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Hi, I've been looking for an older A body car to have around as a daily driver. I've owned a few Chevelle's (and still own two of them, a '68 Malibu and a '71 SS car) and when I ran across this Lemans, I grabbed it.

Its pretty rough and some previous owner did not take very good care of it. I keep finding little things wrong with it but nothing that can't be fixed.

So I drug this home for $2500.







 

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The interior is trashed but it looks to have the correct buckets and may even be original. Somebody removed the headliner with a knife and the wiring is a mess. I plan on putting in a new interior and doing a ton of cleaning.



I've already ordered a new headliner, carpet and new covers for the seats. I also ordered that SEMA landau black for the rest of it. Hope to repaint and cover the dash again.
 

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Its starts getting fun when you pop the hood!

The guy told me that it had a '66 389 with a 3/4 race cam in it and solid lifters. Was rebuilt with about 10k miles on it.

Since a 3/4 race cam doesn't really tell you much these days, I can tell that it has some kind of cam in it. Also has a nice intake and some long tube headers with some 2 foot pipes for exhaust. It also has a turbo 400 tranny.

Looking at the numbers, he might have been right with the engine.







The car gets up and moves pretty good! Its got a 10 bolt posi with 3.23 gears and runs really well.

I dont think the timing is correct on it though. I noticed that the vacuum was not hooked up in the right place so I'll have to check that out.
 

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On the shake down drive, the radiator gave up the ghost and the manual drum brakes were basically barely working.

So I got it home and started wrenching.

New three core radiator!



Old two core that steamed real bad:



and the new one on place:



Also pulled out a bad brake line. Looks like it got pinched when the headers went in:

 

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The choke was not hooked up so I got it together and also saw that the coil was just laying on the back of the engine. Looks like there is a holder on the firewall but I dont think thats right. I'm going to move it to behind the carb.

I have also found some wires dangling around under the hood that I will have to figure out what the heck they do.



Also got some new/used door panels as the factory ones had holes in them for speakers.

 

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Welcome! Looks like a nice project car for sure. Can't beat the entry price for a 60's Muscle Car like the Lemans.
 

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Welcome aboard!

I think you did great for $2500. You're going to have fun with that one!

You'll want to get a fan shroud; summer temps and no shroud = probable cooling issues.
 

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Thanks guys!

Yeah, I was looking at that and thinking either a shroud or just go to electric fans. Have to see how it shakes out.

I hated how loud the exhaust was. The exhaust shops around me are not worth anything so after a bunch of searching and reading on here, I ordered in a Pypes exhaust kit. I went with the full one with a crossover with 2.5" pipes.

Wow, what a nice kit! It went on like a glove and didn't take very long at all. I just fired it up on the jack stands and it sounded fine. Wont really know how it is until I can drive it around again. I welded it all up for a smooth look.



 

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I replaced the bad brake line but the system didn't want to bleed so today I'll bench bleed the MC and just start from the top. I also tightened the drivers front wheel bearing and found that the front u-joint in the drive line is a little sloppy so I'll swap it out while its on stands.

The brake lights don't work. Looking into it, the switch is unplugged and its held on with a hose clamp. Also the rear light housings seems to be in really poor condition.

So do I need to pull the rear bumper to get those housings out so I can go through them? I have not looked at it that hard yet.
 

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Yes, the rear bumper must be removed to get the taillight housings out.
That's one of the few things I dislike about these cars....
 

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Yes, the rear bumper must be removed to get the taillight housings out.
That's one of the few things I dislike about these cars....
Thanks for the info. Guess I'll plan for that. Looks like the sockets in the tail light housings are shot so I ordered all new ones and a new brake light switch. Figure if I'm there, I might as well fix it good.

I noticed that one of the U-joints was bad so I pulled the drive line, cleaned it up and put in two new u-joints. Interesting thing, the parts store was showing both u-joints as the same for all applications but the front u-joint was smaller than the rear one. Rooting around around in my spare u-joints for my jeep I found that its the same u-joint as a front 1310 on a jeep. So I bought a new one of those and put it in. While the drive line was out I was able to weld up the back of the X for the exhaust that I couldn't get to earlier.



I tried to get a decent shot of the new exhaust under the car but this was the best I could get in the light.




Turns out that the MC needed to be bled. Once I did that the rest of the system bleed in good and the brakes feel solid (as solid as manual drums can feel). Hooked up the electric choke and mounted the coil and went for a drive!

It is so much nicer to drive around now that the brakes work good and you can hear yourself think! But its back in the garage to get the tail lights working and the rest of the interior is supposed to show up next week.

I'm planning on painting it this spring when it gets warmer. I'm not sure what to do about the front bumper. The chrome is shot and there is a dent in the front. I was thinking about stripping off the chrome and fixing the dent and just painting it the same color as the car like a GTO. I'm not planning on doing a clone or anything but I'm on the fence about this one.

Any input?
 

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I painted the nose of my 68 Tempest for the same reason. Fresh paint looks better than bad chrome any day. I've got a really nice chrome one too and tried both of them on my car after I painted it last year, IMO the chrome was just too much. The chrome on my back bumper was in bad shape too so it got painted as well. I would NOT recommend doing that. When I painted it the first time back in the mid 80's, painted bumpers were trendy so, it worked for me. Not so much now LOL.

That's a really nice car you have there. Looking forward to seeing your progress on it.
 

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+1 for painting the front bumper, they were so stylistic for the time and flow into the fenders and hood line so nicely they look great painted, like the Enduras without the warping and cracking.
 

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Sounds like painting the bumper is the way to go then. Thanks!

Got another question about the tail lights. These are pretty bad and need to be replaced. I can only find used Lemans tail lights but GTO ones are easy to get so I figure I'll just get them.

So when I look at the 68 GTO taillights, they say they are NOT for the Lemans. So is the housing different in some way? Will I have to swap out the entire housing or can I just put the GTO lenses on the Lemans housing? I did some searching around but wasn't able to figure it out.

Thanks.
 

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I feel your pain brudda, just went through this myself. I ended up using light sockets from a newer car. It took a little time but with a Dremel tool and a couple of files I cut out the original press fit metal sockets and reshaped the holes to accept the new sockets.
There are 2 gaskets. One for the housing to the bumper and one for the lens to the housing. I wasn't able to find either of them and had to make my own.
There doesn't seem to be anybody making the lenses either. You might as well just sell it to me man :)
 

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lol, my wife alredy thinks i'm crazy for ownng three of these cars and might like to see one of them go.

I have a pontiac nut that lives down the street from me. He has three GTO's and a convertable Lemans. I bet he might know where I can scrounge some stuff.

I also went through the car wash and got a lap full of soapy water so looks like I will also get to reseal the windshield. I might just pop the whole thing out and do the whole thing. Then I can paint the top of the dash back while I'm there.
 

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lol, my wife alredy thinks i'm crazy for ownng three of these cars and might like to see one of them go.


I also went through the car wash and got a lap full of soapy water so looks like I will also get to reseal the windshield. I might just pop the whole thing out and do the whole thing. Then I can paint the top of the dash back while I'm there.
****** You may find that the window channel at the bottom of the windshield is rotted. On my '68 Lemans Sport, if you look through the windshield, I can see that the dash is also rotted away. I am going to have to take out the windshield, install a repro windshield channel, and probably do a little patch welding, or fiberglass, on the dash-to-window channel rot -after I pull out the dash and all the wiring. I also know that I have water coming in from my vent panel down near my foot and will see what's going on here when I take off the nose. Also, the rear glass is another sore spot for rotting -which I have as well. It appears from the photos you have a 2Dr Coupe. Production numbers for the Lemans Custom 2 Dr Coupe(body style 23527)were 10,634 as opposed to 40,574 for the 2Dr HT (body style 23537). For the Lemans Sport, 8,439 2Dr Coupe (body style 23727) and 110,036 for the 2 Dr. HT (body style 23737) according to my production documents.
 
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