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A forum for the owners and enthusiasts of General Motors B-Bodies from 1977-1990, but dedicated to the owners of 1977-1979 Impalas and Caprices. Join up now!


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    '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

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    Post  solo79 Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:12 pm

    GM B-Body Forum wrote:I would definitely box the frame in, its a fairly easy task, and the extra rigidity will be good. That would be a neat thing to post in the performance section, those precut plates, if whoever sells them has a website or whatever. These cars would benefit from some more strength even if its not a lowrider or going to be one.

    I'll look around on the lowrider site and see if I can come up with a nice solid link or a website that shows pricing and pictures. Most of these guys post on there what they have, but many don't have websites and do all of their sales through the forum. I'm reluctant to refer anyone to some of that site because it's filled with a lot of vulgarity and "non-family" oriented language and discussions. There's also a ton of rip-off artists lingering around there. Sometimes it's hard to weed through all of that to find the good stuff. It's "hard core."lol Which is why I don't frequent there much unless I'm looking for something specific.
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    Post  solo79 Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:44 pm

    Made some small progress this past Sunday, but didn't take any pics. Not much to see really. I removed the rear tail light assemblies, license plate bracket and holder and discovered a trailer hitch wiring harness spliced in. That has got to go. I also removed the trunk light and wiring, remote trunk release solenoid and wiring and the complete tail light harness. I'm thinking about replacing all of that "solid" wire for the tail light harness to stranded wire. I remember having trouble with those on my last car as they get pinched and break easily. Also, discovered why my passenger tail light bezel would not suck in all the way. Apparently, over the years, the studs that go into the tail light housings have backed out causing the tail light to stick out more. I also had several where the black nuts turned the entire stud pulling that out of the housing. So, I had to grip the stud to get the little black nuts back off and then screw the studs back into the housings. I think I'll make those studs not move again when I reassemble this in the future.

    Planning on taking the car to a buddies' house soon to swap the floor pans and I'll take tons of pics of that process. I'm still wondering if anyone out there has actually pulled this off on a 77-79 car. I've seen tons of "I want to" threads on the internet, but I haven't found a single one where someone successfully replaced their floor. Could I be the first?
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    Post  Sweet Seventy9 Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:57 pm

    solo79 wrote:<snip> I think I'll make those studs not move again when I reassemble this in the future.

    Be careful.... would you rather have a stud unscrew from the housing, or have the housing break because the stud wouldn't come out first?
    Fingernail polish works great to hold them from unscrewing but is only semi-permanent.  Sort of like locktite but not as strong.  If you have to apply a lot of force to remove the nut, the polish lets the stud go before the post cracks or breaks.

    Seeing as you're going all-out on this project, have you considered picking up some "Extras" to change up the look every so often?  I mentioned sequential tail lights before, but there's other simple things you can change out in a matter of minutes.  Things like 79 Impala tail lights & fillers, or amber REAR marker lights?  Or bleach a pair of front marker lights to clear and use amber bulbs?  That last one is a really cool look.  I have pics of one of my cars with them somewhere.  IDK if you can anymore, but you used to be able to get the bulbs in several different colors like amber, red, blue and green.  You could change the the look several times a day!  

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    Post  solo79 Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:34 pm

    Sweet Seventy9 wrote:
    solo79 wrote:<snip> I think I'll make those studs not move again when I reassemble this in the future.

    Be careful.... would you rather have a stud unscrew from the housing, or have the housing break because the stud wouldn't come out first?
    Fingernail polish works great to hold them from unscrewing but is only semi-permanent.  Sort of like locktite but not as strong.  If you have to apply a lot of force to remove the nut, the polish lets the stud go before the post cracks or breaks.

    Seeing as you're going all-out on this project, have you considered picking up some "Extras" to change up the look every so often?  I mentioned sequential tail lights before, but there's other simple things you can change out in a matter of minutes.  Things like 79 Impala tail lights & fillers, or amber REAR marker lights?  Or bleach a pair of front marker lights to clear and use amber bulbs?  That last one is a really cool look.  I have pics of one of my cars with them somewhere.  IDK if you can anymore, but you used to be able to get the bulbs in several different colors like amber, red, blue and green.  You could change the the look several times a day!  


    '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now... - Page 6 100_1839

    Trust me, I'm not going to glue them in there.lol I have a little trick I do which I've done on my Trans Ams in the past since they have a similar mounting system. I make all new studs out of all thread that accept real nuts instead of plastic. I'm not about quick changing, but rather more secure. It takes a bit to figure out which ones will work. I was going to try one from my Trans Am in the Caprice tail light to see if they are the same size. It's a neat mod that has worked flawlessly for me when those stupid plastic nuts break or the whole stud turns out of the housing. I've never had one fail yet on the Trans Ams.

    Yea, you can bet I'll be doing some "change-ups" here and there, but for the most part, I want this car stock appearing inside and out with just subtle things here and there.
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    Post  bgkid2966 Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:00 am

    It will be a good project to see in pics. I have seen a floor cut from a Chevy II so the interior could be made of all sheet metal for roll cage and tubs. I have not seen one done for replacement. Are you going to pull the body off first?



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    Post  solo79 Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:30 pm

    bgkid2966 wrote:It will be a good project to see in pics. I have seen a floor cut from a Chevy II so the interior could be made of all sheet metal for roll cage and tubs. I have not seen one done for replacement. Are you going to pull the body off first?



    Geno

    Good question. No, I'm leaving the body on the frame while replacing the floor to prevent the body from flexing. I noticed when I cut the floor out of the donor car, there was no flex or deflection. The piece I cut out was like a "puzzle" piece. Once the new floor is in and welded solid, then the body comes off. The frame gets sandblasted, reinforced, then coated. I can't wait to get this floor in! Once the floor is replaced it's full speed ahead for me.
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    Post  Sweet Seventy9 Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:05 pm

    Have you found anybody doing reinforcing plates for the frame yet?  I might know a guy that still makes them.  He makes reinforcements for bad body mount holes too.  LMK, and I can check with him.  Here's his stuff.

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    IIRC, the cut outs in the side pieces are for access to the brake line clips.
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    Post  solo79 Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:39 pm

    Sweet Seventy9 wrote:Have you found anybody doing reinforcing plates for the frame yet?  I might know a guy that still makes them.  He makes reinforcements for bad body mount holes too.  LMK, and I can check with him.  Here's his stuff.

    '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now... - Page 6 Bodymo10  '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now... - Page 6 37780810  '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now... - Page 6 37596010   '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now... - Page 6 52323910  '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now... - Page 6 30135110  '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now... - Page 6 74830_10  '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now... - Page 6 Bodymo11  '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now... - Page 6 31412810

    IIRC, the cut outs in the side pieces are for access to the brake line clips.

    I'll definitely keep that in mind. I see some pieces that I don't think the lowrider shops offer. I've got to do some more research on these lowrider shops and I'll post some pics of their frame kits and prices with a link once I gather it all.
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    Post  solo79 Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:40 pm

    As for the floor pan saga, my buddy came over the other day and we talked about it for awhile and we now have a game plan.  First thing for me is to order enough POR-15 to go ahead and coat the entire bottom side less about 3 inches around the edge in semi gloss black.  Once I do that, then the fun really begins.  Stay tuned.  This pan swap will be fully documented with lots of fun photos.
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    Post  Myloth Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am

    How goes the progress on your car? You get any POR-15? I haven't yet either but I am going to shortly.

    I was thinking of doubling down on the bottom of the C channel with long pieces of 1/4 steel that I can get for free

    and bolting them in every 3" or so with maybe 7/16" bolts which I can do easy, rather than box only because I have no

    access to a welder. And the metal is a bit thin no? I could have it boxed but welding isn't as cheap as it used to be to have

    someone do it.
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    Post  Sweet Seventy9 Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:46 am

    Myloth wrote:How goes the progress on your car? You get any POR-15? I haven't yet either but I am going to shortly.

    I was thinking of doubling down on the bottom of the C channel with long pieces of 1/4 steel that I can get for free

    and bolting them in every 3" or so with maybe 7/16" bolts which I can do easy, rather than box only because I have no

    access to  a welder. And the metal is a bit thin no? I could have it boxed but welding isn't as cheap as it used to be to have

    someone do it.
    Harbor Freight has a decent flux wire welder for under $100. It's more than adequate for that type of welding. I bet you'd find 1000 other uses for it too.
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    Post  Myloth Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:04 pm

    That sounds great I'll have to check it out thanks.
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    Post  solo79 Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:23 pm

    Myloth wrote:How goes the progress on your car? You get any POR-15? I haven't yet either but I am going to shortly.

    I was thinking of doubling down on the bottom of the C channel with long pieces of 1/4 steel that I can get for free

    and bolting them in every 3" or so with maybe 7/16" bolts which I can do easy, rather than box only because I have no

    access to  a welder. And the metal is a bit thin no? I could have it boxed but welding isn't as cheap as it used to be to have

    someone do it.

    I haven't made an ounce of progress.  I've been working 60 hour weeks and when the weekend gets here, I'm pretty lazy by then.  I manage to detail the KITT car and make the Saturday night cruise-ins, but that's about it lately.  I'm still going to try and get the floor replaced before dead of winter, but I'm going to have to get after it soon or it will be next spring before it happens.  From the beginning, I've really been in no hurry to build this car.  It's an ongoing project.  I projected 3 years total in the beginning, but we'll see.

    Any reinforcing you can do to the car is good to strengthen it up. The areas under the doors are very week. My frame is bent up a little just behind the fender where it appears someone drove up on something like a curb and it tore the metal a little right at the beginning of the c-channel. Easy fix, but annoying.
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    Post  Myloth Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:10 pm

    Ow frame that hurts but like you say it can be fixed. Yeah no pressure here lol just curious. I know the feeling I

    have been working to get this Rear in for the past two weeks something keeps coming up. I have been

    keeping myself calm by doing the small things and of course there is no short supply of those. Yeah my

    guesstimate of mine is finishing everything before next summer except the paint (that's a maybe)

    . I work from home so lots of hours freed up on travel etc. I have access to free scrap metal so I can beef it up

    reasonably I'm hoping. Now if I just find a schematic ........
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    Post  solo79 Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:35 pm

    Since I'm doing a body-off restoration with no garage, things are slow going anyway. You have to be methodical in the way you do things outdoors. I did talk to my buddy this past weekend and once his '75 Formula is off to paint in a few weeks, my Caprice can go in his garage for the pan swap and rear package tray fix. We're also going to be re-welding the door frames where they are loose and a few other odds and ends. It will be MUCH easier on a concrete floor and his garage is heated.
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    Post  Myloth Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:02 pm

    Heat is always a Plus! I have pics of me pulling me 3800 out of PA Ultra after a 8" of snow not as fun as it

    looks. That's me on the right with a friend holding the other end of the block with a 4x4 that was few years

    ago.

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    Post  Sweet Seventy9 Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:51 pm

    A bit off topic, but did you see that on Dec 8 GMG is building a KITT for a customer? I guess they're giving one away too.
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    Post  solo79 Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:59 pm

    Sweet Seventy9 wrote:A bit off topic, but did you see that on Dec 8 GMG is building a KITT for a customer?  I guess they're giving one away too.

    Off topic is a-okay if it's about KITT.lol

    I did see that. The Knight Rider Replica hobby world is abuzz about it. I can't figure out if they're giving away the one they build or what. This guy is paying like 100 grand to have the car built and another 100 grand to get Hasselhoff. GMG will make a 150,000.00 profit give or take. Clearly, this guy throwing 100 grand knows nothing about KITT replicas. It's the kid in the candy store effect. We're all betting they use the cheapest most non-accurate parts they can find. We shall see.
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    Post  Sweet Seventy9 Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:00 am

    Contact the producers and tell them that if they're going to do it, do it right and hire you as a build consultant. I think $25k an episode should cover it. Laughing

    I'm hoping they do an accurate job on it though. The commercial seems to point at there being more than one made.
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    Post  solo79 Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:26 pm

    Sweet Seventy9 wrote:Contact the producers and tell them that if they're going to do it, do it right and hire you as a build consultant.  I think $25k an episode should cover it.  Laughing

    I'm hoping they do an accurate job on it though.  The commercial seems to point at there being more than one made.  

    Eh, I don't consider myself an "expert," but I do know a lot about it. Here's hoping they do a nice job too! Thing is usually, there's some pre-buzz about this type of thing since we all stay in communication with each other and the vendors, but I haven't seen a lick of information before hand. Usually with something like this we know about it before the general public. This time, most of us are in the dark. They could just be picking up parts from Ebay or something. I mean, there's like hundreds of auctions on there for parts and most of it is from Italian vendors.

    As for my Caprice, just a little update..NO update.lol Still waiting on my buddy's garage to clear.
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    Post  HeavyChevy77 Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:56 pm

    Solo79 wrote:
    '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now... - Page 6 9d5z
     Your caprice looked slick .. Digging the low stance did you re force the frame or not .. I feel the lay and play will eventually weaken the frame ..
    Oh and how u mak those tail lens grill looks dope!
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    Post  solo79 Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:49 pm

    HeavyChevy77 wrote:
    Solo79 wrote:
    '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now... - Page 6 9d5z
     Your caprice looked slick .. Digging the low stance did you re force the frame or not .. I feel the lay and play will eventually weaken the frame ..
    Oh and how u mak those tail lens grill looks dope!

    Thanks! Yes, I thought that car was pretty slick too. I built it back when crush velvet interior was still the "in" thing to do. That's when you would open Lowrider Magazine and it was a 1/2" thick and you'd see candy and crush velvet everywhere...not anymore. I tried so hard for 2 years to buy this car back recently to re-do it, but with no luck. It's lost in Detroit somewhere forever. So, I gave up on it. It was my first car at 16 and as of late 2013 it's still rolling somewhere with the same paint and top, but the interior and setup has been redone. It's nice to know it's still on the road after all these years because most lowriders don't make it that long. I did not reinforce the frame on that one and I should have. I was never hard on it, other than an occasional driving 3-wheel, but my right rear arch still bent on me a little, creasing the quarter. At some point, one of the new owners fixed and reinforced it from what I heard. Even though I'm doing air-ride this time, I'm still reinforcing the frame on my new ride.
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    Post  Myloth Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:54 pm

    I appreciate your efforts you have definitely put it in on that one. Not my cup of tea(velvet nooooooo)

    but I do like overall effect you did with the car. Can't wait to see your future effort.
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    Post  solo79 Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:11 pm

    Myloth wrote:I appreciate your efforts you have definitely put it in on that one. Not my cup of tea(velvet nooooooo)

    but I do like overall effect you did with the car. Can't wait to see your future effort.

    Thanks! Velvet is not my cup of tea anymore either and neither are hydraulics. Going with a nice factory looking black vinyl or leather interior and air ride should make it a quite slick ride.
    Myloth
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    '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now... - Page 6 Empty Re: '79 Chevy Caprice 2-door then and now...

    Post  Myloth Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:15 pm

    I literally have a phobia to velvet can't stand touching it even cloth seats aren't all that appealing leather or vinyl.

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