71 RS - abandoned 23 years

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

  1. wnmech

    wnmech Veteran Member

    Jul 20, 2014
    grand prairie tx.
    Your car is definitely a work of art.
  2. xten

    xten Veteran Member

    Sep 24, 2014
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    Coming together Chuck. Lookin good. Glad you are sticking to it and getting things done. Let us know how the test ride goes.
  3. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Door speaker mount rebuilt: Was assembled with Loctite super glue but not not very solid and sides would separate. Strengthened with right angle supports.

    Changed color black to the door panel: Blends in better

    Modified upper door panel: Flat edge at the bottom no longer flush against
    the door. Added a screw at the front, back and around the three holes where the metal clips of the main door panel insert into. Main door panel is flush

    "1971" front license plate frame. Metal frame with "1971" in matte chrome, 3D, 1" tall. F 100_6851.JPG rame was $12.50 and the numbers $2.50 each.

    Hyundai in my Camaro: Overhead console is from a 2002 Hyundai Elantra. My DD is a 2004 (same part). One of those ideas that just came into my head one day and wondered if it would fit in Christine.
    Fit is perfect. Height is 2 1/4". Might lower the height.

    Cost $17 on Ebay to front door. A salvage yard would have been $22 plus the drive and time.

    Pretty good condition for 16 years old. The lights work but will replace with LEDs. The plastic lens had some bad scratches. Used 400-2500 wet then polished with Plastix. Will spray with SEM I have that is pretty close to the color the still to-be installed 1-piece headliner

    LED conversion complete: Deciding which LEDs was a shot in the dark. 70-proof passed on what he used in the Dome and console. JThomas had some posting what he used. I shopped pretty much by lumens (with incandescent lumens as base) and the lens color. Also wondered how honest the manufacturers were in their claims. Found on a lighting website that to double brightness requires 4x increase in lumens

    Incandescent lumens are Sylvania, on website of Autozone

    211 Dome and 212 Console: 159 lumens, 2,800K white light. Installed 570 lumens, white (K unknown at least 4,100)
    LUYED 2 X 570 Lumens Super Bright 3014 48-EX Chipsets 569 578 211-2 212-2 LED Bulbs Used For Dome light,Xenon White

    Camera could not capture the brightness

    194 Dash:
    All incandescent 25 lumens, 2800k white light
    Is actually more bright. Photo with the 5 autometer way to dark
    30 lumens. Red light: Brake Warning https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/miniature-wedge-base/194-led-bulb-5-smd-led-tower-miniature-wedge-retrofit-car/206/#/attributes/10837
    (Red, blue and green had a noticeable increase in brightness but not a lot which is what I wanted).

    1157a Front Parking-Direction 302 lumens, amber bulb. Installed 900 lumens, amber light: KATUR 4pcs 1157 BAY15D 5630 33-SMD Amber 900 Lumens 8000K Super Bright LED Turn Tail Brake Stop Signal Light Lamp Bulb 12V 3.6W

    Photographed with garage door closed



    194 Side markers
    (A noticeable difference but not a lot which is what I wanted)

    Continued on part 2
  4. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Part 2 of 3
    1156 Backup:incandescent is 402lumens, 2800K white light. Installed 900 lumens, natural light (4,100) LUYED 2 x 900Lumens Super Bright 1156 3014 78-EX Chipsets 1156 1141 1003 7506 LED Bulbs Used For Back Up Reverse Lights,Brake Lights,Tail Lights,Rv lights,Xenon White


    Night (no flash)


    1157 Tail light and 67 License Plate: Unknown lumens, 2800K white light. Installed 105 lumens, 4100 natural white. https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/67-led-bulb-15-led-forward-firing-cluster-ba15s-retrofit-car/169/#/attributes/10854


    1157 Tail, Brake, Turn-Hazard:
    402 lumens, 2,800k white light. Replaces with 1,000 lumens red light
    AHEVO 2 x 1000 Lumens Super Bright 1157 3014 72-4014 PL Chipsets 1157 2057 2357 7528 LED Bulbs Used For Tail Lights,Brake Lights and Turn Signal Lights,Red

    The last 4 are brakes and hazard: got mixed up as to which is which



  5. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    3 of 3

    Body survey:
    Needed an overall idea what needs to be done to which areas of the exterior body. Examined visually but also with the feel of my finger nail. Circled those areas with
    *** orange can not be sanded smooth with 320 on an Randon Orbit sander.
    *** Black will need filler.
    All those spotted areas reminds me of measles.

    4 types or repair
    1. Vast majority will be sanded with 320 random orbital then block sanded 320
    2. Areas that can be leveled by sanding to bare metal without needing filler will be sprayed with rattle can 2K epoxy primer from Eastwood then toped with their 2K urethane high build
    3. Limited fill work at the arc of the rear wheels, lower rear corner wheel well - quarter,
      bottom edge of the rear.
    4. Metal replacement will be both fender lower areas from just above the lower horizontal
      body line to just before the horizontal bottom
    Only a couple spots on the hood and upper front. Lower has rust from the front spoiler. Nose needs a lot of work

    100_6887.JPG 100_6888.JPG 100_6889.JPG


    I remember repairs were made at the lower left corner. Same location on passenger side

    Some gap at the seam. Bottom edge metal is wavy

    Lots of little stuff under what was covered by the spoiler

    One more post for passenger side

    Attached Files:

  6. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Passenger side body survey



    Fender area (and on driver side) below the bare metal will be cut out and an overlay patch panel attached with metal bonding.
  7. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Shaft bolts (uca) now hold good and tight: The new bolts did hold the bolts stationary but only a fraction of spline was not in the frame hole. The spline is 7/64" long and seemed to risky to tighten. Was going to try peening the hole smaller but tried something else fist that worked
    • Wrapped about 3 feet of 30 gauge wire (solid core copper) from the top of the threads to the bolt head and back around. This is very thin stuff
    • Inserted the bolt, and threaded a regular hex nut to tighten the bolts to pull the head flush with the frame. Being so thin the wire is bunched up and crushed-broken into segments which helps the bolt splines hold the bolt stationary
    • Removed the hex nuts, started the lock nuts and torqued to 50 ft lbs
    Found new carpet to replace what was in the trunk. Much more pliable and a lighter brown. Price is ok at $66 (including tax) from Lowes. Have to buy it in a 12" wide section. Will be a lot of waste. Found something better at Shaw Industries but no photos of the colors on the internet. Awaiting color samples to be mailed

    Split in the front header panel will be mig repaired by LHorne81. As I said before, this group has been essential for my rebuild

    Found the material for making the one-piece headliner. Took a lot of phone calls and internet searching with various searching engines. Will do a final search of the Georgia to find the Sunbrite SB1896 (Beechwood) closer to the guy who makes the headliners. Save some shipping cost.

    Body work has started and no bad surprises have been found. Using an electric 5in random orbit stander (from Harbor Freight $24.99 after 20% coupon) and a die grinder (Harbor Freight $11.50 after 20% coupon) using 36 and 60 grit rolocs. A lot of experimentation in the process using minimal grit to start. There will be a final sanding with the endure blocks

    Before sanding an area there is a thorough cleaning with "Sprayway" (a glass cleaner) then PPG "Wax-Grease Remover" (JX101) Using a lot of Sprayway and paper towels to wipe. The surface has not been really cleaned in 30 years and Sprayway does a great job cleaning the surface. Keep applying and wiping until the paper towel is clean. No lint is being left using them (Aldi for 44cents). I can also hear and feel when the surface is clean. The repeat the process with JX101.

    For all the damaged areas circled with the Sharpie, only a very small amount has to be sanded to bare metal and most of this does not require filler, Already looking good to see the body almost free of nicks and dings, Only a few areas will need filler

    The urethane nose needed a lot of work and still needs a bit more. A lot of cracked paint to remove. The nose opening reminds me of the jaws hanging on the walls of Quint's place (the movie "Jaws")

    The trunk carpet has been torn out and the surface covered for 30 years was almost completely rust free. Bit of die grinder roloc.

    What has not worked out is where to get Christine painted. Most shops in my area won't paint an entire car for they are rapid turnaround (a hood here, maybe a fender also). The places that would had prices from $6,000 to $10,000. I can not afford this. In spite of my body work they will redo it all for if something should go wrong their reputation would suffer, which I can understand.

    A Macco not to far away will paint it and the price is good but I have to leave the car there. It would sit for a month before my cue position comes up for the work. Not acceptable. will go back and ask the owner if I could keep the car at home and they call me two days before they are ready to start on mine. Would consider offering a non-refundable deposit if I don't get the car there the day they call.

    Another idea is to hire someone to come to my house and spray 2 coats of epoxy primer, three coat of urethane then sand-buff. All masking, final clean etc would be done before a painter arrives.
  8. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Last Electrical Additions: Powering the mp3 player is now from the car's 12volt system. Bought a 12v-5volt stepdown transformer cig lighter adapter. At Autozone found a $3.29 female cig lighter end with male terminal lugs for wire connectors to go on. Wrapped inner tube rubber around the metal housing and hid it under the console.

    Electrical Summary during this rebuild
    - Rewired the 12pin plug for the instrument cluster. Replaced big fuel gauge with a Camaro tac.
    - Made all new wire harnesses in the engine compartment​

    • Made RCA-DIN cables to connect modern head unit and two 1986 Kenwood amps to a 1986 Kenwood equalizer that was converted to RCA connections
    • New power wire and route for amps
    • New speakers (4" and 6x9) and wire (plus routes)
    Fuse panel lugs
    • - Power 4 aftermarket gauges: "Run"
    • - Lights 5 aftermarket gauges: Inst
    • - Carb electric choke: Acc
    • - Mp3 player: Acc
    • - Radio memory: Bat
    • - map light, overhead console: Bat
    • LED light strips (3) in trunk: Bat w switch in trunk
    Off the battery
    • - two stereo amps
    • - air conditioning

    Trunk Carpet arrived
    : Lowes ordered, it is an outdoor carpet, no backing, is durable and low profile. More pliable Ozite automotive carpet. Install it with Liquid Nails but only in small areas. Only needed 8ft x 8ft but width is 12 ft.

    Body work - Good progress: Learning and experimenting using the 5" random orbit. Found I could use it even on curves and the horizontal body line without altering.

    Random Orbital 320 grit. (used 6 rolls of paper towels cleaning the surfaces)
    • Finished: hood, front upper, front lower, both fenders, doors, quarters, trunk lid (both sides).
    • In progress: Nose, rear and trunk
    • To start: Rear spoiler, bracket front license
    (Will hand sand both door mirrors)
    1. front upper panel took the most time for I coated the back side in 1986 with something that turned kinda sticky when wiped with PPG Wax-Grease remover. Removed the stuff with a lot of wiping and brushing (even brash brush) with the lacquer thinner, 150 grit and scraper. Will coat backside with Rust Bullet
    2. Lower front had a fair amount of rust where it had been covered by the spoiler. Most of the backside was stripped with RO 80 and the die grinder. Front also had some rust areas but came clean with RO 80 and die grinder. Will coat backside with Rust Bullet
    3. Trunk lid underside had a lot of pant lines. Some were metal ridges but most were sloppy painting in 1986. RO80 removed most of it along with metal ridges. Hand sanding got the rest and the curves
    4. Nose: Stripping for to much paint surface is cracked. All removed except inner curved corners. No damage to the nose
    Only surprise was two small holes at the bottom of the inner rear passenger tail light. Will metal bond 24 gauge on the inside then fill

    Paint in the garage: Need to hire a painter to come to the house and paint the car. What I want done at a shop is to expensive
  9. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    Sounds like you are making some great progress there Chuck. I'm hoping to get some progress on mine once I get settled into a work routine with money coming in the door instead of just out!
  10. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    11 April 2018 drove Christine some short runs up and down the street. First drive since late last fall and the rebuild of the front suspension and steering. Nice seeing the gauges working. Only went up to 25mph but did give the peddle a bit of a push which broke the right rear tire loose for a smile moment
    What was important is the alignment is good enough to drive Christine to the near by Firestone for alignment.

    "RS" emblem (2017-2018 Camaro) for the one-piece rear spoiler
    . Found it on ebay (15/16" x 3 1/2"). Has a 3m adhesive tape backing making install easy. Others had threaded studs. The design is very close to the 70-73 fender "Rally Sport" emblem Never was an spoiler "RS" emblem on the 71 but I wanted one. This is the only external part that was not a stock or option item.
    100_6975.JPG 100_6976.JPG

    Chrome work in progress: "Airline Plating" is rechroming and repairing the grill, both front fender halves and rear bumper for $800 triple plating. First two shops (Custom Polish Chrome. Atlas Plating) quoted $1,650 and the last (Bright Metal in the Heights) $1,345. I ask the owner of the last shop what he knew of Airline Plating. He said he knows the folks and has not heard anything bad about them. He said if he was me, he would take the parts there.

    Received three LED strips for the trunk: The front strip is 39 inches and the two sides are 15". Each puts out 221 lumens per foot of natural white light. An on-off switch will installed in the trunk.

    Received New Single Piece Headiner: SMSHeadliners.com. After all these years, finally got a headliner that is the style (single piece), material (cloth w foam backing) and color. Had two additional inches added to each edge for fitting to the overheadSun Visors are being recovered with the same material for $95 ($10 is chip board)

    I will be doing the painting: Made a lot of inquiries at Houston car clubs and paint supply stores if they knew of anyone who would come to the house and spray my Camaro. Only one response that came to the house and the guesstimate was $2,500 with my still supplying the primer-paint

    Paint Booth: Will have three slightly different configurations. The hood and trunk lid will be sprayed first with the booth in two halves. Next (which is below), the rest of the off-chassis, a holding room on the right and spray area on the left. Parts will be on stands that can be moved from the holding area, to spray area and then back. Third, the chassis, just one area and more fans at the front and different location for rear filters.

    External Initial Sanding Completed: Used 5inch random orbit and 320. The door interior was the most tedious surface sanded. The outer area of the inner door panel had a lot of rust, especially on the passenger side. After cleaning with "Sprayway" used lacquer thinner instead of PPG Wax-Grease Remover for all those contours were difficult to thoroughly remove the solvent. After the lacquer thinner, sprayed a lot of 91% isopropyl alcohol till the surface was running wet with the stuff. Did the same on the door hinge area

    Found a violation of Johnny Bondo rules
    - the lower section rear panel: Had two small-shallow dents. Removing the surface, went through filler more than 1/4" thick. Expanded beyond the dents and kept more dented areas and thick filler. Eventually striped to bare metal 95% of the surface. The dents must have occurred in the mid-70s when a trailer hitch as installed for a short while

    Deleting the Dents: In addition to the dents in the lower rear, found some on rock panel at the front. Bought a stud gun for the rocker panel metal is probably to thick for a glue dent puller. Bought "Stud Buddy" to pull the studs instead of using the slide hammer for not enough clearance. A neighbor will bring home a 5,000 watt generator to operate the stud gun.

    Still Stripping the trunk: 2nd pile of old surface. Really thick after several layers over the years. Using the 4 1/2 grinder with a 4 1/2" wire wheel
    100_7004.JPG 100_7005.JPG

    Holes fixed without welding: The spoiler holes (front and rear) and the those around the pass side tail lights were repaired with 3m metal bonding adhesive and 26 gauge sheet metal on the back side clamped with deep reach clamps from Harbor Freight. Now have a solid surface on which to apply Dynaglass then 3m filler on both sides
    Lower front panel

    REAR: Fixed (clamps removed) are the holes on the two on driver side, right two on passenger and the holes at the bottom of the pass inner tail light. The rest are clamped.
    The area at the bottom of the inner tail light opening now has a solid metal back on which Dynaglass and filler can be applied
    Have some wood to remove for the piece of paint stick bonded to the exterior

    Next post, a few interior photos of the finished repairs and those still clamped
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018

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