Montag, 21. Dezember 2009


This is the part they usually call the "marriage". When the engine and the chassis come together for the first time. My engine on the way back into the 'Cuda! Everything worked out really smooth, no dents and dings in the new engine-bay. We decided to mount the engine and the trans seperately as opposed to bolting them together and squeezing them both in at the same time.
A skateboard was very useful while installing the transmission, I borrowed a jack with a very narrow front end from Phil, (hope he has no objections) to lift the tranny under the car while still on the skateboard.

Engine mounted, complete with the transmission

Prepping the engine

Jackie helped with prepping the engine prior to installation. On the driver-side the enginemount is installed together with the dipstick-tube. What you can't see is that the temperature in the shop was down to two degrees celceus while we worked, up a bit from the eight below outside...
The small bracket in front of the engine mount is made for a special torque rod to keep the engine from twisting too much during acceleration - should be easier on the stock engine mounts that way.
Passenger-side engine moung installed.

Freitag, 11. Dezember 2009

Inside pads

I started to install some anti-vibration material on the floorboards. I decided against the full dynamat type of padding in favor of a more stock looking material. I thereby also hope to keep moisture out or the car, since there is no air in the crevaces of the floorboards under the padding, where a change of temperature could cause moisture.
I cut out the holes for the bodyplugs and will install those later.
Anoter piece of insulation goes under the dash. I bought it as an original repalcement mat, that looks somewhat like it's made of compressed old rags. This is one of those pieces that won't be seen later, but hopefully will add to the overall quality of the car by keeping noise and rattles away. It took me a while to figure out where exatly the padding is to be located - only after I took out the original piece, that I had luckily not thrown away yet, was I able to install the pad correctly.

The next step is to install the heaterbox...

Dienstag, 8. Dezember 2009


Finshed cleaning and restoring the heaterbox. All the metal parts were taken out, the rust removed and painted, all the foam was replaced and all the rest was cleaned up. I will see if I can also replace the vacuum lines. they dont't look bad but just in case...
One of the screws that secures the heaterbox to the firewall broke off, so I'll have to fix that somehow, other than that, it's ready to be built in.

I had to assemble some or the parts several times, as I did not recall the exact order in which they came can never take too many pictures...

Sonntag, 6. Dezember 2009

The engine is back

Jackie brought the engine back to the shop after a complete makeover. It was difficult to budge into the back of his new Galaxy Minivan. Of course we had to use a crane since the bigblock weighs more than 250 kilogramms. That is without the exhaust maifolds, waterpump, starter, carb and a few other add-ons.
A few of those parts will still need to be mounted on the block before it can be squezed into the engine bay - there's not much room to move afterwards.

Dienstag, 1. Dezember 2009

Have a seat

I test-fitted the passenger bucket seat for a little extra motivation. Will have to go back out of course, as no sound insulation or carpet is installed yet but I thought I'd take a look anyway. And have a place to rest when working :-)

The rear bench is in place as well, mostly becaus I got tired of carrying it from one shelf to another all the time among all the bits and pieces I have ready for the car.

Finally I also have the seat tracks for both front seats sorted out and working fine.

Rolling up and down

As you can tell by the slow work on this blog, I have not gotten around to wrenching very much lately. Work and family business has been keeping me occupied more than neccesary but a few days ago I got back into the shop for some quality time again.

I had been reluctant to attack the quarter windows because I could still remember the sore knuckles from taking them out. Surprisingly putting everything back together was not half as bad, I was able to squeze everything in the narrow slot between the inner and outer quarters.

Both sides are now in place, rolling up and down without effort.
The windows are still a little shaky but I suppose that will get better with all the weather sealing in place after paint.

All the internals have been cleaned, some of the lower part of the drivers side mechanism even had to be fabricated new, as there was quite a bit of rust on this spot.

Mittwoch, 4. November 2009

Wiper motor

Sparkling new addition to the engine bay. I installed the wiper motor back to it's old place again. Kind of tricky but it worked nonetheless. I suppose it's still a lot easier to do than after the engine has been installed.

More rear suspension

I connected the rear swaybar with new bushings today. Also mounted the rear shocks to the upper mounting position. Unfortunately the lower peg will not fit the lower eye of the koni adjustable shockabsorber. Will have to see how I solve that problem (either grind the peg down or make the hole bigger I guess)

Detail of the swaybar connector.

Montag, 26. Oktober 2009

Inside job

The first things went into the interior. On the driver side, the brace for the brake pedal and the steering column, gas pedal and some of the insulation inside of the firewall.
There seems to be some discoloration on the front floor, must come from the camera flash as it is not visible on the car. The shifter linkage is only partly installed. The insulation pieces come from a kit with no instruction manual so it took some trying and guessing to line up the mounting holes and fit all pieces correctly.

Sonntag, 18. Oktober 2009

Heads up

News on the enginefront. The bigblock is coming together fine, a little bit of headwork was necessary to accomodate the thicker pushrods. The heads will be painted in hemiorange as well.
Special spacers between the aluminum roller tip rocker arms had to be crafted to keep the rockers lined up correctly.

Mittwoch, 14. Oktober 2009

Taking a stand

After I don't know how long, the 'Cuda is standing on its own feet again. (I think the wheels came off sometime around may last year.) Both axles are now in place, I guess you could call it a rolling chassis, even though some of the sheetmetal is still at large. The preliminary wheels mounted at the moment are the orignial 14 inch Magnums the car was delivered with back in 1970. Wouldn't look too bad actually, if they only had some fat rubber on them and not the skinny tires they are wearing. The new fuel line is in place as well.
The blue car in the back is a Chevy Monza 2+2, a low milage barnfind aquired by a friend.

Rear axle 2

Got the rear axle in the 'Cuda. Quite an easy job really. I rolled the axle over the leaf springs on a jack and wiggled around until it was sitting in the proper position. Then tightend the u-bolts around the axle and the springs .
Installing the gas line was more of a challenge. It comes in one prebent piece but had to be massaged a little to fit well.

Mittwoch, 7. Oktober 2009

Rear Axle

I started assembling the rear axle. First things first, the renovated leaf springs are bolted to the forward mounting position. These springs are among the parts I would not have restrored a second time. It would have cost just as much or even less to buy new ones...
It's kind of a pain to tighten the screws behind the torque plate
on the spring mount.

No difference on the other side

The idea is to bring the axle over the springs, mount everything and then lift the rear of the springs up to the car. Will have to wait for some help as the 8 3/4 axle is a rather heavy piece of equipement.

Mittwoch, 30. September 2009

Front end

The front suspension is in the car. It took the help of two friends to mount the k-member with the lower control arms onto the frame, sliding the torsion bars in place. That thing was freaking heavy!

In the meantime the steering linkage is in place and bolted together as well. The red konis look good in the tubular a-arms .

Alexs '67 Camaro in the background

Freitag, 25. September 2009

Front suspension

In the quest to have the 'Cuda on its own wheels as soon as possible, I started installing the front suspension.

New tubular A-arms replace the original stamped steel versions for better and more precise handling.

The original torsion bars firmly located in the frame support, newly greased in high quality acid-free grease and waiting for the k-member.

Donnerstag, 24. September 2009

Trailer queen

The 'Cuda moved back home today. The paint shop is not finished yet but it's done on the inside and underneath. Now some technichal bits and pieces will be built in then the outside will be painted. I ecpect less collateral damage on the new bodywork that way. Modern state of the art grey undercoating was applied on the underside of the car, less flashy than having it painted but after all, the car is meant to be driven and not to be a trailer queen.

Back in its old place in the garage, the neighbors will move to another corner in the next couple of days to make some room .

Mittwoch, 23. September 2009


The heart of the 'Cuda is coming together! New bearings, new pistons, new camshaft and timing chain are in place in the old 383 block. The 0.040 oversized Keith Black pistons fit well into the newly honed cylinders.

The oil pickup was refurbished, ready to put the freshly painted oilpan back on.