The Build – Buffing & sanding the firewall

In this episode, Rob Baker will take us through sanding the firewall and dashboard to rid the restomod of orange peel and/or dirt that may have gotten into the clear coat.

When they buff it out, it will provide that perfect showroom shine. Rob will use 2000 grit sandpaper just to give it a really smooth coat and eliminate any initial items in the clear coat, as the clear laid extremely well.

sanding the firewall

The buffer will now be used, after the 2000 grit sandpaper has completely sanded the firewall and dashboard. This will assist in bringing the shine back out with just a tiny amount of compound.

65 Chevy Malibu firewall buffing

When using the buffer, either the foam pads or the wool pads, be very careful around any edges or corners, as it will burn through.

65 Malibu Firewall - Buffing

Now that the firewall and dashboard have been sanded and buffed, watch as The Build team continues to put back together the 1965 Chevy Malibu restomod. Make sure to watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and follow the progress of our collector car on our Facebook page too!

The Build – Bolting the engine to the frame

The 396 Big Block is mounted to the engine stand. Now it’s all about fine-tuning and tweaking. Watch as the team attaches a chain around the engine to hoist it up, unbolt it from the stand, and drop it back down into the engine bay of the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS:

As they are getting ready to drop the engine in place, the team hits a tiny speed bump. The Hooker headers are a tight squeeze, so they were removed before dropping the engine down onto the frame.

65 Malibu Hooker headers

Also, as it is right now, the alternator would hit the bracket for the rack-and-pinion system that they have in place, so they will need to remove the alternator, do a little fabrication to the brackets and re-install it a little higher after the engine is in place.

65 Malibu alternator

Now that the motor is bolted in, with two bolts to the motor mounts, Paul Naber and the team will need to remove the bell housing so they can install the clutch. They will then put the bell housing back on and bolt the transmission up with the cross-member to place the engine where it needs to be.

65 Malibu transmission

As they prepare to install the Muncie transmission and attach it to the bell housing, the clutch is in place so the only thing left is setting it in and putting the bolts in. The driveshaft is lined up and put in place. Getting ready to move the rolling chassis onto the lift to re-install and fit the headers, and then do a little work on the alternator.

65 Malibu engine block

Now that the 396 big block engine has been bolted back onto the frame, watch as The Build team continues to put back together the 1965 Chevy Malibu restomod. Make it a priority to watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and follow the progress of our collector vehicle on our Facebook page too!

The Build – Painting the 1965 Chevy Malibu

Our experienced staff of collector car specialists at American Modern have sanded and primed the body of the 1965 Chevy Malibu, and now begin to paint her blue and silver.

The Build team is getting ready to paint the blue, including the body, jams, windshield surround, the dash, and anything else that’s going to be blue on the inside of the car. As you can see from the fluid up-and-down motion from Rob Baker, it is very important to stay at one frequency when painting the body of the vehicle.

Proper-paint-motion

Rob back tapes the line so the paint doesn’t bleed. The tape separates the silver from the underside of the body and the door jams from the blue on the top. The tape will provide a better view of what it will look like with a stripe and provide a gauge for the different colors.

1965-Chevy-Malibu-frame-primer

Now that Rick Drewry, Rick Hardbarger and Rob Baker have cut in the blue and masked it off, they are preparing to paint the silver and cut in the jams. After that, they’ll be ready for the clear coat.

Ami-G-painted-dash

The Build – Painting the body panels

In the latest episode of American Modern Insurance Group’s The Build, the car has been sanded and the team is applying primer to the outside of the body of Ami G. (Named after after American Modern Insurance Group)

So now it’s time to get all of the edges on all of the body panels primed and ready to be painted in order for the restomod to be reassembled. The team will begin by painting the body panels silver.

primered-body-panels

They need to cut and paint in the body panels that are getting bolted onto the main body. So they’ll start by painting the silver first, then come back and paint the blue.

body-panels-painted-silver

After painting silver and cutting in all the parts, they’ll continue by painting what needs to be blue and cutting them in from that point.

silver-painted-body-panels

Taking the fine line across the body panels and cutting the blue line to split the line between the silver and the blue, the American Modern team will apply the blue paint before they finalize the clear coat between the two panels.

blue-cut-line-door-panel

We continue to thoroughly restore the 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS classic car on The Build. Be sure to stay up with The Build on our YouTube Channel, to see what else is restored. Also, continue to follow along with the collector car on our Facebook page.

The Build – Starting the 396 Big Block

Our team of collector car experts at American Modern have the final pieces in place on the 396 Big block Chevy engine, and are ready to turn the ignition and let those headers roar.

The team starts out by installing their new Hooker Headers onto the 396 big block. The plug wires are organized from longest to shortest to diagnose which wire goes to which spark plug. With the wire looms, you can easily organize and route the plug wires so that they are flush with the engine. The tach, oil pressure gauge, temperature gauge, and ignition are all wired up on the test stand. When you fire up an engine for the first time, you need to make sure it is done correctly to help with the break-in process. To do this, you need to run the engine for 20 minutes at 2,000 RPMs. Idling is not good for the camshaft on the initial start-up on a fresh engine.

396 big block engine

Now that the 396 big block engine has fired up, watch as The Build team continues to put back together the 1965 Chevy Malibu restomod. Make it a priority to watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and follow the progress of our collector vehicle on our Facebook page too!

Ami G. ignites the new year at Cavalcade of Customs

Are you ready to start the new year off with a bang and admire Ami G. in-person, in her hometown? Well get ready! She’ll be strutting her stuff at the Cavalcade of Customs car show in the downtown Cincinnati Duke Energy Center, Friday, January 9th – 11th.

Ami G at Cavalcade of Customs 2015

We’ll be running a contest on our Facebook page! All you have to do enter is:

1. Take a photo of Ami G. at the Cavalcade of Customs
2. Upload it to our Facebook page with the hashtag #TheBuild
3. We’ll be picking 10 winners at random on Monday, January 12th

Winners will get a fabulous American Modern bumper cover!

This is the classic car’s first stop on her car show tour. Be sure to buy tickets for the Cavalcade of Customs now and visit Ami G. at her American Modern Insurance Group booth.

See official rules for contest terms and conditions.

Ami G is coming to town

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, Cincinnati will be receiving a wonderful gift this holiday season. If you’ve been following American Modern’s The Build  on YouTube, you’re already aware that the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS restomod is ready to tour. Appropriately named Ami G. (American Modern Insurance Group), the collector car’s first stop will be  the 55th annual Cavalcade of Customs in Cincinnati, OH from January 9-11, 2015.

Cincinnati Car Show 2015 Cavalcade of Customs

We will officially unveil the beautiful restomod at the downtown Cincinnati Duke Energy Center on Friday, January 9th at 3pm.

If you are unfamiliar with the story of Ami G., here’s a quick recap:

  • The ’65 Chevy Malibu comes face-to-face with a brick wall
  • American Modern adopts her and brings her in for a restoration/makeover
  • 110 employees and insurance agent partners provide all the repairs and modifications
  • 22-months of blood, sweat and tears later…

 

American Modern #TheBuild

Make sure you get your tickets for the Cavalcade of Customs show today and remember to visit Ami G. at her American Modern Insurance Group booth. Plus, stay tuned, as we’ll be announcing a fun, interactive contest we’ll be running during the Cavalcade show. Remember to also follow our Facebook page for more information  about #TheBuild.

The Build – Installing a Distributor into a 396 Big Block

Are you in the midst of installing a distributor into a big block Chevy engine? The team at American Modern currently has the 396 big block bolted up and almost ready to turn over. Watch the episode now:

Rick Drewry and the American Modern team begin by turning the crankshaft in order to get the engine to Top Dead Center (TDC). Initially, the block will be set to 10 degrees advanced when they install the distributor. Rick uses the oil prime tool to spin the oil pump shaft and get the oil flowing.

The team chose to go with an HEI setup for the distributor, which includes an electronic ignition with a coil pack mounted on the distributor. It is one of the easiest and most popular distributors to use on older GM V8 engines. With the engine set to 10 degrees advanced of Top Dead Center, they line up the rotor button so it is pointing at the #1 cylinder.

HEI distributor setup

If you find that there’s a gap between the distributor and the engine block, here’s the solution on how to make it flush:

1.   You can detach the distributor and turn the oil pump shaft a bit until it falls into place and locks in flush with the block.

2.   Or, you can rotate the engine until it drops completely into place. With the rotor button in place, the electrode is pointing at the #1 cylinder. Now you can install the distributor cap and align the distributor so the rotor button is touching the #1 cylinder contact on the cap.

You need to gap your spark plugs to 40 thousands before you install them into the engine block.

spark plug

Meticulously we continue to restore the 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS classic car on The Build. Be sure to stay up with The Build on our YouTube Channel, to see what else is restored. Also, continue to follow along with the collector vehicle on our Facebook page.

The Build – Assembling a 396 Big Block – Part 2

In the previous episode, you watched the team start the big block Chevy assembly process. Paul Naber, Collector Car Claims Adjuster at American Modern Insurance Group, explains that they have cut down the metal fuel line to the proper length so that it will run from the mechanical fuel pump to the carburetor. Watch as the team is one step closer to getting the 396 big block fired up and running:

Rick Drewry, Sr. Collector Car Claims Specialist at American Modern, proceeds to put the crank pulley on, where a single belt will connect the alternator single groove crank pulley  to the alternator. Next in line is the valve covers that were voted on by  our Facebook followers on our Collector Car Facebook page.

Baldwin Motion Style valve covers

Paul proceeds to add an engine break-in additive to the oil. When you start your engine for the first time after it is rebuilt, the break-in additive will help prevent excessive wear to all of the engine internals.

The next phase of assembling for our 396 big block Chevy is installing the thermostat,  and thermostat housing. This thermostat housing  comes with an o-ring on the bottom for sealing instead of a gasket.

The engine is set to top dead center, the distributor is then dropped in with the rotor button pointing to the number one cylinder. Once the engine fires up, you can adjust the timing to get it exactly where you want it. Moving the big block over to the break-in stand, the flywheel is installed so that  the starter can engage with the flywheel to turn the engine  over.

Be sure to keep up with all of the updates on The Build, as the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS continues to make big steps to become the car she is today. Stay tuned with Ami G. by joining our mailing list and Liking us on Facebook. You can also find a full list of The Build episodes by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

 

The Build – Assembling A 396 Big Block Chevy

Have you been wanting to see the final assembly of a Chevy big block engine before it goes into a car?  You’re in luck. At American Modern, we have a 1965 Malibu SS 396 big block Chevy in its final stages of assembly. Watch it now:

Senior Collector Car Claims Specialist of American Modern Insurance Group, and host of  The Build, Rick Drewry, will install and seal the intake plugs to prevent leakage. With the gaskets in place, the team will be installing the water pump, oil filter mount and  oil filter onto the engine block of the ’65 Chevelle.

Rick points out that before you are going to put the fuel pump onto the block, you should make sure that the fuel pump push rod is up and out of the way, so you can avoid any problems with installation. Using a low mount alternator bracket, the alternator is mounted on the left hand side of the engine block.  Once your street avenger carburetor is placed, you can begin to line up your fuel lines. The high-torque mini starter is bolted up and ready to crank over the newly crafted, freshly restored Chevy big block engine.

396 big block Chevy engine

If you’ve been staying up to date with The Build, you probably know, the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS, named Ami G., has made huge strides to become the restomod she is today. Join our mailing list so you can stay current with all of her updates. Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Like us on Facebook to get the complete list of episodes of The Build.