The most ignored project ever got some attention, hopefully it wont be another 9 months before we work on her again! Flipped the frame on its side and upside down to finish welding everything up, good thing too as we flipped this over I saw all the bugger welds I did trying to weld upside down, Thank the lord for grinders! I boxed the front mounting points for the ladder bars, these should be pretty solid now. I typically make any bends in a hydraulic press, it works well if you have a couple brackets that are the same because you can set them together and mirror them pretty goo. I was really tired last night and I just used some good old heat for a final bend, I love moving metal like that, very satisfying. Trying to head back up the End of February and we will fit the Body! Very excited its been a while since those two were together.
As I get ready to put the body back on the frame I was trying to remember what year I actually separated this combo to start with. My beautiful wife is also a master of photo files, after a about 10 minutes of looking here you go... holy smokes Jan of 1996 this came apart, February of 96 the bed was cut for the tires and that is where it stopped until last year. Wow, I am lucky my Dad didn't toss this thing out. He was just finishing his shop at the time, a couple pics you can see there is no concrete yet. The ElCamino still had the GTO and turbo 400 in her as well. Good times pouring all that mud in that shop....
Body is back on the frame, went down fairly easy, ended up cutting out more bed than had anticipated and had to cut into the back of the floor pans to get the new cross member to suck up. Sat down nice, I had only modified the two rear mounting locations and we hit them spot on, I was breathing a little better after all the bushing bolts snugged up.
She looked pretty funny at first as I had the shocks in the lowest position, a little too low, I still have 3 to 4 inches of settings back there but we just put her right on the center to see where we are at. The Front end was sitting so high it looked like a gasser, I had a 396 on a stand up there that needed to come down for a rebuild, I had new frame mounts and engine mounts so why not, i dropped the engine in this morning and she leveled out, I think once all the sheet metal is on we will be good with just a slight rake.
By the end of Feb I am hoping to have her home so its easier to work on, my buddy has a huge enclosed trailer, he letting me take that up for an easy transport home. We will separate the body again, finish up all the mechanicals on the frame and keep on plugging away at her.
Well she is home, now I have no excuses... My buddy let me borrow his big Hallmark trailer and his F350, I have a need for diesel now, could have been a very expensive trip for me... brought back a 351 Clevland that had been sitting for a while, going in a friends 69 Mustang.
When I rolled the 65' on the lift I realized that this stupid idea of a pro street that git into my head as a teen ager bit me in the butt again. The tires are too wide for the ramps, these things run pretty low air pressure and the inside of the tire was sagging pretty good. not sure if it would goof up the tires so I built a pad so the tires have full support. I am thinking of building another one to slide up and down the can to put a bottle jack or something on to lift the car if needed when on the lift.
Stopped being lazy and was working near the house this week.
Got the body back off the frame so we can fire this project up again. My old lift worked perfect to strap the body to the ramps and lift her up. With both ramps on I could not get the lift all the way down as its to narrow to straddle the car, ran out of space at about 1/4 down on the doors , the result is I had to pull the tires off to roll the frame out as i couldnt get the height I needed.
Then I set her down on the old trusty dolly, this thing has made the rounds with my family for probably 50 years, start to roll her out and oh no, too tall, roof won't clear the cross bars... missed by 1.5"... OK, modify the dolly and some block and we are out!
Rear end goes to a friend on Saturday to finish welding, he has a jig that he locks everything down with and finishes it off, I also decided to shorten it a bit more. Its funny as I have read a lot of posts with folks stating that the left side of the car is 1/2 tighter, I really didn't give a lot of thought to it as we built everything new and its pretty spot on. Well guess what, the frames are not what was off but the body is off, my left side is a half inch tighter than my right... Hummm We we can fix that.