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In my back yard I have a 1968 Camaro (SS chassis, rebuilt engine, unknown on the rest of the specs ) which was built for my mother when she was 17 or 18 from a junk yard chassis and an engine which was rebuilt by her father.

It used to be our daily driver until 5 or 6 years ago, when we had nowhere to put it. It sat out for about a year uncovered and rusted through the gas tank, but still would attempt to start.

I need to know if this is worth the effort, if even possible, because i'd like to get it running for the sentimental value, and because it would be my first car, as it was my mothers first as well.

Currently we have only purchased a new gas tank and sending unit (yet to be delivered), which was the only previous issue with the car, until it sat in the sand for over 3 years of storms and Florida's notorious salt air rust acceleration. :sad:

Recently (last year) put a cover over it, and this last weekend we put an all purpose blue tarp under the cover to protect from the weather a bit more.

Here's some pictures of it so far. Hurts to see it like this.









And the new gas tank. (Replacing the sending unit as soon as it comes in on Friday)



So my question, is it feasible to do this project with
- No garage
- Limited tools (jack, 2 jack stands, small socket wrench set, basic tools)
- And a tight budget (No specific number, just whatever extra money we have gets thrown into it)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So far I'm sure it needs

  • New cowl induction hood and trunk panels

  • Possibly new tail pipes (old ones are really rusted, almost to the point of breaking)

  • Convertible top

  • Possibly a new interior (depending on how bad the weather got into it)

  • Tires

  • Gas Cap (Probably cheap)
The side panels don't look too bad, aside from some rusting at the bottom i may be able to fill in.

And of course, a brand new paint job
 

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Well IMHO all Camaros are worth the effort to save. The fluids will have to be dumped (oil, transmission, cooling, fuel lines blown out and checked) and filled, easy once you get her on a flat paved surface. I assume you have a driveway - but no covered garage. Really not expecting it to be too bad for you to achieve. The wiring and air cleaner should be checked for signs of unwanted rodent travelers and squatters. If the carb was left exposed then you may have some issues and it will need to be broken down, cleaned up and rebuilt - kits run about 60 bucks. If the engine is free and not seized you're golden.

A lot rust wise will depend on how wet it is where you are in the country. Check the brake lies for rust as they are steel, and prone to contamination so the first order once you flush the engine and get it started is a full brake inspection and replacements of what-ever it takes to have a working brake system.

Then look at the frame, exhaust and if it looks all sound she should be okay.

Just beware of trapping moisture with a full body tarp. Better to get her on a solid surface - paved or gravel or even plywood and get a roof over her head until you get the top replaced. Those portable garages work well in moderate climates to keep rain off and sun off you as you are working. Harbor Freight used to sell them for under 100 bucks.

Keep us advised of your situation and progress. Sounds like a good first project for you and the family connection is always cool.
 

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Keep us advised of your situation and progress. Sounds like a good first project for you and the family connection is always cool.
Definitely will! Never even thought about the portable garage.
And as for the hard surface, most of our driveway is sand, so we will probably have to resort to some thick plywood, or call someone to come and pave in a concrete pad for her!


A tarp will rapidly accelerate corrosion.
Good to know. Will take that off when I get home today.
 

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Make sure you cover that hole in the top though.


...or plan on new floors. Might already need them. Pull the carpet.

And, yes, she's well worth saving.
 

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Great looking project.
Just like anything else you accomplish in your life; it comes down to how bad you want it. If it means enough to you, you will do it. If not, it will continue to rot or someone else will end up with it. Every restoration comes down to money and time. Do what you can with what you have. Even if you can't start the restoration, stop it from getting worse. Get it running if you can and keep it clean. Soap and water is cheap. Keep an eye out for a place to rent to work on it and buy the parts and tools as the money comes in.
 

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DO ALL YOU CAN TO SAVE HER.

Like everyone is saying, you probably have significant rust issues but believe me, I have seen way worse that have been brought to life again. :thumbsup:
 

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Mine was worse than yours and still deserved to be saved! there are less original Camaros every year..especially convertibles..
 

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That's a HUGE project.

Can you weld well? Do bodywork? Paint? Do you have an indoor place to store and work on the car? Are your pockets pretty deep, as in do you have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on it? Do you have years and years to work on the car?

I think you've already answered "no" to all of these questions.

Despite all of the "every Camaro is worth saving" advice, unless you're an accomplished restorer and reverse the answers to each of the questions above, the only future I see for the car if you keep it is more and more deterioration.

If you keep it, I'd advise you to strip it immediately, have it acid dipped and dip primed and find a place to store it indoors while deciding what to do with it.
 

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My two cents...I kept my car for 18 years before I decided to repair/restore it. I was 22 when I stopped driving it. It was a heap then. I was 40 when I decided to "save" it. I needed to replace everything. I'm glad I didn't sell it. The point is , do what you want. Yes, it would be cool to have it as you're first car, but if it is your first car, you probably don't have the money to properly restore it. So, either spend enough to keep it going and use it as a daily driver, or keep it until one day you are ready to properly restore it. Either way, enjoy it. It is awesome to own a First Gen Camaro!!! (Especially a convertible, but I'm biased!!!)
 

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Here is my .02..

I dont care how big of a project the car is, it's a part of your family. No way I would sell it unless I couldn't provide for my family. No reason is the world you couldn't learn to do anything the car needs over time and complete the car. Heck we all start out the same knowing nothing about anything and we learn the skills to do what we do, not over night but over time. You do not have to be a professional to turn out professional results, all you need is the drive to succeed and take a little pride in what you do.

good luck..
:beers:
 

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here is my .02..

I dont care how big of a project the car is, it's a part of your family. No way i would sell it unless i couldn't provide for my family. No reason is the world you couldn't learn to do anything the car needs over time and complete the car. Heck we all start out the same knowing nothing about anything and we learn the skills to do what we do, not over night but over time. You do not have to be a professional to turn out professional results, all you need is the drive to succeed and take a little pride in what you do.

Good luck..
:beers:
yep
 

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Welcome aboard. It's nice to see your interest and enthusiasm in your mom's old car.:thumbsup: It certainly has potential, but will require a lot of time and money. Mike (Mkelcy) pretty well summed it up, although if you learn to do the work yourself, you can keep the cost down to a minimum, maybe less than 10 K....?? That means you doing all paint and bodywork yourself.

About the biggest problem I see, aside from the rust issues, is storage. You really need to keep it indoors while working on it, especially in your climate conditions. All severe rust needs to be cut out and replaced. Filling in holes with anything other than new metal will come back to haunt you in a short time.

My advice is to store it as best you can. Keeping it running and operating is wise on your part. The engine and drivetrain may still be in good shape yet. But I wouldn't recommend starting on the bodywork until you have a roof over head and are better prepared.

Check out this thread. Something like this might work out well for you.... A 68 VERT to boot !:thumbsup:

http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=183654&highlight=kettbo
 

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Well, unfortunately most of the pics are gone in that thread.:( Starting on pg 16, Ol' George enrolls in Auto Body training at a local trade school, working on his car in the schools shop with and instructor teaching him along the way..... brilliant idea, I must say. :yes:
 

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900ma

Every first gen Camaro is worth saving. Because of the sentimental value to you it's even more worth saving. Where in Florida are you at? Your pictures aren’t showing so I can't see the condition of your car. Best advice I can give you is go to some car shows or cruises and meets some people that can give you advice. Sometime you'll even get lucky enough to meet people willing to give you old usable parts and volunteer their time to help you.

First thing to do is to clear your fuel lines. I bought the cheapest electric fuel pump the part store had. Then I disconnected the fuel line before the mechanical pump on the engine. I ran a long rubber fuel hose from the engine bay back to where the gas tank is. I then used the electric pump to pump fresh gas through the fuel line until I got clean gas coming out. Caution, make sure the area is ventilated and no sparks during procedure. Then put a fuel filter between the fuel line and the engine. Or you can buy new fuel line, but you said you're on a tight budget so I didn't think that was an option. Change your oil before trying to start the engine. Come up with a plan to check every system.
 

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Thank you all for the inspiring words... Definitely going to put some hard work and elbow grease in it.

Great idea about taking the vocational school to get it into a shop too! Unfortunately I don't think there are any around where i live.

Getting the brand new sending unit in today. Going to put it in and hopefully get the gas tank up over the weekend.

Will keep you all posted on how it goes!!
 

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Go to home depot get you some cement pavers. Level the sand with a 2x4, lay some plastic and put the pavers on top. There's your pad. Next grab some 4x4 post, 2x6 and 2x4, and metal sheeting, and build yourself a cover over the car. Yes it's worth saving and you will enjoy the effort to do it.
 

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It may be helpful to post whereabouts in FL you are ? There's several members down there, I'm sure. Todd (6781camaro) is a self taught "metal man", capable of rust busting about anything a Camaro has to offer. :D:yes: Here's a link to his 68 build...

http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=204172

I'd suggest removing the carpet and trunk liner if you haven't already. As you know, they're notorious for holding moisture, accelerating corrosion. I'd be surprised if some of the floor pans aren't already beyond saving...

Looking forward to an engine update soon. :)
 
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