Update Failing Electric & Vacuum RS Headlights or Convert to RS Option - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old May 30th, 17, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow Update Failing Electric & Vacuum RS Headlights or Convert to RS Option

Often we see questions on how to either refresh tired/dead RS systems, or convert non RS vehicles to the RS option. This thread will try to answer some of your questions and help you evaluate the systems available at this point in time - Spring 2017 - and the costs in materials and time required.

For existing RS systems the threads we keep seeing here at Team Camaro group into two camps. The first being updating 67 Electric RS systems with modern units, and the second how to eliminate the 68/69 OEM Vacuum systems particularly after horsepower upgrades under the hood reduce vacuum output. Often these threads are asking which is the better system? It is hard to pinpoint that answer since there are many variables.

For conversions, some systems are sold as a complete kit, including bell-cranks, buckets and fenders and grills, others just the headlight system. So shop all the parts necessary for total price. You might find using discount codes for various suppliers you actually save money on an all -in-one kit.

Look over the installation guides and videos and see if the install fits you comfort zone, skill set level and your available free time. Your time has a cost, a value, don't discount it. Many who do will have a project scattered all over their garage because they failed to evaluate their time and labor net worth enough in the project equation.

1967 options:
There are now many kits and replacement motors out there for 1967 Camaros. You can also still boneyard it for other headlight motors from other product lines and makes over the years to retrofit. Always include the value of your time to hunt, pick, and retrofit or Frankenstein these onto your vehicle. And the long-term satisfaction and performance of these DIY systems should be considered.

If you are updating failing/failed 67 you have two solid options. Select the motor replacement options, using the existing relay and limit switch systems from the factory, or select a set of replacement motors with new electronics to control them. Retro-Electric home, Camaro, RS, Hideaway Headlight, Corvette headlights owned by one of our members Mark makes a set of replacement motors MSR $330.00.

He also manufactures a system to update/convert 67's that includes electronics for MSR price of $620.00. He also has kits for 68/69. Here are links to the instructions so you can see what is involved to evaluate your skill set and time in the project planning equation.

1967 - Replacement motors: Retro-Electro instructions, PN-001
1967 - full system install: Retro-Electro instructions, PN-002

1968 & 1969 Camaro RS offerings:
Mark also offers systems for 1968 & 1969 Camaros. He also sells "RS conversion Grill Kits" Contact him direct for details and pricing. [email protected] or direct message him with a PM here at TC by clicking here:Marktat

1968 - full system install: Retro-Electro instructions, PN-003
1969 - full system install: Retro-Electro instructions, PN-004


The Detroit Speed Engineering kit Detroit Speed, Inc. - 1967-1969 F-Body Electrical - RS Headlight Door Kit is also popular and widely available at Camaro parts retailers and websites and from DSE direct. The system is reliable and affordable. They at this point in time only make systems for 1968/1969 Camaros, replacing existing vacuum canister systems, or for converted non RS vehicles once converted.

1968 installation guide: http://www.detroitspeed.com/images/i...ight%20Kit.pdf
1969 installation guide: http://www.detroitspeed.com/images/i...ight%20Kit.pdf

For those comparing DSE to RE for you 68 or 69 project here ares some install videos.

Retro-Electric MSR $620.00

DSE MSR $475.00 (There isn't a single one and done installation video so here are three that take you through the process, and one final result.)


Final install

Hope this thread helps you through the forest of RS systems to a successful restoration and refresh of your RS, or new conversion for your Camaro.

Brian


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 17, 04:32 PM
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Re: Update Failing Electric & Vacuum RS Headlights or Convert to RS Op

Brian...

You might want to add the Camaro Central Stage 3 Kit to this mix. It is kind of unique in a couple of ways:

1. You don't have to cut any holes in your fenders.
2. The headlight buckets come preassembled complete and tested.
3. Just two (2) connections, no thru-firewall wiring.

The kit includes everything you need with a couple of exceptions. If your car wasn't originally a RS, you need a pair of fender adapters, and you'll need a couple of half-inch spacers. A step drill would be handy I'm told because alignment of the grill and modules could be needed.




Here's a link to Super Chevy where they actually did the conversion using this kit. I'll note right now that one of our members [dawg] did this conversion and he noted that its not quite as simple as they make it out to be but its easier and simpler than some of the other systems.

1969 Camaro Front RS Grill Conversion

I'm going to give this kit a shot myself, so hopefully I'll report back on how it went.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 17, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Update Failing Electric & Vacuum RS Headlights or Convert to RS Op

Please do. When I was working on this post there little to no information about the kit or any videos on its installation. Maybe you could shoot a video series of your install and post it.

The kit from Camaro Central PN GRI-1502, costs $1,630 which included the grille, center chrome, upper grille stiffener, RS capsules, door chromes, outer plates, right and left inner door covers, headlamps, headlight mount rings, adjuster kits, headlight bowls, and electric motors. It also includes the electric door control module.

You also need 1969 Chevy Camaro RS fender headlight adapter brackets PN RAL-6, for $27. if your vehicle has original GM non RS fenders. These adapters do not require welding like other tabs on the market.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 17, 07:55 PM
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Re: Update Failing Electric & Vacuum RS Headlights or Convert to RS Op

I agree.....Of all of the videos on youtube, there are none of a full install on a non RS Camaro

Anthony
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 17, 07:40 AM
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Re: Update Failing Electric & Vacuum RS Headlights or Convert to RS Op

Quote:
Originally Posted by 57vette View Post
Brian...

You might want to add the Camaro Central Stage 3 Kit to this mix. It is kind of unique in a couple of ways:

1. You don't have to cut any holes in your fenders.
2. The headlight buckets come preassembled complete and tested.
3. Just two (2) connections, no thru-firewall wiring.

The kit includes everything you need with a couple of exceptions. If your car wasn't originally a RS, you need a pair of fender adapters, and you'll need a couple of half-inch spacers. A step drill would be handy I'm told because alignment of the grill and modules could be needed.




Here's a link to Super Chevy where they actually did the conversion using this kit. I'll note right now that one of our members [dawg] did this conversion and he noted that its not quite as simple as they make it out to be but its easier and simpler than some of the other systems.

1969 Camaro Front RS Grill Conversion

I'm going to give this kit a shot myself, so hopefully I'll report back on how it went.
I used this kit as well and was moderate to easy install. No holes to cut etc..Very happy with it thus far.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 17, 06:03 AM
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Re: Update Failing Electric & Vacuum RS Headlights or Convert to RS Op

Yes I did the Camaro Central Conversion. had to Notch the radiator support a little but the finished product is very good.
will buy same kit again if I ever need to.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 17, 10:55 AM
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Re: Update Failing Electric & Vacuum RS Headlights or Convert to RS Op

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawg View Post
Yes I did the Camaro Central Conversion. had to Notch the radiator support a little but the finished product is very good.
will buy same kit again if I ever need to.
The only thing I had to "adjust" was the mounting holes for the headlight brackets that attach to the radiator support. Not sure if this was the same issue you had with your install Harry?

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 17, 01:37 PM
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Re: Update Failing Electric & Vacuum RS Headlights or Convert to RS Op

I'd love to see some pictures of the modded area issues if at all possible. I have the Stage 3 kit in the garage and hope to get it done in January after I get my garage heater set up.

Anybody wants to send me pix, PM me and we can swap emails or text options which may be easier than posting them here. I intend to do a full write up/pictorial when I do mine.

Mike

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 17, 06:18 PM
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Re: Update Failing Electric & Vacuum RS Headlights or Convert to RS Op

Quote:
Originally Posted by 57vette View Post
I'd love to see some pictures of the modded area issues if at all possible. I have the Stage 3 kit in the garage and hope to get it done in January after I get my garage heater set up.

Anybody wants to send me pix, PM me and we can swap emails or text options which may be easier than posting them here. I intend to do a full write up/pictorial when I do mine.

Mike
Mike, I would be glad to send some pics. The pics will be already installed so to speak pictures. But the upper and lower holes I had to oval out a bit to get the assemblies to sit horizontally correct with the center grill etc... A Dremel tool or a carbide bit will work just fine. ....And this/mine was an aftermarket Radiator support. A stock unit may not need any adjustments. PM me or I can post here to help fellow members out on their builds or conversions. I am totally happy with what I bought and paid for and I am sure you will as well.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 19, 07:35 PM
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Re: Update Failing Electric & Vacuum RS Headlights or Convert to RS Op

Old thread... but its a good one. I'm finally getting around to installing the kit and I will document as much as possible and post a thread on my experience. I must say that the "instructions" are less than minimalist LOL. I think there's 3 pages and not much is explained. I think whomever puts the kit together figures its primarily for retrofitting a vacuum RS setup. There's absolutely nothing in the instructions about taking the original grill out, what to be concerned with.

There is a sheet suggesting you check out this article in SUPER CHEVY Magazine where they did the full conversion: 1969 Camaro RS Grill Install - Camaro Central Stage 3 Kit

The one part I question is the mounting of the adapter brackets. They mounted them inboard of the fender return. Many guys I've talked to mounted them inside the "nose" of the fender and they claim the fit is closer to the RS fender tabs that way. But the funniest part was page 4... click on the thumbnail below and if that doesn't scare you I don't know what will LOL.
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