1973 Type LT/RS Resto Mod

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by 73RS/LT, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. 73RS/LT

    73RS/LT Veteran Member

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    1973 Type LT/RS LSX Resto Mod

    Hi guys. I'm a new member on here and I've really been enjoying looking at all your progress threads, so I thought I'd start one of my own. I'm a little reluctant to post this since my progress will be very, very slow, but I figured maybe having this thread active would motivate me to move it along a little quicker, or at least force me to document the build a little more closely.

    I picked up this well documented, one owner 1973 LT/RS in Tucson AZ this past September. The car was originally bought in New York in 1973 and then shipped to Tucson in 1976 where it's been ever since. I was given all documentation to include the build sheet, original purchase order, owner’s manual, and every receipt from all maintenance performed on the car throughout the years. As it sits right now, the car has 73,951 original miles which is nicely documented throughout the years by all the receipts.

    The plan for the car is a carb'd iron block LSX 6.0L while maintaining (for now) the TH350 and eventually going with a TH400 and a 9inch out back. The car will be a "street car" with its suspension and rolling stock focus being on drag racing.

    Here's some pics of the car on the day I bought it. It was a vinyl roof car, which is the cause of most of the rust damage. Other than that, it’s got the typical lower fender rot on the passenger side but everything else is rust-free. The main issue is minor body damage all over the car from the original owner backing it into and/or running over everything she could find on a daily basis.

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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  2. 73RS/LT

    73RS/LT Veteran Member

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    Issues

    Here you can see signs of what was hiding under the vinyl. Lots of rust bubbles under the badly torn vinyl where moisture had been trapped. I was sure to have some rust holes, but it turned out to be not as bad as it first looked.

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    Here's some shots of the lower fender rust as well as some of her various dings and dents.

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    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  3. 73RS/LT

    73RS/LT Veteran Member

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    Interior and Drivetrain

    The interior was rough, but not nearly as bad as it could have been. She had a new “chocolate brown” carpet installed and the seats reupholstered back in 1986 when she had the car repainted in the God-awful, off-white lacquer. The car was originally dark red metallic with a neutral top and neutral interior. I guess the AZ sun really does a number on the soft parts.

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    Here's an underhood shot. Everything is pretty much still there and fairly well maintained.

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    But, here's the new power plant. It's an LY6 6.0L iron block LSX-based motor out of a 2008 Chevy 3500 van. It was actually a Fed-Ex van that got totaled with less than 3,000 miles on the clock. The LY6's are a pretty good score right now since they're an iron block 4-inch bore motor with the L92/LS3 heads on them from the factory. I picked mine up complete for $1800.00 and was able to sell the parts off of it that I'm not going to use (intake with injectors and rails, exhaust manifolds, water pump....)

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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  4. twozs

    twozs Veteran Member

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    looks to be a good start. not to bash , just to inform.the vinyl roof is not the original roof it seems to be a different pattern and it is also a "padded" vinyl roof. notorious for holding in moisture more than that standard vinyl roof . also i would assume its on its second paint job as it should have a black painted rocker below the trim. but your plans are to mod the car anyway so all that doesn't matter . anyway from one dark red with neutral intreior 73 owner to a another good luck and keep us posted
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  5. 73RS/LT

    73RS/LT Veteran Member

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    Rust removal

    The first order of business when I got the car home was to peel off what was left of the vinly top. This was not the original vinyl top. The top had obviously been replaced when the car was re-painted in 86. Once the vinyl was off, it was hard to tell what was damage and what wasn't. Between all the excess glue, loose rust, mud, and dirt....it was quite a mess. I wiped everything down and then started by DA'ing the paint off the driver side of the roof. Once I had it sanded down, I started blasting the rust in small sections, trying to avoid warping the roof.

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    The driver’s side wasn't too bad. As expected, I blew a few pin holes here and there, but all in all it was mostly just pitted. The passenger side was a different story. It had less overall rust, but it was concentrated near the bottom of the vinyl on the top of the quarter panel. Once I started blasting, I blew some good sized holes and pits, and also discovered some damage around the rear window that had been poorly repaired (presumably back in 86). They had also replaced the filler panel between the rear window and deck lid with an aftermarket piece.

    Once the roof was blasted, I primered it up for safe keeping. I'm no body man so all of this work is just preventative in nature. The car will probably not see paint for several years.

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    In this picture, you can see the patch along the rear window. It's about an inch wide and 18 inches long. They apparently cut out the rust, welded this patch in, pounded it low, and then built it up with a ton of filler. You can see the waves and hammer marks in the panel. This is the side that also has the lower rear of the quarter pushed in, so I'm not sure if this quarter would just be cheaper to replace rather than repair all three issues?

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    While I was at it, I also blasted the lower passenger-side fender. It was swiss cheese when I was done, so I went ahead and cut out the bad section for now. The rust you can still see is on the inside of the inner skin. It's surprisingly solid on the back, so the rust obviously came from the inside out; probably from a plugged drain or something? I'm sure my body man will patch the entire bottom section of the fender when the car eventually goes for paint.

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    By the way, just to give you an idea of my progress pace, all the work outlined above occured over a two-month period of time :confused: .
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  6. 73RS/LT

    73RS/LT Veteran Member

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    Undercoating

    With the roof in primer, I moved on to the most dreaded part of this build....stripping the floors of the factory undercoating and paint. I'm pretty much doing this car in sections and won't be doing a full frame-off rotisserie build. So, all of this fun work is being done on my back in my cramped two-stall garage.

    I started by removing the rear end, rear suspension, exhaust, fuel tank, fuel (and vapor) lines, and brake lines. With everything in the back of the car out of my way, I started removing the undercoating using a needle scaler where I could (great tool!) and the old torch and scraper and wire wheel where I couldn't get with the scaler.

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    Once I got about half way up the car, I went ahead and got the transmission out of my way and finished the front floors and trans tunnel.

    I finally got pretty much all of the undercoating removed and I've just started removing paint, mostly with a 3 inch knotted cup wire brush on a hand grinder. This is pretty tedious, so I'll soon be picking up some Aircraft stripper to loosen the paint up with. Here's the start I got on one of my wheelwells.

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    This weekend, the paint stripping without a chemical remover was getting pretty old and the paint supply store was closed. So, I decided to go ahead and install the spoiler that I had picked up on sale from Year One. It really wasn't necessary for me to install this thing right now, but I needed a job that was a little more rewarding at this point in the day. The spoiler is made by OER. The overall quality wasn't too bad, but I'm not thrilled with how it fits once all three pieces are put together. It will definately take some more massaging to make it right, but at least it's on there for now. While I was taking the pics, I couldn't resist blocking one of the Weld Pro Stars off of my Trans Am up under the wheel well.....just for fun.

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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  7. 73RS/LT

    73RS/LT Veteran Member

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    Well, that pretty much brings me up to date. This car only gets my attention about one day per week, so as I said, progress is pretty slow. More updates to follow.....eventually.
     
  8. 73RS/LT

    73RS/LT Veteran Member

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    Sorry....I didn't see your post until now. I guess I should have refresshed in between postings. You're absolutely correct about the vinyl top. The original top was neutral. The top that she had put on when the car was re-painted was more of a tan color that she apparently selected from an 86 Ford of some sort :eek:. That's all the info that was on the receipt.

    Anyway, thanks for the comments and no bash taken at all. I'll try to keep this updated as often as I can. I would like to see some pics of your car since it's also a dark red/neutral car. I'd like to see what my car would have looked like when it was new/original.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  9. twozs

    twozs Veteran Member

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    PM sent
     
  10. 73RS/LT

    73RS/LT Veteran Member

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    Got it....thanks for the pics!
     

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