Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

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Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby Zanie » Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:15 pm

My buddy Tim and I are putting this Vega wagon together to autocross, road race, drag race, whatever. Just a fun little car, with a roof…..a long roof
We looked at a bunch of rusty hulks all last summer and even received a nasty threat when we low balled some jerk with a really rusty POS vega wagon. Fortunately in December we found this 73 wagon in Milwaukee on Craigslist. It’s a rust-free Arizona titled wagon. Some previous owner primerd it with red oxide primer, because the paint was faded….but its super rust free. I was burned once several years ago & I swore to never buy another car in prime; so I went over this thing with a fine tooth comb…and a magnet.
Its very much nearly rust free: THE BATTERY TRAY IS STILL GOOD! Shocking!! A Vega with the original battery tray!!!!!! Those rusted away in the first year!
Sure It looks like crap, but I’m telling you it’s a cream puff under that ugly azz primer. I thumped the thing 100 times with a magnet before we made an offer on the car.
The line on the door looks like it disappears, but it's just the photo (photos are previous owners pics)
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Door jambs are still in the original red paint.
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check the bottom of the quarter panel and spare tire well!
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The Vega currently has a turbo 3.8 with a NASTY rod knock, but it’ll move under its own power. Engine and t350 trans will be coming out and looking for a new home soon.
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We were planning on following the trail that Jeff Schwartz blazed and were looking for aluminum 5.3. Fortunately, we stumbled across another Craigslist score: A complete LS1 engine and 4L60 with the computers, ps pump, A/C and all the wires sensors etc, out of a 1998 Camaro The plan is to reseal it, lose the EGR etc, and swap the cam. . Not planning to run the A/C, at this point.

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Next up: we need to find a wrecked 98 and newer blazer for the spindles, rear end, rear sway bar etc. Fingers crossed, but still searching for bits and pieces or a whole truck

Anyway……still gathering parts. I will update when we get more stuff or start to tear into it.
Dan
73 vega wagon LS1 T56 build thread
http://forums.h-body.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=36579
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Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby RockDaddy » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:43 pm

Very nice Vega. You will love the swap.
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Thx to Billy Briggs and the guys at http://www.motorcityspeedonline.com
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1972 Chevrolet Vega

Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby tybotim » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:54 pm

Since Zanie hasn't shared, we have since aquired, stripped nad scrapped a 02 Blazer stickshift with trailering package. Now have front spindles, rear end, and anti lock stuff.
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Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby waybad » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:19 pm

keep posting pictures :dance: :dance: :dance:
Tinker
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Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby 72 SS PNL » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:54 pm

i remember that car when i was looking for a wagon , it was down near tuscon , i could never get any straight answers from the guy , lol

should be a fun toy
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: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby 1100kaw » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:48 pm

Long Roofs Rule. (notice my avitar)
Sounds like your off to good start. I would have liked to done a wagon, But i'm happy with my hatch. Cars are like girls.... Its all about the body, we can put up with a lot of other shortcomings if the body rocks.
Keep updating
Darrell
72 Vega GT LS
69 Skylark Wagon BBC
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Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby Zanie » Sun May 10, 2015 12:54 pm

updates way overdue.
engine out
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Removed the seats and took off the seat covers...yikes
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removed the nose power washed the bottom
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Dan
73 vega wagon LS1 T56 build thread
http://forums.h-body.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=36579
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Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby Zanie » Sun May 10, 2015 12:57 pm

put it back on the lift. kinda rust free.
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Realized I wanted a T56 so the interior came out.
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Then the trans tunnel came out
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I don't like vehicles that are impossible to repair, and or that strand you....so I wanted the trans tunnel big enough to get the trans out in a reasonable amount of time. ..so its pretty big. My buddy is a sheet metal guy so we made the trans tunnel on his brake.

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checking clearance for bellhousing bolts
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dang that trans is big
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Dan
73 vega wagon LS1 T56 build thread
http://forums.h-body.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=36579
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Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby Zanie » Sun May 10, 2015 1:00 pm

First fitting of the 98 LS1.

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We ended up redoing the mounting plates and moving the engine back 1 inch from where its shown here.
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Stock 98 F body manifolds fit with minimal modification. Engine is offset 1/2 inch to the right.
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Gave the stands a little bracing. If things look crooked....Previous owner built crossmember crooked and installed the wrong pitman arm.
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Dan
73 vega wagon LS1 T56 build thread
http://forums.h-body.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=36579
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Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby Zanie » Sun May 10, 2015 1:06 pm

Some of the previous 2 posts were out of order, but you get the idea. Like every project the engine goes in and out a few times!
Dan
73 vega wagon LS1 T56 build thread
http://forums.h-body.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=36579
Zanie
 
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Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby Zanie » Sun May 10, 2015 1:08 pm

Made room for some frame rails.
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Made this out of 2 by 3 tubing transitioning to 3 x 3 tubing for the last foot. The crossmember is 2 by 2 with the hoop out of 1 by 2. The angle iron pieces were only used to keep things square until we got the frame welded into the car.

I built it all, but can't take credit for the idea I copied several people on this board, but mostly Darrel (1100kaw2) .

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After we welded it all it was noticeably stiffer. Before the doors would open "different" while the car was on the lift. Now the doors open just as great on the ground, as on the lift.
Dan
73 vega wagon LS1 T56 build thread
http://forums.h-body.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=36579
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Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby Zanie » Sun May 10, 2015 1:11 pm

Lots of prep before we could fit the frame up in the car
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Had to level the car and support it at the front suspension. Made some angle iron supports to hold the car at the rear wheel wells. leveled the car out left to right, front and back…then made sure the doors opened and closed correctly.

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the red line across the back of the car is from the laser level.

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Then we raised the framerails up into the car , leveled the frame left & right, front & back........ and started welding.
No comments on the welds conditions were less than optimal.
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Gonna go back later and finish up the welds when the wagon is on a rotisserie.

Heres’ the rails welded in.


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Dan
73 vega wagon LS1 T56 build thread
http://forums.h-body.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=36579
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Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby Smiley » Sun May 10, 2015 6:31 pm

very nice
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Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby zeke » Sun May 10, 2015 8:34 pm

Nice work on the floor pan and frame stiffeners. :th: Beauty shop btw!
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Re: Another LS1 73 Vega Wagon

Postby b_pappy » Mon May 11, 2015 10:39 pm

Looks like it will be fun. Best of luck with it.
Bruce
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