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Thread: A Newbee with a 55.

  1. #1
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    A Newbee with a 55.

    Hello gang.
    I’ve been a car enthusiast for a long time. I’ve owned a couple of muscle cars. I currently have a 66GTO and now a 55 Chev, Bel Air. The wife got the car a couple of years ago and it has been a pain every since. So I thought I would watch and listen to peoples discussion and see what tips I can pu. It was a frame off restoration but after completing the job the owner parked it for 15yrs in a not so good location. I counted about 80 things that need to be fixed and I have completed about 50. However, I now find out it has a cracked block. So the wife (who has yet to drive it more than a mile or two) wants to sell it. I want to fix it. So there is my “project car.”

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    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Hi Dennis, and welcome to trifivechevys!

    If your wife was the one who initially wanted it, she will likely change her mind about 'selling it', once you repair the problems! If it sat for 15 years, generally the brakes and fuel system are the items needing repair. If your engine block is cracked? (Are you sure?).. then it may have been stored without antifreeze?
    Where are you located? Tell us more about the '55 (and the GTO) when you get a chance.... Good luck!

  3. #3
    Registered Member carls 56's Avatar
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    hi Dennis and welcome. good to have you here and nice intro. you get it on the road and your wife will probably change her mind and want to keep it.
    ARMY NAM VET, very proud!

    56 210 4dr

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

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    I'm located in Lynnwood, WA. Yes, probably stored w/o antifreeze. Do you have any idea what she could get for it as is.....with the cracked block. It does run. I told her to to just drive it. She can't hurt it. By the time I put a crate engine in I'll be way upside down.

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    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    You can buy a NEW GM crate 350 for $1000-2000. If you can put it in yourself, and use the peripherals from the original engine, you could replace the engine with a more powerful one for not a huge amount of $$ (but NOT a performance engine, but still a base 350 will have lots more hp/torque than the original 265! That and lots of cleaning/polishing might get the car to where both she and you would love it..

    Another alternative is a 'used engine' that someone else removed to install a crate engine, for even less $$...

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    thanks for the info. Unfortunately I couldn't do the work myself and I wouldn't move any of the old parts to the new block because so far nothing on the car is original or in any good shape. I got a quote for $5k to pull the old and install a new crate engine and I supply the engine BUT it must be carb to pan complete. No migrating of parts. So I'm looking at $9K. I've told her to cut your looses now of $15K and just sell it as is. Fortunately she's only put in about $6K so far. I can't find anybody that will tell me what the car is worth with a cracked block.

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    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Supply some photos of the car, all sides, interior, and engine compartment, plus underneath if you can and whatever other information you can provide and we can generate some 'input' relative to $value...

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    I do not know where you are but I can find guys who will do a basic swap like this for $500 all day long.

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    thanks for the info. I live in Washington State. Lynnwood area.

  10. #10
    Registered Member busterwivell's Avatar
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    An engine swap is not tough. I have a 350 crate engine (with an upgraded cam) in my 66 Chevelle, and it's a great engine. I swapped everything over from the old to new. I'm sure you will increase the value of your car by doing this.
    If you aren't interested in swapping, what do you think your car is worth as is?

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