JohnL71RS’s Project restart…..
Compliments of JohnL71RS @ http://nastyz28.com
Hi, my name is John. I live south of New Orleans, LA. My story starts way back in 1985 when I saw this 1971 RS Camaro around the corner from my boss’s house. The owner just put the for sale sign on her. I was only 17 at the time so I went home and asked my mother to buy the car for herself and I would purchase it from her overtime. She had just totaled her 1979 Trans Am so she needed a daily driver. The car was in mint condition. Originally had the lime green, but had since been repainted Emerald green. The owner purchased the car 7 years prior from the original owner. I was allowed to drive it part-time till mid 1986 when it was turned over to me. It had a 350 motor and 350 trans with the RS package. I changed the intake, carb and put headers on it.
In 1988, I decided to build a big block for her. I bought a couple of engines and finally stuck with a 454. I had it rebuilt by a friend with 11:1 free floating forged pistons, Isky Z33 cam, LS6 original intake, Mallory distr (tuned with advance curve to match my stall convertor), Holley 750 Dual feed double pumper carb and Turbo 400 trans with a 3500 TCI convertor. I bought a Ford 9” rearend and had the axles drilled out for Chevy bolt pattern and had the 3” studs pressed in. Had to take out the welded spider gears and replace with limited slip with 4:56 gears. I had a friend of mine who owned a speed shop and I got him to change out the rear-end and make the sub frame connectors. He welded in the custom sub frame connectors. I think he made them from 2x3 sq tubing and they slid into the existing frames. That made a BIG difference when I drove it. With the original rear-end, it would barely get out of its way.
I wanted this car to be a restified car. I wanted to restore it to a stock look, but could go to the track and eventually get into the 10’s. I wanted it to be able to be a street drivable car as well. I started seeing rust bubbles under the vinyl top and decided to get a professional to fix the damage before it got any worse. I had the vinyl top removed and he was suppose to fix the rust issues.
Later on I will discuss his workmanship. With a new job taking up all my time and a soon to be wife, the car just got driven a couple of hours here and there. I bought my house in 92’ and in 93’ I built a 22x26 garage in the backyard.
I knew I didn’t have a lot of experience in bodywork, so I had a friend with a 1970 GMC that needed a lot of replacement sheet metal and work. I bought a welding machine and already had an air compressor. BTW, at the time I was a Fabricator in the oilfield. So I was experienced in fitting metal and welding, just not sheet metal. So over the next year, I learned on his truck. Replaced floor pans, rocker panels, side cab pieces, etc. I did it for free, but gained a lot of experience.
I decided to start on my Camaro project around 95’. I decided to sand down the body work I paid a professional to do a few years ago. He didn’t fix the rust holes anywhere. He just tacked a piece of sheet metal over the holes on the roof and guess what happened. The small holes became a hole the size of his patch. He only used bondo over the holes elsewhere.
I also noticed rust bubbles around the wheel welds on both sides. I could feel the holes in the floor pans as well. My heater core leaked when I was driving it and it contributed to the rusting of the floor pans. I started the tear down of the car. The floor pans were very bad and after some sanding, noticed that the car was wrecking in the passenger side door and rear quarter. Ordered the floor pans, rear panel, both fenders, both quarter panel skins, upper/lower fr valence panels and trunk lid. The rear panel had extensive bondo on the lower section and the trunk lock area was heavily damaged when someone broke into my car to steal the stereo equipment. I replaced the floor pans and rear truck panel. Below are some pics. Unfortunately, I can’t find all my pics of my floor pan replacement. When I find them I will put in thread.
This task took awhile since I was still working many hours. I mostly worked 6-7 days a week 10-12 hrs a day. I worked in a fabrication shop and traveled offshore to install the structures. Winters were the only slow season for us and down here we don’t get much of a winter. So I get the floor pans in and the rear panel changed. I also had my friend at his speed shop custom bend me a roll cage for my car. I put in the main loop and rear pipes in during the floor pan change. They stopped making the full quarters so I bought some quarter skins to fix the rear. I decided I didn’t like the skins so I bought the patches for the fr and rear of the rear wheel. Changed out the passenger side and started the driver’s side. I had to hand fabricate the trunk extension repairs because the extensions weren’t available in repop.
Here is my plan for the Camaro. I will be doing a complete frame off restoration. I want the car to be restored to look original, but I like to go fast as well. I am changing both quarters, trunk extensions and probably the rear panel again. If I can get the quarters off without destroying the new rear panel, then it will not change it. I will build my own rotisserie from some plans I found online. I will cut off the front sub frame, since it is welded to the sub frame connectors.
I will fabricate the sub frame connector to rebolt to the fr sub frame. I will take off the sub frame and have every part I can powder coated. Including the sub frame, radiator support, rear end, and all other components I can send. I got a good deal from a local powder coating business. I will go through the engine since it has sat up so long. Replace all the bushings on the sub frame. Replace the limited slip with a posi unit. Put a 4 link setup under the rear. Restore all lamps, wiring, and interior as needed. I know I forgot some stuff, but keep following my thread and it will be discussed.
This is my story and I will probably change things as I go. Thanks for taking the time to read all my history. Now the fun can start.
About a month ago, I drove up to San Antonio, TX to cut the trunk divider out of 73BadBob’s donor car. It was a great road trip and I got to meet a great guy from NastyZ’s site. The following pics are from Bobs thread. Thanks Bob.
Over the past few months, I have sandblasted the interior of the car. Since replacing the floor pans, I never sprayed the inside of the pans or the rollcage. Well rust set in and I had to get rid of it. I sanded then blasted all the interior and sprayed some self-etching primer on it. My local paint supply store and friends that are bodymen suggested that I use the self-etching primer first then epoxy over. It might be an overkill, but wanted to make sure the rust wouldn’t come back.
A few weeks ago, between the renovations on my spare bedroom, I sanded down my passenger door and sealed it with a rattle can sealer paint. This is just temporary because I had sanded the door down to bare metal and it had surface rust all over it.
My goal is to get rid of all the rust I can find. You would be amazed how fast run can happen on bare metal when rust is present. I sanded down the rear quarters and left unprimed for years. Not until it rained one day and the breeze blew in some mist from the rain that it actually started to rust. From there on, everything on the car that was bare metal started to rust.
I am trying to get the car leveled out today and clean up the garage so i can start cutting off the 1/4's, trunk ext, and maybe the rear panel. Should have more updates soon.
Thank all of you for checking out my thread. All of you have me inspired to work on my car. Please feel free to voice your opinions about anything in my thread. Your comments and suggestions are always welcomed.
I finally setup the car for the quarters removal. Leveled the car, took many measurements and put the jack stands under the rear axle. I tack welded in a brace across my trunk divider, since there is no trunk divider.
I then changed my truck lid. took it out the box for the first time in 15 years. Major disappointment. Bad dent in driver side corner. Tried to fix it and did more damage.
Then i started the removal of the patches I already fixed on the passenger side quarter.
After the patch removal I started on the full quarter removal.
Today I had to do some blood workup at the doctor's office. It was also raining pretty good this morning. I am about to go back out in the garage and start the removal of all the metal i left from the quarter removal. I just cut close to all the edges. Now the fun part of drilling out all the spot welds and cleaning up the metal. Will have more pics later.
Well yesterday was pretty good. Didn't get as much done as I planned, but things happened. Just sat down to start chiseling off the panel and my spring on my air chisel broke. Had to run to Lowe’s to get new one. Then I had the task of removing the trunk ext and quarter from under the rear panel. What a pain in the butt. Finally got area finished. Notice how many spot welds was on the trunk ext.
Next issue was that I noticed the passenger side wheel well is damaged. I know the car had been wrecked on that side, but didn’t know the extent. I will probably have to order a passenger side wheel well and either replace the bad areas or just replace the whole thing. If anyone has one left over, let me know.
I have a question for you guys. I have gotten all my gaps on my doors pretty close, but the middle seem is off by an 1/8" or less. I know i need to use the seem as a reference when i change the panel. Should i just fit the 1/4 to the same offset or should i fit it to the seem on the door. I can fudge the door so the seem is in line with the 1/4, but the gaps around the door get bad.
Any input would be appreciated. Sorry, forgot to take pics. Will take some tonight.
I think i should of said body line. The one in the middle of the door.
the door is about 1/8" or less lower than the panel. on both sides. all the gaps around the door are good.
Just ordered the rh outer wheel housing from NPD. Lots cheaper than Classic Camaro. Should be here by next Tuesday. That works out great, going to take off Wed and following Mon after Thanksgiving. Hopefully, lots of Camaro time.
The bottom gap between the door and rocker is pretty good. that's why i didn't want to adjust the door higher. I think I already have a 1/4" + gap all the way down the bottom of the door. I will look at it tonight. I also wrote the gap sizes on the door for references last night. I will take some pics and post tonight or tomorrow morning. Check back then.
Thanks for your input.
I will try to make myself clearer. The gaps around the ps door are acceptable. You can see that in the picture. I have a 3/16 even gap down the ps side door. the door to fender has a 1/4" gap from top to body line and 3/16" from there to the bottom. the bottom gap on the door to rocker has a 5/16-1/4 even gap all the way down. the driver side door needs to be adjusted as i see discrepencies. I changed to door hinge on that side. I tried to adjust the door and i got the same results. the driver side door needs to come up about an 1/8" at the quarter panel side. this would even out the gaps around the door.
As you can see from the last photo, the ps door is about an 1/8" lower than the quarter panel.
Everything on the car is original. The ps side of the car was wrecked before I got it. But onto the question. The door to rocker is about perfect. I have a 5/16 even gap all the way down. I already cut the lower part of the 1/4 off next to the door, so I have nothing to go by below the body line. The measurements above the body line on the door to 1/4 is a consistent 3/16. The only thing on the passenger side is the body line and that to me is the most important. I never changed the hinge pins on that side because the door didn't sage and worked great. I did have to change the other side because the door hung down over a 1/2". The driver’s door will need more adjusting, I can see that. Tried to do it last weekend by myself and it seemed to not move. Maybe this is a task for 2 people.
I guess I will have to decide if I want to move the ¼ down to meet the door. I think that will probably be the best bet. The door seems to be where I want it. The driver side is another post all together.
I will worry about the fenders after the 1/4's change out. I will try to use all the original sheetmetal. the only exception might be to reskin the passenger door. i will try to fix the dent on the door by the 1/4.
Thanks for your input and any more suggestions.
No progress this weekend. Washing machine died and I had to shop for one and replace asap. Then I had to cut the grass and cleanup yard. Folks coming to my house for Thanksgiving. Will be off Wed thru the following Tues. Should get some work done on the Camaro.
Made some progress in the last few days. Been cutting off the metal left after cutting off the quarters and trunk extensions. I have found some rusted areas under the quarters. So I have been making templates and cutting new pieces to replace the bad areas. I also had to get some materials to mount my vise to my bench so i can start making my bends in my new pieces. Will have most of the day tomorrow and some of Monday to do more work. Wife wants me to decorate outside for Xmas, so i might loose some time tomorrow. Will update soon with more pics.
Update over Thanksgiving
Update to my madness. I drilled out about a couple of hundred spot welds. Then I had to grind some of them that I couldn’t get to with the cutter and chiseled off the metal very delicately. I completed everything except the metal behind each door. I did cut the spot welds on the passengers’ door. Just never got chance to chisel off. I still have to align the drivers door before I cut off the metal under the door.
I also cut off the majority of the passenger outer wheel housing. I had to remove the rest of the undercoating from the wheel housing. To whomever this pertains, I read in someone’s thread to heat the undercoating up with a heat gun and use a putty knife to scrape it off. Thank you, it worked perfectly. Then I drilled out some of the spot welds. On the area where the outer housing spot welds to the car, I counted 45 spot welds from the trunk to the center of the housing. Not going to use the spot weld cutter here. I will just use the mini grinder with a disc to grind threw most of the metal. Then I will hit it with the air chisel and it should come right off.
I spent 4 days on this and making replacement pieces for rusted out metal that was under the ¼’s and the roof. I will also have to fix the drivers wheel housing. A little bit of rust damage at the lower section.
I have a patch panel for the lower ¼ and I will use it to fix the damage.
Will be working on it this weekend. Thanks for stopping by.
I have a question for everyone. Does anyone have a good plan about doing away with the lip on the wheel housing. I know I read someone’s thread about cutting off both the wheel housing and ¼ lip and welding in a ¼ bar around the opening. I think 1/4 round bar is a little too big. I was also thinking of just cutting both off and seal welding the entire lip. But the round bar does give more support for the opening. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I can get a 12.5” tire under the wheel wells when I bent over the wheel well lip. Below is a pic of my wheel well after I cut it off.
I have been off since Wed. Wed was very cold down here so i had to put together my new Christmas present. I had to modify the pit, it came with a steel drip pan so i went to my friends stainless shop and got them to make the pan in stainless.
Not a great pic, but it looks good and cooks fast.
Thursday I was busy working on the ps wheel housing. I grinded the lip where the spot welds were.
Then i used the air chisel to break it off. Came off real easy. The only place that was a PITA was the lower section behind the door.
I finally got everything off and grinded down.
After many times of triming and bending I got the new wheel housing temporarily in place.
Today I will be fixing all the dented inner frames and patching the rusted areas. Will have more pics tonight or tomorrow.
Yesterday wasn't too productive. I only repaired spots I damaged during removal of panels and fixed a few rusted areas. I had to take out a little time setting up my welding machine for the new .30 wire. Never used this size before so i had to practice on different amps to figure out what type of welds to do.
Here are a couple of spots that I cut off the rust and replaced with new metal.
Will be out there again today. More updates to come.
Thanks for the compliments everyone. I am trying to rid the ps frame of rust. I spent all day yesterday testing the ps 1/4 then fixing the rust on the lower pillar frame. I cut out the rusted metal and made a new piece. Ran out of time last night and couldn't get everything primed and sprayed with weld through primer. Today it is turning very cold down here. So I will spend most the day with the family and then enjoy the Saints game tonight. I think the weather is going to get warmer for next weekend.
Will update with pics once the repair is finished. Thanks for checking out my progress.
I have a question for you guys. Did anyone have this problem on the trunk extensions.
The trunk ext comes out further than the inner brace. I tried the 1/4 with the ext off and on and it bends to either. Should i modify the existing brace behind the rear panel or should i modify the tr extension to go behind the brace.
I think i need to modify the tr extension. the brace behind the rear panel is straight from left to right. Modifying it would put a bend in the rear tr panel. Any suggestions from you guys who had changed your tr extensions would be appreciated. thanks,
I need some help. Can anyone with the leaf springs in the stock mounts please take a measurement from the inner side of the spring to the bottom edge of the 1/4. below is a pic of what i need.
Both sides please. My trunk extension and 1/4 end up in two different places. With the measurement i can tell whether to pull the 1/4 to the tr extension or get the tr extension to go out further to the 1/4. Stock cars that haven't replaced their 1/4's would be better, but i will take all i can get.
This would be greatly appreciated. Need measurements from a couple of people so i can continue with the 1/4 alignment.
Update to 1/4 panel install
These pics have been over the last couple of weeks. The first set is from the pillar frame repair. The pics are of the areas damaged, pieces I fabricated.
The pieces tacked in. This is temporary, I will break tacks to weld in ¼ bottom 1st then pillar frame second. Only test fit first.
1/4 panel test fit
Here are some pics of the ¼ panel test fitted. The first pic is of the gap of the ¼ to door.
The whole 1/4 side view.
Back view to rear panel
And I had to put my rear tire under the car to see how it looks. This made my day.
And a view from the rear.
Tomorrow I will cut the back of the trunk extensions so they fit to the brace for the rear panel. More pics to come.
Thanks for everyone for checking out my thread.
Here is another pic with the 1/4 painted on the edge to get a better idea of my door gap. Its over an 1/8" above the middle bodyline and a tight 1/8" the rest of the way down. The bodylines are real close too. I think it will do, but will put on and take off probably 20 more times.
Here is the pic of the bottom of the 1/4 at the door. I cut off the bottom of the quarter and tacked to the rocker panel. I had to keep grinding the 1/4 down till it slid over the pieces that was tacked on. I think i will grind down the 1/4 a little more because i like a small gap when welding butt joints. Everyone can get what i am trying to accomplish. Hopes this helps others.
The reason behind this method was i wanted to keep the seem between the 1/4 and the rocker. Some people like to just weld up the seem. I wanted to stay true to as original as possible. It is a little more work, but worth the end result.
Weather, family events took up most of the time. Hopefully work on car this weekend. Thanks for checking in.
Update for Saturday
Saturday I spent time on the rear panel to ¼ panel fit on the passenger side. When I originally replaced the rear panel years ago, I welded up the seams. Needless to say, when taking off the ¼, I damaged the rear panel. I had to close up a gap so I made a lip piece and tacked it to close the gap. I cut off that part of the rear panel in demolition of the ¼. Here are the pics of the repair.
After I checked the fit before welding
After I welded the patch on
I also kept bending, clamping, and tweeking the gap between the top of the rear panel and the 1/4 till it is nearly gone. After the repairs, I took some pics to show the gap on the fit.
Put the bumper on to check alignment.
As you can see, the fit is real close. The only section I am still working on is the lower section. I can get whatever gap I want, but now I will start the trunk extension fit.
Didn’t get anything done Sunday, very bad storms and wind all day. It was blowing mostly into the garage. Didn’t want to get moisture in the garage and it was just a miserable day. Will work on more next weekend. Thanks for checking out my progress.
Thank everyone for the comments.
The 1/4 is getting better, still more tweeking, but I have to get the trunk extension in next, then I can finish the 1/4 fit. Next the drivers side.
Still tweeking the 1/4. I got the trunk extension in place and the 1/4 tweeked to fit over it. The only problem i have now is that the trunk gap is off. It bellies in the middle of the trunk lid. I guess i will have to figure something out later. Maybe some of you will have some ideas. I think i saw someone that had to cut the 1/4 at the trunk lid and made the gap straight. then he welded in a small piece all the way down. Don't remember who did it, but i might try to find the thread. Will post some pics later of the fits and my trunk gap issues. Going to replace rusted metal in drivers side wheel housing.
Update on pass trk extension install
Here are some pics of the fit of the trunk ext. I was able to bend it to fit and then had to bend the flanges to get a tight fit to tack weld the ext to the 1/4 panel.
I will work on the lower rear panel section next to the 1/4. I might cut away about an 1' or so so i can use a vise clamp to clamp the panels to the brace behing the rear panel. Then i will weld it back in. I will probably then modify the rear panel to close up the gap you see in the pic.
Update on trunk lid gap issue
Here are the pics I took to see how straight the trunk lid and ¼ panel next the the trunk lid are. Come to find out, both the lid and ¼ have bellies in them. So the combination between the two are giving me the 1/8” + belly.
I am very disappointed in my new trunk lid. First out the box, it was damaged on the front drivers corner. Posted pick earlier in the thread. It has waves in the lid next to the 1/4s on both sides. Now, as you can see in the pic, you can see light between the level and the lid in the middle. It looks to be a 1/16 plus in some areas. I originally bought it because my old lid was damaged when someone broke into the car and used something to try and pry up the middle of the trunk lid to open it. I guess I will have to repair the old lid or try to find another. This piece of $h!t lid I received will not do. I would sell it to someone who wouldn’t mind taking the time to fix it. I am just disgusted with the piece.
Enough venting, so let me know what everyone thinks. The ¼ seems to be only about 3/32 out in the middle. From what some of ya’ll say, I should be able to pull that much out once the ¼ is welded in. Thanks for stopping bye.
Opinions on drivers door gap
I am posting a few pics of my driver’s side door. I put in a hinge repair kit and had issues getting the door to line up correctly. I finally got some help and did the best I could with the door. The door also has a dent under the rear view mirror. This distorts the gaps at the fender a little. Regardless, I have evened the gap out, I think, as well as I can.
On the top from the door handle to the window, the gap is 3/16 to 1/8. This is the worst part. Probably the door is messed up. From the door handle down, the gap stays pretty straight from 3/16 to 1/4 . The gap along the bottom is a constant 5/16.
The fender side stays around ¼ above the body line and below the body line around 3/16”.
At the ¼, the middle body line seems to be within a 1/16 or so and the bottom line is about the same. It is worst on the bottom. I value everyone’s opinion and would like some feedback on the gaps. I have not finished cutting off the ¼ under the door till I am sure the door is good enough. I did learn on the other side that the ¼ doesn’t have much tweeking in the door jamb. Too many contours and bends. It’s basically where it fits you deal with it.
I am going to try and get the dent out in the door, but if I can’t, I will replace the skin on the door. That’s another day and project way on down the road. Thanks for stopping bye.
Today I started to cut off the remanding 1/4 under the door on the driver's side. I had a friend come over because he needed my spare rt fender and front valence to custom make a radiator support for a 71 camaro he is back half-in. While he was here we decided to take the glass out the doors. I have never done this before and he has many times. We started with the driver's door. It was going smoothly and it started to get in a bind. We monuved the glass to get it out. Needless to say, the pic is worth a thousand words.
The passenger's side went well. the only good thing is that the glass on the driver's side was damaged by the guides. It had scratches up and down the glass. Well, my friend is going to find me a replacement for the glass that shattered.
For now, I am just getting off all the old metal so i can start the fitting of the driver's 1/4 panel. Will post pics if there is any progress. Thanks for checking out my thread.
Didn't get out to work on car Sunday. Feeling bad. Did hear today from my friend that helped me take out my windows, that he got me another window for $60. No scratches. Will pick it up this weekend.
I have received my driver's side glass. Looks really good. Only $60. I didn't get in the garage this weekend. I must have caught the virus my son had. Hopefully I can get in the garage this weekend and get the driver's 1/4 panel test fitted in.
I was able to get to work on the car for a few hours today. Still getting over my bug i got a week ago. It was still really cold this morning so i waited till it got warmer after lunch. I had to get the 1/4 leftover that was still welded to the wheel well. It was giving me issues because of the seam sealer. So i took a torch to it and burned out the sealer. Then i was able to get it off without doing to much damage to the wheel well. I will eventually cut off the lip on the wheel housing. As you can see in the pic below, i bent up my lip for more clearance on the tire.
I decided to get all the undercoating off the inside of the wheel well. I was going to heat it up and get it off with my chisel, but i saw some thick areas around the seam between the inner and outer housing. I decided to chip it off with the hammer and chisel. Worked great. Then i just started using the chisel by itself. The undercoating came off pretty easy. I guess with the weather being so cold, the undercoating was very brittle. It took me less than 2 hrs to scrap it all off. Would of went quicker, but scrapping over head it a bitch on the arms. Here is a pic of the wheel well after the removal.
I guess this cold weather was good for something. It didn't even get to 50 degrees today, but tomorrow it is suppose to get to 67. Will be out there tomorrow trying to make some progress.
Thanks for checking out my progress.
Driver's Qrt panel 1st test fit
Might i tell everyone, i got a crappy qrt. they must of put it in the press too much one way. I am short on every side that gets tack down on the top side. I have a few pics to explain.
I will have to add metal to each edge. It is just time consuming. Another issue i have is that the area from the back glass to the rear panel, the trunk area, needs to move about 3/16" closer to the trunk. the trunk gap is almost 3/8" + on that side. This piece is really going to try my patience and skill.
I already have a way to pull the 1/4. I will tack on a piece of metal on the 1/4 and on the opposite side of the car. Then use a cable come-a-long to pull it over. Tried last night and got about 1/8" till my tacked metal started to bend. Will have to use heavy plate next time. I will post some pics later of my method.
Thanks for checking out my progress.
I got some work done on the repairs to the qrt. I had to add to the lips on the top side of the qrt. I didn't add to the section under the roof because its easier right now to get off qrt. when test fitting is complete, i will add more metal there. Below are some pics.
I will eventually cut some of the new lip off. Once i have a good fit, i will trim the excess. After the sanding, I test fitted it back on. It fit like crap. I know i didn't distort it. I was tired yesterday afternoon, so i just quit for the night. Will give it hell next weekend. Thanks for checking out my progress.
Problems with trunk
I decided to buff all the spatter spray out the trunk. I knew i had some rust in a couple of places. Here is what was under the paint.
I am going to buy the trunk sheetmetal and replace most of the damage. I didn't realize the extent of this damage.
I had my weekend all planned out but family projects took priority. It is Mardi Gras season around here. I was going to work on vegatable garden today then car tomorrow, but nephews band played at a festival before the parades. Got home early and worked on the car. Will work more tomorrow after i get home from the parades. Usually we don't go to parades, but my wife's boss is tailgating on the parade route so she wanted to go.
Next week i am taking off Friday and have off Monday and Tuesday for Mardi Gras. I will try to get all the metal prepped and epoxy'd for the qrt's. I also have to prep my vege garden for the spring. Will try to replace the trunk damage and get all the parts painted with epoxy. Will keep everyone updated. Thanks for checking out my progress.
Well didn't get as much done as thought. Actual hardly anything. Gardening, bad weather, cleaning the pool, working on daily drivers, etc. Life's daily crap. I did finish welding up some patches on the wheel housing and passenger post support.
I am still convincing myself on how to tackle the trunk pan. I think i am going to remove most of the trunk pan. I will make the splice over the frame rails. This will hide my weld from underneath and i will weld the pan back together and to the frame at the same time. Will only tack in for now, will weld solid after qrt's are welding in. I think i will go all the way to the rear panel. Then i will put a seam after the first bend moving up from the trunk bottom. This will be the only weld that can be seen. How does this sound to everyone? Will start cutting out the trunk tomorrow.
I will post some pics later of the work I did this weekend. Thanks for checking out my progress.
NO Mardi Gras for me. Camaro time.
After doing some research on this site and others I decided to replace the trunk as mentioned in my thread a couple of posts up from here. I will probably remove the old-new rear panel as well. I do have a new replacement rear panel.
With that said i wanted to make sure both of my qrt's are fitted good to the rear panel. I never finished fitting my drivers qrt. So instead of working on the trunk, i tried to finish the fit on the drivers qrt. I did get the panel to move over to get the trunk lid gap good. I will post some more info tomorrow about what i did. I left my camera in the garage last night and it was raining its ass off this morning, so i didn't get the camera. I will post the details tomorrow. Thanks for checking out my progress.
Updates over the Mardi Gras break
Here is an update from my Mardi Gras break. I finished welding up my passengers post. Here are a few pics of previous work and the finished product.
I also finished the repair on the driver’s wheel housing.
Now for the crappy driver’s qrt. If everyone can remember from a previous rant I made, the qrt was a terrible fit. I had about an 7\16 gap down the trunk lid. I tried the straps around both qrts, didn’t move hardly at all. I decided to pull it over with a cable come-a-long. It went over pretty easy after I found some beefy metal for my padeyes. The only issue was when I pulled the last click on the come-a-long it popped in the outer shell. I have pics of what I mean. I made a template of the passenger’s side and put it next to the drivers side. You can see the driver’s side is pulled in about 3\8 or less behind the window. It had one bump in the panel at that spot. I just banged on it to push it in. Now it fells straight. I think it shouldn’t matter because you can’t compare both sides at the same time. I will be the only one that knows. It looks straight to me.
Give me your thoughts on my results. BTW, I now have a perfect 3\16- gap all the way down the trunk lid on the driver’s side. Thanks for checking out my progress.
I didn't get a chance to work on car this weekend. Gardening, crap breaking in house. I will try to get out there during the week and take a couple more pics so everyone can see. The only thing i know is that this seems to be the only way to get it to move. IT does go back to the original shape when i release the come-a-long. Will post pics as soon as i can get in the garage. Thanks for everyone's interest in my dilemma.
I did finish fabricating my seat belt brackets. I ordered my belts and went to put in this weekend and discovered that one of the brackets fell and chipped up the paint. So, I am repainting that one. The others I bolted loosely to the rollcage. I also ordered my rear shocks and springs. After opening the box, I noticed they sent me the front shocks. So now I am waiting on the correct ones. To speed up things, I decided to order my interior. I was going to wait till after the paint job, but the booth is taking too long to complete.
I need to try and fix the wiggle issue on the column. The only thing to try is the second bearing. This will be a pita. But the alternative is a new column.
I have been starting the car on a regular basis. It has been running pretty good. I do have a slight flatspot on a hard acceleration. I will tune it better later on.
I also decided to try and put in my door windows. I spent a couple of hours figuring out how to do it and get things bolted up. The pass side should be a lot easier now. Just many little things I need to do while waiting on the paint booth. Thanks for checking out my progress.
I started putting the rest of the heat/sound barrier up on the roof yesterday. I ordered my entire interior this week and its scheduled to be here today. I also got the correct shocks in this. i will put them on as well. I did get the selector shaft seal replaced and the pan on. now i have to see when i get home if the damn thing is still leaking.
On Saturday, I finished up on the roof with the heat/sound deadener. Talk about back issues. It was tough, but it looks great and should keep the heat down.
On Sunday, I glued the rubber on my window stop and installed.
I took off the loaner rear shocks. Then I put my new rear coil over shocks together. Then installed. They look great and I adjusted them some. I will have to get the correct height after the car is on the ground. The rest of the day I worked on flushing the rusty water out of the car. Since the car is in my cluttered-up garage, I had to keep emptying the radiator into a bucket, then filling it back up and running the car. I finally got the radiator pretty clean and added some heavy-duty flush. I will run the car for about 15-20 mins every night and flush out later on during the week. I also didn’t see any leaks on the trans. I hope it stays that way.
I have lots of little things to do. I also got in my interior parts. After checking in all the parts, I noticed I forgot to get the door panels. Well I guess another order is needed. Probably not the last. Thanks for checking out my progress.
BTW, photobucket sucks. It will take a good while to fix all the damage. To me they are as bad as the ransomware thieves. It’s bad enough that it was a pain with all the ads and they wanted you to pay to get rid of them, then they pull this stunt.
Been awhile since I’ve updated the thread. Just busy on small things. I finally got all the carpet in. I had to trim the center console many times to get it in easily. I still have one last time to trim. I installed the rear speakers. I screwed down the front kick panels and installed the speakers and grills. I did try the A/C cover but it was hitting the blower motor. So, I found a bucket and cut it apart to start a mold for the new A/C cover. Then I trimmed to the panel and cut slits in end to bend to make a curve. Once I got the shape I taped it all together and added a couple of paint stick for flanges. Then I fiberglass’ d the piece. Once dried, I popped it away from the plastic and cardboard base. Trimmed to fit and screwed together. Below are some pics.
I did get the headline bows in with the headliner, but I am still letting some creases work out. It is still not glued in. I also ripped off the leather I put on the center console. It wouldn’t stretch correctly and didn’t look good. So, I will buy another brand that stretches both ways. I did get the radiator cleaned and filled with fluid. I did lots of other things, just can’t remember them all. I haven’t been documenting very good since I have been doing all these little details.
I will be working on closing in the trunk area and getting it ready for the stereo equipment. Lots of stuff to do, and I want it all done soon. Thanks for checking out my progress.
I’ve been busy on the trunk enclosure lately. First I wanted to fill in the indentions in the trunk floor before putting down the sound/deadner. I also didn’t like the stiff 90 degree angles going up the trunk floor. So I made some wood pieces to make an angle going up to the higher level.
I had to make all my templates first then transform them to some 1/8” plywood. I started on the rear cover first. Once completed, I had to nail on a stiffener to keep the piece flat while fiber glassing the front. I only used resin or the rear. I also had to make a rounded tapered piece to go around the filler neck indention in the trunk.
I trimmed it in place and then sanded and applied a coat of filler to smooth out the panel. Last week I ordered my stereo equipment to start the design of how to install everything in the trunk. I had a friend come over and he connected all the wiring up and we got the stereo to play. He had some different size sub-woofers to try out. The one 12” sounder the best. I did find that the radio didn’t respond very good to the buttons and you really couldn’t get it dialed in good. So he suggested to get a flat eq to help out.
Sunday thru last night was make the side panels and the amp support. I cut the amp support out of ¼” plywood. I made many brackets to adhere to trunk. There are 1/4” aluminum angle about 1 ½” long. I got those mounted to the board and made some flat bar pieces to adhere to the top of the rear quarter. I used some left over square tubing from a canopy for the top braces for the side covers on both sides. I will use the angle clips for the bottom. I also used 1/16” alum angle for the clips to hold down the bottom section of the rear panel. Then I had to over under bend them for the angle of the rear panel. I then got everything lined up and epoxy’ d all those pieces to the trunk area. I am using a panel bonding epoxy for metal. I used it in the past and this stuff is as good as welding. I then proceeded to make the templates then wood panels for the sides. Last night I finally got things trimmed in and lined up. I didn’t epoxy those lower brackets since they are in the way for me to make the template and panel for the rear. Here is a pic of the trunk area last night.
I will work on the rear panel and try to layout my vent panels for the sides and front panel. I still need to get the sub to go with the amp and build that box. I will try and take more detailed pics of what I described above tonight. I ran out of daylight yesterday. Thanks for checking out my progress.
Here are some pics of the clips I epoxy’ d in for the panels and amp bracket.
I worked on the trunk enclosure this weekend. I got the front panel made and laid out for the grills. Below are some pics but I did move the panel forward another inch. I decided to put some aluminum channels on the rear of the panel to keep it straight. I drilled the holes for the channels and those bolts will also be used on the grills.
I have been working on my stiffeners on my panels in the trunk. I got to put resin on the side panels and a little fiberglass on the outside of all the stiffeners. This should keep them in place. I also got the stiffeners ready to be glued and fiberglass’ d to the front panel. Here are some pics.
I will apply the resin and fiberglass tonight on the front panel. Once all the rears of the panels are completed, I will apply resin to all the fronts. Then sand them smooth and apply filler if needed. Then cut all the center holes where the grills will go. I will also cut off all the inside lips of the aluminum channels. I will be putting in back lighting on the panels and this will help in the effects.
It was a very time-consuming task to build the sub-woofer box with fiberglass. First off, my initial calculations wouldn’t work. After building a template, the angles were all wrong. Adjusted and made different style template with better luck. Once I was satisfied, I started cutting out some 1/8” plywood as my base box. I used some corner molding to nail it all together. Also put in some boards to flatten up the centers and edges. Then I applied the first layer with only 1-pound mesh. I then went back to store and purchased 1.5-pound mesh and more resin. I tested the fit after the first coat. I had to trim the top corners to get it in easily. I also had to cut the top/right because it was hitting the rear speaker. I put a small notch in the rear angled panel for the jack bracket welded to the trunk floor. Here are some pics.
I did cut out the front panels. The passenger side is made of ¾” birch plywood. I wanted something thick to screw in the speaker. The other side is ¼” plywood. I will be putting on two coats of fiberglass on the ¼” and only doing fiberglass on the edges of the ¾”. Thanks for checking out my progress.
More trunk work last week. I put in the front panels and fiberglass’ d the inside covers.
I then proceeded to add 2 heavy fiberglass coats over the ¼” side of the front. I also put 2 or 3 coats on all the outside corners of the ¾” section for the speaker. Here is a pic in the car after sanding the outside and inside.
Next was to start trimming in all the panels for a loose fit. This would allow me slack till I put in the carpet. I also wanted to see how the panel looked with the sub box behind it. Here are some pics.
I did remember that I had to add to the top corner of the rear panel. After accomplishing that, I forgot that I had to add to the driver’s side because it was too short. So back to filling in again. Unfortunately, the panel fell and broke the small piece of fiberglass section I bend over the lock. So, I repaired as usual.
Finally, I got to put in the carpet and try the fit. I was able to lift the sub box and put the carpet under it. I trimmed the carpet around all the clips and started installing panels. The side panels only needed slight trimming. The front panel was troublesome. It took many times to get corrected. Currently, I am working on the rear panel and filler piece of the gas tank neck indention. Anyway, here are some pics with the carpet in.
I will cut off all extra aluminum on the braces on all panels, finish up trimming in the pieces and getting them ready for leather. I also need to get some aluminum plate to make the grills. I did get in my perforated aluminum. Once all the grills are made, then I can router out the outside of the panels holes to accommodate the mesh. Then I will be able to wrap in leather. Lots of small things to do this weekend, but a hurricane is coming my way and I have preparations to do for that. Thanks for checking out my progress.
I know my post lately are about my trunk enclosure, but I couldn’t find any details on how to do this on other sites. Plus, it’s on a Camaro. I was able to get some work in this weekend even though the hurricane came on bye. It didn’t pass too far from me, but the rain and winds weren’t that bad on the west side of the storm, so I got a little wind and lite rain.
So, I cut out all the inner sides of the channel I used for stiffeners and backing of the grills. It doesn’t sound that bad, but it took many hours and patience. Here are some pics.
Later on that night, my friend came over and wired up the flat EQ and new radio.
Sunday was devoted to making all the clips to hold in the panels and brackets for the sub-woofer box. I then finished trimming in all the panels. Next, I had to epoxy all the clips, bolts and brackets to the floor of the trunk. I really need to keep the sub box bolted in tight. The panels will all be held in with Velcro on aluminum clips or cut angle.
Then it was time to cut out the holes for the radio and flat EQ in the section on the center console. This panel will be covered in leather later. These holes had to be cut as tight as possible. Once I got the holes cut and trimmed in, I epoxy’ d the radio bracket to the aluminum panel and epoxy’ d in all the brackets and clips. Slowly I am getting all this done. I will probably pickup a new sheet of 1/8” aluminum this week so I can cut out my grill covers. Here is a pic of the console with the radio and eq.
I started on the grills for the trunk panels. This is a very slow process, but the outer rims are cut out. I still have to epoxy the studs and perforated metal on. Also, I need to sand and clear coat them. That is the task for this weekend. Here is a couple of pics.
I worked on the panel grills this weekend. I had to clean up all the grills with sanding all the edges. Next was to overlay the grills over the panels and drill a small dot so I could know where the bolt goes. Afterwards, I had to lay out all the bolts and then epoxy all the screws to the grills. I had over 70 screws. Once the epoxy dried, I put the grills on my perforated metal and laid out the metal. I must say that I bought a metal nibbler for my drill and it was the best investment yet. It went through the metal like butter and was very easy to use. There was a lot more trimming once all the pieces where cut out.
Next was to put the grill on the panels. Well I knew the bolts wouldn’t fit exactly so I had to drill out the holes in the panels and ream the holes as needed. Here is a pic of the grills. I still have to sand all the pieces, epoxy the perforated metal to the rings and then clearcoat them.
I sanded all the grill parts and trimmed to fit as needed. I then routed out 3/32” out where the perforated metal will be under the rings on the panels. I took a break from the trunk part and had a friend come over and we tacked on the exhaust tips. Then I took the exhaust off the car for him to put the tacks larger. Reinstalled and another accomplishment.
Sunday, I mostly worked on the battery tray. After looking at many different scenarios, I decided the scratch all my previous ideas and go get a new plastic bottom and hold downs to install the battery. I decided to screw the tray down instead of epoxying brackets to the trunk. I just never wanted the battery to accidentally get loose and slide sideways damaging the rear quarter. I got the tray and batter installed and ready to use. Next, I unbolted the amp from the board and removed the board to paint black. I ran the new wire for the sub-woofer and connected my lead and ground to the amp. Then proceeded to mount the amp and board back in place in the trunk. I took out the sub box and laid out more braces for the panels to attach to. I put the carpet in and installed the sub box. I bolted it in and installed the sub-woofer.
I will start on the leather this week. Thanks for checking out my progress.
Here are some pics from the weekend. Below are the panels after I routed them.
I used carpet tape last night to get a few humps out the carpet and flatten out the edges. I will try and wrap the first piece tonight.
This weekend I tried to finish the trunk panels. I wrapped the front and sides with no issues. The rear panel had some bad spots that needed filler. I also had to trim both sides down to get the panel to fit correctly with the side panels already covered in leather. I got the rear and hump section cover just in time on Sunday night. Here are some pics of the trunk.
The last thing to do is clear the grills and glue together and mount somemore brackets for the panels. I am also going to scale down the Velcro strips sizes. I have over 1-inch strips in multiple places and it might be hard to pull off when needed. Probably go down to 3/8”. Thanks for checking out my progress.
The plan for the weekend is to get the car on the ground and drive under it's own power. I changed the accelerator pump on the front bowl and replaced the gaskets on the squirters. hopefully that will stop all my leaks. I made an appointment for the car to go out and get the headliner stretched and glued in on the Monday before Thanksgiving. i am going to get an appointment to get all the glass put in afterwards. Stay tuned.
I worked most of the weekend on getting the car on the ground. But I had to finish making the brackets to hold in my panels. After making the last of the brackets I put the rear tail lights in and installed the panels with no luck. I didn’t do a final fit before I wrapped the leather. The panels wouldn’t fit past the light buckets, so I had to cut down the panels to fit. Then the board that the amp was on was stopping the buckets too. I had to take it out and cut down the size to allow the buckets to fit. All seems to be well now.
Unfortunately, I didn’t tighten any of the bolts on the 4-link. I stayed under the car tightening up those bolts, connecting the rack and pinion and misc. bolts here and there. When dropping the car to the floor, the front frame almost hit the floor. I forgot to tights up the nut under the coil over to adjust the height of the car. That took well over 2 hrs. and was very painful. Those nuts don’t turn very easy and my wrench was cutting up my hands. I got the car on the ground, but the front is still kind of low. I might have to come up a few more threads on the shocks. Besides that, I am cleaning up the garage and outside to get the car to the front yard. My neighbor is letting me use his trailer to get the car to its appointments next week. I will try a test load of the car with him. It might make it easier for the next time when I am by myself. Moving forward feels good. Thanks for checking out my progress.