Progress Thread The Official Gila Monster Build

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by madmike1157, Aug 29, 2013.


  1. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    Yeah,.. I gotta admit I entertained the thought more than a few times. There are a couple of pics out there w/ an I6 300 in a fox,.. but it sits so hideous in the engine bay, the car its in has got to be a rat rod
  2. stykthyn

    stykthyn Commander of the snuggie cultists

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    why did you decide against the 2.3?
    88LX5.Oh likes this.
  3. smokin joe

    smokin joe Founding Member

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    This is exactly why I like your builds. I always learn something new. I had no idea that the truck blocks were that different.
    Joe
  4. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    Well, three reasons actually.
    #1. I sold all of the 2.3 Lima stuff that had been sitting for two years while the tri-colored Cobra was here. (I thought there was no way in hell I'd ever have a need for that stuff again).
    #2. Esthetics. Every pic of a turbo'd 4 banger just looked all "So what" to me. The sound clips had me fearing some import club would want me to be their poster child for their "4 hoes in a row" street racing gang.
    #3. No auto trans. W/O adapting the bellhousing.I don't want to have to shift my 400 hp turbocharged engine when it gets honkin',....I want a computer to tell the box behind the engine to do it.
  5. madspeed

    madspeed Colonel Mustard Mod Dude Founding Member

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  6. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    Ok.:banana:

    Short of buying a bunch of junk for the car, the "progress" part of the build thread has been limited to removing what was left of my tail lights.

    Seems my wife, (we'll just call her the "cat") takes a dim view of me spending any part of my weekend working on it.
    I consider myself fortunate that she is turning a blind eye to the every other day arrival of yet another box of goodies for said car. I scurry the part off the door step,..or off the end table, and into the pile of boxes that are starting to accumulate down in my garage as soon as I see it when I get home. (It serves the purpose of this story that I be referred to as the "mouse").

    My wife has to travel for her job,...but rarely does her travel take her away for a weekend,..typically she's gone during one-two week nights,..every other week or so. Today, however was a different story,..she had to be in her corporate offices in Toronto Monday, so she had to leave early this morning.

    So in essence,......The "cat's" away........;)

    THIS MOUSE BE PLAYIN'!!!!:banana::D:banana::D:banana::D:banana:

    So,...no sooner did her tail lights fade off in the distance,...I backed the Gila Monster out of the garage,..and jacked the rear a mile in the sky,..got out the pressure washer,..and just got filthy.

    [​IMG]

    The plan for today,..was to see if my 17" 315's were gonna fit in the stock wheel wells,..but there was no way in hell I was gonna cut, saw, and grind 35 years worth of crud w/o at least trying to get most off.

    The under carriage was for the most part, fairly clean,..the rear end,..trans,..and engine, on the other hand were coated on a layer of caked on grease that my wusskin pressure washer wouldn't touch,..but I wasn't trying to get the rear clean,..I was trying to get the floors clean........ I succeeded.

    After I got 10 pounds of Arizona desert off of the underside,... I rolled it back inside and put it back up in the air,..and got to removing the nasty ass 7.5. Once it was out,..I rolled one of my rear tires into mock up position to see if it will fit.

    No way in hell.

    A minytub-in-dectomy was gonna have to be performed. I gowned up.
    That's "Doctor" mouse to you.

    When I minitub a car,..I use the stock inner wheel tub, and just cut and section it over however much I need to get a tire to fit. (I figured I needed an inch) At the same time, I wanted to keep the tires as wide apart,..so I also rolled the wheel lip. The process starts with a 4.5" grinder w/ a 1/16" cutoff wheel. I make several start cuts to lay out an out line for the sawzall to follow.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The next thing I did was remove the trunk,..because the weight of the trunk will distort the mount points of the hinge assy if left on.
    [​IMG]

    Then I cut the mount points for the hinge reinforcement, and the package tray.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Once cut away,....I got out the sawzall,.....and connected the dots.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now,...I've actually skipped a part :dammit:
    After you sucessfully get that sawzall moving along,.you'll get frustrated real fast if you attempt it from above. The upper coil spring mount, the upper shock mount, the axle snubber,..and all of the reinforcement are just beggin' to bend the hell out of the blade. So......You have to cut from underneath,........with all of those hot-assed, little tiny metal shavings flying all over the place,...mostly in your face,..down your shirt,...in your shoe.

    The part I skipped, was I forgot to take a pic of the frame rail before I did what was required to make it look like above.

    All of those mounts, and brackets that you hacked through are just sittin' there,..staring at you,...daring you to spend another 1-1.5 hours drilling out the spot welds, and cutting and grinding the reinforcements to get it this way. I coulda left the hacked through parts alone ,...and nobody would have known the difference. But It woulda bugged me. :nonono:
    So I drilled out the spots,...cut the remnants,...and ground down the rest to get it clean. I still have to make a cut in the frame rail and install a 3.5" half moon " vertical "tunnel" to allow clearance for the coil over to sit in.

    I'll do the out of exhaust tubing.

    I mocked the thing up to see how it was gonna fit.
    [​IMG]

    And I put the tire up in there to check my clearance:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The angle on this pic doesn't show it but there is about a half an inch between the sidewall and the wheel lip.

    Anyway,...when I get the other wheeltub hacked up I gotta stick both wheels in their place to see how much (if any) I'm gonna have to narrow that SN 95 rear. If I do,..I'll probably install the small bearing 9" ends I've had for years, and get rid of the C clips.

    The wheels? What about the wheels?
    I got one lousy pic:
    [​IMG]

    And an even lousier one of the tire in place from behind:
    [​IMG]

    So,..it took me the better part of the whole day to clean,..mark,,cut,..grind and then mock up ONE WHEEL,...
    Who knows how long it'll be before I get to the other one?:nonono: Maybe Wednesday.
    stangboy likes this.
  7. 95BlueStallion

    95BlueStallion Well-Known Member

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    More progress than I made today. Keep it up man, I like to see someone doing something when Im not. :)
  8. Husky44

    Husky44 Active Member

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    I've been off here for almost a month. It's good to get caught up, to find out that Mike has... a yellow car on blocks. It's like Groundhog Day.

    OK, now that I've contributed my ration of s hit, as Mike likes to type it, let me just say: I'm impressed. My Shelby with the 295s I just installed today are jealous of your Fairmont's 315s. Good work on the tub ectomy too.

    Glad to see you're going Cougar/Shelby route on the tails; that was my first thought about 2 1/2 pages ago. Going to look good (which is a relative term on that car).

    Didja miss me? :D
  9. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    I just assumed you died.;)

    I started on it today,...but no sooner did I even start getting dirty,.. and the wife decided that I needed to go with her to buy my teenager a suit for homecoming.
    It's all good,...my welding helmet lens was so dirty,..I was making more of a mess than actually welding.
    It's all clean now though,..I should make some more progress tomorrow.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  10. LarsD

    LarsD Founding Member

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    Can't wait to see those DD rims on there Mike. :)
  11. 95BlueStallion

    95BlueStallion Well-Known Member

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    Here's hoping you made progress today. I am waiting for the wife to get home so I can go play with the Ranger a bit.
  12. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    I did make some forward progress today. I decided to build my subframe connectors today. I had a version of these in my red car,..but for the G monster I decided to completely steal the design for the Kenny Brown Extreme matrix subframe connectors like these:
    [​IMG]
    Last Tuesday,..I went to my steel guy and bought the stuff to do it. He has two different grades of product for sale,..all sold by the pound. Some of the stuff sits out side, exposed to the weather,..and the rest of the stuff is inside.
    If you don't mind cleaning the rust off of the stuff left outside,....you can have it for .60 a pound. The stuff I bought came to a little over 100 lbs........so therefore, the stuff I bought cost me 70 bucks. I got 20' of .125 wall 1.625 ERW, 10' of .125 wall 1" square tube,...and 20' of .125 wall round tube. Now my subframe connectors are no where near 100 lbs,...but I had to buy 10' lengths, so I got some slop...and I got some leftover for my rear coilover mounts.:nice:

    It starts out by cutting the 1-5/8" stuff, and the 1" square tube for both sides. The bigger tube gets a "relief cut".
    [​IMG]

    The relief cut is almost through,..and the reason is that it allows the bar to bend to match the front subframe, so it makes full contact.
    [​IMG]
    Then I take a scissor jack,..and crank that dude against the subframes. You can see the relief cut at the front.
    [​IMG]

    Next, I take the 1" square tube, and clamp it front, middle, and back against the pinchweld on the rocker.
    [​IMG]
    You have to remember to beat the bar against the floor after you clamp it to be sure its tight against the floor.
    Next,...the three perpendicular 1" round tubes are cut and fit. I fit, and tacked the front, and rear bars,..but left the middle one in standby mode until I got the diagonals in place. I fit and tacked the rear first,..then fit the middle bar. I cut and fit the front diag next.
    ** A point of interest: You cannot weld the middle bar until you have the diagonals completely fit, elsewise you'd never get the diagonals in/out for fitment.
    Once they are all fit,..I tacked them all together,..and removed the thing for welding:
    [​IMG]

    I just welded the relief cut closed,...then went to town on the rest. After I got that one complete,..I moved on to the other side:
    [​IMG]
    Now I still gotta dress some of the welds,..and I'm gonna have them sandblasted. It took a full day to make these.
    60.00 bucks,...and a day of labor,..or 375.00 for the KB pieces,....guess I'm just a glutton for punishment:nonono:

    But at least I'm a glutton w/ an extra 315.00 dollars in my pocket.:banana:

    I also got the pass side wheel tub cut out. I broke my damn sawzall in the process. I better be able to get a replacement part for that damn thing. Additionally I drained 7 gallons of 4 year old gas out of that tank,..and removed it I'm gonna build a sump for it since it's out.
    I got to clean the floor up to the trans mount,..so I can coat it in bedliner before I reinstall the SF connectors,..I got to build the torque box reinforcement before I can do that,...so I got some "this before that" kind of stuff that has to happen before I can start to go back together w/ the thing.
    Additional points of interest: My Aussie Cleveland head shipped yesterday,.. it'll be here this Saturday

    I can't wait.
    stangboy and Husky44 like this.
  13. stangboy

    stangboy Founding Member

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  14. stangboy

    stangboy Founding Member

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    Hey Mike did you forget the seat mount brace or did you leave it out on purpose? Just asking.
  15. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    No,..I didn't make that part. I really didn't give it that much thought actually.
  16. stangboy

    stangboy Founding Member

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    Fair enough......carry on, sir. :)
  17. RacEoHolic330

    RacEoHolic330 I like to dress like a pretty girl SN Certified Technician

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    Watch out everyone. Mike is yielding a grinder and welder again. Things are about to get real!

    Wear some eye protection this time, Mike ;)
    hoopty5.0 and stangboy like this.
  18. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    What are you talkin'???? I had "glasses" on the last time a fractured cutoff wheel blew them off of my face.

    I gotta admit, as nasty as I get,.... as burned to a crisp,... and as broken as I get while grinding, and welding,...........I have returned to my warm, and fuzzy.

    I only wish I could draw. Then I could share my concepts before they become metal. The back bumper is starting to take shape in my head.

    You're right about one thing,...things are gonna get real.

    Think: Judge Dredd.
  19. RacEoHolic330

    RacEoHolic330 I like to dress like a pretty girl SN Certified Technician

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    If I remember correctly, I think @Noobz347 has created some pretty epic concept sketches in the past. Maybe he'll do another rendering for you :p
  20. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    Yeah,...looks like he's clamoring to do it for me:rolleyes:

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