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The 1971 Chevelle "Harriet the Heretic"

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  • The 1971 Chevelle "Harriet the Heretic"

    So here it goes. Please excuse my writing style it is not good but I will try my best to make this semi entertaining. Mostly just wanting to keep track of this build unlike I have done with the other project car I have a thread on that I haven't updated in forever.

    For those of you who don't know me or don't remember me this is what I am usually messing with.
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    Several months ago a long time friend called me about his late fathers car. His mom and him had decided to sell his dad 1971 Chevy Chevelle. My buddy had one in high school that was a different color. This one his dad purchased for his younger sister and he really enjoyed and kept it after she went off to college. He purchased it in 1995ish and kept it ever since. He had been trying to slowly restore it when he passed away suddenly in 2018. At that time it had been in the DFW area it's whole life including being built right there in the Arlington GM plant. He called me to ask what I thought the car would be worth. I gave him a few places to look and kinda looked around a bit myself and concluded it should bring pretty good money.

    One night my wife and I were cruising around and she saw a similar chevelle that is all nice an complete driving by and said she like that car. I remembered Brads car. I dropped a text to see what he had done with the car. I figured if my wife liked it it might be fun to own for a bit. We came to a very good number on the car and we went to Flagstaff, AZ to get it (where it has been sitting since 2018). Got there and there were some things that were worse than described and some better. Overall I felt like it would be a good car to own for a bit make it better and sell it.
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    So the car is a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Base. 307 turbo 350 transmission power steering AC power brakes other than that very few options. Very solid car.

    Bringing it home on the trailer and driving it around a bit my wife has fallen in love with it. So I am going to build it for her, or at least with her in mind for it.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by JWS4621; June 22, 2021, 06:30 AM.

  • #2


    Here are some more photos of it.

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    • #3
      So far I have put a set of plugs in it. Slowed the exhaust leak and messed with the vacuum lines a bit. It came with this big box of SS emblems. His dad was trying to make it a SS clone. Not sure what I will do in that regard.

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      It was originally a 4 wheel drum car. He upgraded to these brakes. The company has since gone out of business. I wish I could find more info about this brake system.

      I have been trying sort out a very very hard pedal, and the brake proportioning valve was very poorly set up. Most of the braking was in the rear. I have sorted that out just gotta get the power brakes to work correctly.

      I actually kinda like this car even if it is a chevy. My shop mate not so much.

      Comment


      • #4
        Looks pretty good! I suggest a big block Buick - I bolted one right in a '80 Chvvy pickup so the mounts shouldn't be an issue. Lots of torque and something different (but I recommend a BBB in everything......).

        As far as your writing style - we have LOTS worse on here! You're doing just fine.

        Dan

        Comment


        • #5
          Have you looked into SSBC-USA? Seems the company closed, got acquired and then reopened under a modified name. Have no clue it the components are the same.

          Comment


          • #6
            Blasphemy!!!
            Life is short. Be a do'er and not a shoulda done'er.
            1998 Mustang GT https://bangshift.com/forum/forum/ba...ix-to-4sixzero
            1983 Mustang GT 545/552/302/Turbo302 http://www.bangshift.com/forum/forum...485-bbr-s-83gt
            1973 F-250 BBF Turbo Truck http://www.bangshift.com/forum/forum...uck-conversion
            1986 Ford Ranger EFI 545/C6 https://bangshift.com/forum/forum/ba...tooth-and-nail

            Comment


            • #7
              SSBC is Stainless Steel Brake Company - their claim to fame was they used to reline Corvette brake calipers with stainless liners. They moved on to Camaros and Chevelles later. I think they sold out, but the good news is what they did has been copied by pretty much everyone so parts for it are pretty easy to get.

              Your proportioning valve is probably the first place you should look on the car for brake problems. Any time they sit, the floating valve inside the brass housing freezes up - doubly so if there was a leak (thus letting air and moisture into the line). Second thing to look at is whether or not you have the right master cylinder. Disk/Drum master cylinders are substantially different then drum/drum. The biggest issue is you'll get even braking and residual pressure on all lines.... which will cook the disk brake pads.

              Futuring... swap the control arms for tubular control arms. It dramatically improves the handling. Put a new front stabilizer (larger) and rear stabilizer on the car, then box the lower control arms at the same time. You'll be astounded at how well it handles with just those simple updates. You already have the disk brakes, so the costs is $200 for the front tubular arms (common), $50 for rear bushings, $15.00 for the box kit. you may or may not want to change the springs.... but if it doesn't have new shocks, that should be done as well so that's another $100 for 4.... keep your eyes open for a G-body steering box from a Monte Carlo SS or Buick GNX, the box interchanges and gives you quick ratio steering.

              I wouldn't put the SS badges on - especially not once you do the suspension modernization.... let people think it's a stocker. If you want to see what I'm talking about visually, look at my build thread on Buinicorn - my 64 Buick Skylark wagon.
              Last edited by SuperBuickGuy; May 11, 2021, 11:04 AM.
              Doing it all wrong since 1966

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SuperBuickGuy View Post
                SSBC is Stainless Steel Brake Company - their claim to fame was they used to reline Corvette brake calipers with stainless liners. They moved on to Camaros and Chevelles later. I think they sold out, but the good news is what they did has been copied by pretty much everyone so parts for it are pretty easy to get.

                Your proportioning valve is probably the first place you should look on the car for brake problems. Any time they sit, the floating valve inside the brass housing freezes up - doubly so if there was a leak (thus letting air and moisture into the line). Second thing to look at is whether or not you have the right master cylinder. Disk/Drum master cylinders are substantially different then drum/drum. The biggest issue is you'll get even braking and residual pressure on all lines.... which will cook the disk brake pads.

                Futuring... swap the control arms for tubular control arms. It dramatically improves the handling. Put a new front stabilizer (larger) and rear stabilizer on the car, then box the lower control arms at the same time. You'll be astounded at how well it handles with just those simple updates. You already have the disk brakes, so the costs is $200 for the front tubular arms (common), $50 for rear bushings, $15.00 for the box kit. you may or may not want to change the springs.... but if it doesn't have new shocks, that should be done as well so that's another $100 for 4.... keep your eyes open for a G-body steering box from a Monte Carlo SS or Buick GNX, the box interchanges and gives you quick ratio steering.

                I wouldn't put the SS badges on - especially not once you do the suspension modernization.... let people think it's a stocker. If you want to see what I'm talking about visually, look at my build thread on Buinicorn - my 64 Buick Skylark wagon.
                It actually has all new a arms on the front and pretty much all new rubber. It does need all new rubber bushings in the rear. Also been lowered so I am going to have to do something about the driveline angles that were not addressed at the time.

                The kit It has for the front brakes I believe is the one with 2 inch drop spindles, and I think it has newer springs in the back but I haven't done alot of inspection back there yet. I would like to figure out what replacement parts are available like pads and rotors, for the future.

                Comment


                • #9
                  nice thing about a-bodies.... lots and lots and lots of parts available for them
                  Doing it all wrong since 1966

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Very cool score ! Glad to see it has disc brakes. The 4-wheel drums went out in mine twice. Started dating my wife 30 years ago in my 71 chevelle. Lots of fun memories in that car. Only pic i have of it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As another Ford guy, I also have fond memories of this body style "shuvel" as we used to call them. My friends had a few of them in high-school, one was a step sisters, yellow and black SS clone, "depowered" with a smog 307/th350 so she "wouldn't kill herself" and a different friend got his grandmothers sky blue/white top convertible - which he still owns today.
                      ENJOY IT
                      There's always something new to learn.

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                      • #12
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                        Tried throwing parts at the problem. The poor little 307 makes very little vacuum so I figured I would try this Volvo vacuum pump. Makes the brakes better but not close to right yet. I am betting it will stop really great once I figure out how to make them work correctly.

                        I am not certain I have the correct parts. I am about be have room to actually tear into the car a bit. Until I make room I have to make sure it doesn't block the whole shop.

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                        • #13
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                          Kinda a quick mostly temporary fix. Some zip ties and a relay and it stops some better. Picked up a brake booster today going to see if that will help.

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                          • #14
                            Since I last updated this I replaced the brake booster and it stops way better now. Not sure I am done messing with the brakes but they are fine for now.

                            A buddy of mine called (a chevy guy) and said he had a 350 out of some sort of truck one of those throttle body efi trucks. Supposedly ran when they crashed the truck, not so much.

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                            Oh yeah the car has been given a name "Harriet the Heretic". It was delivered like this upside down.

                            Got it up on the engine stand to take a look around it.


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                            Doesn't look too bad from the outside.
                            Last edited by JWS4621; August 12, 2021, 08:25 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Roller motor a step in the right direction


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                              That was where the goodness stopped. It had quite a bit of ring ridge and one hole has some rust in it, but the best is yet to come.

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                              This piston is beat to hell. Crazily enough the cylinder walls and such aren't really hurt too bad, and the head didn't really show any damage. So not real sure how all that happened.
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                              I don't have any pics but I pulled it the rest of the way apart and the bearings all looked really good. ​
                              Last edited by JWS4621; August 12, 2021, 08:28 AM.

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