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roller or repair?


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would it be cheaper if i bought a complete roller instead of repairing rust. because im worried about rigidity problems in the future? Also would a roll cage be called for if i was swapping out the l24 for an ls1?

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depends on how much rust, vs the cost of having to find all the trim, interior and mechanical parts to put on a roller. I'm repairing a slightly rusty car now. Minor floorboard replacement on the passenger side and moderate to major floor replacement on the drivers side, plus replacement of much of the right rear quarter, the left dog leg, and a patch on the left front shock tower, followed by stripping down and repainting is costing nearly $5,000. Then there's a grand into the bumpers, and another 1500 into the interior vinyl, new seat upholstery and foams, weather stripping, plus odds and ends. Luckily my dash is in easy to repair shape, my frame rails ahead of the firewall are good, the battery tray is good, my mechanicals and electricals are perfect, my interior and exterior door panels are perfect, and the carpet is nearly new. I'd still like to do about $1000 in upgrades to the mechanicals (mainly exhaust and suspension), plus another $1200 in new wheels and tires, but most of that'll have to wait.

Anyway, I'd be scared of buying a "roller" without knowing how it became one. In other words, how would you know it wasn't a poorly repaired rust bucket? It'll come to you primered and sealed, with any poorly done repairs concealed. I like being able to watch and learn as the shop does my car. It makes me more confident that the work is being done correctly.

Either way, have fun with it. Realize you will spend a fortune to do it, but less than buying a new car. I look at it as recycling. For a few years, this car will be my main transportation when finished (I do have a truck to supplement it, so the miles should go on slowly). I'll drive it, then redo it when necessary. Less cost to me and less environmental impact than the construction and purchase of a new car.

As for the LS1 idea, search www.hybridz.org for how to strengthen the body. They say you need to brace up the floors, I believe. Unless you need the extra power, just go with an L28, for ease of maintenance. The L series engines leave so much room in the engine bay that it is easy to work on things. I can drop my wrench, have it fall to the ground, then reach down between the engine and the fender and pick it up. This makes it easy to keep the engine bay clean, too. The LS1 would be fun, though.

Edited by ConchZ
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yea i would be really fun for sure. my main concern was also of my frame holdin up because i still wanted the interior to look stock and not have bars all around. would it be wise to install them or to just clean up, repair, strengthen from under the car, and then weld up the seams?

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