Camaro RS LS1 Build Thread

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

  1. thesalboy

    thesalboy Veteran Member

    127
    17
    Mar 25, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    Silly me thinking I could get this job done in one weekend. But it’s done now! Seems so straightforward, but it takes a lot of time – there are so many steps and little things to do. Worst parts were welding the tail panel from inside the trunk, and welding the quarters to the roof from inside the passenger compartment. There is just enough room in both places to get the job done, if you angle your body just right so you can see what you’re doing.

    I bought bigger straps – HF 2” @ $10 each on sale. Even then I had to double up the HF strap at the base of the rear window – I had one going each direction which to some degree allowed me to pull one side or the other tighter.

    My door gaps shrank a little, and the body line moved up a hair. I suggest that others clearance or slightly bend out the very bottom of the door jamb where it meets the rocker (in between where it’s welded to the rocker and where it turns outward to meet the jamb). Scratches in the primer suggest that the quarters did not sit down as snugly on final fit as they did during testing, but I’ll never know for sure. I already anticipated having to work the doors to make the gaps right.

    I used some leftover oak flooring (very hard wood), long machine screws (can’t recall size, maybe 5/16” - the nuts called for a 1/2” wrench) each with 3 nuts (just small enough to fit through the outer bumper bolt holes in the quarter) and 4 washers (the outermost one slid in between the quarter and tail panel prior to tail panel removal), some 2x2 screwed to the oak, and a clamp to hold the quarters in place so I could remove the tail panel to weld up the crossrail extensions. I forgot (or maybe was afraid) to re-strap the rear and my rear valence-to-quarter gaps are pretty big, but will get weld-filled anyway.

    Getting the tail panel flush with the ends of the quarter proved impossible. I would have had to pull the top of the tail panel out so far that the top trunk jamb would have been totally wrong – the quarter and tail panel would have barely overlapped, if at all. Alternatively I would have to slide-hammer around the outer tail light opening, but worried that would deform the panel. I’m likely going to weld-fill that seam too, so I’m fine with it.

    Still need to weld the outside of the quarter-roof seam, and weld on the trunk gutters and latch support panel. For kicks I threw the bumper on. It fit without drama. Then there were hours and hours of weld grinding fun.

    And I will have you know that since Jan. 8, I had no beer. On a mission to lose weight, and it's working. I've lost enough that I can have Michelob Ultra now, but have to stay away from the local ale houses until I'm closer to my target weight.

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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  2. 71RSLS

    71RSLS Veteran Member

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    Dec 5, 2017
    Prairie City, Ia
    Very nice work, it's looking great. Congrats on losing some weight too.
     
  3. thesalboy

    thesalboy Veteran Member

    127
    17
    Mar 25, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks much!

    Working on DSE SFCs, eliminating rear seat belt humps, and filling/smoothing firewall.

    After that, I'll put this together. They can't spell rotisserie but I sure hope they can make one!

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    71RSLS likes this.
  4. thesalboy

    thesalboy Veteran Member

    127
    17
    Mar 25, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    Just about ready to weld Detroit Speed Subframe Connectors in. As DSE predicted, there was a gap between the floor and the flange of the forward termination of the frame rail - there is a 4-5" span with NO WELDS! Rather than hammer, I used a clamp for the top two plug welds, and only hammered the very end of the frame rail to meet the bottom of the floor - pulling the floor back to the frame rail with a clamp distorted the floor too much. My buddy Jeff mocked up the end of the front subframe out of mat board so I could see how much I had to cut off the front of the SFCs (not much).

    I recognize the risk in installing these without the front subframe on. I think it will work out and have seen that others, including perkalator, have done the same. I centered the SFCs on the body mount holes (I didn't find DSE's "from the pinch weld" measurements to work, but that was partly because the shell is mounted on 2x4s sandwiching that pinch weld, obscuring measurement points). The braces that weld to the front subframe can always be bent. I decided to do this install before mounting on the rotisserie while the body is still supported in the middle, but saw that several others have done it on the rotisserie.

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    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  5. thesalboy

    thesalboy Veteran Member

    127
    17
    Mar 25, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    Also tackling rear seat belt humps. Feels good to be cutting into the car for mods, not repairs! I'm eliminating the rear seat belts altogether. Did anyone use a rear seat belt when these cars were new? Or before this millennium even?! Though I do plan to install rear seats (for looks), with the roll bar I plan to install, back seat will be an even more unwelcome place anyway.

    I recreated both layers where the seat bolt boss used to be, though I'm not sure it mattered in the end. Getting welds up inside where the pounded in "flange" meets the hump was not easy - I did my best, but it's very tight in there. I'll clean up welds a bit when it's on the rotisserie, and this area will get seam sealed for sure.

    Still working on patching the big hole with sheetmetal. I have only hammer and dollys and a vise, so forming curves ain't easy. I cut less out of the passenger side - I left the leading edge intact, and I'll have to recreate that on the drivers out of a separate piece.

    Thanks much to asicerik for his detailed writeup and vids on this!

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  6. brooksman9

    brooksman9 Veteran Member

    5,952
    107
    Jun 10, 2007
    Olive Branch, MS
    Looks good man. Very good.
     
  7. thesalboy

    thesalboy Veteran Member

    127
    17
    Mar 25, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks Pat! Hoping to start assembling rotisserie this weekend but may need it all to finish humps, SFCs (tack only for now - finish on rotisserie), firewall smoothing, and repair rust I found below passenger door hinge body-side area.

    OK yeah I won't be assembling anything this weekend.
     
  8. thesalboy

    thesalboy Veteran Member

    127
    17
    Mar 25, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    Humps done! Will grind welds and trim patches later. Learned my lesson - always cut patches oversize. As noted before, drivers side took two patches. Definitely easier to patch passengers, where I did not cut that forward piece out. It looks weird, but that forward piece cannot contact the tire - it would also have to hit a lot of other stuff too to do that.

    Started on firewall. Not going for show car smooth - just get rid of the nasty original stamping-gone-awry, close the heater box hole, and close other unneeded holes.

    Not clear on what caused the crack. The stamping is crinkled the worst right near there (drivers). There was some evidence (scuffs) that the trans was hitting the body below there too. But it was the passenger forward body mount that had completely failed - the bolt was a toothpick and rust showered down when I took it out. But then this car did take a hit...

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  9. thesalboy

    thesalboy Veteran Member

    127
    17
    Mar 25, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    Got a big chunk of the firewall smoothing done. I used my flanger and plug welded in addition to stitching the seam. Left the hole for Vintage Air mount for now - I'll likely weld a bolt on the inside. I'd hoped to avoid the need for bondo but I'm not that good with the welder I guess.

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  10. 75Maro

    75Maro Veteran Member

    250
    0
    Mar 31, 2008
    Dallas,Tx
    Nice build so far just subscribed
     

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