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My '70 SS454 build

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I've slowly been making some progress on my car and realized, even though I've posted some pictures of it on this site at random times, I don't have a specific thread showing the restoration process. Some of you have seen some of these, but others haven't. I'll post more pics later.

 

I bought it like this, on a farm near Ottawa, KS., April of 2008. It had the original paint, interior, top, and transmission, but the motor had been replaced at some time with a '71 block and '69 heads.

 

I didn't do much at all on it for the first year, but eventually I did some of the body work, got it road worthy, and drove it some, just to find out what all needed attention during the restoration. It hadn't been on the road for the past 5 years and the transmission promptly started slipping badly. I bought a book and rebuilt the TH400, then I drove it a little more.

 

Dan

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Very nice, did you ever get the numbers off the rear to see what you have?

 

Mike

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Thanks guys. Yes, I checked the axle code and the existing ratio. It still has the original 2.56:1 ratio.

 

Dan

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I blasted and painted the seat frames and springs. Installed new burlap, foam, and covers.

 

I bought new head rests, and new side and rear bolsters. The new foam and covers made a world of difference in how the seats feel.

 

Dan

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Great pictures, and how about that '57 with the continental kit, my second car was a '57 Belair 2 door hardtop. You certainly have great taste in cars!

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There seems to be a connection with obsessions of 70-72 Montes and 57 Chevrolets.

I am one of those people that has both.

 

Nice progress on the SS.

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Patrick, that '57 is our 2nd Belair 2 dr hardtop. I got my first one when I was 15, in 1975. I bought 2 identical bodies for $15, and built the best one for my high school car. I kept that one for 26 years. We also have a '57 Nomad and a '57 210 DelRay Club Coupe. It's a disease.

 

Jared, I can think of 3 other members on this forum that also have tri-fives.

 

One afternoon, after an extensive search, I finally found the build sheet for the SS, inside the rear seat, while I was taking it apart to paint the springs and install new covers.

 

The car has a good amount of options. A title search showed it was shipped from the Van Nuys, CA plant to the Leeds plant in Kansas City, MO. From there it went to the Pappas Chevrolet dealership in Kansas City, MO in June of '70. It was not sold until June of '72, and the first owner kept it until July of '95.

 

The title search was cheap and it's pretty interesting information. I encourage others to get one, if they don't have the history of their car.

 

I've restored the dash, steering column, console, shifter, pedal assemblies, etc.

 

Dan

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Like so many other SS454 Montes, the level ride system compressor and mounting brackets were missing when I got the car. Everything else for the system was still in place. I was able to buy a set of original brackets and a compressor from Germany and with parts from another compressor I bought on ebay, I was able to repair the compressor.

 

I used the original brackets as a pattern to make more sets of brackets, like the ones below, to sell and help fund the restoration.

 

Also, I bought a NOS inlet filter for the same system and without opening the package, I used it as a pattern to make filters for the same reason. That was an expensive little filter to buy! :eek:

 

A forum member that lives locally needed some of the other level ride system parts and got me started making them for others.

 

Making the die to be able to reproduce the shock protectors was one of the more interesting things I've done during this project. I made the one in the pic.

 

Dan

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Great job on the car so far and also the repro parts as well Dan. I have one of your filters and will buy another down the road sometime as a spare. smile

 

Cheers,

Larry

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Super pictures and workmanship! Keep posting these great pictures please.

Bruce

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Super pictures and workmanship! Keep posting these great pictures please.

Bruce

 

ditto Nice work!!! smile

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Thanks everyone! smile.gif

 

A couple weeks ago, I raised one side of the car up high and I've been scraping all of the undercoating I could reach from the bottom side.

 

Also, I've cleaned the inner wheel houses. The metal behind the undercoating looks real nice. Using a small propane torch to heat ahead of a putty knife helps alot.

 

Finally, today I was ready to lift the body off the frame. I jacked the body up just enough to roll the frame out the side. It was easy to do. I had time to remove all of the rear suspension and the rear axle from the frame. Also, I removed all of the steering parts and all of the front suspension on one side.

 

I'll be building a body cart and I've bent some 2" rigid conduit to bolt to the cart, so I can roll the body on its side. It'll make the final cleaning and painting of the underside much easier.

 

Dan

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Remember when I was in that stage. Scary ain't it. Brings back memories. At this point, I was "all in" and willing to whatever it took to reach the end. I give you a lot of credit attacking this restoration on your own. Bravo.

 

Keep up the pics. Glad my purchases of repro parts have gone to a good cause.

With all these tear down pics your truly the "Cannibal from Hannibal". LOL

 

Keep forging ahead………

 

DAn

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Thanks to each of you. smile.gif Dan, the only scary part is when I think about how much money it'll take to finish. Even though I've already bought quite a few parts, I still have a fair amount of things to buy.

 

I was able to work on the body cart this weekend. I finished it this morning, and I have one of the "rocker rails" finished. I designed the frames of the body cart, (the front and rear supports are separate), so I can just unbolt the casters, then bolt the rocker rails in place of them. I hope to tilt the body next weekend.

 

Dan

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Thanks to each of you. smile Dan, the only scary part is when I think about how much money it'll take to finish.

 

The accordian restoration file of receipts that I shall never total $$. LOL

Kinda don't want to know …. ever! The level of restoration Steve & I have accomplished on my car is to the point of ridiculous. But I am in the mind ….. do it once do it right.

 

Hopefully, you can save some money here and there on a few things and spread it out over time to be less painful on the pocket. That is the only reason I was able to forge forward (time).

 

Good luck my friend and don't lose sight of your vision. Sometimes its all you need to keep you moving in the right direction.

 

Dan

 

 

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Thank you, Dan. I started the restoration in '09, a year after purchase. I've spread out the cost through the years pretty well. That's the only way I can do it.

 

We still have the box of receipts from the '71 we finished in '08. There are no plans to total them. I don't want to know, and it's not likely that I'll figure up the cost of this one, either.

 

Rebuilding, owning, and driving a classic car isn't about the expenses, it's about the experiences. smile

 

Dan

 

 

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I agree with you Dan but I am curious about how much I spent on my repaint last year. I had a budget and went over by how much is what intrigues me. The money can never replace the experiences or the owning a one of the classiest cars ever made.

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