73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

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73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:56 pm

I have a 71 Vega Sedan Delivery with a 400 sb (.040 = 409 Cu. In.) with flat top pistons, Crane cam with Crane roller rockers, double hump 202 heads (about 12.5 to 1 compression) and a Holley 850 double pumper on a Corvette intake. I am using a TH350 transmission and Allison torque converter that has been modified to shift manual with a ratchet shifter. The rear differential is stock Vega with 14x6 aluminum wheels on the rear. There is no way to get traction under full throttle now even at highway speeds so I am putting the suspension from a 84 Corvette under it so it will handle all the ponies and drive/stop better.

Image
I have measured the Vega wheelbase (97 in.) and the 84 Corvette (96.2).
After looking at everything closely the only major thing that I can see with my swap is that I will have to install small wheel tubs (14 inch) in the rear to get the 10+ inch tire under the fenders on the stock Corvette wheels.

This is a photo of a C4 Corvette with the body panels removed.
Image

I have it in my plans to use the rear hoop section and the floor pan (since my Vega floor is in bad shape) but use the cowl/dash in the Vega which is a GT panel. I am also thinking of doing something while I am at it that I have never seen before which is a top chop on the Vega Sedan Delivery. Does anyone know of anyone else that has chopped the top or put a C4 suspension under a Vega? I would like to hear any tips/ideas that anyone might have on this Vegavette project.

I used Photoshop to edit the photo to cut 3 or 4 inches out of the top (sorry for the poor editing but it gives the idea of what it would look like) and I like the change so I think I will go for it when I can get it into the basement (putting a 5.7 Vortec in my 97 Blazer AWD right now).

Image
The windshield needs to be replaced anyway (cracked) and I think I can get a piece of Lexan for the windshield after lowering the roof 3 or 4 inches. I will be putting a fiberglass rear hatch on it anyway and can use Lexan in that and the doors also.
Last edited by Hondo on Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby 80 MONZTA » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:32 pm

That PhotoshopChop looks pretty cool!
That would be very nice to have Vette suspension under a Vega, but how does the width of the Corvette campare to the Vega, I always thought the Vette was too wide. I hope you can make it work, as I would love to see it done.
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Racin Jason » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:44 pm

Hey Hondo, Welcome to the site, lots of good info and people here. Thats a really ambitious project and i like it. I would think someone else has done a chopped top, but i have no pics of one. Anybody else? The wheelbase difference can be taken out by stretching the rear wheelwells accordingly. I dont know if anybody has tried it with a vega or monza though, might be issues on the track width. This conversion may move the firewall back too. I think Bill B. (LS powered red monza) posted some pics a while ago of a corvette IRS, he was looking for input on better handling. He might have some ideas too. Take lots o measurements and lots of pics. Good luck.

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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:30 pm

I have wider wheels than stock on the Vega now which makes it a little wider than stock and when I measured it and the Vette rear tires outside to outside the Vette was only two inches wider which I think will still allow the rear tire to go under the fenders. If it doesn't, I can just get some different offset wheels or narrow the rear suspension a couple of inches (worse case).

I don't have the Vette frame stripped down all the way yet where I can get the measurements I need to be able to tell if I can use the Vette frame or if I will have to build a tube frame to hang the Vette suspension onto. The Vette wheelbase is less that an inch shorter than the Vega so I don't think that will be a problem but the width will take a little work to make it work. Rough measurements I have taken look like if I remove the Vette Cowl/windshield frame just above the main frame it will come close enough to matching up to the Vega firewall that I can make it work. I will post photos of the modifications to the Vette frame and the Vega body when I can get started on it. :th:
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby 72 SS PNL » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:36 pm

gonna be a whole lot easier to build a tube chassis , then to try and modify the vettes chassis to fit

welcome aboard fellow panel owner
first and best car owned 72 GT(changed to SS) panel wagon

pictures of the car from 86 - http://www.myrideisme.com/Garage/06_IBM_GOAT/955
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:12 pm

I was just looking at my Bill of Sale that I got with the Vega in 1980 and it says that it is a 1973 model.

I went to the VIN description on this website to see what the VIN checked to be and my VIN # 141051U362xxx shows to be a 1971 but it does not show a panel wagon (05) listed in 1971.

Could this be a very rare panel wagon made in 71? Anyone ever ran across this problem with the VIN before?
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby 72 SS PNL » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:51 pm

open the hood and a 71 will have the VIN tag on a little triangle looking brace(for lack of better term) on the drivers side , and there is a matching triangle on the pass side

all 71's ive seen have those , 72-up do not have them
first and best car owned 72 GT(changed to SS) panel wagon

pictures of the car from 86 - http://www.myrideisme.com/Garage/06_IBM_GOAT/955
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:58 pm

72 SS PNL wrote:open the hood and a 71 will have the VIN tag on a little triangle looking brace(for lack of better term) on the drivers side , and there is a matching triangle on the pass side

all 71's ive seen have those , 72-up do not have them


There is a VIN plate on the top of the dash (driver's side) with 1405 1U362xxx and I looked under the hood for the triangle you mentioned.

There was a Trim plate right behind the triangle brace on the driver's side that had ST71 LOA362xxx on the first line of the plate.

The The plate under the hood and on the top of the dash are both painted green to match the original paint color.

The original color is green with black stripes across the hood with GT on the side of the front fenders.
The gut I bought it from had painted the entire car with a bunch of spray cans of flat black paint (most of it now worn off).

The hood was replaced with a white hood with a sticker on the bottom that says "Applies to 1973 Models" and I guess that is why the guy I bought it from put 1973 model on the Bill of Sale when I got it. It had the original 2300 four cylinder with a two barrel carb and a four speed transmission when I purchased it in 1980.

The VIN description does not show a panel wagon for 1971 but the history of the Vega says
"Code-named XP-887, "Teaser" ads began in May 1970, not announcing its
name yet, stating- "you'll see." It was introduced September 10, 1970
as- "Vega 2300" Great looks, and a full line of 2 door body styles..
including a crisply styled hatchback, a low priced sedan, a sporty
wagon, and a panel delivery."

"In mid-1971 a GT option for Hatchback and Kammback models was introduced. The GT package included the L11 two-barrel carburetor engine, F41 Handling suspension, 6-inch-wide GT wheels with trim rings, center caps and A70-13 raised white-letter tires, black-finished grill and lower body sills, full instrumentation and a hood/deck sport stripe option."
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby 73astregt » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:00 am

hi im just wondering if your car has a full interior in it, back seat, plastic side panels, carpet, high back buckets? i could be wrong but the panel delivery was a work truck with a very sparse interior,(rubber flooring, low back drivers seat, optional low back passenger seat, and a tool box like storage compartment behind the front seats. im wondering if someone might have installed the panels in place of the side windows before you bought the car in 1980? here is a link to the 73 astre brochure(73 vega shows the same interior) http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/main.php?g2_itemId=68330
Last edited by 73astregt on Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:52 am

73astregt wrote:hi im just wondering if your car has a full interior in it, back seat, plastic side panels, carpet, high back buckets? i could be wrong but the panel delivery was a work truck with a very sparse interior,(rubber flooring, low back drivers seat, optional low back passenger seat, and a tool box like storage compartment behind the front seats. im wondering if someone might have installed the panels in place of the side windows before you bought the car in 1980? here is a link to the 73 astre brochure(73 vega shows the same interior)http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/main.php?g2_itemId=68330


Thanks for the info! It has the storage compartment behind the front seats with flat panel floor from behind the front seats all the way to the rear gate.
It had the low back seats when I got it but I replaced them with high back Trans Am buckets in the late 80's myself and tilt steering column from the Trans Am also.

The car was very abused when I got it in 1980 (only paid $75.00 for it) and I had to put a rebuilt head on the engine to get it to where I could use it as a work car for the next 7 or 8 years (until I put the V8 in it in the late 80's). The car was semi-lost to me when I got a divorce in the early 90's and I just recently got the car back so it is in a very neglected state right now but I plan to get busy before too long with the plans I had for the car way back then.

I still have the original Bill of Sale from 1980 and the VIN # on it and on the car show it to be a 1971 model but I guess the VIN description on the website here has just failed to list the 05 code for a Panel Delivery in 1971.
:th:
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby 73astregt » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:37 am

you are right on the code for the panel delivery. i have a 71 vega shop manual here (3 of them actually lol) the code shows in the manual to be 14105, a two door driver only panel delivery. the curb weight surprises me tho, they show curb weight to be only 2065 lbs :shock: i thought they weighed a fair bit more than that! p.s, i straightened out that link for the old car brochures in my earlier post it will work just by clicking on it now. sorry if you had to do it the hard way !
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby 72 SS PNL » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:21 pm

short back seat was standard for a panel , pass seat from what i remember was optional , the compartment was standard in place of the rear seat
first and best car owned 72 GT(changed to SS) panel wagon

pictures of the car from 86 - http://www.myrideisme.com/Garage/06_IBM_GOAT/955
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:19 pm

72 SS PNL wrote:short back seat was standard for a panel , pass seat from what i remember was optional , the compartment was standard in place of the rear seat


It had two of the plain short back seats when I got it and I had to have some better sitting and looking seats so I found the Trans Am seats which looked much better and were more comfortable to sit in for long drives too.

I have been playing with Photoshop again and just wanted to see what the panel would look like with a good paint job, a chop top and the Corvette 16 inch wheels/suspension under it.

Image

The wheels are 9.5x16 in the rear and 8.5x16 in the front.

I like it and have talked myself into doing it all (Vette suspension/wheels and chop top) but not sure about what color yet (maybe silver metallic with black rally stripes). I will be using the Vette seats also since they sit much closer to the floor so it will still have decent head room.
Will be starting on it as soon as I can get the 5.7 in my Blazer and will post photos of the work on it as it gets done.
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby res0o7eb » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:29 pm

Unique project! 8)
It would look great in the silver and black stock Vega color/stripe scheme.
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Astre-mutt » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:55 am

Interesting project. Sounds like you have some big horsepower. Not sure that the Corvette rear will solve your traction problems, At least not with out some big tires. If you feel the need to chop the top, why not flair the fenders? This could let you run 315 to 335 tires in the back, and 275 to 295 on the front. May be so flairs like the old IROC race car flairs, or maybe you could build the first IMSA chopped panel wagon.
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