View Full Version : Out of Commission Camaro Project

03-25-2011, 10:19 AM
Oh yes, another one.

This is my 4th gen 1 camaro. All of the others have been the Saturday night type hot street cars. This will be my first car that is designed to be a driver first.........and an occasional autox or short road course car a distant second (for now, this site is..addicting).

I have worked as a project engineer for a while and decided to take on a technical sales job when I bought the car. I get quarterly commission checks and will be using part of them for this build. So I have named the car "Out of Commission" since that's what's funding it. This is a car that I want to do everything on, in my garage....

I wanted the experience of a ground up build. I got to go for a ride in a bad ass black 68 camaro at the autox at the Good Guys here in KC a few years ago. That really cemented the idea that I can have a driver and and good handling car all into one.
I bought the car in spring of '08. I let my wants overide my judgement and get the best of me by buying the first car I found. It had new quarters, but needed everything else.......Lots of people told me it was too much of a basket case, but that just cemented the idea in my head that I would build it.

Here's a couple pics after getting it home and starting to disassemble it.

During disassembly I found that the original subframe had been curbed hard underneith and squashed the subframe on the drivers side. So I jumped on here and put a want ad for a subframe. I found one locally and got it POR15 coated.


After doing some research and talking to SC&C, I decided on their upper a-arm kit (tall bjoints), my stock lower arms, and Hotchkis springs.


I found a rotisserie locally and put the body up on it. Once I scraped, degreased, wire wheeled, sanded all the crap off the underside of the car, I decided on POR15 with a top coating of Raptor liner.

After I got it back into the garage and off the rotisserie, I started wire brushing the trunk. It was pitted quite a bit, but no major cancer. I POR15 the trunk and plan on spraying raptor in the trunk when I coat the front inner fenders at a later date.


I decided on DSE's firewall plate. I wanted to go with an aftermarket air unit, so I stitched the firewall plate and home fab blower motor plate in. I filled what seemed like hundreds of sheet metal screw holes from various things from previous years and shot some epoxy primer on the firewall. My helper (3 yr old son) and I started taping for seam sealer.

I tried a couple different types of seam sealer and didnt like them. I surfed lots of forums and found a urethane caulk from Home Depot that worked really well.


I decided on a satin finish for the firewall and top of dash.


Since my current goal is to get it rolling, I started working on the 8.5 10 bolt that came with the car. When I pulled the cover off, the posi turned out to be a lincoln locker (welded spiders). And the welds were broke....

I then decided on an aftermarket ford 9". I ordered fill & drain plugs and upgraded to the hobby stock axles with tapered bearings.I also decided on using LS1 rear brakes on the car. After some measurements, found out that the hobby stock axles and tapered bearing caused the outer seal to stick out of the housing about 0.140". I threw the backing plate up on the lathe and turned a groove in the backing plate for the seal. The rearend company pressed all my bearings on the axles before they were shipped to me by mistake. After I got a new set of bearings and locks rings, I painted the backing plates and assembled the rear (without the third member).

I decided on Hotchkis rear leafs as well and assembled them on the rearend then put the rearend into the car. I put a pipe over the axles inside the diff so I can roll it around the shop if needed.


I then started on installing the front subframe. I went with Global West stock height alum bushings and their sub frame connectors.


I POR15'd all the front Moog steering parts and bolted them on the car.


At this point, I decided to set in my LS6 short block in to see how the TransDapt LS adpaters I bought would work. I want to mill my own set of aluminum adapters, but wanted something to start with. I thought the 1" setback TD adapter plates and mounts were a steal at $55. The motor looked to be in a good position but without the heads on, it was hard to tell. I also got my hopes up that I would need a custom pan because it looked like I had 1.5" clearance.


Over the weekend I scored a GTO T56 with 12k miles. A local guy is putting a ls2 in his 34 ford and couldn't use a buch of his stuff. Finally I'm on the winning side of a deal...... I got the GTO radiator and fan setup, all the LS2 GTO accessories, al the clutch hydraulics, pressure plate, clutch, a few performance parts, etc.

My hopes were short lived on the oil pan and mounts unfortunately. I removed the GTO shifter, bolted the trans on and a spare LS1 head I had and set the engine back in. I also bought an IROC sport steering box so I could mount my pitman arm and verify the steering. The mounts put the pass head about 1/4" from the firewall (way too close for me). And my steering was now only 1/2" from the unmodified pan. I am eyeing the MAST pan, but we'll see. I did buy a set of Dynatech coated headers from a forum member and they look good. Ignore the old tie rod setup. The Edelborck sleeves I got for steel had boogered threads, so I had to throw the old ones on for mock up.

I also located the shifter hole (bad phone pic)


While I had some spare time, I wire brushed the interior floor and got it ready for coating. I tried the rust encapsulator coating here and got it coated. My plans are to spray lizard sound coating inside on top of the encapsulator.

It took three years to get to today. My wife and I had our 2nd son in May of this year so things slowed down... My original goal was to have it done in time to take my 3 year old son to his first day of kindergarden in the fall of 2013, but with any luck it will be done (or at least driving) in the fall of next year.

03-25-2011, 10:24 AM
It was a jumbled mess when I tried to edit it, so here are the two pics of it when I was disassembling it.


03-25-2011, 10:30 AM
Very nice!!

03-25-2011, 10:53 AM
Looking good Shannon

03-25-2011, 01:43 PM
Great project Shannon. Underside came out real good...

04-03-2013, 10:02 AM
After life got in the way (drag boat racing and home life) I am back on my car again. It's been a couple years, but I have been collecting tools (plasma, welder, etc) to help my my home built ride. My brother recently bought a 53 Chevy truck and is planning a 4-link setup, so it's somewhat lighting a fire under me again. I ordered my remote bleeder kit and a braided line to go from the slave to the clutch master. Instead of buying an expensive pan, I bought an aluminum spool gun for my mig welder and modified mine. I installed a TR224 cam and spring package along with some 243 heads and now have the engine built. I hope to have the engine and transmission in to stay for awhile now.



04-03-2013, 10:42 AM
Looking good so far. I'd love to stop by and take a look at the engine fitment once you get the modified pan in place (I live in Grain Valley) since I begin the LS1/T56 swap in my 68 starting in May.

By the way, autocross season kicks off here in KC this weekend. Test and Tune is Saturday and the first event is Sunday. Come on out and catch a ride with some of the excellent drivers in the area. I'll be in my 2000 NBM TA.



04-14-2013, 02:41 PM
Mizzouri - I hope to have the engine back in for the final time before long. I will shoot you a PM when I get it in. (Currently pulling it back out to cut the shifter hole and do a few other things).

I installed my remote bleeder kit on the slave. I also knocked the roll pin out of the feed fitting on the slave and installed a -3AN fitting and a 24" line.

I just finished modifying a th400 cross member for the GTO T56. I tried a couple different cross members and just didn't like the way they mounted or limited exhaust pipe room. I have more time in this, but I'm happy with it.


I need to finish sanding and then paint the cross member.

My current goal is to hear it run. I ordered my Tanks Inc. tank, sender, high flow pump module, and straps. I will be ordering my LS PCM and harness very soon.

07-29-2013, 10:56 AM
A few more things done in spare time. Unfortunately, with life going on it's hard to plan time to work..........

Decided to spring for the Tanks, Inc. tank, pump, and sender. I'm happy with the quality. I can also see the fuel bowl inside the tank that the pump sits in. I decided to go with the PTFE premade hose assemblies from Fragola.

http://i874.photobucket.com/albums/ab301/beal095/IMG_20130531_195042_793_zps11073d85.jpg (http://s874.photobucket.com/user/beal095/media/IMG_20130531_195042_793_zps11073d85.jpg.html)

Here is pic with the line routed under the car and secure.

http://i874.photobucket.com/albums/ab301/beal095/IMG_20130721_123813_238_zpsf99fa545.jpg (http://s874.photobucket.com/user/beal095/media/IMG_20130721_123813_238_zpsf99fa545.jpg.html)

I turned the fuel rail around so the feed was on the passenger side. The line will be secured once the inner fenders are on.

http://i874.photobucket.com/albums/ab301/beal095/IMG_20130721_190007_371_zpsae2acfaf.jpg (http://s874.photobucket.com/user/beal095/media/IMG_20130721_190007_371_zpsae2acfaf.jpg.html)

I decided on PSI Conversions for my harness, computer, and base tune. Quality looks great.

http://i874.photobucket.com/albums/ab301/beal095/IMG_20130724_181318_zpsfb68831d.jpg (http://s874.photobucket.com/user/beal095/media/IMG_20130724_181318_zpsfb68831d.jpg.html)

The harness comes with a 2" grommet for the firewall. I wish I would have done my firewall a little different as the original firewall is still behind the plate. The two panels being so close to each other caused the grommet to be a little tough to install.

http://i874.photobucket.com/albums/ab301/beal095/IMG_20130727_134351_180_zps93ce61bd.jpg (http://s874.photobucket.com/user/beal095/media/IMG_20130727_134351_180_zps93ce61bd.jpg.html)

Here is the grommet installed and the harness routed.

http://i874.photobucket.com/albums/ab301/beal095/IMG_20130727_162406_668_zps794fcc64.jpg (http://s874.photobucket.com/user/beal095/media/IMG_20130727_162406_668_zps794fcc64.jpg.html)

Here is the inside view. There is plenty of length the put the ECM behind the glove box (i will have extra length to tie up). I also sanded the dash down and repainted it while I was in there and started applying the heat/noise shield.

http://i874.photobucket.com/albums/ab301/beal095/IMG_20130728_171641_101_zps5f9137c4.jpg (http://s874.photobucket.com/user/beal095/media/IMG_20130728_171641_101_zps5f9137c4.jpg.html)

I decided to go with the AAW classic update harness. Since this a 67 and GM didnt go to a standard chassis harness plug until 68 (per their instructions). I had to open up the hole. They had a template in the box. Here is the raw hole I trimmed with my plasma cutter. I still have to clean the hole up and repaint.

http://i874.photobucket.com/albums/ab301/beal095/IMG_20130727_155251_045_zps8ba724af.jpg (http://s874.photobucket.com/user/beal095/media/IMG_20130727_155251_045_zps8ba724af.jpg.html)

07-29-2013, 07:18 PM
good progress! I like the direction this build is moving in. What kind of coating (por15, rustencapsulator, etc) are you planning for the roof?

07-29-2013, 07:40 PM
Thanks! I've used both POR and Eastwoods encapsulator. I like both, but I use POR on the rougher stuff and Eastwoods on the smoother areas. Still scraping the underside of the roof so we'll see. I do really like the Rattle Trap noise barrier so far as well.

07-31-2013, 10:47 AM
Coming along quite nicely I see. There was a 73 firebird ls1/t56 autocrossing with us this last weekend here in town. Riding with him really motivated me to where I can fire mine up. Do you have a time frame when you'll be firing yours?

07-31-2013, 12:34 PM
I hope to just fire it in a few weeks. Driving is another story.........