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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Here's my two cents (and you're welcome to put the two cents towards the purchase of your car) and please don't take this the wrong way: I'm not an engineer but I work with plenty of them. If you are a mechanical engineer with zero mechanic experience, it will drive you bonkers to try to rebuild an old car. Most engineers I know see the world in black and white - "the drawing says part A attaches to part B". In the real world, part A should attach to part B easily, but it never does. You'll have to figure out how to get it to attach. As my wife says, " Why do you work on that old car when you get so frustrated every time?" And my answer always is "Because I love to!" There is nothing more satisfying that when working on a car, you have to run back and forth to the parts house because they gave you the wrong part, then you find out you don't have the right tool so you have to either find someone to borrow one from or buy a new one, you bust a few knuckles trying to put it on, only to have it leak so you have to take it back off and modify it, and then several hours (or days) after what should have take a few minutes, you get to hear that engine fire up.

My suggestion - buy a running car. Drive it so you can enjoy it now. Read everything you can about cars so you can learn about how cars work. Figure out what you really want to do to it, and how much you can realistically spend, then slowly do what you have planned to it and make it your car. Being able to drive it will keep you interested. If you buy a non-running car that may take several years to get running you could easily lose interest or get tired of putting money in it without enjoying it. And if you sell it before it's finished you won't get near what you have invested in it. Plus having a running car may get your wife and kids interested in helping! My wife is definitely not a car person, but she loves my Chevelle. When we're out riding in it she's waving at everyone like we're in a parade.

Good luck and keep us posted!
Yes I鈥檝e worked with plenty of engineers like that too. Fortunately I鈥檓 in the 50% of engineers who like to get their hands dirty. Grew up on a farm, spent plenty of time around tractors. I鈥檝e fixed/upgraded/remodeled just about everything in 3 different houses. I鈥檓 a gunsmith, blacksmith, luthier, electrician and electronics tech. So while I don鈥檛 know cars/engines much鈥 I can learn. I have no doubts.

But your point about buying one that runs is solid, completely agree. Same with body work and rust. I鈥檓 not interested in that鈥 just want to work on the mechanical parts of the car, engine, transmission, etc.

One of the things I love about fixing/repairing/upgrading guitars and amps is playing them and hearing/feeling the effects of my work. I suspect working on cars would be similar if not more satisfying.
 

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He's getting it guys...slow but we are steering him in the right direction...LOL
As a Combat engineer Black and white is the only way to see things...However that's why I like to get back to reality and confuse myself working on old metal where it should be there... or line up. But it isn't What The...&%^$#@$%^*!!! then when I cool down and have it figured out I remember I too have a brain... LOL
 
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Will be cheaper to find a nice already built one. Cost to rebuild/ restore will be high.

You could build your own engine once you purchase a car. I had more satisfaction building my engine then my car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Most automatic Chevelles seem to have 2 or 3 speed either powerglides or th350/400s. But neither have an overdrive. Seems to me a 700r4 would be a better choice if it ever got out on the highway or interstate. What do most people put in for a non-drag/racing transmission?
 

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I put in a 5.3 liter with a 4L60e, drive by wire. That gets a guy virtually free cruise control to boot.
 
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