'61 Biscayne Stroked 348/440c.i. My First Restoration

sycsteve

Well Known Member
#1
I started this build going on 10 years ago now but haven't been working on it for that long, few hurdles in the way sense. I had a '61 Belair my dad gave me after it sat in the yard rotting away for 15 years. I got it running and driving but Illinois took it's toll on that one so I found Johns Classic Cars in Aberdeen S.D. He had a '61 Biscayne listed for sale and sent me pictures claiming it was a solid S.D car and sent me pics of the solid parts. I drove from Sycamore IL. to S.D. to buy the car. 13 hr drive one way. The car was not as described and he was a little nutty. I offered him $1800 and he told me to get the hell off his property. I agreed on the $2400 he wanted then he had me sign a bill of sale for $1800 and explained to me it was so he didn't have to pay the taxes. I should have left him with the car but I brought it home and started tearing it apart.
I had to replace the trunk floor, rear body mounts, rear bumper brace mounts and inner floor boards. The fenders were bondo and it had been in a front and rear collision. Frame off resto. I bought a 348 from a guy in Chicago along with a pile of parts for the car. He claimed the 348 was fresh and rebuilt. I tore it down to find out differently after paying him $1300. The rotating assembly and cam were new though. I brought it to a local guy my father in law recommended for some work. He assembled the short block for me but did nothing else. 6 years later I found this out after I installed the engine only to find out he put the cam bearings in wrong and the block was cracked. Also put piston rings in wrong.
Now I'm building a bored .60 over stroked 348 with Eagle crank, H beam rods, Bullet roller cam, Edelbrock heads and intake. I installed a 4 wheel disc break conversion, tube a arms. Still a long way to go but getting it done.
Most will think I'M mental but I used Menards black blast and a hobby style blaster to do the frame and the under side of the car in my garage and a blast cabinet I built from wood I took from job sites I was working on .Eery thing was blasted piece by piece. Yeah hard core labor and I'm doing what my friend calls real hot rodding.

More pics in the link below.
http://s1207.photobucket.com/user/sycsteve/library/61 Biscayne?sort=3&page=3

 

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sycsteve

Well Known Member
#5
Sorry to here about all the issues with your build, but you have a great looking project now!
Thanks. It's a lot of work. I've done everything but the engine short block myself. I know it won't be a show winner but I will be proud to say I did it. I have learned a lot so far and found a few things I should have done before some of the body work. It's going to be a driver any way.
 
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sycsteve

Well Known Member
#6
The engine in the picture is the first one I built. Kind of a good thing it was no good. It was a 58 and now I will have plenty of power with the 1960 440 stroker. I didn't plan on the monster stroker at first so I will have to do some better upgrades on the 4 speed, driveshaft and rear end than what I had in mind.
 

sycsteve

Well Known Member
#8
She's looking really good! :beer
I think you hit a home run with that color. It really suits the car. :beer
Thanks I drove the paint girle at carquest nuts trying 25 or more samples of paint before I decided. It's sterling gray metallic, Omni plus paint. It's a 2015 Ford Focus color lol. I saw a lady getting into her car at Lowes and asked her what year her car was. I think I confused her a little by asking about it till I explained why I wanted to know.
Still need to finish color sanding.
 
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Joe R.

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 1
#9
What are some of the things you should have done before the body work?

My car was sent out for media blast and epoxy prime 6 months ago. I'm supposed to get it back soon. This will be my first frame off restoration. It will need metal work in the floors and trunk, possibly more.

Any advise or learning experiences you can share would be greatly appreciated.

I'm not too far from you either, I live in Algonquin.

Thanks!

Joe
 

sycsteve

Well Known Member
#10
What are some of the things you should have done before the body work?

My car was sent out for media blast and epoxy prime 6 months ago. I'm supposed to get it back soon. This will be my first frame off restoration. It will need metal work in the floors and trunk, possibly more.

Any advise or learning experiences you can share would be greatly appreciated.

I'm not too far from you either, I live in Algonquin.

Thanks!

Joe
After I sanded my car and used a hobby blaster to clean up all the surface rust under the car I used etching primer on everything. Either I did not sand it well enough or the etching primer would not let the 2k primer bite into the surface very well so I had to sand everything back down as well as I could. I also used raddle can Epoxy gray paint under the car and in the trunk and it looks nice but any solvent or clear shrivels it up. I think because of the etching primer.
When I disassembled the car some of the shims fell out and I did not know how many were where. I also should have reassembled everything before to get nicer lines and even gaps. I had some misfortune with my home so I got in a little of a hurry thinking I would have no place to work on it and just wanted it in 2k before I had to move. I also sould have gone over the car with a spot light. I found a couple low spots and a few sanding scratches I missed but can't really see them unless you inspect every inch of the car.
I also used P.O.R. 15 on the frame. I blasted the frame and it would have turned out much nicer if I shot it with base and clear.
 

sycsteve

Well Known Member
#12
What are some of the things you should have done before the body work?

My car was sent out for media blast and epoxy prime 6 months ago. I'm supposed to get it back soon. This will be my first frame off restoration. It will need metal work in the floors and trunk, possibly more.

Any advise or learning experiences you can share would be greatly appreciated.

I'm not too far from you either, I live in Algonquin.

Thanks!

Joe
I also should have beefed up the X frame in spots while I had the body off but wasn't planning on the engine I'm building at the time but I have read it's a good idea either way. Everything else I can take back out to upgrade like the rear differential.
The Etching primer can also have a bad effect with body filler and paint because of the acid in it.
If you paint the car yourself buy a decent hvlp gun too. I bought the Sharp Razor line. Not the best but I don't own a production shop either.
I also used Omni Plus which is a PPG line of paint. Everyone will have an opinion in the paint forums but It is a quality cheaper line of paint. I used Sothern Polyurethane clear (S.P.I) came out nice for a great price. The PPG DCU2021 is much better stuff but cost 3 times as much and dries supper slow. Not great for a garage paint job unless you can get it totally dust free.
It's not Cheep but buy Evercoat Rage Gold body filler or equivalent. Will save you tons of headaches not fixing or filling pin holes in the filler. Buy Plastik honey too. Makes it spread thinner and levels it self out in spots. Saves a lot of filler and time sanding.
 
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sycsteve

Well Known Member
#13
I spent a lot of time practicing with all the stages of paint. Take your time is all I can say and be picky or totally anal and it will turn out much nicer if you do.
Plan on spending hundreds of hrs sanding unless you have friends you can trust to do a nice job or just friends that are willing to help.
 
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sycsteve

Well Known Member
#15
I changed the pre bent steel lines to stainless lines but still were not bent very well. 2" drop spindles and dropped 3" in the rear.
I'll have to find the receipt for B.B. springs I bought for the front but they did not fit correctly. had to cut a bunch off of them after arguing with the guy I bought them from who insisted they were correct and would not refund my money.


 
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