some parts were so smooth and shiny; and then there was the rest.  I had to re-clear the roof because of sanding scratches, and had to paint color and clear on the door where he sanded through the clear and into the color.  Those areas were left with a lot of buffing dust on them so they didn't show.  And some areas he got pretty shiny and then waxed. 

I am almost done re-doing all this.  Then I just ned to install all the trim.  Most everything is done.  I still have to install the speedometer driven gear and flywheel cover. 

Fred the upholsterer will be here in a week or two.  He is doing everything in a contemporary version of the original.  The seats and door panels will complement the Audi TT buckets I bought.  He will upholster the console, and make a new package tray with hidden speakers. 

And then, except for all the "punch list" things I find, it will be DONE!

console2.jpgstack of tires.jpgbeing buffed.jpgbuffed lights on.jpgrear view.jpg

I took the brand new 1964 license plate to the DMV, and the new system will not let me register it for this car.  But it looks good in the garage.



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Larry L.

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I had these Chevrolet Power decals made for my valve covers.  The design is saved under my name at ABC signs in Blaine.  They can make them in any size and color.  I don't have any claim of ownership, so order them for yourself.

Chevrolet power logo.jpg



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Larry L.

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VERY nice, Larry, congratulations on getting it to the point of almost "done"...nana

Don't get me started on the jerks at the capitol who were "supposed" to leave certain license sequences for us to register old cars with and then took it away so the state can use those numbers for the expensive personalized plates.



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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Agree on the plates, my original Biscayne 427 car was 3NL427

Can't get it because of the "habitat" plates.

GRRR,

Looking fantastic Larry, very happy for you!

Karl

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Looking great Larry, should be ready for spring.

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I haven't posted anything because it seems like I am barely making progress. I have had a bunch of relatively minor health problems, and large dose of laziness. I will post a few pictures soon, but will say that the interior is done and beautiful. The paint fogged up a bit when it spent a day in the sun, so have to re-buff the whole thing, which I have been too lazy to work on. I got the stance right. I let it idle in the garage for a half hour, and the thermostat opened and closed, and the fans ran. The first picture I post will be of the odometer showing 0.2 miles! I drove it down the block and back. Now I can stop worrying about whether it will actually work, and finish it over the winter.

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Sorry to hear about the health issues. Hope they go away soon and you can get back to full speed.

Super to hear you DROVE it !!! Looking forward to interior and odometer pics...tiphat

I "drove" my Camaro a couple weeks back too...onto the trailer at the old place, off at the new and onto the storage lift.



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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It is 99% done. I have a short punch list to take care of.
When I sent it to a shop I trusted for exhaust, I told them not to drive it, as it didn't yet have a TV cable. Now, a couple years later, when I drove it for the first time, It didn't seem to pull very hard, and the fluid smells a little burned. I will wait and drive it a little before deciding anything.

I will post a few pictures soon. But in the meantime I am sorting leftovers.  Today's offering is all of the SS side trim.  It is pretty decent, but not as shiny as it should be.  It is all there:  SS side trim, rocker moldings, and sill plates.  If anyone wants it, I will put it in a shipping tube and set it outside when you are coming.  IMG_4041.JPGIMG_4042.JPGIMG_4040.JPG



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Hopefully the last 1% will goes smoothly!

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

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Larry,

Is there the rear corner piece for the passenger side that goes from the rocker panel to the rear wheel well trim?

 

 



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John E - Rogers, MN

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I would be interested in the door sill plates.



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John; Look at the second picture. Is that the piece you are looking for? I have all four of them.

Chris; Just let me know when to put them out for you.

Both of you; We are practicing complete isolation so can't meet with in person, but could open the garage door and let you look at what is there.

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I haven't posted anything since I haven't done anything.

Just as the pandemic was starting, I took a careless tumble (tripped over a Buick GN rear end), and finished off the knee I had injured in a motorcycle accident many years ago.  I had it replaced and started rehab.  They closed rehab so recovery went slower.  Then, I picked up a light box, and pain shot up my arm.  It swelled to my elbow, was diagnosed as carpal tunnel.  I had the surgery and started the path to recovery.  I heal slowly because of my transplant, so that took too long.  Then our dog was doing his "Happy Dog" dance and hip checked me in the side of my other knee.  I had that replaced and started rehab again.  I was slowly rehabbing again, and in the middle of the night, I woke up in too much pain to sit up.  An ambulance trip to Mercy Hospital, where they diagnosed diverticulitis requiring immediate surgery.  But their surgeon wouldn't do it!  Another ambulance ride, this time to the U of M hospital.  They successfully repaired the damage and gave me an ostomy (a bag that hangs from my belly).  While hurrying to get me prepped and on the table, they strained something in my back.  I have been going to PT for that for a few moths.  For no good reason, I lost my sense of balance about this time.  I am getting better, and can now walk pretty well with a pair of alpine walking sticks.  And now I have another surgery to reverse the ostomy.

 

So it was time to get the last details done on the 64, and make some progress on my 79 Malibu.  The power steering had never worked.  Several of you gave me advice about bleeding and the check valve in the inlet of the gear box.  The check valve hadIMG_4750.JPGIMG_4756.JPGIMG_4761.JPG been pounded in with a punch, and was blocking the inlet.  I took the box out and discovered that the box I had bought as new years ago was actually filthy and scored.  I bought a rebuilt and bled and bled.  I started the engine and it seemed to work.  So I drove it down the block and the steering stopped working. 

The engine dynoed at 500 + HP, the transmission was a rebuilt 200 4R, and had a 2600 lock up converter.  If I power braked it HARD, it would barely spin the tires.  It seemed to stall close to 2600.  Then it sat while I went through all the health issues.  A couple of weeks ago,  bled the steering with the engine off, then running.  It still doesn't work.  Everything is new or rebuilt - box, pump, hoses- so I am at a loss.  I called Dan at Dan's Complete automotive, whom I trust, and asked him to just come get it, and fix it.  He will come in the next few days. 

I know some things to check, and know many of you would be glad to advise  or help, but I am pretty weak and sore, and am still isolating because I am immune suppressed. 

I will post when something happens.  Meanwhile I have done a lot of easy stuff to my 79 Malibu, so will post separately about that.



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Larry L.

Coon Rapids



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Wow, so sorry to hear all that you have been going through Larry.
Gald to hear you are on the mend and hope you are improving daily.

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

1951 Pontiac Chieftain Super Deluxe Catalina Hardtop 



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Great progress Larry, considering all of the health interruptions. The car is looking great. Getting Dan involved was a wise choice, he is a magician. Looking forward to seeing the car on the street.

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'69 Convertible,  Lemans Blue, 454, 200 4R, 12 Bolt. 

Jon H.  Lino Lakes



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Car is beautiful, keep fighting.
Karl

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More ambition than brains,

If you have more than 5 of anything, best to stop counting!



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Larry, your story is one of fortitude, determination and reflects your strong positive character.
And on top of all this your still working on the Velle while your trying to survive...WOW!
Your car looks great Larry, congratulation.
Turn into the skid and accelerate.


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Kevin

Northwestern Ohio



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When I last posted, my car was patiently waiting its turn at Dan's. They kept putting me off, so I asked Van if he knew anyone else with equipment to test my power steering system. Van came over to take a quick look. It took him just a few minutes to determine that my freshly rebuilt pump wasn't pumping at all. He put on a new pump from Auto City Classic, which solved that problem.

Then I took it to D.L.Beach. He found an intake gasket leak, and pointed out the header gasket leak, which I already knew. He said there was no point running it on the dyno , since the header leak would affect the air fuel readings. I drove it home and took it apart. The heads and headers have 1 3/4" ports so there is a very narrow sealing surface in the gasket.

Then it was time to go back in the hospital to undo the ostomy from last spring. That was six weeks ago, so I have not made much progress in recovery. My grandson in St. Cloud is a certified mechanic, so he came down last weekend and put everything together. And it wouldn't start. I found low voltage at the distributor. My torso has a couple of new, very ugly scars that make leaning over or twisting pretty uncomfortable. So it can sit for a little while before I trace wires under the dash.

I will post as soon as I make any progress.


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Larry L.

Coon Rapids

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