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.

This next phase of work will include the final prep and install of:

  • Rear axle (painted, new pinion gasket, fluid change, new rear diff cover)
  • E-brake cables
  • New drum brakes and all related parts
  • Rear Brake lines
  • Rear air bags & air lines
  • Shocks
  • Afterburner speakers (plus heat shields)
  • Exhaust tips
  • Exhaust loops over the rear axle,
  • Rear Exhaust heat wrapping where needed
  • Mufflers
  • Fuel Lines and fuel tank vent line
  • Fuel Pump and Fuel Filters

I must admit I had a little bit of difficulty moving around yesterday.  I had the bright idea to go out and play some basketball with some friends from BlackBerry the other night, and that combined with running the grinder over my head for 1.5 hours made for some pretty stiff muscles the next day. I’m actually still feeling like an old man today 🙂

But the work must keep moving forward.  So the first job was seam sealing the joints to protect them from water.  This was messy work and actually took most of the time yesterday afternoon.  My goal here wasn’t to be super neat and tidy, but instead just liberal with the amount applied.  On this car we’re not going for a show quality underside to be viewed with mirrors, but instead a good durable real world drivable car.

It was tight quarters trying to get up into the driveshaft tunnel and in some cases the tip of the seam sealer tube wouldn’t reach, so you just had to put a little on your finger at a time and apply it bit by bit.

Once the seam sealer application was finished I was able to get started on the paint.  The seam sealer takes about 30 minutes before it’s paintable so the areas that I started on (3 hours prior) were now ready for paint.

Yesterday I also picked up the parts that were sent out to be cleaned up at the media blasters.  The exhaust tips needed to have the old paint removed, which I sprayed on them earlier when I didn’t think I could make the tips functional.  But now that they’re functional they needed to be cleaned up so that I can paint them with VHT header paint.

The rear axle also now looks really good with all that rust removed.  I’ll be bringing it back into the garage this morning so that I can give it a coat of paint to match the chassis and start some of the disassembly and reassembly work on the brakes and wear-and-tear parts beginning next week.

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