Team Camaro Tech banner

1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, Team Camaro!

What follows is a build project for a 1969 Z10 (SS/RS) Camaro at my home in Tucson, Arizona. You may recognize this car from a previous build thread, but it ended up getting a little too “wordy” for my liking. My intent with this new thread is to keep it streamlined and easy-to-read with lots of pictures.

This is my first-ever project, so everything you see in my garage will be done at the hands of a true newbie, right down to the work bench I built. I hope my successes and failures can inspire other enthusiasts to resurrect their own icons of American automotive history. Enjoy!

-Chris
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Here is the car as it’s been sitting in a barn in Illinois since the late 90s. I’m very lucky to have found a project car in such great condition compared to some. It’s a 1969 Z10, a true SS/RS. The front end lacks the RS trim options, maybe the result of an accident at some point in its life.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Here is the car beginning its journey from rural Illinois to my home in Tucson, AZ. It’s the first time the car has seen daylight in 15 years.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Lots of work to do in the garage. As you can see, it’s quite a mess, and nowhere near ready for a restoration project. It’s also a 2-car garage, so space will be at a premium. First order of business is to clean out my junk and sell some things on Craigslist to raise a little capital for the many tools I’ll need along the way.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
The first part of my project will be dedicated to getting the car roadworthy. Once it’s safe to take on the road, the plan is to build some upgrades to the garage, including a compressed air system, a blasting cabinet, and a powder coating booth and oven for re-finishing parts, and some overhead shelves for storing parts.

Getting the car safe to drive took about four months, and involved the following work:

- Flushed and replaced all fluids
- Rebuilt the carburetor
- Installed a power brake booster; replaced rear drums with a disc kit
- Plugged some leaks in the TH350
- Replaced starter
- Adjusted timing

What an amazing day it was to hear that 396 fire up for the first time. Took a few adjustments to get the timing down, but now it fires right up on the first stroke and lopes along at a nice, bumpy idle.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Taking the car out for an inaugural test drive after putting in four months of work making it safe and reliable. It’s amazing what resources this forum provided me on topics I knew nothing about. At the start of the project, my knowledge base literally had me googling terms like, “what does a distributor do”, and the like. Between this forum and YouTube, there is nothing you can’t figure out with a little bit of study.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
On to the garage upgrades. Scored an 80-gallon, two-stage, oil-type air compressor from a guy on Craigslist after hawking that website for months. Sketched together an air system after learning how to flux/sweat copper tubing on YouTube and getting some design ideas around the web. When it’s finished, the air system will have two main lines: the first goes through a desiccant dryer and goes to the blasting cabinet and my powder coating gun. The second line goes through a FRL (filter/regulator/lubricator) to a wall-mounted hose on a reel for all my future air tools.

I’m really proud of how it’s turned out so far, and that’s thanks to lots of help from this forum and many helpful instructional YouTube videos.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
More upgrades to the garage. I added some “aftermarket” upgrades to the standard Harbor Freight blasting cabinet after reading some reviews and consulting YouTube for ideas. I replaced the lousy fluorescent bulb inside with two 50w halogen bulbs, and wired them all on a switch together so that the attached shop vac also comes on at the flip of a switch. Modified the viewing window and ordered some replacement glass sheets for easy change-out. I also sealed up the joints with silicon during the assembly process to keep the dust down.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Finished upgrading the garage! I’ll attach a few photos showing the improvements. Finished up the compressed air system, built some overhead shelves, and built a powder coating booth with an oven below it. I’m really happy with the powder coating results. I’ll post a couple photos of the finished product in a bit.

For the overhead shelves, there are some good step-by-step instructions that Stanley publishes on the web. I’ve never built overhead shelves before, but they came out great and they’re nice and sturdy, capable of holding about 1,000 lbs or so.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,541 Posts
Looks like a great start and its a Z10 which is a great car. I think the best investments I ever made was a blasting cabinet and compressor. Good Luck with the resto.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,541 Posts
If you are going to tear it down, take pics and take all the original bolts and put them in zip loc bags and label where they came from. Also get a Factory Assembly Manual.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Here’s a closer look at my powder coating setup. Bought an oven off Craigslist for $50 and built a cabinet for it. I basically used the same design as the shop table you can see in my other pictures, only it’s narrower and there’s an additional level to make a sort of “booth” above the oven where I apply powder. Not bad for never having built a cabinet before, if I do say so myself.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Here’s a photo of two “test pieces” for my powder coating process—the thermostat housing (Chevy orange), and the upper alternator bracket (semi-gloss black). Here’s the process:

- Preheat oven
- Run the part through the blasting cabinet
- Blow off part with compressed air, then wipe it down with acetone and a lint-free cloth
- Bake part in the oven to offgas any trapped oils or solvents
- Let it cool, then put it back in the booth
- Quickly hit it with a butane torch (to burn off any lint that may have stuck to it after it’s grounded)
- Apply powder, then immediately bake it again

The results are fantastic, and it’s a finish that will last.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
If you are going to tear it down, take pics and take all the original bolts and put them in zip loc bags and label where they came from. Also get a Factory Assembly Manual.
This. One of the most important pieces of advice I’ve got from this thread. Organization is absolutely necessary!
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top