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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings, all,
I thought I'd start a thread to show what I'm working on. This is my fourth Camaro, and my first Pro Street project. My last Camaro was another 68 that I painted in my garage with a friend, went through two engines (first a 396, then a 427), two transmissions (first a four speed, then a TH400), updated to disc brakes, installed subframe connectors, then traded for a 29 Model A coupe. I regretted that decision almost immediately, but held onto the A for five years before finding this project last September. It was a former drag car roller that the PO was turning back into a street car. According to the ad, it was 'nearly ready for paint - the pictures showed it in a guide coat. The guy lived in eastern Tennessee, so a buddy of mine and I trailered the A out from Colorado and made the trade. It looked decent enough, so I pulled the trigger and brought it home. That's when life kicked me in the jimmy...

The weekend I got back I had a sewer line back up in my house, flooding my man cave basement. I promised my wife that I wouldn't touch the Camaro until the basement was done. Little did I know that the basement would take so long to complete. Needless to say, the basement isn't finished yet, but I have managed to do a few things to the car (calling in favors to my wife).

So far, I've been able to strip it down more, remove the rear end and suspension (it has a Chris Alston back half kit with ladder bars and entry-level coil overs), and get it on a body cart that I built for it. Last weekend I scored a bigger air compressor (my garage isn't wired for 220v, so my monster has been sitting in the corner, collecting dust and I've been using portable 114v compressors), and I wanted to try it out along with a DA sander that I've had for years and never used. I thought I'd try stripping the decklid. I should have taken the blue pill...

I got almost the entire lid stripped, and what I found was rust. Lots of rust...under a bunch of filler, and pinholes under the filler, too. Argggg!!! I shudder to think what's under the rest of this lie called a guide coat.

I'm pretty sure I got taken on this deal, but I love the car, love the potential, and like(not love) the challenge. I'm a tech by trade, but no bodyman. This motivates me to step up my bodywork game and fix it correctly. I'll update as necessary, and hope for the best. :)
 

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Got to spend a little time on my car yesterday, now I wish I hadn't :(

It's official - I got taken on this deal. If it weren't for the fact that I had a lot invested in the Model A I traded to get this, I would have started looking for another car to start with, at least one that hadn't been dipped in rust. :(

Oh well. As I stated before, I love the car, so I'll stick with it. I haven't had the heart to tell my wife just how far I'll be into this project - hopefully I can make some good progress and she won't notice...rrrrriiiiigggghhhhtttt...
 

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Got to spend a little time on my car yesterday, now I wish I hadn't :(

It's official - I got taken on this deal. If it weren't for the fact that I had a lot invested in the Model A I traded to get this, I would have started looking for another car to start with, at least one that hadn't been dipped in rust. :(

Oh well. As I stated before, I love the car, so I'll stick with it. I haven't had the heart to tell my wife just how far I'll be into this project - hopefully I can make some good progress and she won't notice...rrrrriiiiigggghhhhtttt...
Unbelievable :surprise:

And I imagine you've only seen the tip of the iceberg
 

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Unbelievable :surprise:

And I imagine you've only seen the tip of the iceberg
I have a sad, sneaking suspicion you're right :(

I've gotten some pricing around for the cowl, dash top, and side pieces, so I've got a pretty good idea what's in store. I'd really like to get the whole thing blasted first, to remove every shred of filler and rust, so that will be my first priority. My luck it will need a roof and both quarters...
Still need to decide whether to go the traditional route (media blast) or a hydro blast.

Thankfully I live in a very dry climate, so I might give one of the hydro guys a shot. One concern, however, is that the front subframe is welded to the backhalf kit, so having it on anything besides the body cart upon which it's currently residing will be a challenge. I thought about breaking the welds and finding a rotisserie to rent so the blaster could get underneath and inside the dash area.
 

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Ugh, more bondo…

I bought some wire brush attachments for my angle grinder and thought I'd try one out on the left fender. I swear, there was between 1/4" and 3/8" of filler in this lower portion, and then I find one of the more backwoods patch jobs I've ever seen - even the patch was starting to rust!!

With each transgression I uncover, I'm reminded of the car being 'almost ready for paint'. The guidecoat makes me chuckle...while throwing up in my mouth a little...
 

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Just keep your head up and know in the end that you will have a brand new '68 Camaro
 

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Just keep your head up and know in the end that you will have a brand new '68 Camaro


I know, and that's what I'm afraid of!! :)

Actually, reading through several of these build threads, I'm in awe. I'm almost done reading 350sshugger's build, and while I'm not considering the LS route, I see a lot of parallels with regards to the bodywork, and our backgrounds as techs. As he's mentioned, if he can do it, anyone can. I just might be that 'anyone' :)
 

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I know, and that's what I'm afraid of!! :)

Actually, reading through several of these build threads, I'm in awe. I'm almost done reading 350sshugger's build, and while I'm not considering the LS route, I see a lot of parallels with regards to the bodywork, and our backgrounds as techs. As he's mentioned, if he can do it, anyone can. I just might be that 'anyone' :)
If you are mechanically inclined, you can do it. I had no knowledge of a frame off restoration at all before finding my way here to TC. I tore down and rebuilt my entire car in my garage. I hung and gapped all the sheetmetal and that's when I decided I would leave the bodywork, paint, and custom upholstery to the professionals. The hardest part is having the right tools for the job. With the right tools and a little guidance, you will be fine.
 

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If you are mechanically inclined, you can do it. I had no knowledge of a frame off restoration at all before finding my way here to TC. I tore down and rebuilt my entire car in my garage. I hung and gapped all the sheetmetal and that's when I decided I would leave the bodywork, paint, and custom upholstery to the professionals. The hardest part is having the right tools for the job. With the right tools and a little guidance, you will be fine.

I've been a tech mostly my entire life, so that part I'm not worried about. While I painted my last one with a friend in my garage, it was almost 20 years ago. This will definitely step up my bodywork game, and a little part of me is excited for it. I just don't like the feeling I got duped, and cringe at some of the 'bodywork' done to this car :)
 

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I've been a tech mostly my entire life, so that part I'm not worried about. While I painted my last one with a friend in my garage, it was almost 20 years ago. This will definitely step up my bodywork game, and a little part of me is excited for it. I just don't like the feeling I got duped, and cringe at some of the 'bodywork' done to this car :)
Yeah well it sucks but it's in the past. Let that excitement pull you through knowing it is done exactly the way you want it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hope everyone had a great Christmas!
My basement project is officially completed, so I can now start on my car. I'm in a bit of a quandary regarding my body cart. Since it's very likely I will have some serious sheetmetal replacement, I was leaning towards a jig of some sort, but I'm worried that, because the car has the Chris Alston back half kit installed, a jig won't work. The front reference points are still there (torque boxes), and once I cut the front subframe welds that attach it to the Alston rails, the front portion of a jig should work. With nothing factory in the back to attach to, does anyone have a recommendation before I proceed?
I have a four day weekend this weekend, so my plan was to clean up and organize around my stall and maybe start sanding/stripping parts of the body. I'm still considering hauling the body to a blaster, but want to at least do some small sections to see how bad this really is.

Thoughts?
 

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Jeez, a full year between posts! Anyway, I hope everyone's Christmas went well.
I haven't spent too much time on the car, mostly due to my back (much better now, but the summer was wasted). I've also been tempted by another Camaro that's listed for sale here in CO. It's a 69 that's been pro-streeted and just needs interior and wiring completed. He wants to trade for my 28 Chevy Sedan streetrod. I'm going to look at it this weekend.

As for this current project, I've made a little progress in that I've located a dustless blaster to tackle the stripping. The kicker is he lives one block from me, and will do the job in my driveway (everyone else I contacted required I bring the shell to them). Sure, I'll probably have a good hour or two of cleanup after and will likely pay for a couple of carwashes for my neighbors, but it'll be convenient. I had a little drama with the body cart I made for it - I broke off one of the casters moving the body back into the garage. The caster hit the expansion joint at the opening of my garage and folded. It caused the body to crash into my toolbox and almost come off the cart. I was able to jack everything back up and repair the caster mount, with no damage except a small dent in my toolbox. I thought back to the number of payments I made to the Snap-On guy, and almost balled up crying :)

I have a couple of rotisserie-related items. First, it's clear I will have to break the welds at the subframe connectors/front subframe and remove the subframe before mating the body to a rotisserie. The subframe is a little beat up, so I may opt to find another one (2 on Craigslist now). I also need to find another mounting place for the rear rotisserie mounts, as the rear frame rails (and the leaf spring mounts) are long gone. I've read negative things regarding using the bumper mounts, so I'm a little stuck with what to do. I haven't seen many builds here that start with a backhalved car, so any input would be appreciated.
Joe
 

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No dice on the 69 I was looking at - my wife FREAKED out when I told her I was considering another trade AND still using both garage spaces for my crap. Oh well, it allows me to focus on this project. I was able to break a couple of the welds where the rear subframe meets the front subframe. I'm hoping to get the front subframe removed this weekend, but I might not have the time I'd hoped for - my son is moving into an apartment tomorrow (guess who gets to help?) and the Super Bowl Sunday. I still need to find a rotisserie, so I have a little time yet...
 
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