Rear Axle Is Good To Go

Over the last few days there’s been a bunch of trips back and forth to the parts store.  For some reason the rear axle in this car is slightly different than other cars of the same make, model and year.  Go figure!

So after a bunch of do-overs the rear axle is now ready to rock and roll.  There’s a new differential plate, new gasket and new gear fluid.  As I spun the pinion all the teeth looked to be in good shape and there were no wobbly bits 🙂

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Painting and Shop Wiring

The last couple of days have been spent prepping for some more paint and also getting the shop better equipped for electricity.  Monday afternoon was spent mostly running around from store to store to grab all the things I needed to wire up a new sub-panel.

Running the air compressor, tools, and soon a heater is very taxing on the electrical system.  So I’ve brought some 220 volt service into the garage.  A dedicated circuit for the air compressor and also a dedicated 30 amp circuit for the heater or future needs.  There’s lots of room for extra circuits so I can expand as needed.

Tuesday was a nice warm 20 degree day so it was perfect for painting the parts that I recently brought back from the media blasters.  I must say that all the parts turned out quite nice!

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Rear 2/3 of the Chassis now Complete!

Ahhh… That feels good 🙂

It’s nice to finally have the chassis completed from the firewall back!  After 3 hours of seam sealing fun, and 1 hour of painting, I’m able to move onto the rear assembly phase of the project.

I’ve decided to finish up the entire final assembly and plumbing of the rear section of the car before moving on to prepping the front 1/3 for primer, seam sealer & paint.  By doing this I’ll be able to set the car back down on the ground in order to remove the engine and transmission.  Having the car on the ground will give me better clearance for using the engine cherry-picker. By getting that engine out of there it will give me full access to the front section of the car in order to do the necessary work.

Plus I’ll be able to start stripping down the existing engine for the accessories that will be transplanted to the new freshly built 4.3L V8 long-block replacement.  Things like the intake manifold, throttle body, air intake etc.

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Chassis Prepped For Paint

Over the last couple of afternoons I’ve been working on getting the underside of the chassis prepared for paint.  I’ll still need to pull the engine & transmission before finishing up some of the areas closer to the engine bay, and the inside of the transmission tunnel, but the goal was to get everything painted right up to the engine firewall.

Overall there wasn’t a ton of rust on the underside of the chassis.  Mostly just surface rust that came off with a little bit of sanding and a wire brush.  But there were a couple of trouble areas right around where the lower rear trailing arms connected to the chassis.  But an hour and half with the grinder managed to get them down to bare metal.  My shoulders are feeling that work today!

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Exhaust Fabrication Finished

In my last post I covered finishing off the driver’s side exhaust.  Everything is now securely hung and it has the ability to have a little bit of “bounce”.  The hangers however keep it under control and there’s very little play.

The last couple of afternoons were spent tackling the remainder of the exhaust system.  Primarily from the header back to the loops going over the rear axle and then finishing off all of the seam welding.

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Half Way Point For The Exhaust

I’ve been working on the exhaust for the past couple of afternoons and I’ve been able to make some pretty good progress. I would say that I’m somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 of the way finished the exhaust fabrication.

On Tuesday I created the complex pipe routing that goes from the exhaust tips, around the trunk pan and over the solid rear axle.  This was some pretty crazy time intensive work and I spent a lot of my time laying on my back staring up into the chassis looking for the best route.

There’s lots of things to be aware of such as clearing the top most travel of the axle, spacing on both sides of the axle when it travels up and down, not getting too close to the air bags, not getting too close to the shocks, and clearing the upper trailing arms through their full travel.. Yikes 😦

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Exhaust Tips Are Ready

Before running the exhaust piping I needed to finish up a small task on the exhaust tips.  Since the exhaust tips are bolted to the chassis there needs to be some flex where the exhaust piping connects.

I had previously purchased some small flex sections and now I needed to get them welded in-place.  I also picked up some butt connectors so that the pipe on the end of the exhaust tips will slide right over the main piping and I can use a traditional exhaust clamp to hold everything together.

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Prepping For Exhaust Work

Before digging into some serious exhaust fabrication I first needed to get the car up in the air.  This is actually a little more difficult than you might think.  Just like other car shops who don’t have a lift, I put the car up on some tall jack stands that will reach almost 2 feet.

They’re some heavy duty jack stands that hold 6 tons each, so you could say that they’re pretty darn sturdy.  The challenge though is getting the car up onto them when they’re that high.  Typical floor jacks simply don’t go up that far.  This is was the challenge I needed to address.

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Center Console Part 1

Before I’m able to start wrapping the dashboard in vinyl, I need to make sure that all my interior pieces fit nicely up against the dashboard.  This will save me lots of headaches once everything is wrapped and ready for installation.  No surprises will make me a very happy camper 🙂

One of the pieces that press up against the bottom of the dashboard is the center console.  I have lots of reference pictures of this area from the movie car, but the trick is trying to make my console look like the movie one even though they are different sizes and shapes.

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Waterproofing the Canopy

A little while ago I posted about waterproofing the trunk/hatch of the BatBerry.  Now it was time to tackle the canopy of the car.  This is one of the more challenging tasks considering the canopy is also the roof of the car 🙂

There’s lots of challenges that come along with this task.  Things like how do I make it so that water doesn’t pour into the cabin from the seam where the roof of the canopy meets flush with the body?  Where does the water run off?  How do I open the canopy after washing the car without a bunch of water running into the cabin?  Where does the water go that comes in along the front of where the canopy touches the body near the hood?  And the list goes on…

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