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Old July 12th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #21
KingCutlass
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Fresh fluids, charged battery and some clean fuel and it fired right up. Moved it around a bit to get some oil to all the seals and it's still having issues with the transfer case being stuck in 4wd.
http://www.greatlakes4x4.com/showthread.php?t=264621

Last shots of it before I got a hold of it for cleaning/paint.



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Old July 12th, 2013, 05:28 PM   #22
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This front clip has irritated me for years, and finally I had enough time to work on it. Specifically since I finally found my lost Craftsman Orbital Sander Yesterday morning!

This is only a rust preventative paint that is going to act as a primer for now until I get the panels to patch the major rust in the floor and put on the new doors/seals I have in the shed. Then the whole body and all panels will get media blasted and I'll use my compressor and gun to give it a proper coat of paint. :)

Unfortunately most of this fender I had to sand by hand due to the bends. (I didn't want flat spots I'd have to fill later)



The hood wasn't so bad. There are a few small dents and I had to keep from denting it further by pushing too hard, but since I'll be putting a cowl hood on it later anyway, this is the last coat of paint it will see till it's pulled off, replaced and sold. [eventually]



Believe it or not, there is some original blue under all that rust and white [obviously spray painted] topcoat.





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Old July 12th, 2013, 05:33 PM   #23
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So this part really aggravated me.

I had several cans of Rust preventative satin black paint, and out of all four of them, only ONE worked. NEW CANS! I can't find the receipt for them so I can't take them back. At almost $3 a can I had to use one can and use instead a couple white cans of the same paint I had for our old 97 1500 pickup.

I was hoping to keep the truck primered in black so I would have at least a somewhat matching body (new doors are black too) BUT, I guess it'll have to be multi-color for a while.

Again, this paint is just temporary and to prevent further rust on good metal until it can be media blasted for a final paintjob.



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Old July 12th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #24
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Can't wait to see it with some meats on it and all one solid color. Makes me miss my old 79 stepside with 4"/3" and 35s
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Old July 12th, 2013, 05:46 PM   #25
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After the paint dried overnight I got to tear into it again this morning.

I know the timing chain is stretched because even at full adjustment the timing is still off on the truck. It's running fine for now, but still not perfect. It wreaked of raw fuel and since I had assumed it was loading up on fuel at the carb I didn't notice a small crack in the rubber line that slowly leaked under pressure until I took it to the gas station to get some more fresh gas on a second tuning run since I fired it up.

SO, I replaced both lines this morning and boy did that make a difference. Low fuel pressure was most likely causing my idle issues and it wanting to die without constant pedal fiddling. The smell also disappeared. It looks like the timing can be done later, and even though it needs to be done, the fuel mileage and performance of the engine should go up.

After fixing the fuel lines I decided to take the brand new B&M Z-Gate shifter that I had bought a few years ago to put in my Cutlass and put it in the truck since I would have to modify the factory linkage anyway to accommodate the body lift.

It mounted up perfectly beside the Transfer Case shifter and is at the perfect arm's reach with the factory bench seat. (which at the request of my wife we are keeping - Sorry for all you bucket seat fans) The black housing will require a bit of modification to fit the factory hump and the mounting plate for the TC shifter boot. However being that I have experience working with ABS plastic (former Certified Mobile Audio Tech), it shouldn't be that hard to make it look like it was factory installed.



Shifts nice and smooth, locks into gear nicely and feels much more secure than the old sloppy column shifter.

I also grabbed my Auto Meter Tach that I had for my Cutlass and Threw it in the truck as well; I'll wire in the tach later, for now it's just mounted in a comfortable location.I plan on replacing the factory gauges with matching Silver faced Auto Meter gauges using the factory dash plates. I would like some suggestions however on this because I would like to know if anyone has converted their factory plastic housing to auto meter gauges without having them stick out. (I'd like the gauges to fit in same locations but flush with the dash, not sticking out)




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Old July 12th, 2013, 05:57 PM   #26
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After I finished the shifter install I decided to take it on another road test to check for any further leaks and took it up to the local gas station. Even in it's multi-colored broken down condition I still had a few people looking.

Makes the hard work worth it, little by little.

I traded my factory grille to the neighbor who has a 74 mud truck with a 9" lift because he hated the narrow openings trying to open the hood. So now I have a tube grille to fill it out instead of the egg crate.





My wife has a co-worker that has his own chroming business out of his home that can get me a hell of a deal on re-chroming parts. So eventually I'll have him dip my front trim and grille to get it all shiny and new considering LMC no longer sells metal front trim, only plastic.

It's coming along. I still need to find a steering shaft extension before I can put the rest of the body lift on.



Digging through my parts stash I still have quite a few spare parts to put on and new stuff to install.

Next up on the list are:

*New front Driveshaft U-Joints
*LED tail lights and brackets
*Rear Brakes (when the rotors are machined to fit the appropriate ID)
*New 4-core radiator from my old '74 dually to replace the 3 core currently in it. + New thermostat
*Pete Jackson Gear Drive
*New Accel Header Plugs and Wires
*New Edelbrock Cam & Lifters [if necessary] We'll see when the timing is being done
*New Doors, Seals and outer rockers (waiting on purchase of floor pans and inner rockers first

I'm sure there's more, but now that I'm putting my '71 Cutlass up for sale, the wife knows that this has taken place of my restoration project instead of just fixing it to drive it.

More updates in the future as I get things done.....

Last edited by KingCutlass; July 12th, 2013 at 06:05 PM. Reason: Edit to Add to list
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Old July 15th, 2013, 05:51 AM   #27
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I know the timing chain is stretched because even at full adjustment the timing is still off on the truck. It's running fine for now, but still not perfect.
Are you sure? Did the balancer slip, so the mark is off. Is the timing tab on the cover off? Did you check how much slop is in the chain by taking off the the dist. cap, looking at the rotor movment while turning the engine over and back by hand?
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Old July 18th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #28
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About a year ago I did a valve adjustment on it and a tuneup with new distributor parts. While I had it apart I re-set the timing and the marks are still a bit off. Even at full adjustment they are still not lining up where they should.

The dampener looks fine and the tabs are still on the cover, but it still has hesitation when you really step on it.

In any case i've had a Pete Jackson Gear Drive in my tool box for about seven years that was supposed to go in a seperate truck I built for my dad long ago but he decided to go bigger with the heads, cam and compression, so gear drives aren't a good idea on H/C motors.

My motor isn't that H/O yet, so for now a Gear drive will suit it nicely as a tuneup when I put all new plugs, wires, valve cover gaskets and a new radiator in it.

My previous build for my dad:



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Old August 5th, 2013, 03:12 AM   #29
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Well I got another couple days to work on the truck when I wasn't working on three other vehicles. I just finished putting a new brake hardline down the whole frame for the rear brakes and a new gasket for the transfer case on our Yukon. It's running great now.

As far as the '77, well I got my taillights installed but haven't wired them up yet. I stripped down the paint and shot some gloss black over it just for now, the whole bed will be stripped down and re-done at a later date. For now this will have to do so I can be road legal. This is just a mockup pic, I haven't taken a picture of the lenses mounted and Backup lights installed yet. Will get that later; I must have forgot.



I also decided to do a little work under the hood since I had a few extra hours to spend. I dug through my toolbox and shelves and pulled every new part for this body style truck that I had available and decided to use it. I've been holding on to most of them for years because our family has built so many of these trucks.

I put in a new carb spacer, new plug wires and new header plugs. Changed up and put a new chrome air cleaner and filter in it, and figured while I was at it I would clean my valve covers and replace the gaskets for those as well with spares I had laying around. (One was leaking anyway)

I tore it down once before and already knew this, but someone has done some work to this motor and I'm curious to see just how far they went. These aren't stock:



Now I intended to just clean off my valve covers and put them back on, but seeing how much rust had accumulated after sitting for years (probably not being cleaned by previous owner) I decided to grab my super fine #0000 pack of steel wool and see what I could do about it. Here is what I started with:



And after quite a bit of elbow grease this is what I ended up with:



Having seen such improvement in the engine bay (even though the rest still looks like crap) I decided to keep the momentum moving forward and work on the rest of the truck.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 03:23 AM   #30
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I decided to tackle the grille and trim pieces. Most of them I had figured to be a lost cause due to the amount of rust on them, but to my surprise, chrome is amazingly resilient!

Here is what I started with; a used tube grille and 36 year old chrome parts:



And after a lot of elbow grease, steel wool and soap and water:



The chrome is still not perfect and honestly it needs to be re-done because of pitting and flaking in parts, but for now this is a HUGE improvement. I can actually see my reflection in it!





It makes quite the difference from a distance, even if it's not perfect up close. I did the mirror bases and the rain guards/drip rails too. I need neverdull to shine up the aluminum side mirrors, but for now it's the little things that count. Since I put the matching set of tires and trim rings back on the truck, I'll take some time to clean them up as well and even get all the hubs back on when I get a new set of lug nuts for it.

A friend of mine is coming by tomorrow and we are going to install the body lift on the cab now that my steering shaft extension came in from Summit.

When the rest of the lift is done then I get to tear farther down into the engine to do some major work and degrease the crap out of it!

Up next:

Exchange 3 core radiator for 4 core
Install Gear Drive
Clean/paint engine and accessories (what I can)
New timing cover
New cam? Maybe....depends on the old one.
New pan gaskets and filters.

I need to tear the back half of the transfer case off and re seal it, it's leaking a bit where the tailshaft bolts on. I think some permatex should fix it for now until I do a complete and thorough cleaning/chain replacement later.

Will get more pics of the truck tomorrow.

It's getting there, piece by piece.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 01:00 PM   #31
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Well it took forever but i finally got rid of my go-kart and was able to pick up a decent set of used mud tires and rims from forum member jbeemer. (Nice guy btw)

Got them mounted this morning and put on the truck with brand new lugs.

I have to admit it looks pretty beefy now; i like it. It's about time it's got some decent size meat on it.







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Old August 13th, 2013, 01:02 PM   #32
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I also got the taillights on it a week ago or so and forgot to upload pics of it. Still need to wire them in, but they don't look too bad. I still need to bolt on the backup lights, but I'll do that after I get the wiring done.





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Old August 29th, 2013, 11:42 PM   #33
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Well, i finally got the biggest hurdle out of my way. (almost)

I had a friend with a welder put on the brackets for my rear brakes, finally. I had to modify the calipers a bit so they would clear the 15" wheels and also put in new longer studs to offset the thickness of the rotors. Unfortunately he welded them on top of the axle instead of behind like I wanted, but I guess it doesn't matter, they will still function the same.



Wouldn't you know it, I got 11 of 12 lugs in with no problem, and on the very last lug, It snapped after being pulled only half way through. I must have gotten a weak cast; better now than when the wheels are turning.

Old vs. New:



2004 Chevy pickup rotors machined out to fit the ID of the axle flange. Looks factory now.



Got them all bolted up and started the plumbing....





All new fittings, steel lines and braided flex lines. The only stock lines left on the truck are the ones from the MC to the back of the truck and to each braided flex on the front of the frame. I'll probably replace these later as well with new lines and make them a little more short and direct instead of swirling all over the whole engine bay, maybe dump them along the firewall instead.

Wouldn't you know it, just when I thought my trouble was over and I was just about to get the truck back on the road 100%, the damn booster blows up as I was trying to bleed the system. I don't know if it was just its time to go or it was faulty and couldn't handle the pressure, but it sure as hell is leaking air now. Luckily my neighbor's k5 blazer parts truck has a donor I'll swap out and try to get it up and running this weekend. If it's not one thing it's another.

On a lighter note, I just finished up wiring the new LED taillights tonight. I just finished making my own new harness for the bed and wiring it all up. Luckily I think the flasher has been replaced from the original solid state that the truck came with because the turn signals and brakes worked without issue. Normally the LED's run a lower resistance and need to have a non-solid state flasher installed so that they will work. Looks like I lucked out on that one. I even got my markers in the fenders wired up and found a pack of new bulbs in my misc. stuff in the toolbox. Sweet.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 11:44 PM   #34
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I'm hoping it was just the booster going out on me, but I noticed that i didn't have as much pressure to the rear calipers as I do the fronts. I assume this is the proportioning valve correct?

I don't plan on doing any towing with this truck any time soon if I can help it, so I was told that it didn't have to be changed, but will that affect the ability of the caliper to clamp down properly? I thought drum brakes used a higher psi for stopping force than discs.

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Old August 30th, 2013, 06:28 AM   #35
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I may be wrong but the way you put the bracket and caliper will never work correctly, the bleeder need's to point up you will never get the all the air out of the line.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 06:33 AM   #36
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I may be wrong but the way you put the bracket and caliper will never work correctly, the bleeder need's to point up you will never get the all the air out of the line.
you are correct.

you might be able to get away with it by taking the caliper off, and sticking it on the side of the rotor and bleed it while it isn't bolted to the caliper bracket. gotta watch for fingers though.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 10:17 PM   #37
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I was hoping that might be the case. I told him I wanted them on the back of the axle so that I could plumb the lines along the back and route them through the factory retainers but he ended up doing it "the easy way" where he didn't have to hold it.

I wasn't around when he did it so he had already put them on by the time I got there to check and see how it was going.

I did change out the booster with a spare because I was getting a lot of air passing through by the firewall, but it went from compressing the RR caliper to starting to compress the LR and then it just dropped.

I lost almost all pressure. I pulled the cap on the MC and tried to get the rest of the air out of the system by giving it a high point, but still it has absolutely no brakes now. I'm kind of dumbfounded at this point. I'll try to pull the calipers and move them like you guys suggested to bleed them, but I just don't see it getting pressure.

I'm so annoyed because this is supposed to be the last thing i need to do so I can drive the truck. I've already fixed the wiring, so this is all that's left, and the bastard won't stop. Ugh.
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Old September 2nd, 2013, 06:25 PM   #38
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Looking good, keep the pics coming.
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Old September 2nd, 2013, 06:42 PM   #39
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I was hoping that might be the case. I told him I wanted them on the back of the axle so that I could plumb the lines along the back and route them through the factory retainers but he ended up doing it "the easy way" where he didn't have to hold it.

I wasn't around when he did it so he had already put them on by the time I got there to check and see how it was going.

I did change out the booster with a spare because I was getting a lot of air passing through by the firewall, but it went from compressing the RR caliper to starting to compress the LR and then it just dropped.

I lost almost all pressure. I pulled the cap on the MC and tried to get the rest of the air out of the system by giving it a high point, but still it has absolutely no brakes now. I'm kind of dumbfounded at this point. I'll try to pull the calipers and move them like you guys suggested to bleed them, but I just don't see it getting pressure.

I'm so annoyed because this is supposed to be the last thing i need to do so I can drive the truck. I've already fixed the wiring, so this is all that's left, and the bastard won't stop. Ugh.
buy a pair of speedbleeders (google if you don't know what I'm talking about)

Pull off one caliper and either put on the side of the rotor so the bleeder is pointing up or clamp the piston in the cylinder. Then you can crack the bleeder and pump away once you have the bleeder as the highest point of the reservior. Close the bleeder and reattach. repeat process for other side.

It shouldn't be a problem once they are bled unless you ever have to bleed them again.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 08:12 PM   #40
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Still haven't had a chance to work on the truck due to packing, but I love the speed bleeder idea. I'm going to hook up my vaccuum bleeder and try to pull all the air out. It does have to be driven 2300 miles after all.

I unfortunately won't be able to go wheeling with any of you guys, but thanks for the tips and help while i've been here in Michigan.

I'm moving to Washington state in a few days and it's been fun, so I may or may not update the thread from there...we'll see.
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