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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've learned so much from the experts on this forum and up to now most of my posts began with "how do I...", well I thought it would be good to start one with "this is what I did...". So this thread will start from the beginning and chronicle my entire build up to now, and will continue until the car is back on the highways of California doing what it was meant to do...drive!

History:
I bought the car in August 2010 from a guy in San Jose. This is my first Camaro!

VIN 124378L332196

The car was born in 1968 at the Van Nuys plant in Los Angeles, California. The car was built with a 327ci V8. The original color was Corvette Bronze Metallic (OO), which isn't really rare except for the fact that it was one of three colors shared with the Corvette in 1968. The interior had the popular houndstooth cloth pattern which deteriorated and was replaced with standard vinyl. The car lived in California it's whole life and from what I found under the rear seat, the car was used on fishing trips - I found an old fishing license from 1969.


Originality:
As for what is still original after 42 years, well a lot. For starters the engine, transmission, intake, carb, radiator, and exhaust manifold are all original. The glass, dash and all internal components appear to be original. The rear axle/diff, suspension, steering components also appears to be original.


My Plan:
For those of you who believe in originality, you might want to turn away now...sorry.

The interior has already been gutted, which you will see later. I'm going to install a custom center console and new steering column. Other than that the interior will remain original - aside from new paint and new chrome pieces.

The exterior will be painted midnight black with two white stripes. The hood will be changed to an SS style for aesthetics. The rear already has the fin. The rims will be changed to polished torque thrusts again for aesthetics. The original decals are no longer, so all new decals and emblems will be added.
A new grille and headlight trim will also be added.

The suspension will be completely gutted. I'm going to add all new tubular arms, new bushings, ball joints and new shorter springs.

The steering will also be completely gutted. I'm going to either replace the pitman, idler, drag and tie rods, or install a new chrome rack and pinion- still deciding.

The biggest changes will occur under the hood. As most of you already know I have a completely re-machined GM350 out of a 64 vette - although it's a 1971 engine. Don't worry, the original 327 will be stored for safe keeping. On the top end the 350 will get a new chrome edelbrock intake and carb. I'm going to add all new chrome hedman headers, a new chrome alternator, new msd ignition and distributor. Pretty much I plan on amping up the old beast and dressing her clean. I'm also changing the radiator to an aluminum polished type. I may also add other aluminum accent pieces over the firewall and inner wheel wells.

So that's the plan! Comments welcome.

More to come.....
 

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Sounds like a good plan to me. I'm going through the same process with my '68 as well. Good luck and post some pics as work progresses.

- John
 

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Wow, some serious work there. That rear window channel looks nasty.
At least you know where your weekends will be spent for the next little while.

I'll bet it comes out great !!! Keep the pictures coming.
 

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It's called 'patina' and lots of it.
A good project for starters and a good character builder.
It will be nice to read of the journey, maybe blog it here within the site?
I do like the stance, level and low.
Does she have a name?
 

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nice build
shes got alot of potential
great platform to work with!
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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Innovative! Safety pins and sun visors to hold up a falling headliner.......
When replacing the headliner, label/number the rods as to position in the roof, front #1 to rear #5 , and the holes they are inserted into in the roof structure. Very important. Take pictures of each rod end in its hole and label accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here is the work I'm doing on the undercarriage, as you can see the gunk is coated on.

Before








During





I haven't started on the trunk yet. I need to finish removing the grease and undercoating to assess the rust damage to the floorpans before I begin my patchwork.
 

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The old fashion method of removing undercoating is a propane torch and scraper - heat, scrape, repeat.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok, a little background before I dive into why I started doing everything in the wrong order.

When I bought the car in August of last year I had to sell my daily driver to pay for it. Earlier in the year I also bought a brand new Harley. I figured I would use the bike as my daily driver and slowly fix up the car.

There were a few problems with this; one was that I lived in an apartment complex that wouldn't let me work on the car, two it's hard to carry golf clubs on a bike, and three I didn't want to ride in the rain.

I soon realized that I needed a functional car that I could use daily if necessary. As you could see from the pictures the car was far from functional.

New plan! The good news was that the engine compression was good overall...little low in 2...

(Tested dry)
1 - 170, 2 - 155
3 - 170, 4 - 175
5 - 160, 6 - 180
7 - 160, 8 - 180

See thread:
http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=185214

...Knowing this gave me confidence to begin making the car at minimum drivable. So, the first thing I did was bought all new interior. I bought the carpet, vinyl upholstery (never liked the houndstooth), new foam, new headliner, new sail panels, new pillar post, new heat barriers, and a brand new steering wheel.

I also ordered new torque thrust 2 rims and new tires. In addition I bought a new 2 row aluminum radiator, and thermostat for good measure.

The radiator was probably the most challenging obstacle to overcome as I had to drain the coolant, deal with the oil cooling lines and dispose of the old radiator (remember I lived in a high rise apartment at this time).

It's kind of hard to see, but I got it in without much trouble:




I then tackled the interior. Having never done interior before I thought how tough could it be? TOUGH!!! - Hog rings SUCK! The first thing I did was remove the passenger seat and remove the old houndstooth. I figured I'd start with the passenger seat so that I could still drive the car if needed.

Once I took the seat apart, literally snapping, bending, tweaking, turning, breaking about 100 hog rings, I realized that both of the back posts were broken and would need to be welded.

After having someone weld them (again apartment) I began with the reconditioning. I used a wire brush and scraped away most of the rust, luckily it wasn't pitted. I then sprayed some rustoleum rust neutralizer on it and let it dry. I applied a primer coat and then two coats of gloss black. Once it was ready to handle I installed the vinyl base that replaces the burlap, then the new foam and finally the new vinyl covers. I probably went through 100 hog rings and two coat hangers per seat. The new hog ring installation was hard, but the removal of the old ones was 4x harder. The rear bench was even worse, 200+ for the entire bench. Suffice to say my carpal tunnel was on full assault.

I then removed the driver seat and rear bench and did the same with them. Imagine me in an elevator carrying a nasty car seat up 8 floors, it did provide for some interesting conversation.

The driver bucket frame posts were broken as well so I had them welded. I decided to use the original seat emblems to give the interior a little character. I don't plan on painting or reconditioning them at all!!!

Here are a few great videos on how to install the bucket seat & rear bench upholstery. These were the methods I used and they worked great.

Bucket:

Rear Bench:


Once completed I installed the seats and the difference was amazing:







All in all material costs minus the foam and upholstery ran about $200, which included replacement vinyl for the burlap, new chrome hardware, hog rings, rear bench padding and wire. I enjoyed it, but hope I never have to do it again - the hog ring part anyways!

Carpet removal and installation in the next installment.....
 

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WOW! I'd be proud of those seats. Great job! :beers:

I too was doing things backwards on mine. I wanted to enjoy it while working on it. I can't say that anymore... in pieces now!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Worked on removing more of the undercoating underneath the rear driver side seat. I used an emboss gun - Everett recommended heat and I thought I would try it, worked very well. The good thing was that there was dirt on the undercoating, and as soon as I noticed black bleeding through I started scraping.

I used two or three different chisels, a power drill with a wire polishing head (coarse), then finished it off with a wire brush....lots more to go but its getting there. Thanks Everett!

Before & After




Process:




After:













 
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