66 - Shakie - Chevelle Tech
Pro Touring Todays performance with classic style

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post #1 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Jim
 
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66 - Shakie

All,

I just joined and am cobbling this thread together to share here from threads I posted in other forums. I got the car roughly a year ago and am building in stages. Basically, I drove the car a little bit as I bought it. Then I did power steering and drove it. Then brakes and suspension and drove it. Recently, I started serpentine belt and will drive it. Then the rest. Below are my posts to other threads.
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post #2 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 66 - Shakie

Hi all,

Just joined. Thought I share my build so far. Here is what I started with:

- 66 Chevelle
- Non-SS, but the previous owner made it a clone
- A "10 footer" - looks good from a ways, but up close you start to see the flaws
- Didn't want a perfect car as I will be building it with my son and enjoying modifications
- 355 SBC
- 700R4
- Drums
- WAS manual sterring. Just added power steering with Quick Ratio Jeep Cherokee gear box
- 10 bolt rear
- OK interior. Carpet, door panels and headliner are OK, but bucket seats are out of a Ford Edge and are hideous
- Body is alright, but has a few issues (covered by recent paint)
- Suspension is lowered, but all bushings, etc are JACKED

Planned:
- Steering - check
- Brakes - Baer (almost complete)
- Suspension - RideTech airbags (almost complete)
- LS (not too crazy, probably just an LS3 to start)
- 6 speed manual

Pics:
In the beginning:





Mod pile from early December:


Stock suspension removal and beginning of front suspension:
Stock suspension and drum:


Coming out:


Stock suspension out:


What the steering arm was caked with on the back of the stock spindle:


Steering arms after clean up:
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post #3 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Jim
 
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Re: 66 - Shakie

Started bending brake lines with a different route due to the header. Still doesn't conflict with upper arm, but I'll still probably redo as it's in a precarious spot:


Brake line across crossmember:


New parts!!!



Had to cut the spring pocket on frame to make way for the bags (I cleaned them up after test fitting, but forgot to take pictures):



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post #4 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Jim
 
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Re: 66 - Shakie

Back together to spindle and caliper bracket:



Brakes and starting rear suspension:
Finished the front end except brake lines:
Blue looks lighter than it is




And started on the rear.
Grinded frame and suspension mounting points and sprayed metal prep:



Undercoating:


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post #5 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Jim
 
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Re: 66 - Shakie

Stock rear control arms:


New airbag mount (Attached to rear end):


After removing the rear upper control arms, I found the bushings that are in the rear end for the upper rear control arms were toast. Needed to remove them. Watched a couple videos...tried...failed. Luckily I have a lot of air tools. Here is the aftermath:



Got the rear end bushings done, which allowed me to complete the rear upper control arms. My stainless rear brake lines came, so I was able to get those in as well. I went stainless for the rears for a couple reasons. 1 - who doesn't like stainless? 2 - Because I can order the pre-bents ones for the rear. Since I am changing the master cylinder and adding proportioning valve, no one really makes a Wilwood - stock location lines so I have to bend my own. Since I've never done that before, I figured I'd do the fronts with regular brake lines to get the hang of it and go back with stainless later as I hear it's harder to bend and flare. Also ran the air lines for the bags. And some more rust-proofing and undercoating. So the suspension is all done except mounting the tank, compressors, ECU, controller, and doing the wiring. That is a lot like audio work I used to do for a living, so I'm not concerned about that at all. And the brakes are finished except bleeding. I am concerned about that as I've never made brake lines before and I am sure 90% of them will leak. Pictures:

Master cylinder and lines. I'm not too happy about the middle line, so I'll probably change the routing when I go stainless:


More of the lines:


Line across cross-member:


Stainless rear brake lines (front to rear and across rear end to each brake):

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post #6 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Jim
 
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Re: 66 - Shakie

Undercoating:


The "ONLY" stuff left...LOL:


More updates to come as I complete stuff. Will probably be a week before I get back to working on anything.
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post #7 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Jim
 
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Re: 66 - Shakie

Next update:
So I have mixed feelings about how the progress is going. We'll start with the update.

Got the compressors, tank, and stuff test-mounted and installed:



Got RideTech wired and calibrated. Is this too low?









Can't see, but the header actually sits on the ground. Had to change settings a little bit to have the parking height up a little bit



So I know this all sounds good. And I am SUPER happy about that part. Here's my bigger problem. I got to bench bleeding the Wilwood master cylinder. Their install instructions are poor. So after bench bleeding, I had to take it out of the vice and move it to the car and plumb it...all while brake fluid was leaking from the cylinder. Now this doesn't just mean bolting it to the firewall. That means plumbing it to the proportioning valve. Not a big deal, but fluid was going everywhere. I did that, but also leave it a little loose so I could attach the plunger to the brake pedal. Doing that requires move the plunger and actuating the master cylinder. Which wouldn't be a big deal, except for this:



Notice something wrong with the flare? Bad flare which leaked BAD while I was getting the master cylinder in place. GRRR...I paid extra to get stainless lines. I was concerned with the brake lines I made and flared would leak, but as it turns out, those aren't the ones that leaked...the ones I bought from OPGI did.

So I called OPGI. The guy was cool after I sent a picture and said he would send a replacement. He called a little after and said he checked their other one and it had the same problem. Although I was pissed, I think it's cool that he checked before sending me bad lines again. But that was their last set of stainless, so he's refunding the difference and sending me normal ones. He checked those and their fine. What I am most frustrated about is that I could've driven the car this weekend, but now I have to wait for the new line. Guess I should've made ALL my own lines.

Sorry that the pictures aren't great...I couldn't move it out of the garage to take good shots at ride height, parked height and max. And I can't give an opinion of useability of the RideTech Level II airbag suspension yet. I need to fully test.

More updates hopefully soon.
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post #8 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 66 - Shakie

Next one:

Finally got the Chevelle running (well, more importantly stopping) under it's own power. I've had it done for a while, but the weather hasn't been good to take her out, or I've been traveling. At any rate, here's a minor update. Got the new brake line for the rear installed, bled the brakes and did some other minor stuff. Took it out today and cleaned her off here's some pics.

Low as she'll go:









Next up is the interior. I have Corbeau seats, RideTech Tiger Cage, new carpet, American Autowire, Guard Dawg keyless ignition, Dynamat, AutoMeter Carbon Fiber guagues and 5pt harnesses. Just need to order dash panel from ABC Performance, Steering column (any suggestions?), door cards and headliner. Then striup it all, have the interior painted and start adding parts. Hopefully start all that next month.


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post #9 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 66 - Shakie

Small update today. Been driving the car here and there as I was hoping to before major sections of the build. A small issue came up a couple times with the airbag setup. I am relying on the pressure in each bag and the ECU from Ridetech to determine ride height and the height at start-up and predetermined settings (lowest parking height, ride-height and highest height). Unfortunately, the ride height at startup seems to vary...the amount of pressure in each bag is getting to the right psi, but the actual height of the car was different sometimes. Kinda weird, but I can kinda understand it. So I ordered a set of Ridetech's height sensors, which are mechanical sensors that provide a voltage reading to the ECU depending on what the sensor is reading. Those will go on next.

In the mean time, I've been working on the undercarriage a bit. Now keep in mind that this is and will not be a trailer queen, super show car. I am building a nice car that handles, stops, accelerates well that looks good, but I won't be afraid to run on something like the HotRod Power Tour. I don't want to have to worry about a rock bouncing up and scratching the undercarriage, etc. So with that, I'm just kind grinding down most of the surface rust on the bottom, cleaning it up, spraying rust-reformer and then rubberized undercoating.

Pics:
Before:






After rust-reformer, but before rubberized undercoating:
Still need another coat to get everything covered


Looks like I have some holes to weld up and then also fill the holes for the seats that the previous owner put in.


Getting there


More pictures after the rubberized undercoating on...
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post #10 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 66 - Shakie

Next:

Finally got some pictures uploaded after undercoating.

Underside looking much better:








Added the ride height sensors. Still need to re-calibrate, but so far it's working well.






Finally, working with ABC Performance to build a new dash. I sent my specs and some details. He sent me a picture of one he had done before. I modified it and sent what I needed changed. You can see my changes by looking at the horrible photoshop'd stuff. I moved the starter button to the gauge panel under the water temp gauge. Putting (8) switches to the right of the steering column. Building out the section for the Vintage Air control panel. Using the same vents for air as in the picture. I am using the exact same gauges (coincidence). Adding one more LED between speedo and tach for check engine light when I put LS in. Then adding vents for air above the radio.



Super excited to get the dash back so I can have the interior painted and put the roll cage, gauges, carpet seats and new wiring in.
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post #11 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 66 - Shakie

And now we're up to speed. I currently have a March serpentine kit installed, but ordered the wrong electric fans. Once I get that buttoned up, I'll get more pics posted.
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post #12 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 1:08 PM
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Re: 66 - Shakie

Nice looking car. Looks like a lot of fun. Keep the updates rolling.

72 Chevelle, 454, TH400, 3:73's

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post #13 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 1:35 PM
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Re: 66 - Shakie

I don't know about the 10 footer statement, the car looks pretty damn good to me Jim!! I look forward to your updates and I think it's great you are building it with your son

Mike

Mike
66 Chevelle Pro Touring build in progress


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post #14 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 4:05 PM Thread Starter
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Jim
 
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Re: 66 - Shakie

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72SS454Chevelle View Post
Nice looking car. Looks like a lot of fun. Keep the updates rolling.
Thank you sir. Will update as often as I can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike McMasters View Post
I don't know about the 10 footer statement, the car looks pretty damn good to me Jim!! I look forward to your updates and I think it's great you are building it with your son

Mike
Thank you Mike. I've read through your build thread as well. TREMENDOUS car.
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post #15 of 129 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 15, 6:30 PM
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Re: 66 - Shakie

Nice car, I love the color. I love how low you can drop it with the air ride suspension.
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