Body work Engine Rear end Subframe

 

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11 Responses to “How to’s”

  1. Kevin Hawthorn Says:

    Hi
    I must say this is a great rebuild! I have a 67 that has had a frame up restoration done by the previous owner. The heater core and fan for the heater remain a mystery to me , Could you please tell me the location of these items?

    It would be greatly appreciated! btw where are you in the UK ? i just spent 2 weeks in Oxford and myay be going back shortly …

    Kevin

  2. Tim Says:

    HI

    This looks like an amazing project, i stumbled on your site just the other day. I myself actually own a 1967 firebird hardtop and have been trying to get into the restoration mode, but due to being 22 still in college, and with a very limited cashflow its been kind of hard. With the car pushing a little over 40 years rust has definitally taken its toll. I was just curious about how much you have spent so far. Everytime i come home from school its just majestically sitting in the yard begging to be worked on. Its a great looking car with a classic roadster slant stance, Oversized tires in the rear, disc brake conversion, power stearing added(which im sure wasent standard) and have had the electrical harness redone as well as the brakes, and floorpans. However i would love to someday spend the money on it and restore it the right way with a frame off, and seeing it done now as you are just inspires me to really get out there and keep trucking on it. Just curious how important it is to do a full frame off, repair all rust and maybe a rough estimate of cost when all said and done. Again thanks for posting the restoration of a true classic

    • Lloyd Says:

      Hey. I’m at uni and it is hard to find enough time to properly work on the car, weekends are usually spent on it though. Frame off isn’t strictly neccessary all the time… it just gives you access to all the important parts of the subframe if rust has taken it’s toll. So long as the subframe mounts are still solid and not too much rust damage to the rest of the subframe, you can get away with just cleaning up and painting, obviously consider replacing subframe bushings if they haven’t been replaced yet, there’ll probably not be much left of them, 42 years old… Problem with my car was that really it should have been scrapped and with the amount of metal work needing done the subframe would just be in the way.
      Regarding price… it’s hard to say. I’m in the UK so I have to pay more for shipping and import, and the exchange rate $ to £ is becoming less and less favourable. But, I’ve spent about $4000 on parts to completely rebuild the steering, suspension and almost every body panel… I’ve got to spend another $2000 soon for a pair of cylinder heads and exhaust headers for the engine. From there it’s a paint job, interior and wheels… I reckon maybe another $5-6000 (hopefully less).
      Your car sounds great, do you have any pics of it? Would love to see them… always helps to motivate getting mine back on 4 wheels!

  3. Jay Schager Says:

    I’m trying to restore my fathers 67 firebird, however i’m not sure where to find parts or information on where to start with restoring the car. We live in Cleveland OH, so wondering if you know of anything around the area or anything on websites that might be helpful. Thanks for your help

    • Lloyd Says:

      Hey. Places for parts I’ve used:
      http://www.npd-link.com (general parts, body panels and much more)
      http://www.classicindustries.com (general parts, body panels and much more)
      http://www.jbp-pontiac.com (engine and other bits)
      Good experiences with all.
      As to where to start… does the car have an engine? If so, does it run? I’d say best thing to do first if it doesn’t is to get it running (not neccessarily rebuild the engine or anything just yet, just get it working) then test drive it to check everything is fine, like no bent subframe or warped body etc. Just to make sure it is salvable…
      Then, just start stripping everything off (start with the interior), noting everything that needs repair (rust holes etc). Then you can take out the engine, transmission and drive shaft. Once the engine is out you should start to think about getting the body shell shotblasted clean – this will bring it back to clean metal, highlighting problem areas and just make it nicer to work with. You can get it shot blasted whilst still on all 4 wheels or if you’re going to mount it on a rotisserie like I have.
      Once it’s all clean you should seperate the front subframe (if not already done so prior to blasting) and rebuild that (all the steering and suspension components), same for the rear axle. Or… start on the body work (welding on replacement panels). Once all the metal is repaired and the steering suspension rebuilt it’s time to mount the body back to the subframe and do body filler/paint. Then it is the engine rebuild and interior and glass.
      That’s a very brief overview and dosen’t necessarily have to be strictly adhered to, just my advice.

  4. Brian Says:

    I also found my diamond in the rough… A 67 firebird rag top. It was in a barn for over ten years and needs lots of work. The body is in real good condition but there is a lot of rot under the car. This is going to be my first total restore… I’m really looking forward to starting this project, but where do I start? When I opened the doors the car saged and i had to jack it up to close the doors. LOL this should be fun. It has an engine and was running when parked. One of my friends that is a car nut said anything can be fixed. This is true but I know nothing about convertables. and costs. My Two boys ages 22 and 20 really are loking forward to doing this project. Do you think I need a profesional body man to look at it before I start sinking money into it? Thanks for your help.

    • hiltman Says:

      Ok, this will be shorter and sweeter. I lost my post because I didn’t put my email addy above before clicking Leave Comment…

      Brian,

      You might be biting off more than you want to chew. It’s one thing to replace a floor pan or quarter panel. You have a structural issue that has to be addressed. You’ll have to decide what you are willing to spend (time and/or money). Here is a very interesting thread that I came across. Don’t mind that it’s a Camaro build, since it’s the same platform as the Firebird. Good luck,

      http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=121480

      John

    • Lloyd Says:

      Hey Brian.
      Rag tops are more prone to sagging when affected by rust as there is (obviously) no roof to help hold it together. Because of the lack of roof there will be extra supports/braces under the car not present on a coupe. Chances are these have rotted through, and will need replacing. Without seeing pictures it is hard to say, but it sounds like you may need to replace the whole floor (tunnel included). This would be a lot of work but is definitely possible. Then again, you may be able to get away with replacing the braces and doing partial replacements of the floor. Again, hard to know without seeing the car.
      Either way you should look into buying or making some door bars like these http://www.autotwirler.us/catalog/images/doorbars.gif. They will prevent sagging when the doors are off. I would also suggest making temporary braces holding the left side to the right side. No matter what route you take, cutting out all or part of the floors will weaken the shell so until replacements are welded in bracing will be essential.
      As to where to start, first thing is to strip everything out, interior and mechanics, also remove all the bolt on panels (the front end, fenders, valance etc.). The subframe should then be separated from the body. As it sounds like you have a lot of work on the floors to do a Twirler or body cart will help, but not essential. Shotblasting everything is recommended, whether you do this with the body and subframe and fenders still together and rolling on wheels, or separated is up to you (where two surfaces meet will allways have the most rust as it traps water, so with everything seperated there is more surface area that can be cleaned). Once it is clean you can see the extent of rust and previous repairs, the body may not be quite as good as it previously looked. Then start cutting and welding.
      It is probably a good idea to get a professional to look at it, if you can. But bear in mind a body man from a restoration shop will have a different outlook than a body man from a dent repair place, so don’t be disheartened if they say it’s a lost cause… So long as as it stands now it is not crabbing or any other serious deformations, you should be able to fix it up. Good luck.
      Sorry for the late reply.

  5. Len Says:

    Hello Lloyd,
    I spoke to you last week regarding my 2, 1967 firebirds and chasis removal. Another question has developed. What tools are needed to remove the window cranks. I am having difficulty removing the rear window cranks and would like to preserve them if possible. Any ideas for tools or techniques in their removal would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Len

  6. Jeff Says:

    Hey Guys,
    I am just recently inherited a 67 Firebird. (Still hasn’t sank in yet, I think I’m still shocked in awe.) It was restored about 5 years ago and then was placed in solitary confinement in storage for about 4 years. I’m going down next week to open her up again. Other replacing fluids and draining the old gas out, I’m looking for some tips to help me not to harm the engine. As I said it was completely restored 5 years ago so everything is in great shape, just scared not to ruin this amazing gift I’ve been blessed with. Any help would be great. Thanks and I’ll post some pics bc I’m anxious to show this one off.

  7. mikem Says:

    I am looking for someone who can repair and restore my 1967 Firebird Rally wheels, does anybody know anyone who does good work?


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