65 Bel Air 4dr - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 12
65 Bel Air 4dr

Hey all,

I just started what is my first serious attempt at a resto. I picked up my Bel Air for $450 from a lady who was going to scrap it. It had been driven last in '86 and only has 30k original miles on it.

Unfortunately for me, a family of rats had been living in the car for quite a while, so all the wiring is torn to pieces and I had to clean what seems like a metric ton of poo out of the car. The engine seems to be in good shape; I have already torn it down, cleaned it, and replaced all the gaskets. I'm in the process of cleaning the engine bay before I drop the original 283 motor back in, but have run in to some problems getting the fenders off so I can get a good clean and paint.

I've got quite the project in front of me - the interior was completely shot (all but the dash). I finally found a place that does door panels, but they are not cheap. I need to weld new floor pans in, recarpet, and I need to find new seats.

Sorry for the long-winded post -

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Welcome to the Team Matt!

Sounds like you have a plan and are working toward it. As to the frozen bolts I am partial to lots of heat and then hitting it with cold water. This heat cycling causes the bolt to expand and then contract which breaks loose the rust. If burning off paint (and potentially warping inner fender panels) bothers you then try a phosphorous rich penetrating oil applied several times over many days before attempting to remove the nut from the bolt (most nuts are clip on threaded sheet metal).

Big Dave
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 08:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miamisburg, Oh.
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Welcome Matt, sounds like you're off to a good start but like many here, still have plenty to do.

Glad you saved the car from the scrap yard.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 12

Thankfully I haven't had but a few frozen bolts. The ones I had the most trouble with were the starter bolts, and they actually broke off in the block. One came out easily with a LH drill bit, but the other one actually just had to be completely drilled out. Unfortunately, I really messed up the bolt hole and don't know if it will actually hold once the starter is actually used.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 09:36 AM
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Be careful with the starter situation. If the hole is messed up, you could get an alignment issue between the starter gear and the flex plate. If the clearances are not right, you can break the starter.

Yeah, the voice of experience. I didn't check before I tried to fire it up. 99 times out of a 100 you can get away with not checking.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 12

How do you fix a starter hole? I somehow managed to drill a little off-center. The main part of the bolt hole seems to be OK, but the very top of the hole vaguely resembles the mastercard logo. The starter seemed to bolt in fine and I have pushed on it pretty hard to make sure there is no wobble, but I am worried about it ripping out the first time I try to fire up the engine.

Of course, I am not all that sure that the engine runs anyways since it had been sitting so long. I still need to finish putting it back together and get it rewired before I can try it out...
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