71 Vista Cruiser Resto....

Old January 24th, 2019, 04:17 AM
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71 Vista Cruiser Resto....

Finally picked up the frame and small parts from the powdercoater yesterday. I'm excited that I am actually getting somewhere lol. I've been stock pilling parts for a couple of years. I've been very lucky with finding parts. I'm going to post more pics if people are interested.
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Old January 24th, 2019, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by NJRob View Post
Finally picked up the frame and small parts from the powdercoater yesterday. I'm excited that I am actually getting somewhere lol. I've been stock pilling parts for a couple of years.
That sounds like the vast majority of us. Good luck with the project

Originally Posted by NJRob View Post
I'm going to post more pics if people are interested.
Huh???? That's a no brainer. We LOVE pictures of projects

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Old January 24th, 2019, 08:25 AM
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I tried to post a few pics but they didnt come up. Maybe cause I'm trying to do it from my phone

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Old January 24th, 2019, 10:12 AM
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Well what you posted worked fine. Nice looking frame. Never seen a VC frame before. Looks like the boxed side rails of a vert
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Old January 24th, 2019, 10:40 AM
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Old January 24th, 2019, 11:59 AM
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Looks like good bones to start with. Are you planning to restore the woodgrain or is some of the trim missing?
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Old January 24th, 2019, 12:12 PM
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71 Vista Cruiser Resto...

The original owner had a bodyshop with his son. He started the work and removed the miles and miles of trim. I have it all. The guy called me back 4 times to give me more parts that he found.
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Old January 24th, 2019, 01:45 PM
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71 Vista Cruiser Resto...

I am going to put the woodgrain back on yes.
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Old January 24th, 2019, 04:47 PM
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How is the car for options? Is it the 455 engine and 3rd seat car? Looks like you'll have a really nice machine when it's done. Keep posting your progress
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Old January 24th, 2019, 05:15 PM
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71 Vista Cruiser Resto...

It is a 350 2bbl and a 2 seat wagon. I am going to have the engine rebuilt to 325hp specs but keeping it as stock as possible. 10 bolt 3:31 rear and th350 trans.
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Old January 24th, 2019, 05:22 PM
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Old January 25th, 2019, 06:17 AM
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Interesting. Your 71 has a 72 Radiator support. Not that it will affect your build, those raised areas were to accommodate the 72 grills being forward in the stone shield. It suggests this car has had previous front end damage.

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Old January 25th, 2019, 06:34 AM
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71 Vista Cruiser Resto...

Wow, thanks for the info. You know it makes perfect sense. The grills and the stone guard were out of the car when i got it and were both pretty damaged. I also noticed that the battery tray was missing as well. Im not going to use that core supoort anyway due to major rot on the lower part. They used this car to tow a popup trailer and it had two batteries in it. Im trying to find out if the car came with a tow package or if all the options were added i.e. (wire harness, hitch, brake controller and extra battery. Still haven't found a build sheet.
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Old January 25th, 2019, 08:50 AM
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nice another jersey Guy!

Nice job on the frame looking forward to your build, and your in Edison, Im just down the road near East Brunswick ( exit 9 LOL) I'll be following along and if I can help with Anything let me know.

eddie
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Old January 25th, 2019, 10:30 AM
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Thanks Ed, I'm looking forward to the reassembly.
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Old January 25th, 2019, 12:47 PM
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Rob, Where was the car built?
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Old January 25th, 2019, 01:42 PM
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71 Vista Cruiser Resto...

It was built in Lansing Michigan.
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Old January 25th, 2019, 03:19 PM
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You won't find a build sheet then. Lansing was fastidious about removing them when the car hit the end of the final assembly line. What you might find instead is called a broadcast card. It was left in the body shell by Fisher Body Works (the plant that built the body and installed the interior of the car). Typically the broadcast card will confirm the body number on the cowl tag, and some of the options that were installed in the car. It's not related to the VIN though. Looks like this, from a 2 seat Vista Cruiser (1972):

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Old January 25th, 2019, 03:41 PM
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You have just got to love it when a plan starts coming together... Good luck with your progress...
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Old January 29th, 2019, 04:03 AM
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71 Vista Cruiser Resto...

Thanks guys. Ill keep posting pics as I progress.
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Old January 29th, 2019, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by NJRob View Post
It is a 350 2bbl and a 2 seat wagon. I am going to have the engine rebuilt to 325hp specs but keeping it as stock as possible. 10 bolt 3:31 rear and th350 trans.
This is just based on observation and I apologise if it's wrong BUT...
The air cleaner on that engine looks like it's hiding a 4bbl carb. The 2 bbl air cleaner is very distinctive; it's taller and has a different lid and snorkel. Also, just based on the color of the valve covers it suggests the engine is a 455 instead of a 350. How to tell the difference is really simple. Check the engine casting number (right beside the oil sender). If it's 395558-2 it's a 350. If on the other hand it's 396021 F it's a 455. You can also look at the heads. 350 heads will have a 7 by the #1 cylinder whereas the 455 will have a G

references for you if you're not sure about these castings

Heres where the engine block casting will be:


Here's where the head casting will be (the one shown is 1972 350 which also has a small A):


If the car still has the original drive train it will also have a matching TH400 Transmission. Easy to tell on the engine and transmission as they will have a VIN derivative on the engine block and left side of the transmission. It would start out 30M (Olds,1970, Michigan) and the last 6 numbers would be the last 6 numbers on the cars VIN.

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Old January 29th, 2019, 08:59 AM
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71 Vista Cruiser Resto...

Oh, that motor in that pic is a 77 350 4bbl. Thays not the original motor. The owners ran the original 350 2bbl without oil to the top end and locking up the motor. I have that motor in my garage. 31M407517. It matches the vin number perfectly. BTW that 77 350 in the pic is for sale, if you know anyone that needs a 77 350. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old January 29th, 2019, 09:44 AM
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Just curiosity, but with a VIN that high I'm wondering if your VC was produced in June of 71.

Another tidbit of Information you might already know, but VC production in 1971 wasn't really high. The 2 seat models were only 9317 production, while the 3 seat (which nobody seems to be able to find now) was up at 20,566

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Old March 19th, 2019, 04:58 AM
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Old March 19th, 2019, 05:03 AM
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71 Vista Cruiser Resto...

Took the spindles assembly apart and cleaned it all in the parts washer. I found this green paint. I know why its there just not sure if i should put it back after sandblasting. I wanted to paint them with cast paint so they don't rust. Should I reproduce it after? I haven't found any other markings like this on any other part.
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Old March 19th, 2019, 07:40 AM
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I put it back on mine after painting it with cast. Didn't get quite the same color but that's ok. Your call whether you want it or not, but since you're trying to keep it as stock as possible, a bit more paint on top of the cast won't hurt the protection factor, and will add to the authenticity of the restoration. I doubt anyone will notice it though unless you're going for points at a judging?
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Old March 19th, 2019, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
Another tidbit of Information you might already know, but VC production in 1971 wasn't really high. The 2 seat models were only 9317 production, while the 3 seat (which nobody seems to be able to find now) was up at 20,566
Yes, 1971 Vista Cruiser production was the lowest of any year for the 1968-1972 redesign. That said, it was only 20-some-% lower than 1970 and 1972--still not a rarity. However, most of these cars are gone. No one saved them when they were used up--they were just common family cars and went directly to the crusher. That's why they are so scarce today.

Your figure for the two-seat model production is 55% higher than the figure I am accustomed to seeing. Not saying your source is wrong; just pointing out an oddity. Your three-seat model production number is within 10 units of other sources.
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Old March 19th, 2019, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by VC455 View Post
Your figure for the two-seat model production is 55% higher than the figure I am accustomed to seeing. Not saying your source is wrong; just pointing out an oddity. Your three-seat model production number is within 10 units of other sources.
These production figures are extracted from the Book: Setting the Pace: Oldsmobile's First 100 Years by Helen Jones Earley and James R. Walkinshaw.
They are considered to be extremely accurate.
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