68 Chevelle SS Restoration
Daily Driver to Resto-Mod
Im writing you in regards to a 68 Chevelle SS that we built a little
while ago when I was the manager at a body shop in Portland, Maine. The
car was built mostly by myself, and the shop foreman, Dave Gribbin, on
nights and weekends.
There were some things done by the other employees while things were a
little slow, but Dave and I did the vast majority of the work after hours.
the car for a customer who had purchased it as a restored, albeit non
Matching, SS396 who had grown bored with the stocker after a few months...
After some shopping around at a few local body shops and custom shops,
he wandered into my office. After speaking to him at some length, (it
felt like a job interview) about my experience with hot rods, muscle
cars and drag racing (my family owned Winterport Drag way in Winterport
Maine for 12 years) and speaking with Dave for a while Jim decided
that he trusted us with the chore of painting the car... as all
projects do this one snowballed from a mild custom paint job to a frame
Jim DeWolfe was a budding car guy, he had
purchased a Chevelle SS, a 1968 big block Chevelle SS. The problem with
the Chevelle is that it was just another Chevelle, he wanted it to stand
out and be different so he brought it to us to see what we were about.
All of us being major gear heads and muscle car nuts finally
rubbed off onto Jim and soon a full blown project was in the works.
We started by completely disassembling the entire car, and within
a month (again working mostly nights and weekends) we had a bare frame
sitting on a lift in the shop. I ground down all the welding slag from
the original assembly and prepped it for paint. We hung the frame in
the booth and applied a fresh coat of single stage black urethane.
Everything on the frame was replaced except for the front upper and
lower control arms and factory spindles. We used Eibach prokit
springs, SSBC 12" front disc conversion, Hellwig hd swaybars and
Edelbrock tubular lower and turnbuckle uppers (that just happened to
be powder coated the correct red) along with chassis stiffeners to go
with the East Coast Performance sourced DTS 12 bolt that was fitted
with 9inch ford tube ends that allowed us to attach the SSBC 11" rear brake
kit with e brake. Before putting the body back on we ran the stainless
brake lines, ½ aluminum fuel line, set the gas tank in place, and prepped
of the floor for bed liner. All the brake hardware and the shocks were
painted the matching candy red from SEM color horizons. The Merlin 509's
block was painted the base silver bolted to the TCI turbo 400 and set in place
on energy suspension mounts. Whats funny is Jim originally ordered Merlins
Then the rear end was connected to the transmission via a color matched
Williams Brothers driveshaft. Next the body was lowered onto the fresh
chassis, once the body was bolted down on some more of energy
suspensions products, we set to straighten out the body from its 40
year life. Dave stripped the body to metal and aligned all the panels
before applying the high build primer letting one of the techs
final block the car and prep it for paint. We commissioned Tommy Mcneil
from Bonehead designs in Gilmington Iron Works New Hampshire to lay out the
awesome tribal flame job, before he was done he applied a drop shadow, and
outlined the flames with process blue.
The flames and pin striping also go into the door jambs, and for a
touch Tommy also applied a little hot rod pin striping around the trunk
Finishing touches on the outside include all new chrome trim,
new Hella headlights. On the inside we went mostly stock with a
gauge cluster, a couple auto meter gauges, Scat Pro Car seats, new
carpet and trim panels, along with recovered rear seat, and a Budnik
steering wheel for some flash. Dan Mayhew installed a kickin' sound system
inside with a glove box mounted eclipse head unit, which also controls
Jims I-pod, two kicker amps, and two kicker subs in the trunk in a box
that Jim built himself, with some mids and highs in the kick panels
and rear deck. For rolling stock, we chose 20x8 and 20x10 Coddington
smoothie IIs with 255-35s up front and 295-30s out back.
Todd Lapointe finished up the mechanical aspects including Lokar
cables and braided stainless flexi lines for the brakes, got everything
adjusted and tweaked. After an alignment, and a tune by the local carb guru
ready for a road test, and let me tell you this thing is fast..
This car was built in about 9 months of nights and weekends, it was a total
team effort, and it was a pleasure to work with someone who didn't mind
money it took to make the build correct.
1973 Buick Gran Sport Stage I STK # 1173
Stage I rings clear to all Buick fanatics around the world. Buick saw it
fit to bring this Gran Sport out in 1973 and fit it with the Stage I
package. Under the hood of this original GS Stage I is a 1968 Buick 400
with 10:1 compression making around 340hp with a TH400 automatic
transmission. The engine and transmission were rebuilt professionally less
than 3,500 miles ago. Only 728 Stage I's were produced in 1973. Inside is
AC, AM/FM radio, seat belts and, tilt steering wheel. Power brakes and
power steering is filled out with bias ply tires and magnum 500 wheels for
a period correct look. For more details on this vehicle or to inquire about
financing please call us at 704-598-2130 or e-mail
Part 11: Power Windows Installation - My 76 Mazda RX-5 Cosmo Restoration
I now present episode 11 of my '76 Mazda RX-5 Cosmo restoration. This
episode deals with the task of installing the AutoLoc PW4650 universal
power window kit. This kit includes motorized actuators which rotate the
existing manual window cranks, driving the manual regulator and thus
converting it to power without the need to fit an entirely new window
regulator. Additionally it includes all wiring and switches (not installed
yet), and mounting brackets. As it is a universal kit, it is universally
wrong for every application and must be customized to fit. The installation
was straightforward though time consuming. I have to admit, this episode is
a monstrosity and quite a bit longer than normal. But for good reason,
because I didn't want to do a "To be continued" as the next episode will be
quite special. Included in this part: custom fitting AutoLoc universal
power window actuators, making cutting channels into the inner door for
space, patching and finishing off the channels with welding and sheet
metal, cutting sheet metal from templates, media blasting before painting,
making brackets for actuators, a surprise at the end.
Camera Video of my 1996 Buick Park Avenue!!
Here's another clip I thought I'd never find, but finally did!! Here's a
camera video, from 2002, of my 1996 Buick Park Avenue. Remarkably, this
car is VERY similar to my wife's 1998 LeSabre, inside and out! Also, the
radio/cassette that I found so great also appeared in both my 1999 Park
Avenue AND my current car, the 2001 Buick Century!!
My old Buick Gran Sport 455 V8 300 PS
My old Buick Gran Sport 445 V8 300 PS.. We don't have this car anymore! We
saled it! My father was in L.A. Hollywood to buy this car! Then we shipped
this car to swiss. Rate, comment and subscribe! :)
1957 Buick Roadmaster - Jay Leno's Garage
The boulevard ride - pure Dynaflow
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Tonight Show host Jay Leno explores his passion for all things on wheels in
this Emmy Award-winning web series.
1957 Buick Roadmaster - Jay Leno's Garage
Buick Century Odometer
Fixed a non-working odometer gear selection indicator. Problem is 4
resistors on the back of the instrument panel cluster (ipc) that come
dislodged over time due to a manufacturing defect.
GM Stepper Motor Replacement and Instrument Panel Disassembly
Most later model GM vehicles had recalls with the stepper motors in the
instrument clusters. Some models were repaired by GM through a class
action law suit while others were left fitting the bill themselves. This
video will be helpful for anyone replacing these and saving money. Most
places will charge between 150 and 300 bucks when the stepper motors are
only about $5 each. The entire process start to finish (provided you have
all the tools) will take about an hour...ish.
GM ( Chevrolet or GMC ) 4.3 L V6 Engine Tear Down
This video goes through the teardown process of a GM 4.3L V6. It has been
removed from the vehicle and we take it apart, except for crank and piston
The automobile consist of:
• Fuel System: Purpose is to deliver fuel to the engine. It consists of
the fuel tank, pump, gauge/sensor, filter, pressure regulator and
• Air Intake System: Purpose is to clean and direct outside air into the
engine. It consist of air filter, ducts, air plenum and intake manifold.
• Exhaust System: Purpose is to
direct Exhaust gasses out of
combustion out of engine. It consists of the Exhaust manifold, converters, pipes and
• Cooling System: Purpose is to remove excess heat from the engine. It
consists of water pump, hoses, radiator, thermostat, cooling fan and
coolant recovery tank. Also the oil system serves as a cooling system as
well as a lubricating system. It consist of oil pump, pan, filter and
1. Clutch: Purpose is to connect the engine and transmission together. It
consists of clutch drive disc, driven disc, release bearing, clutch fork,
cable, slave cylinder, master cylinder. There are three types of clutch
systems: mechanical, cable and hydraulic.
2. Transmission: Purpose is to match engine speed to road speed. Two types
used are manual or automatic. These consist of gears, linkages, cables and
converters for automatics. A manual is connected to the clutch by a
flywheel and automatic by a flexplate.
3. Driveshaft: Purpose is to connect the transmission to the rear axle. It
consists of a slip yoke, shaft and universal joints.
4. Rear axle differential: Purpose is to change the angle of motion from
engine to the wheels. It also divides torque between the wheels. It
consists of a ring and pinion gear, carrier, bearings, crush sleeve and
5. Wheels/Tires: Purpose is to provide traction to the road as well as
carry the weight of the vehicle.
Vehicle Control Systems:
1. Brakes: Purpose is to slow and stop the vehicle. It consists of master
cylinder, brake Booster (vacuum or
hydraulic), calipers, drums, pads and rotors.
2. Steering: Purpose is to direct vehicle in the required direction.
Consists of steering gear (rack & pinion), steering wheel, column,
inner/outer tie rods, pump, reservoir, hoses and pipes.
3. Suspension: Purpose is to provide stability and handling while also
providing comfort to the ride. Consists of shocks, struts, sway bars, end
links, springs, trailing arms and bushings.
1: Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC): Heats and cools interior
air to passenger comfort. Also circulates outside and inside air.
• Air Conditioning: Consist of condenser, compressor, accumulator
(receiver/dryer) orifice, expansion valve, hoses, evaporator, controls,
actuators and modules.
• Heating: Consists of heater core, valves, hoses and switches.
1. Power Generation: Creates electrical power to run all the electrical
systems. Consists of the alternator.
2. Power storage: Stores unused power to start the car and supply voltage
to the alternator to create more electricity.
• Both systems consist of wiring, harnesses, fuse, relays and modules