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1969 SS rebuild, first time restorer

1463 Views 30 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  V8cylinder
Hello all. Thought I would journal my restoration. First, thank you for all the support and guidance I have already received on this forum. Starting with a mostly complete 1969 350 SS, non matching engine and trany. Owned since 1999, drove till 2003 then parked. Car soild when purchased, had a fresh coat of black paint applied from MAACO. Good driver, parked due to family commitments (Kids).

Started restoration fall of 2022. Car was in running condition, paint ok, floor boards rusted. Decided full floor pan best option. This required removal of front subframe. This was a larger job then originally thought. Broke a few things during the process, overall went good. During disassembly noted firewall and one quarter panel needing replacement also. Suspect will find a few more body panels requiring replacement before done.
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Thank you for the encouragement. Spending a lot of time looking/dreaming at cars on line. Planning a resto-mod as wanting a few upgrades vs what I believe came from the factory.
The one thing I missed when researching the project was how much room you need. Have a 2.5 garage, its getting crowded.
You probably know you need to bag and tag fasteners and take a lot of pictures before and during disassembly. Also the GM Assembly Instruction Manual (AIM) will help when you start putting it all back together.
Assemble manual is a must! Got pictures too.
Nice. So you “broke a few things during the process”? Patience? Beverage Budget? Finger? Penalty for swearing?
I thought my steering column at the rag joint was free (blot removed). When I removed the the subframe body bolts, the subframe shifted forward damaging the rag joint. Also on of the body bolts was rusted and broke free the nut at the firewall. Bolt also broke. Not sure how I am going to fix this. At least it broke in a way the subframe was removeable.
Look forward to seeing your progress!
Thank you, will try to post pictures as progress is made.
U can arc weld nut at firewall once everything apart. if u can vice grip the stud(bolt now)
u can burn the bolt too,
The broken nut holder piece is available. Happened to me once, well nut was spinning. A buddy arc welded it down.
I agree with your remedy. As long as the bolt is still in the correct location, should be able to weld the nut back in place. Will be able to get some heat on the body bolt for removal. Only possible issue is if the mounting hole is too rusted and cannot get a good weld.
I agree with BEUNY and a few others above . Make sure all of your measurements are correct because a 32nd off here and there at the front end becomes an inch by the time you get to the back end.Alex
That is one thing that puts puts a bit of scare in me. Being off on my frame/body mounts. Want the car to drive straight when restored. Worse case the whole thing becomes some very cool yard art!
Technically the nut floats. There’s a cage welded over it which holds it. I bent my cage up. New square nut under it. Then welded old cage back down.
The bolt broke during removal. When subframe was removed, that is when I noticed the nut was loose. Was unaware the nut floats, maybe I'm not as bad off as I thought. Will look into this further
yep, it needs to float or you won't be able to align the frame when you put it back together, unless you weld it after you have the frame aligned and the bolt in place - but that might be difficult to reach then.
Was planning on welding the nut to the firewall support, have to remove the broken bolt out of it. If its support to float, will have to come up with another option to fix the nut in place for bolt removal.
In your disassembly description you mention the firewall needs replaced. if you are replacing the lower firewall/toeboard part it comes with new body mounts already on it.

It is my toe boards that need replaced. Purchased the floor and trunk pan from ADM, they did not offer just the toe boards, purchased the entire firewall. Was cheaper to purchase all together to save on shipping.

Unknown how much of the firewall will be replacing. Was hoping to keep the existing body mounts on the car, concerns the repo ADM firewall may not have the body mounts in the correct location.
Anti seize is your friend
Amazing just how rusty these body bolts can get.
Actually it’s not if you think about it.
Procrastinating getting that broken body bolt out. Update when removed.
Which one broke off?
Passenger side/firewall. Cage nut looks ok, going to have find something to wedge inbetween the nut and the cage to get the bolt out. Luckly some of the bolt is sticking out of the nut, enought to weld a nut on. Hopefully with a little heat and penitrating oil will come out.
Thank you for the kind words. Most days I feel completely over my head. Regarding welding horizontal good, vertical ok, upsidedown will be a new skill to learn.

AMD did not offer toe panels so I have purchased a complete firewall. Major concerns regarding replacing the complete firewall as doubtful would get the subframe mounting brackets in the correct place. Still have to remove the seam sealer as you suggest to investigate any possible rust damage. Full replacement would solve my broken body mount bolt issue, lol.
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