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notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/21/20 10:21 a.m.

Might be time to begin a "build" thread for the 1973 Vega Kammback V8/S10 front and rear brakes and axle conversion. This is something that the owner, Bruce, has dreamed about since he was a teenager and something that I'm glad to help out with.

He found the car in the New York lakes region, it took two tries to buy it spaced out over about a year. The seller was "unreasonable" to say the least and the trip back with the car was "eventful" to say the VERY least, but it's home and the various conversions and upgrades are underway.

If there was a way to post some of the photos I would. Any questions about the conversion so far are welcome. 

bgkast (Forum Supporter)
bgkast (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/21/20 10:51 a.m.

Use the icon that looks like mountains with a sun overhead to attach pictures. We want to see this!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
7/21/20 3:35 p.m.

I always thought the Kammback was a handsome car, and that one is old enough that it doesn't have the giant 5mph bumpers.

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) UberDork
7/21/20 3:46 p.m.

Watch for rust in the lower trailing arm mounts in the floor.  The early cars had a 4-link (no torque arm), and with rust, and V8, the arms pull out of the floor.  Ask me how I know.

I've seen the front bumpers cut down like a Camaro RS.

I actually met "Dave" from "Dave's Vega Village" many years ago. Some guy shouted the phone number off the top of his head at me in traffic in Vancouver when I was in my V8 Pontiac Astre (same chassis). I had to go see that it was real. I think I heard that he has since passed.

Oh, and I love wagons.

Pics! Pics! Pics!

 

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork Reader
7/21/20 3:49 p.m.

Here are two photos of what we're starting with, one a shot of the car on the trailer at the world famous "Tail O' the Pup" where we stopped for a fantastic BBQ plate, and another of the car the following day sitting in the yard.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/21/20 3:54 p.m.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork Reader
7/21/20 4:11 p.m.

Bringing the car back from New York, the axle on the trailer collapsed up into the bed, the spring just gave it up on the passenger's side. The tire was jammed up into the fender, eventually caught fire, and wore completely away leaving only the rim. We were on the New York Thruway and didn't want to get caught as this would result in an expensive tow for both the car and trailer and a LONG delay in getting home. We beat feet for the nearest exit, leaving two white lines scoured into the asphalt from the bare rim, and pulled into a McDonalds. Just left the car and trailer there and hauled off to the nearest U-Haul for a tow dolly (no trailers available.) Some kids helped us transfer the car from the old trailer to the dolly and we "gifted" them with the trailer in return. Took a big chance with an unregistered/insured car on a tow dolly on the Thruway and Mass pike, but we had no option. We left to get the car at six AM or so and got back at one the following morning. Bruce's wife was unaware that he was buying yet ANOTHER project, thought that he was just heading out for the day with Tommy . . . 

As with most adventures, there are some funny details that I could include next time, but you all have probably go through the same things yourself, ALTHOUGH I DID have wear a disguise when I picked up the car and was mistaken for Bruce's father when we picked up the tow dolly. The desk persons exact words were, "Too bad that your had to rush to get here, but at least your father got out for some air." I'm three years older than Bruce . . .

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/21/20 4:14 p.m.

In reply to bgkast (Forum Supporter) :

"Use the icon that looks like mountains with a sun overhead to attach pictures."

THANK YOU ! ! ! ! 

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/21/20 4:38 p.m.

Before doing anything, we got the car up in the air for an inspection, NO RUST AT ALL ! ! ! Seriously, not a spec anywhere on the car, must have been a desert car and didn't spent much time at all in upstate New York. The entire drive line has been swapped out for one from a '76 Vega. Dura-Built engine, five speed trans, torque arm, and 7.5 inch rear end. With this rear end an S10 five lug axle swap is a simple "bolt-in." First up, the rear end. S10 axles, seals, shoes, drums, cylinders, soft lines, and reinforced backing plates. It's all just remove and replace, so no big deal and the results are worth it for sure.

Here's the car in the garage all set for the tear-down:

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork Reader
7/21/20 4:44 p.m.

A couple of photos of the rear end being opened up ready for the axles to be pulled and the S10 axles installed. When doing this (we've never done anything like this before) the spider gears fell out of the rear end and into the catch pan on floor once the pin was removed, completely unexpected. BIG surprise there ! A friend, who supposedly knew what was what, yelled "Oh oh !" when he saw the gears go missing. Not our best moment . . . 

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/21/20 4:47 p.m.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork Reader
7/22/20 8:58 a.m.

Work on the outer end of things. Pulling the axles, stripping out the old brakes. S10 axles in, new brake components in, drums on and done. MUCH easier than expected ! Several folks had suggested that the backing plate needed to be hit with the grinder for clearance, but we found that driving the car for a mile or so "seated" the drums to the backing plate just fine. No rubbing. no grinding, no problem at all.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/22/20 8:59 a.m.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/22/20 9:00 a.m.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/22/20 9:01 a.m.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/22/20 9:02 a.m.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/22/20 9:03 a.m.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/22/20 9:09 a.m.

Before and After: Original four lug axles with Panasports and replacement five lug S10 axles with Cragars. Don't worry, the tires will be re-mounted with the white lettering to the inside. The wheel well(s) are now filled up nicely with the 14 inch wheels and larger diameter tires, everything buttoned up perfectly, the more involved S10 front spindle/brakes/etc next up.

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/22/20 9:09 a.m.

RossD
RossD MegaDork
7/22/20 9:14 a.m.

Sweet car!

notsafeforwork
notsafeforwork New Reader
7/22/20 9:20 a.m.

In reply to SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) :

"I actually met "Dave" from "Dave's Vega Village" . . . "

We were hoping to get a replacement fiberglass rear valance from Dave, not sure if he's still "in business" though. He was always the Man when it came to Vega parts and pieces and knowledge ! !

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
7/22/20 9:58 a.m.

Can you maybe back up a second and explain where you found the shaft that the spider gears are meant to ride on? That is a substantial chunk of steel to be AWOL.

 

mblommel
mblommel Dork
7/22/20 10:00 a.m.

Cool car! Sorry to see the Panasports go. 

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) UberDork
7/22/20 10:37 a.m.
NOHOME said:

Can you maybe back up a second and explain where you found the shaft that the spider gears are meant to ride on? That is a substantial chunk of steel to be AWOL.

You have to slide the shaft out, to push the axles in, to remove the C-clip, to remove the axles. The hope is that the spider gears stay in place during the process.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 SuperDork
7/22/20 10:53 a.m.

In reply to SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) :

If you put a tie-wrap through the hole in the carrier and one spider gear they will both stay put well enough during the operation. 

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