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Week To Wicked: We Completely Transform a Stock 1967 Chevelle in a Short Five Days

We completely transform a stock 1967 Chevelle in a short five days

Jun 30, 2016
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Week To Wicked Logo Super Chevy Cpp Axalta 2/43

Project cars seem to take forever to get done, or worse, never get done. Yeah, we’ve all been there and experienced the pain. After all, while you build a car it’s just a big wallet suck and until the Chevy finally hits the road you might was well be doing an art project. In a perfect world you would order a huge stack of parts, take the week off work, and invite over some buddies to help get ’er done.

Well, we decided to do just that and try to live in that perfect world where project cars go from blah to badass in short order. After getting the idea the next question was which car to transform. Our build plan was for this to get done in a week so that nixed any ideas of paint and bodywork. Eventually, we settled on a 1967 Chevelle project car we had hanging out in our tech center that had been completely restored years ago by the crew at Auto Metal Direct (AMD). Now, we know what some of you are thinking, “How could you mess with such a cleanly restored car!” Well, it was really pretty easy. The Chevelle started out as a rusted-out hulk that nobody in their right mind would try to restore. But Mark Headrick, president of Auto Metal Direct (AMD), was up for the challenge so he bought the Chevelle and let his team save the car using AMD replacement panels. Craig Hopkins and his crew at the AMD Installation Center replaced all the panels, did the laser-straight bodywork, and laid down the beautiful Axalta paint. After the roller was looking great the AMD team completely restored the Chevelle into a running and driving car. Afterwards, Mark gave the ’67 to Super Chevy for use in editorial stories and to show that with today’s aftermarket almost no classic Chevys are beyond rescuing. He knew we would someday give it the restomod treatment, so we thought it would be cool to fulfill his vision. The Chevelle is a real SS, but there isn’t a numbers-matching part on it. The handling was uninspiring and even though it managed to run a 13.5 on slicks at the dragstrip it wasn’t particularly “fast” and went through gas like a politician spending tax revenue. What it did have going for it was a pristine body, solid frame, and beautiful paint. It was the perfect candidate for a mechanical makeover into something a lot more fun to drive.

038 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Axalta 3/43
039 Week To Wicked Day 4 Painless Eddie Motorsports 1967 Chevelle Billet Door Handle 8 Rib Drive System Dakota Digital Cpp Axalta 4/43

The decision was made to go with an LS powerplant from BluePrint Engines. Why? Simple. Aside from looks and exhaust note, the LS has a traditional big-block beat in every category. It makes more power per inch, weighs less, gets better fuel economy, and in most cases has better driveability. As for the rest, we opted to replace every single mechanical and electrical component aside from the 12-bolt rear, aluminum driveshaft, and windshield wiper motor.

The project was dubbed the CPP Week To Wicked Chevelle build, Presented by Super Chevy and Axalta, and we enlisted “buddies” from a host of aftermarket companies to come to our tech center and help us take our Chevelle from weak to wicked (see what we did there). We like our weekends, so we made it even more challenging by having our week be five instead of seven days. At the end of the build we would take the Chevelle for some long cruise just to show that it was actually built and not all smoke and mirrors like some reality TV show.

040 Week To Wicked Day 5 Chevelle Exhaust Hanger Tip 5/43
041 Week To Wicked Day 5 Chevelle Adjusting Shock Settings Viking 6/43

So, what did we learn? Well, first, projects like this can only be pulled off with the right team. Having some of the best aftermarket experts on hand from companies like CPP, Painless, Flex-a-lite, and others made the transformation go smoothly. Second, we learned that you can go from ahead of the game to falling behind pretty quickly, so planning is key. Third, we confirmed that no problem is too tough to figure out if you just work through it. Was it exhausting? Yep, but it was one of the most enjoyable weeks we spent wrenching on a project and when the Chevelle did its first burnout, late on the fifth day, we were all smiles.

Here’s a rundown of what was done during the five days of the build, and the desert cruise the followed. Obviously, it’s just a sampling since a lot goes down in a week of wrenching. If you want more info there’s a ton of stories, and even more video, available on SuperChevy.com. Just type Week To Wicked into the search box for all the web content on our crazy idea to transform a classic in just five days.


002 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Stock 7/43

1. Our starting point was this 1967 Chevelle SS. It started out as a rusted-out hulk that most people wouldn’t have bothered with. But the team at Auto Metal Direct (AMD) replaced nearly every single panel on the Chevy and fully restored it to show-ready condition. The body was then given a stunning new paintjob courtesy of Axalta and restored with mostly stock parts and a rebuilt 402 big-block engine and overdrive trans. Once done, AMD gave the sweet Chevelle to us for editorial use. It didn’t handle well and was tiring to drive, but it was a really clean candidate for our project.

003 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Big Block 402 Remove 8/43

2. Before the new stuff could go in, we had to pull the old parts out of the way. First to go was the portly 402 big-block.

004 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Strippedchevy 9/43

3. After four hours we had removed the drivetrain, suspension, brakes, rearend, and most of the wiring. By lunch on the first day, we were feeling pretty confident.

005 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Cpp Pro Touring Level Iii 10/43

4. Classic Performance Products (CPP) signed up to provide the Chevelle its new suspension, steering, and brakes. We elected to go with their Pro-Touring Level III kit since we’ve used it before and were happy with the results. As you can see, there were a lot of parts involved.

006 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Energy Bushing 11/43

5. To firm things up we decided to replace all of the Chevelle’s rubber frame bushings with polyurethane pieces from Energy Suspension. The install was super easy and we used a pole jack to swap the bushings one at a time.

007 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Cpp Suspension 12/43

6. On Day 2, we dove into the Chevelle’s suspension installation. The CPP spindles utilized modern Corvette sealed bearings so it was nice not having to mess with packing wheel bearings with grease. It also saved us a lot of time. To help move things along CPP sent over a few of their technicians.

008 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Suspenion Coilover 13/43

7. Installing the suspension parts chewed up a good part of the day, but everything went together smoothly. The front brake lines were replaced, but we retained the main line running back to the rear brakes.

009 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Viking 14/43

8. The CPP suspension kit included Viking Performance billet double-adjustable coilover shocks. In addition to letting us set the ride height, they are adjustable to fit how we will be driving, whether it’s on the street or at the track.

010 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Cpp 12 Bolt 15/43

9. While the front parts were going on, the CPP team was reworking the Chevelle’s 12-bolt rear. We did hit a speedbump when the team realized the rear had C-clip eliminators, which caused the bolts to be too short. After a quick trip to the hardware store, we were back on track.

011 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Rearend 16/43

10. The rear was then lifted back under the Chevelle and bolted in place with the new CPP suspension parts and another pair of Viking double-adjustable shocks. The CPP coilover bracket kit was a pretty cool piece of engineering and gave us a rock-solid mounting point for the shocks without any welding.

012 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Hydrastop Cpp 17/43

11. Rounding out new braking system was CPP’s Hydra Stop hydraulic power brake system. The system doesn’t take up a lot of space and utilizes the power steering system, rather than engine vacuum, to generate braking assistance.

013 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Blueprint 427 Eddie Motorsports 8 Rib Pulley 18/43

12. Messing with the engine was set for Day 3, but we were a bit ahead of the game so we were able to get started on Day 2. The 427-inch LS3 (stock 4.065 bore, 4.100 stroke) was built by BluePrint Engines and rated at 625 hp. In fact, we went there to see it come together and get spun up, with long-tube headers, on their engine dyno. It came ready to rock with coil packs and a GM-style wiring harness. For a drive system we opted for the new eight-rib system from Eddie Motorsports. We’re not installing A/C at this point, but we will eventually so it’s nice that the system already has a compressor. The coil wire covers were custom made and painted by BluePrint for this project. They’re pretty cool so we’re trying to convince them to make them an offering in their catalog.

014 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Cpp Ls Swap Kit 19/43

13. To get the new LS into the classic Chevy we used an LS-swap kit from CPP. It included a pan that would clear the Chevelle’s frame and steering along with engine mounts, frame horns, transmission crossmember, and exhaust manifolds. Guaranty Chevrolet, down the street from our tech center, hooked us up with a starter and the required dipstick assembly.

015 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Energy Engine Motor Mount 20/43

14. The CPP engine plates are a pretty cool deal. They’re slotted so the engine can slide forward and backward until it’s in just the right spot. The plates accept polyurethane mounts like these from Energy Suspension.

016 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Exhaust Manifold 21/43

15. Normally we would run long-tube headers on a 625hp engine, but we only have a week and didn’t have time for a custom exhaust system. CPP already had an LS-powered Chevelle that was running their exhaust manifolds so we just copied that car’s exhaust system. This saved us an entire day at the exhaust shop. Besides, swapping to long-tubes will make for a good dyno story in the future.

017 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Engine Install 22/43

16. The LS 427 engine was then lowered into our Chevelle and bolted in place, ending Day 2. We were ahead of schedule and feeling pretty good.

018 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Performance Automatic 4l80e 23/43

17. Day 3 started off with the installation of the Performance Automatic 4L80E transmission. It was built to handle the 625hp BluePrint engine and the overdrive will let us easily cruise down the highway. This transmission, coupled with our EFI LS engine, should dramatically increase the Chevelle’s mpg.

019 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Msd Trans Controler 24/43

18. To control the 4L80E, Performance Automatic included this MSD Transmission Control Module (TCM). Using the handheld programmer we will be able to easily adjust shift points, firmness, and other aspects of our new 4L80E four-speed trans. To keep it out of the way we mounted it under the passenger seat.

020 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Cpp Gas Pedal Ls Mount 25/43

19. The new BluePrint engine utilizes an electronic “throttle-by-wire” throttle body, requiring an electronic throttle pedal. Typically, finding a way to mount the modern pedal in a classic Chevy is a pain, but CPP came up with this bracket system that simply bolted in place. It even blocked off the hole in the firewall that was for the old throttle cable.

021 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Tanks Inc Efi Gas Tank 26/43

20. Supplying fuel to our new BluePrint 427 LS is the job of this fully baffled EFI-ready tank from Tanks Inc. It showed up ready to go with an integrated 255-gph pump and 0-90 ohm sending unit. The silver powdercoated tank was the same dimensions as a stock tank so it simply bolted in place.

022 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Corvette Fuel Regulator Gm 27/43

21. Day 4 was all about wiring but we also had a lot of small tasks to tackle such as plumbing the fuel system. To keep things simple we initially ran this GM combination fuel filter/regulator for the fuel system. Later we would find out that it wasn’t compatible with the large fuel pump in the tank so we swapped to an adjustable Aeromotive fuel regulator and filter assembly. It’s a good LS swap part, just not if you’re running a high-volume fuel pump. Hey, we’re re-building a car in a week, so we expect to have a few hiccups along the way.

023 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Flex A Lite Radiator 28/43

22. To keep our Chevelle running cool we went with this aluminum radiator and fan system from Flex-a-Lite. The angled notches on the bottom of the endtanks let it slide right down between the framerails. The large fan is controlled by the engine ECU sent by BluePrint.

024 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Blueprint Engine Harness 29/43

23. Day 4’s wiring was made a bit easier since the engine’s harness came labeled and ready to plug in. The ECU that came with the engine is the same one they used on the engine dyno at BluePrint so it contained the proper tune.

025 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy American Legend Wheel Falken Tire 30/43

24. Around noon the Chevelle’s new rollers showed up. The 18-inch American Legend three-piece wheels were custom made for the project and wrapped in Falken Azenis rubber.

026 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy American Legend Roller 31/43

25. With the wheels installed the Chevelle was finally able to get on the ground and off the lift for the first time since Monday.

027 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Painless Blade Fuse 32/43

26. With the car off the lift Jeff Abbott from Painless Performance Products could finally get inside the car and start installing the wiring he had been working on. Jeff had been on hand all week and although he couldn’t be in the car he had been busy building the new harness, using the old one as a template. The new Painless system utilizes modern blade-style fuses instead of the old-school glass ones. Wiring a car can easily take over week, but we only had a couple of days to get it done.

028 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Engine Install 33/43

27. While the wiring was going in, the team tackled all the little things in the engine bay like heater hoses, plug wires, power steering plumbing, and radiator hoses. We hadn’t considered an air intake, so we grabbed one of the plastic “you build” kits from Airaid.

029 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Wiring 34/43

28. Wiring was, to be kind, a challenge. It’s just a lot of critical connections to make in just a few hours. We also had to wire the engine’s ECU into the rest of the Chevelle’s wiring. The team ended up cutting, splicing, and getting everything right until very late in the evening. Time was running out and even though we were once ahead of the game we were now barely on track. Jeff from Painless also redid all the Chevelle’s grounds the right way.

030 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Dakota Digital 35/43

29. Day 5 rolled around and we still had a lot to do. The dash was out and we were busy installing the new Dakota Digital VHX gauge system. Fortunately, the wiring had been finished the night before so we at least had a head start.

031 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Dakota Digital Vhx 36/43

30. The Dakota Digital VHX system really updated the dash and the best part was that it simply plugged into the car’s new OBD-II port to draw gauge data for items like water temp, oil pressure, volts, etc. This made the whole process a whole lot faster and at this point anything that saved time was welcomed.

032 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Muffler Man Placentia Exhaust Stainless 37/43

31. The new exhaust system, which was fabricated beforehand by the Muffler Man in Placentia, California, was then lifted in place. A collective sigh of relief was heard when the new system fit perfectly under the Chevelle.

033 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Procar Scat Seats 38/43

32. After installing the new tilt steering column from CPP we were able to bolt in a pair of these ProCar by SCAT bucket seats. They have modern bolstering but still retain a classic look so they won’t feel out of place mounted in our Chevelle.

034 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Eddie Motorsports Door Handle 39/43

33. We even had time for some dress-up items from Eddie Motorsports, such as their hood hinges, sill plates, window cranks, and these recently introduced billet door handles.

035 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Westech Dyno 40/43

34. It was a really long week, but as the sun set on Day 5 the Chevelle fired to life and did its first of many burnouts. The crew was tired, but for some the build wasn’t over. After resting up over the weekend the Chevelle hit the road on Monday. First stop was Westech Performance to check the tune on the engine and dial in the shift points for the Performance Automatic 4L80E transmission. It put down 450 hp, a bit less than expected, but the 4L80E accounts for a good chunk of that drivetrain loss and we feel the exhaust manifolds weren’t helping the 427 breathe to its full potential, but that’s something we can address down the road. For now, the Chevelle was running smooth and strong, perfect for a little road trip.

036 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Arizona Road Trip 41/43

35. To shake out the newly rebuilt Chevy Evan Perkins and video wizard John Wilcox hopped in and hit the road to Tucson, Arizona. They even managed to find some barely paved roads through the beautiful Arizona desert.

037 Week To Wicked 1967 Chevelle Super Chevy Road Trip 42/43

36. Car camping in a Pro Touring ’67 Chevelle? Why not. We still have a few kinks to work out but the Chevelle has a lot of events planned for this year, including the Hot Rod Power Tour. Rebuilding a car in a week is exhausting work, but the nearly instant gratification is something we could get used to. Now go get that project of yours done and on the road!


More on Week to Wicked

Week to Wicked: We Transform a Stock Chevelle Into a Pro Touring Car In One Week!

Week to Wicked: Picking the Perfect Wheel for Fitment and Style

Week To Wicked’s 625 Horsepower Heart

20 Beautiful Photos of the Week to Wicked Chevelle

Week to Wicked Chevelle Gets an Engine!

Choosing the Perfect Drivetrain For the Week to Wicked Chevelle

CPP Puts a Pro Touring Touch on the Week to Wicked Chevelle

Week to Wicked Blasting Off Monday April 18th!

Week to Wicked Is A Go! The Countdown Begins Now!

Backstage Video! Week to Wicked, Seconds Before the Start

Week To Wicked: Day 1 Teardown

Week to Wicked: Pro Touring Progress

Week to Wicked Day One Wrap Up

How to Build a Pro Touring Suspension in a Day: Week To Wicked, Day 2

Install a Pro Touring Suspension in 35 seconds: Time Lapse and Gallery from Week to Wicked

Video: Build a Pro Touring Monster in a Week, Suspension Install on Week to Wicked

Video: How to Install an LS in a 1967 Chevelle: Week to Wicked

Video: Installing Pro Touring Suspension and an LS Engine, Day 2 of Week to Wicked

Mega Gallery: 150 Photos of the Week to Wicked Chevelle Build

Take a Stock 1967 Chevelle to Pro Touring In a Week: Day 3 of the Week to Wicked Build

Building a 1967 Chevelle in A Week Takes the Right Tools And Talent: Week to Wicked Day 3

Mega Photo Gallery Day 3: 146 Photos of the Week To Wicked Chevelle Build

Video: Building a Pro Touring Car in a Week, Week to Wicked Day 3 Recap

Wiring a Chevelle in One Day? Week To Wicked Day 4

Video: How to Wire a 1967 Chevelle, Week to Wicked Day 4

Daily Video Recap: Building a 1967 Chevelle in a Week, Day 4 of Week to Wicked

Build a 1967 Chevelle in a Week, Steering and Exhaust: Week to Wicked Day 5 Updates

Time Is Running Out! Week To Wicked Day 5

Video: Doing a Burnout in a 1967 Chevelle, Week to Wicked Day 5 Recap

Taking a 1,000-Mile Road Trip in a 1967 Chevelle: Week to Wicked, Part II

Video: 1967 Chevelle Dyno Pull And Tuning, Week to Wicked

Video: Driving a 1967 Chevelle 1,000-Miles through the Desert, Leg 1

Car Camping in a 1967 Chevelle in the Arizona Desert

Road Trippin’ a 1967 Chevelle Across the Desert Is Harder Than We Thought

Video: Week to Wicked Road Trip Finale, Driving A 1967 Chevelle Across The Arizona Desert

Week To Wicked: We Completely Transform a Stock 1967 Chevelle in a Short Five Days

Tech Center Logo No Eastwood 43/43

Sources

Energy Suspension
San Clemente, 92673
888-913-6374
http://www.energysuspension.com
Flex-A-Lite
Fife, WA 98424
800-851-1510
http://www.flex-a-lite.com
Dakota Digital
Sioux Falls, SD 57107
800-593-4160
www.dakotadigital.com
Westech Performance
Mira Loma, CA 91752
951-685-4767
www.westechperformance.com
Falken Tire
Fontana, CA 92335
800-723-2553
http://www.falkentire.com
Painless Performance Products
Ft. Worth, TX 76105
817-244-6212
www.painlessperformance.com
Procar by Scat
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
310-370-5501
http://www.procarbyscat.com/
Blueprint Engines
Kearney, NE
800-483-4623
http://www.blueprintengines.com
Eddie Motorsports
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
888-813-1293
www.eddiemotorsports.com
Performance Automatic
Frederick, MD 20879
240-439-4650
www.performanceautomatic.com
AMD
Flowery Branch, GA
866-591-8309
http://www.autometaldirect.com
Classic Performance Products (CPP)
714-522-2000
www.classicperform.com
Guaranty Chevrolet
657-212-2641
www.guarantychevrolet.com
Viking Performance
Lakeville, MN 55044
800-236-6001
www.vi-king.com
Axalta
855-547-1461
axaltacs.com
Tanks Inc.
877-596-3842
www.TanksInc.com
American Legend Wheels
714-524-3100
americanlegendwheels.com/

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