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Old 11-07-2009, 07:54 AM
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greg75vette greg75vette is offline
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Default My '75

Figured I'd show off my dump. Trust me, the paint looks a lot better in photos. I wanted a project car to build to my specs. One of the primary goals was to ultimately drop an LSx/T56 into it. I didn't decide how I was going to do some serious power (N/A or turbo), but I knew I had something special to work with. I figured a mid C3 would be the best candidate since it had looks (I prefer the rubber bumper and flat back glass look), IRS, and some low hp and less collectible years. I bought Pandora in May '07 as a college graduation gift to myself. She was, what I considered the perfect platform: a low hp (165hp L48), low collectability ('75 coupe), Solid fiberglass, frame, had the mandatory third pedal and she ran pretty well. The mileage was a little high (107K), she was # matching, and the paint and bumper covers were shot: all not so great things. However, the timing and price were right and I liked the option set, so I went for it.

The summer I brought her home. I bought her near my college and on the day I bought her, I drover her about 400 miles from Rochester, NY to Lindenhurst, NY:






I had some issues over that summer but nothing major. The following spring I decided to start making progress towards my overall goal for the car, which is simply for it to perform well and add some new tech to an old, sweet looking car. A restomod, if you will.
The suspension system was first. I decided on the VBP performance plus system mostly because people seemed to have liked it and I like that it has some adjustability to it.

I started the day after a heavy rain. Man was it wet in the driveway. That whole summer of '08 was wet. A big deal for the garage challenged.
What I started with:


Of course I find this on the first day. Diff oil coming out of one of the spring mounting blind holes:


So that had to come out. Got to look over the shape of the diff. From what I saw, everything looked OK. Ironically, Gary (gtr1999) recommended me to check out some of his pages in the rebuild section on this site. Little did I know I would later join and come to realize how this is the end-all-be-all forum with my kind of people

A good shot of the crack in my ass. Ass end that is:


So I sprung for a new HD cover and got to paint her all pretty. She will need a rebuild, but I felt she was solid until I built up some more power out of the LS1 I was planning down the road:

The suspension pretty much finished for the rear:




The front end went a lot faster. I actually did the rear first thinking it would be easier Boy was I wrong!
Some carnage and the 'assistant':




I didn't document the front as well as the rear. I flew through the front end since I really didn't have any snags. I left the brakes alone because the stockers are pretty good. I will upgrade to Wilwood brakes once the wheel/tire combo get a refresher.
I set the car low and I was quite happy with the improvement in handling. I'm she would be even better with a proper wheel/tire combo.




Notice how the bumpers have gotten worse through the pictures
This spring I had to replace my radiator core support and weatherstripping. The weatherstripping was by far the hardest project yet. I fear doing that again. Turned out my radiator was shot and my end tanks were stressed cracked. So I bought a re-core Cu/brass radiator off a forum friend which checked out well and performed through the summer (when I got a chance to drive her, had power steering issues). Why didn't I wait until my LS1/T56 swap to replace it? Didn't know the swap was happening anytime soon. Due to my flywheel being damaged in a bad start (from my wipers, long story) I had a bare spot on the ring gear. But finally, what forced my hand to do the swap nearly 2 years ahead of schedule was the throw-out bearing beginning to go from a mild squeak to a mechanical clunk. Right then I decided that I would no longer put money into an engine/trans I didn't plan on keeping. Between the radiator, power steering pump breaking, and now basically a full clutch job, it was too much for what I wasn't going to run.
Now things became serious...
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-The Baron, fickle in nature

'75 Coupe - LS1, T56 6 speed. A work in progress. VBP Performance Plus system, GTR1999 Super 10 bolt and T/As, lightweight bumper covers and still not finished.
'12 Subaru WRX Hatch. Not bone stock and stupid fast (and I need to sell it).
'17 Chevy SS. Just SS. The sedan. I know, no one's heard of it. 6 spd manual, LS3.
'80 Z28. 4 spd, 350. Was my uncle's. Currently getting more road worthy.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:33 AM
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mrvette mrvette is offline
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I dunno so much that we are the 'be all end all' as 'been there done that'......



Good project, nice to see you hanging in there, lotsa guys would have tossed the towel, but you have a vision, same as most of us....and it's allowed to change too....

looking to see more progress, so get to work....
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Last edited by mrvette; 11-07-2009 at 08:36 AM..
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:45 AM
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greg75vette greg75vette is offline
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Default Engine swap time

The swap. What I've been planning since 2006 in one way or another. That's right; before I even owned Pandora; before I even knew a C3. Ever since I became active in forums in July '07, I started researching LSx swaps into C3's. Didn't know of anybody doing it, but luckily a thread popped up on another forum that I followed from day one. So when the time came, August of 2009, I pretty much had a good handle on it.
This is what I bought. A complete drop out LS1/T56 out of a 2000 Firebird, including stock rad fans, engine harness, body harness, ECU, all accessories, shifter, clutch master cylinder to the slave, etc. Some of that they 'threw in' (The dismantler didn't care and pulled a lot more than what I supposedly paid for). I got the whole thing for a decent price plus gas and tolls to Jersey:
The Donor:


At the salvage yard:

Home out front:

Next we had to pull the old engine and trans out. They have been loyal and the engine ran like a top the whole time I had her. I recruited my best friend who isn't exactly a 'car guy' haha and my father who happened to be home.
Before:


Some stuff gone:


Out she goes! It went rather smooth:



The celebratory look-like-a-jackass pic:

Next was cutting out the crossmember and modifying it to be removable. I'm going with Bullshark's bracket design.


The template. Looks like a first grader's project:

When I have the brackets on the car, I'll take more. They're being made up by my local shop, but they had a plasma gun failure, so hopefully next week...
I had to breakdown the new donor engine and clean it for, what I hope, is going in before winter.
Before:


After:

Coming this spring, the engine will get a new stock clutch, slave cylinder, remote bleeder, flywheel, rear main seal, valve cover seals, oil pan seals, spark plugs, etc which are all bought.
Next is making room in the interior. The shifter will be about 2.75" back and roughly centered in the tunnel. I don't think I'll use the original console plate and will just make something up out of sheet metal or plate Al. The center console and main gauge cluster had to go as well for access and wanted them out before winter to avoid cracking them in colder weather. I plan on going with Autometer NV gauges to match the cars original color: #42 Bright Green Metallic. This is a '75 only color and only about 1600 cars were painted it. You can see the color on the door sill. Whenever she gets painted, this will be the color.





I must be lucky, the number of ASSistants have doubled in the past year...not by weight though. He's the fiancÚ's dog. He's not quite as annoying as he appears. The little shit grew on me and my old lab.

I've begun working on fitting an '85 1 ton GM truck master cylinder into the car. It fits in the main bore hole, but I need to bolt her up to the firewall and cut, tap and install an endlink to the MC shaft. I'll also be cutting the tunnel shifter hole a little bigger as well. Once I get the trans crossmember brackets welded on the car, I can drop in the engine/trans and figure out my trans mounting solution. That's all I got for now. I make slow progress, but it is progress.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:53 AM
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greg75vette greg75vette is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrvette View Post
I dunno so much that we are the 'be all end all' as 'been there done that'......



Good project, nice to see you hanging in there, lotsa guys would have tossed the towel, but you have a vision, same as most of us....and it's allowed to change too....

looking to see more progress, so get to work....
Thanks Gene. I could go into bloody gory detail of how I decided on almost every direction of the project before I even knew what car I waned to use. A lot of it was thought out in college final projects (Internal Combustion Engines, Vehicle Dynamics, etc) and me just thinking. I've toned down this project quite a bit from my original vision. I want to watch the car evolve with my skill, not just take 10 years to build it in one shot and so I have an apreciation for all steps involved.
Keep in mind, before buying Pandora, all I've done with cars is change oil and install a cold air intake on my old '04 Ion QC. I learn best beign thrown into the hornet's nest, so that's what I've done. I also tend to be stubborn, haha. That's the german/irish combo in me.
Thanks for the kind words and now I must be off to bed. I think the insomnia finally wore off.
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:06 PM
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BBShark BBShark is offline
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Love the "WRKNPROG" license
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:21 PM
Garys 68 Garys 68 is offline
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You're going to love the LS conversion. Mine runs great, the torque curve is much better than my old SBC, and my milage doubled.
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:35 PM
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greg75vette greg75vette is offline
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Originally Posted by BBShark View Post
Love the "WRKNPROG" license
Yeah that's what I wanted to say, but Kelly figured out how to fit it in 8characters. It's basically "yeah I know the bumpers are shot and she's a dump, but I'm workin' on it!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garys 68 View Post
You're going to love the LS conversion. Mine runs great, the torque curve is much better than my old SBC, and my milage doubled.
I can't wait! This thing felt pretty good (below 3000prm) with the L48, so I'm hoping it will be sweet when done. It just kills me I can't get more done faster! I'm stuck with work this morning :/
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Old 11-07-2009, 10:44 PM
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damoroso damoroso is offline
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Nice work Greg!! Can't wait to see the LS in the car, should make a great ride. I know what you mean about wanting to get it done faster, but the good news is it's gonna be worth the wait!! Besides, there's always something to do while your waiting for something else.....
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:22 AM
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mrvette mrvette is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damoroso View Post
Nice work Greg!! Can't wait to see the LS in the car, should make a great ride. I know what you mean about wanting to get it done faster, but the good news is it's gonna be worth the wait!! Besides, there's always something to do while your waiting for something else.....




Umm...sounds familiar.....so how your trip ??
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:14 PM
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damoroso damoroso is offline
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Trip was good, productive, and that's a good thing especially when you're in DC!! Car's coming right along too...sorry about cutting you off last night, had some folks over...you'll have to come check it out!
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