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JaseSV8 04-12-2016 03:35 PM

69 Camaro - 'Pro Touring' build
2 Attachment(s)
OK here we go with the beginning of what I'm sure will be a long story.

I bought myself a 1969 Camaro a little over 2 years ago now. Since buying it, I had to wait the first 4 months before I could start working on it due to some projects underway at the house. After that I spent some time simply cleaning it up so that I could drive it and enjoy it for a little while.

Those details are in my other thread '69 Camaro - Stage 1 - Get it on the road'.

So after being able to enjoy driving it around, it's now time for the 'real' project to begin. I officially took the car off the road at the beginning of October this year.

Before I tell you about this project, I'll tell you a little bit about me.
I'm an IT guy, working in the financial services industry as a software developer ... so I have no trade qualifications of any sort. I've been a car nut for as long as I can remember and I love getting my hands dirty during my spare time.
One of the takeaways from my job that actually serves me well in my hobby is project planning. With a car build, as with software development projects, it's very important to have detailed requirements, clear expectations and a good plan.

With that said, I've put together a brief for what I'm about to embark upon.

What this car ISN'T
This is not a burnout car
This is not a drag car
This is not a dedicated race car
This is not a show car
This is not an era correct restoration

What this car IS
This is MY car
This is a 'Pro Touring' car (modern performance car wrapped in a 60's muscle car)
This is a street car
This is a car to be driven and enjoyed

Mark Stielow ... the 'father' of Pro Touring - style and engineering
Raj Mundi of 'Pro Touring Garage' - LOVE his car
There's also lots of inspiring stories right here on USMuscle, but in particular;
'tonner' (Greg) - "CRISIS"
'Skyper' (Allan)

Over the years I've often had discussions about new cars with mates, where we'll drool over some new release and then get to the price and say ' imagine if you put that much money into a (Camaro/Monaro/whatever), what sort of car you'd have '.

What do I want out of the car?
Style, reliability, performance (for street driving occasional track days)
Think 'HSV Club Sport'.
Must be able to get in and just 'go'.
Must accelerate hard, but just as equally must corner and brake hard.

Project guidelines
Do as much of the work as I can myself at home in my garage.
Experiencing the build process is just as important to me as owning the finished product.
Hand off bodywork and paint to the pro's (... I'm comfortable with a majority of tasks and will have a crack at anything, but I also know my weaknesses)

Proposed Specs
2" Cowl Hood
Delete boot spoiler
Delete badges and side markers
Mini tubs
TR6060 6 Speed Manual
9" with Truetrac centre, 31 spline axles
Stock subframe
Front - McDonald Bros. A-arms with Viking (Double Adjustable) Coilovers
Rear - McDonald Bros. triangulated 4 link with Viking (Double Adjustable) Coilovers
RideTech 2" Drop Spindles
RideTech 'TruTurn' system
DSE (or similar) Power Steering box (12.7:1)
KORE3 'Big Brake' kit (Hubs, brackets, lines)
Front - Corvette C6 Z06 - 6 Piston calipers, 355x32 rotors
Rear - Corvette C6 Z06 - 4 Piston calipers, 340x28 rotors
Custom gauges (most likely Speed Hut)
Push button start
Vintage Air

Finally ... here's two pictures for a reference.
On the left is what I'm starting with ... on the right is what I'm aiming for :D

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JaseSV8 04-12-2016 04:01 PM

Day 1
3 Attachment(s)
Started work by firstly removing all of the 'simple' stuff from the outside of the car.

  • External mirrors
  • Aerial
  • Wiper arms
  • 'Fake' fasteners from bonnet
  • Front and rear bumpers
  • Grill and beaver panel badges
  • Trim rings and centre caps from wheels
  • Boot spoiler

Here's the bonnet and the boot lid, after removal of clips/spoilers ... dents and all ...

Attachment 33625 Attachment 33626

At this stage I plan on keeping both panels.
The bonnet has a major dent in the middle (toward the front) of the cowl ... plus the rusty holes left by the cruddy 'fake' bonnet pins.
The boot simply has holes left in it from the spoiler.

Here's a rear profile with most of the external bits removed ...

Attachment 33627

JaseSV8 04-12-2016 04:15 PM

Day 2
4 Attachment(s)
List of bits to come off the car got a little longer on day 2.

  • Taillights
  • Headlight surrounds
  • Headlights
  • Marker lights
  • Header panel
  • Grill
  • Parker/indicator lights
  • Rocker molding
  • Quarter panel louvers
  • Rear quarter window molding
  • Roof drip moldings
  • Roof pillar moldings
  • Front window upper moldings

Header panel looks good, so I'll be keeping that one but there's definitely question marks hanging over a lot of the other front panels ... more on that in future posts.

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Metal around the front window looks really clean (rust wise), but we'll find out the real truth once it gets stripped bare.

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JaseSV8 04-12-2016 04:24 PM

Day 3
6 Attachment(s)
Only had a little bit of spare time today, so I decided to remove the moldings from the rear window.

The car has no signs of leaks or rust (that I can see so far) around this window, but when I removed the moldings I found a heap of debris that's obviously been building up over the years.

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The moldings themselves are peppered with dents and scratches galore ... they'll be going in the bin in lieu of nice shiny replacements.

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JaseSV8 04-12-2016 04:37 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Whilst tearing this car apart, I've been taking notes along the way.

With each part that I remove, I need to decide if it forms part of the final build or not.
If it does ... is it good enough to keep or do I need to replace it?
If it doesn't ... is it good enough to sell or do I 'throw' it?

Well today (early October), the first of my 'replace' items arrived. :)

I bought some nice shiny new wiper arms and wiper blades.
Combination of polished stainless and bright chrome pieces.

Deliveries like this will be a nice contrast to dealing with all the dirt and nasty surprises during the tear down.

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JaseSV8 04-12-2016 04:51 PM

8 Attachment(s)
On the topic of parts and deliveries ... I should add in that I had a few parts delivered before I took the car off the road.

In August this year I ordered some parts from Detroit Speed and Engineering (DSE) in the states.

One certainty (for me) in this build is that the car will be mini tubbed and have a four link installed.
I went ahead and ordered a DSE 'mini tub' kit, which includes the tubs themselves plus the replacement pieces for the frame rail cutouts. Whilst making my order I also decided to buy one of their firewall plates. Since I'll be going with "Vintage Air" for this build, there's no need for the large holes that are currently in the firewall for the factory kit.

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The kit will give me a couple of extra inches of 'inboard' wheel well, whilst retaining a near factory look.

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JaseSV8 04-12-2016 05:03 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Another 'early purchase' for this build was a replacement wiper motor.

The standard one was still functional but ailing. It's certainly seen better days and I don't know how much longer it would last. Beyond that, it doesn't have an intermittent function and the built in 'washer pump' is broken/removed.

I considered buying one of the DSE 'Selecta-speed' units, but it seems a little over the top (and expensive ... $525 USD) for my needs.
I must say though ... they're a fantastic looking unit.

Instead I found a company called "New Port Engineering" that do a similar unit, for a much better price ($220 USD).
The New Port unit is basically a two speed unit with the added bonus of an intermittent function. Perfect for what I 'need', plus it looks really clean. The slimmer design will also clean up that area of the engine bay a little.

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JaseSV8 04-12-2016 05:15 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Following on from the purchase of my wiper motor, I started to think a bit more about the switch gear that I wanted inside the car.

The wiper motor came with it's own selector switch (for intermittent and multiple speed control, plus 'push button' provision for a wiper washer) with it's own plastic knob. Unfortunately the plastic knob shattered during shipment.

Attachment 33652

I contacted the supplier "Yogi's Inc" about this and they were fantastic with their support. They posted me out a new knob immediately and it arrived within a few days.

However whilst pondering this situation, I also started to think about what the other switch gear (for headlights and foglamps) should look like.
After spending a little time researching I stumbled across this nice range of billet knobs and switches on the Ron Francis website.

So ... I went ahead and ordered a handful of goodies;

A 'push/pull' switch for the foglamps (I'll be converting the 69's park/indicator lamps into dedicated foglamps).

A 'push/pull' switch for the headlights, which includes positions for 'park', 'headlights' AND 'hi beam'. This way I can eliminate the foot switch, which I am not a fan of. (The car is manual and I have big feet!).

A billet knob to attach to my new wiper/washer switch from New Port Engineering.

This way all my switch gear (for these core functions) will be matching.

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JaseSV8 04-12-2016 05:22 PM

Day 4
3 Attachment(s)
Returning to the tear down ...

  • Cowl panel
  • Windshield washer jets
  • Windshield lower molding

The cowl panel is in really good shape so I'll be keeping this. The washer jets were functional, but surely there's a better option available than these tubes? This'll be something for me to research a little later.

Attachment 33655

All looks really clean and solid underneath :)

Attachment 33656

The molding (like all the rest on this car) is also peppered with dents and scratches. This one is potentially salvagable (by a polisher), but we'll see.

Attachment 33657

JaseSV8 04-12-2016 05:32 PM

Day 5
4 Attachment(s)
Only had a couple of hours free on what I'm calling the fifth day of this tear down, but still managed enough to call it progress.

  • Front and rear number plates (and brackets)
  • Front valance
  • Front fender braces
  • Battery and tray
  • Headlight buckets
  • Overflow and wiper washer bottles
  • Weather flaps behind headlights
  • Radiator and shroud

The front valance has taken a hit, along with the right hand side of the car, at some time in its history. The right hand side (left in the picture) is somewhat twisted and covered with bog.

Attachment 33658

Drained and removed the radiator. Was functioning quite well on warm days in service of the little 350 ... but won't be going back in the car.

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Slowly getting through it ...

Attachment 33661

JaseSV8 04-12-2016 05:46 PM

Day 6
8 Attachment(s)
Another short burst of time available, so I decided to rip off a few more parts.

  • Exhaust (from headers back)
  • Tailshaft
  • Speedo cable and gear
  • Shifter
  • Headers

Pipes dropped ...

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Engine oil and gearbox oil drained ...

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Tailshaft dropped ...

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Shifter out ...

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JaseSV8 04-12-2016 05:50 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Another delivery in between bouts of ripping parts off the car.

Nice shiny new (polished stainless) roof drip rails arrived from "The Camaro Place".

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JaseSV8 04-12-2016 06:01 PM

Day 7
6 Attachment(s)
With only 1 hour on my hands, I decided to address some of my curiosity about the condition of various panels on the car.

Rear quarters
Left side (drivers) has been cut and reskinned in the past. There is LOADS of bog in this panel. Looks like this will be getting cut off and replaced!
Right side (passenger) is a 'full' panel at least, but has had a decent whack in its life and is also full of bog.

Front fenders
Left side (drivers) looks pretty good. There's evidence of dents and repairs but it looks like it'll be salvagable.
Right side (passenger) is very rough. It's had damage to the front around the headlight, leading into the lower section ... which has been bogged together! There's also a lot of rust in this panel in a number of spots. Looking strongly like a replacement is in order here.

This car was once a vinyl roof car.
By and large it looks like the turret is in pretty good nick ... but there's one or two spots of tin rot that will need some attention by the professionals.

Right quarter ...

Attachment 33673

Left quarter ...

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Right fender ...

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Roof ...

Attachment 33678

JaseSV8 04-12-2016 06:09 PM

Day 8
3 Attachment(s)
With a bit more time on my hands during this day (about 3 hours), I tackled some of the fiddlier tasks.

  • Dash pad
  • Dash cluster
  • Heater control unit
  • Dash wiring harness
  • Engine bay wiring harness
  • Wiper motor

Dash mess ...

Attachment 33681

Wiring mess ...

Attachment 33682

Old wiper motor (sans washer unit) ...

Attachment 33683

JaseSV8 04-12-2016 06:16 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Another parts delivery!
More bling!

Since I'll be going for a more modern look with this build, my intention is to have more up to date lighting on the car.
LED taillights and headlights will be the go.

After a bit of shopping around I ended up ordering some nice billet taillights from "Eddie Motorsports", via Summit Racing. Whilst I was at it I also bought myself some other billet/stainless trinkets. :D

Here's the 'set' of goodies that arrived ...

Attachment 33688

Taillights and door jamb vents ...

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Door strikers and bonnet adjusters ...

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