1966 Chevelle Build Thread - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 20, 2:29 AM Thread Starter
Steven
 
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1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Hey all, I've been lurking on the site for over two years now (ever since buying my 1966 Chevelle Malibu) and appreciate all the information I've received from the community. I'd like to share the progress I've made on the build so far and share my future plans for the vehicle. This is my first classic car and I welcome any feedback or advice

Background on the car - Fremont car that I bought sight unseen in 2017. Based on the documentation I received with the car it appears it spent the majority of its life here in California until 2014 when it was purchased and restored in Iowa. State of the car when I received it was pretty stock. Non-original 283 and Powerglide but everything else seemed original.

Here are some pics of the car shortly after I took delivery:





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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 20, 2:43 AM Thread Starter
Steven
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Outside of some maintenance and detailing, the first project I took on was the front suspension. I had the stock control arms powder coated and added new Moog rubber bushings. I installed new ball joints, tie rod ends, an idler arm, etc. (all Moog) and added some UMI components including a sway bar and 1" drop springs. I also added Bilstein B6 Performance Series shocks in place of the worn out shocks that came with the vehicle.





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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 20, 3:05 AM Thread Starter
Steven
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Next up was the rear suspension. 1" drop springs along with some aftermarket control arms to mount the rear sway bar that was added. I had a really hard time getting the sway bar to fit so I had to spend quite a bit of time grinding the edges that sit flush along the inside of the control arms and eventually was able to hammered the thing into place. Bilstein shocks added to the rear as well.



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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 20, 5:36 AM
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Looks good, keep it up.
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Tighten it till it strips and back it off a quarter turn.
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70 (SOLD)

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 20, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
Steven
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Next project was replacing the bench seat bottom foam as it was clear it was pretty worn out. I think I added new burlap against the seat frame then a layer of cotton batting (both hog ringed to the frame), then the seat cushion from American Cushion Industries with another layer of cotton batting on top of that. Made a huge difference in comfort and really helped fill out the seat cover.

Found a soft trim broadcast in the bench bottom cover:



Old seat bottom cushion:



New materials:



New cushion:



Final product:

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 20, 8:14 PM Thread Starter
Steven
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Next up was a front disc brake conversion using a Right Stuff Detailing kit and hard brake lines. 11" rotors to fit in the 16" wheels along with a 9" booster to replace the non-power stock system. The kit came with some Wilwood components as well.

Picture of the old drums after removal:



Old vs. new master:



New disc assembly after installation:

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 1:15 AM
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Dan
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Welcome!
Looks like you jumped in a bit more than ankle deep.
Ready for more pictures...


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 1:36 AM Thread Starter
Steven
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKN BCK View Post
Welcome!
Looks like you jumped in a bit more than ankle deep.
Ready for more pictures...
Thank you! Plenty more pictures to come as this thread is still a bit behind.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 1:48 AM Thread Starter
Steven
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Few more misc. items below. First is a picture of a door panel I got from Legendary that is still not installed. I'm waiting to finish some other projects before putting the interior back together. And front suspension was taken apart for the third time (and not the last) to replace the 1" lowering springs with 2" lowering springs. Thought the front was still sitting too high for my taste.

New interior color :



Side view after replacing 1" drop springs w/ 2" drop:

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 6:38 AM
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Gene
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Man, I have A arm envy. those springs do settle a freckle, so it'll be nice and low.

Steven, clearly this is not your first rodeo! WELCOME to Team Chevelle! And nice score and retro.
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Gene
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Be big, be a 'builder'!
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 8:39 AM
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Bill
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Nice 66!

66 Malibu

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
Steven
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Probably jumped the gun on this one but I had the itch to gut the interior . This was probably 10 months ago or so and I still haven't reassembled everything. I've sourced most of the new components and just need to paint the dash, kick panels and some other things. Also I'm waiting for transmission tunnel fab work to be done (hopefully this August! I'm having a shop take care of this).

Old interior components:



Floors look to be in good shape. All the debris is from the roof insulation as I was scraping it off:



Pulling the dash and preview of the completed front bench seat covers:

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
Steven
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by 427L88 View Post
Man, I have A arm envy. those springs do settle a freckle, so it'll be nice and low.

Steven, clearly this is not your first rodeo! WELCOME to Team Chevelle! And nice score and retro.
Thank you! I am still a beginner and still have a lot to learn. Just trying to take my time and do things as well as I can.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
Steven
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by busterwivell View Post
Nice 66!
Thanks and nice 66 as well!
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 20, 9:20 PM Thread Starter
Steven
 
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Re: 1966 Chevelle Build Thread

With the interior gutted I decided it was time to tackle the roof insulation. After procrastinating for 8 months I finally got to work scraping the stuff off. Took a long time but glad I did it. I used a non-marring plastic scraper for the fiberglass stuff and for the adhesive layer I added some adhesive remover and removed it with the scraper and some steel wool. Used a cup wire wheel attached to a drill to get the surface rust off before sending it off to have the headliner installed.

Let the fun begin:



This was the worst surface rust of all the panels:



Almost all cleaned up:



This stuff made a mess, especially when I got lazy and tried removing the insulation with the wire wheel:

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