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rivermobster

"A" Body Build - 71 Buick Skylark

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This build is going to be on a 1971 Buick Skylark. It will be getting ALL new suspension, brakes, an engine rebuild by JMS Racing and a trans rebuild by Remac transmissions.

I'll post as much detail as possible.  If you have any questions, just ask!

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This vehicle came in on the hook.  It wasn't running, and there was no reason to try and start it.  It was disassembled almost immediately.

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The customer brought in a lot of his own parts for this build, so the next job was to get the vehicle cleaned up so we could get em installed!

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We started by taking the vehicle apart so we could clean the body and replace parts as necessary. The RF fender, battery tray, and core support were toast.

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We also pulled the HVAC out of the vehicle completely to clean it up inside and out.  Nobody wants to smell four decades of dirt and who knows what else when they turn their AC on!

 

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A quick trip to our friends at Associated Radiator to get everything tested and cleaned will make this HVAC system smell brand new.  We reused all the original components as they are far better than anything we could by new today!

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I cleaned the cases with Simple Green and then brought em home and put em in our dishwasher.  Please don't let my wife know!  

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As we are waiting for the dash and firewall to be painted, we will start re-assembly at the rear of the car.  Time for some Hotchkis components to hold the Moser rear end in place.

 

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Before we install the rear end, we will install all the Wilwood braking components and brake lines.  Much easier doing this out of the car. 

 

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So now it's time to assemble the front end.  Brakes and suspension all need to be assembled and installed.

First, let's get the a-arms mounted back on the frame..

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Now, let's get the brakes assembled...

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Now with the springs and spindles installed, we can fit the brakes on the car.  Wilwood brake mounting brackets have to be shimmed to line up with the rotors.  You have to mount the brackets and rotors, measure them to make sure they are parallel to each other, and then remove the rotors to re-shim if necessary.  After a few tries, we got everything lined up perfectly. 

 

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Now we just have to install all the new suspension components, steering box, and steering shaft to have a roller.  We have a new steering column for this car, but will install it later.  

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We are finally ready for touch down!  We will have to go over everything on this suspension and get it all tightened up.  We will NOT do this until the vehicle is complete, and we will do it on the drive on rack.  We want everything tightened up with the vehicle at normal ride height, which means fully weighted in its final drivable form.  We have a long way to go for that.

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Speaking of ride height, one of the things we wanted to do on this car was install airbags in the rear springs.  We want to have the perfect ride height when done, so this will help even things out.  We had to do a little fab work, to get the airbags to work with the new rear end.  Pads had to be made so the bags would have something flat to sit on. 

 

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So today I spent some time rebuilding the I instrument cluster. All new lenses, bulbs, sockets, headlight switch. The customer supplied a new clock and I supplied all the labor. Tedious, slow going work, but it came out real nice in the end.

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