Piecing together my dream 71 Supreme

Old January 10th, 2016, 03:55 PM
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Piecing together my dream 71 Supreme

Hey folks! I'm Ric, I have a '71 Cutlass Supreme, and I've been posting on here off and on for a few years now. I bought my car when I was in college and used it as my DD from August 2013 until now. Recently my situation has changed. I graduated college, bought a house (with a garage&#128518, and have been working my *** off to get everything in order. Some of you know my story with this car, and I believe I left a forum open ended. Well I'm going to start over and reintroduce this project. I now have a clear vision for this car, and I have an idea of a realistic budget (FREE!!).

Last edited by eazy; January 10th, 2016 at 04:19 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2016, 04:07 PM
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Ok, perked my interest, free is always good.
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Old January 10th, 2016, 04:17 PM
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continued...

So here's what I got:

I bought this '71 off of a friend locally (Southeast PA car). It has a history in this area, and it was somewhat modified according to trends over the years. It's a 350 4bbl with 350turbo. Both appear to be original to the car, and I don't care if they are or not. I believe it's a non posi 2.56 rear. PS PB AC car. Originally puke green with a white top.

It's been modified as follows:

Unknown brand HEI
New MSD wires
Bench seat (Malibu?)
2 1/4" exhaust system from stock manifolds
Edelbrock electric choke carb on stock intake w/ 3" filter
New timing set (2014)
New rear springs and shocks
265 tires in rear

I love this car, it's been great to me. Only failed to start once after a long winter. I just parked it in my new garage for its first winter there. I drove this car over 12,000 miles the past 2 years, and it's time to tear it apart and give it a good overhaul!!

Some of the current issues are such:

1)Power steering box is leaking from the thread tappings...Needs to go, it's jeep box time.
2) I have been having goofy electrical probems since I got the car. I think that whole deal needs a redo as well.
3) Floors have holes, roof needs touch up, all in all body is maybe a 5/10. I need to start something.
4) Trans/ drivetrain is doing something goofy.
5) Front end is getting pretty dangerously sloppy, and trust me if I'm admitting to that publically it's bad.
6) Brakes are just totally shot, they sorta work if I pump them I million times ( I like the C6 swap)

I think that's enough for now. My thumbs are tired of typing on this little galaxy phone.

Scrutinize away. Let me know what you would do if this was your car. I would love if people would post links to parts or kits that I need. I'm ready to stockpile some things so I can work on this thing and get it in the condition it deserves to be in!
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Old January 10th, 2016, 04:26 PM
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So where does the free part come into play?
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Old January 10th, 2016, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by oldcutlass View Post
Ok, perked my interest, free is always good.
Okay, okay, I'll admit I plan on spending a few dollars. No more than that tho!
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Old January 10th, 2016, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by oldcutlass View Post
So where does the free part come into play?
Really what I was getting at is I don't have a huge budget to dump into all new everything. I hope to get my hands on some used and reman. parts and do all the work myself. I will be able to spend a few hundred dollars a month on parts.

Hopefully in a few months my budget situation will be different and I'll be able to speed up some of the repair/ upgrade process, but for now it's my garage, my tools, my parts, and my blood. Probably a lot of beer also.

Last edited by eazy; January 10th, 2016 at 04:34 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2016, 04:52 PM
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Ah, a good plan. I'm assuming the engine is running decent since your winter timing chain issue. I would start with the safety stuff first, front end and brakes. It can be broken down into small affordable projects. When you have time and not much money I would start trouble shooting your electrical issues, cost is mostly time. In most cases the harness can be repaired and switches are easily gotten used. The nice thing is you can work on it some and then drive it some. That's how most of us fix up cars, they don't all need to be frame off restos.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 06:09 PM
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Sounds like a fun project !

I assume your new house (and garage ) is in Malvern? If so, check out our local Oldsmobile club as well, The Delaware Valley Oldsmobile Club.
http://clubs.hemmings.com/delvaloldsclub/
We have lots of events in the West Chester and Downingtown, PA areas so should be near to you. May even gets some leads on some local parts as well.

Of course this site is great as well and will learn a lot here too!
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Old February 21st, 2016, 06:46 AM
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JGC power steering box

It has come the time that I am going forward with the power steering upgrade. I am planning on ordering the parts this upcoming week. My question is if I am planning on replacing the tie rods in the near future to tighten up the front end, is now the time to do it?

I wouldn't mind stockpiling some other front end parts and perhaps incorporating the whole thing into a larger project, since the car is parked for now... I hope to drop the car approx. 2 inches if possible, want to do all new sway bar bushings, new inners and outers, new springs, new shocks, engine mounts.

I'll probably hold off on the brakes for now, and hope to get to them in the early spring.

So yeah, what's up with these tie rods, and are the inners and outers the same on drivers and passenger sides?
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Old February 21st, 2016, 07:02 AM
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Old February 21st, 2016, 07:06 AM
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Both right and left inner tie rods are the same and both outer right and left outer tie rods are the same. The difference between them is the threads are reversed for the adjustment sleeves. Therefore 2 different part numbers for inner and outers. The adjustment sleeve, item 3, generally does not wear out.

As far as replacing them at the same time, its up to you as long as you don't use a pickle fork to separate them because you will destroy the rubber seal.
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Old February 21st, 2016, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by oldcutlass View Post
Both right and left inner tie rods are the same and both outer right and left outer tie rods are the same. The difference between them is the threads are reversed for the adjustment sleeves. Therefore 2 different part numbers for inner and outers. The adjustment sleeve, item 3, generally does not wear out.

As far as replacing them at the same time, its up to you as long as you don't use a pickle fork to separate them because you will destroy the rubber seal.
Well, I don't have a pickle fork, so I'm probably just gonna smash them with a hammer until something happens. Is that a yes tho? 2 of the first item, and 2 of the second?
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Old February 21st, 2016, 07:47 AM
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Yes, 2 of each and #3 is optional. The tie rods do not have to be removed to do your steering box upgrade. You can wait until you do the ball joints/ control arm bushings and lowering spindles if that's the direction your going. If you replace the tie rods then an alignment will probably be in your future, why do that twice.
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Old February 21st, 2016, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by eazy View Post
Well, I don't have a pickle fork, so I'm probably just gonna smash them with a hammer until something happens.
Good plan...

Seriously, get the right tools. A pickle fork costs peanuts - like $11 at Harbor Freight BEFORE the 20% discount coupon. Don't be a half-fast "mechanic". There are too many of those already.
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Old February 21st, 2016, 08:19 AM
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http://www.lislecorp.com/divisions/p...ct=283&jsn=663

Okay fine, I'll buy some tools. ^ Do I need one of those for the inners?
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Old February 21st, 2016, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by eazy View Post
http://www.lislecorp.com/divisions/p...ct=283&jsn=663

okay fine, i'll buy some tools. ^ do i need one of those for the inners?

no
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Old February 21st, 2016, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by eazy View Post
http://www.lislecorp.com/divisions/p...ct=283&jsn=663

Okay fine, I'll buy some tools. ^ Do I need one of those for the inners?
Hey Ric, I recall your college years and when you joined up here, If I recall you soiled the carpet in your room when you pulled your starter. HAHA! Put-r-ther. You timing chain also went well with these guys.
Congrats on the house and all the good things that come in life.
Take all the advice these guys can give you, spend a bit of coin on some good tools, they will last you a lifetime. Your Cutlass will appreciate a good tool working on it. ( well that's what I tell my wife, if I take my ball pean hama out, she tell's me to put it away for later) You don't wana hurt yourself. Meds are expensive and can only be taken orally 3 X per day .
Looking forward to following your thread.
Cheers
Eric

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Old February 21st, 2016, 08:47 PM
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No the link you have posted is for a rack and pinion inner tie rod tool. It would be completely useless for your application.
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 03:11 AM
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So it took me a year, but I got my new power steering setup complete and road tested. Steering is now formula 1. Except when I go around a turn fast the front end gets a little squirly. I'll post a pic of what I did in a little bit. I do have one remaining issue with it... how do I know if I got everything centered? I mean everything feels fine, but I didn't mark anything when I took this thing apart a year ago. The steering wheel was crooked at 1 o'clock before I did this upgrade, always drove strait, and still drives strait. Now, I replaced the gear, the ragjoint, and the lines. So can I just take the steering wheel off and center it from there?

In other news, upon road testing after I got the steering complete I still have some hiccups with the engine or drive. The car wants to stall under full load. I found my hei distributor cap to be completely loose. I just did new wires. If I were to purchase a new HEI cap is there a specific one I need? These things seem pretty universal.

Excited to be back on the road!
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Old February 24th, 2017, 06:23 AM
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I'm on a budget as well, see thread here. I'm going to be using C6 brakes as well, $250 for the calipers, brackets, rotors and pads with 10k on them. $50 for the f-body backing plates and $10 for the master cylinder. Fits budget to me. If my brackets I made for the front calipers work out as I hope I'll post drawings for them.

Good luck.
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Old March 11th, 2017, 07:05 AM
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Smile


New steering gear




now it's weeping the tiniest bit of fluid from here🙃


Otherwise I could not be more pleased with my new jeep gear and hoses I installed. I've driven it around a little bit and it's nice and stiff. I still need to tighten up the rest of my front end before I get too carried away tho. I bought a new steering pump now, but I'm kinda hoping it just seals itself up.

Anyways, onto my next issue. I need to figure out the proper way to check my timing. I watched some corny youtube videos and they all seemed to contradict themselves.
Here's what I got so far:

1. I understand the concept of TDC #1. I purchased a combo vaccum/pressure gauge and was planning on using that to get my mark. From there it get's kinda fuzzy. I know there is supposed to be a mark on my pulley. I just don't know what to do with the mark once I find TDC. Should I get a timing tape to really get this correct?

2. I have some old timing lights I was going to try and use for starts to check my ignition timing. Again, I understand the concept of this. I get the fact that I'm supposed to loosen my distributor bolt and I can twist it. I think my timing needs advanced.

3. The other issue I'm having is that I was hoping to purchace a rebuild kit for my distributor cap.

I guess it would help if I told you what it's doing: the same thing it's been doing for years... Under a full load up a hill from a dead stop it will stall every time... Basically that's the best way to describe it.

I have a new edelbrock 1406 that I'm having issues with a little bit as well... the choke seems to stay on sometimes and I messed with it a little bit to get it started after it sat for a year and a half. I have a new fuel pump and filter. I just want to get the timing right so I can start dialing this carb in and really getting this thing running strong like it's begging to.

Thanks for any help or input
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Old July 22nd, 2018, 04:23 AM
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Recently (past 2 years) I have changed my objective to getting this car on the drag strip in street class. She still needs some work, mainly cosmetic, before anyone legit will pass it for PA safety inspection.

This past year I have made some improvements that I would like to document here:

New cap and rotor, new vacuum advance, clean and lube mechanical advance
Replaced sway bar link kit
New front brake calipers, rotors shaved down, new hoses
New brake shoes in rear, lubed backing plates, new rear wheel cyl., resurfaced drums
New master cyl.

Had to bleed the brakes 3 separate times, but they have been stiff for awhile now??

So all that ran me up a pretty hefty fee, at least for my budget. Now I'm getting the go fast bug, especially since I can tell something still just ain't right with this thing :/

So sometimes this car seems to rip pretty good, but it still has these symptoms that something is out of whack. Here's what happens... When I am on the freeway, and I am pulling up a hill at 3/4 throttle sometimes at the top of the hill when I crest the whole car will just die for a second and come back to life. It throws you forward then back in your seat.

Does the same thing half the time I'm pulling out of my driveway which is maybe a 15 degree angle. I get to the top, stop and wait for traffic, then try to roll out slowly because the driveway is gravel. It kinda loads up and loads up then gets funny and just stalls and leaves me ready to get t-boned.

Another example is backing into my garage, I have a 2" lip to clear. If I back up to the lip and try and power the car over it'll stall. I usually get a running start, but if I don't have enough momentum I'm done.

Soooo I have this edelbrock 1406 that I like to blame a lot of my problems on... I've decided to get a performer intake manifold, and either new jets for this edelbrock, or send my Q-Jet out to get rebuilt again.

I also have a set of manifolds on the way, I'm going to replace mine since they are leaking from the gaskets.

The main question I have is what cam you guys would recommend for a stock bottom end?

I eventually want to pull my stock heads and get them machined and built, but that's for another summer.

Anyways that's my chapter of this entry of Ric's twice annual update

Thanks!
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