Team Camaro Tech banner

1 - 20 of 57 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been trolling for a while and finally signed up as a member. This is my first post, so be gentle...

Some history:

I've owned my Camaro since Dec 31, 1987. It's a base 307 with 350 auto, A/C, P/S, Power drum brakes. That's the extent of the options. I drove it for a few months as purchased and the 307 blew in May of 88. I put in a .030 over 350 and drove it that way sporadically until December 1990 when I was deployed for Desert Storm. The car sat in my parents garage for 11 years until I bought my own place and had a garage built in 2001. Marriage and 3 kids, and here I am again looking at the Camaro.

The car doesn't appear to have had any work done to it body wise. I was going to send it down to the installation center in Georgia, but upon further inspection, I don't think I need to go to those lengths for this car. I have a mig welder and am tempted to try this myself, but time is not my friend. I just want to get the body work done so I can start bolting it together again. I have no experience with body work and a community college welding course under my belt. The frame (not pictured) is powder coated and rebuilt and is sitting patiently with the same 355 and now a TH2004R from an '87 Monte SS bolted to it.

Other than the engine being rebuilt, I have never left this car with anyone to work on and am a bit wary of all body shops. Does anyone have any good body shops in NY City you can recommend (I am in Bayside, Queens). My friends body shops all seem to be insurance specialists and are not interested in doing this work.

Link to pictures is below. All comments and suggestions are welcome. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I will try to keep this post updated as I get to all the work (whether I do it myself or not).

http://picasaweb.google.com/gkalavanos/Camaro2010_JAN_04?authkey=Gv1sRgCLG4nJzI8fTh1QE#

Thanks,
George
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,548 Posts
George

WELCOME ABOARD!:hurray:

Looks like you will have a nice solid car to start with. Not bad at all! I noticed the tail panel and driver's 1/4 dents to be wrestled with, and some other little trouble spots, but nothing major at all. Of course, without blasting and removing the paint down to metal, you can never really tell 100% at first glance--especially through pics. :) But definitely a solid car to start with. Wish mine was that nice. :sad:

I would recommend exactly what you are doing. Join this incredible site, ask for help, throw out a few lines, and see who's in your area that is willing to tackle some replacement panels and patchwork. There's bound to be someone on here in your area or at least local that will recommend someone to you.

Looks like you will need: (just so you have another opinion before you search out bodyshops) I'm 10000% sure others will chime in too. :)
  1. outer rocker or replace?
  2. some window channel repairs here and there
  3. tail panel repair or replace?
  4. driver 1/4 repair or replace?
  5. pass 1/4 upper well lip repair/patch panel
  6. door repairs for the dents
  7. firewall repair
  8. inner cowl possible repair, but most likely replace?
* hope you don't mind, I just love making lists. This is just at first glance through internet pics, but I would be proud of that one. Clean car! Let us know if you need help along the way. I am neck-deep in my 69 coupe restoration as we speak. Check out my thread for 100's of pics and great reference info., measurements, etc... Enjoy!:beers:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,548 Posts
A good thing to do is sign up for a free picture hosting site so you can post your pics directly into your thread. I use photobucket, but there are dozens of other good ones out there to use now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
931 Posts
Welcome......................look forward to seeing your progress. I can guarantee if you have questions you WILL find the answer on this site. Excellent bunch of members and it somewhat resembles an extended family on here. I am on the West Coast so can't help with bodyshop suggestions but I am sure others will chip in some suggestions.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Todd,

I agree with you on all the work needed. I do want to replace the entire cowl panel rather than trying to repair. I think the upper dash can be repaired if I can somehow remove the cowl box without damaging the dash panel.

Thanks for the hosting suggestion. Looks like Picasa does it as well. Now that I know how to post a pic, this is my other vehicle. A '95 Honda Magna. Very fun.



George
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I had no luck finding someone to do this work. The shops that were willing to look at it didn't give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Looks like I'm doing this myself.

I want to thank everyone who posts their work on this board. I've been reading and looking at the pictures extensively. Without this resource I would never attempt this. I'll try to be as good as others with my updates and help with the limited knowledge I have. If anyone spots an obvious mistake I'm making please point it out.

I'm starting with the boxed cowl section and dash top. I've started by removing the outer section of the cowl. I need to remove the outer shoulders to continue.


I did manage to separate the drivers side without removing the shoulders with the use of an angle drill attachment. The passenger side is too tight to do the same way.


Thanks for looking.

George
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,548 Posts
Looks like you got a nice start on the tear down there...

Just be sure to tack weld in some bracing between the A-pillars (windshield opening) and/or lower front door jambs and across each door opening before removing too much. You don't want the shell to twist and distort while taking parts off.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I was going to leave it alone in this section. The firewall is still in place (the rusted top portion was cut off) and the doors still on the car. I took measurements between the windshield trim attachment studs and fender mounting bolts. You think I need more than that?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,548 Posts
Are you replacing the complete inner cowl section or just the upper portion that you removed? If you remove the rest of it, I would definitely add some bracing.

What about the firewall? Are you replacing it too?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I am replacing the entire boxed section of the cowl (inner and outer). The firewall is not being replaced. I'm leaving it with just that top rusted lip cut out. I've got the drivers side of the lower cowl separated and I have to say that it's not flexing at all.

This is what I started with:


In the better safe than sorry category, I should have braced it, but it does seem very solid with so much of the firewall in place. One thing missing in the pic above, I do have a 1X1 steel brace bolted between the frame mounts now, although I don't think that would help with flexing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,548 Posts
Just checking in to see how the tear down is going. It's been a while since an update or pics.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Todd,

Thanks for checking in. I've been meaning to post an update. I finished removing the cowl and I started small by butt welding up the blower motor hole on the pass side. It took me way too long and It's pretty ugly. I don't have much practical experience with MIG welding (translation: none) and It was pretty depressing how much I had to grind just to get it passable. I'm sure I would get better with practice, but I'm tired of waiting and really was concerned about it being done right. I wish I had the patience and skill to do what so many of you guys do on here, but I'm going to farm out the panel replacement.

Long story, short: I contacted Tony from Muscle Car Metal and I'm waiting for a contract from him to do the panel replacement (should be here soon). Quarters, rear panel, Inner-outer wells, trunk floor, roof, cowl, smooth firewall, dash. He said he can fit the car in the beginning of December and I should have it back early next year. My wife was on board with the cost (she's going to have to drive our 2001 Sante Fe a little while longer):(.

I saw Tony's work from Steve's thread and called him. He was exactly like his reputation; very nice and a great guy to talk with. I will post pics of my attempt soon so you can laugh at my mess.l:) I know I gave up a bit soon, but I think I'll be much happier getting this portion done professionally. I've got some rust on the Santa Fe, maybe I'll butcher that for practice.

While the shell is out being worked on by MCM, I’ll get some good pics together of my frame and engine.

George
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,548 Posts
That's cool. Sometimes that's the best way to go. Hey--at least you can say you tried right? I bet you're more excited now than ever being that there's a bright light at the end of the tunnel. I am sure it will turn out sweet coming from Tony's shop. His work looks pretty nice from what I have seen on here. Hmmm... by January huh? I will try to beat you to it if I can. I want to get this metal work done so badly too. I was getting concerned and thought you may have sold it. Glad to see you'll stick it through. :thumbsup::beers:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Hey, I didn't hold on to a car for 20 years to sell it. My friends would never let me hear the end of it. My wife has never even gotten a ride in it, and we've been married 15 years.

I will finish it. Although, we're never really finished. Let me say:

I will register and drive it. That's better...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,548 Posts
:cool: That's awesome. You'll enjoy it when it's done.

I was just looking through your Picasa account and noticed that it has original paint! No? Looks like it's only been painted once at the factory. Pretty cool... rare find too.

I would love to bug you for some measurements when you have a chance. Trunk opening, height from trunk floor to package tray, door opening heights, etc... I always like to double-check that mine is as accurate as possible. However, these cars do vary a little bit from car to car, so measurements are only a good guide honestly. Would you mind if I PM'd you some measurement questions? Looks like a nice stock-unmolested car to get good solid figures from. :yes:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The car is original body, original paint, original glass (other than the windshield). Other than some bad bondo work on the crunched doors It's all original. Send me whatever you want and I'll help out. That goes for anyone. I'd like to contribute where I can.

Bear in mind, right now, there is no upper cowl (but the FW is still in place) and the driver side quarter got crunched slightly.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,548 Posts
George--- thanks so much!...:beers:

Here’s the dimensions I would love to verify: *(I provided the blank answer key below to enter the dimension into and then you can cut+paste them into your post) :thumbsup: I can't help it, I'm a teacher. :) I fell like I just wrote a custom test for you to take. haha...:D

A. TRUNK OPENING:
1. Left to right across the car –measuring in the middle of the opening

2. Front to rear of the opening—measuring in the middle of the opening

B. DOOR OPENINGS: (passenger or driver side)
1. Top to bottom measuring at a 90 degree angle to the outer rocker panel flat surface where the sill plate mounts to the front end of the roof rail drip channel (to check the rocker panel height and overall door openng)

2. Top to bottom measuring at a 90 degree angle to the outer rocker panel flat surface where the sill plate mounts to the drip rail directly vertical of the door jamb striker bolt surface. (to check the rocker panel height and overall door openng)

C. TRUNK FLOOR TO REAR PACKAGE TRAY:
1. Measuring from the flat surface of the trunk floor directly underneath the package tray lowest surface where the speakers mount to. (*I need this on both sides please. (to check the measurement of the rear seat back surface from floor to package tray.)

D. INNER ROCKER PANEL TO INNER ROCKER PANEL:
1. Measuring across the floor board from inner rocker to inner rocker inside-most surfaces right where they end by the back seat. (to check the factory width of the full floor board from side to side.)

E. FRONT FLOOR ON TOP OF TRANNY TUNNEL TO THE FRONT WINDSHIELD OPENING:
1. Measuring from the top surface of the tranny tunnel to the bottom edge of the front windshield opening (to check my firewall positioning and floor height at the front of the car.)

A:
1.

2.

B:
1.

2.

C:
1.

D:
1.

E:
1.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
a. Trunk opening:
1. Left to right across the car –measuring in the middle of the opening

2. Front to rear of the opening—measuring in the middle of the opening

b. Door openings: (passenger or driver side)
1. Top to bottom measuring at a 90 degree angle to the outer rocker panel flat surface where the sill plate mounts to the front end of the roof rail drip channel (to check the rocker panel height and overall door openng)

2. Top to bottom measuring at a 90 degree angle to the outer rocker panel flat surface where the sill plate mounts to the drip rail directly vertical of the door jamb striker bolt surface. (to check the rocker panel height and overall door openng)

c. Trunk floor to rear package tray:
1. Measuring from the flat surface of the trunk floor directly underneath the package tray lowest surface where the speakers mount to. (*i need this on both sides please. (to check the measurement of the rear seat back surface from floor to package tray.)

d. Inner rocker panel to inner rocker panel:
1. Measuring across the floor board from inner rocker to inner rocker inside-most surfaces right where they end by the back seat. (to check the factory width of the full floor board from side to side.)

e. Front floor on top of tranny tunnel to the front windshield opening:
1. Measuring from the top surface of the tranny tunnel to the bottom edge of the front windshield opening (to check my firewall positioning and floor height at the front of the car.)
Todd,

Here goes nothing. I hope it helps:

a: I couldn't get a consistent measurement across at center because of this:
so I measured across at 9 inches down from the seam where the quarter meets the filler panel.
1.49 7/8

2.16 7/8 (I don't think that this measurement is too far off, even with the damage)

B:I couldn't figure out what you needed on the second measurement. This is how I measured for the first:

1.34 3/4 at the bottom of the drip rail


2.

C: I used the sheet rock square here as well:

1. Driver side=12 1/8 Pass Side=12

D: had a little trouble with this because of the trans hump. Used welding magnets on the seam to raise the plane so this measurement is suspect
1. 48 3/4

E: I don't have a cowl any longer , so I can't get you this measurement
1.
 
1 - 20 of 57 Posts
Top