Herbert, Day 1 - 1972 Custom Suburban


New Member
Dec 30, 2019
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Smyrna TN
The good stuff:

Herbert is now home. Glass is all in good shape, body is remarkably dent free. brakes and E-brake work great. doors open and shut nicely. My kids are thrilled. My wife is tolerant, as long as Herbert is pushed to the far side of the garage on wheel dollies. Waiting for some buddies to come over in a couple hours to help push him inside.

  1. turds big and small scattered about. the carpet will need replacing. Herbert is stanky!
  2. headliner is shot. pencil sized hole in roof
  3. front seat is rough; back and rear facing seats are okay
  4. Small issue... misunderstanding between me and the seller. he advertised it as a whole vehicle with drive train, and it showed in the pics. But when he dropped the price to 350 he didn't mention that was because he sold his buddy the engine and transmission. No worries, I asked his buddy if he would sell them back to me and he said he would.
  5. Made friends with the delivery driver so he can help get the drive train to me from where it is now.
  6. The splines on the steering column were toast from vice grips. I got a steering wheel on there, but I guess I'll have to replace the entire column?
  • anything worthwhile I can do inside the engine bay while I'm waiting on the drive train?
  • suggestions, order of operations, bad advice are all welcome.










Congratulations on your acquisition. If your plan is to paint the car now might be a good time to paint under the hood and swap out the steering column. How is the rad and front end? Judging from the picture of your cat you won't have any further issues with critters relieving themselves in the car. Is you cat a good mouser?
Under the hood while there is no drivetrain present I would clean it. Then I would replace the steel brake lines, I would use Ni-Copp, ease to bend and flare plus it doesn't rust. While you're at it pull the brakes apart and redo them.
Inspect the fuel tank, replace the steel and rubber lines that run the length of the car. Might be a good idea to pull the sending unit to check its condition also.
Congratulations! I agree on doing the under hood stuff while it has no engine. So much easier to move around and get those hard to reach areas.
Also, a good idea to check the sending unit and fuel tank, plus replace the fuel lines. I am in the process of doing that very thing on my Imperial. The sending unit was very bad and the tank was rusted.
In the meantime you can assess the car and what areas are most important to you. Then make a list in order of those items. I know it seems too simplistic but it does help keep you on point of completing items one at a time. Instead of starting multiple things and not finishing them before starting something else. you can easily get distracted when getting started.
Good luck and keep the pictures coming, always glad to see those wagons coming back to life! Too many damn SUV's out on the roads anyway.
I had the same thoughts about the engine bay, if you don't want to paint anything at least pressure wash the whole engine bay.
my father in law helped me drop the power train into Herbert. first time i've ever done that. earlier i pulled the seats and tossed the carpet... and found only minor surface rust. slow going!








Feels great doesn’t it!!!! Curious though!! Why not Clean and paint EVERYTHING before planting?? Then was the time..