The Green Mo-sheen Project - ClassicOldsmobile.com

The Green Mo-sheen Project

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Old August 1st, 2010, 09:45 AM
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The Green Mo-sheen Project

I've been dreaming of fixing up my dad's '70 Cutlass S since high school (that was a quarter century ago!). At long last everything has come together and I'm actually doing it.

The plan is to do a frame-off restoration, replacing anything missing/worn out/damaged and refurbishing the rest. I'm keeping it mostly original, with a few upgrades here and there to suit my taste. When it's all done it may not match the build sheet exactly, but it'll be a '70 Cutlass S that looks original and is fun to drive!

Some details of the project: probably will tweak the suspension and handling a bit, but nothing extreme. A 3.08 anti-spin will replace the existing 2.56 standard differential. A completely rebuilt (and mildly warmed up) Olds 455 will replace the existing 350 2bbl. The existing TH350 needs a rebuild anyway, so it'll get some upgrades to better handle the new engine. Dual exhaust (W/Z manifolds) will replace the existing single tailpipe. The interior needs new front seat covers and carpeting, and without a doubt the exterior will stay Aspen Green with a vinyl top.

I did a thread on the engine rebuild, here's a link:

https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...ife-455-a.html

I'll post updates to this thread as I make progress, and I'd appreciate any input folks may have on what they see here. I'll start with a few pictures of where I'm at today.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 09:48 AM
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Looks like you have started on the restore. Common picture on this board. Lots of luck and keep the pictures coming as you make progress
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Old August 1st, 2010, 10:10 AM
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Nice looking project with an interesting history. Keep us posted
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Old August 15th, 2010, 10:47 AM
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Despite the summer heat I've made a little progress: removed the instrument panel. I labeled all the vacuum and electric connections for reinstallation. There were a couple of unused electric connectors, I'm guessing they're for options my car didn't have.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 08:55 AM
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It's been a while since I posted an update. I've removed all the wiring from the car and removed all the interior (except the front seat). All the side glass is out along with the window regulators/guides and door lock controls. It's apparent this car was in an accident a long time ago - there was broken glass all over the place under the carpet and the left rear wheel housing looks like it was beaten back into shape! I was curious why the left quarter panel looked a little different from the right, I think it's a replacement! Nobody in my family ever had an accident in this car, so it must have happened before my dad bought it (maybe that's why it ended up on the used car lot). The best news: not a spot of rust anywhere! Gotta love those California cars.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 09:08 AM
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You have a really nice car. Gotta love the Aspen Green!
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Old September 19th, 2010, 11:04 AM
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No rust is such a nice thing - should be an easier project!
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Old September 19th, 2010, 11:17 AM
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Nice to see progress . Very cool car and that 455 makes me want the cash to build my 425.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 09:33 PM
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Insert Hallelujah Choir Sound Here...

So I pulled the fuel tank from the Cutlass tonight, and there taped to the top of it was that most sacred piece of paper - the build sheet! Pretty readable overall, but very fragile. Amazing that it's lasted there for over 40 years.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 08:41 AM
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Very cool to see and have!
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Old October 12th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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Cool!!!! I want the rest of mine out from under that package tray so bad I can taste it, lol!
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 11:45 PM
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A major accomplishment today: with the help of a friend we pulled the engine and transmission. No major difficulties, but holy smoke there was a lot of fluid in that transmission! Most of it ended up on my garage floor; my "ingenious" plans of catching it in a bucket on the way out failed miserably. And I was completely unprepared for all the fluid in the torque converter (duh, stupid). Oh well, I learned my lesson for the day: drop the pan and drain the fluid BEFORE removal. And spread out a tarp under the work area!
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Old October 24th, 2010, 11:30 AM
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I think we all have done the mess on the floor at least once you have now joined a large group of "I will remember that next time" car guys. Keep us posted on your progress
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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:52 AM
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you have a jem of a car there. great condition! keep up the great work!
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Old November 28th, 2010, 05:45 PM
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Hope I Did the Right Thing...

This weekend I took the final step in getting my Cutlass ready for the body shop - I pulled off the vinyl top. I really hated to do it, I felt like I was ripping the "personality" out of the Green Machine! The top was in really good shape, and as it turned out there's not a hint of rust underneath it (love those California cars), but I felt I needed to take it off and properly refinish the metal underneath with the rest of the body. Plus with a few blemishes, I wanted a new top to complement all the other cosmetic improvements. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a replacement yet - it's got to be green like the original, but so far I've only found them in black or white. The guy at the body shop thought his upholstery guy could come through with the correct color, I hope he does.

So at this point I have disassembled the body down to the last nut and bolt (except for the windshields and door/trunk hinges). The next step is to take it to the body shop where they'll separate the body from the frame. Then while they work on the body I'll work on the frame and suspension. Man I sure hope I know what I'm doing...
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Old December 1st, 2010, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by O's_Car View Post
......The next step is to take it to the body shop where they'll separate the body from the frame. Then while they work on the body I'll work on the frame and suspension. Man I sure hope I know what I'm doing...
Ha! I can relate to that comment!
Looks like you're doing exactly what I am...right down to your garage shape/layout & the worry about the whole project! Not sure about your situation, but mine is taking much longer than I anticipated (kind like your motor)....seems like that's just part of the game. Take a ton of pics, label everything, adjust schedules as needed & save stuff that 'seems' to be junk (like rusty lines/brackets/bolts/etc.) for reference later- you'll be thankful!
Good luck!
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Old December 1st, 2010, 08:50 PM
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Wow, That Was Fast!

So yesterday evening the tow truck came to take my Cutlass to the body shop. Just 24 hours later they brought it back! Check out the "clear coat" they put on it...

The guys at the shop couldn't stop talking about the lack of rust on my car. The owner said he's never seen a 70's era car so clean before. Hope that stays true after the old paint is removed.

Anybody got any suggestions on how to disassemble the front suspension? Releasing those springs scares me a little, especially with no weight on the frame.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Indy_68_S View Post
...Take a ton of pics, label everything, adjust schedules as needed & save stuff that 'seems' to be junk (like rusty lines/brackets/bolts/etc.) for reference later- you'll be thankful!
Good luck!
Oh yeah, I've got hundreds of pictures already, every part and fastener has been labeled and boxed, nothing's been thrown out. I've got parts and boxes in the garage, the dining room, my spare bedroom, the basement, and the front bench seat is in the living room by the coffee table. I like the look on friends faces when they see that!
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Old December 1st, 2010, 09:10 PM
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That is one clean car. Almost to nice to have restored but no turning back now.

Originally Posted by O's_Car View Post
Anybody got any suggestions on how to disassemble the front suspension? Releasing those springs scares me a little, especially with no weight on the frame.
I use chain or tow straps hooked to the frame and the bottom of a floor jack.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by O's_Car View Post
.....
Anybody got any suggestions on how to disassemble the front suspension? Releasing those springs scares me a little, especially with no weight on the frame.
Funny you should ask...

https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...tml#post228384

Getting it apart is the easy part !
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 04:29 AM
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I used an old internal spring compressor that I bought about 20 years ago and have used twice. It is kind of scary to do this especially when you realize the amount of force that you have to use to get the springs in and out. Be careful how ever you do it. By the way that is a beautiful car and it's unbelievable how clean it is!

Keith
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 05:29 AM
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Vinyl top

Look up SMS auto fabrics. That is who I am using for the top on my '69 Cutlass S. They have the correct pattern and alot of colors.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jon69olds View Post
Look up SMS auto fabrics. That is who I am using for the top on my '69 Cutlass S. They have the correct pattern and alot of colors.
I was just going to recommend this for your top. Hopefully they'll have what you need.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 01:56 PM
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Very beautiful car.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 07:27 PM
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Thanks for the tips on the springs. I read some other threads here on the subject and decided to go the internal spring compressor route. Bought one at the local tool store and I'll be trying it out as soon as I get more of the front suspension disassembled. Got the brake calipers, sway bar, and shocks out last weekend, I want to remove the discs and steering linkage before attacking the springs.

Thanks also for the lead to SMS Fabrics. I requested a sample and they have exactly what I need! I'm looking forward to seeing a new green top on my car.

Since I'm working on the suspension I decided to order some new parts: bushings, ball joints, and all new steering linkage. Just got the box today - it's like an early Christmas! Rock Auto is cool.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 07:36 PM
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Oscar I remember that box of parts................. Its even sweeter when you are throwing the empty boxes out..

nice project and keep us updated
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Old December 15th, 2010, 07:40 PM
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And thanks to everyone for the compliments on the condition my car. My dad took good care of it for all those years, driving it easy and keeping it in the garage. Fortunately I copied his habits in that respect, I probably got even more protective of it after I brought it to Kansas. It just adds to my desire to do this project right.

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Old December 22nd, 2010, 08:55 PM
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Got the transmission back from the shop today! My original TH350 got a rebuild with new heavy duty clutch packs and sprag, TransGo reprogramming kit, and new torque converter. Also got a new speedometer driven gear for the 3.08 posi I'll be installing. I made sure the guys at the shop knew this was going behind a mildly warmed up 455, and they put together a setup that should be right for me (no racing, just "spirited" street use).
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Old December 28th, 2010, 12:33 PM
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I just ordered a complete new interior from Legendary. All I really needed was the front seat cover (the original has some badly torn seams) and new carpeting. But since I'm replacing the seat cover I thought I would replace the headrest covers to match... And I kinda ripped the headliner when I removed it so I added that to the list... Then if I replace the headliner I need new sail panels to match... And the sun visors are starting to come apart so I added them... And the package tray got scratched years ago so I added that... And if I'm getting new carpet then the carpet on the door panels won't match, and they're looking a little worn anyway so I added them... And if I replace the door panels I might as well replace the rear panels... And since I'm replacing everything else I might as well replace the rear seat covers... You know how it goes, it's a vicious cycle!

At least Legendary has their year-end sale going on - most of the things I ordered were 20% off regular price.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 10:21 PM
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Success!

I got the front coil springs out today! That internal spring compressor worked like a charm, I just was very cautious the whole time it was under load. I'm happy to report my fingers, toes, and teeth were unharmed!

The ball joints were a little tough, even using spring tension to help pop them open. The pickle fork set I bought wasn't up to the task - 2 of the 3 forks broke and the third bent open! Fortunately a few good whacks on the spindle fittings broke the pins loose.

Even though there was no engine or body weight on the frame, I was still able to use a jack under the control arm to gradually release the spring. I would loosen the spring compressor a few turns then lower the jack a bit, repeating until I could get the spring out. It took a while, but at least I felt relatively safe.

Now my goal is to get the rest of the suspension disassembled before the end of the year.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 06:24 AM
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Nice clean project. You're doing a great job keep us posted with lots of pictures.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 08:50 PM
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Brake Stuff

Well I got the suspension all disassembled before the end of last year, now I'm into the cleaning phase. I sent my brake booster, master cylinder cover, and proportioning valve bracket to Steve Gregori (brakeboosters.com) for replating - below are the before and after pictures. They came out looking really good! I'll be sending him the caliper brackets and dust shields next.

I also decided to upgrade the front brakes, so I ordered a kit from Stainless Steel Brakes. It came with new slotted rotors, pads, and hardware and fits the stock calipers. They should make for better braking inside my original 14" SS1s.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 09:36 PM
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how long does that replating last? would look better than every thing along the fire wall been black
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Old January 18th, 2011, 09:37 PM
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just itchin to start my restoration
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Old January 19th, 2011, 04:43 PM
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Can those pcs be painted also, and is there much to rebuilding the booster???
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Old January 19th, 2011, 11:01 PM
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I've seen people paint the booster and master cylinder cover. I thought about trying Eastwood's "Golden Cad" kit, but in the end I wanted my parts to have real plating. According to the brakeboosters.com website the plating can last for many years, but it depends on the storage conditions of the car.

I read thru the section of the Service Manual on servicing the booster and concluded it was beyond my capability (i.e. special tools required, parts availability, etc.). It might be something a weekend wrencher can do, but I didn't want to try it.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 06:21 PM
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Body Work!

It's been a few weeks since I checked on the body shop - turns out they got busy on my Cutlass! They've sanded the paint off most of the body panels, and they've smoothed and primed the quarters and rockers. The last snow storm brought in more insurance work so they've stopped on my car for the moment, but at least there's some progress. I've really gotta get going on the frame...
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Old February 17th, 2011, 06:47 PM
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That there is some good metal. Great to see some sealer on it.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 08:12 PM
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better get the lead out, cruising season will be here before you know it. I can't talk really, I am so far behind on my 48 sometimes I feel like I am in reverse
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:56 PM
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More progress at the body shop - now they've got the fenders and doors smoothed and primed and they're working the hood and decklid. I've REALLY got to get going on the frame...
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