1973 Grande Build


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I hope so. When I get a chance, I’ll post pictures of the drivers side and see if you guys have any ideas. Just for thinking purposes, I could use the original if I installed the firewall end about 1.75” above the factory location. I’ve thought about building spacers to do that, but since that creates a leverage point for the forces to act on, I’m not so sure it would work. But, the question is, is that better than nothing?

Also, I wonder if I can cut the firewall end off and use that, along with the shouck tower end, and connect those with like 1x1/2” flat stock tubing? Thoughts?
Here is the drivers side brace:


As you can see, the intake is in the way. I was able to make it “fit” by using 1 1/2” spacers on the firewall side, bolted above that two hole fitting. It was snug and pushing against the cowl metal. But, it seems to me, the forces at work would just bend that tab back and forth, wreaking it over time.

So, if I cut this brace, this is how much has to come off, to get it mounted in the factory position:


It may be difficult to see the two marker lines, it it’s most of the brace. Do you think the 1/2” square tube would be enough, along with the one side that remains, to be stiff enough to do the job? Thanks, Steve.
Here’s where I am so far. I’ve got to head to Home Depot to buy another 3’ piece of 1/2” square tubing. On this one, I think I’ll box reinforce the cut with the tubing, and connect that reinforcement, in the same way the passenger side was done, with a long run piece. That should make it stiff enough to resist the flexing forces on it. I don’t have access to a finite element model, but I’m sure it’s better than no brace.

Got her painted and installed. As I said, not gonna win any engineering awards for this one, just wanted something verses nothing. As my dad is fond of saying, “Don’t let a good part go to waste.”

Well, it’s been about one month since the last post. I’ve recently installed my new head unit radio. Thanks again to TheDude for all the advice on choosing this very inexpensive system. I’ve got all of the speaker and backup camera wiring running in the passenger side track under the sill plate and I’m using the wiring attachments I created for the fuel pump wiring I originally installed to hold it all in place. I’ve got to come up with a spacer to attach the speakers, which are just resting in the holes the PO left in the package tray.


I was also able to get my new cap, rotor, and plug wires installed. They were the original ones from the donor car, and I know I had one marginal plug wire, so, new it was. That’s all I’m gonna do this month, beside driving it a bit. I’m headed to Texas the first of April to visit my family and see the total eclipse in the DFW region. In the back half of April through May, I’m gonna tackle the HVAC system, try and get it working. I’m sure I’ll be needing help on the R&R and repairs. For sure, the drain nipple is broken off, so I’ll have to fix that. Have a great spring. Steve
Well, today I finally got the coolant tank to stop leaking. My $12 AutoZone recovery tank had a few self-inflicted issues, but all is well now.

Today was the first trip >1 mile. I drove about 12 miles, in 25 to 70mph locations, and zip for issues. I wanted the speed-spreads to test the exhaust drone issues. At 60, I’m at about 1200rpm, so no drone. At 70, still very little, and I have nothing but an old original carpet. Still have a bit of wandering, but that’s compared to my 2017 Mercedes, which drives like it on rails. It’s been too long since I drove an early 70’s car, so I can’t remember if that is “normal.” It wasn’t constant corrections, just a feeling the car’s front tires weren’t stuck to the road. I also have junk yard rollers, so again, not a great test. Just a data point.

Got it back to the house, no more transmission tail seal leak (I replaced it finally), no other leaks beside the rear main, which I’ll deal with sometime next year when the car is blown apart for paint and final body work.

Overall a very satisfying drive, and the radio didn’t hurt. Thanks as always for the invaluable help I received from those who have big hearts. Steve
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I did have a question I think,I’ll post here, since it will help me determine the next steps. As I’ve said, I’ve got a three phase plan for my car. Phase 1, which was make it a driver, is complete. And now, besides a few maintenance items, I’m beginning phase 2, which really is the major rust work, without the finish body and paint efforts. I want to keep using it while I do that, so I’ve separated the major repairs into this phase. First part of that, is to I’d and buy the relevant parts to do so. So far, I have the passenger fender, passenger forward apron (where the stock battery would go). I also have both complete floors, and a patch panel to repair the damage in the passenger rear wheel; the rear part of that arch opening.

With all that said, I still need the complete trunk, and today, I found this in the drivers door, B pillar, I believe it’s called:


So far, I haven’t found a patch panel, but that’s why I have you guys. Or, is this something that is usually hand formed and repaired? The other side looks great, it also appears below this there is likely more issues, but one thing at a time.

Thanks in advance for the help, Steve.
I’ve just rebuild mine. It’s not difficult but it is tedious, especially if you don’t want some quick repair beautified with tons of bondo.
I have posted some steps of the repair in my build thread about 2 months ago may that be of a help.
Another option is to look for a donor car, but from what I saw regarding corrosion excepted for outer skin that is challenging to reproduce, finding a post that is strong as it should be won’t be that easy.
Good luck
Fabrice, I reviewed your build on the post repair and I’ll be using it as the template for my repair. Lucky for me the passenger side looks great, not even any pin rust holes (I checked with a light). But from my pic, that solid metal piece that holds the striker looks like it’s rusty as well. I hope I’m wrong, but time will tell. Thanks again for the reference.

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