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  1. #1
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    My many project cars and trucks

    Figured I'd start a thread about all my past and current projects.

    I currently own 15 vehicles, I've owned over 50 and as many as 20 at one time.

    Let's start with my shop. Bought my house in 2011 and after a year in Afghanistan I remodeled the shop.

    Here's how it was when I bought the house.



    I ripped off all the old sheetrock, ran 220v wiring for my lift, air compressor, welders, and metal lathe



    Taping all this drywall was a lot of freaking work



    And painted it and moved stuff back in. Still working on trying to make the most of the space to keep things organized



    This shop is about 44x26, a lot smaller than I'd like, but it works for now. I need to get it organized and get it to where I just have one project on the right and leave the left open to have access to the lift. I fix a lot of cars on the side, so I need to keep the lift open as much as I can.
    Last edited by t_raven; 05-29-2015 at 05:49 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    I've always been a big gear head. I had 3 cars before I had a driver's license.

    This is my baby, my 67 Firebird. I bought it in '98 when I was 15. It was a totally bare bones base model with straight 6 and manual 3 on the tree. It had been hit in the rear but it was a California car and almost totally rust free. No digital cam back in the day so here are scans of the old pics



    I worked at a junk yard in high school and found a good 400 engine with th400 trans to put in it



    I didn't like the stock hubcaps so I put some Pontiac Rally II wheels on it



    I later bought a 71 Bonneville with a 455. The heads on the 400 are some of the better stock Pontiac heads, so I swapped short blocks between to two cars and resold the Bonneville.

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  3. #3
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    Fast forward a few years and I was making enough money to buy more parts for this one. I bought all the body panels. I got lucky and found the wheels I wanted used, they are Fiske Profile 5s wheels, 18x9 and 18x11. I bought a 6 speed, bought a used Ron Davis radiator and fans, and a cam and springs.







    I installed the cam



    I bought a C5 vette front suspension to use to build a sub frame. There are a few companies that make them with these components but they go for around $6000. I can build the same thing for under $2000 and set the geometry how I want it.



    I bought a 9" axle to put under it, and roto joints to make a 3 link suspension. I'm considering going with IRS instead though, I'm not sure yet.



    I bought a used Accel DFI set up to be able to add fuel injection to the 455. I haven't installed this yet.

    Last edited by t_raven; 05-29-2015 at 05:51 PM.
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  4. #4
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    I put a March serpentine set up on it





    I installed Vintage Air in it



    I still haven't fixed the body, but I drove it around for a while with all of those other parts installed





    I've since stole the engine, trans, sub frame, and axle for other vehicles since I'll be replacing all of that anyway. When I get home from Afghanistan it'll be one of the first to get worked on. I need to get the body fixed and painted, suspension built and back on it's wheels.
    Last edited by t_raven; 05-28-2015 at 09:04 AM.
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  5. #5
    BRB perving PervedOut's Avatar
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    Driving projects FTW. Mirin hard brah.
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  6. #6
    Registered User TTViper's Avatar
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    excellent thread, tell us more!
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  7. #7
    Registered User Oko93's Avatar
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    I would love to see you post a lot of your builds on here
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  8. #8
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    Unfortunately I don't have digital pics of my other high school projects and I'm not home to scan the physical photos. Other high school cars were

    79 Camaro and 74 Chevelle 4 door, I bought both for $50 and parted them out for $600.
    89 Trans Am GTA
    57 Chevy pick up I took as part trade for the GTA
    79 Firebird and 79 Trans Am
    84 Suburban

    I've always loved 67-72 GMC short bed pick ups. I'm partial to GMCs over Chevys of all body styles.

    I had this truck back in 04, 72 GMC 3/4 ton



    I stripped it down to shorten the frame and bed





    The frame is straight forward and has always been a common thing. At the time I had never seen anyone shorten one of these beds so I did it the way that made sense at the time. People are doing easier now.







    This was as far as I got before I moved and sold it

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  9. #9
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    Next I was working in Iraq in 06 and bought these two Talons when I was home on vacation. Both were 90s, AWD with 5 speeds.

    I paid $800 for this one from a used car lot. No spark so I trailered it home. It had a bad ECU







    I found this gold one on cl for $400, good body with decent paint. Carpet and cylinder head were gone, all the rest was there.











    I only ever fixed the black one and drove it, and then sold both of these with out doing anything else to them. I wish I'd kept the gold one though
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  10. #10
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    Mirin the pro touring Firebird, love those Fikse wheels!. I have a similar build going on with my 73 Camaro; 6.0 ls, T56, HRE wheels etc. The GTA is sweet too. Damn, I don't know how many cars I'd own if I had the space.
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  11. #11
    Banned Tormoz's Avatar
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    Whats up with the rear tires of the Firebird? How much did that lift come out to be?
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  12. #12
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Killer Wolf View Post
    Mirin the pro touring Firebird, love those Fikse wheels!. I have a similar build going on with my 73 Camaro; 6.0 ls, T56, HRE wheels etc. The GTA is sweet too. Damn, I don't know how many cars I'd own if I had the space.
    Thanks man, sounds like a sweet Camaro. I'll post some pics of what I did to the GTA here soon.

    Originally Posted by Tormoz View Post
    Whats up with the rear tires of the Firebird? How much did that lift come out to be?
    The wheels on the Firebird are 11" wide with a 315 tire. That's just how they happened to fit with stock wheel wells and the stock axle. When I fix the body and build the suspension I'll mini tub it and tuck the wheels
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  13. #13
    Restomodding sumolgi's Avatar
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    Good work. Love the part porn
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  14. #14
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    2nd Gen Firebirds

    I bought another 79 TA in 2007 and I plan to keep this one. I've figured out how to keep a lot of my projects cheap by buying multiple cars, keeping what I want, and selling the rest. It's worked out well so far for the 79.

    Here's the day I bought it for $1200



    And then it just sat around for a few years



    A couple years ago I was looking for parts for the 79 and bought 2 parts cars, a 77 base model and a 79 TA





    The 77 was all there and low mileage with a nice interior, but the body was too rust so I parted it out. The engine, sub frame, and axle went into a pick up I'll get to later.



    And I scrapped the body

    Last edited by t_raven; 05-29-2015 at 05:55 PM.
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  15. #15
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    2nd gen Firebirds continued

    Another 77 TA popped up for $400 with a lot of parts I wanted so I bought that





    It was super rusty so I stripped it down and scrapped the body



    The 79 I'm keeping had an Oldsmobile 403 which was stock, but it was full of water so I scrapped it. They quit making 400 in I think 77 so a lot of 79s had 403s. The package deal with the 77 and 79 included a good olds 455 and headers. I have enough Pontiac engines so I wanted to keep an Olds in this car for some variety. I cleaned up and assembled the engine and installed it.



    I also made some solid sub frame bushings. There are quite a few options out there but we're talking around $200 to buy them. I bought some aluminum bar stock



    I have a metal lathe



    I made this set for about $30 worth of the aluminum and have enough left to make almost another full set. The blue ones in the corner are the set I bought for another car and just copied the dimensions

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  16. #16
    Registered User CoastTrash's Avatar
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    Saw the lift in your shop immediate peanut butter and jelly
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  17. #17
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    I got side tracked like I always do and that's as far as I am with the 79 Iím keeping.

    The other 79, I was going to part out but decided it was too nice. I had 3 400s laying around all with different problems. I used the block and pistons from one, the crank and bearings from another, and the heads and intake from the 3rd.

    I took the crank out of this one



    And put it in this on



    And here it is all together and in the car



    I sold this one running, with the complete interior from the green 77 and almost everything to put the car back together.



    So after buying the first 79 for $1200, buying and selling all the other cars, I ended up with a good engine and headers in the 79, a bunch of other spare parts, and only have $1000 left invested in it.
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  18. #18
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tormoz View Post
    How much did that lift come out to be?
    Originally Posted by CoastTrash View Post
    Saw the lift in your shop immediate peanut butter and jelly
    Thanks, I forgot to mention how much the lift was.

    It's a Bendpack XPR 10. They are just under $3000, which is pretty typical for certified 10k lifts. I chose the Bendpack because it"s built heavier than all the others in the same price range. They come standard in blue but I wanted red and had to pay $200 extra for it. It's very common for them to get scratched in shipping so when the first one showed up I was surprised there was no damage to the packaging.....but it was blue lol. They Gave me a shop press worth about $200 for the mix up. I took the blue one back to the shipping dock and they sent a red one. The red one showed up and was scratched, so they refunded the $200 I paid for red. So in the end I came out better than if there hadn't been any problems. Bendpack is great about making up for shipping damage.
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  19. #19
    Doesn't lift crew 3alaRase's Avatar
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    Raped.

    Mirin hard. Do you flip cars?


    Any chance you can help rebuild my 302? I'll buy the parts.
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  20. #20
    Banned Tormoz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 3alaRase View Post
    Raped.

    Mirin hard. Do you flip cars?


    Any chance you can help rebuild my 302? I'll buy the parts.
    Whats wrong, plan, and budget?
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  21. #21
    Doesn't lift crew 3alaRase's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tormoz View Post
    Whats wrong, plan, and budget?
    Nothing wrong; just want more low end torque and HP. Around 320HP would be the max.
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  22. #22
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 3alaRase View Post
    Raped.

    Mirin hard. Do you flip cars?


    Any chance you can help rebuild my 302? I'll buy the parts.
    I flip them when I find good enough deals. I've made decent money fixing and selling some that needed repairs, made money parting out cars I got cheap, and I've managed to keep my costs low on most of my cars.

    I mostly only buy stuff if it's a good deal, that way there's always money to be made on it one way or another.

    Where do you live? I'm gonna be out of the country for a while. It'd probably be too much hassle to wait until I'm home and have to ship your engine to me.
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  23. #23
    No-Homo Erectus BK303's Avatar
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    Great thread bro, I'm unaware but why are you in Afghanistan? Military?
    Repped nonetheless, taker easy.
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  24. #24
    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BK303 View Post
    Great thread bro, I'm unaware but why are you in Afghanistan? Military?
    Repped nonetheless, taker easy.
    Working as a contractor. I'm an automotive tech. I started coming over seas in '06. Been over here 5 years total during '06-'13. 3 months into this one, but I'm leaving around the 6 month mark this time now that I'm married. Just needed to come make some quick money.
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    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    89 gta

    In high school I had a black 89 GTA with tan leather.
    I always wanted a black one with black leather and a LS1 with 6 speed. They are almost impossible to find with black leather.
    I found this one on ebay in í08 only a few hrs from my parents so I had my dad go get it. It was a good driver with only 103k miles.



    Interior was really nice other than the front seats and steering wheel.



    I drove it like that briefly and the engine spun a bearing. So out it came



    I scored a heck of a deal on a wrecked 00 TA. 55k miles, I paid the guy $2800. Just the engine and trans with that mileage was worth close to $4000. There was enough stuff I didnít need on that car to recoup most of my $2800. I sold a lot of it, but saved some for other projects. More on those later.






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    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    At the time I was keeping my cars at a storage unit in the town my parents live in. I pulled the engine and trans from the 00 TA



    I hauled the 89 to where my dad works and sprayed off the engine bay



    I bought a Monster stage 2 clutch kit with Tick master cylinder



    I put that good low mileage transmission in my 01 TA and rebuilt the other one with upgraded parts. I used a stage 2 rebuild kit also from Tick Performance. By this point I had this car at the shop I was working for.



    Here it is with the engine and rebuilt trans back together and in the car, and working on the wiring.



    They make transmission cross members for this swap but they are around $150 and people don’t like the exhaust clearance. I made one for like $20.





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    No-Homo Erectus BK303's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by t_raven View Post
    Working as a contractor. I'm an automotive tech. I started coming over seas in '06. Been over here 5 years total during '06-'13. 3 months into this one, but I'm leaving around the 6 month mark this time now that I'm married. Just needed to come make some quick money.
    Ah I see nice. Good coin to be made there? Is there constant danger (I mean where you are, I know it's a dangerous country)?
    A couple guys I've worked with went to Afghanistan a few years ago to work and said they made a metric fuk ton but I guess with risk comes reward.
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    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    89 GTA continued

    I used the gas tank out of the 00 TA. Itís a direct bolt in, better than having a metal tank, and easily gives you the correct fuel pump.



    The only swap headers for this application are around $800 so I havenít bought them yet. I kept the stock manifolds and made a y pipe.



    Keeping AC was easy enough. I had to notch the k member to clear the compressor



    And hoses were as easy as having new ends put on the 00 TA hose assembly.





    I put the 00 TA console in the 89. It works well with the dash and doesnít look out of place. I sprayed the seats with black vinyl dye so they didnít look so bad.

    Last edited by t_raven; 05-29-2015 at 06:09 AM.
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    Mirin the 1g

    Theres such a huge market for DSMs and I swear I could make a living just by buying them and parting them out. You could srs buy one for 400 bucks (like you did) and join the Facebook swap pages and get over 400 for the doors alone. Cult following.
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    Registered User t_raven's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BK303 View Post
    Ah I see nice. Good coin to be made there? Is there constant danger (I mean where you are, I know it's a dangerous country)?
    A couple guys I've worked with went to Afghanistan a few years ago to work and said they made a metric fuk ton but I guess with risk comes reward.
    Most jobs are pretty safe if you never have to leave the bases. We get mortar attacks but they rarely hurt anyone. People have died but really I've been more concerned for my safety in most cities I've traveled to.

    The money is good. My first job was paying $80k/yr. We thought that sounded great until we got to Iraq and found out $130k-$150k was average lol. I've made as much as $170k/yr and guys doing the job I do now use to make around $200k. Pay has come down since those days, but I'm still well over $100k. A lot of the jobs out here have had their pay cut to around $80k-$100k. At pay that low, it was fine when I was 23, but with a wife now, and for guys with kids that have been over here, it's not really worth coming back over here for that little unless you're desperate.
    Last edited by t_raven; 05-29-2015 at 06:13 AM.
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