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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 09, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question Oh boy.

So I guess I'll just level with you.
I don't know much at all about cars. I know, it's embarrassing. The last two days has seen me spending several (5+) hours on howitworks.com to try and cover the (not so) basic systems which make up a car.

Something got into me the other day, and I came to the conclusion that I wanted to rebuild/remake a car. Unfortunately, I have no clue where to start. Or how to.

I think most people on this site will agree with me, there is just something special about the first generation Camaros. You know instantly that that car can kick some serious ***. And look good while doing it. It's awesome. Ironic part is that the car that I now dream of rebuilding was done being produced before I was even born (if I did the math right, I was negative 18 years old).

So here I am. I figure this is one of the best places to start this little adventure. Been all over the web for the last couple days and this is the first place I feel I can get some real good advice. Looks like a bunch of very enthusiastic members and one hell of a forum.

Little bit about me. Grew up in Pittsburgh, now out here in Colorado Springs. Gotta love Colorado. I am about to start my senior year at the Air Force Academy, and I am working on getting a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. And I drive a Subaru (but will trade for Camaro).

I am hoping that some of you will read this, and possibly guide me a bit the right direction. How do I get started?
What do you think?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 09, 10:49 PM
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Re: Oh boy.

Welcome to the site! Sounds like you've got some solid technical training behind ya. Best thing to do now is find a project car and start pullin' wrenches...you're learning curve will skyrocket (as well as the real fun)!! This site is the best resource when you get stuck with ANY aspect of the first gen Camaro hands down. Its helped me out countles times.
Dave

currently restoring my '67, 327, T-10,3.73 10 bolt
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 09, 10:58 PM
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Re: Oh boy.

Jon,

Welcome to the site!
Where to begin......well, how much money do you have? Besides pride of ownership, what do you want to learn out of this experience? Do you want to salvage a rust bucket? Buy something already done; could be partially or fully restored? What do you want to do to with the car; street, street/strip or strip only? Do you have access to a garage to store the vehicle and the time to work on her.....do you have access to the necessary tools? Do you want a numbers matching vehicle, a survivor vehicle or something that you could personalize, modify and just run up and down the street with? These would be some of the intial questions to help you develop a plan. This is a very expensive but rewarding hobby. The folks on this forum site are very knowledgeable and more then willing to help. What they do ask is that someone new to the hobby use the search feature first for a topic or project and then come back with questions for clarification or further explanation. I hope that's enough to get you started and again welcome to the site!! Just a side note, if you're married, is your spouse supportive of your desire to build a musclecar?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 09, 10:59 PM
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Re: Oh boy.

Jon,
Welcome to the site. We have a couple cadets visiting here on their "Summer Break".

Just remember, when you do get that Camaro you want, you will be PCSing every 2 or 3 years once you get into the "real AF". So moving that bad boy around the world is going to be a challenge.

One way to get started is keep your eyes out on this site, especially in the cars for sale section of classisified.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 09, 03:53 AM
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Re: Oh boy.

Welcome to team camaro!!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 09, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Oh boy.

So it has been a couple days, and this is what I have come up with so far.
Untouched first generation Camaros are pretty much the car enthusiast's dream, and therefore are almost always either non-existent, or out of my price range (which is a modest $6000).

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysalami View Post
Jon,
Besides pride of ownership, what do you want to learn out of this experience?
Well I would love to actually learn how to work and restore cars. Of course it might start out as a hobby but the skills learned on one car most times carry on to the next, and thats kinda what I'd like to get into. Would be awesome to know my car inside and out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysalami View Post
Do you want to salvage a rust bucket? Buy something already done; could be partially or fully restored? What do you want to do to with the car; street, street/strip or strip only? Do you have access to a garage to store the vehicle and the time to work on her.....do you have access to the necessary tools? Do you want a numbers matching vehicle, a survivor vehicle or something that you could personalize, modify and just run up and down the street with?
In terms of what I want to start with, I've realized I might be setting myself up to fail/get burntout too quickly if I don't first get my hands on a car which actually runs. As said before, I am going to have to pick all this up on my own or through a site like this. I am all for jumping straight into the deep end, but I think starting with a rustbucket might be out of my league for now.
In terms of working area, that is a bit of a tough one. On base we do have an auto garage with lifts and mechanics, but if the car doesn't start and I don't have towing capabilities on my Subaru sedan, I won't be able to even get the car down there to work on it in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysalami View Post
What they do ask is that someone new to the hobby use the search feature first for a topic or project and then come back with questions for clarification or further explanation. I hope that's enough to get you started and again welcome to the site!! Just a side note, if you're married, is your spouse supportive of your desire to build a musclecar?
Thanks for the warm welcome and enthusiasm for me starting up a project. Right now I have been looking for a 68-70 AMX, but those are rare as well; hard to find around Colorado.

And on a side note- I am not married and won't be for a while (please lord not for a while) and won't have to deal with that last variable when it comes to this project.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 09, 04:34 PM
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Re: Oh boy.

First,
Welcome! If you dig around this site with searches on whatever subject your into, you'll prob find info worth reading.
Now,
No space to put the car? That'll be tough.
Do you have a good set of tools yet? If no, this'll set you back a bit further.
$6k to work with for a first gen? You're better off saving for a running/driveable car so you won't get frustrated at seeing your car constantly sitting, taking $, with no end soon.
Not to rain on you, but for a first gen Camaro, and current skill level, you'll need maybe 12k to keep you into the project & not burning you out.
You can learn anything/everything on these cars, it's not hard so to speak, but your current situation, maybe wait a little and read up on what some things will cost and whats involved in whatever project it may be.

You can do it though. It takes a lot of time, and it does take a bit more $ than you think.
Worth it? Yup!

Some members here haven't even driven their Camaro yet, after 10 plus years of working on it!
Everybodys story is a little different.
Keep asking questions!!!
We'll help!
Welcome!

- John
Misfit tortured soul. Lone wolf. Unicorn.
'67 V8 Camaro - 12637, 797-Z (Parchment), M-M (Royal Plum), 2M, 3K, 5Y
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 09, 08:10 PM
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Re: Oh boy.

Jon....

Okay, first words of caution, before you buy, regardless of what you buy, investigate the availability of parts; both NOS (new old stock) or repops (aftermarket reproductions). A 68-70 AMX would be an excellent car to come by until you had to purchase parts for it. AMC NOS is almost non-existent and repops are far and few between due to the low number of cars still on the road.

Parkbrau (John) brought up a great point. With change of duty station, transportation of the vehicle becomes an issue that you will have to deal with. Also, at your current or first duty station, you'll need to check with vehicle registration and all the little quirks that go along with that. Each base is different so be extremely thorough in your information gathering process on what they will allow and restrictions.

For 6 grand you can find a first gen; be patient! A non or partially restored daily driver coupe is what you would be looking at and the Las Vegas market offers the best potential. We picked up our '68 driver and a '67 parts car for $5000 out of Vegas. Again, be patient and look at everything. Do your research here on the site before you buy and don't be afraid to ask someone to go with you or someone to go for you to inspect the vehicle from this site. Almost finally, don't overlook a 68 - 70 Nova or possibly a second or third gen Camaro to get started with. Get hooked up with the local car guys where ever you're stationed. A great source of info on local cars for sale.

Finally, don't rush the marriage thing!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 09, 08:25 PM
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Re: Oh boy.

Welcome to Team Camaro. This is an amazing site for info on first gen Camaros and the people here are great as well. Good luck in your search whatever you end up buying.

Senior year Air Force Academy-Aero Engineering. Very Nice! Does that mean off to flight school after the Academy??


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 09, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Oh boy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysalami View Post
Jon....

Okay, first words of caution, before you buy, regardless of what you buy, investigate the availability of parts; both NOS (new old stock) or repops (aftermarket reproductions). A 68-70 AMX would be an excellent car to come by until you had to purchase parts for it. AMC NOS is almost non-existent and repops are far and few between due to the low number of cars still on the road.
Thanks for the heads-up. It is hard to really judge the availability of parts I might need for a car I don't have yet, all while googling my way through the internet. So good to know.
And as of yesterday I now know what NOS parts stand for, prior to that I kept wondering why people were putting Nitric Oxide Systems into their old Camaros... I have a list made of lingo/vocabulary terms that I don't understand: is there a separate forum where I post them and you all can help me sort through them? That would really help me out a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysalami View Post
For 6 grand you can find a first gen; be patient! A non or partially restored daily driver coupe is what you would be looking at and the Las Vegas market offers the best potential. We picked up our '68 driver and a '67 parts car for $5000 out of Vegas. Again, be patient and look at everything. Do your research here on the site before you buy and don't be afraid to ask someone to go with you or someone to go for you to inspect the vehicle from this site. Almost finally, don't overlook a 68 - 70 Nova or possibly a second or third gen Camaro to get started with. Get hooked up with the local car guys where ever you're stationed. A great source of info on local cars for sale.
Well it is comforting at least to know that waiting long enough will yield the right car to get my hands on eventually.
After work each day I troll the forums, reading for a couple hours at a time, so the research is coming along slowly but surely. I am very very fascinated by the fabbing (another word I learned hah) that goes into the restoration of a rusted/corroded parts. So with your advice in mind, I'll have to sit on my impulse to buy now and continue reading the project threads. Real cool stuff in those things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorpe67RS View Post
Senior year Air Force Academy-Aero Engineering. Very Nice! Does that mean off to flight school after the Academy??
Thank you - Aircraft engines fascinate me, recently I got to see the F135 engine up close... and it was absolutely awesome: 40,000 lbf thrust sitting right there in front of me. Just ridiculous.
And pending a final graduation physical (and assuming I graduate ), I am off to flight school following graduation. So with the previous assumption in mind, I am just trying to get through this next semester and have some fun in the process.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysalami View Post
Finally, don't rush the marriage thing!
Haha oh man, couldn't agree more.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 09, 06:38 AM
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Re: Oh boy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbucey06 View Post
And pending a final graduation physical (and assuming I graduate ), I am off to flight school following graduation. So with the previous assumption in mind, I am just trying to get through this next semester and have some fun in the process..
Good luck!!


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 09, 12:40 PM
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Re: Oh boy.

Jon,

For the list of terms that you need help with, you could post them under Camaro Tech or even Bench Racing. (Or send me a "pm". In any thread, click on the members name and a drop down menu appears, select ...send a private message...and a "pm" will be sent for any info that you may not be comfortable posting on the public forums) Or email me direct at
[email protected]

If you find a vehicle that you are interested in, let's say 1968 AMX, google something like "production numbers amc amx" and you'll find something like this: http://www.planethoustonamx.com/main...on_figures.htm

take that info and compare it with:
http://www.camaro-registry.com/production.htm
or:
http://www.novaresource.org/production.htm

you can get an idea of parts availabilty.
a couple of hundred thousand versus less then 30,000 in production translates to low profitability for a company to manufacture parts for that AMC vehicle; of course there is one exception and that is with Mopar cars where high demand for parts and the willingness to pay big bucks for parts drives manufacturing of these parts.

Keep your eyes on the Review Journal newspaper out of Vegas on Wednesday and Sunday.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 09, 12:56 PM
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Re: Oh boy.

Jon, A good way to start the process if your needing some knowledge on basic auto mechanics is to subscribe to a couple good car magazines. They have some great tech articles and after you read enough of them, you start to get a bigger picture of what and how to do the job ahead. Thats how I got started.

69 SS/RS Fathom Green 454 4 speed

Bumper sticker- My other auto is a .45
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 09, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Oh boy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysalami View Post
Keep your eyes on the Review Journal newspaper out of Vegas on Wednesday and Sunday.
Is there anything special about the LVRJ in comparison to other big city's weekly paper?
http://www.lvrj.com/auto/
That is the listing you are talking about scouting, right?

Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by rad454 View Post
Jon, A good way to start the process if your needing some knowledge on basic auto mechanics is to subscribe to a couple good car magazines. They have some great tech articles and after you read enough of them, you start to get a bigger picture of what and how to do the job ahead. Thats how I got started.
Interesting. Great idea too. Any in peticular you swear by (or maybe just enjoy thoroughly)? I might go out this afternoon and pick up a couple from Borders.

Working on a glossary thread now
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 09, 07:09 AM
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Re: Oh boy.

[QUOTE=jbucey06;1247702]Is there anything special about the LVRJ in comparison to other big city's weekly paper?
http://www.lvrj.com/auto/
That is the listing you are talking about scouting, right?

Thanks

yes, that is the correct link. with the mass exodus from Las Vegas due to the failing economy, people are selling off their toys!!

Chevy High Performance is a good mag to start with.
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