1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

I am starting a build thread to document the restoration and build of my 1968 Camaro I am calling, "Project Penny Pincher". The name came from my wife's idea when I was asking for help thinking of a project name. The end goal is for the car to be a deep copper color, while also keeping the car on a pretty tight project. I will give her full credit because hey, she's pretty creative.

Some of you may remember a few years back when I started a build here that documented my 1976 Trans Am while I was installing an LS1 and 6 speed. I sold it a few years ago to help offset some of my student loan debt. I don't regret paying down the debt, but I do really miss driving a cool car! During the restoration process I learned to have a tremendous amount of patience, but probably most crucial thing I learned was the importance of setting goals and sticking to them. I think that most people can appreciate being on a budget and my car will be the same way and will be done in stages. I am however, going to always be mindful of future upgrades and am not afraid to spend the money where it counts.

The end goal for this car will be an LSx powerplant with 6 speed manual transmission. I want the car to be a deep copper color, with subtle black accents. I also want the car to perform, and handle just like a newer sports car. Unless I can score a smoking deal on an aftermarket front sub-frame, I will be keeping the stocker with upgraded suspension, coilover's, solid body mounts, and etc. The car will likely never be a competitive road course car, but will see a lot of street time. I want it to be comfortable for my wife and my young son (7 1/2 months old). So yes, this car will be getting a "racing" infant seat.

This whole project started when I bought the car from my wife's grandfather who has had the car for around 10 years. It mostly just sat in a garage, with the exception of having a driver's side rocker panel and a pair of quarter skins installed. We negotiated a price, and I brought the car home on 12/12/15. And so my project begins. It is desperately in need of a restoration with some poor attempts at body panel replacement needing to be addressed. The biggest parts that need to be finished are all 4 floor pans, trunk pan, front and rear window channels and replacing the passenger side rocker panel. There are a few other small patches here and there, but overall it's a great foundation for what I am looking to build. Here are some of the pictures from the day I brought the car home.























What's even more amazing is the car came with the original Protect-o-Plate!



For those wondering, it is a plain Jane 6 cylinder originally. So my drivetrain will be a huge improvement!



I am really hoping to have all of the rust repaired and the body in epoxy primer by the end of May 2016. May be a bit ambitious considering I am only working on the car a few hours a week, but I need to set goals for myself.

Thanks for looking,
Ryan

New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
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post #2 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

After having the car for a few weeks and assessed what I needed, I finally got to to work on these floor pans. If the car didn't come with the floor pans already I would have just sprung for a full floor pan from AMD, but since I already have the pans it just costs me time... It had been a while since I had done any welding, so I started with the easier of the 4 floor pans to get my feet wet again. Nothing overly complicated, just a ton of butt welding and grinding. When I first got the car the floor pans were basically set in and tacked, which was apparently how the car was driven for a while. Oh brother.

I took all of 5 minutes to cut off the tack welds and starting fitting it to the floors for the better repair.







Those little clamps sure come in handy!



Once it was ground smooth, I spread a little seam sealer for safe measure. Once I finish with all the floor pans I will cut out the plugs and replace with new.


New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
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post #3 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

Once the driver's rear was done, I felt confident in my welding again and tackled the most difficult floor... the driver's side. At first it didn't look too bad, but once I started digging around with the sub-frame removed, it was much worse...







Since the front sub-frame mounts were toast at the bottom, I decided to buy some reproduction parts and splice them into the solid parts of the body. Trying to keep as much of the original body as possible.



This is the patch panel that came with the car. Since it was a one piece and the factory has two pieces where the toe board meets the floor I decided to cut it in half and splice together so it looked more original.



Here is the damage that I found once I got the previous repairs removed. Somewhere along the way someone had brazed in some panels, that I removed. The brazed panels pre-dated the previous owner, and were done fairly well. Despite this fact, I didn't like the way it looked and cut it out. Here is the carnage.



New torque box/body mount panel test fitted.





And here it is burned in.







And the toe board.








New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
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post #4 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

Once the toe board and inner panels were repaired, I moved on to the floor pan. I didn't get any pictures as I was trimming the floor pan, but this is what happens your jig saw hits a can of primer, haha.







After that excitement I moved onto finishing the floor pan install.





And driver's side floor pan done!



I started to list out some of the major tasks that I have to do, and will slowly cross them off of the list. Hopefully this will keep me on track.



I also went with my dad last weekend and picked up this rotisserie for a steal. I'm going to put a fresh coat of paint on it and get the Camaro on it. I need to install the trunk pans and this will make it much easier to weld.



That brings me to where I am currently. I am really hoping to push and get this body rust free and in epoxy primer by May 31st.

Thanks,
Ryan

New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
ryeguy2006a is offline  
post #5 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

This will be the drivetrain for this car. It is a 01 LQ4 6.0 from a 2500 Chevy pickup with around 130k miles. I got it with the intentions of rebuilding as it had an initial knock that would go away when driving. More on that later. I plan to build an engine run stand to make sure it's sound before I install it in the Camaro. Here it is when I got it.



Stripped it down to what I will be using.







The pictures make it look much worse, but there are no ridges or scoring. Everything seems tight and I am going to chance it and try and run it as is.





And here it is today waiting for me to get further along with the build on my Camaro.



I got a smoking deal on these Fbody accessories with under drive pulley and stainless bolt kit. $210 shipped!





Had to drill the lower boss for the low mount alternator.





Here is the accessories roughly mocked up.



And here is the reason that I am leaning towards the engine being sound. This two piece flywheel may have been causing a little sound!





And the transmission that I will be running is a 1998 Borg Warner T56, that was swapped out for a guy who was upgrading to a trans that will handle 1000 hp from his turbo LS!





Just pulled the tail shaft to make sure everything looked ok. No shavings or anything that looked unusual.


New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
ryeguy2006a is offline  
post #6 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

It's time to take this build to the next stage. My dad's buddy gave us a killer deal on this rotisserie, just needed a little paint. I'm hoping to build the mounts for it this weekend, and possibly get my car on it. The rotisserie will make welding on the car so much easier.

Before:



During:







After:



The paint turned out ok, but there are a few runs. I'm not too concerned since it looks 10x's better than before. If anyone has any advice once my car is up on the rotisserie, they would be well received. The only experience I have with them is what I have read.

Thanks,
Ryan

New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
ryeguy2006a is offline  
post #7 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

I got a little more done on the floor pans/ front torque box this weekend.





Don't pay attention to the rust around my work area, it will be addressed all at once. When the car gets on the rotisserie I am going to clean up and spray everything at once for a uniform look.





I didn't get any pictures, but I have partially installed the toe board. I had some fitment issues at first, but got that all straightened out. Just need to finish up the spot welds and then I can get the pan installed.

Cheers,
Ryan

New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
ryeguy2006a is offline  
post #8 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

I was able to get into the garage yesterday to get some work done. The toe board on the passenger's side gave me a lot more trouble than I was hoping, as I kept burning through no matter what settings I put on my MIG welder... Anyway after I got the panel to a point where I was happy, I called it done. Primed and painted it.



I ground down the really large high spots, but I am going to leave the welds for strength. I don't want to grind them smooth and end up with a weak spot.



Here is the floor pan, that I have test fit and is very close to burning it to the body.



That's it for today's update. I'm hoping to have the floor pans completely done within the next few weeks. I think that if I can keep up this pace, the car will have the rust completely repaired by May 31st.

New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
ryeguy2006a is offline  
post #9 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

Quick mid-week update. Since it is a process for me to get out in the garage to fire up the welder and grinder, I thought I would start on some other items that have been bouncing around in my mind. After much research and great past experience with GM fuel pump assemblies, I decided that the best bet for my fuel system was to source a 5th Gen Fbody pump. They are much shorter than the 4th gen pumps(meaning that it will fit in a stock 1st gen tank), and can support well above 400 hp, and don't require any baffling, so for me that is a win-win-win! After talking with Carl at Vaporworx, I bought his kit to modify the stock assembly to run constant, vs. in stock form that would require a PWM.

So after searching around for my tank options and keeping my budget in mind, I have decided to modify my stock tank rather than the stamped Rick's tank that is all set up for the 5th Gen pump assembly. The tank that came in my car has been replaced somewhere along the line and is in very good condition rust wise. So the plan is for me to add a recessed panel into the front sump of the fuel tank, and add a factory style fuel pump mounting ring for OEM reliablity.

Here is what I am starting with. It is a 2011 SS Camaro Fuel pump assembly from a 53k mile car. I scored this on ebay for $59 bucks free shipping! Later, I will show how to modify the pump with the Vaporworx kit.



With a little research and looking around at different tanks, I found that the tank from a '07 Colorado has the same exact mounting ring dimensions as my LS3 pump. After a quick trip to the pick-a-part, my sawzall make quick work to get this little guy out!



After sketching out some dimensions and seeing what would work with this pump and the mounting ring, I had my game plan.



I wanted to get the mounting ring as round as I could, so with some "engineering", I was able to come up with this method. I was using the inner circle as my template, and fixed my grinder into position. It worked great!





Next up was getting the gasket surface as flat as I could. After giving this some more thought, I decided to use a similar method. I used my phone's level, and got the grinder perfectly level both side to side and front to back. I mounted it in place, and slowly worked the surface. Since I am going to use a Viton(r) gasket, it should take up some of the imperfections that this surface has. Overall, I was very pleased with the results from my makeshift methods... or whatever you want to call it.







And the final result.





For the final installation, it will have a Viton(R) gasket sealed up between it and the recessed panel I will be putting on my fuel tank. I will make a ring that will fit inside the tank that will bolt everything down.

That's all for now.

Cheers,
Ryan

New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
ryeguy2006a is offline  
post #10 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

Got some time in the garage last night. Finished up the Passenger's side install of the floor pan and got it painted up. The paint was still a little wet, so it will get even more flat once it's dry.







Making progress and crossing things off of my list!



Ryan

New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
ryeguy2006a is offline  
post #11 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

It's been a few weeks with little progress on the car. I haven been working to get the mounts made for the rotisserie. I decided to make my own mounts for the rear leaf springs for the rotisserie rather than purchasing them through the various other companies that sell them. Here is the car with the front end mounted to the rotisserie:





Here is the rear mounts that I am working on. I would have finished, but ran out of MIG wire.





Here is one of my better welds. Not perfect, but I have been working on the appearance of the welds as well as the quality.



I also bought the materials for the recessed panel that I am making for the fuel pump and sending unit. I will be making a panel similar to the one that Rick's offers on their tanks. It may not look like much, but I think it will come together nicely when it's finished.



All for now.

Ryan

New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
ryeguy2006a is offline  
post #12 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

Well after a few weekends of working (only a few hours each weekend), I was finally able to get the mounts built and installed on the rotisserie. The body bolted up very nicely, and I was able to test out the rotation. I was debating whether or not to even put my car on it as I was mostly done with the welding on the floor pans, but what a difference it will make welding! I was very impressed with the ease of how it rotated with minimal effort. It is going to make welding on the bottom side of the car SO much easier. I am looking forward to getting back into the groove of burning in the floor pans for good!







Now that the rear end is out and I can get the car in better light, I was pleasantly surprised with the condition of the rest of the under body. The only rust that I found additional (which I already knew about from crawling under the car) was the very end of the frame rails on the driver's side. I think it was mostly due to the trailer hitch that was mounted to the frame rails at some point during it's life. I bet it was a towing machine with that I6 haha.







Just need to add this to the list of panels that I will need to replace. I hope to make more p

New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
ryeguy2006a is offline  
post #13 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

I didn't take any pictures of the passenger side rear floor pan as it is just the same as the others. I am 85% finished with it, just have to finish some grinding and smoothing out of my welds. I got side tracked and decided to see what was going on with this passenger side rocker panel. I know that the previous owner added some "homemade" panels, but didn't think that they would be made of a very thin tin. I was able to easily bend it by hand...







How not to repair rocker panels 101

No updates for progress on the car this weekend. Instead, I went with my dad to Spring Carlisle like we do every year. I was able to score some nice pieces and negotiate some great prices. It was a nice break from welding and rust repair.

Here are some of the parts that I picked up.

Lightly used Right Stuff brake booster, with 1" bore master cylinder and brake clevis kit.





And a picture to get an idea of how high it will tilt in relation to the firewall. I may opt for the DSE bracket with the lower angle. I also test fit the clutch bracket for the T56 hydraulics. It should all work together nicely.





It is some forward thinking, but I found some of these Moser c-clip eliminator brackets at a vendor station, and it should be a good shim for the F-body LS1 rear brake swap.



Universal fuel level sender for my tank project. Brand new.



I had to buy them together, but got an LS6 valley cover and steam vent crossover. They look to be either new, or very lightly used.







Lastly, I picked up some RS reverse lights, some 67 RS tail lights, and an extra pair of bezels. They aren't in perfect shape, but would be good enough to run. Especially if they are tinted, or blacked out.







I know that some people will disagree that I shouldn't put the 67 tail lights on a 68, but I like the single 67 RS tail light look better than the double.

All for now. Hope to get some more repairs done in the next week.

Cheers,
Ryan

New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
ryeguy2006a is offline  
post #14 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

I am finally done with the floor pans, and as they say hind sight is 20/20. I definitely should have just opted for a full floor pan rather than messing around with butt welding 4 full floor pans. I would have been much further ahead time wise. Live and learn I suppose. Here is a shot of the floor with a quick coat of primer to prevent any surface rust in the short term. Eventually it will be stripped and coated.



I got halfway done with stripping the floor pans of the undercoating and decided to change gears and work on the back half of the car. Next was to remove the trailer hitch mounts that someone very poorly welded to the frame. No surprise that upon removal I found more rust, but unfortunately it was a little more severe than I had originally anticipated. Shopping around for some replacement frame rail patches now.





Once I got both sides removed, I moved on to poorly patched trunk pan. Same deal with the floor pans, they crudely cut out the rusted panels and simply trimmed the panel, lap welded a few spot welds and called it a day... it took me 15 mins to cut the whole panel out. A few of the "spot welds" weren't even attached to the car!





Doesn't seem like a lot of progress, but I am glad to finally be done with the floor pans. I feel like I am now on the downside of the rust repairs.

All for now.

Ryan

New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
ryeguy2006a is offline  
post #15 of 67 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 17, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Ryan
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Candor, NY
Posts: 120
Re: 1968 Camaro Resto-mod 5.3/6 speed; Project Penny Pincher

No progress on the car this weekend, but I did get a lot of parts that I needed. Since discovering the rear frame rails needed some attention, I decided to wait to install the trunk pan until after the new rails are installed. I was scouring the internet, and came across an ad on eBay for a set of new/used frame rails. They are new and never installed, but have been sitting on a shelf for a long time. I picked the repair panels for $125 shipped. They should be here for next weekend.



I have been looking for a solid 12 bolt, and got a call from a friend who was able to pick one up. Now it was just a matter of negotiating a price. He offered it to me at a price that I couldn't turn down, so I now have my complete drivetrain. The rear is complete, but has the lazy wheel 2.43 gear ratio. I will likely swap that out before the car is on the road again, but having a functional rear end is better than not.









My dad recently upgraded to rear disk brakes on his 71 Chevelle, so he gave me the complete rear drums. I will eventually upgrade to the LS1 rear brakes, but until then, these will get me by.



He also upgraded his exhaust, and was getting rid of that too. I know that it's for a Chevelle, but I will be getting an X-Pipe kit and will use the rest of the exhaust to run together.



I did quite a bit of running around this weekend, but it's all for the greater good. I also realized that since I discovered the need for frame rail patches, that will delay my goal of a rust free shell by May 31st. I still think that I can have it all done early June, but time will tell.

Thanks for looking,

Ryan

New Project: 1968 Camaro 6̶.̶0̶ 5.3 w/ Z06 cam and 6 speed project

1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD
ryeguy2006a is offline  
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