Camaro RS LS1 Build Thread

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by thesalboy, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. thesalboy

    thesalboy Member

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    Mar 25, 2017
    Many thanks! I will just have to fab something up I think to connect the rails to the cross rail. More angle iron. Otherwise the cross rail is attached only to the trunk pan. Makes sense.

    I need to crawl under there some more but I believe the bottom of the existing frame rail hits the tail panel (and will hit cross rail but I didn't mock it up - not enough vise grips!), so I'll have to trim it at an angle to clear.
     
  2. Scott51

    Scott51 Veteran Member

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    Jan 2, 2012
    New Zealand
    instead of splitting the trunk drop offs, consider hammering the flange that meets the trunk floor flat then clamp/screw everything in the right place and scribe the drop offs where they now overlap the trunk floor. Refold the flange on your scribe line and you will have closed up the gap without any cutting, grinding welding.
     
  3. thesalboy

    thesalboy Member

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    Mar 25, 2017
    Thanks. I've heard of people having to beat dropoffs into submission, but I didn't think that is what they meant. Over the 4th, I'm going to massage the tail panel a bit before disassembling to work the quarters and trunk more. Will update with progress.
     
  4. thesalboy

    thesalboy Member

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    Mar 25, 2017
    Didn't get much done due to work.

    Can't seem to get the bottom "points" at the edges of the tail panel to align with the quarters without pushing the top too far inside the bottom of the quarter - it's supposed to be flush all the way around, right? Maybe the trunk floor needs to move further towards to front of the car, but it seems to fit the quarters well, and is butting up against the inner wheelhouses. Door gap is also tight, so quarter actually needs to go back a bit. May need to force more "bend" across the entire tail panel - that will be fun!

    I'm starting to think I'm going to have to at least tack the trunk floor, dropoffs, and probably the cross-rail too, before trying to get the tail panel and quarters fit better. Also looked into reworking the dropoff flanges (per Scott51) but there's not much metal there for that, and they seem to fit well at the rear where they meet the quarter. Further analysis has to await disassembly.

    Test fit tail cross rail. I think I have the cross rail extensions right - inboard they go underneath the cross rail, and outboard they go between the dropoff and quarter, right? Cannot for the life of me see how tail panel extensions fit (what do they connect to - the quarter, the dropoff, the trunk floor?), and pretty sure they sent me two of the same, rather than one for each side.

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  5. thesalboy

    thesalboy Member

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    Mar 25, 2017
    Progress has been slow due to work, wife, beer, and beach (in that order).

    Frame rails mostly done. I left them a little long. Will mock tail panel back up and get it to fit. I've rarely tortured metal quite so much as when clamping that tail panel on - it is pretty far off. So are passenger fuel tank brace flanges. Trying to relax and reassure myself that these things were built this way back then. Just needs some persuasion.

    Next is getting ready for bead blasting and priming places that will be unreachable once panels are installed. Focusing just on the rear for now. Cleaning as much as I can to minimize surface area needing blasting. My kingdom for a 7/8" arbor twisted wire cup brush! Mine is dead and no one makes them anymore, I swear!

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  6. thesalboy

    thesalboy Member

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    Mar 25, 2017
    Found an image of a tail panel extension in the Super Chevy "Drawn and Quartered" article. (AMD actually pointed it out to me - I'd seen the article but missed what those pics showed.) You can just barely make one out on the rusted out dropoff. Looks like the longer part of the angled side is welded to the dropoff. Also confirmed with AMD that I got two left side extensions, and they are rectifying that.

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    Carolina Man likes this.
  7. dutch73camaro

    dutch73camaro Member

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    Jan 7, 2016
    Beverwijk, Netherlands
    Nice project i will follow this. Good you take an 74 as base with te correct rear window
     
  8. thesalboy

    thesalboy Member

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    Mar 25, 2017
    Thanks! Yeah I probably wouldn't have rolled the car back had it not been a 74.
     
  9. thesalboy

    thesalboy Member

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    Mar 25, 2017
    Lots of distractions over the last few months, but I'm determined to make real progress before Turkey day.

    AMD came through with the correct right side tail panel extension.

    Cut a little bit off the passenger side frame rail to make the cross rail fit better - primarily against the fuel tank braces - and welded in some more angle iron for the flanges that connect the frame rails to the cross rail. This mimics the termination point of the stock frame rails.

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  10. thesalboy

    thesalboy Member

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    5
    Mar 25, 2017
    Decided I'm going to try to sandblast as much of the rear as I can before epoxy primer ahead of trunk and quarter install. That means removing the trunk springs / torque rods / torsion bars, or whatever you want to call them. The videos and instructions I was able to find were helpful, but the removal always seemed out of sufficient control.

    I made a tool out of some re-bar and a spare deep socket - 11mm 1/4" drive. [3/8" drive would have been better - I had to drill the drive end with a 3/8" bit because the rod wouldn't fit all the way through the 1/4" drive square. A thick walled 3/8" I.D. steel pipe would have been perfect, but I didn't have anything like that handy.]. In the pic below, the bigger, hex end of the socket (the end that would go on the bolt/nut) points to the right (rear of the car). The smaller, drive end points to the left (front of the car). The angle is needed for leverage and clearance to unwind the spring without the car getting in the way. The re-bar is a good 2 feet long, but it could be a little shorter and still work. More length = more control, though.

    The trick is to get the tool as far up the end of the rod as possible (toward the bend that takes the rod across the car to the other side) so that after twisting the rod a little to get it out of the retaining tabs you have the leverage you need to push the rod down and out of the retaining notch at the back top part of the hinge mount.

    1. With a large screw driver or pry bar, pry the spring to the outside of the car (and a little up, away from the car) to get it out of the retaining tabs. The spring pressure at the ends is down and into the car body (clockwise on the left/driver side; counter-clockwise on the right/passenger side). That's why the retaining tabs are angled the way they are. So the rod end wants to push down flat against the car body after you pop it out of the retaining tabs. To make life easier, while prying try to get the tool onto the rod end. But if you can't you'll just need to pry up on the rod end to start the tool - it's harder because both things want to occupy the same space. This is strenuous work. The rod end only barely clears the retaining tabs on the side after the rod is popped out.

    2. Work the tool so it slides up the rod as far as it will go, all the way to the bend. Again, the tight clearance to the retaining tabs make it difficult.

    3. Twist the rod a little (counter-clockwise on the left/driver side; clockwise on the right/passenger side) and maintain that twisting pressure while you apply downward pressure at the bend to force the rod out of the retaining notch at the very back top part of the hinge mount. There is a tang so you have to move the rod down and a bit toward the back of the car. Before you do this, make sure there is enough clearance between the hinge mount and the body for the rod to fit - I had to put the rod back in the notch and slide hammer the hinge mount out from the body to make room.

    4. Maintaining the same twisting pressure as you started with, maneuver the rod toward the front of the car and up between the hinge mount and the body.

    5. Once the rod is out, you can slowly let it unwind (clockwise on the left/driver side; counter-clockwise on the right/passenger side). It will come to rest as pictured below. That resting position would also be the start of install - just twist it the other way (counter-clockwise on the left/driver side; clockwise on the right/passenger side). I installed and removed it again and it was super easy and safe. But I didn't go all the way to putting it back into the retaining tabs, which will not be fun on a freshly painted car. I will get some practice as I need to reinstall the trunk lid to align the quarters. I will try to video it.

    Hope this helps someone. Also, for anyone whose trunk doesn't stay up, try moving the rod end up to a higher position in the retaining tabs - the further up and away from the car body, the more tension is on the rod, so the more weight it will support.

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    Here's a pic of the hinge with spring installed. You can see the tang in the retaining notch at the very back top part of the hinge mount. You can also see how there was not enough clearance between the hinge mount and the body for the rod to fit - this is pre-slide-hammer.

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