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'70½ BBG Gremlin begins it's journey to rebirth

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Fluffy73 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fluffy73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: '70½ BBG Gremlin begins it's journey to rebirth
    Posted: Apr/14/2021 at 3:29am
I'm no body man.  While I have mastered the art of the farm yard fix, I simply do not have the time, energy, patience or money to invest in purchasing everything to do body work. I don't even own a welder (yet).  In my mind, why spend all that money to do a poor job?  I'd rather pay the professionals to do a GOOD job.

I've been trying to get my Gremlin painted, probably the whole time I've owned it. Started looking earnestly in 2013 and had a local shop lined up to do it.  2013 turned out to be a terrible year. My uncle died, the engine popped in my daily driver, mom broke her ankle and the best cat in the world suddenly passed away.  Needless to say, Gremlin didn't get done.

Fast forward the last couple years and I've had a position on the waiting list of the same body shop, but for one reason or another... it just wasn't happening. I was supposed to be after a '70 Chevelle that was going to be a simple scuff & spray, but last I heard they're cutting quarters off that car and the wait has increased.

After shopping around quite a bit actually.... I found a place in Kelowna, BC called Pacific Muscle Cars.  The owner showed a fair bit of interest on doing my Gremlin (seriously! He didn't laugh in my face when asking what kind of car!) I've seen his work and he's a pretty talented metal fabricator - which is perfect for a Gremlin since not a single panel is made.

Long story short, he says I can drop the car off the second week in June. So in the mean time, I'm going to try and do a few things I've been putting off.  (I'm still unemployed, might as well keep myself occupied!)

I started late tonight.  Both my daily and mothers' daily had to have winter tires swapped over. So tonight was all about seeing what'll come apart.

Hood hinges came out without much fuss. Nice to not find any surprise holes.




Even the front valance screws came out without protest!!



At this point, I'm two bolts on either side from peeling the fenders.  So far, not a single bolt has given me any flack or broken.  It's almost like the car WANTS to get restored.



Edited by Fluffy73 - Apr/14/2021 at 3:35am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mopar_guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/14/2021 at 8:00am
Usually the more of the bs work you can do like removing trim, bumpers, glass etc the more money you save. Most shops like that because they don’t like to do stuff like that. Since you have the time, talk to the shop owner and ask him if he’s good with you stripping it down and see what he says. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amxdreamer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/14/2021 at 8:36am
Darrin, place all hardware in bags and clearly right what color and where they go. anything BBG can be painted at the shop in a chunk of cardboard. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bigbad69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/14/2021 at 8:45am
I second what 'dreamer said and will add: take lots of pictures during disassembly. Guaranteed, you won't remember were everything went when it comes time to reassemble.

What are the plans for the Gremlin - resto, restify, modify?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BU1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/14/2021 at 9:23am
X3. Put all small parts and hardware in zip lock bags and label the bags with a sharpie marker.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ccowx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/14/2021 at 9:54am
Add me to the list too! I took my car apart for a "few months" that turned into 17 years and if it wasn't in lableled bags it would still be apart!

Looking forward to seeing this get started!

Chris 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fluffy73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/14/2021 at 2:08pm
Originally posted by Mopar_guy Mopar_guy wrote:

Usually the more of the bs work you can do like removing trim, bumpers, glass etc the more money you save. Most shops like that because they don’t like to do stuff like that. Since you have the time, talk to the shop owner and ask him if he’s good with you stripping it down and see what he says. 


Oh yes. I've mentioned I'm on a budget and he's been pretty understanding so far.  I've already pulled 99% of the "bling" off except door handles and locks.  I might at the very least strip the fenders and hood of paint.  He's already agreed to putting his apprentice on the grunt work side of things to save me some money, but the metal work he will do.  He even wants me to pull as much interior out as possible just for safety's sake.  He originally wanted the grille to go with the car too but when I explained how rare and valuable it was he agreed that it's best it stay with me! Big smile


Originally posted by bigbad69 bigbad69 wrote:

What are the plans for the Gremlin - resto, restify, modify?


The "theme" for the car is "Day 2".  Not a straight restoration.  For instance, I've added a "Correct for 1970, but not available in the Gremlin" 2-barrel intake and carb. I will also be adding some Magnum 500 wheels and the car will be keeping it's Craig-brand Quadraphonic 8-track deck. And also, because I gotta be me, it's got an "Ah-OOga" horn on a switch to scare people.

Further mods *MIGHT* include (as in, if I can find somebody to modify a bellhousing for me) a Laycock deNormanville Overdrive (with a groovy "Overdrive" script badge on the tail panel) and a rear sway bar from an Eagle....and probably power brakes.  Nothing that can't be reversed to put it back 100% to stock.

But it WILL be staying Big Bad Green with the black stripe. This is an original Big Bad Green car and I feel must remain so.  In 20 years of searching and documenting "early" Gremlins, I've only found 3 legit BBG '70s.


Edited by Fluffy73 - Apr/14/2021 at 2:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ccowx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/14/2021 at 5:04pm
This will be cool! I would love to see it parked next to a BBG MD special or an AMX. I think the day 2 vibe is very cool and I like those as much as the obsessive "factory" cars. As you well know, my own car could be said to be well into happy hour on day one!

Not sure on that horn, but all else is good!

Chris


Edited by ccowx - Apr/14/2021 at 8:37pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fluffy73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/14/2021 at 9:39pm
Originally posted by ccowx ccowx wrote:

Not sure on that horn, but all else is good!


Yeah, but it's so much fun to flip the switch, blast the horn and scare the crap out of people! LOL

Today was an adventure.  Sadly, my luck ran out.  While the front end peeled without any drama; unbolting the doors has turned into an affair.  Maybe even a whole "to-do"!  First bolt I tried to undo snapped right off. Didn't even apply pressure, and sure 'nuff, the break was rusty. That bolt had broken long ago.  All three lowers broke - and before you comment..... YES I am going slowly, rocking them back and forth until I can get some spray lube on the threads.  All three lower ones broke on the passenger side, but all three upper ones came out cleanly.  When I turned my attention to the door side, one bolt head happily bounced to the floor and again, it's break was rusty - so it'd been broken for a long time.

At that point, I turned the door up on it's end and sprayed the backside threads.  Hopefully they'll come out tomorrow without protest.

Two of the uppers came out on the driver side, the third WAS loosening up but I gave it 1 ugga-dugga too much and it snapped.  The lowers, since I already have the kick panels off also got sprayed from behind.  They're tight and won't budge.  Pretty sure all of them are gonna snap, too.

Why am I not letting the body shop handle the doors?  Well, I kinda figure they'd just hit 'em with an air ratchet or impact and probably would've broken them all.  Then they'd have to spend the time removing all the support plates, drilling, tapping.... etc.  At $125+ an hour.... that's no bueno!

But if I do it all myself, the ones I do break, I remove on my own time, take to my buddy with the drill press and blow torch, and for the cost of lunch - everything is happy again!  At which point I can put on my NEW door hinges and let the body shop concentrate on the rest.

On the good side of the ledger... there have been no ugly surprises.  Some surface rust, sure but nothing that's going to cost a fortune to re-sculpt. The fenders came off cleanly, even the antenna came apart without protest. Shocks also came out in one piece. I mean, if it's just the door hinges that are going to give me guff, I really can't complain.  Though getting the support plate out of the upper driver side is going to be a female dog.

On to the pictures!


This little bit of crust at the top of the apron is about the worst damage I've found so far. Considering this car was my ***WINTER CAR*** for several years, it's held up amazingly well.



Most of what you see is surface rust.  There really is no rust damage. This will all clean up with a wire wheel!!


The driver side is just as clean.  You can also see the (now) striking dissimilarity between the factory paint (under the hood) and the late 70's front 1/3 repaint (cowl). 


What's interesting is that two previous owners mentioned a late 70's collision on the front end of this car. There is some old repair work on the passenger corner of the hood and front of the fender. But underneath the faded repaint green is MORE Big Bad Green.  So, I'm going to assume the hood is still OE sheetmetal, and it really appears as both fenders are.  HOWEVER, both front fenders have inside lower brackets for the Hornet-style grille that the Gremlin grille does not need.  I have considered drilling two holes in the front face of the grille, as solid attachment at those points would make the grille so much more rigid.... I don't know if I want to do that.

Now, does that mean the factory attached brackets to ALL early fenders regardless of application? Or are these Hornet fenders? But the paint says these are OE fenders as under the first layer of BBG is nothing but primer and steel.

Oh and Chris, I have the paperwork on my desk. I'm applying to get Personal License plates that say:
" LIL BAD " LOL


Edited by Fluffy73 - Apr/14/2021 at 9:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fluffy73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/21/2021 at 10:56pm
A little more progress tonight. Some good, some bad.


Sometimes, it's like the car knows it's going to get done.  How often do 50 year old brake lines come apart without protest?  The rubber lines unscrewed from the slaves perfectly.... one bleed screw even came loose.  Yeah, ONE.  Add one pair of front slaves to the bottom line....



Still lightyears away from bolting on shiny, new parts. But, a small preview.  Yes, I've decided to at the very least add power brakes.  The biggest benefit being that it'll move the brake pedal a little over an inch CLOSER to the accelerator.  It's a bit strange to have to lift off the gas, slide your foot back and then lift UP to get to the brake pedal.  It's not the most comfortable driving positions.



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