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Thread: 57 Nomad-C4-LS1 called "Ozzy"

  1. #1
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    57 Nomad-C4-LS1 called "Ozzy"

    First...some background info:
    I bought this 57 Nomad in mid 2008 shortly after completing a frame-on restomod build of my first wagon (9 Passenger wagon called "Harriet"). The previous owner of this Nomad approached me at a local car show, after looking for what seemed like a half hour at the detail of the 9 passenger build. Turns out after talking with him for a while, he was in the middle of this Nomad build and was losing interest (and his eyesight). I was not looking for another Tri5...but a 57 Nomad was one of my dream cars since childhood, so when he told me about his build and I found out we lived less than 10 miles apart...curiosity got the best of me. Turns out, he had done a nice job of doing a frameoff LS1/T56 conversion, using the stock frame with a stock front A arm/CPP500 steering setup and a Ford 9"/rear leaf spring setup. The LS1/T56 combo came out of a 2002 Camaro. It was lust at first sight, so we finagled a deal and I bought it.

    It looked good nearly NO rust or bondo, and my initial plans were to just finish it up and drive it. Here's a pic of it in his garage the day I went over to load it up on my trailer and bring it home.

    P3310083.jpgP8250110.jpg

    Fast forward a couple of years to 2010, and with 3 kids in high school and all their activities and booster club stuff, I hadn't really done much on it. Mostly because I had started to see better builds...like custom frames and suspension setups, better mods, etc. All that waiting time allowed a better build plan to galvanize in my head, and in 2010 I had Laszlo (aka ChevyNut) build me a custom frame set up with a C4 suspension in mind, and also some AME center bracing to stiffen it up. I decided I wanted a Tri5 that drove MUCH tigheter and better, and was growing tired of the stock lumbering feel of my 9 passenger wagon. I placed my order with the Fabricator of Frames (that's you Laszlo) and then made a road trip from Los Angeles to Ft. Collins Colorado (on what had to be the coldest weekend in January that year...it minus 10 degrees driving back thru Utah that morning!) and picked up the frame. Here's some pics...

    DSCN1175.jpgDSCN1211.jpg

    Over that next year, I managed to buy some C4 components pretty reasonably, including a Dana 44 rear end setup, and got them bolted into the frame...along with a set of C5 Corvette wheels/tires that I bought from a guy off Craigslist for $300!

    DSCN1416.jpg

    Then kid's # 1 and 2 hit college in 2010,2011 and low and behold...there went a boatload of money OUT of my car fund and into the states of Calif and Ariz college systems. Good grief...

    Now it's 2012, and the boatload of cash transfering to the 2 states continues (with 1 more on the way next year), but I managed to pull the body off the existing frame and swap in the new C4 frame setup, and now I'm right in the middle of finishing up a new firewall (fabbed from scratch out of 16 gauge sheetmetal) and will then move around the back end and fab up the rear floor, rear seatback-bulkhead, fuel tank, etc. The stock frame with the previous owners placement of the LS1/T56 allowed the body to be bolted on with no firewall mods, but with this new C4 setup...the firewall needed to be changed. (Secretly admitting here that I hated the look of the stock firewall anyways....so it was a good reason to break out the Lincoln 110V MiG welder and start at it...)

    go to the next post...more pics there...
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis- [URL=http://s78.photobucket.com/user/pcardey/library/57%20Chevy%20Nomad%20wagon[/URL]

    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window- [URL=http://s78.photobucket.com/user/pcardey/library/59%20Apached%20Fleetside%20Big%20Window%20Shortbed[/URL]

  2. #2
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    So I am doing this build in my 2 car garage, and without a 2 post lift...have devised a workable way to lift the body off the frame (nearly every day as I work on it). You'll see that in the next set of pics.

    DSCN2225.jpgDSCN2294.jpg

    Don't laugh...those "poor mans 2 post lifts" are actually old-school cabover camper jacks with a 2x4 horizontal support between them at the top. And they are SOLID and they work pretty darned good for a po' man like me! It allows me to work on the car at my leisure and lif the body up and down often to check fittment, etc. The rockers in this Nomad are solid and there's no evidence of any flex when supporting the body at the rocker seam area. It balances well on about 36 inches of 1/4 inch plate steel .

    So at the moment, I'm working on the trans tunnel sheetmetal fix, since the T56 sat so high...and will soon get that all buttoned up.

    DSCN2295.jpg

    And then it's on to the back end, where I have to figure out the fuel tank strategy, which in-tank pump setup, plumbing the fuel and brake lines along the frame to the front, etc. Fun, fun, fun.

    I have a zillion questions to ask you guys as I move forward, and am looking forward to your expertise as I come across decisions to make. That's what I like the most about the forum community...the collective brain trust being shared amongst us all.

    Paul
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis- [URL=http://s78.photobucket.com/user/pcardey/library/57%20Chevy%20Nomad%20wagon[/URL]

    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window- [URL=http://s78.photobucket.com/user/pcardey/library/59%20Apached%20Fleetside%20Big%20Window%20Shortbed[/URL]

  3. #3
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    It's looking good Paul! Keep at it and you'll get all those issues resolved in no time. Bruce is here too, and he's done just about exactly what you're in the process of doing with the LS-1/T56 and C4 setup. Keep the pics coming!
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension

    You can see my 56 Nomad build here http://www.picturetrail.com/chevynut

    For affordable C4 Corvette Suspension conversions for your car, visit http://www.classicedgedesigns.com

    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
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  4. #4
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    Very Nice.

  5. #5
    Registered Member MadMooks's Avatar
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    awesome Paul!
    MadMooks 55-57 Nomad Parts
    www.madmooks.com

  6. #6
    Registered Member smooth 56's Avatar
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    Look's good ,I like the lift you made wouldn't have thought of that.

  7. #7
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smooth 56 View Post
    Look's good ,I like the lift you made wouldn't have thought of that.
    I really only need to lift the body about 36" off the ground, in order to roll the chassis out, so that puts the top of the roof below my cieling height.
    it does work well...other than tripping over the tripod feet once in a while.
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis- [URL=http://s78.photobucket.com/user/pcardey/library/57%20Chevy%20Nomad%20wagon[/URL]

    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window- [URL=http://s78.photobucket.com/user/pcardey/library/59%20Apached%20Fleetside%20Big%20Window%20Shortbed[/URL]

  8. #8
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    Cool story and real neat build you have there Paul. I did something similar with a side lift when I restored my old Camaro years ago. On my 55 body, I mounted a couple 4x4 posts across the rafters in the garage and ran some chain down and around it as an anchor point for 2 come-a-longs and ratcheted my car up at the firewall and the rear. Worked great to allow me to work on smoothing of the firewall and dropping it down to test fit everything. I ended up setting it on blocks when I was ready to start banging and welding the firewall on and it worked great.







    I look forward to seeing more of your build as you grind along. Thanks for sharing Paul.

    Graeme
    Last edited by Blown_Shoebox; 04-14-2012 at 08:05 AM.

  9. #9
    Registered Member carls 56's Avatar
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    good read, enjoyed the story and pics. thanks paul.
    ARMY NAM VET, very proud!

    56 210 4dr

    drive and enjoy them while you work on them, life is to short.

  10. #10
    Registered Member 56-210Sedan's Avatar
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    Very nice, keep up the good work and keep the pics a coming
    55 Belair 2dr Sedan 350/350 loving every minute of it.
    56-210 2dr Sedan c4 front/rear suspension, and not sure when the ride will roll.
    Marty

    http://www.picturetrail.com/56-210sedan

    http://saccc567.com/

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