Dills Cheap Camaros & Garage Shenanigans

moms1978

Veteran Member
Aug 13, 2008
576
Man Cave
!!!WARNING!!!
I am an idiot.

Do not do what I do
Warning! you may feel dumber after looking at my thread
Warning! 99% of the things I take apart never get put back together
Warning! The fashion of which I work on cars might disturb you
Warning! Reading the bonehead questions that I will ask along with the things I will say and do may cause a significant increase in brain loss and other possible medical complications.

!Warning this is your last chance to turnaround!


 

moms1978

Veteran Member
Aug 13, 2008
576
Man Cave
78
 

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moms1978

Veteran Member
Aug 13, 2008
576
Man Cave
Im Dillion. My name moms1978 because this 1978 camaro was the first new car my mother had ever bought. Plain Jane stock 305 car. The engine was swapped sometime in the late 80s at a dealership for another stock 305. Right before the mid 90s it broke down and was parked on side of the garage where it would sit until I was 16. I worked washing dishes and busing tables from the time I was 14 to 17 and my senior year of H.S I used all the money I had saved up to pay a guy to put two new quarters on it and paint it. Also got a super cheap donor 76 that ran good with a 350 and swapped that into the 78 with the help of my uncle. That was in 03. Then drove the heck out of the car everyday rain snow or shine for about 5 years for the rest of high school and college. As of right now this car has not been on the road in 12 years.

I also got a 75 camaro that I bought maybe 13 years ago. Paid $200 for it. It aint much but a solid chassis, and roof. But it came with 2 pickup truck loads of parts. Yes I swear. It was a guy who just gave up and wanted everything gone and he had amassed tons of parts and multiple parts. More on that down the road but for instance it came with 6 doors. I've sold 4 of them over the years.

Also I think I have done one of these progress threads before but since I've been neglecting my camaros for like 12 years I just want to start over. What happened was I bought my first house and after that I just became a super dooper tight wad with my money. But now Im ready to start messing around again and having some fun. But still on a tight little budget. I got parts and stuff to trade. Also got lawn mowers and tractors to trade. So this is going to be all over the place.

Additionally
The car is in the condition that it is currently in with no engine or transmission installed because I had the grand idea that I was going to do an LS swap. An being the idiot I am I started taking things apart without really considering wtf I was getting into. Anyways I'm over all that. I just want to get the car running again and drive it to Tractor Supply on Friday nights. That's it. Once I realized the cost of the great LS swap idea that's when I put the car on the back burner and kept telling myself I'll get back to it when I get enough money saved up. I have come to realize 12 years later that their will never be enough money saved up to where I can feel like I can just blow it on what is essentially just a thing/toy.
 
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moms1978

Veteran Member
Aug 13, 2008
576
Man Cave
78
 

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Ratchet79

New Member
Nov 21, 2022
12
Being a ’super tight wad’ appears to have cost you a lot in terms of enjoyment (cruising in the Camaro) and frustration. Trading lawn mowers for parts to get the Camaro back on the road will lead to more frustration and another twelve years of neglect. Once I broke out of the ‘tight wad’ stage and admitted to myself that it wasn’t working, everything changed for the better. The upside is I started making real money, (profit), on my car projects. I was now enjoying working on cars and no longer dread having them in the garage.
 

Willie Bifulco

Veteran Member
Apr 13, 2020
116
Im Dillion. My name moms1978 because this 1978 camaro was the first new car my mother had ever bought. Plain Jane stock 305 car. The engine was swapped sometime in the late 80s at a dealership for another stock 305. Right before the mid 90s it broke down and was parked on side of the garage where it would sit until I was 16. I worked washing dishes and busing tables from the time I was 14 to 17 and my senior year of H.S I used all the money I had saved up to pay a guy to put two new quarters on it and paint it. Also got a super cheap donor 76 that ran good with a 350 and swapped that into the 78 with the help of my uncle. That was in 03. Then drove the heck out of the car everyday rain snow or shine for about 5 years for the rest of high school and college. As of right now this car has not been on the road in 12 years.

I also got a 75 camaro that I bought maybe 13 years ago. Paid $200 for it. It aint much but a solid chassis, and roof. But it came with 2 pickup truck loads of parts. Yes I swear. It was a guy who just gave up and wanted everything gone and he had amassed tons of parts and multiple parts. More on that down the road but for instance it came with 6 doors. I've sold 4 of them over the years.

Also I think I have done one of these progress threads before but since I've been neglecting my camaros for like 12 years I just want to start over. What happened was I bought my first house and after that I just became a super dooper tight wad with my money. But now Im ready to start messing around again and having some fun. But still on a tight little budget. I got parts and stuff to trade. Also got lawn mowers and tractors to trade. So this is going to be all over the place.

Additionally
The car is in the condition that it is currently in with no engine or transmission installed because I had the grand idea that I was going to do an LS swap. An being the idiot I am I started taking things apart without really considering wtf I was getting into. Anyways I'm over all that. I just want to get the car running again and drive it to Tractor Supply on Friday nights. That's it. Once I realized the cost of the great LS swap idea that's when I put the car on the back burner and kept telling myself I'll get back to it when I get enough money saved up. I have come to realize 12 years later that their will never be enough money saved up to where I can feel like I can just blow it on what is essentially just a thing/toy.
So I'm going out on a limb here and suggest your story resonates with, mmmmm....., most everyone! I think that's what makes the final build so meaningful. Well, for some like me, the car's DNA originated with various family members, or maybe you remember having to sit on the "hump" as a child when your siblings got to the real seats first.

My journey with my '70 Camaro started over 40 years ago when I purchased it from my brother, who originally got it from our Mom (who bought it new). I'll skip all my tear downs stories, crushed new GM original in-the-box fenders and quarter panels, and "WTF" moments. And then of course, saving $$$ only to have it go to more urgent purposes, but your story made me smile as I can relate.

So don't give up! When you get to the finish line, and find yourself sneaking away to your garage with your favorite dog, sipping on a cold one in your beach chair staring at your own work of art, all the pain & suffering along the way seems not so bad. And think of all the cool stories you'll have to tell the grandkids. Cheers!
 

ZRODDER

Member
Sep 12, 2004
80
Southwest USA
1st let me say I am sorry for the length of this post. It is done in hopes to motivate you to stick with it. A car with a family connection is like none other. Say, I think I will keep that as my quote.

Moms1978, as some have said, "don't give up". My Camaro's story is like Willie's. My 77 Z-28 started its life with my brother in 1982-83 timeline as A second owner car. He gave the car to me when he popped the powerplant in AZ in 1985. The only catch was, I had to go get it, and it was a 24-hour drive away. My fond memories of this car start there with this road trip I took, which my brother went with me. He passed away a few years ago, and my regret is I did not finish it sooner this time. I am sharing this to give you a motivation to drive on.
The first photo is what it looked like after I painted it and dropped a 427 under the hood in 1986 prior to letting it sit for 20 years sometime later after I stripped it and started to go silver.
77 Z & Carl.jpg


The second and third photo was it before this go-around that started about 6 years ago. .
02_77 Z-28.jpg


A lot of corrosion set-in, so the 3rd photo is a donor part I had to use to replace what was the rear lower window and package tray structure that was gone.
03_77Z 2017 OK.jpg


This is what I needed for the repair:
IMG_7557.JPG


This is what I had to repair:
IMAG1047.jpg


I knew once I got this done, I could complete the rest.

IMAG1047.jpg
20160101_142532.jpg


The next two is with my helper who is now driving.
20151224_145152.jpg

20161211_120552.jpg

77Z Summer 2018 2.jpg


I sprayed it around this time last year, and it's about ready to go, so hang in there, try to complete at least a small task every day or evening, even if it is just cleaning and/or organizing parts and hardware, or putting paint on items so they will be ready before you have a full day or two to work on it. You will see progress.
Z-28.jpg


Concerning the powerplant. I went with what parts I had and was able to get good deals on from friend and ended up with a BBC bolted to a strong T-400.
 




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