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Reviling the "DPO"

Posted: 11 Nov 2017, 08:42
by stonesg
Greetings CCC,

DPO, always to me has meant "Damn Previous Owner". On various fora that I frequent, you'll often see someone saying things like, "What was the DPO thinking!?" or, "LOOK what the DPO did to THIS!" etc.

In this case, if there's any DPO abuse to be dealt out, I want it on notice that the major DPO for this car is an almost 30 year younger me. That's right folks... any strange stupid or just down right hamfisted mess you see on this car (less a few things that did happen before my family acquired it) is that younger me.

Pictures....because we all love pictures...:


Here we are, arriving at my house yesterday after retrieving the car from under a tree at my sisters house where it's been sitting since about '99 or so:


It's been sitting there so long collecting leaves that the drip rails around the trunk opening had compost in them that would have gone good in my garden. I just wish that the leaves had piled up deep enough to seal off the cowl vent as yes, it's been raining inside the car through there for years.

Under the hood:


Here we have the luxury squirrel condo apartment/kitchen/dining/bathroom. There are so much nut shells I should have saved them and used them for blasting media.

Motor is, as far as I can remember, the standard issue 289 but that younger me installed at least an Edelbrock Performer intake, hooker headers with duals all the way out the back and a Holly 4160 with a manual choke.

My father had bought the car when I was in High School and when I got back from Korea (Air Force) he let me use it. While I was stationed at McGuire in Jersey I did some small things like putting in a new stereo, triple gauges on the dash and air shocks (I thought the springs in back were sacked.... didn't learn till starting my research that the nose up attitude was sorta, "normal"). I can't remember if I replaced the stock cam with an Edelbrock but it's all coming apart so I suspect I'll be able to figure that out.

Had a friend who was a Chevy gear head and he helped me replace the front drums with disks. I can't remember what the spindles and calipers were from so I'm hoping that the hive mind will know when I get pictures of them.

Drove it to the testing for my first big civilian job and got married and had it in the shed behind my house. Bought a new headliner, started taking it apart and well.... You guys probably know the rest of this story....

Suffice it to say... the car didn't get done and ended up at my sisters house. One thing has lead to another and I now have a chance to right this terrible wrong.

I'm posting here to make sure I kick myself in the butt and while it might be slow going... it's going to go. The hive mind is a great resource and hopefully I'll be able to contribute as much as get support.

Project success will be when I can cruise out of here with my Girl on a nice evening and go to the drive thru for burgers and a milk shake.

Here's where we start from today:


Got to take my Girl to work and then I'll be coming back to start gutting the insides out. Lots of nasty mouldy carpet etc. I may post pictures if it's not too nauseating.


Re: Reviling the "DPO"

Posted: 11 Nov 2017, 09:44
by 7.0 Litre Kid
Welcome to the forum, and may the force be with you!
You’ll need it.
Seriously there’s a lot of great help here.
I’m sure you’ll find your way through the project,just don’t let sentiments cloud your better judgment.

Re: Reviling the "DPO"

Posted: 11 Nov 2017, 10:40
by badcatt
Welcome aboard. I'm looking forward to reading about your adventure bringing her back to life.

Archaeology and inventory

Posted: 12 Nov 2017, 09:37
by stonesg
So here's the first dig.

Some things I already knew and others I've just learned about for the first time:


Obviously the Front Fender is from a '68. Turns out the driver's door is too as it has a different tag on it.

I suspected this would need some work. There was a blob of bondo inside so I knew that it'd been worked on before.

Rear window shows some tape and bondo.

Here's the pile in the trunk. I think the only thing I'll keep from the seats are the frames as I don't even want to think of the biological content.

Last inspection says 9/92 so it's been off the road for 25 years. at least. I started the process to buy my house in Oct of that year and got married the next. We'll leave that story at that.

New gas tank for sure. I'm sure glad these are available.

If you buy you rubber fuel bits like the fill connector, are they automatically alcohol fuel safe or do you have to make sure?

Apparently my Brother In Law had thoughts of doing some work as there's a whole grill assembly in the trunk that I didn't put there.

I hadn't taken the inside apart other than the headliner so they removed the console and radio (which are missing). Too bad, but I'll want larger cup holders anyway so I'll probably put in one of the WCCC ones with the arm rest. This is not going to be a concours restoration.

I was hoping the radio was still there as it was one of the first ones you could get with a "digital" tuner and I'd have liked the retro (for late '80s") look.

How about that high speed triple angled gauge setup!

My Pop's fix for the holes in the floor board when he had to pass inspection. It's pretty solid but I'll be replacing them with proper floors.

There's a small hole to the wheel well but to my eye, other than cleaning it looks pretty good back here.

I have both opera lights. The bezels are just a tad "patina'd" but I think I'll keep them.

The "old" "new" headliner was still in the car. It's very stiff and biologically challenged so I'll get a new one. The folks at WCCC are going to love me...

I was happy to find the "old" "old" headliner was still there so I still have the bows. They need derusting and stabilization but at least I have them and they are solid.

There's all the blasting media I could have saved.

After blowing most of it off. Who can see what the DPO did that probably made the car not run as well as it could have?

The engine is not locked up either... I turned it a few degrees each way and it moved easy. The oil on the dip stick doesn't look contaminated. I may borescope the cylinders and if I don't see any terrible rust that'd break a ring it'd be fun to rebuild the carb and see if she'll run.

And here... the older and wiser me now knows why, after a few mods, the thing always had a tendency to overheat. There's going to be a big block radiator and probably electric fans.

Here's what I've been pulling out of the quarter panals.

The cowl vent is about half full of leaves and I bet it's compost like this under it. I haven't searched yet but is it possible to cut a hole on the sides after tanking the fenders off to access the cowl are to clean it out and seal the leaks?

I also found a cassette tape that younger me had made of Rare Earth's Get Ready and Stevie Ray Vaughan Couldn't Stand the Weather. The truck I used to pull it home happened to be old enough to have a player and I popped it in and it still played fine. I think that's a sign....

I also have most of the trim for the front and back windows less one from the back.

Research needed unless someone has the quick answers:

I need to learn for real (instead of just prying/breaking them like the DPO) how the trim clips work for install. I know I can get them.

The cowl vent cleaning fix/access.

What my spindles/calipers came from. My foggy memory was that we picked them from a Fairlane/Parklane/Comet or some such.

Are the door and rear side panels "cores" in any way? Or are they just something to be tossed and replaced?

There's process to figure out too. I've only got the typical suburban one and a half "Two Car" garage and while I do like my Girl to always be able to park in it, she understands that "The Project" will at some point have to come inside.

Broad strokes right now:

Preliminary cleaning/decontaminating (there was terrible mold) inventory/assessment.

I'll probably get one of those portable garages to put over it while the gross (as in large) cleaning is happening. I want to be able to get the windows out and the doors/fenders off and get as much crap and rust off of it before it goes in the garage.

Once it's "clean" to a point, I'll drag it into the garage so I'll have a place to work over the body issues.

Every suspension component has to come out and at least derusted.

Get the motor and trans out so I can do the under hood area. Motor/trans work TBD.


I'm toying with the idea of leaving this just as it is..... as a reminder....


Re: Reviling the "DPO"

Posted: 12 Nov 2017, 18:14
by scottfzeller
Was that driver floor a 'RAMP' sign? :lol:

Re: Reviling the "DPO"

Posted: 13 Nov 2017, 09:39
by stonesg

A politically incorrect, "Men Working".

The rest of it is on the right side.

I'll save it as I'm always making small things like brackets from an aluminum sign we have at a buddies garage.


Re: Reviling the "DPO"

Posted: 14 Nov 2017, 09:32
by ssava

Re: Reviling the "DPO"

Posted: 14 Nov 2017, 09:50
by xr7g428
I love DPOs. They do crazy stuff and many times all you have to do is undo their "fixes" and you have a great car.

Re: Reviling the "DPO"

Posted: 14 Nov 2017, 10:25
by stonesg
ssava wrote:
14 Nov 2017, 09:32

I know ...right??? I've seen worse.

Gonna cost me money... not just parts.... need a newer air compressor.... mig welder (I'm taking a class in a few weeks) etc.... need more tools... at least that's what I'm telling her. Actually she's totally on board. I'm lucky that way.

Yes Bill... 'cept it's fun this time cause some of the bone headed stuff was done by me.


Re: Archaeology and inventory

Posted: 14 Nov 2017, 21:38
by snafu
stonesg wrote:
12 Nov 2017, 09:37

New gas tank for sure. I'm sure glad these are available.

If you buy you rubber fuel bits like the fill connector, are they automatically alcohol fuel safe or do you have to make sure?
I don't think they're all safe. I know the ones I replaced in my car a few years back hardened up and started leaking.
stonesg wrote:
12 Nov 2017, 09:37
Are the door and rear side panels "cores" in any way? Or are they just something to be tossed and replaced?
You'll want to save the vinyl if you can and the top metal piece. WCCC has the fiber backing and a video showing how to rebuild them.