'54 Bel Air Build Sally O'Malley - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion

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'54 Bel Air Build Sally O'Malley

Old 10-27-2018, 08:22 PM
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Default '54 Bel Air Build Sally O'Malley

Picked this up for my girl a few months ago in Ohio. Hauled it back to Texas, fixed a bunch of ****, and she got to enjoy it for a few weeks before the 235 took a dump. I had it running flawlessly too, started misting oil on the highway, pegged temp, 0 oil pressure. Anyway, I haven't torn it apart yet (until today) because I've been finishing some other projects, but I pulled it in the garage and started officially tearing it apart.

We have the TCI IFS with Ridetech coilovers and power steering (fannnnncy)
4.8/5.3 with a 4l60 (I'm trading some harness work and finishing my buddies 6.0 swapped Model A in exchange for the drivetrain - he owns a scrap/tow yard so he has piles of them).
Vintage air
Maybe 4 link/c notch in the rear (idk yet)
She wants to drive it by Christmas, so I'm about to get er done. Sadly, TCI shipped the tubular control arms assembled so I have to disassemble it all before my boy Jay can powder coat it :/

Anyway, here's some pics.

Before we got it:


Since we got it:


What it looks like as of right now:
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:30 PM
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Sweeeeet. The windshield converted to one piece?
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:43 PM
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GM went to 1 piece windshields in the cars in '49.
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:45 PM
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I'm really shocked how rust free it is being from the north. I don't think I would be able to find a more rust free 49-54 down here. I've only found a few spots (trunk floor behind tubs), and a few pin holes in the 1/4.
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Old 10-27-2018, 09:35 PM
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Dude, that is gonna be a cool ride! Some locals are in for a few surprises when she's done! Try to keep it looking as stock as possible! STEALTH, baybeee!
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Old 10-27-2018, 09:52 PM
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It's not getting anything crazy, so it won't be terribly fast. But it will be reliable and have heat & A/C for her. She drove the C10 the other week and it scared her enough to never want anything fast. I told her I wouldn't build it for her unless she bought the TCI IFS. I added the coil overs for her, and I'm really stoked to test them out.
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:34 PM
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Yeah, I hope she knows that the TFS suspension will be WAY safer than the OEM setup.
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Old 10-28-2018, 12:18 AM
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Olds went 1 piece in '49 and Chevy didn't but still looks good.
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Old 10-28-2018, 07:52 AM
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Clean car. Looks like a great project. Love those wide whites
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
Clean car. Looks like a great project. Love those wide whites
They're fake (portawalls). They suck, only good to 45-50mph before they start flapping. It's getting some real wide whites when we're done.

Back from a week in Mexico. Motor is hanging free in the engine bay, it's coming out tomorrow. Longest part was the u joints inside the torque tube. Hopefully I can sell this drivetrain for a few hundred bucks at least. I know a lot of guys really like the I6/PG combo with the right rear gears.

Waiting on motor mounts (Walton Fab)
Still need to drop IFS parts off for powdercoat, but I want to get the original front end off first.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:12 AM
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Cool car.
A friends dad had one years ago and I wouldn't mind owning one. I still remember his dad driving, telling stories and shifting the three on the tree with a pipe in his hand. It felt like we were in the 1950's when we rode in that car.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:23 AM
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Engine hoist took a dump yesterday. It was working fine the day prior which is odd. Spent a few hours trying to flush and bleed the jack, but no luck. Ordered a new one off Amazon for $50, so have to wait until Monday to yank it out...
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by onetype View Post
Engine hoist took a dump yesterday. It was working fine the day prior which is odd. Spent a few hours trying to flush and bleed the jack, but no luck. Ordered a new one off Amazon for $50, so have to wait until Monday to yank it out...
Whoa! I hope nothing got damaged as a result (including you!).
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:02 PM
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Nice car. I have a 53 with LQ4 turnkey engine with 700r4 box, TCI front clip and explorer rear axle. Engine management is a mefi-4. My car came from Carlsbad and is now in sunny Scotland - it's a very rust free example too.

Pete

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Old 11-08-2018, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by plastic orange View Post
Nice car. I have a 53 with LQ4 turnkey engine with 700r4 box, TCI front clip and explorer rear axle. Engine management is a mefi-4. My car came from Carlsbad and is now in sunny Scotland - it's a very rust free example too.

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What mounts/steering column?

Ordered my Walton mounts Oct 31st, still haven't received a shipping confirmation....
Ordered new 37's for my Jeep last night and they're already in the mail lol

Looking at her steering column, I don't know how it will work with a rack. There's no intermediate shaft, granted there's a ton of dirt/grease on it, but it looks like it's all one piece, straight to the steering box. Using the factory wheel is a must, so that rules out Ididit or most aftermarket columns. I would love to just use this factory auto column even though the indicator won't match.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:06 PM
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I bought the car essentially as it is, so not sure of engine mounts. Column is a tilt column with a single u/j which allows a shallow angle down to power rack. The TCI front end offsets the rack to the right to allow the column to miss the chassis, but it is very close. The steering lock turning left is poor because of this, so I'm adjusting this with a longer rod end on the driver side and shortening the other side. I can take photos of anything you like if it helps. The car drives very nicely and is quick rather than fast. Engine is rated by Turnkey at 375hp.

Cheers,

Pete
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:58 PM
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One thing about a classic (pre 1970's) vehicle that in my opinion really makes it cool is the steering wheel. I'm sorry but I haven't seen a single aftermarket wheel I liked more than most pre-1970's factory steering wheels in cars from the late 60's and earlier.
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:39 AM
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Built 2 harnesses this week on my spare LQ4. I'm thinking about extending the harness I made for her car and mounting the PCM/fuse block in in the trunk.
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:01 PM
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I recently moved the mefi pcm under the dash on mine and it makes for a completely uncluttered engine bay.

Pete
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:50 PM
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That PCM is tiny compared to a gen III.
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