1971 LeSabre Custom R&R

Discussion in 'Projects' started by Smartin, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    It's official - Easter Sunday has come, and is on its way out.....which means I can start on this car.

    First and foremost, the engine compartment. I plan on doing exactly as I did with Hank's 60 in the previous thread with his car. After the engine work is done, I will go over the body of the car and fix any of the big blemishes still left over from the previous owners' "handy work." If I have time before Rochester, I will get some underbody work done. It's not really bad, but it sure would look nice cleaned up.

    Now for the obligatory picture posting :grin: I'm gonna have fun with this one..

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  2. EEE

    EEE Straight out of lo-cash!

    Dig in.... :3gears:
     
  3. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    Started pulling parts tonight....I only had an hour to work, so I made the most of it.

    The core support and battery tray are SOLID! Very nice for a lifetime Northeast car :cool:

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    So THAT's how the black is supposed to look! One of the previous owners had used a paintbrush to paint GLOSS BLACK all over the place on the core support. It looks like Rustoleum :grin:

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  4. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    These are the only shiny parts I have done so far..

    As usual, my guest bedroom becomes my parts warehouse while this project gets going.

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    NOS front bumper and rechromed rear bumper...and the one I just took off the car is in the foreground..

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    Starting to get interesting!

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  5. EEE

    EEE Straight out of lo-cash!

    Diggin deep too.... :3gears:
     
  6. EEE

    EEE Straight out of lo-cash!

    You know it's a bad sign to bring in car stuff into the house right? People could start to think you're a em..hum.. you know what I mean. Be sure to take that stuff out when you go "fishing" and the catch is coming over to visit the home team :Brow: . Here's a picture of the latest Centurion sighting in SoCal (sorry no vin, tab had rusted away, never seen that happen before.)
     
  7. 9secStage1

    9secStage1 Worlds Fastest GS Stage 1

    Adam

    Who did the chrome work on your bumper?
     
  8. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    Southern Bumper - I bought the rear bumper on ebay from them, as they were selling it as one that was abandoned at their shop. It was pretty nice already, and he had already stripped it for the rechroming process. He took off 25% for the rechrome since I had already bought the core for $25.

    I can get you a phone number if you like..
     
  9. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    And Kimson,

    That bedroom is tucked away in the basement where all my other parts are sitting, so they blend in well. I try to stay away from that part when I give the "tours" of the house to any prospective .....friends.:grin:
     
  10. 9secStage1

    9secStage1 Worlds Fastest GS Stage 1

    Yes
    Please do Adam, I will give them a call.
     
  11. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

  12. BTail

    BTail Well-Known Member

    Looks like fun. Are you getting serious with the 350 performance-wise? Or are you just cleaning it up? Interesting, either way...not many full sizers with 350s being shown much here. I've got a 350 sitting around (albeit not in the spare bedroom-married, you know) that I can't seem to part with because I keep thinking just the right project will come along.
     
  13. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    BTail,

    I'm not working on the lower end of the motor, just cleaning it up. While the heads are off, I'll take them to the machine shop for a teardown, cleanup, and possibly a 3 angle valve job if my budget permits. (as if the 3 angle job actually does anything performance-wise!) I will also bring my exhaust manifolds and intake there to be hot tanked and cleaned up so I can paint them.

    The car has a single exhaust, and it will probable stay that way unless I get a wild hair and spend more money. Time is not on my side with this, as it has to be ready to go for the BCA national in July.
     
  14. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    Took the heads and passenger side exhaust manifold (singular) to the machine shop for work the other day. The drivers side manifold is cracked, and is being replaced with another from a board member here.

    Valve job and cleanup on the heads with new seals, and milling of the exhaust manifold surfaces..

    I only broke 3 bolts (all on the pass. side) when trying to remove the manifolds. I broke all three of them in succession. After the 3rd one, I thought I was in for a rough machine shop bill with 12 helicoils!'

    It looks like I will be putting the car on hold for the rest of the week and through the weekend. I have to work the local home and garden show for our irrigation company...and it pretty much completely drains my will to live. Look for more progess next week sometime!
     
  15. EEE

    EEE Straight out of lo-cash!

    Well, while you drain your will to live in the world of irrigation for the weekend, I'll go up to the track and burn some rubber, how about that? :3gears:
     
  16. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    I got someone to work for me this morning at the home show so I could sleep in a little bit. I also got some work done on the car.


    Basically, I'm looking at a "budget job" here with the engine compartment. I am not spending any morney for plating any parts (except the rear bumper, but I was almost forced into doing that) so I am making due with what I have.

    Hood latch and master cylinder cover are done with a basecoat of exhaust stainless steel spray and coated lightly with a gold anodizing paint from Duplicolor. I then spray a VERY small amount of red paint on top of that (more or less a dusting) so it gets a little color in it. If you look above in a previous post, the gold parts on the bed are done the same way. They look really good in person.

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    Wiper motor was also finished this morning - not as nice as Jim Lore's X piece, but it will present nicely under the hood of my car. I was unable to save the decal on the base of the unit, so I just wiped it off..:Dou:

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    I have finally cleared the firewall of all the crap so I can clean and paint it. I'll probably paint the firewall, then do the same gold cad treatment on the brake booster as I did the other gold parts. I'll then paint the core support and wheel wells at once. My heads are ready at the machine shop, but they aren't open until Monday. As soon as I get them, I will bolt them on, along with the rest of the "red" engine parts, and paint them as a unit, much like the factory did. I will leave the fuel pump and distributor out for this job, though.
     
  17. skyphix

    skyphix Well-Known Member

    IT always impresses me the ability you have to take what most people would just replace and bring it right back. Makes me want to do that kind of thing to my car :TU:
     
  18. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    I've been wanting to do this to one of my cars for a long time, but have never had a chance to, since they've all been drivers. At least with this car, I have the convertible to drive while it is stuck in the garage. When I did the work on Hank's 60, I realized I could do some real quality work without having a big shop and all kinds of fancy tools.

    I've been playing around with cars for a long time, and have figured out some neat tricks to getting the look and result that I want to acheive at minimal cost. Like with this gold cad paint stuff - I'm in no position to shell out money for shipping and plating, so I do what is next best....and it turns out as close as you can get without actually plating.


    A little elbow grease and patience goes a long way with these cars. Take note with Yardley's thread on Ken Lisk's 66 Wildcat. With a little effort and some ambition, you can really make these cars pop! It doesn't take a frame-off restoration and $50k to make a car look presentable....unless perfection is what you're going for. I bet that by the time I am finished with the engine compartment in this car, it will look like a frame-off if you look under the hood. :grin: I'll almost be afraid to drive it when I'm finished!
     
  19. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    Black paint finally laid on tonight. Firewall, wheelhouses, and core support are nicely covered. I did the booster and master cylinder last night. It appears on all the big cars that I've had, that the booster is not a real rich shiny gold cad like I see on all the restored A bodies.....it's more of a dull greyish green gold. I emulated that with the one you see in the picture.

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    I got the heads back today, along with one of the exh. manifolds. The other one arrived today, so I get to go BACK to the machine shop to get this one surfaced, and have the bolt holes helicoiled. Both sutds are broken off inside this one. What's another $100?

    As soon as I can get the intake and valve covers cleaned up, I will bolt the core of the motor back together and paint it. That way, the bolts will be engine color as they are supposed to be. I like the look of a clean bare set of bolts on an engine, but I'm going to correctness on this...so why not take the step to do this?

    I also twisted my transmission cooling lines right off the fittings tonight. Destroyed...totally.

    I called Inline Tube and bought a set of universal lines so I could bend them myself....since they don't carry any for the 71 LeSabre.:Dou: ...and no one else does.
     
  20. MR.BUICK

    MR.BUICK Well-Known Member

    The car looks like it's coming along nicely. I really do enjoy seeing people do "budget-builds", since it seems like not many people do that anymore. It's either a perfect 40 thousand dollar restoration, or it's not even really a restoration, it's just maintaining the car, which is not a bad thing, but if a car needs restored, and you have a small budget, you can still do a restoration, or "budget-build" as I like to say. I especially like seeing people take the time to do their own work, and put their own time into their project, rather than seeing it go to some restoration shop to have the so called "pros" do it. :rolleyes: Nothing really wrong w/ that, but anyone who has 50 thousand bucks laying around can do that, but it takes a whole lot more to be able to actually do most of the work yourself, and not spend mega bucks to do it with. Keep up the good work, Adam! It truly, truly is coming along real nicely. :TU:

    -Cody
     

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