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 Getting Firefly Spaceworthy

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steel-and-fire



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PostSubject: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:35 pm




Figured if I was really serious about getting Firefly in shape, I should at least write down (type down) everything I have done, will do, need to do. Thinking of trying to get one thing done per month. Have to say, three years of ownership, I'm glad I have things marked completed on this ship.

Pre-flight diagnostic report:

Rust/Bodywork
Needs Paint
Rot in spare wheel well
Rust in lower front fenders
Rot in the inner front left panel of fender
Back left side door holding water
Dent in Rear Left Quarter Panel
Dent in left front fender
Fix the rubber around bumpers
Needs rubber around doors
Rear holder for license plate bent
Clean up Rims


Doesn't Work
Cruise control
Rear Defrosters
Forward and reverse part of 8 way power seat (just makes noise)
Intermittent control of the windshield wipers (did work before steam clean)
Right front speaker
Seat-belt and washer fluid light on dash (seat belt flickered once or twice depending on the door)
Rear hatch light stopped coming on when opening door
Heater core bypassed. Needs replacement.
Fiberoptic lights on fenders
Headlining collapsing


Completed / Upgraded
Body
New Chrome Bezel and side marker light

Drivetrain
2004r from CK Performance. Rated for 500 TQ and HP
TV Cable
New U-joints

Suspension
Front sway bar
Billet lower control arms
Rear sway bar
Moog CC623 Rear springs
Monroe Sensatrac coil-over rear shocks
KYB Gas-a-Just KG4515 front shocks
New Idler control Arm
Steering Center Link Tie Rod End
New End Links

Exhaust
True dual exhaust. 2.5 pipes. Series 50 Flowmasters. No cats. No resonators.

Planned Upgrades. Will Elaborate in Future.
Change color
Engine swap
3 Core Radiator / Tranny and Oil Cooler
Change rear gear and add positraction
Minor cosmetic modifications


I think its a good list to start. One thing I want to do is tackle soon is this. I know its something even you guys have problems with:


Last edited by steel-and-fire on Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:44 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Mark 96 Roady



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:35 pm

I love the Electra wagons. Seems like you are off to a good start. If you really want to address the rust, and not go broke in the process, I would suggest investing in a mig welder, and learn how to weld. Eastwood sells one for less than $500, and it will be my next big tool to buy. Paint and body work scares lots of people, but it is really just trial and error like any other skill. Painting, especially, requires following the instructions EXACTLY as printed so as to get perfect results. Good luck with your wagon!
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benn

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:34 am

looking good! you should post some progress pictures as they come
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:19 am

Still love this bodystyle! Good luck with the work!

-Mike
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stewzer55

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:45 pm

Subscribed. looking forward to watching Firefly become beautiful.
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steel-and-fire



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:03 am

So busy with work and school left no time for car fixing. Instead, here are gratuitous pics of what needs to be fixing. It's also cold in NY these days and car budget took a hit after the transmission fiasco. Looking for small jobs with big improvement for less cash. IE stuff I can do.
What do you guys suggest for headlinings? I'm pretty sure the material up there is from those giant rollers from Walmart. It would be a good excuse to dynamat the ceiling.
Second, is the rusted part of the fender the inner fender or fender lining? Car-parts.com is picky.







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steel-and-fire



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:12 am

Took a trip to Medford Auto Wrecking in Medford, Long Island. They had a 1990 Lesabre and had exactly what I needed. I ended up with the whole left corner, so I can actually practice a few things that I'll eventually do to my car later. Paint stripping, woodgrain stripping, getting the clips out (and having a few spares), etc. Like wood working, its practicing on a spare piece before working on the real thing.

Funny enough, the donor car was black with woodgrain. That combo is one I have been considering when I do the paint job.



Compared to the previous pic of my car's inner fender, this thing is mint.


Also:


And as an added bonus:
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:34 am

Nice score! Gotta love yarding!
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:10 am

Pretty clever plate. Love the red guts with the black exterior,my favorite combo.
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steel-and-fire



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:22 pm

Huh...why is my rear sagging today?


Oh right! This:


I literally found this on Wednesday and early this morning drove to Philly and picked it up. It's a 1975 Oldsmobile 455 with 55,000 miles. Its the smog era, so it'll be handicapped on its power. The flip side is since it is a 75 it should have the EGR and 8:1 comp ratio. That's a plus because I could swap it in and run in on the CCC system until funds gather for heads, manifold, EFI etc. Or the smarter move, build it up on the stand and do it right the first time. Either way, I am really excited to have nabbed this for only $500, funny enough the same price I paid for Firefly back in 2011.

I will say this...guaranteed this will happen AFTER Wagonfest. I wouldn't bet I could attempt to finish this beforehand.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:04 pm

That should wake things up...make sure you cover all your bases. The engine is just one piece of the puzzle.
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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:30 pm

hehe cool. If you can find a 70's Seville EFI manifold a conversion would be far cheaper.
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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:46 pm

Lots of low end grunt!
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:24 am

Will be a big upgrade! Good luck with it!
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:50 am

Buy shares in shell oil,....
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Dutch Pete

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:14 pm

phantom 309 wrote:
Buy shares in shell oil,....
Yup, I agree. these are thirsty engines. But hey, you only live once. My advice, on a stand and do it right the first time.
Good luck
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steel-and-fire



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:56 pm

Thanks all. Yeah, if I'm going to pay for the gas, might as well get the power that comes with it. This'll be a fun learning experience.
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:54 pm

looking good and nice score of the motor. I still want a boxy and missed out 3-4 years ago when people were giving them away....now they have turned the corner.
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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:04 pm

MalibuSSwagon wrote:
hehe cool. If you can find a 70's Seville EFI manifold a conversion would be far cheaper.

It wouldn't quite fit, 350 is a short deck, 455 is tall deck.  A 454 TBI used a 4 barrel intake with an adapter to the TBI unit, there's an International forum out there that someone did a step by step of converting a Cornbinder to GM TBI and that principle would work for an Olds/Buick/Pontiac TBI too.

It's on Binder Planet. It's pretty easy getting the TBI system to work as a standalone since they essentially are already in GM vehicles anyway.
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200OZ
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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:50 pm

Nice find on the engine, that'll be fun.
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steel-and-fire



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:22 am

My timing with buying stuff can be terrible. The washer in my house fried, so it had to get stored in the spot I was going to put the engine. Now that that has been done...and nearly a month later...the engine is out of the car and on the stand. I know my suspension feels much better for no longer being a twin engine car.

Probably won't get to start fiddling with it until after Wagonfest, but that is fine by me since I need to prep the car anyway. Smells like plywood and oil.








While I'm not sold on whether I'll change the color, I think I found which color it'd be (just with better woodgrain):


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steel-and-fire



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:00 pm

Been a while since I've posted. Progress might be slow, but since this is the first time I've done anything remotely close to this, I'm taking baby steps in everything I do. Will say I had an Al Bundy moment, "When we cleaned off all the dirt, we found out it was a different color underneath."










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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:53 pm

Baby steps are still forward progress my friend.
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steel-and-fire



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:04 pm

Used the Thanksgiving break to remove the carb and the cast iron exhaust manifolds. One of my great learning experiences is discovering how heavy everything is. If anything, I get to reduce as much weight as possible before the next time I move the engine. It will be lighter, comparatively.

I am plastic bagging everything I take off.





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steel-and-fire



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:16 pm

Before, after, and an afternoon.





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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:19 pm

Little by little, how brittle was it?
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:42 am

Looks better already! Nice progress.
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steel-and-fire



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:32 am

stewzer55 wrote:
Little by little, how brittle was it?

All things considered, it came off smooth for 27 year old sticker; most of the time in whole, solid sheets. Still have more on the car to remove, but not bad for a heat gun and my fingers. The amazing thing to me is running my hand on the original paint; its as smooth and new as it was in 1989.

My big worry is when I remove the lower stainless trim. I'd prefer vinyl on the Olds Custom Cruiser, where it goes to the bottom of the car. We'll see what surprises awaits.
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MG Davis

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:06 pm

Big damn heroes, sir.
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steel-and-fire



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:02 am

I think I found the job that's the most annoying about these cars.

While this was helpful, http://gmlongroof.4umer.com/t508-trim-removal-and-polish-from-other-site?highlight=wood+trim, my first test didn't leave many intact.





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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:13 pm

No worries...http://www.clipsandfasteners.com/General_Motors_Clips_And_Fasteners_s/64.htm
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steel-and-fire



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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:54 pm

Andebe wrote:
No worries...http://www.clipsandfasteners.com/General_Motors_Clips_And_Fasteners_s/64.htm

Oh, that's great! I thought no one even manufactured these anymore, and it was just junkyarding.
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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:43 pm

What do you do when you get one of these? You upgrade the lugnuts! Totally stole this from 81X11 "Texas Mike", but looks so good. Especially since I only ever had three of the four original center caps.




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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Getting Firefly Spaceworthy   Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:24 pm

Glad to see you are still working on her.
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