69 RS Front End Conversion - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 12, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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69 RS Front End Conversion

I have a non RS 69. Is it possible to conver the front grille to to an RS with the hidden headlights, etc.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 12, 03:16 PM
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

It is - I did it. Plan on spending over $1,000 if you use all new repro parts and do the front and rear. You can get an idea on pricing here: http://shop.stevescamaroparts.com/19...Parts_c137.htm
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 12, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

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It is - I did it. Plan on spending over $1,000 if you use all new repro parts and do the front and rear.
Its my first 1st 69 so I am not overly familiar with it yet. Can you tell me all the parts I need to do the conversation. Is the conversation all bolt on? Do you think Classic Industries would have everything I need. They are close by my house. Perhaps you might have build thread of your conversion.

Thanks for the reply and happy holidays
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 12, 03:24 PM
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

should have found a real RS in the first place, if u could. I did that and never looked back, and its the real deal.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 12, 03:26 PM
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

Here is a copy of my receipt from Rick's . I did this several years ago so I'd imagine prices have gone up. I built my own homemade electric actuating system so none of the vacuum parts are on my receipt. But it will give a good idea of what's needed.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 12, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

Excllent, this is perfect. I am scratching my head as I did not know the rear of the car was any different. Just thought it was the hidden head lights. Again, I am new with the 1st Gen. Lots of experience with 2nd Gens.

Much appreciated for the help.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 12, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

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Originally Posted by rockin rollin View Post
should have found a real RS in the first place, if u could. I did that and never looked back, and its the real deal.
I am happy and thankful for what I got. It was a smoken deal fire sale so could not pass it up.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 12, 01:59 PM
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

A genuine-looking RS will have the backup lights mounted in the tail pan and not in the rear taillights. Which means to get the full RS look, plan on changing the inner taillight buckets and installing RS taillights. Then cutting holes in the tail pan, and installing the reverse lights. ..... My suggestion, unless you have OCD, do the front first and enjoy. Do the rear second. The only people that will know the difference are the purists. (But be aware, there are lots of them).
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 12, 03:34 PM
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockin rollin View Post
should have found a real RS in the first place, if u could. I did that and never looked back, and its the real deal.
That's very helpful to the OP

69 LS7/T56 Pro Tour #2(BUILDING)
69 Pro Tour - LS3/T56 (SOLD)
69 Pro Tour - LS7/T56 (SOLD)
69 Z28/RS Tribute355/5 Speed (SOLD)
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67 RSZZ502/5 Speed (SOLD)
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 12, 04:07 PM
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

I did the conversion on my car--plan for a lot of work. The inner fender modifications are easier if you have original inner fenders as there are dimples where some of the components need to be mounted such as the vacuum reservoir and windshield washer tank. Drilling all of the clearance and mounting holes for the actuators is a pain when the inner fenders are in the car. I would recommend buying templates from Ground Up as they definitely help.

Mounting the actuators turned out to be quite a chore. The right side mounted fine but I could never get the cross bar that holds the rear of the actuator to mount between the fender and inner fender on the left side. Ended up having to cut the bracket and re-weld it with an offset piece. That might be the result of having repo inner fenders but it was way off.

Adjusting the headlight doors to fit properly takes a lot of time and a lot of shimming. I think that a lot of my problems were typical of aftermarket parts--nothing fits as well as the originals.

You also need to modify the firewall with a couple of holes above where the wire harness comes through to pass the vacuum lines to the headlight switch so you need to be able to access this area. I did all of this before I put the power brake booster and master cylinder in the car and the engine was also not installed.

If you are modifying only for looks, I would skip adding the full windshield washer setup as you need a $300 valve that is not included with the full kits from places like Classic and Ricks. You have to buy the drip solenoid and add it to your windshield washer pump and add another wire harness as well.

You will also need a fitting to install on your intake manifold that is not included in the kits. They are application specific depending on other options on your car like power brakes.

I also did all of the other mods with installing correct backup lamps (new wire harness is needed), tail lights, and emblems. Again, none of this is in the kit as it is only a front end conversion.

The other thing that you need to think about is the modification to the fenders. You have to remove the small flange that is on each fender that connects to the original headlight buckets and weld in a new flange to mount the RS bucket. I did this on my car right after it was painted as I did not realize that this needed to be done. Lost of few days of my life worrying about ruining a brand new paint job. In hindsight, I should have just pulled the front end back apart for the fender mods and inner fender mods.

All in all, it was one of the more difficult things I have done with my car but I love that look and the car does look great with RS stuff.

I don't want to talk you out of the project but plan for it appropriately.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 12, 06:33 PM
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

nice right up rich. i too will be adding the rs trim to my x66. i have aftermarket fenders though.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 12, 06:40 PM
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Lordo View Post
The other thing that you need to think about is the modification to the fenders. You have to remove the small flange that is on each fender that connects to the original headlight buckets and weld in a new flange to mount the RS bucket. I did this on my car right after it was painted as I did not realize that this needed to be done. Lost of few days of my life worrying about ruining a brand new paint job. In hindsight, I should have just pulled the front end back apart for the fender mods and inner fender mods.
What year is your car, Rich? This certainly was not the case with my 69. Nothing needed to be cut from the non-RS fenders. The 69 standard headlight assembly bolts to the core support only - nothing attached to the fenders. There are two or three small tabs in the fenders with holes in them and these are what the adapters attach to. You can either bolt, pop rivet or weld the adapters on - I bolted mine. No cutting required on a 69.

The rest is spot on! Bend, shim, cuss, test fit, repeat.










Click for video - homemade elec system.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 12, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Lordo View Post
I did the conversion on my car--plan for a lot of work. The inner fender modifications are easier if you have original inner fenders as there are dimples where some of the components need to be mounted such as the vacuum reservoir and windshield washer tank. Drilling all of the clearance and mounting holes for the actuators is a pain when the inner fenders are in the car. I would recommend buying templates from Ground Up as they definitely help.

Mounting the actuators turned out to be quite a chore. The right side mounted fine but I could never get the cross bar that holds the rear of the actuator to mount between the fender and inner fender on the left side. Ended up having to cut the bracket and re-weld it with an offset piece. That might be the result of having repo inner fenders but it was way off.

Adjusting the headlight doors to fit properly takes a lot of time and a lot of shimming. I think that a lot of my problems were typical of aftermarket parts--nothing fits as well as the originals.

You also need to modify the firewall with a couple of holes above where the wire harness comes through to pass the vacuum lines to the headlight switch so you need to be able to access this area. I did all of this before I put the power brake booster and master cylinder in the car and the engine was also not installed.

If you are modifying only for looks, I would skip adding the full windshield washer setup as you need a $300 valve that is not included with the full kits from places like Classic and Ricks. You have to buy the drip solenoid and add it to your windshield washer pump and add another wire harness as well.

You will also need a fitting to install on your intake manifold that is not included in the kits. They are application specific depending on other options on your car like power brakes.

I also did all of the other mods with installing correct backup lamps (new wire harness is needed), tail lights, and emblems. Again, none of this is in the kit as it is only a front end conversion.

The other thing that you need to think about is the modification to the fenders. You have to remove the small flange that is on each fender that connects to the original headlight buckets and weld in a new flange to mount the RS bucket. I did this on my car right after it was painted as I did not realize that this needed to be done. Lost of few days of my life worrying about ruining a brand new paint job. In hindsight, I should have just pulled the front end back apart for the fender mods and inner fender mods.

All in all, it was one of the more difficult things I have done with my car but I love that look and the car does look great with RS stuff.

I don't want to talk you out of the project but plan for it appropriately.

Interesting on what needs to be done. I was hoping to find a kit with electrical operated headlights as opposed to vacuum. Do you know if such a kit is offered.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 12, 08:48 PM
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 12, 09:06 PM
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Re: 69 RS Front End Conversion

That is the kit I used on mine. I'm pleased with it.

69 LS7/T56 Pro Tour #2(BUILDING)
69 Pro Tour - LS3/T56 (SOLD)
69 Pro Tour - LS7/T56 (SOLD)
69 Z28/RS Tribute355/5 Speed (SOLD)
69 RS Clone 427/TH400 (SOLD)
67 RSZZ502/5 Speed (SOLD)
69 Camaro 406 SBC/TH400 (SOLD)
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