71 RS - abandoned 23 years

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

  1. Tokyo Torquer3

    Tokyo Torquer3 Veteran Member

    Oct 14, 2003
    No way should you be putting 50-80 ft lbs on those bolts.. more like 30!
  2. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    Let me know when you get her back on the road, I'd love to see her cruising around, even if she still needs a new coat!
  3. 70 Proof

    70 Proof Veteran Member

    Sep 28, 2014
    Southern Utah
    All your work looks good. Especially like your nice hood to fender gaps.
  4. George hemenway

    George hemenway New Member

    Sep 16, 2017
  5. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Exterior – the final frontier
    These are the adventures of the GM Camaro....Christine
    My 5 year mission (gads it’s been to long)
    To seek out bringing her back to life, to let others look as I drive by
    For Chuck to boldly go (sometimes) where he has not gone before​

    1. Finishing the reassembly
    . Some tidying of wire runs in the engine compartment then a few items in the interior
    2. Insurance will cost $179 a year through Classic Collections. Will increase once the exterior is finished and I increase the value
    3. Register for the first time in 29 years. Go to the county tax office with VIN, proof of insurance, proof of safety inspection and payment
    4. Go get shop estimates for epoxy primer, urethane enamel and sand-polish

    The exterior scope
    1. Removable non-body parts (refinish, remove or replace)
    2. my painting what can not be seen
    2. My doing the body-sanding to ready Christine for painting at a shop (to be determined)

    1. Removable

    • install new seals
    • Refinish cover over cowl openings
    • Install the black plastic things at the back corners under windshield trim

    • Refinish trim along back edge
    • install threaded retainers in place of welded studs for the trim
    • Install new weather seals: cowl


    • Header - emblem (1986 replacement) still in excellent condition
    • Already removed: spoiler.
      • Looks out of proportion to the rest of the front.
      • Don't like the unsightly overlay on the lower valence panel
    • Already replaced: Headlight bezels and turn signals
    • To be rechromed: bumpers, grill
    • Install license plate frame: painted Sandalwood (GM 61) with "1971” in 3/4" black numbers on the upper frame surface

    • Already replaced - side markers (though the wrong year)
    • To be Refinished - trim on top edge and screw to the fender in place of missing welded studs
    • Already refinished the two fender emblems; "Rally Sport" and "350". Used 2500 grit sandpaper wet to remove junk off the chrome and shine it. Black inlaid paint still in good shape
    • To be refinished - trim at door top, door handle
    • Already removed; vertical door edge guard (will not go back on)

    Rocker panel trim panels (1986):
    • Replace driver side
    • clean up passenger side
    Quarter panels
    • already refinished 2 original side markers

    Trunk: Install new weather seal and lid bumpers

    • Already refinished, Tail light lenses, trunk lock bezel,
    • To be replaced: 3-piece spoiler with the 1-piece for the Z28. Though Christine is not a Z, I prefer the look of the 1-piece
      • Shorter profile
      • No unsightly overlay of the two outer pieces over the quarter panel. Looks cleaner.
      • Also driver side corner piece does not fit flush with the rear.
    • Relocate "Camaro" emblem on the right side of the center spoiler to the same location on the 1-piece. The 1986 replacement still in excellent condition
    • To be refinished: rechrome bumper
    • Already replaced rubber bumpers on the license plate mount
    • Elongate license plate mount bolt holes: This will raise the license plate for it hits the bumper when pulled down

    2. Paint by me Cowl, hood edge, hood jams, door jams, trunk jams and underside of trunk lid. (Sandalwood GM 61) with SEM High Build Primer-Surfacer and PPG acrylic enamel.
    • Cowl change from black to Sandalwood. Will look good for it will complete the surround of the engine compartment with the same color
    • Head and lower valence will also have the underside painted epoxy gloss black (VHT)
    • Hood and fenders will be off to repair the lower fender damage so will paint the fender jams before going back on.
    • Door jams: with fenders off will paint the door jams without removing the doors. Will have sufficient access to the jams from both sides

    3. Body and Sanding work
    to be ready for a shop to paint: Will not sand to bare metal unless I suspect something wrong
    • electic orbital sander (Harbor Freight) my air compressor does not supply enough cfm.
    • Block sand (7 piece Dura Block set from Amazon $41.
    Areas that will need more then just the above
    • lower valence panel some rust (surface) found after removing the spoiler
    • Rear wheel wells (back side) has some wavy metal (especially passenger side)
    • Corners at rear wheel wells and quarter panels. There is filler on the bottom edge of the quarters
    • Rear
      • surface along the bottom. entire length is wavy
      • lower panel two rather large but shallow impressions. Caused back in late 1980s when a breakdown resulted in a tow. Because of the front spoiler, the driver went with the rear end
      • divider between the two passenger side tail lights needs to go to bare metal
      • Seam between passenger quarter and rear
    Fenders: The lower area (horizontal accent line down)
    I remember repairs were made when painted in 1986. During the rebuild I saw a couple bumps in the passenger side surface. When I stripped the surface and saw what was under it... OH MAN..!!

    Plans to fix the fenders: A lot of help from Xten
    1. replace fenders but everyone I asked said don't it if can avoid it.
    2. patch panels and having a shop install them. Found two shops but the one selected changed their mind
    3. modifying the panels myself for overlay, cut out the bad outer panel area and secure with metal bond and clamps. Will also cut out (die grinder) most of the inner panel to access the back side of the outer panel and replace bad inner panel metal.

    Passenger: weld seam is a patch panel from 1986. Did not know this was done. Will remove(with a die grinder) with a horizontal cut just above the horizontal accent line done to just before the orange horizontal line. Will leave one inch for panel overlay on each side and bottom. The green rectangle was traced around the installed trim panel
    Green line is the bottom of the trim panel

    The bottom end of the panel is just before the inner edge of the fender bolts 100_6774.JPG


    Driver side


    Initial fit of the patch panel after cutting off the front and read edges


  6. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Going with LEDs (except head lights) - Worth every penny and all the effort. The incandescents (less headlights) draw 20amps (Sylvania data on Autozone website)

    Installed the first batch of LEDs in the dash, dome and console (rear) and side markers.
    • dash lighting is 94 lumes natural white A 194 is 25. .
    • High beam (blue) and brake warning (red) are 30 lumen but being the same color as the lens they are a lot brighter
    • The dome and console are 570 lumens (incandescent is 159). It is bright enough to read a book. I wanted light to see not for an affect.
    Bypassing the dimmer switch so the LEDs don't flicker. Found this in a post by JThomas. He also provided exact and concise information how to install the jumper

    Reworked wiring 5 Autometer gauges in the dash cover. Removing and reinstalling the dash cover was difficult so reconfigured because the wiring goes through the back of the instrument cluster
    • Removed split loom and wrapped bundles with electrical binding tape.
    • Some wires shortened.
    • Drilled holes for two more ground locations on brackets behind dash near the center of the tunnel
    • Upper gauge wiring was breaking being bent downward to get out through the back of the cluster. Replaced with flag terminals (90 degree bend)
    Dash cover Install and removal much improved

    Years ago when the instrument cluster was removed, never lowered the steering column. One of the casualties was the upper left dash cover attachment point. Would no longer hold the j-hook so fitted a piece so sheet metal behind the remaining tab and hold solid now. (This was done earlier in the rebuild)


    Wiper motor - Last engine compartment replacement part. Even up to the last part, the engine area work was a pain. Took a while till I was comfortable that I had identified which wires went on which motor contact. Installed the pump but not connected for i have not need for one. The wire leads are behind the vacuum brake booster for future use if needed.

    Dropped a couple of screws so attached several strong magnets to the screw driver

    23 February 2018 - Engine compartment finished:

    Not enough strong light for the back area

    The 1979 air cleaner was replaced and left chrome but I retained the decorative wing nut with the center Chevy orange






    Have reached the limit of 10 photo uploads in a post. Will continue in another post
  7. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Part 2

    Passenger door assembly: After some modifications, the three door panels fit pretty much like new.
    • Upper panel bottom edge was no longer flat against the door so drilled and several #8 screws w star washers. Raised up the front for it had been pressing down on the top of the main panel since the factory.

    • Main panel: Gave up trying to attach the front and rear edges using the plastic inserts and metal clips. Removed them and drilled one hole on each edge using a #8 with a tapered head and tapered sleeve the rotates around the head. Really did not want a screw but it was function trumpong form. Compared to the alternatives (Velcro, tape, adhesive) the fit is flush, stronger and allows for easy future removal

    • Insulation: behind the main panel is a single piece of 1/4" closed cell foam. Behind this is additonal insulaton of 1/2" to 3/4" over about 2/3" of the door in the stamped idents. The door has a much more solid sound when closed.

    • 3m Sound deadening pads (08840): Will also added to the inner side of the outer door skin. Not concerned about water getting trapped behind the pads. Pad will arrive early next week

    • Speaker housing:
      • Rebuilt: Originally used only super glue and it was not strong enough. Strengthened with right angle braces on the inside
        repaint: To blend in, changing from black to the color of the door panel.
    • Door interior being refinished. Has been sanded. Next coat with Loctite Extend, Rustoelum Clean Metal primner, and Rustoleum Satin black

    Rear spoiler being replaced: The OER 1-piece arrived 23 February but was COA (Crakced On Arrival) with a 1 1/2" diagonal at the lower right corner. Called Classic to arrange for return. They will pay return shippng

    • Height 3-piece vs 1-piece. 3-piece center height is 5 1/4" and the one piece of 3". The top edge of the blue tape is the height of the one piece. I definately prefer the lower profile of the one-piece

    Though it will be returned went ahead did a fitting with it. The stud holes had to be extensively Dremeled. Found something I did not like is the base of the spoiler is offset from the surface (the three piece is not). The front edge has a 9/32" between the trunk lid and the base of the spoiler. Hope the offsets can be removed.

    Here is the spoiler fully seated. The back right edge is 25/32" from the edge of the rear and the left is 23/32". Though Christine is not a Z, I prefer this spoiler design with the lower profile, no overlay on the rear quarter. Also the driver side three piece corner was not flush against the rear


    First time I have seen the rear quarter since 1986. Though not shown in the photo, the area under the corner was darker then the rest of the body. 100_6842.JPG


    I am loving it.

    Installed Stainless Steel Drip Rail - passenger door: The roof edge have some of coated plastic in the early years. Without a rail the area looked naked with bright metal on upper door edge, vertical on the B-Pilar and the windshield.

    Had to modify to make it fit. Window still a bit of adjustment
    • Dremel several screw holes in drip rail and weather strip retainer track.
    • Forward bottom edge above the door trim was filed to clearance
    • Gaps between the rail and vinyl top were closed



    Ordered it after three different phone calls to CI if it would fit. After the initial fitting, called CI to inform the part would not fit without modification. A supervisor told me it would not fit a 71. I came unglued and said I would call back when calmer. Got my notes as to call date, time and who I talked to. Supervisor apologized and said I would be refunded (part and shipping). She also said I could keep the rails and if I can make them work that would be wonderful.

    CI has the best service.
  8. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    That is looking fantastic Chuck!
  9. 70 Proof

    70 Proof Veteran Member

    Sep 28, 2014
    Southern Utah
    Epitome of perseverance Chuck
    Looks like its coming along nicely.
    Chuck71RS likes this.

Share This Page