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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, been lurking around here for 4 years and only posted a few things. I never had a reason to post much else till this summer. Really hesitant to post this as a build thread because not much building and this will be slow. Looks like I'm not the only around here to buy one in the '80's and then leave it sit. This will be more of a, "Hey this what I have and here's the stuff I'm doing" along with a question or two along the way.

So I'll post a bunch to get it up to right now.

Little history, I bought a '67 Camaro in February of 1986 for $50 (Yes that is correct)that had been a 6cyl Auto that was converted to a 350 V8 4spd.



It had issues and the reason I got it so cheap was the rear spring mounts were coming into the rusted out remains of the trunk and frame braced up with steel bars, fixing that was one thing but the rest of the car was rotted too. In those days a body guy I had looked at it said I'd have more money into fixing it then it would be worth and I'd still have a "Frankienstien" car. Looking back that car would be fixable and fun, the motor ran great.

So I was on the hunt for another Camaro, I ended up buying this one, here's a pic of the day I drove it home. (Old Polaroid) Summer of 1986. Sold the '67 a few weeks later.


My intentions were to make it a street machine, not "Pro Street" think more Trans/Am on a very limited budget. Couple more pics of the car as I got it in '86.


Custom velvet seat inserts, no extra charge.


But as I started digging more into the car and soaking up as much Camaro info as I could, no internet then so little tougher. I started to realize that maybe I had bought something that shouldn't be modified and be left more or less stock.

Trim tagg.


The facts as I remember them from the guy I bought the car from. He had owned the car for 6 or 7 years, was the 3rd owner and the car came from Colorado. He had had a motor built and street raced the car, the engine builder had moved to Florida and had lost contact with him. The motor info he gave me is it's a 4 bolt main 350 de-stroked to 327, forged crank, 13.1 compression, 3/4 Race cam solid lifters, Crane roller rockers, 375 Hp and 7,000 redline, M22 4spd.

Sooo I don't believe much of what he told me. No way it has 13.1 compression, it's a M20 case on the tranny and gears seem to be close ratio. The block is from 1970 The only things I can verifyis that it does have Crane roller rockers and solid lifters. The motor is built and sounds good through the headers and glass packs. Not much low end grunt through the 3:08 rear end gears. Unfortunately not a numbers matching car. What happened to the owner? I tried to call him a month after buying the car and was told he was in jail, great. I had also gotten thrown into the deal most of a 327 motor but only 7 pistons and no not the original motor either.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I've owned the car since 1986 and have driven it less then 200 miles since then. My plan at that time was to really dig in and do the body work. I started buying things for it right away at swap meets, the junk yards and then taking things off wrapping in newspaper and putting in boxes for storage before moving to where I live now in 1988. In November of 1989 with the help of my brother in-law I tore apart the front suspension to rebuild it, it was scary sloppy.


Yes those were the shocks in the front and they were fairly new when I bought it, the previous owner worked at a shop and had replaced the front and rear springs with brand new Moog parts along with these overload helper shocks.

It was apart for 7 years. Took 2 years to get the A arms back from the guy doing them, thought I'd never see them and would have to buy replacements. After building my 24 X 36 shop behind the house, I reassembled the suspension to move it down there. Since then it's only moved under it's own power for short little drives around the neighborhood to adjust and test the brakes after completely rebuilding the front and rears and to get some kind of "Home" alignment in it. Also just to start it, which I did try to do at least a couple of times a year every year I've owned it and it has always been stored in a garage from the day I bought it.

I've done a few other things when it was just sitting besides the front suspension rebuild which was all new bushings, ball joints and tie rod ends. Did a complete brake rebuild, manual drums front and back. I replaced the worn out power steering gear box with a re-built quick ratio one, replaced all the shocks with KYB Gas-Adjust and replaced the wimpy small front anti-sway bar with 1 1/8' and poly ends. I have a Poly subframe bushing kit that I need to put in.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My idea's for the car has always been super low budget restore/ refurbish with the priority's been safety, reliability, stock appearing, good handling and lastly engine performance. I decided last summer that I needed to put things back together and just drive it because I've never really got to have fun with the car all this time, body and paint is not going to happen anytime soon anyways. All the work I've done so far is under the car that no one can see just to get it mechanically working good.

The condition it was in was running and driveable. The running part was not that good after I had decided that I should adjust the rocker lash 2 years ago, solid lifter cams need adjustment every once in awhile and seeing as how I never adjusted it I thought I should, bad idea if you don't know what the cam's specs are. My first round of adjustment the car barely started and wouldn't run, I let it sit for a few nights went back out to the shop and readjusted them looser, car ran but no real power to it and some misfire.

So here's the way it has looked pretty much since I bought it and up to a few weeks a go. I had ground all the surface rust spots and primered them back in 1986.


Under the hood, ugly, ugly. The blue color under the hood and cowl is the color the car will get painted someday with white rally stripes.


The roller rockers I was adjusting for the lash.


So in the last month I've been working on it again finally and I say that because there were a few times over all these years that I thought of selling it, lost interest, never see the light at the end of the tunnel, ect.

So now here it is the first time since 1989 that it is road legal and insured and really getting to drive it, August of 2015. I've painted even more primer since these pics were taken so doesn't look so spotty.




The ugly truth pic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This was the night before I got insurance and drove it. Also should add the push for all this was to drive it to a "Gear Heads" event, not a car show just a "Show all your cool motorized stuff" every August in a town 5 miles down the road from me. I went but the car didn't, way too hot out for a car that hadn't been tested other then around the block, glad I didn't bring it, next year I hope to.

This car is full of mystery's and why is it like that. One was, no package tray under the back window, just the body metal and 6X9 speakers mounted to it. I had bought a correct replacement one shortly after buying the car so decided to finally put it in, this required removing the back seat which I had never done.


Found a 1966 penny on the floor. :D Also notice just some surface rust and original gray primer, very solid car! Which may lend some truth to it coming from Colorado and not the winter salt area I live in.

My wife cleaned up the original upholstery back seat along with most of the interior while I worked on relocating the speakers and installing the new package cover, rear seat turned out great.


Over the years and the first couple of years of other then ideal winter storage conditions the seat belts got crusty and moldy along with the carpet (Which was not great from the beginning). So looking online here at Team Camaro forums found some ways to clean the belts and tried it, think it worked great and was super easy. I have done them all now.

The before of the worst ones, yes an already cleaned on is the 3rd one.


And the after.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So like I said have been working on it again with renewed passion. A month ago or so I got insurance on the car, first time since 1989 that it has been fully legal to drive. After more extensive internet searching I found out that a good comprise lash setting should be .024 Int/Ex hot, a fellow car guy from work came over on a Friday night and we adjusted them to that, big difference in the engine idle and now had some power back.

Several years ago I bought an electric choke kit for the Holley carb and a Crane XR-i electronic points eliminator kit for the distributor, I put the choke kit in and got it to somewhat function but too nervous about putting in the Crane kit. I have a friend that runs a performance shop next to his house as a side business for as long as I have known him since the early 90's. He agreed to drive out to my place and help me out seeing as how he recommended the Crane kit. After the install of the Crane XR-i engine fired right up and ran good but we were having a issue figuring out what the timing should be, the mark on the balancer is 4+ inches away from the timing tab. He left for the day and said he'd return the next weekend and I should take all the pulleys off so we can look at the harmonic dampner key to see if it is spun.

I did that and seeing as I now had access to the front of the motor I took it as an opportunity to clean and freshen things up that I had never done. :D

Before shot after degreassing and pressure washing.


Ready for the ORANGE....................


The orange in all of its glory.


I also had already painted the exposed subframe area's semi-gloss black. I also cleaned up the alternator, removed the blue paint on it's pulley and fan, painted the brackets and installed new bolts.


More to do, getting more correct battery cables, and heater hoses. Replace thermostat housing to stock angle and replace upper radiator hose to match. Put the hose clamp on top of alternator bracket...............and the list goes on.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My buddy came out again Labor day weekend and brought along a friend with a restored '66 Chevy Chevelle with a built Dart 402 500hp motor, awesome. My buddy drives a '64 Chevy El Camino with a built 327, Termac 5spd and handling suspension setup. I'm kicking my self for not getting a pic of all 3 cars outside my shop.

Anyways we ended up trying to precisely find TDC and remarked the dampner with some bright yellow paint, got timing set about 10deg BTDC. He then adjusted the idle mixture screws with a vacuum gauge hooked to the carb. Made several test drives and I now have some low-end power that I have never had. He wants me to drive the car out to his place in a few weeks and he will recurve the distributor. He also wants to put on some better valve covers and thinks he has a stock GM clutch fan to replace my crappy old flex fan.

So the next day, Monday Labor day I decided in the morning that if Im going to be driving it I'm going to repair the drivers seat. I had bought a re-upholstery seat kit back in 1987 and did the passenger seat but didn't do the drivers because didn't want to mess it up working on the car. Also bought a spring repair kit a few years ago, tired of sinking half way to the floor every time I sat in it. Figured a few hours to do it............ it took all day and had some assistance from my wife a few times when needed.

The front seats upholstery that was in the car when I bought it, faded black crushed velour. Just think 70's cool. :shock:


Spring repair. Besides the back one the two side main support ones were broken and that was what the repair kit was for.


Half way done.


Finished and installed, now just time in the sun and me sitting in it everything will smooth out.


Little more information on the car; The cars original paint #69 Cortez Silver, someone along the way painted the car LeMans blue complete color change, glass removed and all jammed in blue, blue paint fogged on that bare package tray. But they did a crap job protecting the engine bay, as can be seen in those pics there is blue paint overspray on all the hoses and factor ties upfront, wire harness and generally everywhere. Then at some point before me someone shot a really quick crappy Cortez silver paint job on the surface but left back of spoiler blue, rockers blue and the cowl blue, why?

Everywhere I go on the car it seems like someone else has been there and or had it apart. The more info I find out on Camaro's I look at mine trying to find things factory original, and I have found a few things.

The other thing about the car is what is original build and what has been added, my fear had been someone pieced this all together. I think I've determined that it is an original RS, V8, 4spd, center counsel, center dash clock, tilt wheel, Deluxe interior car. The spoilers and cow induction hood, although they are GM parts were added later.

I'm trying to keep as much of the original 46 year old car intact, yes I could go and buy all new shiny parts and they would look better but they didn't come on the car. There are a lot of little bits and pieces that were removed and lost years ago when it was taken apart before me that I have to buy.

The big elephant in the room is the body work, not going to happen anytime soon, I'll chip away at small stuff I can do on it and drive it primered till I can afford to do it.

Thanks guys for all the inspiration and awesome "Real" builds. More updates as I go.
 

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Nice project with tons of potential. You've definitely come a long way with it. It must be a great feeling to get to drive it after all those years.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice project with tons of potential. You've definitely come a long way with it. It must be a great feeling to get to drive it after all those years.
Thank you very much!

Yes it is to finally drive it and have most of the original problems fixed. Before this last month the most I drove it was the first week I owned it, drove it to work 3 days but decided the 22 miles round trip in stop and go rush hour traffic was stupid and nuts. Plus got stopped by a cop one of those day for loud exhaust.:D
 

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I'm trying to do something on the car nearly every day if I can before we get into the cold and winter. So last Saturday I put in the new Taylor high output stock looking coil in the stock location, what a pain in the butt that was, not much room. Ended only using one bolt to the manifold because using the one by the distributor would have caused the coil to hit the cap. Anyone else have this issue?

Anyway finally after all these years I got to get rid of the big ugly yellow Accel Super coil brick that was bolted to the firewall that I hated looking at every time I opened the hood. Also painted the heater box.



Any ideas on how to cover those two holes where the old coil was above the heater box? I know weld them up, alternatives?

The other thing that has bothered me from day one was all the blue over spray on all the original hoses, plastic ties and wiring, especially in front of the radiator. So I tried a experiment and used "Easy Off" oven cleaner (won't hurt plastic) on one of the plastic ties and it worked, had to apply twice with some scrubbing. The out of focus one is the cleaned one, you can see another blue paint covered one next to it.


Not sure I want to clean all the vacuum and washer hoses up there. I did also try the oven cleaner on the vacuum canister manual switch with mixed results.


I'm trying to stop and document with pics as much as I can but sometimes just get going and don't take any pics. And for me the pics in the build threads are the best part.

Should also clarify that at some point there will be some building in this thread, I plan on taking the front clip apart to clean, paint and fix thing there and then there will be the rear quarters at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nothing much new going build wise yet. Just a update, I did get some engine issues somewhat resolved which I broke out into a topic over in the Engine Forum. Short version my Holley 4bbl was being a 2/3 open 2bbl carb, now have fully operating 4bbl with the gas pedal, the car is a whole lot more fun to drive.:D:hurray:

So with that my wife and I went for a little drive on Saturday, just 25-30 miles but biggest drive I have gone on with it. Even let her drive it for a while. Car worked great and we had fun. Probably last drive of this year, supposed to get snow/rain mix Wed. night. Sure wish I had thought to take some pics on our little cruise.

Got lots of projects I'd like to get to this winter with it so will just have to see what my ambition level is and how bad the weather is this winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've owned the car since 1986 and have driven it less then 200 miles since then.
Well not quit true it turns out. After Sundays drive I dug out the title to see what the miles were listed as when I bought it compared to now. It has been 890 miles since I bought it. I honestly can't see where I have put on that many, it really hasn't gone anywhere before this fall and I haven't put on that many miles since August.

Oh well less then a thousand miles in 29 years.:)
 

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Looking real sharp. If you are keeping vacuum RS headlights I recommend that you invest in the Classic Headquarters version of the hose kit and run the new lines. The old hoses dry rot and crack and will rob you of vacuum.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Looking real sharp. If you are keeping vacuum RS headlights I recommend that you invest in the Classic Headquarters version of the hose kit and run the new lines. The old hoses dry rot and crack and will rob you of vacuum.
Thank you, I appreciate it.

For sure keeping the RS headlights and they sort of worked a long time ago. Figured I was going to need to replace all the hoses at some point. So are you saying I could be loosing engine vacuum due to leaks in the RS system? Thanks for the tip on Classic Headquarters I had not seen there site before.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've been reading a lot of the build threads on here and seeing some outstanding work by guys claiming there just backyard amateurs and learning, some starting with a trim tag and windshield frame after cutting out all the rusty metal and building a car from there.......WOW!

So feeling inspired to think maybe I can tackle some of my rust issues. I have a Mig welder, a compressor along with air tools and spray guns.

I've said before that the car seems to be very solid as far as rust rot is concerned except for quarter wheel arches and behind the rear tires. This being the worst of it, passenger side.




Now I know, "Replace the quarter". I think that it is above my skill level and really a waste of factory metal which I'd like to keep as much of as I can. So leaning towards patch panels or 80% panel. After seeing the amount of work guys have had to do to get replacement quarters to fit, cutting slices and splicing in metal I don't really see what the difference is to me with just my small area's of rust and keeping most of a installed and fitting quarter panel.

Now having said that I tried to get some pics inside the quarters in the trunk. Here is one, passenger side looking towards front of car. I'm I right in thinking this is all factory installed panels?


I see some surface rust up there, is there something I can spray up there to basically halt that? I know the correct answer for all this is to strip the car and have it blasted, it would be another 29 years before I'd get to drive it again if I did that. LOL. Just looking for alternative things I can do without major tear downs.

Thanks.
 

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Spring time is here and finally getting back to the car, sadly I didn't do anything on it all winter like I had planned on.

After rebuilding the front suspension and steering years ago but not really being driven, I needed to get it aligned now that it's back on the road. I had done a home garage alignment but knew it wasn't right, very twitchy and darting around. So Saturday my son and I drove it to an alignment shop, ended up being a 60+ mile round trip in the end. Also besides the first alignment it was the longest trip I have ever taken with it.


This is where it was at, really bad!



Also first time I've ever had it up on lift to get a good look around under it.





This is where we ended up, I can't get any more stock suspension positive Caster in it with out going up in Camber and I don't want any more then that.



Of course anytime you get ahead on these cars you also step backwards. Up on the lift we noticed it was "Wet" under the steering pump so looks like I have a leak now, maybe a hose or the reservoir body o-ring. There still is too much play in the steering and looks like the pitman arm joint connection to the drag link is wore out so now need to replace the pitman arm. Going to get that and then go back to the shop and replace it up on the lift to make it easier then recheck alignment.
 
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