🔧 BUILD Shawns 1971 Impala Donk

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BOOST TIME!!!!

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Well boys and girls my new project is finally home. Ive always had a hard on for the Donks (71-76 Caprice or Impala) and always told myself since 1994 that I was eventually going to build one. My buddy mike at the time had a 74 Caprice Vert with 30's and Vouges (google them if you dont know what they are) basically 30 spoke cragars and vouge tires. Its a classic old school gangster look. Over the years he built a few more and sold them and always offered them to me first and I declined because of my love of G Body's as well. When I bought the Regal a couple years ago, I really looked hard at the Donks and believe it or not they were going for half of what they are going for now. Even last summer they coulda been had for about a 1/3rd less maybe a little less for what they are going for now. I was set on a 71 or a 75 for 2 reasons. 71 is the most sought after and fetches the most money as its known as the ACE. 75 because it was the year I was born, and thought that would be pretty cool. Didnt care if it was a HT or Vert, kinda preferred that HT as I dont think Chgo weather is weather for Verts. Pay a extra $10k for a Vert, no thanks.

So when my buddy and I made a deal for the Regal months ago and I knew he was serious. I got serious in my search for a donk. As most of you know I went to Miami for 4 days last month. Had a shit load of them lined up to look at and found either garbage or guys that wouldnt move off what I thought was too high of a price. Few that I thought were too high, have actually sold since then, so I'm thinking price wasnt too high. While in Miami I met this dude Josh and him and I clicked and became friends. Super cool white boy who is in to donks as well, not generally something you see white boys building. He told me he would keep his eyes and ears open and if close enough would do the leg work for me. But told me if he found something I would have to hi-tail my ass down there asap as when they are priced right they sell in hours. Just so happened we decided to go down to Orlando this weekend because we found $61 RT airfare and the biggest donk/g body show just was going on. Figured I might be able to buy something there. Called Josh to tell him we were coming down and if he planned on taking his car to Orlando. He said he might know of a 71 going up for sale with a motivated buyer. I said well fuck let me know asap.

Touched down in Orlando Friday night and had to be up early Saturday to cruise to Ft Lauderdale to see this 71. Pull up to this gated community with $1m+ townhomes and get buzzed in by security. Pull up to the house and she was sitting in driveway and looked as clean as the pics I was sent. Took it for a ride, BSing with Josh, my buddy Ralphy and the owner of the car. Talking about everything from sports to woman to cars. Come to find out this rich fuck is a collector and has 2 other 71's besides the one I bought, and just purchased another on top of 6-7 other cars he has. I guess the Wife has a rule, every time he gets a new one something has to go lol. While BSing I kinda feel him out and get the idea he doesnt want this car going to a black guy who is going to ruin it with big wheels and a LS swap lol. So I played my white privilege card with him. He was asking $25k and very easily had him down to $20k. My final offer was $17.5k and he said he would sleep on it. Told him if he agreed in the morning then it was his job to get it to Orlando before Sunday night. He woke me up about 8am saying the car was mine and was on the way to Orlando. He showed up, we exchanged cash and paperwork, took it off the trailer and parked it at my Airbnb. We were going out for the day/night, so I pulled the coil so the fucker wouldnt start in case someone wanted to steal it lol. Also backed it in so a tow truck would have a hard time stealing it as well.

Talked to a few of the Chgo guys down there for the show and got lucky as one of the haulers had room for me to get her home. Car was dropped off in Midlothian today at $how and Go Customz and turns out Playboy a friend of mine just opened that shop up. Does nothing but suspension and motor work. Talked pricing about shortening my rear end, coilovers all the way around, new axels and adjustable control arms to squat this car. Basically a "California Lean". Front end will sit at stock height with a 26" rim and the rear end will squat 3-4" lower. I have some 26" Billets but probably going to put new barrels on the rear rims. Right now they are a 5.5" lip and I want that 7" lip on the rear, hence the reason for shortening the rear end. Most of you think of Donk and think of those 71-76 sitting on fucking 4x4 suspensions with 30" wheels. Yes those are donks as well, but not the look I'm shooting for.

LikeABauce302

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Welp, just stopped by Brian's shop (motor guy). He was showing me my rods and said they are the early style and at 550-600whp I would really be pushing the limits. Also a few of my rings werent the greatest, which explains my last 2-oil reports (high chrome) So I gave him the okay to build the bottom end (rods/pistons), there goes a nice chunk of my X Mas bonus FML. That sucks as I had no intentions of doing so, but in the same breath I guess its a blessing in disguise. I would be fucking pissed if I shot a rod thru my motor at 550-600whp. He said it woulda been almost a guarantee if I turned her up even higher. Pay once, cry once, he said even on the stock crank, I could push 1000-1200whp, which I will not be doing

Oh and the best part, he wont be done till mid January FML even more

The delay for a built bottom end will be worth it. Having that peace of mind that you're not going to send a piston to the moon will make the car a lot more enjoyable to own and drive.
 

Shawn1112

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The delay for a built bottom end will be worth it. Having that peace of mind that you're not going to send a piston to the moon will make the car a lot more enjoyable to own and drive.
Thats kind of how I'm approaching it. I'm for sure not making Miami next month and now this delay puts World Of Wheels in doubt.
If Brian finishes no later than the 2nd week of January, I should make it to WOW.
 

Shawn1112

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You need rods, pistons, bearings, rings etc. Is he honing the block, are you going with stock bore pistons?
Yes he is cleaning (tank or whatever its called) and honing the block. As far as pistons/rods, I didnt ask him the specifics as he would be speaking a language to me that I dont understand. He said pistons, rods, rod bolts rings and bearings would be about $1800 in parts. I told him, I'll go to the bank today and drop cash off tomorrow morning. He might have mentioned something about dished pistons, but cant remember what he said. I'll get details tomorrow.
 

Shawn1112

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You need rods, pistons, bearings, rings etc. Is he honing the block, are you going with stock bore pistons?
Just stopped in to drop money off.
Flat top pistons either 5 over or 30 over pending a measurement he needs to take on the heads. Grabbed my timing cover, might as well paint that too. It’s currently orange.
Showed me my cam, 4 lobes had some scoring on them caused by the lifters. He said something was going on with my lifters.

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Shawn1112

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Where did you get this engine from? Sound like it had a few issues after being stripped down
I got it from IZZy IZZy but in no way, shape, or form would I blame him or accuse him of selling me a POS. He never opened it up.
The guy who did the swap also did the cam, oil pump, lifters, had the heads worked etc. So yes the lifter issue is probably on him, rings might not have been noticeably bad at the time. Izzy had no idea it had the early shitty rods. I just chalk it up as its a part of the game, and disaster avoided (hopefully). Not if, but when I turn her up to 800ish to the wheels, at least I know the bottom end will support it and then some.
 

Shawn1112

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Something was going on with your lifters?

Yet your oil sample was clean?
Well as mentioned the cam had score marks on 4 lobes caused by the lifters
See my last report, you probably understand it better than me
Did he think some 'trash' went through the engine?
He didnt say, he just said something was going on with my lifters. He said the cam is still totally useable, but recommends the guy I'm selling it to get new lifters.

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smug

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I got it from IZZy IZZy but in no way, shape, or form would I blame him or accuse him of selling me a POS. He never opened it up.
The guy who did the swap also did the cam, oil pump, lifters, had the heads worked etc. So yes the lifter issue is probably on him, rings might not have been noticeably bad at the time. Izzy had no idea it had the early shitty rods. I just chalk it up as its a part of the game, and disaster avoided (hopefully). Not if, but when I turn her up to 800ish to the wheels, at least I know the bottom end will support it and then some.
Yeah I had no idea there was early shitty rods and better later rods. Like you said it no one’s fault and at least it’s getting taken care of. Btw that oil report doesn’t look great. You got some high wear metals in there and the lab is just looking for a downward trend. I tend to agree that some trash went through after the cam was installed.
 
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IZZy

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I got it from IZZy IZZy but in no way, shape, or form would I blame him or accuse him of selling me a POS. He never opened it up.
The guy who did the swap also did the cam, oil pump, lifters, had the heads worked etc. So yes the lifter issue is probably on him, rings might not have been noticeably bad at the time. Izzy had no idea it had the early shitty rods. I just chalk it up as its a part of the game, and disaster avoided (hopefully). Not if, but when I turn her up to 800ish to the wheels, at least I know the bottom end will support it and then some.
Yeah I didn’t even know there was earlier rods that weren’t as good, that’s what happens when you are a Ford guy lol

Glad you caught the lifter issue now though.