Just need some advice.. - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 1:28 AM Thread Starter
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Just need some advice..

Hey guys, So I have my 68 chevelle project and i’m at a point where i’m just completely
stumped on what to do, I bought the project in hope that the house my family was planning on buying was gonna have a garage for me to work on my chevelle in, Turns out the car is just parked in the backyard now cause no garage. And also I always imagined owning a chevelle with a manual transmission, This ones an automatic. Also planned on having a big block. This is a 327. So i’m at a point where i just feel like nothings went how i hoped but i love this car, The 68 body style is just my absolute favorite at this point and i’ve grown sentimental about it being my first real car i’ve bought myself. I definitely plan on getting more cubic inches and adding more power to it, But can anyone tell me, Am i really missing out on that much from a manual? I planned on maybe just swapping it later in the future if i REALLY want one but autos do have their own advantages like way more relaxed and easier cruising. and about being able to do body work. I never planned on making the car a show car, But i want to make it daily
driver nice and was wondering if this is something i can achieve by working on it in my back yard? I’ve been so lost on what to do lately that i’ve been thinking about just selling it for a manual chevy nova, Novas are my second favorite body style and i see one for sale that’s a manual, But would that manual transmission really be worth giving up my chevelle for something i can just swap later? Have any of you ever done body work on your car outside? I knew a guy who painted his 66 mustang outside with rustoleum and he was happy with it as long as his metal was protected and it was all one matching color.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 7:06 AM
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Re: Just need some advice..

I did all of my own body work and painted a car outside many years ago. It turned out pretty nice for a driver.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 7:22 AM
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Re: Just need some advice..

Since you still sound excited by your first purchase I would look into building the garage first, if space is available, or even an attached car port. That way you can plan and execute getting your car to where you want it. THe manual swap is not a big deal nor is the BBC. Just takes time, money and some kind of game plan. The car thing can be a thought out plan that comes together over time. That way you can think it through. Sure, things will change, but that is part of the fun. Some folks have the money and space to instantly purchase the car of their dreams. The work is actually where the fun part is. Learning about all this takes a ton of time. Hope this helps. Hang in there. Getting out of the weather is the biggest help and a heated space is the second biggest help.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 7:28 AM
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Re: Just need some advice..

Sure, very possible and has been done over the years. Many challenges but also a great learning experience. Do small areas at a time and protect your work every session.

It would be good info if you provided your location as local weather conditions will make it easier or harder; dry climate = easier, wet/damp/rust belt = harder but that goes for for pretty much everything car related.

As to the keep it or move to another car question: That's a hard one that only you can decide. To my way of thinking, given your situation, a current derivable car that needs less of a full rebuild (making an assumption on the condition of your 68) and more of a bunch of TLC/smaller projects (think stuff that can be done in a evening, day, or weekend and drive on Monday) may be a better way to go. However, it is a labor of love and you have to love the car to get to the finish line so we are back to only you can make that decision....
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 9:03 AM
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Wanted to add. 45 years old. My 69 is my first car ever bought. Remember the day like yesterday I was 15. Drove the car and was in love. Drove it raced my uncle on his interceptor 500. Lost 4 of my 5 lugs but made it home. As I got older the chevelle sat in a field and traveled with me to many different homes. Not all covered. I moved on to newer cars, fun but not like the chevelle. I can’t remember when I got glaucoma ( over 15 years ago), lost most my sight and was told I’d never have my license again. Anyways I still have the chevelle, could NEVER think about selling really can’t stop thinking about buying for it. Someday my chevelle will be on the road again and me in it. As for you keep it. Treat it like your pet. Good luck with whatever and do like I do, touch your chevelle and tell yourself not everyone gets to rub their hands down a chevelle daily.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 9:29 AM
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Re: Just need some advice..

I'm 72, so I have to think WAY back...........but, my first few cars were all outside. About 55 years ago, When I first had a car, I worked on it outside, raced it on weekends, and went to work in it on Monday. If something broke, I fixed it. Had to do stuff myself, I didn't have money to pay others to do it for me. It can be done.........

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 9:30 AM
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Re: Just need some advice..

I changed my car over from automatic to manual (4L60e to T56) and while I really enjoy it, now my wife can't drive it, so there's definitely a drawback there. (or benefit, depending on how you look at it )
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 9:45 AM
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Re: Just need some advice..

I think your living situation is going to dictate what the next step ought to be. The reason I say that is because I do most of my wrenching late in the evening after the kids go to bed, and since that means I'm working with shorter chunks of time, I often leave all my tools and my mess sitting there and I clean it all up whenever I get the next chunk of time (could be a couple days or more). The point being, I couldn't just leave all my crap sitting outside so in my case I couldn't do it without a garage. Where you live obviously makes a big difference too, couldn't imagine wrenching outside in January here in MI but if you live in Arizona in might not be much of a concern.

Also, how easy would it be to get your car in a garage? Would you have to move? Do you have space to build one? Do you rent your house or do you own? You don't have to actually answer, just giving you something to think about.

Anyways, I'd probably prioritize getting the car running and driving first. You'd be surprised how easy it is to forget about swapping engines and transmissions for a while once you have a good running car, regardless of what's under the hood. Then focus on getting a garage to work in, whether that means building one or moving or whatever. When you're ready to swap in a big block and a different transmission, it will be easier and much more enjoyable working in a garage.

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 9:59 AM
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Re: Just need some advice..

Originally Posted by bry66 View Post
I'd probably prioritize getting the car running and driving first. You'd be surprised how easy it is to forget about swapping engines and transmissions for a while once you have a good running car, regardless of what's under the hood. Then focus on getting a garage to work in, whether that means building one or moving or whatever. When you're ready to swap in a big block and a different transmission, it will be easier and much more enjoyable working in a garage.
I totally agree!

Trying to build your dream car outside in the elements is not for the faint of heart. I would imagine there are way more project cars that became abandoned because of no garage to work in versus project cars completed outside.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 2:36 PM
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Re: Just need some advice..

I hate to be the harsh guy of the group, BUT, damn man, pull your pants up and roll. Chip Foose isn't going to come knocking on your door and do all the work for you.

If you really do love the car, get it done. You can make excuses for damn near anything, but you can also get work done with the energy you're using to make excuses. You've boxed yourself in in your head. Stop. You want to drive the car? Get out there and make it happen. It's a 68 Chevelle. Drive it with the 327, it's been working for years! Save gas money until you can afford the big block. Nothing grows on trees anymore, you have to earn it to burn it.

If you don't love the car like you think you do, sell it, take a loss, find a stick shift nova. If you want a stick shift chevelle, make it happen. Mow some yards, find a side job doing construction work, deliver pizzas, wash cars. Do what you have to do to get it done. If you don't have the skills, work the side hustle to get the money needed to find someone that can do the work. Posting excuses on social media doesn't do any good. I've tried, it doesn't work.


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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 3:51 PM
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Re: Just need some advice..

When I built my car, the plan was to some day have a manual tranny. I installed 3 pedals during the build with the hopes of having the far left peddle connected to something. That was 18 years ago and I'm still running an automatic. At the time it was a cost decision. In between then and now life happened and it's still a cost decision. Doesn't stop me from enjoying the car. Maybe when the kids move out I can connect that third peddle....

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 4:51 PM
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Re: Just need some advice..

Have you considered renting space for the work?

You can look around in the area for storage units that are intended for work (most do not), possibly rent from a shop that has extra space (it happens), or you can join a local club and see what they know of in your area.

Not knowing is a big hurdle and knowledge is one of the hardest things to achieve, but nothing you've mentioned can't be overcome. If you love the car, stick with it. The grass looks greener on the other side, but unless you've been cruising through the neighborhood, you don't know what's really there.

Just some thoughts.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 4:55 PM
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Re: Just need some advice..

guaging,,,,,, dude, its a 68 CHEVELLE!...... I agree, its one of the coolest "factory hotrods" ever, sheet metal wise. Small block/auto, thats fine. Get it running!

If you need shelter.... for $400-500 or so you can get a nice car shelter.

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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 4:57 PM
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Re: Just need some advice..

Ok OP just how old are you ? Kinds sounds like you are a younger guy living in your folks place because I know if it we're me I'd never have a house with out a garage and I am sure 99 percent of the guys on this forum feel the same way sounds like you do too. With that said you have an awesome car a lot of guys would kill for . So go to Harbor Freight or Costco and get a metal tube frame car house with the plastic walls and roof to keep it in and work on it . Costco has the better ones in my opinion . Make absolutely certain you anchor it properly . Go out there and start wrenching . Go out and start sanding the body go out and start cleaning stuff ..GO OUT THERE As for the big block and manual tranny that stuff can wait get the car how you want as far as the looks and the suspension and safety stuff. Maybe at some point you will stumble on a good deal for the engine and tranny of your dreams or maybe not . But get motivated and get something done get excited about it . The first step is always the hardest . BTW there are some guys that would just love a 327 they are still a sought after engine especially if its unmolested .
I have a cool car but its no show car its in primer and still needs some love on the metal in a few spots . I don't have the engine or tranny I want in it I want an LS3 with a 4L80e but when I'm cruising and I open up the secondaries and my headers start to rap the way only headers and flowmasters do it always a blast and reminds me why I keep chipping away at the car . Sounds like you could use some hand tool therapy too .
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 5:47 PM Thread Starter
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For everyone wondering i am 19 and bought the car when i was turning 18, I live in Yuma AZ, My biggest problem is that the car has some rust around the rear window and the fender panel. Would letting it sit in the AZ sun for a couple months while i save up make it that much worse? That’s really the biggest thing that bothers me knowing that there’s rust eating at it while i don’t have the recourses to remove it
I bought the car saving every penny and still saving every penny to fix it,
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