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Old 01-27-2013, 07:26 PM   #1
DransportGarage
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Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

It's hard to believe I've had my 3100 for almost 3 years and there's no primer shot yet, but it is what it is. Here are some "Day 1" shots:







test


There really wasn't a lot to work with here -- no trim, no wires or fusebox, no glass, no seats, no wipers, no instruments, etc. Lots of rust, but I've seen worse.

Disassembly was the first order of business. I gave my original wheels to a long time friend. The engine, trans and front axle went to Craigslist. The frame turned out to be incredible, including where I could read "back end" on the rear spring:

http://images3a.snapfish.com/2323232...3C%3B345nu0mrj

That's it for tonight. It's a start.
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
Bob's Retirement Build - My 55 TF
Bob's 700R4 Build (how-to)

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Old 01-27-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

So what are your plans?
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:19 PM   #3
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

I was going to lay out the build chronologically, but I guess I can let you in on some of the details. In a nutshell, it's going to be a casual hot rod. My wife actually bought the truck, and it's hers. It has a fatman front end, '69 Nova 4:11 posi, shaved firewall, 4-wheel power discs, 700R4, clipster/Patroit headers, stainless Pypes exhaust, 383 stroker (ported, balanced, 1.5/1.6 rockers, Comp Extreme Energy cam, the usual stuff). 11-speaker sound system (JL, Polk, etc.) with equalizer/center channel, DVD and rear view camera. Vintage Air. Fair bunch of fiberglass work inside. Been lowered about 8", I guess. As I tell people who see the truck for the first time, it doesn't have a lot of truck parts.

It also has 2003 Astro van buckets, C5 Vette taillights, frenched antenna, shaved drip rails, Mustang gas tank, American Auto Wire, but nothing too exotic. The interior looks too much like Ogre's (place Ogre smiley face here), but it's at least a little different. When I get a few minutes I'll continue the saga...
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
Bob's Retirement Build - My 55 TF
Bob's 700R4 Build (how-to)

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:46 AM   #4
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Sounds like a great build.
Be sure and post lots of pics.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:18 PM   #5
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Well, I'm as bad about putting this thread together as I am about working on the truck. I did finally get all of my pics over to Snapfish, so here goes.

One of the first things I did was take the truck apart and and attack the cancer in the cab, and there was plenty. I suppose I'll let the pictures do a little bit of the talking since you guys/gals love pics:

...getting the patient ready for the "operating table" (rotisserie):


How about this for creativity! (No, that's not my work. That's how it came.)






...and the other side, going together:


Rust pretty much everywhere:


The driprails have been eliminated since only about half of them survived the last half of the last century...


Replacing more rust. As you can see, this is a real rescue of a truck on life support!


More surgery. Can you tell this is a hobby for me?


Finally, some results!


And we'll throw in some easy stuff...


...but I just couldn't stay away from the REAL fun!


Here I am, trying to find good metal:


Overall, things are coming out fairly well.




If I have concerns at all, its because I won't be able to seal a lot of the welds from the back.
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:47 PM   #6
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

The cowl and firewall were in poor shape as well, so I just started hacking at the eaten up parts:






The other side was similar, but worse. Even the bolt pad had rusted away from the cowl:




I'm not too worried about the secondary sheet metal underneath the cowl (in front of the dash) because I'll be eliminating the cowl vent and sealing off the entire area.

The lip on the firewall was so swiss-cheesed (is that a word?) -- along with an abundance of extra holes -- that I decided to shave the whole thing:


It would have been nice to have something to weld to...


...but I managed...




At least I'm getting better at welding up holes.


The fenders didn't look bad from a rust standpoint, but someone had capped them and had put new faces on them below the headlights and they were unbelieveably crooked. They went down the road. Thankfully, a friend of mine had a great set of fenders and I bought those. I also ran into a set of fiberglass rear fenders on CL, so those problems are behind me.
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
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Bob's 700R4 Build (how-to)
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:10 PM   #7
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

The bed left quite a bit to be desired...


There was no wood, and the few bed strips that made the trip home were rusted pretzels. Thank goodness for Mar-K. The wood is red oak stained to a walnut and the strips are polished stainless. I don't seem to have any pics of that, but they'll show up in the finished work in a few years.

I have to have a little traction, so the bedsides got the tub treatment. As you can see under the plastic, the '69 Nova rear end is installed and the 4-wheel discs are in place.




I'll be moving the original springs inboard later, directly under the frame rails to make room for bigger meats.

I got the tailpan from Mar-K as well, and decided to put C5 Corvette tail lights in. Here are the pockets I made, and the final assembly:










Because of my low skill level I put a few hours into this fiasco.

Well, more later. The wife just drove in and my honeydews have been neglected...
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:51 PM   #8
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

lot of work. She's looking good . Like the tail lights. Rich
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:17 PM   #9
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Looking real good..
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:49 PM   #10
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Thanks Kim & Baldeagle. As we all know, you don't get anything out if you don't put the effort in. I'm really glad the rough body work is almost behind me.
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:10 PM   #11
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

The doors were in sad shape as well. Needed a little "finesse":








How did this happen?




Well, you get the idea. So I continued to improve my welding skills. I really shouldn't have waited until I was 58 to buy this mig welder. Maybe I would have been good at this by now...






Somebody really should have taken the stick welder and drill away from the previous owner! He even had to write the year of the truck on the door so he could remember what he was working on.


While I was at it I thought I would round the door corners as well:


That's it for now. If I saved these doors you can imagine what the fenders were like. Did I mention that I haven't exactly thanked my wife for buying this truck? Oh well, it's Valentine's Day, so I'll behave.
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
Bob's Retirement Build - My 55 TF
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:51 PM   #12
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Nice work your doing,Keep up the posting- I can't wait to see this truck when your done.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:04 AM   #13
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Your really bringing this one back from the dead. It's looking really good.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:44 AM   #14
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Quote:
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Nice work your doing,Keep up the posting- I can't wait to see this truck when your done.

Thanks, Indian. That last part is exactly what I say every night when I leave the garage!
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:46 AM   #15
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Quote:
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Your really bringing this one back from the dead. It's looking really good.
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Thanks Wheelie. I'm trying to be ready to sandblast when the weather breaks here in Ohio. Once the primer hits I'll feel like I'm making progress.
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:02 AM   #16
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Fortunately, the frame is in a lot better condition than the body. Here I am, doing a little frame surgery prior to boxing the front:


You can use a 6"-wide plate in 1 piece to do the box in the front:


The box is important for rigidity when you put in the IRS. Just be ready to do some long trims. I use the 3" cutting wheel probably a lot more than most folks.


I sure would like to have a plasma cutter, but my torch had to do the job for the IRS C-notch:


Came out pretty nice after adding a little finesse:
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:24 AM   #17
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

At some point last year I took a break from the carnage to do the stroker. Here's the block & crank. The assembly was balanced, of course.


...and the heads. They came out great! I've got a buddy in Centerville, OH that does them for me. He's got 3 milling machines and 2 valve grinders -- and tons of other equipment in a 2-car garage up there. I port them first as best I can, under his guidance. Then he flows them on his flow bench and tweaks them up. These also are cc'ed, have new guides, seats, valves and springs. Old school 461 hump 202s. Compression ratio right at 9.5. Cam is a Comp Extreme Energy. I'm hoping for about 400 hp with just an Edelbrock 1406 carb and performer manifold.


...doin' a little port matching...


...and degreeing in the cam. The stick ended up being advanced 4 degrees. Don't laugh at my ancient dial indicator. It's older than I am, but in better shape!


Gotta have pistons. Just the basics -- Eagle rods and Speed Pros. We're on a budget, y'know.


She's in a dusty bag right now, sitting on the engine stand waiting patiently.

The trans is done too, as those of you have seen my trans thread know. This will give you a peek at the color of the truck too:


That's it for now. Time for breakfast.
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:55 AM   #18
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Nice work so far. Keeping an eye on this.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:17 AM   #19
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

The rough-in for the A/C went pretty well. I tucked the evaporator as far up under the dash as I could. Here are a few pics of how I ran the lines thru the cowl and outside the inner fender:








It should be pretty when it's all installed...
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
Bob's Retirement Build - My 55 TF
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:44 PM   #20
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Looking real nice Bob.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:50 PM   #21
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

I followed blackdiesel's lead on putting in the 1-piece windows. Then I followed up with power windows. The writeup is in his thread, posts 206-209. I thought it would be best to give the link since it contains bd's great info on windows:

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...56#post5787956

The bearclaws and power door locks were next, and are covered in britnjc's thread, post #37. Once again, I'll give the link so additional info from others can be enjoyed.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...=403491&page=2
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
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Bob's 700R4 Build (how-to)
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:07 PM   #22
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Bob,

What IS that color code?
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:11 PM   #23
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Quote:
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Bob,

What IS that color code?
It's 2001/2002 Prowler Orange. Here's a link that will give you the codes for DuPont, PPG & Sherwin Williams:

http://paintref.com/cgi-bin/colorcod...=150&sort=code

Well, I guess ther'll be 50 more trucks with this color on it now!
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"It won't take long and it won't cost much."
'55 3100 (383/700R4)--'55 Belair Sedan (350/4-speed)--'64 'Vette Conv. (327/4-speed)--'68 GTO Conv. (462/4-speed)--'69 Cutlass Conv. (350/TH350)--'06 'Vette Conv. (LS2/6-speed)
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:37 PM   #24
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Thanks Bob!

I've been trying to decide on a color for my '56- been struck between some version of Harbor Blue (my dad's '57 was HB), Forrest Green, and Sierra Gold. Having those codes is a real help with finding the right shade- thanks again, Bill
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:21 AM   #25
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Re: Bob's Retirement Build - My '55 TF

Nice work Bob!
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