Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Gastonia, NC - Born & raised in Connecticut - 31 years
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
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Well, you're in trouble. "Budget" somehow doesn't seem to come into play when working on old cars.
Where to start is having a "plan". Imagine where you want your car to be, then fill in what has to be done to get you there. Line up your prices to see what kind of budget you will be looking at.
What kind of condition is the car in? Are you driving it now or is it parked? Good body or rusty? Straight or damaged? Good frame or rusty? Good interior or ripped up? Drum brakes or disc? Power or manual brakes? Rebuilt front end & suspension or slap wore out?
Personally, I like to begin with a suspension rebuild - ball joints, upper & lower control arm bushings, springs, sway bar bushings, idler arm, pitman arm, drag link, tie rod ends, steering shaft rag joint. Then you have brakes - disc brake conversion if you haven't already, a good kit will include all you need -spindles,rotors,calipers,bearings,backing plates,hoses,bearing caps,bolts, etc..
Then you move to the rear end. Going to replace it or keep it? 10-bolt, 12-bolt, or 9"? If you keep the 10-bolt you should rebuild it -new bearings, seals, brake shoes, brake parts kit, drums, e-cable. Upper & lower control arm bushings if you don't add a rear sway bar. Otherwise, with a rear sway bar you need the correct lower control arm that have the holes for attachment and they will come with the bushings. Rear springs, rear shocks, rubber brake line hose. How are all your brake lines?
The LS engine is fuel injection? You will need to add a good high pressure electric fuel pump to your fuel tank and you probably want to make sure this is engineered correctly with some type of fuel return line, vapor line, and filters.
Let's see, I think I'm up to about 3 grand and that will get it rolling and stopping nicely. Ah, now we move on to high dollar stuff............
I like the new headlights that have the LED's around the edges -and would go with the resto-mod look. They make these to fit your car, $145.00 for the kit from Ames. Down load the online Ames Performance Engineering catalog and simply go through it. You will get some ideas & see what your project build is going to cost. Hey, you have a lifetime, so no rush & do it right. PS- DO NOT GET A GIRLFRIEND, GET MARRIED, HAVE KIDS, or BUY A HOUSE! Otherwise you will be asking these same questions 30 years from now when you can afford to build your car -if your wife lets you.