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  • 1980 cutlass project

    hey guys, im starting this thread to document and get info for my 1980 cutlass project. if any of you guys have seen my intro thread in the new members section you now how much this car means to me and why. this is going to be a long term project and a total ground up resto-mod. im starting with a 1980 cutlass body. no drivetrain or interior, just a rolling shell in primer. most of the body is there but i am missing a few small pieces. i have an album that has some pics of the new project , and a few pics of my first car which was also an 80 cutlass, and if you check that out youll also see why i have been wanting to do this build for 22 years now. i have not figured out how to post pics in my post's yet though, so im gonna work on that. and thanks ahead of time for any support, ideas and info im sure ill be getting from ya'll.

  • #2
    You can just simply upload photos directly in the thread in the attachments below the post window, just click on the manage atrachments button and a window will pop up to upload.

    80 Calais is my favorite A body, Ill be following this thread :icon14:
    Lightning Rods repair service:CLICK HERE
    Seller Feedback:CLICK HERE
    1988 H/OCA Advisor
    88 H/O #1 of 4
    88 CSC White/Claret - T-tops
    88 H/O Triple Black
    87 442 Black/Gray - T-tops
    85 442 White/Blue - T-tops
    85 442 White/Blue - T-tops
    85 442 White/Claret - T-tops
    85 442 White/Sage
    84 H/O Aero Commemorative #2199 - Sunroof
    83 H/O #2400 Sand Gray - Sunroof
    83 H/O #1607 Sand Gray - T-tops
    83 H/O #727 Maple
    "Keep them Rockets lit!"

    Comment


    • #3
      my first car after the wreck. been itching for another ever since. we snuck it out before i got my license and i let my friend drive, thats al i remember. although i know we hit 4 trees, snapping the first 3 off at the ground and then it ran up the 4th tree and flipped the car, then to add insult to injury the last tree fell on the car..lol. still hard to believe we hit so hard head on it crumpled the quarter panels. so let me tell you from personal experience, a cutlass can take some pretty heavy damage and still keep you alive.
      my friend that was in the back seat hit the back of the front seats so hard he buckled them forward. he still has one leg thats an 1 3/4" shorter then the other to this day.
      shame to, this car was super clean before this happened. i had such big plans for this thing. back when this happened she was only 10 yrs old.

      Comment


      • #4
        now to present day. 22 yrs and two divorces later i finally got another 1980 cutlass worth building.

        Comment


        • #5
          herres some questions i have if anyone can help me out with, id appreciate it.
          #1. is this considered an A or G body ? i thought it was an A but some other sources on the net list it as a G body. for instance, a local guy has a complete dual exhaust from headers back to tips, with borla mufflers , all welded up and almost new for sale cheap...would this fit my car or no ?

          #2. im missing the rear panel right behind my rear windshield and between it and the trunklid. is this called a rear valance panel or what ? and does anyone know of a good aftermarket source for these types of small items or is it craigslist, boards and junkyards for me ? BTW...if you got one to spare im game

          #3. im going to put the small block chevy in it for now i think and then upgrade to a bigblock down the road, any suggestions for a tranny ? of course theres the TH350 , but is this my best choice ? whats the deal with the 200r ? i have seen them mentioned on some other forums but am not familiar with this trans at all. and is there a tranny i can use behind a 350 chevy small block and then later use with a olds 455, maybe even if i can use a adapter or something ? im sure im not that lucky, but worth a shot.

          #4. lets talk rearends...im not sure what in my cutlass...but considering it originally came with a 260 pontiac im sure its not up to the task of handling the eventual 500 to 600 H.P. i plan on running through it. thoughts ? i dont like the idea of using a ford 9" in the least. according to my limited knowledge i would think a 12 bolt posi unit with disc brakes would be the most desirable choice. am i way off base on this, or am i missing another good option ?

          #5. mine obviously had a partial soft top, what i believe is called a landau top at one time. it has the little pegs across the roof where it was mounted and the seams where the quarters meet the roof are ...well, lets say , unfinished. im planning on cutting the pegs off and sanding them smooth, finishing the seams and leaving as a complete hardtop. was this model called anything special , like a salon, or calais , or just a plain old cutlass ?

          any thoughts or opinions would be very welcome. im the kind of person who likes to get everything planned out ahead of time. visually i pretty much know where im headed with the car and i know what i want to get out of it performance wise, just want to make sure im headed in the right direction. and lastly...is anyone else getting really tired of watching these great cars get cut up to mount 28" rims on or turned into hydraulic jumping machines with 15 different colors on them ? a couple yrs ago a friend of a friend heard i was looking for one and told me he had a really clean 80 for sale, he brought it over and it had the entire roof cut off of it, with gold and maroon metalflake paint and 13" wire rims w/hydraulics. the whole car was permanently twisted, none of the panels lined up anymore and probably never will again. i've been living in south florida for the last ten yrs and you have no idea how hard it was to find a really clean 80 that hasnt been molested beyond belief. and the fact that these are getting so desirable with that crowd is driving the price through the roof down here. i got this and the 350 4 bolt w/194 heads on an engine stand and was dam lucky to get it. it has no drivetrain and no interior except the dash and steering wheel, but alot of the car is still there and most of the small pieces missing in the pics are in the trunk.

          Comment


          • #6
            been making some progres on the cutlass slowly but surely. i havent been over here in awhile, gonna try to update this thread a little more often from now on. i got a thread runing over at the Gbodyforum.com i been keeping up on a little more. since i was here last i picked up some wheels for the project. been working on stripping it down to, its gonna be a frame off job i guess. ill post some pics later this week. heres a link to my thread over at the other forum if anyone wants to check it out till then .
            http://gbodyforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=35365

            Comment


            • #7
              What kind if wheels did you pick up?
              How bad are the floors and frame? Is it necessary to pull the body off the frame?
              Lightning Rods repair service:CLICK HERE
              Seller Feedback:CLICK HERE
              1988 H/OCA Advisor
              88 H/O #1 of 4
              88 CSC White/Claret - T-tops
              88 H/O Triple Black
              87 442 Black/Gray - T-tops
              85 442 White/Blue - T-tops
              85 442 White/Blue - T-tops
              85 442 White/Claret - T-tops
              85 442 White/Sage
              84 H/O Aero Commemorative #2199 - Sunroof
              83 H/O #2400 Sand Gray - Sunroof
              83 H/O #1607 Sand Gray - T-tops
              83 H/O #727 Maple
              "Keep them Rockets lit!"

              Comment


              • #8
                i wsnt looking for them , but due to a craigslist find, i ended up with chevy rallys. i came across an add for a set of custom widened 15x10 ( actually advertised as 15x12, but thats another story ) for $125. , so i grabbed them. then i ran an add on craigslist looking for some decent fronts and a guy ended up selling me a set of 15x6 rallys with the beauty rings for $80. , he still has all four tall center caps and the two wide beauty rings i need to complete the set for another $80. if i want them. not the best deal in the world, but for a grand total of $285. i have a pretty sweet set of rallys in hard to find sizes. the 15x10's have 3.5" backspace, so they should fit with no issues as far as rubbing, i do expect them to stick out from the quarters a little though, which is cool because i like that look anyways. kind of an old school hot rod look from the 80's. the floors so far are pretty solid. i did however discover my core support is rusted pretty bad in one spot so i decided to replace it. and you know how one thing leads to another..lol. i just about have the front clip completely disassembled, should be finished this afternoon. after that im going to take the body loose from the frame, jack it up and slide a couple 4x4's under it , i wanted to replace all the body mounts with polyurethane anyways, so might as well clean up the frame , paint it, replace the rear end and rebuild the suspension before dropping the body back on it. i found a local guy with a core support for $25. on CL, but hes a hour or so away. i cut a deal with him to deliver it for an extra $20. , hopefully it should be here later this week. and over on the over forum i got a guy whos gonna sell me both tail lights, and the stuff i need to convert to a hardtop I.E.... rear window trim, quarter window trim, and trunk filler panel for $125. shipped. i should be getting that in the next week or so.

                Comment


                • #9
                  heres some pics. you can see the floorboards and the trunk floor are pretty solid. i have decided to go with john deer blitz black for the paint to. its very cheap, durable , and looks great, has that old hot rod black look.
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    heres some pics i pulled off googe image search. the primer black one is about what im aiming for as far as stance. the others are pics of a cutty with the size tire i think im going to go with on the rears, 295/50r15 . the last pic is camaro painted in the blitz black i was referring to. it runs around $35. a gallon, is pretty forgiving to spray for an amatuer, and is formulated by john deer for tractors and farm implements, so its durable as hell. something else i came across some might find interesting, in the may 2012 issue of popular hotrodding a guy sprayed the entire body of his mustang with dupli-color black vinyl and fabric coating, and it came out with almost identical results. its worth checking out.
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That black would look cool for ghosted stripes over gloss black.
                      Im gonna keep that in mind for a future project.
                      Lightning Rods repair service:CLICK HERE
                      Seller Feedback:CLICK HERE
                      1988 H/OCA Advisor
                      88 H/O #1 of 4
                      88 CSC White/Claret - T-tops
                      88 H/O Triple Black
                      87 442 Black/Gray - T-tops
                      85 442 White/Blue - T-tops
                      85 442 White/Blue - T-tops
                      85 442 White/Claret - T-tops
                      85 442 White/Sage
                      84 H/O Aero Commemorative #2199 - Sunroof
                      83 H/O #2400 Sand Gray - Sunroof
                      83 H/O #1607 Sand Gray - T-tops
                      83 H/O #727 Maple
                      "Keep them Rockets lit!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        yeah, thats a good thought. if you ever try it out id like to see the results. thank god i have at least a few months before i get to paint, i keep flip flopping on that particular part of this project like a woman trying to decide which outfit to wear on a date . i always wanted gloss black, then decided i wanted to be a little different so i thought canary yellow would be cool, then another member on the other forum sugested the blitz black and i liked it and the price was right, but another member recently asked me a question that has made me re-evaluate my thinking. he asked "is that what you really want or are you just settling because of cost?" .....which really got me thinking, and i was. between that and another members vehicle i came across, i am going to stick with my original 22 year dream ( remember.. had this car built in my head since i was 15 when i had my original 80 cutty ) and go with the gloss black i had always wanted. if i have to save up for a few months to get the paint job i want then so be it, ill drive it in primer for awhile. one thing i am sure about now after doing some internet searches and looking at other cuttys of 78-80 styles is i am doing a gloss black and definitely painting the bumpers, and remaining trim, and deleting all the lower trim around the bottom. after seeing this on cardomain http://www.cardomain.com/ride/232737...mobile-cutlass i have no doubt in my mind, this is exactly what i want as far as paint. i have been on the fence about whether i wanted to lose the lower trim around the rockers and fenders on my car or not, i was pretty sure, but this clinches it for me. besides, mines in excellent shape, and im sure i can sell it for a decent price to someone who really wants/needs it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          however, i do plan on building a mud truck after this project is done, and im pretty sure the blitz black will be a perfect choice for it. im also trying to decide just how far to go with the suspension upgrades since i am now doing the frame-off resto now, not later as i had originally planned. Spohn has some really awesome stuff. i wish i could afford to go all out and just get theyre entire upgrade kit, but thats out of my budget for sure right now. and i have to be realistic, im not going autocrossing anyways. maybe a few weekend 1/4 miles at most. i would like it to handle good though, and be able to handle the added weight of the bigblock that will be going in it in the next two years. im thinking realistically, a tighter gearbox from a F-body, and a spohn front suspension kit and front and rear sway bar kit. probably have to stick with the stock type A-arms, tubulars just arent in my budget either. ill have to see where im at when i get to that stage but id like to use their rear control arms as well. as far as rear ends , its still either an 8.5" or a 12 bolt. i found a local circle track guy that has a 12 bolt posi modded to be a direct bolt in to a g-body for $500. , but i blew my wad this month already, and with my luck it will be gone by the time i can drop that much coin on the car again. but you never know. im definitely going with the GN 200-4R, probably from these guys http://www.transdepot.net/2004R-Perf...onal_p_31.html . great deal, and theyre local so no shipping. i have talked with them about my application and they have put together a custom package for me thats a little cheaper then that particular one i posted, it comes in different stages. i found a local member whos selling me a clean core support ( mine rusted in half by the battery tray) for $25. and another member on the other forum is selling me all the trim i need for the hardtop conversion, and the trunk filler panel and two nice taillights for $125. shipped. - HOPEFULLY NEXT WEEK ILL BE FINISHED WITH DISSASEMBLY AND HAVE THE BODY OFF THE FRAME AND HAVE SOME PROGRESS PICS TO POST .... sorry for the novella, im just excited about getting some progress on my cutty and cant shut up about it..LOL.

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