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Author Topic: Chenowth build/resto project  (Read 5553 times)

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komelika

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Chenowth build/resto project
« on: September 20, 2015, 03:29:06 AM »
I figured I'd start a project log on the Chenowth.

This thing needed a lot of work. It sat for years in the previous owner's backyard. He had the idea to make it street legal, which I might eventually do. He decided to create a more aerodynamic windshield frame, which took hours to cut out and clean up since he arc welded a lip around the inside of the A-pillar and a lower bar above the dash.



I have close to 30 hours with a grinder and a wire wheel stripping the old paint. I decided to go with a rattle can gloss red paint job. I like red because it's easy and it matches my truck.


I had a couple problems with the seats being mounted to the floor pan. One, it doesn't seem strong enough to be safe. Two, this rail wasn't built for a 6'2" driver or passenger and with the seats mounted to the pan they sat to vertical and put my head nearly into the roof bar. I couldn't just tilt the seats either for various reasons.

This is the approximate position mounted to the floor pan.


This is where I needed them.


Which put the bottom of the seat below the floor pan level for a loss of clearance.


I compromised with a happy median where I had a max head clearance at a minimum clearance loss.

The bottom of the seat mount tubes will be plated with 1/8" steel that the seats will bolt directly to.




I think the idea is solid and has plenty of strength with 12 welded points of contact after gusseting the cross tube to the center tubes.


Its hard to get a good idea of the clearance from this pic, but the seat mount tubes are only 1.25" below the center tubes of the chassis.


Plenty of clearance for the shifter bar. I'm also going to mount two more tubes, one on each side of the shifter bar, for more support during bottom outs. I may fab in one more cross tube attached to the hip bars behind the seats and weld the tubes in more vertical for better strength. If I do that then I may be able to put in an expanded metal shelf to put a small cooler and other items in the space behind the seats. I haven't decided on that yet.


I was making pretty good progress until I ran out of shielding gas. Looking forward to the reassembly.





Needs:
Pedal Assembly
Seat Belts
Seat Covers
Coil
Paint
All new nuts and bolts
Tie Rod Ends
Shocks front and rear
Lights
Wiring
Front wheel bearings
Possibly rear brake shoes.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2015, 03:31:02 AM by komelika »
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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2015, 06:42:57 AM »
well it already looks 10x better lol   just going to through this out there but from the pics looks like a  3 to 4" drop for the seats and about a 35* to 40* angle. if you had bent the ends of the cross tube 35* to 40* and dropped it below the inner frame members you could've ran straight tubes for the seats and then it would've been easier to make an aluminum floor pan to cover the seat. i never used to until i had a corn stock come up between my legs out in the field a while back and ever since then i am a firm believer of a full floor pan! did you get rid of you mc rail?
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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2015, 06:46:08 AM »
also if you have a salvage yard near by and are wanting better and actuall suspension seats a cheap alternative is the hyndai tiberon seats or seats out of a 92 tercel or out of a 02 and up cavalier. i have used all 3 and easy to mod the steel structure for use in a rail. very plus suspension seats to. usually $35 each around here. some of the tiberon's have a cut out through the head rest as well as the old tercel seats.
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fabr

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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2015, 08:34:51 AM »
Very nicely done!
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komelika

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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2015, 12:18:01 PM »
well it already looks 10x better lol   just going to through this out there but from the pics looks like a  3 to 4" drop for the seats and about a 35* to 40* angle. if you had bent the ends of the cross tube 35* to 40* and dropped it below the inner frame members you could've ran straight tubes for the seats and then it would've been easier to make an aluminum floor pan to cover the seat. i never used to until i had a corn stock come up between my legs out in the field a while back and ever since then i am a firm believer of a full floor pan! did you get rid of you mc rail?

The goal behind this idea is that it slides over obstructions instead of giving any angles are edges to hang up on. I think I see what you are saying, but I can still pan the bottom of the seats.

No, I haven't even advertised the cuda. I'm not in a hurry to sell it. I'm still trying to figure out if I can have both. Looking into storage units for one or the other.
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komelika

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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2015, 05:59:34 PM »
also if you have a salvage yard near by and are wanting better and actuall suspension seats a cheap alternative is the hyndai tiberon seats or seats out of a 92 tercel or out of a 02 and up cavalier. i have used all 3 and easy to mod the steel structure for use in a rail. very plus suspension seats to. usually $35 each around here. some of the tiberon's have a cut out through the head rest as well as the old tercel seats.

Thanks for the tips. I've heard people are using Miata seats too. I know these poly seats are temporary so I will definitely keep my eye open for a better replacement. I'll head down to the Pull & Pay in the next week or two.

The actual clearance loss is only 1.25" from the center rails of the chassis down to the tube for the seat mount. It looks like more on the edge tubes because the outer tubes on the chassis are bent up at an angle to mount to the torsion housing.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2015, 11:08:19 PM by komelika »
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komelika

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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2015, 03:28:27 AM »
Brake lines... solid or braided stainless hoses? I'm worried that the pedal assembly I have doesn't have enough volume for hose expansion, especially since the disk brakes have 2 calipers. I like the idea of braided since it looks better and makes it easier to have pedal adjustment for driver height.

http://www.latestrage.net/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&view=productdetails&virtuemart_product_id=1695&virtuemart_category_id=884

Anyone have an idea what size fittings I need? Considering there is no info with the assembly it is probably a stupid question, but I don't have any experience with brake lines other than the AN fittings on the cuda.
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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2015, 05:33:45 AM »
I have always been told there are no stupid questions. If you do not know something's that is how you learn by asking..
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fabr

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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2015, 05:49:53 AM »
Run hard lines everywhere you can using braided/flex a little as possible. Hard lines help eliminate a spongy pedal.Keep the braided/flex as short as possible.  Line size is a matter of opinion but I suggest 3/16" for trunk lines and 1/8"for branch lines.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2015, 05:51:32 AM by fabr »
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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2015, 07:05:59 AM »
Keep the SS braided down at -3 and just use it for the wheel cylinders and master.  Run solid steel thru out the car and just use the braided from the frame to the wheels and one piece coiled for the master cylinder if you need adjustment.   
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komelika

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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2015, 11:16:53 PM »
Made some progress today. I started with finishing the support bars.



Then it was bottom side up to finish the bottom welds and fit the mount plates.


I hope this isn't a jinx! Been upside down in enough already!


These mounts are solid! Eventually the seats will be replaced with quality suspension seats, but they'll do for now.


Here is a shot from the front showing the clearance loss, which is minimal.


Shot from the back.


Next on the agenda is to fab the battery mount/base plate. Then I'll be able to put the floor back in and start working on the brake lines. I got my new front shocks in the mail today so I'm looking forward to getting the front axle back on it.
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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2015, 07:10:58 AM »
turned out real nice and where i'm not a fan of trailing arms i have always been a fan of the custom torsion housing over the stock! i know barrien had a bad batch of those quite a ways back and they were cracking but not sure where they got them. deano and transman would know since they had seen them break in person but doubt yours is.  i do like the red as well.
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komelika

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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2015, 09:33:20 AM »
turned out real nice and where i'm not a fan of trailing arms i have always been a fan of the custom torsion housing over the stock! i know barrien had a bad batch of those quite a ways back and they were cracking but not sure where they got them. deano and transman would know since they had seen them break in person but doubt yours is.  i do like the red as well.

Thanks. I hadn't heard about the torsion housing issue, but I've been out of it for so long I haven't heard anything about anything. Eventually I want to beef up the suspension on this one. I'm planning on 3X3 trailing arms and 930 CV joints, but I haven't decided if I want to ditch the torsion bars and go with coil over suspension yet.

As for the front, I'm thinking 6" wider beams with 4" trailing arms and coil over shocks, but that may change as I look further into it. Its going to remain stock for awhile, but do you have any suggestions?
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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2015, 10:39:39 AM »
yes i do lol i am full of suggestions as is everyone on this site  ;D rofl     

seriously i would go 3x3 with 930's but don't buy the empi 930's get these  http://www.rcvperformance.com/product-details.aspx?sku=301174CC they actually are machined to 30* but stop them at 28* unlike the empi's which actually only go 26* when properly installed and are advertised at 28*. been though this with lots of customers that have fought them! with 3x3 on a bus trans you'll need 19 1/4" long axles.  for the front, add up what all the parts will cost to do as you described wanting to do then measure the distance between the upper and lower frame at the two tubes that are upright. in the second pic on the page that you posted you can see that right behind where the torsion bar mounts there is a tube that goes straight up and down and another at the windshield frame. those are where you need to measure. let me know what price you come up with on all the parts to do that beam as described then i'll let you know of a cheaper better way to do it  ;D
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komelika

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Re: Chenowth build/resto project
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2015, 12:52:47 PM »
Great, now I have something else to obsess about!  ;D

What do you suggest for stub axles and flanges for the 5 rib Bus tranny to mate up to the 930s? I haven't looked into to it too far, but if you know of a good source that would be cool. It's already looking like $1000-$1500 for the 3x3 conversion so it may be some time before I get to that and longer for the front.
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