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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going big block is about as common as as it gets, so most people doing it can usually figure out what to do and how to do it. I just thought it might be entertaining to show you how I am going about it.

Stock unmodified barn find Bel Air hardtop was my starting point and the previous owner had converted it from a straight 6 power-glide car to a v8 (305 Small block and 3 on the column)

here it is the day we pried open the door where it had sat for decades
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Once in my shop a simple clean up and inventory was done.

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so that is the starting point
 

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Wow! I wonder why the PO didn't spend a day cleaning & polishing the car before they sold it.
Seems like they could have asked a higher selling price.

I wish the car I bought in June would have been that dirty.
Maybe it would have been advertised for less $$$.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow! I wonder why the PO didn't spend a day cleaning & polishing the car before they sold it.
Seems like they could have asked a higher selling price.

I wish the car I bought in June would have been that dirty.
Maybe it would have been advertised for less $$$.
The previous owner passed away. He was my wife's uncle. As the resident motor head in the family I was chosen to take the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I stored the car here for a few years after I brought it home as I built up a war chest and composed a plan.

Plan changed as monies did not materialize out of thin air like I hoped it might.

so plan is big block, update suspension, and brakes, install a new interior from carpet to headliner. re-wire it, install vintage air. and a T56 Magnum 6 speed from American Powertrain.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So time to tear it apart.

motor out.
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Check.

Carefully remove the front sheet metal.

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built a dolly to let me roll it around.

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rolled it out side to get it sand blasted

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That went great. The condition of this car is stunning, It has its original brake pads to give you an idea how softly it was driven.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now I am doing this car in 2 phases.

Phase one, Engine, AC install, transmission, wiring and interior.

Phase 2 will be the back half with a mini tub and 4 bar, coil overs and a 9 inch

So now it is in bare metal firewall forward.

Prime it so it does not flash rust on me.
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once in primer I went ahead and sealed the frame rails and prepped for paint.
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At this time the stock mid mounts were still in place as I had not really figured out if I needed them. Later I realized I did not so they were removed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
now attention is on the firewall. I realize setting the engine forward would work however I have had both set ups in the past both with big blocks and the set back motor does make a heck of a difference in how the car handles. Not to mention the extra room it gives me for a serpentine drive, and cross flow radiator with the AC condenser eating up so much room

so lay out the location for the Williams firewall panels and get to it.
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Metal finished, almost done, close enough, now the Drivers side

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now a little bit of body filler and prep for paint.

I love the Coral and will stay with it.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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Sealed, 2k and block sanded where it needed it, and on with the paint.

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so ready to start hanging suspension.

couple notes about the Williams panels. They are well built, work as designed and offer a clean finish. However the instructions and overall guidance I was looking for was lacking. However the hand drawn instructions got me close enough to figure out what I needed to do and I achieved exactly what I wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
So Suspension-wise I went pretty run of the mill CPP tubular control arms, with their sway bar kit. new big block springs (1 1/2" lowered) Heidt Super ride 2" dropped spindle with Wilwood 12.5" brakes with 4 piston calipers. No booster, wilwood set me up with a nice MC that bolts right up and does not need a booster.( Good thing as the Motor I am building will have practically no vacuum )

New 500 box from Earl Williams

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Painted and undercoated the inner fenders, then hung everything back on the car.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So now I needed to weld in my motor mounts. Folk ask why I put the car together first and the simple answer is, I was not going to be doing the engine part of this build as my new heads were 8 weeks out and I was going to plumb and wire the car first. However a option to go to a different head manufacturer shortened the engine side of the build to the point it fell back into a priority post haste.

So I bought a mock up engine from Cryogenic Plastics in Kyle Texas. and a nicer company could not be found.

The mock up was necessary due to the fact I needed to know exactly where to weld in the mounts. Again, Earl Williams is a damn fine guy and his parts are fantastic. Yet his instructions and lay outs are the absolute worse and I had no way of guessing where to put these things so a mock up motor was my only shot at being accurate.

It will also let me get my exhaust built, as well as hang my transmission and get my drive line ordered.
so starting off with one of these, using the Milodon BBC oil pan of course.
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So I need to get the motor located. and leveled.

a cool trick is to run a couple long bolts into the water pump mounts to give myself a perch for a beam that will rest on top of the upper control arms. Not those water pump holes are not exactly square to the level line on the block so be prepared to adjust slightly.

I use these 1/32nd plastic shims I use in my real job in the glass industry. They work great.

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using a nice German digital level helps
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once I was happy with location, there was no more excuses and I had to make some sparks fly. I protected as much as possible with welding blankets

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I then removed the mock up and finished welding everything in from top and bottom, then put the mock up back in.

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fit as desired.
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