Oh @*&$^* my worst fears realized! Help! - Team Camaro Tech
Tech 2002 General Tech questions from 2002
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 02, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: berkeley, ca
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First, thanks for everyone here for all the help, it has been great.

Now, the disaster. I have plowed a lot of cash and time into my 67 RS convertible...way too much in some respects. New crate 350/385, headers, rebuilt th400, serpentine setup w/new PS pump, alternator, etc.

I took it down to Dick Guldstrand's shop to get the suspension upgraded/fixed and...he reports back to me that the thing is a RUSTBUCKET that might not even be repairable.

Ouch. That hurts. So here are a couple of questions:

1) Is it possible to have so much rust damage to the frame/subframe/pans that it really truly cant be repaired?

2) Is that type of work (serious rust repair / metalwork ) super expensive?

3) Should I be at all pissed off that the shop that did the engine / tranny / exhaust swap and had it up on the lift never said diddly about any kind of rust problem?

Thanks for any advice. I need it.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 02, 03:17 PM
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The first gen convertibles were known for these issues and problems. I looked hard and long for a car before finding my wife's 69. It had some rust, but not to the extent that you are describing.

First, the convertibles are very easy to disassembly yourself and the pans can be replaced and there is a lot of metal available for such, as well as the front and rear clips can be repaired, but it's only money. You have to have good mounting surfaces for both the frame and body for a good handling and ride, otherwise it will be floppy as a rag!

I would not blame the guys who did the rest of the work for telling you bad news.

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[This message has been edited by HOTRODSRJ (edited 04-22-2002).]
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 02, 03:20 PM
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That sucks, but how much rust are we talking about here, be more specific.
is it at home, give me an email, I'll come by and tell you what i think(at least one other opinion)
[This message has been edited by cody (edited 04-22-2002).]

[This message has been edited by cody (edited 04-22-2002).]
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 02, 03:28 PM
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take a few welding classes, and go to town.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 02, 01:56 AM
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The rear subframe rails can be replaced pretty easily, as can all of the floors. I would imagine that if there are parts of the body that make direct contact with the front subframe that are just rusted right out, now that would be a big problem. I doubt the front frame is shot, but the rear rails commonly rust away. There are other parts of the body that rust away to nothing that are critical but with the right replacement part and a knowledgable welder, can be replaced.
I guess it depends on what areas of the car they actually meant by 'rustbucket'.

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 02, 02:04 AM
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I did a lot of searching and saw a lot of rusted out cars before I got mine. I talked with most of the resto shops here and asked the same question, when is a car beyond repair? They pretty much told me that anything could be fixed it was just a matter of how much $$$. I really wouldn`t be too concerned with a suspension shop telling me my car was rusted out. How often do they see 1st generation cars? They are probably used to seeing newer cars. I am not slamming the shop, I just wouldn`t be overly concerned. How much rust are you talking about?
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 02, 02:05 AM
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It can all be repaired. I, too, found that my car was very rotted. Although I can weld, I felt it was beyond my scope and found a fellow to do the work. I bought the full pans, made in US, that run from toeboard to rear seat back seam and had the entire area replaced. This gave me a new base, including the tranny tunnel. Also replaced was the rocker inners and parts of the internal rocker reinforcements. There was other repairs and now I'm back on track. A lot of $ but I don't plan on getting rid of the car.

Rick Dorion
69 RS Conv,355,M20,4.10's and I don't worry about stone chips ( yet ).
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 02, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. Cody, the car is in Burbank now, I drove it down last weekend to take to the shop. OK, well, the rusted out parts are the floorpans and the part of the body where the front subframe bolts on (the rear area is bad too, but not totally eaten away like the front). In the front, those big bolts just flop around. There is also rust in the trunk. I took some pictures and will upload them when I get back to the bay area. I am glad to hear that it can be repaired. I am good at soldering electrical things, but never welded and would leave that to professionals. Thanks again, I will get the pictures up and if anyone knows a good source for metal, please let me know!
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 02, 02:55 PM
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Guldstrand probably saw firstgen Camaros before any of us did. He reportedly won the first road race a Camaro ever won.
What did they say about what you could do about the rust?

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
David's Motorsports page
First Gen Suspension Page
67 RS 327 original owner. 69 Camaro Vintage Racer, 65 Lola T-70 Chev SB Can-Am Vintage Racer
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 02, 04:16 PM
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Personally, I don't like rust damage repair. Tons of work and very expensive if your not capable of doing it your self. Here's and idea. Since you have basically everything else other than a good, rust free body why not find a "shell/body". Basically swap everything you have over to the rust free shell/body. Most likely will save big money and have parts left over to sell to your friends. Finding a suitable body might be hard if San Fran but down here in L.A. they are around. That's considering that you are willing to use a coupe instead of a convertable. Dick knows what he's talking about. If he says the modifications would go wasted on your car due to rust damage then I'd trust him. Heck, does not sound safe to drive period.

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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 02, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Dick Guldstrand is very, very wise and super friendly and fair. I agree, the best thing to do would be to find a donor car. I am going to leave the car in LA until I find one. I may sell it to a body guy after I take out the motor instead of parting it out. I don't want to deal with the rust. Dick had a guy look at it and it will cost $4K just to get it roadworthy...not even to fix all the rust. He suggested that might not be the best thing to do.

This was a very very expensive lesson. Well, this was my first vintage car so I won't make that mistake again.

Oh, when I was in there, they were just finishing up restoral of a Yenko Nova that the owner put a 502/502 into. The headers were on but the exhaust wasn't connected. It sounded like a dragster.

Well, time to look for a new camaro. I guess the convertibles were notoriously rusty, so I will look for a coupe. www.recycler.com i guess...
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 02, 06:12 AM
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I feel your pain! I too was told that my car was beyond repair "Don't Bother" But, I made the committment to do whatever it takes, no matter how much it costs...and believe me, it costs ALOT!!!!! Look at the picture on the dolly, car needed full floors, frame rails, Quarters and 1 door, complete trunk, fillers and extensions,inner and outer wheelhouses perch boxes were toast, as were the shock mounts, and the entire area under the rear seatback support, rockers needed repair as well. But it is worth the time, effort and money spent.

If you don't have an sentimental attachment to the car (I do)..buy a shell, if you do..Get a home equity loan!!

Good luck with your decision.

[This message has been edited by CrossRamZ11 (edited 04-24-2002).]
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 02, 06:34 AM
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Rick Dorion
69 RS Conv,355,M20,4.10's and I don't worry about stone chips ( yet ).
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 02, 06:52 AM
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i second that (WoW)
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 02, 09:13 AM
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I will yell it. WOW!
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