67 Cutlass Convertible Engine Prep

Old December 2nd, 2018, 11:43 AM
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67 Cutlass Convertible Engine Prep

I'm starting a new thread for this part of the car because it has been such a long time since I updated the old thread.

I have a new engine being built by Mark Remmel, (cutlassefi) so this thread is all about prepping for it. It is a pretty stout small block with all the goodies so with that much go under the hood, I think it would be best to have enough whoah to go with it.

CJ helped me remove the hood, front bumper, and fenders so this is where I began.

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Old December 2nd, 2018, 11:54 AM
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The good,
The frame looks straight, and all suspension components look to be factory.
The bad,
Some things have been removed/repaired/replaced, badly.
The ugly,
Well, it's all over 50 years old so it's all ugly right now.

While removing the fenders, one of the captive nuts broke loose and I had to cut the bolt to get the fender off. It's the one in the door jamb of course.



The bumper has been R-n-R'ed and the brackets for it were welded back on. Not sure why though because it had bolts in it too.

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Old December 2nd, 2018, 04:27 PM
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What is the plan for the build? Obviously your not staying "original" with Marks new engine that's going in.There's ton's of build threads in this Club about early A-Body builds. Just curious....
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Old December 2nd, 2018, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by therobski View Post
What is the plan for the build? Obviously your not staying "original" with Marks new engine that's going in.There's ton's of build threads in this Club about early A-Body builds. Just curious....
This is just a base model convertible in rough shape so there is little value in a restoration other than pride. So I am building a very fun driver. I will eventually upgrade the suspension so I can carve a corner or two. It will have a very nice stereo for listening pleasure while cruising. And of course a lot of power under the hood. Probably the best fitting description would be a street rod.
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Old December 2nd, 2018, 06:18 PM
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Ok, more of the tear down. I am upgrading the brakes because with that much go under the hood I need a lot of whoah too. Good thing too, the drum brakes were failing. The wheel cylinders have been leaking and the seals are torn so the shoes are saturated. When I disconnected the brake line it was dry. The cobwebs were just a bonus.
Good news, the springs seem to be in good shape so it looks like someone replaced the brake shoes in the past but not the cylinders.




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Old December 2nd, 2018, 06:42 PM
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The rest of the tear down was just as interesting, the ball joints were in decent shape for being factory but the seals were leaking. The shocks have been replaced at some time in the past but alas, like me after a good New Mexican style meal, the gas has escaped. The top of the shock on the driver's side was installed without a rubber bushing so the top washer was completely destroyed. The nut came off easily though and no damage to the frame.






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Old December 2nd, 2018, 06:58 PM
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I took advantage of having the upper A-arm being attached to the frame and wire wheeled the top of it. Had to hold it in the vise to clean the under side but soaked it in Evaporust over night and painted it today. Mounted the new upper ball joint and this one is ready for reassembly.


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Old December 2nd, 2018, 07:18 PM
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Now for some of the ugly. The control arm shaft is worn badly so I need to get at least one so I might as well get two. Rock Auto only sells them with new bushings though and I already bought bushings. Guess I'll have some spares.

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Old December 2nd, 2018, 07:29 PM
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While cleaning the frame I came across a couple concerns and I need some feedback on one. I found a bad weld at the joint near the front body mount that was not complete from the factory. It is cracking a bit at the top and bottom so I will re-weld it. The concern I need feedback on is the control arm mount. The weld that holds it to the frame looks incomplete and possibly weak. Should I complete the weld on it or leave it alone? I know it has been that way for 50 plus years, but the car never had 500 horse power before.
The frame...



The control arm mount.
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 09:03 AM
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I would "stop drill" the crack on each end of the crack to stop it with 1/8-3/16" drill and stich weld it. Take measurements to see if things are moving.
.........Just my two cents worth
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by OLDSter Ralph View Post
I would "stop drill" the crack on each end of the crack to stop it with 1/8-3/16" drill and stich weld it. Take measurements to see if things are moving.
.........Just my two cents worth
That crack/opening is where two pieces of the frame are connected. I was thinking of grinding the crack out and welding it back together. A little more involved than just drilling holes but the same concept.
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 04:51 PM
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Looks like it’s been welded before, when rewelding, I suggest putting a jack underneath the frame that might help close up the gap.
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 05:56 PM
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It looks like someone put a partial frame on it at one time..back then, GM sold partial frames
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by GTMeach View Post
It looks like someone put a partial frame on it at one time..back then, GM sold partial frames
This had me concerned that you may be right so I did a little research and found a few pictures of other frames at that same point and it looks like this is a factory frame connection. Meaning that weld is supposed to be there. It is NOT supposed to be open like that, but still there. I will see if it is possible to get a punch or some other rod through the frame from the inside and pound it closed a bit more and re-weld it shut. If I can't reach it from the inside, then the BFH from the outside will close the gap before welding. Just have to grind the cracks out first.

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Old December 4th, 2018, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cjsdad View Post
This had me concerned that you may be right so I did a little research and found a few pictures of other frames at that same point and it looks like this is a factory frame connection. Meaning that weld is supposed to be there. It is NOT supposed to be open like that, but still there. I will see if it is possible to get a punch or some other rod through the frame from the inside and pound it closed a bit more and re-weld it shut. If I can't reach it from the inside, then the BFH from the outside will close the gap before welding. Just have to grind the cracks out first.
Drill a hole where the crack ends before welding. This will stop futher cracking.
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Old December 5th, 2018, 10:44 AM
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Just an throw, or comment.

​​​​​​Repairing heavy gauge steel, actually anything thicker than "sheet metal", in my opinion and experience, if you want it to last, and when talking about typical home-conditions, you wont beat quality MMA-welder, if you want it to last.
Especially with "new" inverter technology and aids.
Its just ridiculous how forgiving its in home-conditions. And it makes way better/harder seam than some lousy MAG/MIG typically people own. Also changing sticks is easier than changing wire/ gas.

Just personal opinion with some experience from heavy machinery repairing on field/ on workshop. Plus home metalworks.
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Old December 5th, 2018, 03:18 PM
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I appreciate the input. What rod would you use? 6011?
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Old December 6th, 2018, 12:37 AM
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We have a different standard for rating rods, but closest thing i found from your standards, is E7018 H4R.
Fantastic general rods. If you want to search closer and see data-sheet to compare for your local rods, google " ESAB OK48.00". Thats what i would use.
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Old December 6th, 2018, 07:48 AM
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Cjsdad..........I would check with a welding supply near you. 7018 may require DC reverse polarity. 6011 and 6013 might work with a conventional "stick" welder.
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Old December 6th, 2018, 08:57 AM
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Being a novice MIG welder I have a MillerMatic-190. You set it on automatic and it will control the wire speed and heat all in one. I used 25 gauge wire and got good results in terms of the amount of heat and penetration on the repair. The repair pictured was bad body mount hole. I bought the large washer from Fastenal and grafted it in. Used 30 gauge on the the floor and trunk pans. I practiced with some scrap metal before I started repairs. If I would have decided to send the amount of repair work this car needed, I could have bough 3 complete MillerMatic 190's and know I have learned something I enjoy doing. Just some thoughts...
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Old December 6th, 2018, 09:46 AM
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To floor and trunk etc, i would use MAG also. I bet you MAG'ged it. 99% of times people speak about MIG-welding, they actually MAG-weld..

​​​​​​But back to subject, yes, for "sheet-metal" like floor-pans, id use MAG every time, due to heat. And you CAN repair "anything" with MIG/MAG too. Boils down to preference. My preference is MMA when i need weld to last, and especially when metal gets thicker, pre-cleaning is not possible/ cant do it well, and especially if welding outdoors.
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