My Build Thread - Team Camaro Tech
Pro Touring Todays performance with classic style

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post #1 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 15, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Shawn
 
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My Build Thread

Disclaimer: Not sure how long build threads last around here as I haven't checked any others yet but this one will be a few years in the making most likely.

Day 1:

Well over the holiday season I was finally able to get some time in to work on the car. I decided to I began the day laying out what I wanted to do and decided to tackle the gauges first as I expected the most problems that would require some emergency parts orders to get everything done by early January.



Well I got off to a great start as I peered under the dash I counted more wires that I could recall, and more length of electrical tape than I care to admit. It actually wasn't that bad but some of the splicing I tore out was just shamefully funny.



First thing I did was pulled out the line lock button on the bottom of the dash, then traced the wiring back to the harness and unplugged it from there as it was actually terminated in a nice way at the harness (surprisingly). After pulling the other wire through the firewall I found it went to the line lock solenoid through 2 different wires spliced together so it was cut off as that will be removed when I get a new brake line bent from the master cylinder to the distribution block.

After removing the bottom 3 gauges (water temp, oil press and voltage) from the dash, the aftermarket stereo, dimmer switch knob, wiper switch, dash pad and dropping the steering wheel I was able to get at the back of the instrument carrier panel and disconnect everything, unbolt it and pull it out. After removing it and looking at it I determined it would be better to get a new carrier panel then reuse the old one for the new gauges, as it had been messed up a little and my OCD was not having any of it. The final result of the day is shown below.

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post #2 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 15, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My Build Thread

Day 2:

After great success in feeling like I accomplished a lot on day 1, I got drunk with some friends and started day 2 in the late afternoon. However I decided to tackle mounting the console gauges.



After getting the console out of the car I pull off the wood trim looking cover off the top of the console and grabbed the new 4 gauge Dakota Digital set and mocked it up. It took a little coaxing to get the new gauges paired with the 45 year old gauge cover and into the console but the end result it pretty nice. Most of the coaxing was actually getting the new gauge cover to mount to the pod, as there were some tabs on the top of the inside that needed to be trimmed off.

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post #3 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 15, 04:47 AM
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Re: My Build Thread

Very nice start. And yes threads here can span years. We aren't going any place. Keep working, keep posting, we will keep reading


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post #4 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 15, 04:52 AM
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Re: My Build Thread

Some of us don't want to talk about the number of years their build threads last... Good luck with yours!
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post #5 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 15, 05:59 AM
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Patrick
 
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Re: My Build Thread

My build started July 2012 but who is counting.

What are your long term plans for the car? Are you going to change the wiring along with the gauges? What is the black knob on the left side of the steering wheel? Sorry, I am asking too many questions.

Patrick
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post #6 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 15, 06:25 AM
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Re: My Build Thread

Welcome...
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post #7 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 15, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69-Pace View Post
Very nice start. And yes threads here can span years. We aren't going any place. Keep working, keep posting, we will keep reading
Yeah didn't think this site was going away when I have seen posts from just past the turn of the millenium haha.

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Originally Posted by sgthawkusmc View Post
Some of us don't want to talk about the number of years their build threads last... Good luck with yours!
Well hopefully mine isn't too long, although I'm at least going to be able to drive it during the summers which will be nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tp_smith View Post
My build started July 2012 but who is counting.

What are your long term plans for the car? Are you going to change the wiring along with the gauges? What is the black knob on the left side of the steering wheel? Sorry, I am asking too many questions.
I'd hardly consider 3 questions too much, besides I love talking about my plans for the car The short version is long term I'm going to convert the front end to RS style hideaway headlights, install a turbo LS motor with a T56 behind it, finishing converting the lighting to LED, put a 2" cowl hood on it, air suspension and finally repainting it. All while fixing little things here and there.

As for wiring along with the gauges, if you mean a new kit from the likes of painless performance or related products I haven't planned on replacing the wiring, but more so cleaning up what is already present. I'm pretty sure the wiring was redone about a decade ago when one of the previous owners restored the car as it is in decent shape, however there are some "alterations" a subsequent owner made. The black knob by the steering wheel is the manual choke for the carb, I haven't even checked to see if it works but its one of those "I'm looking for the slightest excuse to end you" things. The carb does need a tune though to help with start up.

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Welcome...
Thanks Ty!
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post #8 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 15, 09:36 AM
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Re: My Build Thread

I cant stand the gobs of wiring under a dash. Or even worse, when some knob rewires the entire car with wire nuts and one color of wire!

Looks like a good start down the slippery slope!
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post #9 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 15, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Shawn
 
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Re: My Build Thread

Day 3 (this was sometime just before Christmas, but a week after the first two days):

My dad joined me for a while today as I still had some removal work to do. The oil pressure and temp gauges connected to the motor, and the gauges laying on the floor, however the wire cutters were brough out today for some mayhem. I actually was not sure if the coolant temperature line was full of coolant or not but after snipping it, it was a straight copper wire connected to a thermocouple. The oil line was a flexible plastic line that was half filled with oil so it was taped off after it was snipped. Once those were snipped I jacked up car and removed the oil speedometer cable and installed the Dakota Digital pulse generator and connected the wiring to it, running it up to the firewall then over the fender for now.

At that point I was debating what to do with the coolant to remove the old temp probe which was mounted on the passenger side of the block. After thinking about it while I went to the bathroom I decided to go get a new clean basin from town and completely drain the coolant. I walked out from the bathroom to find an oil filled catch basin below the car and my dad leaning over the fender with a wrench, I only lost about half the coolant before it stopped draining and couldn't help but chuckle at the old man. At least I didn't have to worry about pouring it from a basin to the rad again.

New oil and temp sensors were installed and the wiring connected and run over to the speedometer wiring. All 3 cables were then pulled through the firewall and routed to where I was expecting to mount the new control box. I spent the afternoon confirming indicator light wiring with a multimeter and marking which wires I would need with painters tape and a sharpie.



Also, if you couldn't tell already I have a few days of notes and pictures to catch up on.
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post #10 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 15, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSmithFamily View Post
I cant stand the gobs of wiring under a dash. Or even worse, when some knob rewires the entire car with wire nuts and one color of wire!

Looks like a good start down the slippery slope!
I haven't seen any wire nuts thankfully, however in the engine bay there is quite a lot of similar coloured, poorly routed and exceedingly long lengths of wiring that will be cleaned up when the old 350 gets the yank.

I see you just got your build thread up too, best of luck to you as well! Seems like you are a lot farther along than I am
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post #11 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 14th, 15, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My Build Thread

Day 4:

After spending Christmas and boxing day getting fat I decided to get going on this again. Before going crazy with the wire cutters I decided to see why the park brake light was on even though the brake was not depressed. Just looking at the switch showed the small metal piece between the brake pedal and the sliding cylinder switch was popped off and slightly bent. Pulling it off and giving it the MC Hammer time treatment seemed to solve the problem for now but will have to keep an eye on it in the future.

After that I grabbed a pair of wire cutters and decided to get going on the stock indicator lights. All of the wires were cut and any that did not have any marking tape were taped over, grouped together and hidden away. At this point the only thing left to cut was the fuel gauge wires however I wanted to double check the colours to ensure I have them properly figured out.



After seeing the top of the steering wheel I definitely need to give that some paint love, the previous owner told me it was scratched up from the first night he owned the car. Apparently some thieves tried to steal the car the first night he brought it home, a tach that was mounted on the steering wheel was ripped off and they made a further mess by prying off the ignition cover. So that will be something to do before installing everything back in place and I'll have to look around these forums with how to remove the steering wheel to see how easy it will be. I will also have to get the ignition switch done while it is out as well.

In the meantime since I needed some lengths of wire from town and everything was still closed for the holidays I took care of the mounting points for the control box. I found a slit in the top of the glove box that would work perfectly for one side of the control box and marked a spot on top of the ash tray bracket to drill a hole. Removed the ash tray, drilled the hole, reinstalled and test fit it with everything bolting up nicely so it was removed until the wiring was tied in.
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post #12 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 15, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My Build Thread

Day 5 (last update of past work):

I started by wiring up the new sensors to the control box and then armed with 25 ft rolls of 18 gauge wire that included red, black, green and blue colours I proceeded to run lengths of wire from where they were snipped off to where the control box would be mounted. Once that was done I ran the constant power from the battery using a crimp on fuse block, the accessory power was run from the harness and everything was connected up to the control box.

I then mounted the control box and unconnected each wire and snipped off the excess and reconnected so that I didn't have a ton of wiring behind my dash and to give it a cleaner feel. Once that was done the switches were mounted in the glove box with double sided tape and wired up to the control box. After getting everything wired up I put a few zip ties in to get the wires grouped up and keep things looking clean, however I think I am going to go back and cut them off and get some lengths of wire loom for an even cleaner look (damn my OCD!).



With everything wired up I connected all the gauges to the control box (they were just sitting on the seat) and reconnected the battery. With a flip of the key and to my delight, somehow everything actually worked! The fuel gauge and speedo needed calibration of course and the fuel gauge was done in 2 minutes, but everything worked and I was ecstatic. I was betting on me screwing something up and spending another day cussing at myself trying to find out what it was. Unfortunately I do not have completed pics showing the control box mounted and wired up but I will get that when I head out in a couple weekends to go work on the car again.

With a huge victory on the gauges and it still being early afternoon I called up my older brother who is an electrician. He brought out his soldering kit and we went to work on wiring up the LED tail lights, which went pretty smooth until we when to test fit them in the housings. The housings were too narrow and the LED panels would not slide back far enough (new ones have been ordered and should be here in a few days), however we were still able to get everything wired up, tested for proper function and cleaned up with some wire loom. The new lights required me to run a power source from the harness to the lights for the circuit board and I ran this one beneath the carpet on the drivers side then behind the rear seats. Removing those rear seats did not require as much strength as I thought it would but wow was I kinda twisted up like a contortionist to get a proper position. I did not get any pictures of testing out the new lights as that was happening at like 10:30 PM but will do so when they are mounted!

My next round of parts is due to arrive this Wednesday and will be heading out in a couple weekends to put a little more time into the car.
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post #13 of 91 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 15, 01:56 PM
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Re: My Build Thread

seen worse rat's nests under dashes..you will get there!
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post #14 of 91 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 15, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My Build Thread

Day 6:

Finally got decent enough weather to head to my parents for the weekend again, so I brought my latest round of parts and had a little fun. I did a quick double check on all the new wiring for the gauges to make sure everything was where I wanted it to go, then got to work transferring the vent and a few other pieces from the old dash to the new one.

Once that was done I put in the new gauges, re-installed the fan controls, wiper switch and dim switch into the new instrument carrier panel. Once those were installed the carrier panel was installed in the dash and a new dash pad capped it all off and the results are below. The dash pad was a bit of a pain to get installed on my own (with those clips and all) but after a little cussing and tinkering I was able to make them stay in place while I installed it.



With that completed I turned my attention to the rear of the car mounting my LED taillights. They didn't quite fit into the new housings so the templates supplied with the kit went into the garbage can. A few quick mock ups and markings with a sharpie and some holes were drilled, rivets were used and the finished product is below. Now I just need spring to come so I can get this old girl safety inspected, registered and on the road!

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post #15 of 91 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 15, 07:02 PM
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Re: My Build Thread

Hey I just noticed that your heater controls have blue Nova style tint at the bottom and not standard Camaro green. Is that true or just bad photo color reproduction?


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