68 Camaro Restoration - Where to Start? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 02, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Meredith, NH USA
Posts: 90
I have a 1968 Camaro Sport Coupe with 327/2v, Powerglide on column, 8.2" 10 bolt with 3.08 non-posi, AC, and PS.

The floors are solid and it has a small amount of the "usual" New England rust in the rear quarters, and the lower rear portions of the front fenders. As far as I can tell, the car is all original with only a paint job change (now red from grecian green). I looked over the suspension components, and it looks like I will need to replace the front end rubber components and body mounts.

I want to "restify" it to be a relatively stock looking car with rallys and a ~400HP small block.

Here is what I have aquired so far:

5 leaf multi rear springs
Muncie M-21 4 spd
Moser 12-bolt with 3.55's and Eaton Posi

My question to the forum is:
Where is a good place to start tearing into it? Based on all the knowledge out there, I want to start out right.

I planned on working from the back of the vehicle - forward. Replacing the rear suspension, differential, front suspension parts, and tranny. The engine runs fine with no smoke, etc...

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 02, 12:01 PM
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Dano
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Lynnwood, Wa.
Posts: 3,789
Alligator,
"Safety First!" My suggestion to you is to go through the vital components first. Rebuild and re-pad/shoe the brakes, take a close look at the a-arms. If the bushings are bad replace them, In fact, get the whole front end inspected. It's pretty cheap insurance for your ride.
After safety stuff, I hit mechanical components, then interior, then paint. Ofcourse, if your headliner is sagging down two feet like mine was, well then do that so you can drive it.
2 guys in my local Camaro club told me this when I first started my project:
1st-picture how you want the car to look when you're done, and then work back off this image, and 2nd-go get yourself a wheelbarrow full of cash!

Dan B
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 02, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Austin, TX, USA
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If you plan to drive it periodically then by all means focus on the critical stuff first like brakes and steering, etc. What I did was start dismantling it.

I took the hood and interior componenets out and stored them upstairs in my office. I then started a panel at a time. First the cowl panel - strip, sand and prime. Next came the fenders. I had to patch a rust hole. Probably took the fenders off and put them back on 49 times. But I got them patched, stripped and primed as well. I hung those parts from the ceiling to keep them up and out of the way.

Then I pulled the motor and transmission. Stored the transmission and I'm tripping over the engine. I pulled the subframe to get it blasted and painted. Found out it was tweaked so I'm currently hunting for a new one. Plan is to clean and paint the firewall and underbody over the next few weeks. Hopefully I'll get the subframe done and begin reassembly soon. Just cleaned all suspension components a couple of weekends ago and boxed them up.

Tackle one thing at a time. Be safe - buy the equipment you need to get the job done (a.k.a. jackstands etc.). Clean up dirty parts. Bag the bolts and box up. Move to a storage location. Where it ends I do not know. Reverse the procedure to reassemble.

I plan to paint every bit I can. As a result, I'm saving the interior until after paint. Although it's hard to resist putting new parts on. Do what ever you can to stay enthused and focused. I find that hanging out here is a good way to keep interested.

-dnult

[This message has been edited by dnult (edited 12-17-2002).]
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 02, 01:00 AM
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Garage
Take plenty of pictures and place in an album.

I agree with everybody here, take pictures, see your final product, take pictures, wheel barrel of money, and take pictures, have a plan, do what it takes, oh, did I say to "Take pictures?"

When you come to a decision point as to the condition of an item, whether to replace or rebuild, I always go for replacement. Unless the price of replacement is well beyond my means.

Gotta have a plan -- "Plan the work, then, work the plan"

------------------
Everett "OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR APPEAR QUICKLY UPON RAPID DECELERATION"
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 02, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Meredith, NH USA
Posts: 90
Guys, thanks for the input!
I will follow your advice about sticking to the plan. I am about 90% sure what I want to do to the car, most in part due to Team Camaro.
This weekend is my 1st real opportunity to tackle the car. I heed your warnings about safety and have 4 jack stands to support the vehicle. I hope to get as far as removing the gas tank, rear end, and rear suspension. I do have air tools, hopefully this will make things go quicker than just wrenching.
What do you guys think, 8 hours to pull the above items?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 02, 02:17 AM
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John
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Maine
Posts: 3,099
Check out my webpage, I've got some step by step instructions on the usual remove and replace items that you may be doing. Especailly look at the "summer 2002" section.

My '68 was my daily driver for a long time, so I just worked on it as I went back then. Now, I do big marathon projects every now and again to get it fixed up.

If you are going to drive it and fix it as you go, I would suggest brakes and suspension first, then work from the rear forward for your drivetrain.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 19th, 02, 04:38 AM
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Jack
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: saltillo ms usa
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Use zip loc bags to store nuts, bolts, screws and small parts in. use a magic marker to idenify the parts in the bag. also write notes on the bag. jack
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 19th, 02, 04:46 AM
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Gary
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Chattanooga, TN, USA
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What smallblock said!!!
In addition, take pics of the assembly before you take it apart, and put it in the bag with the parts. I've taken things apart, with the intention of puting it back together in a couple of days, so I didn't take notes, take pictures, or bag the parts. 6 months later, when I actually put it back together, I had lost some of the parts, and had a hard time remembering how it went back together.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 19th, 02, 07:33 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: mentor ohio USA
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get a GM assembly manual. These are not to be confused with the "shop' manuals although those are important also. I really gave my assembly manual a work-out during the restoration process on my car.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 19th, 02, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Meredith, NH USA
Posts: 90
I have 3 manuals for the car right now.

1. Camaro Restoration Handbook (HP Books)
2. Body by Fisher
3. Camaro Assembly Manual

I know these are great reference books for my restoration, but I was wondering if the methods I am choosing are best practices.
In other words, I was going to to the suspension, diff, brakes, tranny, front end this winter. Body and paint winter of 2003.
Interior or engine to follow. Did I mention that the engine runs fine? No smoke or anything. I just want to hop it up some. It currently has an Edelbrock Performer RPM and a Edelbrock 4bbl.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 19th, 02, 02:58 PM
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Gary
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Chattanooga, TN, USA
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I think you have the right idea as far as what to do first--you want to be safe.

Only advice is, Don't let money talk you into shortcuts. They will not save you money in the long run.
Whatever it is, DO IT ONCE, RIGHT. I am currently paying for cost saving short cuts several years ago.
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