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"RATIKI"  1965 Chevy Suburban

Reconstructive Surgery


Now painted, the Suburban went over to Dave's Perfection Automotive. Ronnie handled the lion's share of the mechanical work with assistance from Dave, Steve and on occasion, myself. Ronnie installed the stroker engine and rebuilt 700R4 transmission, rewired the entire truck, plumbed the Lokar shifter and linkages, repaired the emergency brake, rebuilt the braking system stem to stern, set-up the aftermarket power steering, installed the aftermarket AC, hooked up the dual electric fans and never bickered once. At least not within my earshot. That's Ronnie sitting below where a low-back sixties style driver seat now resides.




Once running, Ronnie got the first test flog. Then I took a spin. We both liked the gobs of torque but weren't happy with the aftermarket disc brake system's stopping ability (or should I say inability?). I consequently ordered a hydro/electric brake booster from ABS brakes to significantly jack up the brake line pressure. It was a bitch to get working, but once the bugs were worked out, the Burb stopped on a dime and gave back a nickel in change.  (Probably the best performance mod I made in terms of return on investment.)

Next challenge. Getting her to idle. After trying numerous adjustments to get the 383 to stop stumbling and fouling plugs, we eighty-sixed the stock distributor with the Petronix kit and went for some serious spark-age. An MSD high-energy ignition module, MSD billet distributor, new Taylor ignition wires and an MSD ignition made all the difference.


The engine is backed by a rebuilt 700/R4 transmission with heavy duty clutch packs and a Corvette servo. A kit converts the overdrive to non-computer controlled. A Lokar nostalgia floor shifter replaces the sloppy original column shifter. I'm running a 2100-stall speed torque converter. Rear end gears are 3.73's. The fourth gear overdrive is a Godsend.

A quick plug: Dave's Perfection gets my highest praise. Like at Twomey's, Dave let me work on my Burb while it was there. Straight shooters. Honest & flexible.  






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