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Old 07-27-2004, 10:38 PM
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'81 Olds Station Wagon interior - MUSCULAR?

My '81 Custom Cruiser has a bored, balanced cammed 403 with a TH400, but the interior is shot and in the original nerdy configuration.

Thinking of re-doing interior with a 442-ish look, buckets, console, etc. Authenticity is not required, but I don't want it to look stupid, either.

So any of the new style bucket seats they put in Hondas would not look right. Maybe I should look for some older buckets and have them re-done.

Fortunately, there were plenty of big GM wagons of that vintage made [and a wide range of years to choose from], so interior parts shouldn't be too difficult.

Finding matching plastic parts parts is very difficult, however. would painting these parts [like the side panels in cargo area] be feasible?

So what do you think? A muscle car look for a big wagon?

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Old 07-29-2004, 10:54 AM
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i would find a 442 donor car for about maby 1500-2000 bucks and gut the interior. sell the tranny and rear to make the money back. please do not find a good bodied car to gut, but a rust bucket from up north with good interior. you may need to get some of it redon.

project sounds nice, got pics of the car...
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Old 07-29-2004, 03:46 PM
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I appreciate you taking trouble to read my thread and offer advice.

The TH400 is one of the few good things about the car, no way would I part with it [its rebuilt from a '79 Pontiac]... Oh, wait you're talking about selling the trans and engine from an actual 442 coupe! Sorry, good advice.

I might consider changing engines, though. The 403 has a lotta good top-end, but is a bit lacking in torque for a 4300lb vehicle. It has only 25K on it since last rebuild [but they didn't do the valve guides; int'l vacuum leak]. A 455 would be nice, should fit nicely.

I bought the rear a few years back [it used to have a diesel-geared rear] -- although if a posi or limited-slip became available, a switch may be conceivable.

The body is not in the greatest of shape, so finding a good 'donor' body might be desirable. I wouldn't want to do anything that would change the VIN, though because she was originally a diesel, so she's emissions-exempt in VA -- I can do ANYTHING to the engine that space and funding allows.

Don't know how difficult switching from a steering column-mounted auto shift lever to a floor mount would be. Gonna need help on that one.
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Old 07-29-2004, 08:53 PM
Im trying to have an idea!
 
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that 350 desiel is no boat ancore, there are people that regularly convert those to gas, and run the hell out of it. ive seen those thing make up to 1200 hp. it would be pretty pricie to make the darn thing, but it would be so worth it. would take that and a built up 200r4, and convert a ford 9" rear, then you would be in buisness.

i got lucky when i found my stuff. got all my stuff from a 442 up north that was rusting thru, but the interior was mint. got the complete interior for about $300 for a guy on another site. (oldspower.com)

plans for my 86...sinple on the outsidem good looking on the inside. including the 455 under the hood. ohhh future projects.

tell me more about your wagon
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Old 08-07-2004, 12:21 PM
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there is an interior paint available for purchase @ autozone from a rattle can, it comes in a few colors and for vinyl/hardplastic, if the directions are followed it yeilds factory appearing results....now this is assuming before mentioned panels have not begun to deteriote to the point of cracking a turning to dust as the older gm parts tend to do....a growing trend in the minitruck/streettruck community is sanding and fiberglassing interior peices and painting them with a high gloss finish to math the exterior paint scheme, this may be a great idea for you as it can also acheive a style like what you have seen in older bel-airs with steel dashes and door panels... This is not a very detailed post but if you have any specific questions ask thm and I will do my best to answer accordingly.
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