71 RS - abandoned 23 years

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by Chuck71RS, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    990
    24
    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Getting close to finishing phase 1 that a bottle of champagne is in my mind. Phase 2 will be ac rebuild with phase 3 being body and paint.

    "Mission Creep" is a good description of what happened with my project. When I started, had no intention of doing most of what went on and what is to come. Some of this was my belief the car was in good condition and cost. As I went along kept finding more that really needed rebuild. Cost limitation finally went out the window.

    Interior repairs - What worked and what flopped: Went to this effort to retain original parts. Was flying by the seat of my pants for such work was new to me. Found some threads that helped with some parts while others I had to come up with the how-to or if it would even work.

    - - FLOPS
    - - - Housing for dash instruments. Two attempts to make properly sized metal mounting tabs were not sufficient for the carrier to fit
    - - - Door sill plates: Were dimpled and badly scratched but after removing most of the dents and sanding down the surface, found I like the dull aluminum look better than the anodized chrome surface. Problem was one screw hole no longer had the seat. To improvise a seat, used JB Weld to bond a steel washer to the underside of the sill plate. A test install and the washer held but came off after the carpet was installed.
    - - - Lower Dash Panel: The entire horizontal surface had plastic cancer. Eventually got a stable surface and initially liked the repair but over time it bugged me more and more. The area behind the arm rest has a seam that is noticeable but not to bad. However the forward area has a very noticeable seam for the repair extended a short distance down the vertical side and a BIG dent. The OER panel has a good fit and grain pattern.
    - - - Sail panels (both): The sealed split on the underside above the package tray cracked open during the install

    - - SUCCESSES
    - - - Carpet: The recolor turned out far better than I hoped. Stayed with the 1986 carpet for it had good nap, was not a molded set and I wanted cut-pile (do not like loop which is all that I found in pre-made carpeting). Not being a molded set turned out to be important for the amount of insulation would not have enabled a good install
    - - - door panel (both): Rick Schmidt had a thread how he used license plate metal to repair the cardboard slots on the back for the fasteners. Modified it to fit my situation
    - - - dash carrier fastener location: One carrier fastener location was partially broken and would not hold the j-hook for the carrier screw to tighten. After trying this and that found a piece of sheet metal behind the remaining tab enabled the j-hook to hold and the carrier screw tightens down as it should
    - - - console lid: Had many bad cracks and two threaded posts for screws had broken away. Loctite super glue and plastic strips fixed the problem. Lid opens and closes smoother than it has since the later 70s. Barely a trace of the damage can be detected
    - - - reinstalling a shaft-knob receiver: Had enlarged the dash opening for a modern receiver but found the receiver would not work with the 1986 Kenwood components. Found posts where others were unable to go back to a shaft style but fortunately the cassette-radio face plate covered the enlarged opening

    Recovering the seats
    - - OER SF 139 does not fit rear seat bun and bench frames.
    All sellers of this part state it will fit 1970-1981 Camaro and Firebird but it can not because the two cars have different seat frames. The F-Bird is a single layer frame (FBodywarehouse videos) and the Camaro (at least mine) are two levels. I emailed photos to Classic Industries of bun foam and the much thinner factory burlap-jute-cotton on bun frames.
    - - Front foam still good to reuse Bought new front seat foam before removing the covers to have an upholster look over the foam. Turns out the foam was still good. Fortunately Summit Racing allowed a return using their UPS label with that cost to be deducted from the refund. Through SR, the UPS cost for each box was only $18. If I had to pay the shipping, the cost per box would have been $66.
    - - Frame and sliding track refinished. Though they will not show when installed know something rusty was inside the otherwise refinished interior would bug me. Lubricated the tracks (Slick 50) and they slide better than i can remember.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Installing the rails (for fit) and seat belts was difficult because of the thickness of insulation below. In a few places had to cut some out
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    - - Seats at the upholster: I tried a few fittings (no hog rings) and decided the results would not look as good as I want. Took frames, cushioning and PUI covers to four shops for estimates.Two shops were $850 and $925 based on fixed cost per seat and the one selected charged by the amount of work that being $450. Owner said the cushioning is still good and recovering will be wrinkle free. The work will start this week

    Found the 8 holes for 6 headliner hooks: The new 1986 headliner did not include holes for the clothes hanger hooks and the shoulder belt retainer. Back then and still today I do not remember the hooks for the shoulder belt. What I did was bend hooks from clothes hanger and stick them behind the headliner rails. Pretty darn tacky huh. With a post from COPO to probe with a long needle and his photos showing the hook locations the holes were found

    New Door Sill Plates are cloudy: Amazon had the best price at $55 with free shipping from Ricks Camaro and made by Trim Parts. The sills are ALMOST excellent for fit and finish. Driver side, after cleaning off the adhesive residue from the protective film has a narrow 2 foot long cloudy finish. Bought a second set and the same problem on the driver side but different location. Emailed Trim Parts asking how to remove. If it will not remove asked they send me a clean set. Ecklers Automotive said both sets I purchased can be returned and they will provide the return mailer.

    How does the stereo sound?: With the eq set to filter out frequencies below 400kh, the mid and upper frequencies (especially vocals) are more distinct (which I like) but over all sound is weak (to be expected). Fader control on the eq gets a good balance with the rear and sound blending. Surprised by the strong base from the rear 6x9. At 1:10, "Why" on "Mystery to Me" album by Fleetwood Mac has thunderous base drum strikes for which I can feel a strong sound wave

    Window weather seals don't fit: OER A-pillar end was about 1 1/2" to short and other issues. Two sets of Metro RR7002 have a large gap between the inner edge and car body. The second set was provided by Metro. Been working with Metro production (Mike) about the fit. The inner edge mates quite well with the car body. Going to move the inner edge against the car body, mark location through the end pin holes and drill new holes into the car body. The ws in the rail will be be pushed upward some. Mike will provide extra ends to experiment with. Just emailed questions to Mike about the modification. Will wait for reply before starting

    [​IMG]

    Significant increase of lumination on tach and speedo WITHOUT LED: Had been a lot years since they were luminated but I don't remember it being so weak but after the below modifications the lumination is more than sufficient. I am 62 and wear glasses when reading using the computer and some Camaro work but lumination is good for me
    1, Opened more space for light to go between the tach-speedo and the black dash cover lens by sanding down the round inner edge on the backside of the black dash. I found this increase sufficient but wanted more
    2. lined the inside of the housing cluster with foiled duct tape for I saw a lot of light coming through the sides of the repro housing
    3. Foil duct tape on seam of instrument housing and black dash to keep light from escaping. Was going to try a seal but no way to apply enough pressure on the entire surface of the black dash

    I will install LED for nine 194s are used as dash lights, with 5 in aftermarket gauges. Total amps pulled is 2.43 amps on a 3 amp fuse, if the light switch knob is turned all the way. Also have the amperage of the heater bulb. SuperBrightLeds.com has a direct replacement with natural white light at 35 lumes or 90 lumens. Lumens for an incandescent 194 is 25. Seems senseless to get leds with lower lumens than the incandescent.

    Dome and console rear light to LED: Not at this time for have not found the needed lumens and light color. The incandescent 211 puts out 150 lumens as white natural light (4,000k). The highest LED lumen so far is 120 and the white is 6,000k for a blueish hue. 42mm Festoon size-style is needed

    Replacing 4 of 5 aftermarket gauges. The installed Oil pressure and water temperature are mechanical with all 5 mounted in the carrier. This makes for a complicated removal of the carrier and instrument housing because these two have to be removed from the block then pulled into the car, through the instrument housing and out of the carrier. This is an example from early in the rebuild of my going cheap. Already had an Autometer fuel gauge so the 4 are also Autometer. Checked Autozone, Advanced Autoparts, Amazon and Summit and found all were only a few $ difference with free shipping and taxable. Autozone specials though saved me $55.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    70 Proof likes this.
  2. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,050
    22
    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    Great update on what worked for you and what didn't, Chuck! Looking forward to seeing more progress.
     
  3. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    990
    24
    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Spare tire spiffed up:
    - - From this
    [​IMG]

    - - to This. Purchased another trim ring as the other four. A spare center hub and old lug nuts were cleaned up. Bought five 7/16-20 bolts to hold the lug nuts. The center hub is plastic but I remember the original hubs were metal and getting used replacement for $5 in the 70s. My trunk is probably unique here having a finished look and I doubt anyone else would want such a finished look but that is ok.
    [​IMG]

    Improved lumination on tach and speedo. In my previous update I said my camera did not capture the night shot very well but used a graphic editor to adjust getting pretty much to lumination I see in the car

    [​IMG]

    Not changing the nine 194s with LED. Talked with a retired lighting engineer friend and he said the 2.43 amp draw and type of bulb poses no problem on a 3amp fuse. If a slow fuse was used, would gain and additional 1/2 amp.

    Camaro Central sail panels INT564 do not fit a bow headliner: CC website data says it fits 1970-1974. Below is the driver side CC panel in my 71 Camaro. The screw hole for both are in the same position but not the curved area for the trim between the headliner and windshield. For a bow panel the curve is to the left of the screw hole and the CC sail is to the right.

    I emailed the photo of the CC sail to CC. Followed with a telephone call and xxxx said he could not tell why the part did not fit. Also said they have sold thousands with no reported problem (SMELLS). I followed up emailing a photo of my installed panel pointing out why the CC sail does not fit. He said he could not see my panel well enough on his monitor to compare but passed it on the their Research group (SMELLS). CC also changed my order concerning another part without my authorization let alone tell me (SMELLS). This was my second and last purchase from CC.

    [​IMG]

    New seat covers are on the frames. I like the black.
    - - Back three:
    [​IMG]

    - - Front seat - passenger:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    install is delayed till I get the 3/4" long sleeves (spacers) with a nominal hole id of .504" that the seat latch goes around. Did drill out a 3/8" hole bushing to 1/2" but darn the wall was thin. Also it is not a safe for I had to hold the bushing while I used a drill in the other hand to ream out the id. Graingers has bushings that should work but might take 2 or 3. The closest Grangers with them is a 40 mile round trip but they are being transfered to a closer store (about a 15 mile round trip) arriving this coming Thursday
    [​IMG]

    Second sail panel repairs - from Flop to Success: In the previous update, repairs to cracks in both panels near the end broke open during install. After the CC sails, decided to have another go at repair. Previously, applied foiled duct tape and Loctite super glue on the inside of the panel which did not provide enough strength. This time I used strips cut from a yellow plastic body filler applicator that I placed in gasoline for a couple hours. This soften the plastic to a flexible consistency. Using Loctite again, the repair worked. The repair is barely noticeable. Why not buy new panels? Wanted to save original interior parts and had enough aggrivation buying repro parts that don't fit

    [​IMG]

    shoulder belt retainer still a mystery to me . Even seeing them installed I don't remember them. What I do remember is bending clothes hanger pieces into loops and sticking them behind the headliner rail

    [​IMG]


    four new gauges - no simple install: The 4 are Autometer Z-serioes with a fifth Autometer gauge (fuel) installed earlier when the tach was installed. The length of the mounting bracket and stud prevented the carrier from matting with instrument housing. Made new brackets that almost touched the gauge casing then cut off A LOT the stud. Still need to add wiring for the power and ground for oil pressure and water temp.

    [​IMG]

    Upper meter with black plastic Autometer bracket
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    3rd set door sill plates is being sent by rim Parts with the protective film removed, cleaned and inspected. A return label will be provided to return one set to Trim Parts. Ecklers provided a FedEx label to return the other set for a full refund.

    Window Weather seal: From a conversation posting with Patrick73, the Metro RR7002 A-pillar end does fit. To close the gap I was pulling sideways. He thought it was a matter of the ws needing to be moved upward in the rail. This brought the inner edge to fit with the car body. The glass needs adjustment now.

    Steering wheel - A flop I forgot now a success: The flop was the partial refinish had been done on the center hub and the two arms coming off of it. Like the lower door panel I liked it initially but it too started bugging me more and more.

    The prep was a lot of work due to the partial refinish being Rustoleum enamel. Sanded it all off. The refinish was SEM. SEM provided a list of what products to use and stated the finish will be very durable that a clear coatis not needed. Unlike my previous SEM interior refinishings, I used every SEM product they recommended and followed every suggested technique. The wheel will be handled and a durable finish is a must.

    Getting it done: First a wash off with Dawn using a green scrubber pad (no dishwasher). The entiore surface was sanded which removed all scratches. Two small cracks repaired with Loctite liquid super glue. First SEM was the cleaner followed by adhesion promoter. then flexible primer surfacer, final 400 qrit sanding, final cleaner then gloss black.

    The wheel was held horizontal during the spraying of adhesion promoter, high build surfacer primer and color on a 54" length of 3/8" all thread. The wheel was center and held in position by nuts and lock nuts on both sides. One rod end went though in the two halves of a Workmate work bench and clamped. To paint the other side, unclamped the workbench, pulled the rod out, insert the other end and tighten the bench clamps

    - - - The operating room and the patient
    [​IMG]

    - - - Adhesion promoter
    [​IMG]

    - - - Flex surfacer
    [​IMG]

    - - - Gloss black
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,050
    22
    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    It is all coming together for sure! That is too bad about your unpleasant experiences with Camaro Central but it looks like it gave you the motivation to salvage your repairs. I will be looking forward to seeing her completed and out on the road!
     
  5. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    990
    24
    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Will come your way and you can ride shot gun
     
  6. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,050
    22
    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    Looking forward to it!!
     
  7. That wheel looks stellar!
    I've had my doubts about trying to refinish mine but I'm convinced
     
  8. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    990
    24
    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Since I restarted the project at the very end of December, the last 4 months have been different from any other period since I stated back in November 2012. The difference being these four months have been enjoyable. There have been problems and parts that don't fit but only a moment of frustration that passed quickly.

    Decorating the wall with old Camaro parts: So far have installed a set of original keys and the last registered license plate of November 1988. Photographed both sides of the last inspection sticker. Will make a collage and hang it on the wall

    Headlight bezels - took 4 sets: first two were Classic Headquarters with the first have a grouping of gouges that I could feel and well as see. Did not try to fit. Their second set had huge gaps. Goodmark was the third set and both bezels and a 3/8" gap at the bottom. The fourth set, OER, had a good fit.

    The parking light-turn signals are new also. The original lens had a lof of wilding
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Gauges in carrier needed more fitting. None of the gauges worked when powered up the first time and the power source had current gong to the gauges. Removed the carrier and found the new metal mounting brackets were grounding the gauges. Fixed it with a strip of old inner tube rubber between the bracket and the gauge. Checked with the multimeter to ensure there was no continuity between the gauges and the brackets. Installing the carrier did fit but there was considerable stress on the carrier. Removed it and the new instrument housing for a fitting out of the car. The sides of the gauges were against the housing but not in an area becoming used. Used the Dremel to remove areas of the housing till an easy install was made. Also had to remove two of the long Autometer nuts for thinner ones and cut off more stud thread. Installed housing and carrier yet again. This time the carrier went right into the dash with no effort. I think more time was expended on the gauges than any other part of the car

    Dash now finished with the install of the refinished steering wheel. It was kinda fun honking the horn. First such horn use since 1988. Even put the two lap vents back on
    [​IMG]


    New mini starter installed for the 1995 purchased Delco-Remy (reman) died. Had a lifetime warranty but held off getting a replacement for I needed an overall review of the starter setup. Needed heat protection from the close header pipes with a narrow area of the solenoid 1/2" away. A friend in California sent me a mini starter. After installing and removing the old heavy and larger units, the mini starter install was a breeze. A lot more room between the header pipes and the starter. Also nice is the starter can be installed and removed without removing the header as I had to do with the dead unit.

    Installed Thermomatic Starter heat shield (14150) around starter-solenoid: Could not wrap the shield around starter-solenoid without cutting slits for the battery cable and 12volt wire. Instead altered both connections with a right angle so both come out the front of the starter then bend where they needed to go. The 12volt terminal ring bent 90 degrees with no problem. For the battery cable made a right angle connector with 3/4" x 1/8" steel. Brass would be better but none was readily available in a small quantity

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Installing the header was a chore because the exhaust system was throwing off header alignment with the threads in the heads. Wound up disconnecting several exhaust parts till there was enough slack to push the exhaust towards the rear to avoid contact with header install. While the car was jacked up checked every exhaust band clamp and found all needed tightening with the torque wrench

    Front seats installed After installing the passenger seat first, stood back and just looked at the interior. Could feel the smile on my face. After the driver seat went in and I sat on it........man what a feeling sitting on an almost new seat with the refinished interior all around, the airplane cockpit dash in front of me plus surround stereo music coming at me

    - - Sliding tracks move so darn smooth and easy. Had to add 5/8" of 1/2" inch washers (5) below the 8 bolt hole locations that secure the seats to the floor. With all the insulation below the carpet, the bolts crushed down the insulation pressing the sliding tracks into the carpet keeping it from moving The additional distance made the bolts to short so new 2" 5/16-18 bolts were modified. Used the bench grinder to reduce the diameter at the end and remove the thread creating the same kind of starter end as the GM bolts

    - - 1/2" x 3/4" nylon sleeves went over the horizontal fastener that the upright seats rests against and latch goes around. (Two originals were gone and the other two had little left). Found them at NYLTite (NUS-18-6). Only place I found having the needed size. A perfect fit and only $5.

    - - Inserted a layer of carpet between the bun springs and foam to firm up the seats

    - - Cut two round (sorta round) flexible black plastic washers to go over the posts on the bun seats that the arms for the upper seat pivot on. The same black plastic used for other improvising from an old note card box
    -
    Door Sill Plates Installed- 3rd set. Still like the look of the dull finish on the originals that I stripped but I do like the shine of the repros

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    On the side of the vertical seat is a reflection off the door sill plate
    [​IMG]

    Now onto the doors : Adjust the windows, install layer of sound-heat insulation, install rubber tubing over some rods to eliminate noise from vibration

    This will complete phase 1. Need to get the car registered, insurance, inspection then champagne with the neighbors for their help
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
    70 Proof likes this.
  9. brooksman9

    brooksman9 Veteran Member

    5,818
    63
    Jun 10, 2007
    Olive Branch, MS
    Looking good man. Looking good.
     
  10. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,050
    22
    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    Chuck, looking forward to seeing her out on the road!
     

Share This Page