1970 Camaro RS/SS Restomod

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by linenoise, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. linenoise

    linenoise Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Finally just going to start a thread on my build.
    First I started with a 1973. When I first signed up on this page thats what I had. All primer and holes and 295/50/15's sticking out the sides. I loved that car. I live in colorado and had a buddy who owned 'the bone yard' in commerce citry. He liked that I raced it hard and kept needing engines, or trannys or other parts.

    Years later when I was 20 I sold it to my friend. Bought a 1970 camaro SS. numbers matching throughout. I thought I wanted to go stock and spent alot of time getting ready for that. I went back and for so many times. In the end I am going with a restomod cause I know if I went totally stock I would change little things till I did it twice. So I am just going to short cut it. The car was 4000 in 1994. I bought it from a sales man at O'Meara ford on 104th. He sold it personally but worked there. The car was beautiful. No flaws that could be easily seen.

    Cut to chase. I knew driving it the bright orange 350 that was numbers matching felt weak and needed a rebuild. I knew it was wondering some and needed front end parts and front springs were shot. I knew in one wheel house in the metal around the wheel looked wrong size. Too fat in bottom and not uniform. Minor but noticeable to someone who had spent alot of time with a 2nd gen. You could see some faint lines in the heavily buffed paint. Turns out the car was keyed by his girl friend little while ago and he had the car lot guys buff it all out. You could not tell unless you got REAL close and even than it was hard to tell.

    I drive the car like that for years. Eventually I put it in my garage and left it there when I got into work stuff heavy. I was working 75 hour weeks between IBM and USWest/Qwest. Making good money but no time. The car sat and now the lines where clear as day.

    Fast forward a couple decades. The car moved a couple garages. As I found parts online on ebay I put them in car. Like a full GM original weather strip set. Etc.
    Now I have some bonus money (years ago now) and want to start. So I started a few threads on here and decided to go LS and get all my stuff ready before starting a build thread.

    I tried to get my brother in law to put in my DSE Quadra link. Hes doing some body man work in a shop and mechanical too. I was in Cali fighting projects in the mountain fires which was fun. He started it in my garage and I got a call. He said he could not do it. too much work and he wanted to golf on weekends. He would help here and there but this was weekends of work he could not commit to it no matter money I paid.

    I like metal work and decided to just do it myself. In the start I had the inner wheel houses cut out. and started on the lower brackets. Being really careful. Reading every post I could get my hands on about it. DSE has tons of pics on site. Well I was good at it. BUT I went to weld in first piece and quickly saw I was no way ready for welding the thing. Blew a small hole in the frame metal. Not the body thing stuff. Called around and found a pro who would work in my garage when I called for 75 a hour. He did all welding I did rest.
    Here is the suspension done...Took me months, I would say this was three months of weekend except for a two week spot I was out of state. Every single weekend. All after work nights. TONs of work. I know I know, enough talk lets see the work....
    Be Easy, I am real good shade tree mech but I am a IT worker. replace parts and work on stuff all day but first time creating my own suspension.
     

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  2. linenoise

    linenoise Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Next up is body work. As you can see in pics it needs it in rear. The sand blaster said the metal was best he had ever seen on a 50 year old car. But I found some stuff I did not like. First the obvious...
    The wheel houses were not good. Bottom corners rotted. But surprisingly the rocker panels are good all around. The previous person had towed a car and the bottoms of the rear show it. Part of the tow rope was imbedded in one sides rear leaf bushing and bolt still.
    Something new I found out. When I look up into wheel well the outer wheel housing has tons of holes with pull marks and bondo in them. BUT the quarter is down to metal with no cut marks. And the lead filler is on top. Could not figure it out. So I am not touching body work. I about killed myself getting the quadra link and minitub in. That was seriously tough to get in to the standard I wanted.
    I am paying a old timer I know to do the body. here is how it came out for deal. He came over and you can see in one of the quarters, Drivers side. It has spray foam in it. Somehow the quarter was replaced very early in this things life. Back when they used lead still. I already have full quarters cause I knew the wheel houses were toast and I do not want cut lines in trunk. And the tail panel looks good on outside but not on back and inside creases. End state I will have my brother in law paint it. Hes more of a painter than metal/body man anyways. hes painted a couple cars in the family and they came out great. Like my new wrangler hood etc.
    Anyways its been two full days and two guys been working 8 hours a day on it. Here is where it stands now....
    Will keep this updated as it goes.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
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  3. dave@ztech

    [email protected] Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Looking good, must be nice to finally get started after all this time, keep us posted as to your progress!
     
  4. linenoise

    linenoise Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    It does feel good. Feel better once I get my new subframe on there. Cannot wait for that. OK so lots of hours on body work. These guys show up at about 9 and stay till night. The Dynacorn quarter and AMD tail panel did not mate up well on rear lower seem. Way off. Like 1/2-3/4 inch atleast. Had to do major work there. Also one little 1/2 piece at the bottom of trunk to tail panel seem went in on both sides and had to be fixed. Door gap worked fine no mods. Same for wheel well. Also the lead seam. I am told the roof has to lift up for the full quarter to come under it. And the better way to do it is cut the old quarter down a little from that. Put a panel behind it and do a combo buttweld and plug welds for strength. This guy has done body/metal work on cars for 30 years and done many camaros. I have no exp on body work at all. Would appreciate some feed back from the pros here on lines. only pass side cause its all done and almost fully welded. Got to take welds flat and all. There's already over 100+ hours into this. I por15'd the inside of it before quarter went on. 3M weld through primer for seems. and of course seem sealer around seems. There was tons of 'debate' on the lower quarter to rear panel seem. He said factory left it with gap there and it was mostly filled with seem sealer. I said I want that to be as tight and clean as well keep it clean, lets just say I want it to look pretty much like the fender to rocker gap. I won and extra day was spent on getting it right. It still has more work but its really close now. gap now sits at 1/8th.
    Pics...
     

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  5. Mr. Lucci

    Mr. Lucci New Member

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    Very nice! Feels good to get moving on projects like this. I also have a RS Camaro that I'm just now getting work underway, after sitting since 1991 ish. I'll post some pictures in a new thread.
     
  6. linenoise

    linenoise Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    got subframe pretty much lined up for rough fit on items like tranny tunnel and dse steering bar to headers before finishing off firewall. The shorty headers I was really really hoping would clear are never going to work. These are $150 stainless headers. Gonna have to bust out 2000+ for dse headers. The t56 is fitting nicely not going to have to mess with tunnel. first cut on inside worked out well.
     

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  7. linenoise

    linenoise Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Got some more done. The body work and paint is much harder for me. More of a mech guy. Anyways, before I can finish mounting the subframe I got to finish fw. And I did not think that was going to be bad. Its more than you think to do it right.
    1. had to get Vintage air in and get it mounted right. Since finishing fw panel hides the bolts for it.
    2. once this is mounted and seam sealed up it looks horrible. So I got the DSE plate to cover it. Man that thing really fits like a glove. But that means metal work and welding. Get it all setup right. Also did the metal weld up for the bracket for the clutch master. Got holes predrilled larger for new ls pedal and bracket. Got a large hole drilled out for the LS harness pass through and bushing. That was hours to get it right.
    3. Once done with that you have to blend in all that metal work. Prime it. I ended up having my brother in law shoot the whole car with the primer. That stuff is not cheap. Good primer that has the buildup in it to kind of flush out small imperfections at a gallon was $500 with reducer and all. There are some gaps on the part the windshield mounts to. Filled those mostly so its cleaner.
    4. Got some flat black paint. Got it all painted up from dash to trans tunnel and door seam to door seam.

    Also got the new trans opening finished same time. Seam sealed on bottom, welded, made a custom plate for top. Counter sunk screws so it would be as low as possible. Still need to cut the shifter hole but the hurst metal hump part is all welded and setup.

    Soon as this fully dries I am ready to start mounting the subframe. Mount doors again. and trunk lid. start getting front sheet metal on front end.
    Got the anvil RS fiberglass front coming in next week.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  8. linenoise

    linenoise Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I been silent on this for a while. Busy on work stuff. But still getting little things done. Got the subframe all installed. Got brake booster, master and prop in. Got the rear exhaust pipe kit from pypes installed. waiting for mufflers from spintech to come in. Taking like 4 weeks to make em. Got hangers and all. will weld that all up when it comes in. all stainless. Got Ebrake test fitted. Not sure if I am going to go around rear frame or through it with a new hole(badazz81z28 said it would go around the frame fine and work with no hole, it does just like he said). want to get that in before exhaust is final. Got fuel tank mounted. Trying to get it ready for a test fire on engine. Still need fuel line to engine, electrical and rad mounted.
    Last weekend I went out to PPIR. my brother got me a ride in a Lamborghini Huracan last christmas. I hit 125Mph in that thing on a straight. I have had my camaro down for soo long, decade or more. This was the first time I got to drive a fast car in so long it brought back that feeling I been missing. I love fast cars and that thing had 600hp. My brother drove a Ferrari and I passed him and one other car to come in first in our group on that track session. So fun. In training they had a cone up and it had $500 wrote on it. He said you hit one cone and its $500 for inspection than you pay repair using the insurance you bought which has a 6000 deductible. So you want to be careful.
     

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  9. Syborg TT

    Syborg TT Veteran Member

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    Very cool and I have always wanted to do one of those events.

    Okay time is ticking let's see some new pictures of the Camaro.

     
  10. linenoise

    linenoise Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Thanks syborg, really appreciate the battery billet tray you sent me. I got welder coming over weds to tig up my exhaust parts. Also found a needle in a hay stack. When I took apart car I found out my nice fenders had a dent on drivers side one that was pure mud filled. right above marker light hole. like 1/2 deep atleast. pull holes with mud through them. also lower part of rear was rusty and would need patched. I called around and through a couple pass ons I ran into a guy. 60's old time camaro guy. He had a ton of NOS parts and other parts for sale. I ended up getting a NOS drivers side fender for 1000. I have never seen one of these for sale ever. and I been lookin. Bolt holes where hinge for hood bolts on has nut on inside. never mounted. Lucky as it gets finding that. He also has the following he will sell me. RS Grills in box nos. both sides. Markers nos all of em in box. front RS bumpers new NOS in box. had a ton of other stuff but I want those items I just listed but he wants semi high $. hundreds each one. I think all markers 300, 500 for bumpers, and 300 for grills I think were starters but he said he would deal. I got a set of 70 Z28 wheels he wants. gonna work something out. I want those bumpers and markers the most. He had three garages filled with mostly first gen stuff but good amount of 2nd gen too.Atleast 8 camaros in these buildings. 1 2nd gen thats for sale. z28 70. think he said he would let it go for 20~ something.
     

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