A 1977 Camaro Restoration 24 years in and Counting

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by bigcarguy, May 21, 2020.

  1. bigcarguy

    bigcarguy New Member

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    DD9440CF-E647-4EC1-A651-7524D21EA69D.jpeg C5008CD0-A570-4EDF-B557-8E7DA072F44C.jpeg 039E7984-04E8-4422-BC3E-66C07B2E7806.jpeg 596FA5CC-D251-430F-A556-FB40D9A89283.jpeg 9E93D9D3-E07F-453E-87AD-38CD2EFEAC16.jpeg 78B23EE3-029C-40AD-B60C-7A43401E92B3.jpeg DD9440CF-E647-4EC1-A651-7524D21EA69D.jpeg C5008CD0-A570-4EDF-B557-8E7DA072F44C.jpeg I’m working on what was my first car: a red 1977 Camaro. Nothing special, not an LT or Z28. Just a 305 and an automatic. But I loved this car. My grandmother bought it in 1979 and drove it until 1996. My dad bought it from her and at age 13 I started wrenching on it. Did some basic upgrades on it, swapped the 2bbl for a 4bbl and did some suspension work, but ultimately just drove it into the ground. Parked it in 2002 under a tree and moved on.

    Fast forward to 2013 when my wife and I moved into a house with a nice big garage in the backyard. I get the Camaro towed to the next house and start tearing into it. Out came the engine and trans, and all of the interior. Found rust in the cowl and floor pan and didn’t go looking for anymore. Had it stripped down to the subframe when in 2016 I got a job out of state and we moved again. But no garage.

    Everything gets put back in the car, I throw a cover over it, park it in the trees at my dad’s house, and thought I’d never see it again. Four years later, we move into a house with a garage again. Rented a UHaul trailer and towed the car 500 miles to our new home and started cracking into it again. I’ll post some updates on what I’ve done to it, but just wanted to post some old pictures of when I first got it.
     
  2. bigcarguy

    bigcarguy New Member

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    Here’s the car when we moved it in 2013. It had gone from the trees at my dad’s house to the backyard of me and my wife’s first house. For years my uncles had told me to cover it up and protect from the elements. Like a dumb kid, I didn’t listen. Sure wish I had, would have really cut down on the rust repair.

    When I got it to this point I literally was just tearing into it to see what all needed to be done. At this point I found the rust in the cowl and got it cut out but not replaced yet. D59F38AE-7812-4F99-8BB8-1E3B6D5D642C.jpeg 70992220-875A-45D3-AB2F-6D06B0B8F10D.jpeg 8C71B7A3-1D8E-4BBF-A1A5-7B9B4EF4E592.jpeg C230DB99-6AFE-4F9F-8A83-00387A21E432.jpeg C950536C-C665-4607-A44A-4BC395E75ED8.jpeg 4EF5F6CE-59DE-4747-8A0C-22A0D47E9059.jpeg 649D112E-D969-413B-A4E3-1685F56548DD.jpeg E1B0253D-EAFF-4FAD-9DCF-A40F5C04139F.jpeg F0CE9471-2F25-422B-9C74-BF4007D567BF.jpeg D8335E3E-9723-49DE-91DA-A0DF42CCF8A8.jpeg
     
  3. bigcarguy

    bigcarguy New Member

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    474E8646-1C8C-49DC-87FB-B2BFF340A6CE.jpeg 98429268-5E9D-41CC-A988-29813EEF4E39.jpeg C4277738-ED1C-4BEB-94FB-0959FAC3307F.jpeg 63424A52-DE18-42AA-8DF1-C197391762C8.jpeg 5663C270-88BF-4E03-8B45-C6A5FFB18C9B.jpeg 788BE4A1-FA06-4BC1-B6CC-3EAEE4798461.jpeg 2A0AB10D-70F7-4495-882E-FC1876864CE5.jpeg 05DEED01-390D-4A4A-BD7A-56A7E6F890A3.jpeg A79E0876-47F5-46F4-B759-FBC7B8112DDC.jpeg 474E8646-1C8C-49DC-87FB-B2BFF340A6CE.jpeg Here’s what it looked like after another 3 years of neglect in the elements. I kick myself for every time I did this. But I’m all in now on getting it done and never letting it get to this point again.
     
  4. bigcarguy

    bigcarguy New Member

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    First D6C1FA6A-D1BF-4D13-9404-1E6259693FF6.jpeg 013C7362-AE09-4412-9F13-002A65A8FE13.jpeg 88B24F39-3F69-4D4B-BDB5-5CC417297632.jpeg 64C70F92-1343-46F3-9A44-957E695BDCD7.jpeg 5F4545A0-21BC-4422-9D59-95D3BB2F9F08.jpeg 5CB29F0D-8117-4F63-8C94-EDAB7E3DCBD3.jpeg 2B8E9381-8829-409D-8C0D-4608317BC1DE.jpeg CCB40732-8000-464B-BFCF-311E6484F86B.jpeg 82F50C5C-909D-455A-867F-8D2D5093BFFD.jpeg 6181E719-9406-4E86-830D-0E62C9B79364.jpeg order of business was stripping back down to the cowl so I could replace it. I had the new metal in place but never welded it in. I’m not a good or even experienced welder, so I’m literally learning as I go. Started off with Flux welding to get the cowl in. Luckily I upgraded to gas mig before doing anything else. So much easier and such better welds...well, better looking booger welds I guess.
     
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  5. bigcarguy

    bigcarguy New Member

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    With the cowl done, time to work on the floor pan. Had just a couple little spots on the driver side. Used what we left and good from the old cowl to make a patch. Passenger side was a different story. Had significant rust in the front and rear. Originally got the two separate sections and was going to call it a day, but the rust went right up to the middle of the floor braces, so if I just patched to there then I wouldn’t be able to get to the backside to coat and protect it. So I welded the sections together and just replaced the whole side. Probably my least favorite thing I’ve done so far. Took me from Nov 2019 until sometime in April of this year. CB0B5AF4-FCA3-41C2-86EE-2C7EB7DBDB0E.jpeg 4E7FAE25-8048-48F5-9EBE-A69D99A0518E.jpeg 78C704D5-5484-45E3-9FBF-0DAA83F9FFC0.jpeg 71E60C85-8D65-41EF-A9BB-1BF8C41C9BF5.jpeg 6857F5CE-E09A-48C5-9E01-AAFC2EAEE5A0.jpeg 02E7CE10-38C9-4283-A92D-DE8E2E0656FE.jpeg A5086F8E-5EE2-42B0-8350-669D28A3503C.jpeg 320C9F1F-BC01-4263-A328-B3C06FD74A39.jpeg 6A5A41F7-5660-4349-9B26-E689570BD9E5.jpeg 59F258E0-5E3A-4B13-85C6-91E657E6EBE5.jpeg 2992C8E6-6933-4754-9644-F5B3769E8436.jpeg
     
    1978 Z/28, roadrace2, Quazit and 4 others like this.
  6. ls777z

    ls777z Veteran Member

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    ….wish I had a garage. well, I do, sort of, but the wife's work car and her Harley take up all the room. But when she retires in a little over 2 years things are going to change.
     
  7. 75Maro

    75Maro Veteran Member

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    Nice write up and pics keep it up!
     
  8. mrfleet12

    mrfleet12 Veteran Member

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    Great progress, looks like you have a handle on it.
     
  9. simso

    simso Veteran Member

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    Off to a great start, 2nd time around
     
  10. ZerroHalfcup

    ZerroHalfcup Member

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    I'm going through the same process on my 77, just in much smaller pieces. Keep it up man, it's looking good
     

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