Earlier this summer, 4th of July to be exact (literally on the 4th she arrived from Florida) I became another one of those guys in a long long line of guys when I full-filled a life-long dream of owning a muscle car I grew up working on with my Dad. I learned most of what I know from Dad and those era cars – I’ve always coveted them as many others before me.
There she is Ms. Muscle car (la la la)
No, she is not a real Judge and she won’t be branded as such when I’m done. I do have to admit is it fun watching people drool or flip out when they see her. One guy stopped at the house and started shaking because he was standing next to a judge… I did’t have the heart to tell him otherwise.
So enough about me – you are reading this because you like these cars. I plan to “restore” this ride to its former glory but I have a lot of decisions to make and some work to do so I can drive her with confidence – which I don’t have now. I will be doing all the work myself (mostly) – I’m partly a self taught car guy, outside if what Dad tough me of course. This won’t be my first restore but my largest and most detailed for sure!
On to the car… I found her in Florida. She was built and bought in Fremont California and moved to Florida later in life where I found her through a mutual acquaintance with the previous owner. I knew she had some issues when I bought her – it was not sight unseen but her body is near perfect with no “bondo” – meaning nothing more than a skim coat for straightness and no “repairs. I was disappointed to find out the truck lid had been replaced by a Lemans or Tempest lid – the filler spots have come loose in the old emblem holes. Since I have the touch of a bull in a china shop and not much welding experience I’ll have a professional do that bit of work.
Sporting a numbers matching drive train (engine, trans and all) with only 66K miles and a color change 20 years ago from Gold-n-Gold to Black-n-white she is pretty clean and has all original parts including the seat covers which were dyed not replaced – save the non-factory radio. My first dilemma, do I restore her to factory colors and all, stick with the current color scheme or change it to my favorite color Verdoro green? I know she’ll be worth more casheesh in original colors but I’m not a fan of the gold-n-gold. That being said the color decision can wait as my first concern is to make her road worthy mechanically.
She has these options:
1. Working factory A/C
2. Auto trans
3. Remote trunk release
4. Glove box light
5. Courtesy lights.
6. Front disc brakes
7. Shoulder belts
8. windshield antenna
First question: what would you guys do color wise?
So... Saturday I started on the brakes.
I was told the brakes had just been done but I was puzzled why they were so hard to apply. I figured they had air in them and simple bloodletting was in order.
I opened them up to see new wheel cylinders in the rear... and lots of rust, actually a puzzling amount of rust for a California/Florida car. Ok, so the brakes were done (including a booster and master cylinder). Now I'm doubly puzzled...
I begin to work on them and this is what I find when I pulled the brake ram... leaking wheel cylinders!!! Actually I was shocked to find then FULL of water!!!!
So, off to the local parts mecca.... Then when I started to put them back together I had this start happening....
Yes, ALL the springs were bent up and/or snapped as I pulled on them to rebuild the brakes... BACK to the parts store... obviously I had all original brake springs and all too.
Some parts were pretty rusty, I debated on soaking them in vinegar and hitting this with a wire wheel but I wanted to get it back on the road sooner than that would take so I used a wire wheel to clean them up... I’ll attack the wheel housings and such when I do the real restore as this is just the mechanical restore.
Yea, my toes are pictures whores just like me. I hope you guys like pictures because they are my bag.
More to come because of limited photos per post...