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1825 Views 70 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Lcarter114
We have a 1970 Chevelle SS with the L78 396 that we are ready to have restored. The car has rust in the floor pan and a couple of bubbles on the bottom rear driver-side fender. We want the motor pulled and gone through as well as the suspension checked and a full paint job. I am looking for a shop recommendation. We are located in southwest Ohio between Columbus and Cincinnati. We talked to someone yesterday that wants to do a full frame off and completely strip the paint. We are not opposed to a full frame-off if it is necessary. We plan on driving the car and having it in a few car shows, but our primary goal is to have it in good condition so we can enjoy it and it will last another 50 years.
Any recommendations on a good shop to do the restoration as well as any to avoid? Any other suggestions on the process would be appreciated.

Thanks
Luther
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So far, the fella you talked to should remain on your list.
Yep, strip all the paint.
I was gonna sand, spot metal repairs and then shoot paint. Nope, that didn't happen.

Check this thread to see what happens when one starts digging in.

69 El Camino Quickie Paint Job
 

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We talked to someone yesterday that wants to do a full frame off and completely strip the paint.
That's because your car is showing bubbles in the paint, which is a strong indicator of rust underneath the paint. He's not going to take a chance on any more hidden rust (not causing a bubble today - but maybe showing up soon) ruining his fresh paint job, so the best thing to do would be to strip all the paint off the car so he can find and eliminate any other hidden rust.
Be prepared to spend a lot, but your ride is worth it!
 
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Ya beat me, Pugs!!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's because your car is showing bubbles in the paint, which is a strong indicator of rust underneath the paint. He's not going to take a chance on any more hidden rust (not causing a bubble today - but maybe showing up soon) ruining his fresh paint job, so the best thing to do would be to strip all the paint off the car so he can find and eliminate any other hidden rust.
Be prepared to spend a lot, but your ride is worth it!
We are prepared but really weren't. I think the price tag of the restoration is going to be more than the car can sell for. However, Dad bought the car new in 1970 and always wanted to get it back to new condition and show it. Unfortunately, he passed before he got it done, so our goal is to get it to that point and just keep passing it down the family line. So even though financially we may spend more than it is worth to us it is definitely worth the cost.
The hard part is finding the right person to do the job right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So far, the fella you talked to should remain on your list.
Yep, strip all the paint.
I was gonna sand, spot metal repairs and then shoot paint. Nope, that didn't happen.

Check this thread to see what happens when one starts digging in.

69 El Camino Quickie Paint Job
The car was repainted in 1980 but I am still afraid of what we may find when it is stripped. I hope we don't find a bunch of filler and holes, but we want it done correctly. He is still on our list. We are trying to find someone within the next few weeks. I agree with you though, the paint should come off.

Thanks for the link and picks.
 

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Is it an SS?
If not, it's 100% certain you will spend more than it's worth.
Probably would cost more than the car would be worth even if it was an SS.

But, it will be really sweet.

Post a few pics.
 

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Excellent.
True SS is good.
If, you have a build sheet, or original bill of sale.

Do you know if it has original engine?
 

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Please do some home work if it has not already been done. Before you hand this off to any shop you should search the car for a build sheet and properly protect it. You should document all of the numbers on the motor, tranmission and differential at a minimum. Get someone local to help if needed.
If the motor is numbers matching and will require decking the block during the rebuild, you will want to understand the value loss if the original numbers are shaved off during that process.That loss alone may exceed the entire cost of the engine rebuild and beyond. Find a shop that is willing and capable to work around the deck numbers. You should also photo document the car heavily. That is a special car, please be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Excellent.
True SS is good.
If, you have a build sheet, or original bill of sale.

Do you know if it has original engine?
It is the original engine. I have a photocopy of the part of the build sheet. I am sure it is somewhere we just haven't found it yet. Dad kept all those documents but not sure where he put them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Excellent.
True SS is good.
If, you have a build sheet,
Please do some home work if it has not already been done. Before you hand this off to any shop you should search the car for a build sheet and properly protect it. You should document all of the numbers on the motor, tranmission and differential at a minimum. Get someone local to help if needed.
If the motor is numbers matching and will require decking the block during the rebuild, you will want to understand the value loss if the original numbers are shaved off during that process.That loss alone may exceed the entire cost of the engine rebuild and beyond. Find a shop that is willing and capable to work around the deck numbers. You should also photo document the car heavily. That is a special car, please be careful.
Good point. I have almost 40 pictures and plan on taking more. Thanks for the heads up on decking the block. I never thought of that.
Thanks
 

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We have a 1970 Chevelle SS with the L78 396 that we are ready to have restored. The car has rust in the floor pan and a couple of bubbles on the bottom rear driver-side fender. We want the motor pulled and gone through as well as the suspension checked and a full paint job. I am looking for a shop recommendation. We are located in southwest Ohio between Columbus and Cincinnati. We talked to someone yesterday that wants to do a full frame off and completely strip the paint. We are not opposed to a full frame-off if it is necessary. We plan on driving the car and having it in a few car shows, but our primary goal is to have it in good condition so we can enjoy it and it will last another 50 years.
Any recommendations on a good shop to do the restoration as well as any to avoid? Any other suggestions on the process would be appreciated.

Thanks
Luther
I would take this to Rick Nelson
© MuscleCar Restoration and Design, Inc.
He is a member here and a very very trustworthy guy. They are probably the foremost renowned 70 Chevelle shop in the country.
The next guy i can think of close to you is Dave Birdwell but I havent heard if he is still in the resto game.
A car like your dads is worth the $$ for a top tier restoration. Please dont get caught up by any local bodyshops claiming they can do just as good, many will replace/throw parts away and replace them with inferior Chinese catalog pieces that will devalue a rare desirable like you have.. They wont do this intentionally but because they are simply parts replacers and do not understand.
 

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"the price tag of the restoration is going to be more than the car can sell for. "

That is always the case if you can't do a lot of the work yourself. It is difficult for shops to give you a set price because it depends upon what they find when the paint is stripped.

That car looks pretty good. I would have a good detailer do paint correction and wax or ceramic coat and detail the engine compartment and drive it.
 

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I would have a good detailer do paint correction and wax or ceramic coat and detail the engine compartment and drive it.
Great thought, Bob!

How bad is the engine? OP - you say you want it pulled and gone through, but maybe a full out rebuild is not what is needed. It may be a simpler fix than that.
And you could have the floors repaired without having to get the car repainted.

Because you dad was the original owner, and it never left the family - you have the background on this car. They are only original once! (y):cool:
 

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Some marginal advice here.....as no one asked the OP what his budget is. There is absolutely no reason that the OP has to do a frame off....or anything close to it. Personally, I'd walk away from any shop that suggests that as they are clearly trying to line their own pockets at your expense.

We need more pictures.....but I assume that car hasn't seen an Ohio winter in decades. I suspect the car is in better shape than most cars that need a frame off. More pics will help. And if you can just get it running, just do so and enjoy it.

There is a nice Chevelle show the first week in August up in Strongsville, OH. It's probably 2.5 to 3.0 hours from where you are at, right off I-71. Lots of smart Chevelle folks are there every year.

I make my way into your neck of the woods a few times every year and am happy to meet up some time......to offer my two cents.

I bet this car needs some minor TLC and can be enjoyed As Is. I also bet this car does NOT need a frame off....although I reserve the right to change my mind after seeing pictures.

But don't be the idiot who spends 150K on a 75K car.
 
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We have a 1970 Chevelle SS with the L78 396 that we are ready to have restored. The car has rust in the floor pan and a couple of bubbles on the bottom rear driver-side fender.
I'm going to double down on the no need for a frame off here....upon reflecting for ten more minutes.
Old cars in Ohio that are really beat up and rusty have extensive rust around all four wheel wells, especially the two on the driver side. Rust also shows up around the front and back windows.
You likely just need floor pans, especially if the frame is in good shape. You can likely patch that fender. I don't think your car is that rough....by a long shot.
You or your family have had the car for a LONG time. If rust was a massive problem, you'd notice it by now.
Don't be so quick to start body work and even painting, IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would take this to Rick Nelson
© MuscleCar Restoration and Design, Inc.
He is a member here and a very very trustworthy guy. They are probably the foremost renowned 70 Chevelle shop in the country.
The next guy i can think of close to you is Dave Birdwell but I havent heard if he is still in the resto game.
A car like your dads is worth the $$ for a top tier restoration. Please dont get caught up by any local bodyshops claiming they can do just as good, many will replace/throw parts away and replace them with inferior Chinese catalog pieces that will devalue a rare desirable like you have.. They wont do this intentionally but because they are simply parts replacers and do not understand.
I will check them out out, thanks for the recommendation. I haven't heard of Dave Birdwell but will do some research on him too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Great thought, Bob!

How bad is the engine? OP - you say you want it pulled and gone through, but maybe a full out rebuild is not what is needed. It may be a simpler fix than that.
And you could have the floors repaired without having to get the car repainted.

Because you dad was the original owner, and it never left the family - you have the background on this car. They are only original once! (y):cool:
The car runs and drive, I have a backfire through the exhaust that I can't seem to remedy, and a pretty good oil leak out of the back of the engine (I suspect the rear main). Our thinking was if it had to come out to have the seal replaced just as well check everything out and replace what needs to be replaced as well as the oil pump and clutch. If the cylinders, rod bearings, and valve train is good I would lean to just putting it back together and not doing any extra machine work. The car has almost 91000 miles and has not had the engine gone through.
The car doesn't show it from the pictures, but there are a lot of scratches and a couple small dents that need to repaired. It was last repainted 42 year ago so we would like to have it painted and look nice for local car shows.
 
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