Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Butler, Pennsylvania
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.