1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomod

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1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomod

Postby Boostedvega » Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:07 pm

1971 Chevy Vega with FD rx7 engine and suspension.
Yes it handles like a go cart.

Background:
I wanted to move into a lighter chassis and pre 1975 car from my current turbo 1998 ws6(current DD). I had originally plan to put a turbo v8 on a triumph gt6 that i bought, then for some odd luck while surfing the web I run into a Chevy Vega. Since I have two kids the Vega is a perfect fit. 4 Seater, lightweight and pre 1975.
Out goes the gt6 :bump: and The Vega search began.

A couple of months of just randomly browsing craigslist this very unique Vega popped up.

1971 Chevy Vega with an FD rx7 engine, transmission, front and rear suspension with IRS.
I couldnt pass it up, I could care less about the rotary but the suspension setup is the one I want. so I went and picked it up. (since the engine was spitting coolant when i went to see it I got a massive discount :th: )


Condition of the car:
The car is pretty much complete and done, However looks like its been neglected in the past few years and in fact id be willing to bet that it hasnt been driven for some time.
The point of this Build thread is just to document things that Ill be changing, and sooner or later the V8 turbo to come.

POOR QUALITY BUILD...
Without having a lift when i checked it out I found a few things that I didnt like right from the start. However I didnt realize just how much until I started tearing it open.
I will have to redo a lot of the stuff :bang:
I just dont understand why people go through all the trouble of doing a big swap like this and dont make that extra effort to clean things up.
The builder definitely have that out of sight out of mind mentality. Not to mention the amount of weight added to this thing. (I took it to the scale when i got it and it weigh 2860 lbs.)

So I guess Ill be addressing these first.

GOAL:
Clean up everything and update things that needs to be updated.
get rid of the rattle in the whole car.
redo the "bunch of little piece dash."
Redo body work- rivets everywhere right now.
add flare/wide fenders and hopefully with 275 tires all around.
And finally turbo 5.3

Picture time.

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Now The not so good.

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:bored: :bored: :bored:
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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby Boostedvega » Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:34 pm

First things to get done after opening things up are wiring harness and steering column.

The upper bracket is completely not in use and it hits the dash when dropping the steering.
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after some cutting/welding and paint.
cleaner and lost 1.4 lbs

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Moving on to one of my BIGGEST pet peeves when it comes to car.
a rats nest of a wiring...

under dash/stereo. I would have never found that fuse box...
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and behind steering.
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Heres what happen when i start finding somethings i dont like. This all started with the interior dash rattling and it being just bolted together.
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Solution to my wiring mess. Redo the wiring- cut shorter and separate each harness. Then relocate the fuse box where its easily accessible. acouple of hours later and it looks good. :th:

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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby waybad » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:12 pm

you're not afraid of a challenge! but anytime you have a h-body it's a challenge :bump: :bump: keep up the good work :th:
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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby marco_1978_spyder » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:13 pm

someone should swap the Rotory into a 1975 monza
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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby avewhtboy » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:47 am

Congratulations on the new project it looks like you have stepped into a hornets nest with all that wiring.

That cars been for sale for a while I think I have seen it on Ebay and Craigslist several times over the last few years. I bet it was a really nice car
when it was first finished but time neglect and possibly several new owners take there toll on these cars.

Thanks posting your project here looking forward to your progress reports!
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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby b_pappy » Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:05 pm

Interesting swap, and quite the project. Best of luck with it, and keep us posted.
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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby Boostedvega » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:20 am

waybad wrote:you're not afraid of a challenge! but anytime you have a h-body it's a challenge :bump: :bump: keep up the good work :th:
Tinker

Thanks but no challenge yet. When I start doing the swap thats going to have me :censored: lol

marco_1978_spyder wrote:someone should swap the Rotory into a 1975 monza

reasoning being? my impresssion at basically stock rotary is that they pull pretty good when your WOT or heavy partial. But dam slug all around town. maybe good for track? but as a DD its not for me.
The only good part about it IMO is everytime i jump back into my turbo ws6 it makes my ws6 feels like a rocket :lol:

avewhtboy wrote:Congratulations on the new project it looks like you have stepped into a hornets nest with all that wiring.

That cars been for sale for a while I think I have seen it on Ebay and Craigslist several times over the last few years. I bet it was a really nice car
when it was first finished but time neglect and possibly several new owners take there toll on these cars.

Thanks posting your project here looking forward to your progress reports!


Do you happen to remember their asking price? The an old I found was like 11k or something. Lucky me that previous owners didnt take care of it because i picked it up for a fraction of that :th: :th: :th: :th:

Unfortunately its only a looker from far or if you dont look "under the rug". If you look at the details you wont be too happy. When I start tackling the things youll see what i mean. Great idea though so im still thankful to who ever the original owner is. Its much easier to "clean things up" than do this swap myself.


b_pappy wrote:Interesting swap, and quite the project. Best of luck with it, and keep us posted.
Bruce


Thanks for stopping by. Ill try to do updates when I can. Its going to be slow progress but better than no progress.
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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby Boostedvega » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:42 am

UPDATE:

I was trying to figure out why AC died. I found a leak on the oil pressure gauge(another reason why I dislike any lines going into the cabin) I guess it dripped and shorted it out.

anyone knows where i can get replacement for those little controller?(see pic the one thats browning)
I found one thats complete but I think I only need two the top(temp sensor) is fine and I dont really need the cover setup.

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Del Sol seats

Postby Boostedvega » Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:31 pm

UPDATE:
Another weight saving future plans. I been looking for cheap lightweight seats to eventually put on the car to shave off some weight and get a better "hugging seats". Plus I dont like tan interior so future plans are black interior. After some searching, I found that a del sol seats are some of the lightest factory seats around. Go figure.

If anyone has suggestions on a lighter seats please let me know. BUT they have to be within budget. Ideally $200-400 for two since I would want matching ones. MAX 700 for two if its really lightweight and comfortable for longer drives. and of course it must offer a decent support.

back to the seats. These wont be the one ill be using as these are actually from my sisters del sol :lol: ,lucky :th: she happened to own one so I was able to weight them with sliders and actually test fit them too.

They are just a tad bit bigger(probably shave off 1/4" off trans tunnel to slid freely or just leave it on for a snug slide) but definitely manageable. On the pics the sliders are NOT flush mounted specially the passenger so I expect the seats to drop about 1.5-2.5" once i shorten the bracket and actually mount them on.

So far the only downside I see if I will have to relocate the e-brake back to the top instead of side mounted like right now. not much of a downside.

The good:
pretty lightweight
Comfortable they are oem
offers surprisingly good support.
cheap- ive seen some old adds selling them for 50-200 a pair. or 300+ for really good ones.

SPECS:
Current seats thats on there, with brackets/sliders
41 lbs Driver seat
36 lbs passenger seat

1993 Del Sol Seat w/ bracket/sliders
32 lbs driver seats
32 lbs passenger seat

Total saving: 13 lbs

I expect it to be closer to 15lbs since I plan to cut the brackets and do a bit more weight reductions on the seats.

will update again when I find some locally. :th: :th: :th:
So far I think these will be my seats.

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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby Boostedvega » Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:42 am

UPDATE: Del Sol seats

I ended up finding a set of del sol seats for cheap. I picked up both for $60. Driver isnt the best but thats ok, I planned to get this reupholstered later on anyways. Passenger side looks good.

Downside, previous owner smoke so I went a little overboard but I dislike cigarette. :lol:
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Looking good and smell neutral again
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I havent have much time due to other projects but I was able to start the seat bracket today. I may have to reweigh everything since I didnt realize that the seat that was on there was mounted on heavy box tubing. I decided to cut that down and fab it to fit the bracket of the del sol.

So far so good-Driver side is nearly finished. Since all the planning and measuring is done the only thing left is finish welding the other bracket and the paint it. The easy part.
I didnt realize how much work it takes to mount a seat. It must have taken me about a day to plan/measure and make the bracket. Another acouple of hours to "center the seat" and plan on the slider reach.

This is all today, Im hoping tomorow/this weekend I can finish the driver seat. Passenger should be faster since i know what to do now.

Heres a bit of pics of the bracket in progress.

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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby 6D9 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:33 pm

I saw that car on Craigslist too! Looks like you will have a nice set up once you clean up ll the loose ends.
72 Vega GT...406 sbc..TH700R4...3.42 gear...235/60/15 MT DR's....11.54 at 118.6..Dad's car
72 Vega GT...4cyl..4 speed..all stock
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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby hammerdown7 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:09 pm

The reason Marco suggested for someone to put a rotary in a Monza is because the Monza was originally designed to have a rotary before GM gave up on the engine.

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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby Boostedvega » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:31 pm

Driver seat mounting is complete.
Fits like a glove.
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I went ahead and took out all the gunk on the driver side to check for rust. So far its pretty good.
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after a quick spray.

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about 4lbs of crap. not much of weight reduction but its good to remove before i add dynamat.
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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby Boostedvega » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:15 am

SO.... I sold my daily turbo ws6. A lot sooner than expected and im forced to get a beater or get this car up in running.
Im choosing the latter. Looks like ill be driving around in a gutted incomplete interior.

started looking around in preparation for winter/ rainy days and found the two rear tower to have a temporary cover thats been hot glued in place. :?: at some area you can actually see an area that isnt filled. no wonder the car was super noisy.
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anyways I finished the passenger side. I will have to do the driver side at another time as I need this car tomorow :lol:
A little annoyed as the front area was complicated to weld. not enough clearance for my mig gun. this would be cake if it was done before the cage.

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and since i didnt post my seat bracket here it is. all thats needed is to drill out the stock rivets and move the bracket inward.
Relocate the lever wire forward and its good.
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Ive also decided to do away with the rear cross bar for dd / back seat use. Since i doubt it will see track I dont think ill need it.

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Re: 1971 Chevy Vega-RX7 suspension. Turbo V8 to come-Restomo

Postby sportriderok » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:12 am

It's hard to understand the PO putting the time and engineering effort into this car and doing such substandard work. You are going to have one unique Vega when you are done, and your cleanup work looks outstanding. I'm hooked, keep it up!
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