Author Topic: Where should I start ?  (Read 704 times)

Offline philwire

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Where should I start ?
« on: August 02, 2011 - 10:56:28 PM »
Hi all,

Lately I crossed a beauty on my way back home: a Chevy Nova SS, and in pretty good shape. I called the guy, and he was asking 15K for it. That was pretty much out of my budget, mine was about 5000$ for an impulsive buy. In the past 10 years, I had a '78 Grand Prix SJ that I wished I could restore but money was tight and I couldn't pay its maintenance costs so I gave it to a local charity reason. So, I took the time to think about what I would really like as a project car, I viewed a few pictures on google, and searched craiglist a little. I came to the conclusion that it's the 70-74 Cuda I like best for the looks, and it seems like it was also a pretty powerful car. I really think it would make a nice casual/friday car. However, all the cudas that are in a decent shape ask for a fortune to buy, and I'm not very good in mecanics. I change my oil myself and my oil/air filters, I can change my sets of tires for winter/summer, but I never pulled a tranny or a motor out of a car. I also don't have a garage, but that could be fixed for a few grands ;) I don't feel like it would have to be any near original, but however I do think I will want as many hp I could easily fit in it. By easily I mean the less welding possible. I have the tools to grind, cut, break metal but not really to make it stick together. However I live in a city that's mainly run by garages so I might make a friend in one of them.

So, I have a few questions that I haven't seen any answers here:
Is it a good choice to replace metal parts for fiberglass parts like fenders and doors? To me it seems logical because they wouldn't be attacked by rust (Quebec winters are agressive on all cars).
What's the bare minimum for starting a Cuda project? Is it possible to buy a recently factored frame? I would'nt mind buying fiberglass body parts such as fenders and doors, but those parts would need to fit onto some kind of frame, right?
If it's possible, would that frame fit convertible as much as non convertible Cudas?
What's the biggest engine I should hunt for that would't be too much trouble fitting in it?
In the movie Gone in 60 seconds, do we see Shannon (37) anywhere??




Offline MirageCuda

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Re: Where should I start ?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2011 - 01:03:08 AM »
Shannon was the Pink Cuda that Nickolas Cage & Angelina Jole stole together and in the car she puts on the lipstick
Randy
1974 Plymouth Cuda
2006 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT
1991 Nissan Skyline GTR
2002 Subaru Impreza WRX

Offline dutch

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Re: Where should I start ?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2011 - 02:42:04 AM »
welcome to the site  :wave:
I don`t think fiberglass parts will help you out.  Parts most effected by rust on these cars are not the fenders or doors. I`m not even sure if there`s anything available in fiber, apart from fenders. I think your best bet would be to either learn how to weld and do the bodywork yourself, of purchase a rustfree body to start with. I wonder if driving these cars in Quebec winters would be a good plan at all.  You say you want a bunch of horses in there, and these cars are not the best handling cars ever.... Rust will stay an issue, big engine up front, not too much traction in the rear, ice paved roads.....   :clueless:
*** Bart ***

Offline philwire

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Re: Where should I start ?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011 - 07:54:45 AM »
Hi guys, thanks for your answers.

I just re-read myself, and damn I don't proofread what I post when it starts getting late ;)

Alright, what I meant was that I wanted it to be a casual car..  I don't plan on driving it in winter at all, I have a Montana and a Tercel for day to day and winter driving.  So I plan to have summer tires on the Cuda and winter tires on the Tercel.

But now my biggest dilemna is still the frame: is it possible to find a recently made frame, or is my only option to find an old e-body frame and rip everything off of it and start from there?

Offline the_engineers

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Re: Where should I start ?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2011 - 09:00:27 AM »
These cars are uni-body construction, meaning that the frame and body are "one". It's been said many times on here..."Buy the best car you can afford" as a starting point.

If you buy a $2500 car, you'll spend at least another $2500 in rust repair before you even get to the paint. Figure another layout for drivetrain and all of the sudden that $15000 car is looking pretty affordable.

:2cents:
Brooks

1971 'Cuda 360
2004 Infiniti G35 6-spd Coupe
2001 Toyota Solara Convertible
2002 GMC Savana 1500 Explorer Hightop Conversion
1972 Dodge Dart Swinger...keeping the Slant.  Rocking the turbos.

Offline philwire

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Re: Where should I start ?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2011 - 10:03:55 AM »
These cars are uni-body construction, meaning that the frame and body are "one". It's been said many times on here..."Buy the best car you can afford" as a starting point.

If you buy a $2500 car, you'll spend at least another $2500 in rust repair before you even get to the paint. Figure another layout for drivetrain and all of the sudden that $15000 car is looking pretty affordable.

:2cents:

Yeah I think you're right...  A deeper inspection of craigslist shows cheap bodies that needs at least 5k$ love before even thinking of doing anything with them. I saw a few 7000-10000 cars that already look ok and might just need more customisation than restoration.

Is it the same with flooded cars? I saw an ad on craiglist that the cuda got flooded by katrina but it looked in shape. Why should I stay away from it?

Offline dutch

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Re: Where should I start ?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2011 - 11:14:06 AM »
problem with flooded cars is that factory put all parts together and painted them.  There is virtually no paint between any of the seams. Since water will creep up everywhere it`s very likely you will have rustissues.  I don`t say it can`t be done, but it sure won`t be my first choice.
*** Bart ***