78' Camaro LT1 Conversion Cali Smog Legal

Discussion in 'High Tech Retrofits' started by supwicha, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. supwicha

    supwicha Veteran Member

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    Well it's time to replace the dash pad. Mine is warped something terrible and hard as a rock. I'm not going to waste any time trying to fix it, I'm just going to replace it. I did some reading and learned that the dash pad made by OER is horrible. The reviews suck. However, the pads made by NPD (National Parts Depot) are the same price and have great reviews, so I ordered mine up. I had it the very next day, cant complain about that. The pad actually comes out fairly easy.

    Here is the old pad.

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    First remove all of the screws below the glove box, all the way to the driver side A/C vent. (7mm Socket)

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    Remove the discharge assy from the heater box (5/16" Socket)

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    Remove the cardbox insert for the glove box

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    You can use a small ratchet or thumb ratchet to gain access to the screws that mount the lower dash to the upper dash pad. The screws come from the top down (7mm Socket). You can reach up through the openings to gain access.

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    You'll need to remove the instrument cluster (remove the negative battery cable first, don't risk damaging your cluster circuit overlay), and remove the two nuts that hold the steering column up and let it hang down. Remove the A/C ducting (if equipped), and remove the nuts that secure the upper dash pad to the metal overlay that houses the speaker and defroster. Remove the retaining clips after the nuts are removed. There are two sheet metal screws above where the instrument cluster was and the pad is drilled to gain access, remove these screws. At this point, it should just about fall out.

    Next I'm going to replace the heater core (which leaks). Then I'll tidy up the wiring while it's easy to get to. Next time I post, I'll show how to put everything back together.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  2. sbca96

    sbca96 Veteran Member

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    Messing with the dash is a terrible experience. Its also very hard to get it all in
    the way it was. I found that some of the screws weren't in the "right" place and
    I had to negotiate it some. Your dash doesn't look bad at all. If its not split you
    might want to keep soaking it with some restorer and let it be. The top will just
    start to curl again, I have seen some that make a piece to screw down thru the
    pad and hold it down.

    If you watch Smokey and the Bandit, you can see a brand new Firebird with the
    dash already lifting and curling. Its just a crappy design and bad workmanship.

    I know someone that bought black plate off Ebay and put them on their 1968 SS
    clone Camaro. I know it can be done, AAA can really only do the simple stuff. I
    just got my dads Avanti from Michigan, which went there FROM California, and it
    wont accept the VIN now, saying its not long enough. I have to go TO DMV and
    that means getting it drive-able. Frustrating.

    Our swap is running great, the LT1 has responded nicely to the exhaust restriction
    being removed. The wife likes driving it more than her new to her 2008 Z51 C6.

    Tom
     
  3. supwicha

    supwicha Veteran Member

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    Mine is beyond repairable. The fiberglass mold below the pad is warped and the loop above the column broken, no way am I messing with this pad. I already have the new pad and it is designed completely different than the OEM as far as its overall structure. I finished rebuilding the heater box, all new foam seals, heater core, vacuum line, etc. Just got done putting that back in today. I am securing the wiring better while it is easy to get to. So far, it has not been a very difficult project for my particular application.
     
  4. supwicha

    supwicha Veteran Member

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    Here are the updated photos with the new pad installed. Again, it took a lot of patience and some minor modifications but fits well overall.

    Also, I "rebuilt" the A/C vents. Before they were very loose and would not hold position. I disassembled the vents and installed a small o-ring on the shaft or pivot point, then installed. This applied some resistance/friction. Now when the vent is rotated up or down, it has a firm position hold.

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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  5. sbca96

    sbca96 Veteran Member

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    Very nice!! Looks great. Like the o-ring idea. Might add a blurb on the interiors
    forum about that trick.

    Tom
     
  6. '78rookie

    '78rookie New Member

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    Hey supwhicha
    I'm curious about the dimensions you had whem you cut and patched your subframe to fit the a/c compressor. Do you mind reciting them just so it can be knowledge on this thread? I would definantely appreciate it, as I have my subframe sitting out and haven't even started to think about pulling the motor from my donor car because I've had to weld the floor pan and have been waiting on doing that till the weather clears up for the most part around my part of california.
    Thanks much
     
  7. supwicha

    supwicha Veteran Member

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    [QUOTE='78rookie]Hey supwhicha
    I'm curious about the dimensions you had whem you cut and patched your subframe to fit the a/c compressor. Do you mind reciting them just so it can be knowledge on this thread? I would definantely appreciate it, as I have my subframe sitting out and haven't even started to think about pulling the motor from my donor car because I've had to weld the floor pan and have been waiting on doing that till the weather clears up for the most part around my part of california.
    Thanks much[/QUOTE]

    I'll work on getting some measurements and post.
     
  8. supwicha

    supwicha Veteran Member

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    Been a while since I posted and this may be a bit off topic. For you users of TTS DATAMASTER, you may have learned that the product has been discontinued. I managed a workaround that will keep you in business with the trial version. It is a bit of work (about 60 minutes), but works. First you'll need the trial version of the datamaster you wish to use. If you recall, you get 20 connections before the trial expires.

    What you do is use "Oracle VirtualBox". You'll create a VM (virtual machine) on your PC running windows XP. Once you set up a VM XP box, then install datamaster, but do not run it. Within the VM, take a snapshot of your XP box and label it "Datamaster Install" or something similar. Preserve this snapshot and never use it. From your original install, launch and use the application as needed. When you run out of connections (20), then "Restore" your snapshot that you have left alone, and bing your back up and running with another 20. Takes only seconds to perform a VM restore.

    This idea came to mind as I've created VM running DOS, Win 95, Win 98, Win ME, Win XP, and Win 7. I uses these for older applications that may not be supported on newer OS's. When I learned that TTS pulled the plug, I thought this would be a decent workaround.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  9. sbca96

    sbca96 Veteran Member

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    Tricky.

    Tom
     
  10. supwicha

    supwicha Veteran Member

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    In an earlier post, I had mentioned that I had purchased two Camaro's at the same time from the same seller. Well after much debate, I decided to part ways with the 2nd Camaro and sold it to a super nice guy in Chino CA. I've been working on the LT1 Cali Smog Legal one for a couple years and doubt I would have ever get to this one.

    The guy who bought it has already registered here on NastyZ28 and has wasted no time getting started. Very glad to see another one will survive!

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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017

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