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Projects Straight Axle 63

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by DanVI, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. novamad
    Joined: Feb 16, 2020
    Posts: 12

    novamad

    Awesome! Looks great. Saw a ‘55 chev straight axle project for sale and was pretty tempted.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  2. DanVI
    Joined: Feb 14, 2020
    Posts: 128

    DanVI
    Member

    And now the shocks mounts are tacked in place. I spent some time trimming the mounting brackets and also removed the dust shield...... cause who needs those!

    I will say that this should ride very well. The suspension seems plush excpecially with the mono leafs in the rear.

    The plan moving forward will be to take it all back apart to weld the subframe but that'll be for another day.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. DanVI
    Joined: Feb 14, 2020
    Posts: 128

    DanVI
    Member

    The subframe is all welded up. Things for me will be slowing down on the car as our family is moving. My goal is to get the 63 back together for transport to our new home.

    I am happy with how the subframe turned out although it will be finished and painted at a later date. For now I will bolt the suspension back in, set up a temporary tie rod steering link and get the front sheet metal back together. Then It'll be time to pack up the house.......
     

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  4. DanVI
    Joined: Feb 14, 2020
    Posts: 128

    DanVI
    Member

    Well the 63 is ready for transport. All the front sheet metal is back on including the hood which for the first install actually fits very well. I also had my free narrow front runners mounted to my newly acquired front wheels.

    Our move takes place in September so likely this will be my last post until well after that.
     

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  5. Thor1
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,646

    Thor1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Dan,

    The car is looking great. I wish you all the best with your move and I look forward to seeing you posting again once you get situated in your new place.

    God bless,

    Steve
     
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  6. DanVI
    Joined: Feb 14, 2020
    Posts: 128

    DanVI
    Member

    Finally managed to get moved. A nice three car garage with 11' ceiling height. A heck of a lot more space thankfully.

    Had the 63 towed on a flat deck as my new home is not far. Best part is that I saw the 63 out of the garage for the first time since building the front subframe, to bad the trunk was filled with heavy parts bins and sitting low.

    Overall the transport was a success and best of all it didn't rain!

    It'll be a while before I get some time to work on it again but hopefully soon enough.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,580

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    Well from the pic you certainly have some junk in the trunk!
     
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  8. FatBob
    Joined: Jul 15, 2009
    Posts: 21

    FatBob
    Member

    DanVI, just read through your entire build so far and I have to say WOW! Guys, it should be obvious from his posts but this fellow is a detail-oriented, one man army! What's not so obvious is he's a great fellow hot rodder and a genuinely nice guy. I stopped in a little while back to have a look and even while he was about to start moving he made a bunch of time for me and my questions, not to mention loading me up with more parts for my little Chevy II project than I could fit in my truck! The car of course is amazing, but don't I think I quite realized at the time the extent and high quality of the work he's done in such a short time. Glad the move went smooth Dan, now set up the beds and hang the pictures and get back to work on the car!
     
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  9. Car is lookin good! Cant wait to see you get back at it. Our Island is going to have alot of gassers on the road soon. We have a few to do at our shop already and I just looked st another one that they asked us to put an axle in it, and some other fabwork. Another friend in our Cowichan Valley just brought a '55 Chevy home from the mainland last night too!

    -Shiny
     
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  10. duncan
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,176

    duncan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    When you’re finished hanging pictures and get some shop time, give me a ring.
     
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  11. New group on Facebook...
    Van Isle Gassers
    Check it out and join.

    -Shiny
     
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  12. DanVI
    Joined: Feb 14, 2020
    Posts: 128

    DanVI
    Member

    Hi shiny. Not the most facebook savvy person........ I searched under groups but was not able to find the group?
     
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  13. DanVI
    Joined: Feb 14, 2020
    Posts: 128

    DanVI
    Member

    Finally getting settled in to the new place and started back working on the 63, now I have others thing I "should" be doing but.......

    I starting back getting the dash painted black then disassembled the mocked up engine in preparation to remove the subframe. Over the coming days/week I hope to prep and paint both the firewall and subframe.

    I also have engine plans in the works but I'll save that for another day......

    Feels good to have a plan and get back to it.
     

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  14. DanVI
    Joined: Feb 14, 2020
    Posts: 128

    DanVI
    Member

    With the kids in school I had some free time. Worked on and got the firewall and subframe painted (they were painted separately I just forgot to take pictures). After letting everything dry over nite I spent this evening reassembling which is a great feeling.

    The steering column, box and u-joints/shaft are in for good. Not sure if I posted it in the past but I used a left over column firemount from my old 56 chevy. It looks good and is very solid.

    I will start cleaning up and painting the suspension components this up coming week.

    Starting to come together!
     

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  15. DanVI
    Joined: Feb 14, 2020
    Posts: 128

    DanVI
    Member

    Well......... a good day and a confusing one. This is where I will need some input and help!

    Today I picked up a running SBC for the 63. Now not exactly what I had in mind but three kids, a mortgage and a tight budgets has me being creative to get on the road sooner then later.

    I found a recently gone through "running" when pulled Goodwrench targetmaster 350 crate engine upgrade with an "RV" cam. I viewed a video of the car/engine running before it was pulled. Before buying I pulled the valve cover and was impressed very clean no sludge almost new looking. I pulled each plug. All appeared normal and were consistent.

    The oil had been dumped before it was removed from the car. What was left in the pan again was clean and like new.

    I returned home. Pulled the pan and confirmed all was clean and all appeared normal. I then removed the intake. This is when I noticed something wrong with the lifters. 12 of the 16 are missing the retainer springs. The rocker arms all appear to be adjusted inconsistently when looking at the rocker arm stud and the lock nut. I removed one and of course it feel apart...... not sure where the retainer clips are.....

    I reached back out to the fella and he explained that he had done a rebuild, bearings, rings and gaskets and noticed "something" with the lifters. (Not sure if they were reinstalled broken). He insists it had good oil pressure and ran great before pulled.

    So now what..... a few options here.

    My intentions were to clean it up. Paint it. Get it installed and be one step closer to being on the road. Then one day build my dream 331.

    Or..........

    Do I pull the heads. Replace with my Sportsman II cylinder heads. Install a new cam a lifters.

    I know it's a low compression 8.5 engine. The current heads are 76cc my sportsmans are 64 so a slight compression increase.

    Cam? Small solid roller??

    Thoughts and suggestions please!
     

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  16. welp, if it was mine I'd have to finish disassembling the rest of the engine and find the rest of the clips. I'd measure everything to make sure the parts are ok and reassemble with new cam/lifters. I use a tube of ZZDP if using a flat tappet cam/lifters. If you're lucky you may only have to buy a cam kit and gasket set.
     
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  17. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,994

    squirrel
    Member

    Folks tell stories about stuff they are selling, it's an unfortunate fact of life.

    I'd probably take it all apart, and do some careful inspection, and then reassemble with the parts I wanted to use. A gasket set doesn't cost much, and will let you find the rest of the problems it might have, before you break something.

    Good heads and a hydraulic roller cam might be what you want to end up with. Small chambers and dished pistons will make a nice streetable combination, that might not make the most power it could, but will work fine.
     
  18. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,555

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    Likely the clips failed from improper adjustment, and high rpm's. The newer style flat tappet hydraulic lifters use those crappy wire clips, and it's important to have proper preload to avoid them tossing the clips off during higher rpm's.
    Likely the clips were in the oil the seller drained out, and likely it was running poorly with the bad adjustment. But if the valves didn't hit a piston the engine wont be hurt by lost clips. I'd definitely pull the heads just to inspect the pistons, and cylinders. Just for peace of mind so you know you're not dropping in a junker engine. And if it's going to be awhile until you build the dream engine, I'd order a flat tappet cam/lifters you like, and put the other heads you have on also. With smaller combustion chambers, and a nice cam, it will make an engine you'll be happier with until you do another. You might even like it enough to keep it a lot longer!
     
  19. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 16,449

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon


    To me the most unfortunate factor in these situations is when a guy sets out to make a financial based engine purchase as a "get by" decision based on what the seller says.
    Invariably these scenarios backfire and result in a larger cash outlay to unravel the "claims" of the seller.
    By the way Dan, the high quality work you are doing on the car is what attracts me to the thread, being a Nova guy myself helps too.
     
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  20. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,489

    wvenfield
    Member

    I understand being on a budget.

    I would inspect everything or you are going to constantly have that in the back of your head. As noted a gasket set isn't that much.

    Because of a budget it's taken me a long time to get where I am now. The engine in my car had run. I heard it run about 8-9 years ago. I knew the car had moved under it's own power around 6 years ago. I bought it 5 years ago and finally started it last week. It was a concern all that time but it's seems to have worked out.
     
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  21. DanVI
    Joined: Feb 14, 2020
    Posts: 128

    DanVI
    Member

    Thanks for all the replies fellas.

    This is by no means what I wanted to do.... lol but again my budget (I am also of the opinion do it once and do it right or inevitably it will cost more in the long run - although in this case I will likely in the future be able to sell the engine for what I purchased it for - oh and I am/ and will be an honest seller!) is dictating what I am able to do at the moment. Yes this decision leads me away from my initial vision but that doesn't mean down the road I can't get the build I see in my head.

    So for now I think my plan will be to pull the heads to determine if there is any damage. I will give the short block a clean inside and out and if all looks good I will install a hydraulic flat tappet cam new quality lifters, the sportsman heads a new oil pump and timing set and let the chips fall were they fall.
     
  22. DanVI
    Joined: Feb 14, 2020
    Posts: 128

    DanVI
    Member

    Since my last post the lifter situation has been eating at me. I can't help but think there has to be further damage to the internals.

    I very closely inspected the short block after removing the timing set, cam and lower timing crank gear. First I noticed a lifter retainer spring in the cam bearing oil gallery. Second, behind the crank timing gear a few very small metal shavings. This prompted me to remove the main cap finding significant damage to both the main bear and the the crank.

    I am glad I found the damage and I am also frustrated and mad at the sellers deception/me taking his word. I understand buyer beware but what happen to the days where you can take a person's word.... long gone I guess.

    I will not be doing this again. If it takes me years to build my dream engine so be it.

    My plan moving forward will be to mock the engine back in. I will work towards finishing everything else on the car saving the engine until the end.

    Live and learn.
     

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  23. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,715

    -Brent-
    Member

    Quoted FOR TRUTH!

    We've all been bitten, @DanVI . Sorry to hear about it. Still, the car is coming along really well.
     
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  24. Sorry to hear about your luck
     
  25. novamad
    Joined: Feb 16, 2020
    Posts: 12

    novamad

    Ah this sucks. Sorry to hear. Keep the positive vibe. The car is going to be awesome!


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  26. DanVI
    Joined: Feb 14, 2020
    Posts: 128

    DanVI
    Member

    Thanks all.

    Been a little busy this week so I haven't managed to get as much done as I would like.....

    A quick transmission clean up before I mocked the drivetrain back in. With the engine and headers mocked in I will start back at routing brake lines. With the fenderwell headers there is not alot of room running lines from the master, can be done but will probably require a heat shield of sorts.

    I also added a set of load adjusting shocks on the rear. I found that the rear was a little low and very soft with the mono leaf set up. Adding the new shocks raised the rear about 1.5 inches and firmed it up nicely. Not sure I will stick with the new shocks but at the very least I like the height.
     

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  27. ss34coupe
    Joined: May 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,223

    ss34coupe
    Member

    You purchased a running SBC where the seller had done a "rebuild and "noticed" something with the lifters. He should be giving you the purchase price back and you should be returning his pile of parts. Just my opinion.
     
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  28. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,555

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    When I built my Austin gasser a decade ago I was searching for a good engine, and a neighbor told me his son had a nice 327 for sale. He gave me his son's info, and I contacted him about the engine. At first he wanted $1600 and said it was fully rebuilt, and only had 400 miles on it. I passed, as I felt I could build a SBC for less and know it was all new. Later he called me and told me he'd take $1200, and that it had old camel hump heads on it also.
    I agreed to look at it, but he said he'd deliver it to my place.
    When he showed up I immediately noticed no camel hump heads. When questioned he said he'd forgotten he'd "broken a valve spring" and replaced the heads. So I was disappointed, but we talked, and he agreed on a still lower price of $1,000. So I paid him.
    I put it on my engine stand to check it out, paint it, and swap in the cam I wanted. While on the stand I decided to pull the pan and check the mains and rods. I immediately noticed some odd wear that told me it either had more than 400 miles, or hadn't been primed before initial startup. Called him up, and he swore it was primed, and that "maybe he was slightly off on mileage". So the lies continued.
    I put it together with new cam, and a pair of rebuilt camel hump heads, plus my old Holley Pro Dominator tunnel ram. Drove the car a little over a year when one day driving down the freeway it suddenly began to have a severe rod knock! I limped home on surface streets at low speed to keep it from knocking.
    When I pulled it down it had spun a rod bearing and ate up the crank throw. I decided to cut my losses, and a friend sold me a 4 bolt main 350 SBC for $100. I had it totally rebuilt, and bolted on my fresh camel hump heads, and dropped it in. Total to buy the engine and rebuild it .030" over, balanced and blueprinted was $1600.
    I look back 8 years ago and just write it off as a lesson learned. Even when dealing with the neighbor's son, where I thought I could trust him, it's still a stranger, and you can't trust anything they say if they aren't a close friend.
     
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  29. Thor1
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,646

    Thor1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    DanVI,

    What did you use for shocks?
     
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  30. DanVI
    Joined: Feb 14, 2020
    Posts: 128

    DanVI
    Member

    Hi Thor1. Attached is a picture of the shock part number. They were passed along to me from my dad. He had them on his 55 chev.
     

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