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Discussion Starter #261
Thanks Doug! I can't wait to get the new ECU installed, but I've got a few jobs to modify stock harnesses and flash the ECU's for stand alone. I need to finish those when I have some free time, then I can focus back on my car.
 

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Discussion Starter #262
I haven't gotten much work done on my car, but I've been keeping busy. Thankfully, our son is starting to sleep all throughout the nights. Now that I'm caught back up on my sleep, I can go out into the garage for a few hours after everyone goes to bed a few times a week. I've taken on a few side jobs modifying harnesses for some friends, so I've been busy working on those. I've finished one and am in the middle of the other one.



My wife got me a few car parts for my birthday earlier this month. A long time ago I bought some Holley EFI fuel rails at a swap meet, but didn't want to run the AN fittings that they came with. My car is running 3/8 Nylon lines with the factory GM quick connect fittings. So I needed to find a -8 ORB to 3/8 GM quick connect 90* swivel. Only one that I could find was made by Russell #644-063, and it was just what I needed. She also got me the USB to Can harness for the Terminator X system so I can hook my laptop up to make changes.







Once I get the last harness finished up, I plan to jump back on my Camaro. I need to finish the interior; Dye the door panels/ Dash pad, install headliner and sail panels, and button up a bunch of things I didn't get to last year. One of the things I've been keeping an eye out for was any radio that I can use to just fill the hole in my dash. A local member hooked me up, Thanks Mitch!!





Eventually I'll get something else for a radio, but this one will make the dash at least look complete.

Thanks,
Ryan
 

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I've spent several hours catching up on your thread. Its very motivational! Your attention to detail, patience and craftsmanship is beyond impressive. I've got a 67 I'm working on.
 

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I must say the transformation on your 68 is amazing. I am new here and I am trying to put a 5.3 Vortec in my 68 Camaro that’s been in the works for about 10 years. it’s been to 4 shops and was getting nowhere. One shop even made the mistake of painting the back half red Even after me telling them I want it in blue. Now my cousin and I are going to try to tackle this. And try and get the motor and trans where in us etc. I’m going to try and at least get it running so we could paint it and get it back on the roa as I’ve had it for 22 years . I would like to know what parts will I need to install the 5.3. I would appreciate any help thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #266
Haro, That's a tough question since there are so many directions to go. I'd say at bare minimum, you need to have a your mounts/oil pan/headers or manifolds all match since they need to work together to fit properly. You'll also need to have your supporting systems like fuel, wiring, and engine tune set up properly. Feel free to pm me with any other specific questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #267
I haven't done any work on the car until last weekend. I pulled the cover off to see what needed to be done in order to get it back up and running again. It took me a while to decide where I wanted to drill the rather large hole in the firewall for the ECU. Since I had my 0411 ECU mounted behind the passenger headlight, I didn't have a big hole. After a lot of thought, I found that the most discrete and accessible location was right above the throttle pedal mount.

2" hole saw per Holley's instructions.





Once the hole was drilled, I started to lay out the harness to see how it fit. Overall pretty happy, but I will likely re-loom it at some point for a little cleaner install. I'm waiting until I get the system fully up and running before I do anything like that though.







Right now I'm in the middle of figuring out what wiring I need to install in addition to what the Terminator X comes with. I'm going to add an input for VSS right now, and an output for my cooling fan and reverse lockout. I'll likely have to change that when I add my turbo next fall, but time will tell. I need to add a wire for the alternator exciter, reverse lights and various loose wires outlined in the Holley instructions. I also need to route the wideband wires. I'm going to run it to the passenger side since I'll eventually have my downpipe there. I'm also in the process of thinking through how I want to mount the ECU, wiring and fuse/relay block in the glove box. Right now I'm thinking about either building a new glove box liner out of aluminum and then mounting it all there, or possibly using my stock one but mixing up some resin to harden it. I'm leaning more towards the aluminum and if possible I'd like to make it out of one piece.

Before I got the Holley install started, I test fit the console that came with my car just to see what it looks like. Not sure how I feel.



I also bought this SD card adapter so I can help my dad tune his Holley EFI this summer.



All for now. Hope to have it running by the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #268
I made a little more progress last night on mounting my ECU. A few nights ago I played around with a few ideas and came up with a design that mounted the ECU in the glove box. When it was late a night after I finished it, I was happy enough and thought that it would be fine since nobody would really see it.



Well after thinking about it, I wasn't happy with it. There wasn't much room for mounting a relay, fuse panel or other things. So after searching around a while, I came across a post here at PT, and someone built exactly what I was looking to do. It was great to see what was done, and it gave me the inspiration to build my own.

Out with the old.



Then I started on Version 2.0. I went out to my metal pile and found this old block off plate that I made for my 1976 Trans Am, and will re-purpose into my glove box plate.



The piece wasn't quite long enough to make the panel in one piece, so I decided to make it in two and just rivet together.



Test fit both pieces to mark where I had to bend and rivet.



Now it's one piece and a test fit with the ECU bolted down.





After I mounted the ECU, I realized that the rod for the glove box door went right through where the ECU plugs go. I got super lucky because it passes right between the main power and the two plugs and clears everything by at least a 1/2". :)

I was playing around with different options so that I can have a radio this year in the car, and am contemplating running this Double Din radio I removed from my old truck before I sold it.



It kinda fits there, but not sure if there was enough room for the plugs to fit in the rear.

Then I stuck in my Freebie AM radio so that the dash looks complete. Thanks Mitch!! That looks so much better!



Lastly, I picked up some plugs for my t56. Since the new ECU doesn't incorporate the 6 speed by default, I need to add these wires so I can have reverse lights, vehicle speed (VSS) and reverse lockout functional. I'll have to use one input to add VSS and output to activate the reverse lockout. Both will require programming to work properly. I'll be sure to add some screenshots of how I do this down the road.



I've got a few parts on the way to hopefully finish up this install one of them is a large enough firewall grommet. A 2" firewall grommet was surprisingly difficult to find. I was hoping to find some sort of cheap bulk pack so I had them for future projects, but I didn't feel like searching any longer, so I just bought the one pack I found on eBay.

I also need to find a good place for the 3.5" screen that came with the Terminator X. Anyone have any creative suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #269
Yesterday was finally warm enough to get outside and paint some parts. I bought the SEM Vinyl paint a while ago, but am finally ready to attempt dying the panels black. I started out by cleaning the parts off with window glass cleaner two times with a plastic scrub brush. First time to get the bulk of the junk, second time for good measure. Next I used a painting cleanup product called Preps-All, that's meant for cleaning up grease and wax before painting a car. The last step was recommended to me by an old body shop guy in lieu of the SEM adhesion promoter. I took some lacquer thinner and wiped it evenly across all of the parts and let it dry. The lacquer softened up the material and made it a little tacky. Then I sprayed one light coat, one light to medium coat and then one heavy coat waiting 5-10 minutes in between. Here are the results, I'm very happy and so far the coating seems very durable. I scratched a section with my finger nail and it didn't peal or flake off.





I started with those two panels since they weren't in the best shape, and couldn't really make them much worse. I was so happy with the results, I decided to paint my blue dash pad as well! The dash had more of a build up of dirt/grease/grime so I got out my copper wire brush and that did the trick.





The finish is a dead ringer for the original color!



I'm hoping to get the dash wiring cleaned up over the next few weeks so that I can get the gauges reinstalled. Then I can finalize the Terminator X install and clean up any wiring related to that. I'd love to get that done in the next few weeks and possibly get it out for a test drive since the weather is unusually warm for this time of year.

Thanks,
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #270
On Sunday in between the kiddos napping and grilling out, I was able to get the headliner bows painted and the headliner flange pieces prepped for the install. I scuffed the bows with 80 grit, sprayed with self etching primer and rattle canned them. Didn't take too much time considering they won't be seen. Just didn't want them all rusty. I got lucky when I bought the car as the headliner was still installed, so when I disassembled, I labeled them for an easy re-install.





I had laid the headliner in the sun a few days before and it got most of the wrinkles out, but not all. I laid it out on the floor of the garage to mark the center line. Fold it in half length ways, then mark the center. I'm honestly glad I did, because I considered not doing it. I figured that I would be able to eyeball the center line, but with it all hanging down when you are in the car, it made it very difficult. Tip to those who may attempt in the future.





Couldn't forget my dome light!



After I cleaned up the headliner flanges, I was amazed at how clean they were! They are untouched originals from 1968. One little surface rust spot on the passenger side.



These are the correct screws in case anyone is wondering.



Flanges installed as well as some screws in the holes for the sun visors. Another tip I found when looking up how to install a headliner.



Everything that I read on installing headliners, said to start with the center bow first. This bow is almost more like a metal coat hanger rod, but curved at the ends. Once all the bows were installed, I started in the center. The center bow has some teeth that point towards the rear of the car, so I punched them through the loops for the center and pulled tightly towards the front of the car. I proceeded to pop the front two bows in place.



I borrowed this bucket of binder clips from work and started to clip everything roughly in place.





Then moved onto installing the rear headliner flange. This one was not in as good of shape as the front's but overall not bad. I scuffed and shot with some paint to help prevent the rust from coming back.



Everything tightened up quite nicely for the first go around.





I wanted to get the headliner in place so that it could stretch out in place for a few days. I plan to go back sometime this week and re-adjust it all before it's glued in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #271
Next on the list was getting a power distribution box. I ordered one from eBay and was pretty pleased with the quality for the price. It gives me a central place to run power and grounds so that I can clean up some of my wiring. The problem was that I also needed to have both constant 12v and switched 12v sources. So I decided to take it apart and see what I could do.





Once I split it apart, I determined where I wanted to split the panel into two circuits.





I crimped and soldered on a eye terminal, added some heat shrink and bolted it down to the new switched 12v side. I added a little notch for the 12 gauge wire to pass through. I didn't add a picture before I buttoned it up, but I added a piece of plastic as an added barrier between the ground circuit and 12v wire.





I'll add in a 30 amp relay to switch the ignition side on, but here is the completed conversion. Now the top 6 fuses are constant 12v and the lower 6 fuses are switched 12v ignition sources.





I test fit it on the glove box panel that I made and it will be a perfect fit. Next step is pulling that panel out one more time to fit this fuse panel for installation and then paint. Once that is finalized, I should be pretty close to firing off the engine with the new ECU.

Cheers,
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #272 (Edited)
I've been plugging away working towards a complete interior and other misc. things here and there. I finished up the install of the fuse and relay blocks as well as the mounting of the ECU. I love the placement of everything, but it was difficult to find a mounting location that was easy to get to, but also retaining the glove box. So I opted to use the glove box for my wiring needs.







It's Alive!! Once all the wiring is final, I'll tidy everything up with some loom.





I've been constantly impressed with the condition of the original parts on this car. Here are the original windlace trim parts from the car. I was assuming that I'd need to replace these with new, but thought I might try cleaning them up. I'm glad I did, they are in great shape and are still quite flexible! I'll let you guess which was was the before.



Since the Terminator X has a universal LS wiring harness, I needed to add in the t56 "sub" harness for the Reverse lights, Reverse lockout and Vehicle Speed. I picked up one of the pigtail kits for the three connectors from eBay and VSS and RLO were perfect, but the reverse light switch had female terminals installed rather than the correct male. It took me about an hour to figure that out. So I've ordered a new set of correct terminals and a Metri-pack terminal removal tool. Should be here by the end of the week to finish that up. I should mention that only the VSS and Reverse Lockout will be hooked up to the ECU. The Reverse lights do not communicate with the ECU at all, but rather are wired into the body harness.



Picture's blurry, but that's the best I could do to show that the reverse switch has the female terminals on it, so the plug would need male terminals to install correctly.

 

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Discussion Starter #273
Moving back to the headliner install, I was able to get back in and stretch it all nice and tight. One thing that was bugging me was in the center of the headliner where the bows attach to the center of the roof was a noticeable spot that was being pulled up. When I installed the bows, I put all of them in the lowest of three holes. Looking back I should have started with the middle hole, then I would either had to adjust up or down one hole rather than having to potentially test all three positions. Here is what they looked like when the bows were too low.





I hated to do it, but I pulled the headliner back down and put all of the bows into the middle positions and that was the ticket. That tension was gone in the center of each of the bows and it was even all the way across the top. Glad to be done with that. Next it was time to glue down the headliner and do one final stretch. I wasn't happy that I was unable to get the wrinkles out of the the material between 3rd and 4th bow. No it was pulled nicely to the rear of the car, but when I tried to pull it from the side, it made a bunch of other places start wrinkling so this was the best I could do. I'm hoping that I can use a heat gun or iron carefully to reduce or eliminate some of it. Overall pretty pleased with the final product.









I didn't take a picture, but I took 1/4" staples to the tack strip then trimmed off the excess and installed the sail panels. I was also able to re-install the original trim wind lace panels on the front and rear which makes for a very original looking install. In the middle of that install, I was also working on polishing up the trim and reinstalling it on the rear interior panels. They turned out better than I expected. It worked so well that I'll be doing the same thing to the door panels, A pillar trim and other misc. parts I have.

Before:



After:





Here's the passenger side.





Once I test fit the windlace with the rear interior panels, I found that I needed to move them both down slightly to eliminate the gaps. Now that the headliner and sail panels are installed, glued down and the windlace in the correct placement it was time to re-install the weatherstripping gutters. But before I could do that, I needed to polish them and clean up all of the grime and overspray over the years.

Before:







That's all for now. Hoping to finish up a few wires, and button up the remaining interior pieces that need to be re-installed. It's going to be very different this year driving the car with a completed interior.

Thanks,
Ryan
 

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After going through this myself the past 5-6 years I applaud you big time for your progress. I totally envy your craftsman ship and ability to do sheet metal work. That saves a TON of money especially with a car that you started out with. Its looking good
 

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Discussion Starter #275
Thanks Brian! It's a ton of work, but I love doing it. I was starting to wonder if anyone was even looking at this anymore haha.

I bought the RS chin spoiler kit for my car almost a year ago, but I was driving it so much last year that I didn't take the time to get it installed. I've been doing so much interior stuff lately, I wanted to take a break and do something different. I figured, while it was up on the wheel stands it would be a good opportunity to install it. It only took about an hour, but it made a huge difference in the front. I'm really glad I finally installed it.





While I was under the front, I decided to see if I could make the turning signal fit a little nicer. I never test fit the signals before I painted and installed it on the car, and come to find out the bracket wasn't welded in the right location. Not perfect, but definitely much less noticeable. Maybe when I do a cam swap, I'll pull off the front end and address it then. Also, it doesn't mean anything, but the turning signal housings are from a real Tripoli Turquoise 1968 Camaro Z/28 RS car. I picked them up at a swap meet several years ago. I love using original pieces when I can.

Here's the marker light held in the correct position and how misaligned the bolt hole are.



Before:



After:



Then I moved onto installing the door weather seals. They didn't take long at all, but what did was aligning the door and quarter glass. All I can say to anyone doing it themselves is take your time and make small adjustments. Not sure if this is the correct way, but I started with the rear quarter glass. I made sure that it fit really well into the weather seal, and then moved onto the door glass. That got me really close, but I ended up needing to bounce back and forth tweaking them so that all the seals fit together properly. It's not perfect, but is as good if not better than how it would have been from the factory.



It's hard to tell, but here is one picture I got when I was fitting the rear quarter glass. Without the seals on it seemed to fit great, but after, it was clear that it was contacting the "gutter". With the window rolled up, the glass was directly contacting the polished lip. There are set screws that needed to be pulled inward and then re-tightened. Afterwards, it fit very nicely in the weather seal pocket.



Hard to see, but the line on the weatherseal where its light black to dark black is the edge of the glass.



Cheers,
Ryan
 

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Ryan, yes this forum doesn't seem to get the traffic or comments like other forums? When I started a thread back in 2011 I was big time into posting build threads and such and keep updating them. Once I got deep into the car I kind of stopped because it was just another thing to do on top of trying to build a car and keep my sanity. Another kudos for your talent on the build AND keeping this thread alive. Well done. Now that I have been back on here I kind of wish I would of kept up with it or kept up with others builds.

That spoiler looks great. I have one on both my 69's and it makes a world of difference. I think at least.

Looks like your window adjustment session went WAYYYYYY better than mine. And they look great too. Mine didn't go so well.......
 

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The spoiler looks good. I have been watching and reading right along, I just don't post much. I have been debating putting a spoiler on my RS.

Ryan.
 

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Discussion Starter #280
I went with Metro for everything and have been very pleased. I would suggest using their seals with the metal insert for the quarter windows. I went with those and they look just like OEM to me and fit great.
 
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