1973 Camaro LT – Order of Operations / Advice needed!

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by Jball, May 15, 2017.

  1. Jball

    Jball New Member

    Apr 9, 2017
    So after three years of searching, I found a one owner 73 LT / 350 / 4 speed. I’m planning on keeping this car for life. It’s the original L-65 and transmission, smogged, 2 barrel Rochester with a point distributor. Its running rough, but the manual front disk brakes are solid, its not pulling or shaking, its driving well on the freeway. The 4speed is tight. No rust, 1 respray, 80’s redone interior.

    5 year Goal: Frame on refresh and restoration. Drive it May – October. Re-establish stock interior, enhance exterior appearances. Rebuild or replace engine, redo the suspension, brakes, rear end, wheels and tires, clean and minimize the engine bay

    The most important question. What would you do?

    It’s the original engine and transmission! Do I keep the original L-65 350 (no idea if it’s a 4 bolt main) and rebuild it? I don’t feel good about taking one more “survivor” off the road, but I don’t think I’ll be happy with end result in performance of a worked L-65. There is no way I’m keeping the smog gear on it. If I rebuild it, keep the stock heads, bring up compression, cam it, find the right vintage intake, add a FiTech EFI, headers, all under a stock hood. What is my max? 375hp/425tq? It’s not like I’m protecting value at this point, its an LT / L-65! But…it’s a 100% complete car and that's something.

    Here is what I’m thinking:

    Step One: Lets get it drivable for this summer, but not tear it apart yet! I plan on PAYING for this work:
    - HEI Distributor swap
    - Holly 670cm / electric choke
    - Performer Intake (needs to fit under stock hood)
    - Cut air tubes and plug the existing exhaust manifold
    - Remove emissions (not required in OR for 73) air pump, charcoal canister, etc
    - Yes, I’m keeping all the original components.

    What else would you do to improve; idol, starting, and general drivability, basic power?

    Step Two: Fix the old leaky parts! Here’s where I get dirty.
    - Get it up on stands
    - Pull radiator and grill
    - Clean that engine bay!
    - Replace:
    :fuel pump, alternator, water pump, steering pump, radiator, electronic fan upgrade
    - New manual master with proportioning valve.
    - Aesthetically clean and rework engine bay.
    - Fix what ever breaks

    If I can get that much done over the next two years I’ll be happy. Any advice is much needed. It’s been 17 years since I’ve owned a vintage Chevy. I’m excited to be back in the hobby and don’t want to make common mistakes. I’m searching these forums everyday, and I greatly appreciate the knowledge contained here.
  2. Carolina Man

    Carolina Man Member

    Mar 18, 2017
    Going to be another good build
  3. brooksman9

    brooksman9 Veteran Member

    Jun 10, 2007
    Olive Branch, MS
    Congrats and welcome. Pics! You may also want to keep that charcoal canister. Keep the gas smell down in the garage.
  4. Twisted72

    Twisted72 Veteran Member

    Nov 8, 2015
    New Albany, Indiana
    Welcome to the 2gen family, good plan
  5. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    Welcome, looking forward to seeing lots and lots of pics of your car!
  6. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

    May 6, 2012
    Federal Way, Washington
    Welcome aboard. Just take your time and do it as you have the time and money to do it.

    Attached Files:

  7. larrylarry

    larrylarry Veteran Member

    Dec 22, 2011
    San Antonio Tx
    Ditch the heads. I'd be looking for a 5 speed trans so you can use 3.42's or 3.73's an not be running high rpm's at highway speed. Don't throw together new performance engine parts. Get a couple of manuls like David Vazard writes an fine a engine recipe you like an stick with it. There put together with parts that match each other.
  8. Jball

    Jball New Member

    Apr 9, 2017
    Thanks Larry, I'm looking up David Vizard now...
  9. Jball

    Jball New Member

    Apr 9, 2017

    Installed (with lots of help) the FiTech with Command Center, new mechanical fuel pump, HEI Disty, manifold, (no cam for now). All new hoses, radiator, headers, mini starter, drop bowl air cleaner, and cleaned up what I could.

    Z28 grill, slit bumpers, and the Boss 338's 18x8 and 9.5's transformed the exterior aesthetics.

    I am done for the summer! (Pending my marginal clutch holds up)

    All the drivetrain casting numbers check out.

    Winter project will be a new manual brake master, proportioning valve, upgrade the possi rear end. Have the transmission rebuilt and close it out with flywheel and full clutch assembly.
  10. Carolina Man

    Carolina Man Member

    Mar 18, 2017

Share This Page