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Discussion Starter #1
Just started a full restoration of a 69 coupe I've had since high school. This car was the only thing my wife and I owned when I transferred to San Diego to the USS Tripoli - everything we had fit in the trunk. The car has seen countless trips across the west from San Diego to Colorado and San Diego up to Napa CA. Fond memories of driving through Vegas at night with the heater on just to try to keep it cool enough and not overheat.It took me awhile before I figured out that the various trips took the same amount of time running 65mph or 100+mph. I guess at 100mph+ we got to see more small towns for fuel.

The car was just Dustless blasted and is going into the body shop on the 23rd of this month. Going back to Lemans blue. Car was very solid but a blown tire and a previous accident hidden in body work mean new rear quarters which I've ordered AMD metal for.
Question...For trim, interior ect who does everyone prefer - Ricks, Classic Industries, Year One ect? I've ordered a few things from Ricks but I'm really wanting to order the entire exterior trim including glass as well as the entire interior from a single place since its going to be around $10k for these items. Cost is always a concern but I'd rather support the true enthusiast owned businesses instead of the large corp stores.
As far as drivetrain I'm going with a 406 small block built by Tri-Star out of Wisconsin and a Tremec 5spd from SST. Was initially going to go LS but it seems everybody is going that route and I like to be different. I think a 550hp small block in factory dress with 307 badges and a fully functional cowl hood and plumbing might be sorta cool. The goal is a street-able driver.
 

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Welcome Travis! Sounds like a great project! I would do your homework on repro interior parts . There is a large gap in fitment and quality between the makers of each part. You have to know what maker you are getting from each catalog. And there is the issue of a later part run being better than the early ones, but the catalog place only has the early ones. Keep reading and asking questions about specific parts!

I used Legendary Interiors for the standard seat covers and liked them much better than PUI. Rest of my interior is original GM.
 

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Engine ordered today and should ship next week. I decided to go with a 427 SBC from tri-star engines. Dart SHP block, heads and intake, forged rotating assembly and a Quick Fuel 750 on top. It made 535hp and 590tq on the dyno.
Now I need to figure out the tire/wheel combination I want to run and start working on rear and trans gearing/ratio. Speed limit is 80mph here in WY and I don't want to be too wound up running 75-80 but I don't want to kill the hole shot either.

Tri-Star 428 Small Block
 

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Go with a TKO600 .64 OD and 3.73s. With cruise all day long at 75-80 under 2500 rpm
 

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Sounds like a fun project, Travis. Welcome to the site!
 

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Pounce on the sales! Even if some stuff is out of sequence, it can be a good feeling to score 30% off of inner fenders, glass or a dash pad! Of course, usually the things you want are not included in the sale...

I think many of the parts come out of the same faucet -
 

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I would be carefull about purchasing too much all at once. I bought many of parts that were defective or non functioning, if you purchase these items too early then it becomes difficult to exchange them. My general rule of thumb is to only purchase what I will be installing or mocking up within a 6 month time period.
 

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I would be carefull about purchasing too much all at once. I bought many of parts that were defective or non functioning, if you purchase these items too early then it becomes difficult to exchange them. My general rule of thumb is to only purchase what I will be installing or mocking up within a 6 month time period.
Agree with Jim..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good point Jim but I have to write the last check before the first check clears and the wife figures out what I'm doing:)

Bodyshop in Loveland that was going to do the body & paint work is switching gears and but I think I found a guy in the Brighton area to handle the sheet metal work in the January timeframe. He does work for Camaros Plus in Denver from time to time and says he is real familiar with the first Gens. I'll do the body and paint myself. As much as I wanted to farm the work out to the pros I can do it I just end up spending more time cutting and buffing then most - laying clear kicks my a$$ every time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Some pics of the project so far. Going in for rear qtrs and tail panel in mid Jan and then back to me for body work and paint. Car was originally Lemans Blue and going back to that color.



 

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Discussion Starter #12
Some pics finally.

Teardown


Problem area


Floor pans look great



Dustless blasting



Rear quarter damage is a tire that let loose at 6500rpm.

Goes in for both rear quarters and tail panel later this month.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Old motor and th350

sub frame removed, cleaned and painted and all new moog components put in. Also installed a disk brake conversion from CPP. Think I'm going to put different wheel bearings in from a reputable source.

New motor and TKO600 5 spd in from SST on recommendation from Vega69. Great kit and easy conversion. Bell housing runout with the dart block was .003 so no need for offset pins.


Front sheet metal back on and panels aligned as close as I can get. not perfect but way better then factory gaps. Still going to do some welding to make better.

 

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Brett - Leander, Texas 1969 SS396
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Man! you are FAST!! Little over a month and you are ready for paint. I've been working on my car for two years. I wish I had your energy (and checkbook-haha). Great work. I ordered my TKO-600 also. What rear gears did you go with?

Brett.......
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Brett... going to go with 3:55s I think. Still need to rebuild the rear end and get the brake conversion on but that will likely happen after paint. It's got 3:08s in it now with an open diff but I may drive it first to see how I like them before rebuilding it. Motor made 590 tq on the dyno so 308 maybe ok for a driver. This car will be on some long road trips and the speed limit here in Wyoming is 80.
 

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Brett - Leander, Texas 1969 SS396
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I live next to Toll 130 in Texas, where the speed limit is 85. I'll be interested to see what you think about the 3.08. I bet you up the ratio after test driving.

Brett.....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Fired the engine today and looks like I have a rear main leak or oil pan leak - not sure yet. Car is in the trailer and headed down to Progressive Restorations for the rear quarters and tail light panel tonight and I won't have it back for a couple of weeks.
Once I get it back I suppose the easiest thing to do is add some dye to the oil and get a black light on it to see where its coming from. I know its not the rear of the intake or the oil sending unit plug - the top/back is dry.

Not sure how much of a job it is to replace the rear main on a Dart SHP block - I think its a two piece seal if thats indeed what it is. Even if its the pan the motor needs to come out as there isn't any room to drop the pan in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Old quarters off. Needs outer wheelhouses and trunk extensions as well as the drivers side frame rail.
Looks like its been hit twice early in its life. Also saw some damage that I believe might have been the result of a broken axle. Looks like a tire came off and did some damage to the wheelhouses on the drivers side.





Tail light panel on.
 
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