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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been hesitant to start a build thread because this project has been a bit scattered and taking a while, but it's picking up some steam so figured why not, I'll probably get good advice on things (and probably some critique too). Anyway, background. I'm retired and I wanted to get a European Exotic to play with, my better half gonged that idea and said I needed to fix the Camaro I have been dragging around the country for our entire marriage and long before. We agreed it would be a great project to get my sons hands on experience wrenching, learning how to solve problems, how things go together have some better life skills when they are older and aren't afraid to tackle projects. I bought this car in 1979 for $875, a classified ad in the local paper. It was born a 307 3 speed Saginaw floor shift in Lemans blue with the white hockey stick stripe. Over a few years of ownership one thing led to another and slowly a bit at a time became a bit of a drag car, always an SBC. I got parts from a friend's wrecked Z28 like engine, rearend, tach, console and gauges etc. Blew a few motors and transmissions, got really good at building them and changing them (in my driveway and a couple times on gravel parking lots where I worked construction). With 5.xx gears it wasn't much of a driver anymore, so it sat a lot, then followed me around the country for work always planning to restore it when I retired and now here I am doing it. The boys enjoy working on it now, as long as it's not more than a few hours at a time, and they can do the work and not just watch which takes a ton of patience on my part. It would move much faster if I did it all myself, but then they wouldn't learn anything. It will take a bit to get caught up to where we are currently but will post a bit at a time as I can get to it. Now that I'm done boring you with the background, here's a couple pictures of the car from way back when.

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
So starting the project was the floorboard which was rusted up pretty badly and porous I would say! My plan was to do it, then keep working my way around the car. The toe board on the DS had some pretty good rust and the tunnel was a bit tweeked so I wanted to do some measuring up front and maybe straightening before cutting the floor board out so had them pull the transmission. This is where they started to get more comfortable getting their hands dirty and learning how to clean them with orange cleaner etc -
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Traction bars were in the way of a couple of spots we needed to drill spot welds out - so they were taken out of the picture
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Got a kick out of a few things we found along the way, and somewhat surprised how rusted out the floor was which is pretty common I suppose -
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got the floor in place and held with screws before the snow flew and my better half insisted her car returned to the inside for the Winter, and so a long pause for the Winter.
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We had found quite a bit of rust in the rockers and I realized I was going to have to built a body cart if I was going to make progress, the frame rails needed replaced, trunk pan, rockers, both toe boards, and I was pretty sure I would find more as I went. Given the pace of the work I came to realize if something didn't change, I wouldn't have this thing done on any reasonable timing, so decided to farm out the sheet metal work. If I had a dedicated garage I could use I would have done it myself with the boys, but given the reality of our world it made better sense to have someone else do it.

Caught the boys trying to sneak it out for a drive
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Loaded and off the have the metal work done
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Got it back this Spring,
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there was enough rust in other areas like roof, firewall, tail pan inner and outer as well those got replaced. Minitubbed which was part of the plan too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ridetech 4 link and a new rear end to handle the more power was next
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Made a cart to put the rearend on, lowered the car, spun the rear end around sideways, put some blocks under the ends and raised the car back up to hook up the links and shocks, worked great!
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Currie 9 inch 35 spline with 3:70 gears and 1350 yoke, HQ shocks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Got a bit worried the LT5 wasn't going to be available so I ordered one a bit before I was ready, managed to find a controller for a 6 speed manual in stock to go with it too. It's a fairly big package as delivered.
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Found a buyer for the old engine so getting it moved out is next step, then subframe replacement to get it ready for the engine / transmission. And with that, the build thread is up to date with where we are as of today.
 

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Looks like a fun project for the boys. Two thumbs up!
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
11" by 9" by 1 3/4", sure seems like I should be able to find a home for this E99 ECU under the dash somewhere, even with a Vintage air suitcase in there.
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Ben's multi stage extension to get to the top DS transmission bolt so we can pull the tranny before removing the old engine later today
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After a reluctant start, my youngest helped out pulling the old motor yesterday and ended up having fun, thought it was cool. Pulled the SuperT10 transmission first to make it easier to lift. Only snag was getting the DS header stuck on the Z-bar which Ben unsnagged it with a little work using his 9/16" wrench and a shove (he's getting better at eyeballing sizes and getting the right tool for the job based on space available now). He learned about using a lift plate and how to pick the right balance point after trial and error. Lifted, and rolled the car back a couple feet then lifted and pulled it out the side - smooth as silk, he was pretty proud.
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Last lesson for the day, he learned how a clutch / throwout bearing works when pulled off the scattershield, pressure plate, and flywheel. Then of course, the clean up the tools and put them back in the tool box organized routine so he can find them later (which he is getting better at now).

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New owner picked up the engine later that evening, he was anxious to put it in his project, an El-Camino.
 

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What front subframe are you planning to use? Curious if all clear the LT5 dry sump pan.

Great engine choice by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What front subframe are you planning to use? Curious if all clear the LT5 dry sump pan.

Great engine choice by the way.
It's between Speedtech Extreme and DSE - I'm leaning toward the Extreme for the 315 tire size. Both need some notching to accommodate the LT5. There's examples of finished first gen's with the DSE, none with the extreme, but both are doable from what I have been able to research.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ordered the Speedtech extreme subframe, engine mounts and headers yesterday. 6 week lead time, so there's going to be a bit of a slowdown. We will get the old one out and taken apart while we wait obviously. Not sure if we will find new homes for any of the parts, but will try. Drum brakes so not highly sought after, but maybe someone will want the control arms or something.
 

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Ordered the Speedtech extreme subframe, engine mounts and headers yesterday. 6 week lead time, so there's going to be a bit of a slowdown. We will get the old one out and taken apart while we wait obviously. Not sure if we will find new homes for any of the parts, but will try. Drum brakes so not highly sought after, but maybe someone will want the control arms or something.
There's always someone on this forum looking for a stock subframe to replace their beat up one.
 
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