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'69 Chevelle - Project TIMACHN

24536 Views 60 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  peter123wallace
First, this is going to be the longest (time wise, not post wise) pro-touring build maybe on the planet. I dont have the funds to just do EVERYTHING I WANT to do right now so Im going to drive, tinker, drive, tinker then eventually REDO (I believe the term Pro-Tinker is best used here - thank you Sieg!). My plan is to start with the interior and get that updated. Then move onto suspension. Then Drivetrain. Then body off overhaul. FYI, I paid $13k for the car and didnt see it before I paid for it. Lesson learned. BTW, buddies in college used to call my old ride the time machine because everytime they would ride in it after hitting the pubs all night they would lose a couple hours and somehow end up at home :)

And please - call me Bart.

Here it is as it sat at the sellers house in May.

Specs are as follows -
396 60 over 9.6:1
roller hydraulic valvetrain
Ported and Balanced and Blueprinted
Keith Black Pistons
Edlebrock Performer RPM 8.5cfm
Edlebrock Pro 2.0 intake
Accel Performance Distributor
Accel Hi Temp Spiral Core Plug Wires
Headman ceramic coated headers
Flowmaster 50 series Dual 3" mufflers
MSD Igintion system
Holley Performance Fuel System
Camaro Power Steering System
Hurst Shifter
4" Cowl Fiberglass hood with locking pins
Doug Nash Ent. hybridized Super T10 close ratio
Centerforce Dual Friction Clutch
12 Bolt real axle
Clutch type posi w/3.31 gears
Custom Driveshaft
Hotchkis Rear 4 Link with Drag Bags
All new bushings, seals, lines throughout
All new brakes, Discs in front, Drum in rear

And then the fun begins -

So I started doing things to my car recently. Here's some pics of the bull**** Im going to have to fix someday. I ordered some vinyl for the dash and a-pillars. And started tearing plastics off to paint them. Just picking away, here and there.
Why is there a camaro wheel on my column?

What once was blue and then was black is now blue again with a little degreaser. Not going to stay blue.

(A few weeks ago) And now for the WTF moment of the day! - I was taking some friends for a ride when I noticed it was unusally hot in the car. So I reached down to the floor to feel HOT air coming through the carpet seam. Like blow dryer hot. So I pulled the carpet up a couple days later to find this hack job (less the silicone and marine epoxy). The "patch panel" had pulled all of the self tappers out and was letting HOT air come up through. So I bought bigger self tappers, some marine grade epoxy, and a tube of trusty silicone and made a semi permanent (at least until it happens again or I can afford the body off resto) fix to it. Now no more heat! Make no mistake - I KNOW THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT but it is the way to do it RIGHT NOW. This will be fixed the right away at a later date when I do full rebuild.

Duplicolored the license plate bracket - it was a rusty piece but I sand blasted, rust inhibited, then duplicolored it.

Whats behind the glove box? A bunch of old nasty firewall insulation and some wires for whatever the hell, going to need to trace those out -

And now Im going to start painting things on the inside. I already did those blue kick panels black with SEM (stuff is awesome). I've decided to paint the metal parts Ultra Silver Metallic and keep the rest of the black stuff black. Im going to cover the dash and A pillars in Whisper Vinyl black. Eventually, I'll do custom door panels with silver suede inserts (probably this winter as Id like to complete a custom center console at the same time).
Needs cleared yet -
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Pic is dark but I reinstalled the kicks - I'll get better pics when its light out

And this last weekend -
Doing more things on the car -
Remember those blue kick panels from above?

Painted Cluster carrier - did not smooth. Too many broken mounting tabs to want to put work into the panel other than paint. Its black but the sun makes it look lighter.

Got the metal part of the dash painted Ultra Silver Metallic. Just need wifey to stitch up the leather dash pad cover and start reassembling.

Also started polishing the dash trim piece. I highly recommend the Dremel polishing kit for these smaller pieces. YOu can see in the pic the part that is polished and the part I havent hit yet.

More to come this weekend - installing the 3 point belts as well as reinstalling the dash, upgrading lighting to ultra bright LEDs, rebuilding and cleaning cluster. This should hold me over til winter (probably not).
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Looks like you're having a good go of it! Keep it up, lookin' good!
There are plenty of long builds, mine is on hold until next summer if it makes you feel any better. Looks like a decent car to start with overall, should be a good project.

You're off to a good start. If it makes you feel any better, the pro-touring build on my '64 SS is pushing 16 years and counting.
Nice car. What colour is this?
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Candy Apple Red Metallic with original blue underneat (ask me how I know - facepalm).
Not much more to update here.
I sanded and polished the lens for the gauge panel

After and mounted into freshly painted carrier

Covered the a-pillars in Whisper Vinyl

And mounted license plate

Just waiting on stitched dash pad cover to return from upholstery shop and will finish assembling interior
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I have since installed 3 point seat belts. and reinstalled the a-pillars and dash board uncovered. I cant get the dash pad into the upholsterers until the 12th. So once thats done I'll slap the dash back on and take some shots. I did however, color match the tired old pitted tail light bezels and polished the plastic. Not sure if I like it yet or not.....or if I do like it should I repaint the black inside of the bezel or not.

Color Matched


Progress is slow on this car - Im too busy driving it to work on it. And heres a pic for photography buffs (shot with Canon T3i)
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the color matched bezels don't look quite right IMO, but whatever works for you. Don't think I would do it on my own car.
the color matched bezels don't look quite right IMO, but whatever works for you. Don't think I would do it on my own car.
I imagine most of the replies here will be of that nature. Whilst Im still on the fence about it being permanent - it is better than looking at pitted bezels with faded almost non-existent black.
I imagine most of the replies here will be of that nature. Whilst Im still on the fence about it being permanent - it is better than looking at pitted bezels with faded almost non-existent black.
no doubt about faded and pitted. I'd like to reuse my originals someday when I put my car back together but they are pretty much in the same boat. I've always been curious how to restore the chrome look to the plastic without having to get the piece rechromed. the flat black should be fairly easy to fix up.
no doubt about faded and pitted. I'd like to reuse my originals someday when I put my car back together but they are pretty much in the same boat. I've always been curious how to restore the chrome look to the plastic without having to get the piece rechromed. the flat black should be fairly easy to fix up.
Yours are plastic?

Mine are die cast. Very heavy pieces.
I guess I don't know what I'm talking about. :clonk: There haven't been tail lights on the car for nearly 20 years.
So I thought I would share my most recent work on the car even though I dont have any pictures to back it up.

I needed to change out the heater core (it gets cold here and I want to still drive my car). This requires removal of the passenger side inner fender. Pretty much all but 2 of the bolts holding the inner fender on were spinning freely. The j-clips had broken. So I had 2 choices - cut the inner fender or cut the heads off the bolts - the inner fenders were rusted anyways so I cut them out and removed the rest of the j-clips with vice grips and patience.

I purchased repop thinner than original inner fenders from Tamrazs parts on ebay (you call them cheap knock offs - I call them weight savers). These inner fenders fit VERY well. Only the 2 upper holes that attach the inner fender to the outer fender in the top of well didnt align. After loosening up some bolts and lowering the car back down on its own weight I got them to align as well. So for anyone nervous about these cheap repops, dont be.

Observations - When I loosened the bolts holding the driver inner fender I heard lots of creaking and popping. I am actually nervous about how flexible the frame of the car is. It actually makes me want to boot my wife out of the garage for permanent so I can get the car down to the frame and get it stiffened up.

Taking these inner fenders out also revealed how badly rotted the core support is. Yet another thing I must replace this is a bolt on piece right? No welding?)
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core support is a bolt on piece. save the washers! but get new bushings and bolts for it.
That creaking could be caused by old body bushings, unless your frame is visbily rotted out its doubtful that its the problem. Anyone that has had the body of the frame will know just how flimsy the factory frame actually is.

My bushings all looked to be great, but once I lifted the f body off the frame, and handled them it was obvious they had become quite soft and gummy. My car no longer creaks pulling into parking lots etc. It was the flex in the old bushings...
I will replace the body bushings this winter. along with the front suspension bushings. And the core support. and hopefully the window hardware. and maybe the window seals............and ect ect ect.

The frame is undoubtedly weak. When jacking up the passenger side of the car, I went as high as I could. This caused the bumper to touch the fender on the drivers side. This was probably caused by weak frame coupled with rotten core support. The frame seems solid, just a weak design.
Hey folks. I just ordered a slew of parts for the ride. Only a couple frilley pieces that you will actually see. Most of them are functional parts. The list is as follows -

New 140amp Alternator. The current 63amp isnt powerful enough to run the car when I mash the pedal.
New core support. Current one is rusted out.
New polyurethane front suspension bushings.
New polyurethane body mount bushings.
New 2" lowering tall spindles with all new bearings.
2" Rear lowering springs.
4 new sealed beam conversion headlights with relay harness. I will be converting the low beams to HiDs with projectors for more BRIGHT.
New steering wheel.

Time to get work I guess.
Update: So I strayed from my original path of just replacing the core support and cleaning up the front suspension with some powder coat and new bushings. Whilst I did replace the core support, I also replaced the A-Arms and springs in the front, new alternator, lower alternator bracket (was missing), new CPP 3" springs in back, body bushings, and seats.

4/15/13 - Everything removed from drivers side. Gonna clean up the frame and paint before putting new stuff on.

Gross old stuff on the ground. It was at this point I decided to buy all new stuffs. I waffled a bit. But I got really frustrated with trying to remove the old bushings, so I chucked the a-arm and hit up ebay.

Rats nest behind the firewall. This is how it came to me. Its the horn relay (life of the car apparently) and the voltage regulator. 2 things that are curious about the factory build/wiring. 1.) The horn relay needs constant 12v power. Without it the car has absolutely 0 power. None. Cant even turn it over. 2.) All of the passenger side wires run in front of the core support on the outside of the car. I believe all of the wires were run and the connectors put on after that. Because I could not pull them back through - the connectors were too big. I had to cut 5 wires and put them back to together as a semi temporary fix.

4/19/13 - Grille, headlights,header panel, ect removed

Still 4/19/13 - Everything is off. Reassembly can begin.

4/30/13 - New A-Arms with Energy Suspension Bushings and Proforged ball joints with Hotchikis 2" drop springs. Im impressed the sway bar link are roto-joints. Not bad for cheap a-arms. .

*Disclaimer - I really really wanted UMIs with tall BJs but the coin wasnt there and I wanted to stretch my buck a bit further. So I bought these CPP A-arms for $279 shipped. I bought the Proforged BJs at the same time with the intention of swapping them out immediately. When the arms arrived, I disassembled them and installed the new bushings and ball joints. I also painted them silver - just because. What I did leave however, is the sway bar end links. The lower connection is a roto-joint as opposed to the OG bushing method.

Still 4/30/13 - Caliper bracket - steering linkage shot

5/4/13 - Painted new core support to install.

Another shot of some more stuff installed. Also, some wires just hanging around.
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