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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to upgrade everything on my car. (+/-10-years plan) Everything is still in descent shape, but I want to rebuild a "new" car.
I want to upgrade the suspension (hotchkis swaybar, hotchkis leafs, hotchkis tierod sleeves, hotchkis lowering springs, koni's), also a new engine (383), 12bolt and gearbox are on my wanted-list.
I also want to replace the old parchment deluxe interior with a new parchment interior (headliner, front buckets/back seat, carpet, doorpanels etc.). I also want to add front/rear spoiler and some replacements of the old chrome. Want to replace the very little bondo with real sheetmetal, and eventually give it a nice color....that is IF I have the money


Where do I start!!!!
I wanted to do the suspension first....then the 12bolt,gearbox,engine.....then the sheetmetal....then the interior.....and finally the spoilers/chrome and if I ain't broke by then, the paintjob.

Is this a good order, or does this sounds the wrong way to do it?
 

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Of course I am sure that you know (and sound like you already have been working on) first making a plan and preliminary budget for the project.

With that said... I would say, strip the car first. I find it nice to work on a car that doesn't have a bunch of stuff getting in the way. Of course, be sure to catalog where everything goes though so you don't forget where things came from!

Then, I would do the suspension and brakes first. After this, I would turn to the drivetrain, then to the interior, then finally the exterior cosmetic changes. Just my opinion though.

If you are looking to do a full front end rebuild and want the type of Tie Rod adjustment sleeves that Hotchkis offers, may I suggest you get the front end rebuild kit from www.vettebrakes.com I used this kit in my rebuild this summer... it included inner and outer tie rods, full tubular adjusting sleeves, idler arm, and ball joints. It came out to about $160. Moog is the mfg of all the parts except for the tie rod sleeves.

Of course, if you can afford it... now would be a good time to look into getting one of those nifty aftermarket subframes. I want one!
 

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It took me 13 years to finish mine. The car was driveable for 10 of those 13 years. The last 3 years included 2 years in the paint shop and a year for me to put it back together the way I wanted it.

I definitely would not start your project by stripping the car. Keep it driveable as long as possible. You will get much more enjoyment out of it. Unfortunately, over a 10 year time period, parts wear out and you have to do certain things over again. The interior and suspension are good examples.

The schedule you suggested is close to what I did. However, after I got the car safe with suspension and brakes, I did the interior. When driving around, you really don't see that much of a crappy looking exterior. If the interior sucks, you see all the time. It kind of makes you feel better driving a car with a decent interior. After that, 12-bolt, gearbox, engine, etc...

The other problem is that trends change over the course of a 10 year period. I started out building a strip car and then Pro touring came along. I liked Pro Touring for a while, but now find myself leaning back towards the early 70's street machine styling (i.e., car not lowered, maybe even raised slightly).

[This message has been edited by gheatly (edited 09-16-2002).]
 

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As you see there are many ways to do it. But I like Gheatly’s approach. Keep it running as long as possible, and wait to strip it until all that’s left is body work. I know a few guys who stripped theirs right away and it has stayed that way...indefinitely. If you are retired and have endless cash then OK, but a 10 year project on an un-certain budget is asking for trouble. We all know that many things can happen over ten years. After few years of not driving you may lose interest, become overwhelmed or get in a financial pinch, then what. You can always get good money for a complete car, but did you ever see what a stripped camaro in boxes is worth?
 

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If a total restore is planned, I've learned through experience to do all the exterior body/sheetmetal work & paint first. The process tends to create a huge mess of the car especially to a finely detailed engine compartment, trunk & interior (which I would leave for last).

Just my 2 cents!

Mark

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Original, #s matching, '68 SS, Ash Gold/ Ivy Gold, black vinyl top, 396/325hp, TH400, A/C, PS, power disc/drum brakes
 

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My advice is to find one that someone has already done and done right and then buy it for about half of what they have in it. If I only knew then what I know now. If you still want to do it, do safety items (brakes, suspension) first. Body work does make a big mess. Save the detail work until after thats done. Do lots of planning. For example: QA1 Motorsports makes some new really cool coilover front shock conversion kits (Chevy High Performance August 2002) that work with stock or tubular Global West lower control arms. If you want to do that, make sure your brake upgrade (spindles) are compatible. Nothing is worse than doing something and then having to spend the time and money to do it again. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I see a lot of contradictions here especially about the body/paintjob. As I have NO experience with any of these things, it is going to be fun

First of all I want to drive the car every year, so suspension (I've got frontdiscs) and handling upgrades gonna be first, I guess. (and now probably the frontend rebuildkit from vettebrakes). I think I can do this before the summer begins, and just ride the car during this period.
When I buy the 12bolt and gearbox to be installed during the winterperiod, I'm ready for the 383, to be installed during the next winter. Then I want to buy the complete interior, and when the sheetmetal is finished I can install the interior (again in the winter). Then the spoilers/chrome/paintjob, because I don't want to make scratches on the paint when installing the engine/gearbox etc. I can always protect the paintjop with some paper/tape against glue or something needed for the installation of the interior. I think this will become more difficult to protect it against a few hundres kilos of iron hitting the paintjob...

Marktat, I know what you mean about the budget.... As I am now completing my masters education Supply Chain Management and the Product Design, I'm almost certain that I'll get a nice paid job.
Also, like you and Gheatly wrote, I'm not intended to strip the car. I want to do modification after modification, I don't want to end-up with a chassis and 30 boxes.

Gheatly, about the trends changeing... I'm not afraid of this cause I like everything about a deluxe interior, so why change it into protouring? As for the 70's streetmachine style..... I think I have a similar car now. On the pics in my sig. I lowered the car a bit etc. But at the moment I have a Monroe pneumatic lift system. Just blow some air into it, and the back of the car rises. I also have 14" wheels in front an 15" in the back, but I think it's not for me, so I'm going to remove these 2 features. (So If you are interested in the Monroe's....
)
My interior is a bit dirty, but no cracks or anything a good cleaning-job can't handle. (Only have a small scratch at the side of the passenger-seat) But it looks nice.
 

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The absolute best thing to do is body before interior.

But if you insist on doing interior first, then shoot the door jams black, white or the color that you are sure you are going to paint the car. Shoot them while you have the interior stripped out.

Also depending on the shape your car is in, the window channels might need work. That means taking the glass out. That also will mess up the interior of the car (you can cheaply take care of the window channels while doing the interior, also takes care of any leaks on your nice new interior).

If your roof is messed up any, then there goes the headliner you spent so long on installing & getting stretched out.

Basically doing the body work is the first thing to do. It is the core of the car. If you find something seriously wrong with the structure, you can fix it right without having to worry about messing up all the other work that you have done. It is also one of the most expensive things to do, right.

I bought my 2nd '68 in June '01. I basically did all the safety and convenience things the first month. Then I got tired of hard starting and ended up restoring the engine compartment. Now, one year later I am doing all the body work on it.

The order for me was dictated by availability of money (we have too many vehicles :)



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David
Camaro - '68 327 Coupe, '86 Z-28 IROC 305 TPI
Corvette - '73 Mako Shark II, '82 Cross-fire, '01 Coupe
 

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I wouldn't worry about messing everything up when you do the body work. I would simply disassemble the front end clip and subframe. This will allow yo to detail the engine again if needed and to clean-up the subframe. One the body work is done, reassemble the car.

Also, the interior is not that hard to remove. The one item that will probably have to be replaced is the headliner, especially if you take the front and rear windows out.


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Pearl blue & white 69 Camaro with supercharged 350, Tremec TKO, and 3.73 12-bolt

See my website updated 6/10/02 at:

www.geocities.com/gheatly
 

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This may be repetive of some of the above advice but if you plan to drive your project during most of the time you work on it, here's my suggestion. (assuming it's already driveable) do the suspension, brakes ect first as it can be done in stages in 1-2 day timeframes. Start on the new mill during all this and when it's done a long weekend should be all that's necessary to pull the old and install the new. Same for the trans and rear basically. The interior should be all put together as well in the same fashion and unless any major body work is needed it's easy to work on a section at a time.

What you should end up with is a car that is solid with everything working and fitting the way you want it except for the exterior finish. The finish is going to take the longest amount of down time and the car should come completely apart so that everything that needs to be painted can be (dash, jambs under hood and trunk ect).

By having everything together first, you won't have to worry about messing up the paint fitting things that haven't been previously installed. You also will know where everything goes after buiding and then taking it apart again. Even if you don't want to drive the car I believe building a complete package before painting is the best way to go. The more custom work you do the more important it is. It's more work but it pays off in the long run...



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...Dennis
"The '69, the '96 & the club"
 

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I agree with doing paintwork before the rest of the stuff. When I wrote "exterior cosmetic changes" I meant the spoilers. I didn't read your post well enough to realize that you were going to repaint the whole car. good luck!
 

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Beg, borrow, or steal a digitial camera and take pictures, plenty of them. Or even a film camera, SLR

I guarantee you'll forget how to assemble sometime later.



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Everett 68/350/PG/11.90/115mph
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Everett, I have a digital camera so that won't be a problem. I'll see what I can afford to do first....
So suspension first, then engine/12bolt/gearbox, then sheetmetal, then paintjob, then interior (and spoilers) etc......ok, seems good to me....
 

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I did, or am doing...

Safety items first. Brakes revamped, upgraded. Fuel lines. Fixed heat soak problem. Tires, shocks. Steering components. Change all the fluids and belts.

Then I went on to general mechanic issues. Swapped the 10-bolt for a 12-bolt. Drive shaft. Rear springs. Muncie M21. Gas tank. Floors restored.

Now I'm doing upgrades and small project restorations, (did the rear end.) Solid bushings. Subframe connetors. Be Cool Radiator. Holley 670. Maybe a couple of seats from Corbeau this winter.

I plan swapping out the M21 for Tremec TKO next spring or over this winter.

As others said, they like to drive the car as much as possible. Personally, I second that, which is why I have concentrated on mechanics.

With all the above done, I'll drive my car for next season and perhaps two seasons before the drastic tear down. Then...

Full tear down, paint job, Hotchkis front suspension upgrade, 383 stroker, DS&E dash and custom interior.

The only item that may be redundant is the carpets, I just have to change them right now - I hate the ratty un-formed carpet that was in it. If I can't reuse the carpet when it's torn down, I'm only out a hundred bucks.

In parting. It really IS much cheaper to find one that is already done, but I'd still do it the way I am.

Best regards,

Rick O

PS: Digital camera is fine, take a lot of photos, A camcorder is better. Something to consider.

[This message has been edited by Scoop69RS-SS (edited 09-19-2002).]
 
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