Project - Attitude Adjustment begins

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Post by Iguy on Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:24 pm

Where did you get that battery tray? I looked all over and couldn't find one for 73-77 so I cleaned mine up and painted it but it's got holes where at some point acid ate through it. You car looks great!
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Post by Zaptiah on Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:22 pm

With another weekend and a little more good weather i got a little more accomplished. I popped under the car with the intent of finishing up the exhaust. Little things like installing new hangers and clamps and making sure everything was aligned properly. I noticed it looked a little off but couldn't put my finger on it so off to google i went looking for specs and pics. Come to find out i had the mufflers in backwards ... DOH!!! So 3 hours later the passenger side is back in and aligned. I also figured out i need 1 more hanger on each side. The moral of the story kids is be prepared to redo any part of a project this big ... lol.

Once I had that done i was feeling a bit abused so i decided it was time to sort my carb and linkages. After a very great deal of fruatration with not being able to get my spacer plate mounted i realised that this intakes holes were tapped to a different depth so the hardware i had wouldn't work. Eventually I decide to just toss it and mount the carb directly.

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Post by Zaptiah on Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:28 pm

My next steps are to button up underneath on the next nice weekend i have amd put it back on the ground. I need to install the new gauges and double check any plugs i missed. Hopefully i will have it started in about a month ... Maybe ... Hopefully ... LOL

I also need a little advise. I want to have disc brakes in the rear. Which is better for our cars ... Disc brake conversion or full axle swap from a different car? Part of the decision is that i will want limited slip/posi and a sway bar as well.

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Post by bigredlaguna on Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:52 pm

I think getting a rear end from a 90's B-body would be the way to go. If you need to build up the budget to get the parts retail, the time between now and the target date could be used to look for deals. Of course if I did this, the moment I pop full retail, the best deal ever would show up.

I would suggest getting the combination valve from the donor car. Or you could figure out a way to modify the one on your car. The only difference is the valve for the front brakes that allow the rear brakes to pressurize first doesn't exist in a disc/disc combo valve.
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Post by impalamonte on Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:01 am

Take this for what it is worth. In my opinion ,if I had it to do over again. I would not have converted my rear over to disc. I have the disc/disc distribution block , disc / disc master cylinder , in line proportioning valve , new stainless out to the rear wheels. ( you can see this set up in my write up in my restoration thread ) Countless hours adjusting the rears. Hours with tech support. Honestly , I do not think I "greatly" benefited from the conversion on a car that I drive 2500 miles per year. Money ,time , etc. If your looking for cool factory....SPOT ON !! I may have been better off with a big 11" drum convert....less money , time ,aggravation. You talk about being beat-up ! Take that same money and buy a NEW steering box....no rebuilt. All new. ( that's in restoration thread too) Best money I have spent !!!

Strictly my input......
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Post by Zaptiah on Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:13 pm

bigredlaguna wrote:I think getting a rear end from a 90's B-body would be the way to go. If you need to build up the budget to get the parts retail, the time between now and the target date could be used to look for deals. Of course if I did this, the moment I pop full retail, the best deal ever would show up.

I would suggest getting the combination valve from the donor car. Or you could figure out a way to modify the one on your car. The only difference is the valve for the front brakes that allow the rear brakes to pressurize first doesn't exist in a disc/disc combo valve.

Thanks for the input. Which "B" bodies are best? These are the caprices if memory serves ... so which model is the best donor for us? Will the suspension plug and play so to speak?

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Post by Zaptiah on Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:19 pm

impalamonte wrote:Take this for what it is worth. In my opinion ,if I had it to do over again. I would not have converted my rear over to disc. I have the disc/disc distribution block , disc / disc master cylinder , in line proportioning valve , new stainless out to the rear wheels. ( you can see this set up in my write up in my restoration thread ) Countless hours adjusting the rears. Hours with tech support. Honestly , I do not think I "greatly" benefited from the conversion on a car that I drive 2500 miles per year. Money ,time , etc.  If your looking for cool factory....SPOT ON !!   I may have been better off with a big 11" drum convert....less money , time ,aggravation. You talk about being beat-up !   Take that same money and buy a  NEW steering box....no rebuilt. All new. ( that's in restoration thread too) Best money I have spent !!!

Strictly my input......

I will take another look at your build thread. The reason for the disc conversion is that this  car will absolutely be tracked several times a year. I fully understand what it take to switch to discs, I have done it on 2 VW's and 1 Chevrolet so far. I will be installing an entirely new master cylinder and booster set up along with the proper adjustable proportioning valve. I have considered just installing the disc conversion on my rear-end since these are decent rear-ends ... but if I'm under there already and there is a possible swap option to give me better gears, with a posi/limited slip, AND get disc brakes ... well I just get all excited at that prospect. But, this also raises the question of bang for the buck. Since our rear-ends are not a bad thing which should I do? I will need to re-gear this one , along with a new carrier, and posi unit, and convert to disc brakes. Or do I install something different like the above mentioned "B" body axle? I'm not scraping the bottom of the barrel budget wise, but all the same I can't afford to spend all willy-nilly either lol. So basically bang for the buck on a car that will absolutely see track time which is why I want to ditch those drum brakes ..

thanks for all the help Very Happy

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Post by impalamonte on Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:06 pm

Zaptiah , Fully understand now the intent of your ride. My car is strictly street driven. No track time , auto cross or things of that nature. I'm 4040 lbs with a 1/4 tank of gas. Neither track worthy or auto cross. My set-up is definitely over-kill.

I hope that someone will lend their experience on tracking the car with disc brake rear as opposed to drum brake rear.

When tracking , I do know that brake fade is an evil. And the disc set -up for the rear would mitigate that evil.

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Post by thatfnthing on Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:13 pm

My $0.02: Keep an eye on the bolt circle if you decide to swap rears -- the 90's Caprice/Impala/Roadmaster went to a 5" bolt circle. IIRC earlier years were 4 3/4" like the G3. This may or may not be a issue for you.
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Post by Zaptiah on Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:09 pm

thatfnthing wrote:My $0.02: Keep an eye on the bolt circle if you decide to swap rears -- the 90's Caprice/Impala/Roadmaster went to a 5" bolt circle.  IIRC earlier years were 4 3/4" like the G3.  This may or may not be a issue for you.

that is a really good point I did think of. If I needed to I could have the axles re-drilled or even get new axles with the correct bolt pattern. that's why I'm asking advise in cae folks here have already done something like this and have feedback/ideas Very Happy

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Post by bigredlaguna on Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:17 pm

Most people refer to the 1996 Impala SS as the go to for B-body rear ends, but any of them with the same specs would work. They do bolt in directly once you put the correct bushings for your car in the ears on top (the only difference is the newer car's bolts are a different size- like standard vs metric). They usually come with 30 spline axles already, and if I were to track a car, the larger bolt diameter for the wheels would be in the plus column. Not sure what gear ratio you want to end up with, but most of the 90's stuff had 3.42 or similar ratios. The only issue may be the park brake cable routing, but I think even this might be simpler than the older setup.


Three options on lug pattern.
1) Leave them mismatched
2) Get some stronger aftermarket axles with the small pattern
3) Swap the front spindle/rotor for the larger pattern on the front. I think this may get you a larger disc in the process. I might be wrong about this.
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Post by Zaptiah on Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:28 pm

Thanks for the tips Bigred i will look into that and see how it stacks up

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Post by impalamonte on Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:32 pm

Your right BIGREDLAGUNA , swapping the front rotor / spindle combination will lend the bigger rotor.... to the 12".
I have the set-up on my car but I opted for going with rotors from a 90 Camaro with the 1LE option to retain the 5 on 4 3/4 bolt pattern.

They could be converted simply by replacing the rotor with a rotor from a 5 on 5 car too.

Mine are from a 95 CAPRICE so it fits the 9/16 ball joint as in cars from the factory. If you go with the IMPALA SS spindles, you would have to change the ball joints to the 5/8.

And just a heads up....my complete set up for the front ( spindles , rotors , calipers , flexible brake lines).... in my thread as well.......... may be coming available....assembled !! So you would unbolt connection at the upper / lower ball joints and outer tie rod end.....and slide mine in!!

to be continued.........
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Post by Zaptiah on Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:27 pm

I will keep an eye on that. I think I may want to keep the original 5x4.75 sizing ... telling the wife I need to buy another set of new wheels so soon could get me dead ...

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Post by Zaptiah on Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:35 pm

Well a brief update, sorry but no pics this time. I had a rare midweek day off to help one of the kids with some stuff over their Spring Break. After I got that done I actually had a couple hours and finally finished up my exhaust. Final torquing will be after the first 20 min run to break in the new cam.

I also finally got the car back on the ground on all 4 tires Very Happy. I also starting installing the new gauges and tach. I'm going to ask my Son to try to help me this Sunday to get it up and running finally ....

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