76 Wagon Project

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76 Wagon Project

Postby 76wagon » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:47 pm

So after having a "75" wagon for years I find out the VIN has been swapped and it's actually a '76. After a year of talking to the MTO, police and anyone else I could think of to find a solution to this (besides covering it up and pretending everything's OK) and getting absolutely nowhere I come across a '76 wagon from Alberta.

Here's the car on the trailer- yes that little s10 pulled it no problem
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This car hasn't been messed with, original engine and tranny were pulled and it was shipped to ontario. Pretty optioned out too- sway bars (not a GT), tilt power steering, power brakes, rear defroster, delay wipers... I'm sure there was more but can't remember right now. The body is in pretty good shape, nice and straight, not too much rust but enough to remind me it's definitely from Canada. It's got the standard rotted battery tray, plus a hole in the lower driver's fender but the only major rust is in the rear control arm mounts.

Side view- you can see the little rust hole in the fender
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Battery tray rust. Frame rails are super solid
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Sexy Interior
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So far I've torn the car right down to the shell, built a rotisserie and gotten the car mounted to it. I was concerned I'd have trouble turning it over with the low ceiling height in my garage but looks like I'm going to just squeak by with a couple inches to spare.


Front rotisserie mount
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Rear rotisserie mount
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Car up and turning
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The plan- build up this body and swap in the 355, 5-speed, 3.73 posi and interior from my other car. First on the list is building a set of subframe connectors like these http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2357894/1 ... ga/page-8/ those will take care of the rotted suspension mounts as well as make this thing nice and strong for the drivetrain I'm using.

More coming soon...

Phill
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby sportriderok » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:57 am

Looks like a nice start, Phil! Looks a lot like my project wagon.
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby 76wagon » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:31 pm

Got my subframe connectors built and one of them installed...

Here's what I cut out to fit the frame rail up front
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and in the rear
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installed
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Here's the view from inside- hopefully I can get the carpet to conform to the new shape of the rear floor
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all welded up in the front
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and in the rear- gonna cut a hole in the floor to make it easier to fab up the rest, get at it from both sides
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here's a side view- hangs less than 1/2" below the rocker, or it will once the rocker is straightened out- it's bent up a little bit in the centre
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my biggest worry was getting the control arm mounting hole in the right spot, since the frame rail will be basically replacing the torque boxes and acting as control arm mounts. What I did was spread the old mount enough to fit around the new one and stuck the mounting bolt through to position the frame rail. Worked like a charm!

Next up is machining up some ball joint sleeves and getting the control arms ready...
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby 76wagon » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:13 pm

Got some more done this week. Machined up some ball joint sleeves, got them welded into the lower control arms, modified the upper control arms for the S10 ball joints and bolted the driver's side together to see how everything fit. Camber was almost exactly 90 degrees from the floor with the cam bolts in the center of their adjustment.

Here's the sleeves- on the right is an old ball joint I machined down to be a slide fit into the sleeves. The idea was to have something to keep them round when I welded them in. Seemed to work pretty well, still might have to buff them out a bit with a flap wheel.
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Here's everything together. When I turn the spindle to the bump stop the rim comes pretty close to the spring pocket brace so I think I'll leave them on the the control arms.
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Here's another shot of the rim. Check out my center cap- made those at my last job where I had CNC mills to play with and no work to do. They also double as spacers to locate the rim to the spindle. You can also see the only rust hole in the body. All the rest are underneath where it's way harder to get at
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I also have the passenger side subframe connector finally done but no pics yet. Should have some up later today.
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby 1100kaw » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:15 am

Look n good. Getting a lot done pretty quick.
keep us updated :th:
Darrell
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69 Skylark Wagon BBC
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby 76wagon » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:32 pm

Thanks 1100kaw. My goal is to be driving the car this summer, whether or not I have time to paint it. As long as I can keep up with the money side of it I should be able to.

Got some pics of the work I did to the first subframe connector Saturday. Got the rear fabbed up and tied in with the rear frame of the car. I stepped the sides out a bit for a bit of clearance for the control arms. I'm hoping the stock arms will still work properly, if not it's tubular control arms for me.
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Angles look kinda funny because the body was sideways when these were taken.
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What will be visible when the car is on the ground. Still some inner fender work to do but that's a next weekend problem.
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Here's a before shot of the driver's side torque box- gonna be a bit more work to rebuild this side...
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At least it should be easy to cut out. On the bright side the control arm mounting point is still intact so I can get the new mounting point lined up properly
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By the end of this coming weekend I'm, hoping to have both subframe connectors finished and maybe get started on the floors

Phill
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby 71V8Vega » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:35 pm

Great job! some good ideas here. Great idea having holes on the upper arms of the rotisserie, for some adjustment to help balance the car.
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby rustyfords » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:33 pm

Nice work.

The rotisserie is very cool, and I'm sure it makes the job a million times easier.
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby 76wagon » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:15 pm

Building that rotisserie was the best decision I ever made. I'd never get half of that work done without it.

Got a bit done this past weekend. Going around the car and fully welding anything structural. Only got a few hours worth done but you get the idea
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A shot from in the engine bay
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Hopefully by the end of this weekend I should have that all done plus the floors all welded up. Next step- sandblast and paint the floor so I can get the suspension bolted on and the car back off the rotisserie
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby Vega45 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:13 pm

looking good keep the good work
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby 76wagon » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:44 am

Had a snow day yesterday :D and got some work done on the car.

First off was the panel behind the pass side fender. Didn't get a before pic but it was pretty bad
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Next up was the battery tray, here's a before from the bottom
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Doubt this would have held a battery for too long
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Here's an after. Check out the new blast cabinet- Princess Auto rules
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Another shot, you can see some of the front in this one
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That's the end of the stuff that needs to look good. Now just floors and rear inner wheel wells, that should go pretty quickly
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby 76wagon » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:28 am

Finally got some more work done on the car

Some rocker repair...

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Some window repair, I have a replacement for that c-pillar panel that's missing

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I've also just about finished on the floors, after that I'll sandbast any rust, paint the underside and start bolting the suspension back together. Can't wait to see this thing on the ground again and get that engine in there. Weather's getting nicer and this thing needs to go together!

Phill
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby NVEGAR8D » Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:47 pm

Hi,
That rotisserie sure was a good idea. i'm really enjoying your journal and getting some ideas. i'm having my own issues with inner wheel wells, rebuilding them from the inside- out. it's slow going not being able to flip the car.
keep up the great work.
nick75vega
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby 76wagon » Tue May 21, 2013 5:50 pm

Been busy on the car lately. No pics yet but I'll add some soon. Floors are done and painted, 4+ coats of gravel guard and 3 heavy coats of black tremclad. Same for the control arms and spindles. Also managed to get a full set of NOS AC Delco spring for a V6 Monza with A/C for $30

Spent last night and this morning pressing in ball joints and front bushings. As it sits right now the front control arms are installed and waiting on a spring compressor to install the spindles. Should be able to have the rear control arms and old rear end installed tomorow, then the goal is to have it back off the rotissserie by the end of the weekend.

Then comes the body work... :cuss:

Phill
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Re: 76 Wagon Project

Postby waybad » Tue May 21, 2013 6:23 pm

great work!!! love it!!
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