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1969 442 Convertible Restoration Project

1969 442 Convertible Restoration Project

Old July 16th, 2012, 05:05 PM
  #41  
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Looking good Brian, you've got it going on with that homemade rotisserie too
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:07 PM
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Brian, who helps you when you need to lift and move stuff? That doesn't look like a one man job and I don't see overhead crane/booms in your garage? Don't tell me you make the wife do your heavy lifting? BTW, I saw a question on this site not long ago that no one answered. Maybe you can. Approx how much does that shell weigh? (even with doors on)
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:11 PM
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The rolling chassis had been covered and stored outside (could have used it for a hot tub too) and was brought inside and torn down. The main problem with this frame was it took a good shot to the bottom of the front crossmember. It was pushed up and you can see in the pictures all of the pressure buckles between the engine brackets. The frame probably could have been pulled back into specs but it was unlikely that all of the buckles would come out. This frame was also previously bent in the back and fixed so I began a search for a replacement.
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4 17 Damaged Frame.jpg (51.0 KB, 252 views)
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4 17 Damaged Frame B.jpg (52.2 KB, 243 views)
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:37 PM
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Wow! You can really see that with the engine out of the way. To do that kind of twisting would take some serious force. Any idea what could have done that? It would have to pancake pretty hard like the General Lee to put that kind of force there....and you and I both know they wrecked countless Chargers doing those stunts.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
Brian, who helps you when you need to lift and move stuff? That doesn't look like a one man job and I don't see overhead crane/booms in your garage? Don't tell me you make the wife do your heavy lifting? BTW, I saw a question on this site not long ago that no one answered. Maybe you can. Approx how much does that shell weigh? (even with doors on)
I took the body off of the rotisserie and put it on the wooden cart by myself. I have a great wife who will help if I ask but I save those requests when it's something she can handle. My son wasn't home and my daughters were also out. But I actually planned for this early on by having provisions on the sides of the front support structure. This picture will show what I did, sorry, not a great photo. I had to use vise grips so the jack stands wouldn't slip past the ends as I had things built a little off center. I used this method to take the body off the frame in this picture. But to get it off the rotisserie, I blocked stands high enough in the front to allow the cart to fit under the body and used the engine crane to remove the front part of the rotisserie. I sat the support on the stands and moved to the back. Held the back up with the engine crane and slid the cart under. I built the cart using a frame dimension sheet so I knew where the mounts locations were. Once the back of the body was on the cart I came back to the front and lifted it off the stands and set that end down on the cart. I opted for another method when it came time to put the body on the frame.

As for the weight...not really sure. If I had to make a guess, I would say 700-800 lbs.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Before I started building the chassis, I took the engine to a shop I had used before to be rebuilt. The shop took these photos for me. It's the original 400 engine and was built close to stock specs with the exception of a cam upgrade and Comp roller tip rockers.
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9 28 Engine Rebuild.JPG (144.2 KB, 165 views)
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9 28 Engine Rebuild B.jpg (30.3 KB, 157 views)
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9 28 Engine Rebuild C.JPG (138.7 KB, 144 views)
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9 28 Engine Rebuild D.JPG (167.3 KB, 135 views)
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:55 PM
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More engine photos.
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9 28 Engine Rebuild G.JPG (98.3 KB, 89 views)
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9 28 Engine Rebuild I.JPG (176.1 KB, 102 views)
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:57 PM
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And more. Engine was already .030 over and was taken to .040 for this rebuild.
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9 28 Engine Rebuild L.JPG (132.5 KB, 92 views)
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by GAOldsman View Post
Looking good Brian, you've got it going on with that homemade rotisserie too
Thanks. Stay tuned, more fixtures to come.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 07:02 PM
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So there were no issues with stock valve covers going over top of roller rockers? I've been toying with that for my 72.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 08:19 PM
  #51  
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Just found this thread... Very nice work ! Keep us posted !

Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
So there were no issues with stock valve covers going over top of roller rockers? I've been toying with that for my 72.
My Comp 1441 kit rockers fit just fine under the stock VCs. You just can't use tall poly locks or you'll need to 'clearance' areas of the baffles....
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Old July 16th, 2012, 09:07 PM
  #52  
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These are close to stock in size as mentioned above will fit
Comp Cams 1441 without the tall poly locks


But you may run into clearance issues with these extruded aluminum ones



and especially will have clearance issues with a stud girdle and extruded roller rockers

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Old July 16th, 2012, 09:17 PM
  #53  
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Scot, no I don't want to get into clearance issues at all. Truth be told, I'd prefer to keep the stock lifters, but the oil products with enough ZDDP to keep from excessive wear are few and far between and cost $$$$. So I thought about going with rollers on the rockers and lifters. Then I can use any conventional oil that's out there today. There actually was a logical thought to my madness.

Stud girdle? sounds girlie but that picture looks scary. The extruded aluminum ones are the same that Steve had some trouble with on his 455 IIRC. But that was due to who made them I think.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 09:44 PM
  #54  
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Yes I would definitely go with the roller rockers if I could afford it. The extruded aluminum ones are lighter than the other ones mentioned but physically larger, so lighter if your trying to free up some horses but the comp cams ones are going to free up some ponies as well due to less friction. Less friction = less wear

Also the stud girdles are there for added strength especially for the racers. Yes the Chinesium crap that Steve unknowingly bought went south on him. However he did mention the fellow did bore them out for 7/16" stud when they were originally made for 3/8" studs and if they wasn't bored out who knows if they would've survived the rpms, valve spring rate, so on and so forth It's best to go with the tried and true but Steve also thought these were the real deal and not Chinesium.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 11:19 PM
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Holy Cow that is amazing work from when it started. probably not the wisest way to spend your money but when you got the money to afford that its probably a drop in the bucket. Its nice to see it being saved and not scraped.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
Wow! You can really see that with the engine out of the way. To do that kind of twisting would take some serious force. Any idea what could have done that? It would have to pancake pretty hard like the General Lee to put that kind of force there....and you and I both know they wrecked countless Chargers doing those stunts.
I appears that something must have been in the road (or off road) and the center of that crossmember came in contact with it. The frame rails themselves were not pushed up much although the left side was back from this damage. There was a pretty good size dent on the bottom of the crossmember rather than looking like it came down flat against the ground. Fortunately it wasn't as bad as some of those General Lee Chargers must have been.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
So there were no issues with stock valve covers going over top of roller rockers? I've been toying with that for my 72.
No clearance issues at all as mentioned by GAOldsman. They are the same 1.6 ratio as the stock arms and maintain a very similar profile but use the roller tip. Less wear, a few more HP and easier valve adjustments were all of the factors that helped make the decision to use them. This car even uses the notched valve covers and no problems were encountered.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 05:39 AM
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I had looked around for a nice conv frame and received pricing that ranged from $1200 up to $3000 and all would need to be shipped to me. I wanted to see if I could come up with another plan before going in this direction. In doing a little research, I found a conv frame is basically a HT frame with extra reinforcements welded onto the side rails. I also found that the 69-72 GRand Prix frames also came with these reinforcements as did some Monte Carlo's. I never did figure out which MC models/years had them. I also found a 69 Cutlass 2 door HT frame within an hour's drive taken from a 1 owner car as someone wanted the drivetrain from that car. The best part was the HT frame was only $100. Works for me. I picked it up and had it sandblasted. It had a few pits in it but was nice overall. Never any accident damage either.
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4 18 sandblasted frame.jpg (47.2 KB, 156 views)
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4 18 sandblasted frame B.jpg (50.7 KB, 143 views)
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4 18 sandblasted frame C.jpg (44.3 KB, 145 views)
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Old July 17th, 2012, 06:35 AM
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At the same time I located this HT frame, I found a 71 GP frame on Ebay for sale that was on it's second attempt and no bidders. I emailed the seller and worked a deal that if it didn't sell that he would cut the center rails out and sell them to me. Easy to ship to. And that did happen. Odd thing was the seller had the GP frame galvanized. I cut the reinforcement pieces out of the rails and tested them on the HT frame before everything was sandblasted. Perfect fit.
I also included a photo I found that shows the bottom of the front crossmember on the old frame.
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3-28 Frame rail sections.jpg (49.1 KB, 192 views)
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3-28 Frame rail sections B.jpg (53.2 KB, 192 views)
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3-29 Frame rail sections.jpg (62.3 KB, 207 views)
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3-29 Frame rail sections B.jpg (63.7 KB, 188 views)
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Old July 17th, 2012, 06:45 AM
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Here's the part number and date code on the frame in case anyone wanted to know where it is located. It''s on the left rear frame rail and can be covered by the bumper bracket. The date code on this one is Jan 29, 1969 and the original frame was Jan 22, 1969. Different last digit or two in the part number but that was almost faded away.

I also swapped the rear crossmember as the HT frame was bent up a little but the one on the conv frame was fine.
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4 19 Frame date code B.jpg (59.7 KB, 144 views)
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5-17 Bent rear crossmember.jpg (42.0 KB, 136 views)
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Old July 17th, 2012, 07:29 AM
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Really nice work! And you keep your shop nice and clean also.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by fknrc View Post
Really nice work! And you keep your shop nice and clean also.
Thanks. There are times the garage doesn't look so clean but not too often. The down side to having the garage attached to the house is if it's dirty, the dirt gets tracked into the house. Then the wife starts to get unhappy. And I need to clean up so her car can be parked in the garage at the end of the day. There have been days I wish I could just close the doors and deal with the mess later but I need to keep the wife happy. She's cool with all of this and I don't want to cause that to change.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 09:24 AM
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Wow Brian, quite impressive!

My dad always told me cars and women will cost ya! (what a lovely way to go!) My 68 442 convertible restoration doesn't seem so bad now! I think when you are done with it the owner should just incapacitate it in glass and make a coffee table out of it! Too pretty to drive!
Thanks for the documentation of the build... better than any reality tv show!

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Old July 17th, 2012, 09:32 AM
  #64  
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Brian - on the original frame, did the frame number include the VIN derivative? I've seen other photos of this and there should also be some numbers stamped closer to the front on the top of the frame? I'm just wondering out loud here. I'd have to do what you're doing to find them on my car. Not gonna happen anytime soon though. I'd need to use your garage......and your skills...
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Old July 17th, 2012, 10:13 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by 442craig View Post
I think when you are done with it the owner should just incapacitate it in glass and make a coffee table out of it! Too pretty to drive!
I know what you mean but if I spent that much on it? I'd drive it. BTW I think the word you were looking for was 'encapsulate' or 'enclose'. Incapacitate means to render inoperative or disable. That would negate all the hard work that Brian is doing....
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Old July 17th, 2012, 10:27 AM
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Allan, just so I can subscribe to this thread...great work by the way...here are some replacement rockers that should fit under stock valve covers. The Harland Sharp pedestal mount full roller rockers:

http://harlandsharp.com/amc_jeep_olds.htm

Not cheap by any means, but they are the best out there for stock engines.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 10:54 AM
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Alan, yes you are correct. Tired eyes, relying on spell check and being a product of the wonderful LA unified school district all add up to oops! Thanks!
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Old July 17th, 2012, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ah64pilot View Post
..here are some replacement rockers that should fit under stock valve covers. The Harland Sharp pedestal mount full roller rockers Not cheap by any means, but they are the best out there for stock engines.
Thanks Steve! I've seen a few DIY vids on install and lashing roller rockers, but as you know hands on is best. I figured to also go with roller lifters. Any suggestions there? Would that require also changing the length of the pushrod? Brian sorry to be jacking the thread - its an offshoot of those durned engine pics. Man that's a gorgeous looking 400 block. There, that should put us back on topic. Steve? Maybe PM me the info?

Originally Posted by 442craig View Post
Alan, yes you are correct. Tired eyes, relying on spell check and being a product of the wonderful LA unified school district all add up to oops! Thanks!
No worries bud! I don't know how many times I've done exactly the same thing. It's all good - we know what you meant
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Old July 17th, 2012, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
Brian sorry to be jacking the thread - its an offshoot of those durned engine pics. Man that's a gorgeous looking 400 block. There, that should put us back on topic. Steve? Maybe PM me the info?
Allan, no worries. All discussions are welcome and maybe everyone can learn something. That's a good question on the roller lifters and I'd like to know. I think you also need to go with a roller cam and maybe other changes but I am not sure myself.

since we're on the topic of engines, I'll take this time to mention this about that nice looking motor. This is going to be a very short version of the story as it would take too long to cover everything. When I got it running, acted like it had a vacuum leak. In the end, it didn't. Sparky's restored the carb, talked to him and he said to step up the jet sizes and told me to keep going upon a few different calls. It seemed to help but that washed out the rings. Engine was pulled, gone through again, and Comp Ams W30 stock duplicate was used. Had Mondello 20-22H first and thought that may be some of the problem too. Got it running again, now vacuum was really bad at idle, like 5 inches. Had 2 engine builders spend 5 hours on Saturday trying to figure it out, no one could. Engine shop took engine back again and went though it one more time to double check. Changed rings to Perfect Circle and went with new custom made pistons (all on the shop's dime). Got it running again, same issue. Call was made to Comp and they said ooopps, yeah, that W30 cam is a problem and it has terrible idle qualities and will not idle below 1000 rpm !!!! Totally different story than what they said for the recommendation. Pulled engine again went with Mondello 20-18H cam and much better. Had to modify the idle circuit in the carb and it's now great. I lost almost 1 year screwing with this motor. Gave thought to using velcro to install it as I was getting tired of pulling it.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
Brian - on the original frame, did the frame number include the VIN derivative? I've seen other photos of this and there should also be some numbers stamped closer to the front on the top of the frame? I'm just wondering out loud here. I'd have to do what you're doing to find them on my car. Not gonna happen anytime soon though. I'd need to use your garage......and your skills...
I didn't see any other numbers but I can look as I still have some of the original frame but it's in pieces. Side raisl were sold to someone who did the same thing as me in building up a replacement conv frame. Got the money back on the pieces I bought plus the shipping.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 442craig View Post

I think when you are done with it the owner should just incapacitate it in glass and make a coffee table out of it! Too pretty to drive!

Craig
Thanks Craig. The owner probably won't drive it much. He had a 69 HO restored and drove it 279 miles over 4 years.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 03:20 PM
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I build new rotesserie uprights that were shorter using 2 1/2" square steel, welded it to 1/8" plate and bolted the plate to the base I used before. Nothing like modular jigs. I also made it lower so the frame was at waist height. Also added wheels, crude but they worked, and if I loosen the bolts for the wheel brackets, it sits the base down on the floor. Tighten them up and it's back up on the wheels.
Replacement frame had a pretty nice bottom on the front crossmember. A few scrapes but some light grinding resolved that issue.
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4 19 Frame on Rotisserie B.jpg (54.4 KB, 194 views)
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4 19 Frame on Rotisserie C.jpg (47.5 KB, 181 views)
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4 19 Frame on Rotisserie F.jpg (60.1 KB, 171 views)
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Old July 17th, 2012, 03:26 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by 69442C View Post
Allan, no worries. All discussions are welcome and maybe everyone can learn something. That's a good question on the roller lifters and I'd like to know. I think you also need to go with a roller cam and maybe other changes but I am not sure myself.
Glad you brought this up, I wasn't sure if I should ask that either. Maybe Steve can chime in. If he answers that in a PM, I'll be sure to share it with you ok?

1 yr on the engine? OMG no wonder you wanted to put it in with Velcro. I'm hoping mine will be a straight forward one time deal when it gets done. I'm not in a hurry right now. I know the compression is way down and there are leaks, but it's still pulls strong and runs decent. I may change back to a stock disty but change out points to pertronix. Right now my dual snorkel (71/72 only) is sitting up on a spacer from a EB so it will clear the HEI cap. That's ok by itself, but it barely holds the stove pipe coming from e man riser. Ever since the HEI was installed I've had a fair bit of trouble with timing and running smooth. Personally I think the HEI has the wrong advance weights and the timing curve is wonky. It's set at 7BTDC right now; and that's the best it's ever run with it. No vacuum leaks, so that kind of wierd. Maybe my cam or lifters are just really badly worn at 120K?? No ZDDP might do that?
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Old July 17th, 2012, 03:32 PM
  #74  
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Brian, I love that modular idea. I had a giggle though when I saw your modular 2X4 bracing.....but it obviously works and is a quick disassemble for storage. I learn new things on this site every day.

You should host a TV show for jigs and what not. Creativity seems to run side by side with your skills inventory! Glad you're on this site and sharing all this info.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 03:50 PM
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I was going to pm but since Brian opened it up for discussion in his thread here goes:

If you are going to run a roller cam, in my opinion, you ought to have a reason for one. The cost involved in running a GOOD roller cam does not offset the cost of GOOD oil that has a high ZDDP content. What then, is a good oil to run in these old engines without ruining even a new flat tappet cam? The answer? Valvoline VR1 (either synthetic or fossil).

It comes in 2 variable weights - 20W50 or 10W30. If you need something else, do what I do (per Andy Miller and Danny Sarvis)...mix 1/2 & 1/2 to get 10W40. The synthetic oil is best for the track, as you are just making 1/4 mile passes. The fossil oil is better for the street because it allows the rings to seat better in the cylinder.

So for a street build, and moderate power builds, the KISS principle is best. Use a Hydraulic flat tappet cam, good Comp Cams lifters, an adjustable roller rocker (tip or full), and Valvoline VR1. You won't have to worry about ZDDP and you will still make good power...if you go roller, you will never know you did until you change the oil so it's not worth it unless you need aggressive lobes and oober power. JMO
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Old July 17th, 2012, 04:09 PM
  #76  
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Steve, thank you. I'm in the category of trying to keep it pretty much stock. I should prolly go get some of the VR1 since I need to do an oil change anyway. I'll go fossil 10W30 for now. After I've got all new gaskets and seals, I may change over to synthetic. Not sure it's the best way for me though cause the car doesn't get a lot of miles on it between changes and it's not going to the track (I know - sad face ) I'm kinda old myself and remember the car as it was when new. Maybe I could build a different one for the strip......when I watched your video from in the car that got some of my blood pumping.

If I read into what you're saying - if I go bone stock on rockers, cam and lifters the VR1 should work for me like the day the car was built? (My interpretation - not yours). Am I on the right track understanding this that it could be as easy as investing in the right oil with all new parts?
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Old July 17th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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Thumbs up gaangster

this is the best thread around! I did a 69 HT in vegas back in 2000. great cars. nice pic documetary. Im born n bred 67, but those 69's got a piece of my heart! cant wait for more!
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Old July 17th, 2012, 05:04 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
Brian, I love that modular idea. I had a giggle though when I saw your modular 2X4 bracing.....but it obviously works and is a quick disassemble for storage.
Allan, you need to brush up on your lumber! Those are 2x3's...just busting on you. Notice the ends of the 2x3's are attached with more parts from those engine stands. That $39.95/stand was a bargain.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by zippy View Post
this is the best thread around! I did a 69 HT in vegas back in 2000. great cars. nice pic documetary. Im born n bred 67, but those 69's got a piece of my heart! cant wait for more!
Zippy, thatks for jumping in and I'm glad you are enjoying the project. Since you mentioned a 69 HT, here is a photo of the 69 442 HT I restored and sold to the owner of this car. This HT was the start of a nice friendship with this guy. I finished this 69 in 2001, took it to a Olds Club show in Baltimore, won Best in Class and Best of Show. Sold it 2 weeks later to fund the purchase of a truck. This photo was actually taken in Dallas by the owner after he had it for a couple of years. And he took good care of it.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
Steve, thank you. I'm in the category of trying to keep it pretty much stock. I should prolly go get some of the VR1 since I need to do an oil change anyway. I'll go fossil 10W30 for now. After I've got all new gaskets and seals, I may change over to synthetic. Not sure it's the best way for me though cause the car doesn't get a lot of miles on it between changes and it's not going to the track (I know - sad face ) I'm kinda old myself and remember the car as it was when new. Maybe I could build a different one for the strip......when I watched your video from in the car that got some of my blood pumping.

If I read into what you're saying - if I go bone stock on rockers, cam and lifters the VR1 should work for me like the day the car was built? (My interpretation - not yours). Am I on the right track understanding this that it could be as easy as investing in the right oil with all new parts?
You are exactly right. Just use the VR1 and it's like an oil you bought in 1970. You don't have to change a thing. And for a street car I would keep with the fossil.
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