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Blown73's 1967 SS build

43986 Views 133 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  62 NovaWagon
Well, at long last, I have decided to start the build thread for my 67. I have always wanted a 1967 nova, so when the time came when I could actually afford to spend some money on a car, I started my search. I really didn't have a whole lot of requirements for the car, for the main reason that I enjoy the challenge of learning new things with cars.

First off, this isn't a professional build. I will show you the good bad and ugly of whatever I do. I am doing this thread for 2 reasons. 1. Track the build for myself and friends to follow. 2. For the fine folks of where I have enjoyed learning from other builds on this website (johns 66 is a great inspiration for me) and I am hoping maybe I can help someone else with theirs. Knowing that, lets move on....

So, I am looking for cars. I find cars in all shapes. I figured I can spend 4k for the car. The search ensues on craigslist locally, and eBay. After about 6 months of being out bid, too late, or someone over-valuing their car, I found the car I was looking for. It was a 67 SS, no motor, trans, rust bucket. I knew it was the one for what I was going to do. No motor? Who cares? I want to go LS anyways. No trans? Same thing, 5 speed is where this is heading. Bodywork? Well, I did the body work on my 73, and that seemed to work out pretty well for me. I have never replaced full panels, and for some ungodly reason, I wanted to learn. So, heck, why not. I make a deal with the guy for the car to buy it for 3k. Not bad for an SS I suppose. It cost me 750 to ship the car from Ohio to California, putting me right there to my budget. This is what I picked up:

I'm sure you are thinking, WTF is wrong with Jeff? Well, a lot, but still.

Heres some more:

So, there is a start. The car came home on 9/17/2010.

More to come, but I am out of time for the moment!
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Looks like it's going to be quite a learning curve, good luck looking forward to seeing the progress..:thumbsup::beers:
I am curious why you didn't hop on I-5 and head south to at least Stockton and look around the area for a rust free car; but you did say you wanted to become an expert at body work. I think by the time you hit this one with a coat of paint you will be.

Big Dave
Thanks Art & Dave.

Here we go for round 2. This will be a fast forward to get us up to body panels. I have been busy at work and in life in general, so I have not been able to put the time in that I would like to, which is why I have delayed putting up the build thread.

First, we had to see what I got myself into. I started pulling everything that was rotted from the car. I enlisted the help of my neighbors son, AJ. He was very interested in cars (his Dad and Grandfather are also car nuts)

On a side note, I was also working on a rotisserie for the car. At this moment, I can't find one, so we will just fast forward to the disassembled car, built rotisserie, and car on rotisserie. Lets start cooking a car!

Up on the rotisserie, I started by taking some measurements that would be helpful in relating what I am putting back on to what I took off. From there, the first order of business was removing anything that wasn't needed.

As you can see, it is still pretty rough, but progress is progress.

After the measurements, I braced the inside of the car, with the hope that it would be square when all is said and done.

Then, start cutting!

That's it for the moment. I have 3 years to catch up on here, so it may take a few days to get us all caught up.
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WOW, I would never even think about tackling something like that.:eek::eek:
I will agree 100% that this car should be in a junkyard. But, I have a soft heart for lost causes.

Lets keep going for a little afternoon update.

Once I got all of the 1/4 panel parts off, I started looking into paint/rust removal. (there was a post long ago about it) I was leaning towards acid dipping, but was worried that there would be some residual acid would come through the paint (in the very distant future). So, I found a guy locally who would come out and soda blast the car. Much easier than transporting the car to the bay area (3+ hrs) to be dipped, and he was very reasonable.

One heck of a machine!

Lucy was pretty curious as to what was going on here.

Blasting away. Word of advice: the soda doesnt clean up as well as you would think.

Original writing from the factory...

he is inspecting his work!

lots of dust is created by this, but we contained it pretty well with a hose and sprinkler on the outside to keep complaints down from the neighbors.

From there, it is back to figuring out what I got myself into with this car....

Originally, I figured quarters, fenders, doors, etc. As this has evolved, I will have replaced every body panel on the car by the time it is complete. I hadn't anticipated replacing the rocker panels, but once the quarters were removed, I found more and more reasons to replace them. For example:

So hey, why not? I am this far into it and I am only doing this once on the car. I ordered up 2 rocker panels and started cutting out the spot welds. Let me tell you something though, there are 168 spot welds on one side. These hold the inner support to the rocker, as well as the rocker to the car. I should have bought stock in blair spot weld tools.

I will be coating all concealed spaces with POR 15, so, that is what you will be seeing on the car.

I also had to replace the lower portion of the outer wheel house. I had high hopes of making these pieces, but they were 50 bucks each, I figured that my time into it would have been far more than that, so I bought new outer wheel houses and cut them to fit.

From there, everything was coated in POR 15, and ready to be covered up.

I am uploading photos, so that may have to be the next post.

More to come...
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I have only one word to say Viper!

Of course being a turn key 100% reproduction car you don't get to do any body work (unless you count installing door panels and door knobs as body work).

Big Dave
Cut me a check for it and I am all over it Dave. Unfortunately, I am not independently wealthy. So, this is what I have.

For me, it is relaxing. I don't have a time line to be done with the car, I just enjoy doing it.

Stop being so negative. :)
Keep your head up once done everybody will want you to do there car lol.
Lets keep going. Pictures of the wheel house fix as promised:




Once everything is cut out and ready for new panels, I started to do mock ups. I cannot count the amount of times that I have put the panels on and taken them off.

But, I am at a point where I am happy with what I have:

There was a long time where I did not work on the car "physically" but I was working on dialing in what goes under the car. I found that the further I got into the body work, the more I needed to figure out the suspension of the car so it can all be incorporated. I looked at probably every available front and rear suspension options for a 67 Nova, asking questions along the way to any vendor that would give me the time of day. I toured 2 shops, and ended up in Sacramento one day and stopped in at Chris Alston's Chassisworks.

If you are unfamiliar with Chris Alston's Chassisworks, you should look them up. I was talking with Mike in the sales department trying to figure out what combination was best for the front and rear of a 67 Nova. He looks at me with a puzzled look on his face, and says "if you are going that far, why not just put a full frame under it?" Mind=blown. I had thought of that, but didn't think that it all penciled out to make that work. I asked him to tell me more and ended up spending about 2 hours talking with him.

The parts that they produce are beautiful.

Fast forward through about 3 months to July of 2012. I stopped back in and this time caught up with Carl, who is just as knowledgeable as anyone when it comes to setting up a chassis. We sat down and put a budget together, (mostly him) and I left about 3 hours later this time. About 20 emails & phone calls later, I ordered the chassis in December. I picked it up in February. Talk about putting new life into my drive to get this car done!

That's it for now. More to come shortly!
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Doing a heck of a job there..:yes:
Is it too late to advise against installing a nine inch rear under it?

A 12 bolt from Moser is as strong and it is lighter as well without sacrificing any horsepower to the added friction introduced by the nine inch. I use the 12 bolt's big brother, the Dana 60, because my car is a lot heavier and powered by a big block. Even the Dana 60 is only 17 pounds heavier and a whole lot stronger. It doesn't suffer from parasitic frictional losses and is a tad cheaper when compared to the maximum effort nine bolt (throwing every after market part available at the nine inch to make it stronger, even though it is a lot weaker than the Dana which is stronger because it is bigger an heavier).

My final sales pitch for the Dana is you can tell everyone you have a ten bolt under it.

Big Dave

Are you sure you not from the south. Dryer in driveway.

This looks like some kind of park. Looks like a guard shack and welcome sign :D
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Dave - I already have a 9". Sorry to break your heart. :)

Thanks Art. It has been a long road already!

Brian - I am not from the south, however, I don't think I made any friends with the neighbors at that point. I had the 67 in the front of my house, and that dang dryer. I had it posted on CL, had a buyer, so I brought it out front to load it in their vehicle. They backed out at the last minute so it sat there for a few days.

Good thing I don't have a Home Owners Association in my Neighborhood!

The body now resides out at my parents garage, the guard shack is what used to be our play house, which is now an aviary full of doves, and a few tough cockatiels.

I am still sorting out the boxes from Chassisworks and putting parts together in my spare time.

But, lets get into the reason why we wear safety equipment. I work as a Project Manager for a Construction firm here in Chico, part of my job is to enforce the safety aspect of the work. Because of that (and common sense) I am always wearing safety glasses when I use grinders, ear protection, etc. But, sometimes the safety rules in the shop go lax, and that's when things can get bad!

First off, I was cutting the drivers side rocker panel out of the car, and had to get to the back panel, where the back seat would be and the back door panel would be. I was unable to get the drill in there with a spot weld cutter, so I spread the panel apart from the body and was using a grinder to cut the spot welds. Well, I didn't have a good grip on the grinder, it bound up, and it flew out of my hands, towards the front of the car. It hit, scared the heck out of me, blew the disk off and I grabbed it to shut it down. Lesson 1, that is probably a good time to stop.

It happened again, and this time I was less fortunate. Now, I know that shop stuff happens, I can't claim that I didn't know better, and I am the first to admit stupid hurts.

If you are not a fan of a little gruesome pictures, skip through this part...

Yes, it did not feel good, but it is a rude awakening to what can happen if you aren't safe when working in the shop.

I have another story, but I figured I don't need everyone thinking I am terribly unsafe. That was 2 years ago. I have two nice little scars on my wrist, but that's it. Pretty lucky considering I know a guy who was working on his 32 coupe and almost cut his hand off with a 7" grinder. He went through multiple surgeries to get put back together.

So, the lesson here is be safe all.

I'll save the next one for another day. :)
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Jeff, that's called $hit happens and sooner or later it happens to all of us, I have a few scars myself, LOL, :D and yes you can never be too safe...
Oh Yeah! I'll see your scar and raise you two.

Ok enough silliness. Safety isn't a laughing matter.

A friend of mine was kind enough to give me his pristine 1958 Corvette roller that he had been repainting. Seems he was under the car removing the wheels and shocks to wrap up everything before he shot the paint the following morning. But he never got to see the car finished; because he woke up blind.

Dirt and only a sliver of metal filings fell off the car into his eyes when he had been loosening the bolt that held the shock. He made the mistake of trying to rub the dirt out of his eyes with his grubby hands. Infection set in over night and his inner eye turned milky white. Since he couldn't drive without being able to see he gave the car to me.

In your particular case they make a mechanics sleeve that protects your arm from excessive heat as well as from scrapes.

Big Dave
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Could you imagine if OSHA laws applied to the home owner?
I have owend a few cockatiels and they werent really that tough but were pretty mischievous. Makes one wonder how intelligent they really are. I had 6 of them at the same time, and each one was like a little two year old child and all had very different personality's. Would I allow one in your car as you are working on it, heck no. If they wanted to they could destroy half of your interior in a hour and you wouldnt even notice. :yes:
Happy Friday!

I have been working on the frame this week. Finally got it all put together, so I thought I would share!

I have a friend coming up this weekend, hopefully we will get something done on the body so these two pieces can meet!

Have a good weekend all!
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Nice looking hardware there..:yes:
Monday Morning!

Not as much done as I was hoping to. It seems like two steps forward, one step back on this thing! I ordered some paint from Summit, POR 15 chassis coat to paint the rear end. I had a neighbor spray it, since that's what he does. Something was wrong with the paint, or maybe it was just supposed to be a sandy finish, but either way, it seemed to have some grit in the paint, and it did not come out the way I was hoping.

The stuff I used:

The filter:

I can only imagine if we didn't filter it.

Pictures don't do it justice.

So, now I get to spend my morning on customer service with Summit to see what we can do.

Other than that, some small progress on the frame:

That's it for now!
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