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Discussion Starter #1
My goal is to work on the car, yet be able to drive it whenever I wanted. It's important for folks to know That I am by no means a mechanic. I have changed oil changes and brake jobs. I also added a 2.5" lift to my Toyota. I just want folks to know I do not have a lot of experience so go easy on me. I even worry that maybe I have bitten off more than I can chew. Although she is a tad ugly, I was drawn to this car, because it had very little rust, and no rot whatsoever. I drove her four hours home, probably one the scariest rides that I can remember. If anyone has driven in the Washington DC metro area, you know how bad the traffic can get. Whenever I hit the brakes, she would pull pretty hard to the left. I did manage to get her home without getting into an accident.

Attached are pictures of how she looks when I bought her. This will not be a fast build, as I will buy then as I can. I can tell you for me at least, that it seems to one thing leads to another. I start to just do one thing and while I have things apart I get into the mode of replacing other parts. By the way engine oil and coolant looked good. I never checked the brake fluid, and I should have. I was really way to caught up in inspecting for rust. She did have a transmission and PS steering leak.

The first weekend after bringing her home, I replaced the transmission pan gasket, that took care of the leak. The PS was a loose hose and it no longer leaks (buddy fix it for me). I also replaced alternator and ps belts. I took her out for a short ride through the neighborhood, and I still had her pulling hard left when braking. While driving she felt like she was floating, is the best way I can describe it. So I decided brakes and suspension was next on the list.

I purchased a disc brake conversion kit. Most of the kits I found had the rotor and hub as one unit. I wanted my rotor to be separate from the hub. This kit uses rotor and calipers from a 99 thru 02 Camaro. I also purchased tubular upper and lower control arms, and a tubular tie rod and idler arm kit. Now it was a matter of waiting for parts to come in.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So the parts came in and I drove the car over to my son in-laws house. He has a small garage that I can work on the car in. Its so small, I can only work on one side of the car at a time. The drive over, was as scary as ever. He lives about 15 miles from me.

It took four hours to get the driver side front to this point. It then took another hour to remove the sway bar and tie rods and get the pitman arm to the point that its ready to come off. I could have just put it all back together, but this is where at least for me, one thing leads to another. I decided that since I was replacing the idler arm and tie rods, I will go ahead and buy a new pitman arm. After removing the sway bar link, I decide I may as well buy a new sway bar kit. So now I am waiting for those parts, which should be here by the end of the week. So the picture is how she sits until next weekend. So much for being able to drive her after doing some work. I hope to have her on the road after next weekend, at least be able to drive her to the shop to get an alignment.

By the way, I also purchased new SS brake hoses. So I cut the old one to expedite the process. No brake fluid came out of the hose.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I forgot to mention, that when I removed the shock, it wouldn't even decompress. Does anyone have the torque specifications for a 68'?
 

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Good looking car. And congrats on just digging in and tackling the problems even for not being a "Mechanic". Believe you me having the car stop and handle good trumps motor performance and shiny paint any day, so doing it the way your going is great. When you go to get it aligned after replacing the front suspension parts make sure you get a performance alignment and not the to the factory alignment specs. FIRST GEN SUSPENSION

Finding more to do or replace is standard procedure when doing anything on these cars, what started as something simple always ends up taking twice as long and expensive.

You should get a copy of the 1968 Factory Assembly Manual (AIM), it has all the torque specs and is invaluable for figuring out how things are supposed to be put together.
 

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I don't think it's ugly at all from your comments in your first post. Great looking ride in my opinion and you will find all the help you need here! Great folks and awesome advice!
Looks like you're on the right track with the car, like stated above.
And congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks, Smitty. I think she looks better in pictures, than in person. I have to admit, the Chevy S10 rims are really bothering me. New wheels and tires will be here by the end of the week, to accommodate the new disc brakes. Not to mention all the tape covering the holes in the top. There is so much that needs to be done cosmetically, but I am working on the stuff you really don't see first.
 

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I feel your pain on waiting for parts. I had to replace my tie rods and that turned into a full front suspension replacement and front disc brakes. The disc brake kit came with the wrong caliper mounting bracket. That plus my inexperience results in several weeks of delay. Hang in there, the front suspension work will be well worth it!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just a quick update - Progress is slow, way to slow for my liking. It seems to be one thing after another slowing me down. The hubs have 1" lugs. From my calculations, I need lugs that are an inch and three quarters. Does that seem like it would be too long? After I installed the rotor and the wheel, there is nothing left for the lug nut to grab on.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
**Update**

Well my intent was to have her down for only a weekend, but one things leads to another, something doesn't fit, need to replace another part, waiting on parts, etc, has her down for just over a month. I also decided to go with a different brake kit up front.

So far I have replaced

Upper and Lower control arms (new ball joints)
Idler arm
Pitman Arm
inner and outer tie rods and sleeve (everything but the center drag link, steering knuckles, and steering knuckle arms)
New hubs with longer wheel studs (associated bearings and seals)
2" drop Hotchkiss coil springs
shocks
1-1/8" Swaybar from Summit
Master Cylinder from Drum/Drum to Disc/Disc
17x8 front and 17x9 wheels to fit over disc brake conversion
and finally new caliper, rotors, stainless steel brake hoses.

The front brake kit seen above picture used 2k Camaro Z28 brake and calipers. The new kit I am using is based on C4 rotors and C5 Calipers/pads from CPP. Iam starting to feel good as the front end now looks like a car again, verse an empty wheel well. I was looking forward to getting the front disc brakes installed and bled. Well, I got stuck at mounting the calipers. As you can see in the attached pictures, the caliper bolt is hitting the rotor and is not yet fully tightened. So far CPP has been responsive and has asked for pictures (same ones here are what I sent). I will update post with their response. In the meantime, if anyone has ideas, maybe I am doing something wrong, please let me know. Keep in mind, I am a self taught backyard mechanic.

Thanks,
BH
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In the previous two posts I mention the front end finally looking like a car again. I had the drivers side done, minus the sway bar. But was not willing to do the passenger side until I had the sway bar installed. I just read of too many problems with sway bar installations. Now that it is in, both sides are buttoned up
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I forgot to update. CPP was very responsive, and sent me some missing washers from the kit. That's all been mounted up. They don't come with instructions, but I am certain those with experience, would not have an issue. I however boned it up. I don't know why, but for whatever reason I thought the calipers needed to be mounted at the 10 o'clock position, the way they are on two of my daughters Toyota Celica's, which I do the brake work for them. Keep in mind also, they were drum brakes before, so I didn't have a reference in my mind. Heck, it looked good when completed.

However, when I tried to turn the wheels left and right (to make it easier to get to the bleeder valve, I heard a clank (metal on metal). Now what! I look under the car and the calipers are hitting the sway bar, so I am unable to fully turn the steering wheel. Yup, I screwed up, the calipers need to be at the 2 o'clock position. I know, pretty dumb. I wanted to mention it, so other novices like me don't make the same mistake. This Saturday, Ill switch the brackets around, and should be good to go. Pictures attached for your amusement.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
It's been a while since I last posted, so here is an update.

The Good - I finally have the Camaro back on the road. The front suspension/disc brake conversion is completed. I ended up replacing all the brake lines with stainless steel lines. I did not upgrade the rear drums to disc, but did replace wheel cylinders, drums, shoes, springs. The Hotchkiss 3" coils really lowered the front. The nose of the car is just above my knees (I will take pictures this weekend). She doesn't look a whole lot different, other than the stance and the new wheels to accommodate the disc brakes. I did 17x8 front and 17x9 rear. To be honest I could have gone with x10 in the rear and I may at some point do that. There was plenty of room for it. The good is that I took her out for a test drive around the block. She handles so much better and stops really well. She has manual brakes now, but I am considering going to power brakes in the future. It just isn't a priority at this time.

The Fun - In that one block radius at least a dozen people waved and gave a thumbs up. People really love these first gen Camaros.

The Bad - She runs like crap. She always has, this isn't new predicament. I just concentrated on safety first. She doesn't idle well. If its sitting it will cut out once in a while. While driving, I have to treat the PG 2 speed automatic, like a standard. I put her in neutral when I have to stop. The put her in Drive when I go again. I will be posting for some help next on where to begin on fixing that.

The Maybe Bad - Did I go to low? I bought a chin spoiler off CL for $20. I heard it scrape a couple of times. The roads are a bit rough in the neighborhood.

That's all. I will have updated pictures coming this weekend.
 

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Looking good.
About that chin spoiler, a cheap quick fix would be to remove it for now and find a thinner one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Looking good.
About that chin spoiler, a cheap quick fix would be to remove it for now and find a thinner one.



It was $20 off CL. If she gets beat up, Ill replace it. My concern was, "did I got to low?" But, I am now thinking it's fine. Thanks.
 
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