Born In A Barn - Build Thread - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old May 14th, 11, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Scott
 
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Born In A Barn - Build Thread

Good day gentlemen,
I thought I would start a build thread here. Its for a 68 Firebird convertible with an LS2 and 4l65 in it. I'm on a budget, I wouldn't call it cheap but I haven't spent money just to say I have a certain part.
If the fact that it says Pontiac on ownership is a problem for anyone I'll move the thread to another forum. I thought I would put it here though I got most of the help I recieved from another forum because most of the info I'll put here is already there and I thought you guys might be interested. I'll be looking for a lot of help yet. I figured if I started a thread I would be forced to keep moving. So here are the details.
68 Firebird I've owned since I was 15 - I never saw the original engine
06 LS2
4l65E from a Denali converted to 2wd
Spectra tank
8.5" 3.08 posi from a 73 Ventura
Speed tech UCAs
CPP LCAs
qa1 coilovers
C4/C5 front discs
LT1 rear disc
Foose Legends 275/40/18 rear, 225/45/18 front

I'm working in a 20 by 35 barn. The floor is cracked everywhere and there is literally a 3" drop in the middle. The leanto on the side is falling in so hopefully I'll be building a whole new garage soon. Obviously living in Ontario I don't get anything done on the car for a huge part of the year.
Here's the barn:

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old May 14th, 11, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Rear End

If I had to do the brakes again I would have bought an entire kit because its hard to say if all the time spent scrounging parts together was worth it. What was worth it is being able to go to any parts store to be able to buy replacement parts.
The rears are two right hand LT1 calipers and rotors. They are PBR units off a 95 Camaro. I got the brackets from the now defunct Touring Classics. Speedtech might still have brackets but you can download the plans or buy the brackets elsewhere. You need two rights because of the staggered shock set up.




The axle is out of a 73 Ventura. The Firebird rear end is 1" wider than the Camaro thought the perches are in the same place. That means the much stronger 8.5 from a second gen or a Nova is a bolt in. It is also a lot cheaper than the 12 bolt which, from what I'm told, is only marginally stronger. I picked mine up rebuilt for $600 with a 3.08 posi. Here's what the brakes looks like behind the Legends:

They don't exactly fill the rims but they'll do the job. I got the rotors zinc washed knowing I would be handling them and that it would take me a long time to get the whole thing put together.
The springs are 2" drop leafs from Summit. When I got them home I noticed they are also used on 70-81s. My last springs were and they say about 4" too high so these ones should only be 2" too high. If so I'll get Hotchkis units and put these on my son's 74. He's only 5 so he won't mind.
The tank is a Spectra unit. Yes, I've heard they had problems but I've also read a lot of good things about the revised tanks plus they are hard to beat at $500 delivered.
I'm fixing an interior window and putting in a Year One ATO harness next. It was cheaper than the competitors and did the same things so I'll let you know how that goes.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 11, 05:46 AM
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Re: Born In A Barn - Build Thread

I dont see a problem posting a Firebird here.Its a ton of trial and eror with these cars it took me a while and I bought all name brand stuff....

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 11, 08:28 AM
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Re: Born In A Barn - Build Thread

Welcome Scott. I've seen you over at pro-touring.com I'll be checking in on your build. I'm liking the pics and the explanations.
Maybe I should move my build thread to the pro touring forum. Is that possible? I'm sure a moderator can do it!! lol
Keep them coming.

68 Camaro SS... getting there!!
"If happiness is in your destiny, you need not be in a hurry."
If I can only convince myself of this!

My slooow build thread
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 11, 09:02 AM
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Re: Born In A Barn - Build Thread

Scott, looks/sounds like it will be a nice car. Be very careful with those concrete blocks,
they can crush with no warning! Good luck with your build.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 11, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Born In A Barn - Build Thread

Hey Rob,
Ya I'm over at p-t.com and ls1tech and a few other places. Most of the help I got was from p-t. But since all the info I have is already over there I thought I would put what I have learned in one place with guys who can use it and hopefully give me a bunch more info cause I'm far from done.
I chose the name "Ishmael" because of the character in Moby Dick who could see when things were going too far but lately I've been thinking of changing my name to "Ahab." I'm still keeping things under control and that seems to be the ethos of the guys on this board so I figured they would be down with the build.
I'll put up the details on the c4/c5 front set up right away because its easy to do and lots of guys are doing it. I'll also put up a good link. Lots of guys can do it cheaply and would only need some bigger rims. Its a good first modification.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 11, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Born In A Barn - Build Thread

Thanks Dave and John.
To all those thinking of doing a disc brake swap, this is how I would have done it had I not already purchased parts when this guys put up this excellent write up: http://www.pro-touring.com/showthrea...r-67-69-Camaro

As it is I did a c5 caliper over 13' c4 rotor. The reason for the c4 rotor is because it sits back further giving you more clearance in rims. As it is I've got a ton of clearance. You need drum brake spindles, have your hub turned down to 4.95" to fit inside the rotor (rear axle needs to be turned down too). The bracket was purchased from Touring Classics which as I said is out of business but others sell the bracket. You'll also need longer studs which you can have pressed in while the hub is being tuned down or just do them yourself.

Little tip, if you are buying reman calipers, don't just assume the banjo bolts for a c5 will work or, like me, you might end up buying another set of calipers. Test them lightly first. I got my hoses from stopflex. 95 Camaro hoses should work thought mine came with the brackets. If I were to do it again, I would just get the necessities from Kore3. An additional note: shaving off the corvette script buys you more clearance though the caliper I got the second time didn't have the script. These binders are PBR, have a great rep and are huge.

The rims and tires are 225/45/18. The rear are 18x10 with 5.5" BS, fronts are 18x7 with 4.5"These need to be cleaned and have lots of clearance. I would have gone 245 on te front but I got these rims and tires for $500 for the pair with 500 miles or less on them from Drivers Inc. There's a brake template on kore3's site: http://www.kore3.com/tech.php. David Pozzi has stuffed 275's in the front. you have to book mark his site: http://www.pozziracing.com/first_gen_suspension.htm

With the second gen rear I maybe should have gone an extra 1/2" back space on the rears if I was going to really drop it to sit them just inside the lips. With a 12 bolt, which is more than likely next, the rears will fit just inside the lips and still clear the suspension.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 11, 12:19 PM
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Re: Born In A Barn - Build Thread

Nice write-up Scott, sounds like it's going to be a fun car! No need to have the high dollar blingy stuff to bring these old rides up to current standards!

69 RS - LS7, T56, Currie, DSE, ATS, Vintage Air, Wilwood
Original floor/trunk. Under construction.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 11, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Born In A Barn - Build Thread

Thanks Allan, I'll be back at it by next weekend.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old May 17th, 11, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Born In A Barn - Build Thread

The UPS guy was here! That's a bad and good thing.

The good thing is that he brought me Hooker LS swap headers and mounts, a Griffin ls rad, a CPP crossmember, Hotckiss subframe connectors and x-brace.

The bad new is that he didn't bring me roses or lube because I got screwed hard on brokerage fees! At least my wife wasn't home so I could get the parts stashed without any questions.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old May 24th, 11, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Lower control arm hell

I've got a fingernail that's going to go black and cut in my forehead not to mention a bad mood from my attempt to remove my lower control arms. I got one bolt out. Why would the factory put the bolt in from inside the frame? The next time I do this I'm starting with a Schwartz frame. I don't care how much it costs. I started with WD40, then a torch, a drift, my impact with the universal joint won't move it. I have to use a torque wrench. I hate this.
Does anybody know of an easier way short of sawzall to get those bolts out of 40 year old rubber?
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old May 25th, 11, 03:09 AM
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Re: Lower control arm hell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
I've got a fingernail that's going to go black and cut in my forehead not to mention a bad mood from my attempt to remove my lower control arms. I got one bolt out. Why would the factory put the bolt in from inside the frame? The next time I do this I'm starting with a Schwartz frame. I don't care how much it costs. I started with WD40, then a torch, a drift, my impact with the universal joint won't move it. I have to use a torque wrench. I hate this.
Does anybody know of an easier way short of sawzall to get those bolts out of 40 year old rubber?
I just went through this on my '67. Lower arms were a bear to get out. The rear mounts were a pain, but at least they came loose. The fronts were seized up, and I went through 3 sawzall blades before taking out the grinder with cutoff wheel. Cut off the bolt and nut and used a pickle fork to spread the frame enough to pop out the control arm.

In my experience PB Blaster works a lot better than WD40.

If you're replacing the arm, getting the new arm in place isn't much easier. SpeedTech suggests using a piece of threaded rod with 2 washers and 2 nuts placed between the frame and screwing the nuts outwards to "open" up the frame a little.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old May 25th, 11, 05:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Born In A Barn - Build Thread

My forehead was me leaning over with the sawzall and hitting a tab off the firewall. Grinder it is then. Thanks.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old May 25th, 11, 11:51 AM
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Re: Born In A Barn - Build Thread

Scott, not trying to pollute your thread with my pics, but this may come in handy. This is the setup I used to spread the subframe to get the new control arms in place.



You might be able to do this to get the old arms out by cutting a piece of threaded rod to the exactly length of the subframe opening while the control arm is still in place and then cranking the nuts outward (my setup has the threaded rod passing through the bolt holes, but obviously you can't do this with the bushing still in place). This would only work on the front mount, not the ridiculous back mount setup. Also, I would use grade 8 washers next time as mine cupped pretty badly doing it this way.

For what it's worth, I installed the new bolts for the rear mount with the nut inside that frame opening instead of on the outside like original. And I used anti-sieze on all the bolts.

Good luck.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old May 25th, 11, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Born In A Barn - Build Thread

Thanks, I read about that on your thread. I thought I might try spreading the frame a bit when taking them out. I'll definitely use it putting the new arms in.
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