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Old 31-10-2014, 10:26 PM
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JaseSV8 JaseSV8 is offline
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Name: Jason
69 Camaro - Stage 1 - get it on the road

So this is starting out as more of a 'repair' thread than a 'build up' thread.
As per my post in the 'Readers Rides' section (http://www.usmuscle.com.au/Forum/showthread.php?t=13267), I picked up a '69 Camaro a few months ago.

The car is a little rough and I actually bought it without driving it or even hearing it run for that matter.
It didn't bother me though, considering that the asking price reflected the condition and my plans for the car involve replacing a lot of parts anyhow.

Why wasn't it running? Apparently the car had been shifted around a lot between storage locations, neglected ... and had generally seen better days.
When I first went to look at it, it had a (claimed) dead battery, no fuel in the tank (from all of the screwdriver holes ... long story!) and a set of bald/blown tyres.

Naturally the first thing I did once I bought it and got it home, was attempt to get it running.
After connecting the battery leads properly and giving it a charge ... then running some fuel line from the pump into a jerry can ... she basically fired up first start!
Woohoo ... OK, we've got something to work with here.

So I decided that my first tasks should be the most obvious;
1. Get some new tyres
2. Get a new fuel tank
After jacking it up and getting under the back end, I got a good look at my first set of problems.
1. The exhaust has been dumped before the diff ... so looks like I'll have to chase some tailpipes
2. It's obvious that the pinion seal on the diff is cactus by the nice spray of oil that can be seen on both mufflers
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With the tank out and all 4 wheels now off the car, I decided to focus on the wheels first so that I could get it rolling again.
It appears that the previous owner in the US decided that the wheels (15x7 rally rims) should be painted the same color as the car (yellow!).
I don't like this look, plus the paint is in terrible condition ... so off it came.
After having the tyres removed I set about stripping and cleaning the wheels.

Here's what I started with.
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Over the course of a weekend, I took to them with some scrapers, gel paint stripper, steel wool, sandpaper, wire brush wheels ... the lot.
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After a lot of elbow grease and sore fingers, got them fairly well stripped and cleaned.
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From there, I went shopping for paint to refinish them with.
Thanks to this forum I was able to track down the correct codes of VHT paint to use for 'Chev Rally Silver' (http://www.usmuscle.com.au/Forum/showthread.php?t=7555)
My local Autobarn carried everything I needed, so I bought;
2 x Prime Coat (SP301)
2 x Chev Rally Silver (SP186)
2 x Gloss Clear (SP184)
Got the whole lot for $92 and it was enough to put multiple coats on all 4 wheels (outside face only).
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They came out OK and I also gave the straps for my fuel tank a go with it too ...
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  #2  
Old 31-10-2014, 10:31 PM
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JaseSV8 JaseSV8 is offline
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Name: Jason
Next step with the wheels was to get some suitable tyres fitted back on them.
The tyres that were on the car when I bought it were some old crusty Goodyear Eagles in 235/60.
Given that my stage 2 plans revolve around a pro touring theme, I didn't need to worry about anything period correct (or even overly wide for that matter).

After researching what sort of tyres my car originally came with from the factory (as far as width and profile) I decided on a set of Dunlop SP Sport's (LM 704) in a 215/65 fitting.
The local Beaurepaires did quite a good deal on a brand new set of 4 of these, fitted and balanced.
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I have the original centre caps that I plan on cleaning up shortly.
The wheels also came with some original GM trim rings but they are heavily marked with gutter rash ... so I'm on the lookout for some replacements.
(I picked up a set of aftermarket trim rings already but I only learnt after buying them that they do not fit genuine rally wheels ... only the remanufactured ones!)

With the wheels all sorted out, I decided to go shopping for a fuel tank plus a few other bits and pieces.
I ventured over to East Coast Mustang and Camaro in Lilydale to speak with the guys there. Great blokes who were more than happy to give me a tour around the shop.
Talk about a kid in a candy store! I managed to restrain myself and came away with a new fuel tank, some new door mirrors, a full set of locks and a door hinge rebuild kit.
(At this point in time, I'd also determined that the door hinges were pretty knackered and I was getting sick of having to life the doors up to get them to close).
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Having returned home with all of these new goodies, my next task was to look at what was needed to put the new fuel tank in.
First job of course was to test that the existing fuel sender was working. A quick inspection and play with the multimeter confirmed what I had feared ... no good!
This immediately prompted my second shopping expedition. This time around I went to see the guys at J&M Old Skool Parts and Panels in Thomastown.
They had a nice new fuel sender unit sitting on the shelf ... and whilst I was there I also decided to buy a new set of tail light lenses.
(My car has actually got RS tail lights in it ... but it's not an RS ... and I don't have the separate reverse lamps ... so decided to get 'standard' lenses which include a reverse lamp lense).

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At this point in time I had to pause all work on the car, due to a number of issues/commitments/etc that got in the way.
So it was to be a few months before I got back into it.

Last edited by JaseSV8; 31-10-2014 at 10:34 PM..
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  #3  
Old 31-10-2014, 10:37 PM
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Ranga350 Ranga350 is offline
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Nice job Jase, i feel your pain....i fine sanded and hand polished my Dragways, what a rotten job.
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Old 31-10-2014, 10:39 PM
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JaseSV8 JaseSV8 is offline
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Just recently I was able to recommence work on the car.
The new fuel tank and sender unit are still sitting out of the car, but I have done that on purpose for the time being.
I can see myself needing to do a lot more work under the backend soon, so I may as well leave it out of the way and give myself some room.

I have now started compiling a list of 'things to check' and subsequently 'things to fix' as I go over the car.
In turn, this has lead to me making my next list of part to order.
Whilst inspecting the frontend, I have determined that the front discs are well under size and the seals on the cylinders in the calipers have seen much better days.
There's no fluid leaks anywhere, but if there's one thing I've learnt over the years in messing with cars ... it's that you can never go wrong investing in good brakes.
After shopping around to see where I can get replacement brake parts from ... I found (again on this forum!) a place called Pontiworld in Wollongong.
My first order with them now reads as follows;
1 x Disc brake resto kit (rotors, calipers, pads, lines, bearings and caps)
1 x Front suspension kit (upper and lower control arm bushes, upper and lower ball joints, sway bar bushes)
1 x Brake hardware kit (rear ... springs, clips, etc)
1 x Brake shoes and cylinder kit (rear)
1 x Shock kit (AC Delco gas/oil shocks front and back)
1 x Pinion seal
Man have I dobbed myself in for a heap of work (... but I'm seriously looking forward to it!)

In the meantime, I've decided to address the issues that are bugging me with the doors and windows.
The car has a full set of glass in it, which is in fair to good condition ... however, not a single window opens or closes properly!
But before embarking on that journey ... I decided to address my initial gripe ... the door hinges.

Now that I'd purchased the hinge rebuild kit, it was a case of removing the doors and getting the old hinges out.
I started with the drivers door first and it took me the better part of an afternoon to complete the job (for only 1 door).
It's my first time dealing with this model of car and also my first time rebuilding these hinges.

Once I removed the hinges from the car (full bottom hinge but only the 'door side' of the top hinge) I set about knocking the bushings/pins out.
The rebuild kit comes with some really nice bronze replacement bushes ... much better than the plastic ones that mine still had in them.

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Using a bench vice, I punched out the old gear. The vice was also critical in compressing the spring, which must be done to remove the 'roller' pin.

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As mine were still 'factory', I had to grind the original retaining tabs off from both pins.

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Once they were stripped of the old parts ... in went the new bushings and pins.

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NOTE : I'm not sure if anyone else has used this kit before ... but I ended up having to shorten the 'roller' pins to fit.
They were too long by about 3mm, so with my limited 'home mechanic' toolset I had to use a grinder and a file to shape them down.

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  #5  
Old 31-10-2014, 10:47 PM
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JaseSV8 JaseSV8 is offline
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When they were back together, I was able to bolt them back on the body and then refit the door.

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Wow ... what a difference that's made to the door. No more sagging and after realigning the striker properly, they close nicely.

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The passenger door was then a considerably quicker operation.

This basically brings us up to present day. I'm currently waiting for my order from Pontiworld to arrive, so I decided to start pulling out the door and quarter glass.

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After pulling out the drivers door window, here's what I found;

On the forward most plate at the bottom of the window, the roller has completely gone (broken/snapped off)
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On the rear most plate at the bottom of the window, the roller is there but is very worn and loose.
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After pulling out the drivers quarter window, here's what I found;

The plate and rollers on the quarter glass are in 'reasonable' shape, except for the bottom roller.
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The bottom roller needs replacing ....
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I've also found that the regulators (for both quarter windows) are very badly worn.
The issue is the centre pivot, which doesn't appear as though it can be rebuilt or repaired?

Looks like I may be up for a pair of quarter window regulators, plus at least one set of window mount plates.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:03 AM
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beRSerk beRSerk is offline
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Looking good man, I had the same problem with the rollers on the rear windows, I changed over to power windows at the same time while I was in there.
Do you have any pics of how it looked with yellow wheels, just curious is all.
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2014, 05:32 AM
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Good work Jason, the little things are annoying but it will be like a new car when you are done
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:08 PM
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i like the idea of silver wheels over yellow.......and your going well
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2014, 09:22 PM
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JaseSV8 JaseSV8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beRSerk View Post
Looking good man, I had the same problem with the rollers on the rear windows, I changed over to power windows at the same time while I was in there.
Do you have any pics of how it looked with yellow wheels, just curious is all.
Adam ... only have a couple of shots with the yellow wheels. This one's probably about the best side on shot ...

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Old 03-11-2014, 07:06 PM
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JaseSV8 JaseSV8 is offline
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Woohoo! My order from Pontiworld arrived today.
Now I can plan out my next couple of weekends ...

First time dealing with Pontiworld and they were great.
Dave sorted out some weight issues with the couriers (the brake kits are quite heavy) and it's now all sitting in the garage ready to go.

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Old 09-11-2014, 08:35 AM
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Good work....glad to see u don't muck about!
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:38 AM
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Man on a mission - great to see
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaseSV8 View Post
Woohoo! My order from Pontiworld arrived today.
Now I can plan out my next couple of weekends ...

First time dealing with Pontiworld and they were great.
Dave sorted out some weight issues with the couriers (the brake kits are quite heavy) and it's now all sitting in the garage ready to go.

Attachment 29458
Dave has been good to me to
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Old 26-11-2014, 07:33 PM
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JaseSV8 JaseSV8 is offline
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Well ... it's been a couple of weeks since my last update, so I thought I'd better report in.
I've had a few chores pop up that have chewed into my garage time on the weekends ... like having to replace the pads and rotors on the front of my daily (they were only a few mm undersize ).

Anyhow, having made my original order for parts based on all of the 'obvious' bits that needed replacing, I decided to go over the car a bit more thoroughly to determine what else needs doing. This involved a lot of crawling in and under the car ... which led into a lot more disassembly.

Starting at the back of the car;
- diff pinion seal is leaking (already knew that ... have the new seal waiting to go in)
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- leaf spring bushings front and back have seen better days ...
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Transmission;
- gearbox looks relatively dry, but is covered in oil that has travelled down from the engine
- flywheel cover is in place

Engine;
- rear main seal is intact/dry
- dipstick tube (chrome/aftermarket) is hanging out of the block and has been spraying oil everywhere
- back of the manifold looks to be leaking too
- head gasket on the passenger side is knackered ... coolant is dripping down the side of the block onto the starter
- water neck gasket has been breached ...
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- ... and the temp sensor is digging into the top water hose, which has seen better days
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I also suspect that the power steering box may need a rebuild kit put through it, but I won't know that until I clean all of the engine oil and gunk off!

As for the rest of the car 'above ground', I had already spent a lot of time working on the doors, locks, windows and boot. What I hadn't really done was run through all of the electrical systems properly.
It turns out (luckily) that most of the major systems are working. The only real issues I had were;
- the horn button wiring had been removed/disconnected due to a missing spring under the button (the car has a 'Grant GT' wheel fitted)
- the wiper washer pump is not currently working (can hear relay clicking, but no pump)
- the heater fan works but only on the maximum setting ... no big deal for now
- the reverse linkage/switch system is missing from the car (so no reverse lights)

In doing all of this I basically stripped the dash apart to ensure that I have good clean earths where required and that there are no nasty surprises in the form of damaged wires/connectors;
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With regards to the reverse light situation, it turns out that for a '69 camaro with a manual gearbox, there's two 'elements' required.
First ... the gearbox needs to have a set of linkage rods that connect from the bottom of the shifter through into the bottom of the engine bay, where they connect to a lever at the base of the steering column. This drives an ignition lockout system inside the column itself.
Second ... a reverse switch that must be mounted to the base of the steering column, that will feed power to the reverse lights only once the reverse/lockout system kicks in.
I have ordered both parts from the US and have already received the switch but I'm still waiting on the linkages to arrive.
Here's the switch;
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Old 26-11-2014, 07:42 PM
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JaseSV8 JaseSV8 is offline
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So now I'm up to doing some repairs, instead of just inspecting and ordering new parts ...

My new window plates arrived from Pontiworld (plus a selection of other small goodies for the interior), so I'll be fitting these up the the drivers window soon and reinstalling.

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But the real work is now underway at the backend of the car.
I finally managed to remove the diff on the weekend

I pulled the cruddy old air shocks out first;

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After that I disconnected the brake lines ... undid the tailshaft ... removed all of the bolts/bushings for the leaf springs front and back ... then dumped the whole assembly down on the ground;

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My plans now are to;
1. Punch out all of the old bushings from the leaf springs
2. Clean the entire assembly (including getting under the car to clean up the oil that's sprayed everywhere!)
3. Replace the pinion seal
4. Rebuild the drum brakes (have all the new goodies sitting in wait)
5. Install new leaf spring bushings
6. Reinstall the whole assembly

Lots of dirty work ahead, but I want to get this knocked over before I start stripping down the frontend.
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