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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    116
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    Stroked n' Whippled LS3 Pro-Touring '68 Camaro

    I'm finally getting around to starting the build thread. I've referred to so many other builds on this and similar websites over the past 1.5 years, thanks to all of you for the inspiration. ...but why did ALL of you forget to tell me how addicting and expensive this hobby is?! I've never done a project like this and/or made a build thread so let me know if there are any other suggestions on what I should be doing with making this build thread. Thanks all!

    With the tremendous help this website offers, I have been able to figure out a lot of questions with this thing. The only thing that keeps stumping me is the name of the project. I'm looking for suggestions. Any help with that?! I'm about to name it "BallzDeep" because it seems like a never ending project and every time another big expense comes up all I can say is "Well, I've come this far with it, might as well keep going".

    This thing started back in June of 2014. I have always loved and wanted a 67-69 Camaro. I have owned and toyed with plenty of newer modern sports and "muscle" cars but have always had a thing for pro touring older cars. I found this thing on Craigslist about 2 hours south of me and called with some questions. It looked good in pictures and sounded even better when I went to check it out. Next thing you know, I'm trailering this thing home. I knew the paint and body had been redone and half-assed but the car looked and sounded great from 10 feet away. Being a rookie to older cars, I wasn't exactly sure what to pay attention to with body/paint issues. Now I know! ...the left/rear quarter panel had been chop shop replaced, rust in many locations was covered with mud, paint over-spray, misaligned body gaps, etc. But it looked and sounded great!

    A few months after I bought it








    After approximately four months of driving and playing with it, I starting thinking about how nice it would be to have comfortable seats and an engine that was fuel injected with no odor of raw fuel when I drove it. Here's where it alllll begins!

    I called a guy I know at LKQ used part/salvage yard in Denver and simply asked if he ever comes across any decently priced and low mile LS2's with T56's bolted to them. He said he could probably find something for me. Well, about two months later he calls me and says "Hey, I can't find any LS2's but I do have an LS3 with the TR6060 sitting on it in a wrecked 2013 Camaro SS with only 1,100 miles." Boom! Perfect. It was mine. I then advertised and sold the 383 stroker, 700r4, ignition system, fuel system, and all of the other accessories that were in the car as a turn-key package on Craigslist within a couple of weeks.




    Now I get to thinking again... Crap, now I'll have a newer modern engine but I'm still going to have old crappy loose steering and suspension. Next thing you know, I'm looking at subframes. With the many awesome choices out there, I settled on a Heidt's Pro-G subframe.





    Hitting the forums, I start digging into finding what I need to make all of this work. So many choices with everything for doing LS conversions! I was impressed with what I read and saw with Entropy LS radiators. Fit and finish of their products was every bit as sweet as I was expecting!




    I sent the stock engine wire harness over to Jeff at My-efi.com. He is a good dude that answered tons of questions for me about how to make the LS3 work in this car. Many people that have seen my completed and re-worked harness are impressed. They say it's every part of being as nice as a new harness from Speartech or any of the other more popular options.



    More to come...


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    Next step, seats! I was able to find a nice set of seats out of a 2006 Pontiac GTO. I can't remember where I found them but it was a place somewhere on the east coast. They had the seats to me in no time. These things were the comfort I was wanting! Now I stripped the original seats, console, steering column, gauges, dash components and ditched them on Craigslist. This kind of stuff sells in a hurry!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    116
    Country Flag: United States
    So many different things going with the car, anxiety kicks in! Now I NEED wheels.

    Knowing that I'm wanting a pro touring kinda' ride, I start digging into ideas with wheels and all of the looks with the different sizing, backspacing, etc. I have always loved Z06 spoked pro touring type wheels. Billet Specialties seemed to make the best replicated Z06 looking wheel. Talking with Schwartz Performance, they hooked me up and helped me with ordering the "GTR Concave Shallow" wheel from Billet Specialties. Knowing what subframe I had, I was able to get all of my measurements for the front. In the front I went with 18"x9". I have always liked the look of deep dish wheels. Knowing that I eventually would want to mini-tub the car, Billet Specialties recommended going with a 12" wide wheel with 6" backspacing. I ended up going with 18"x12"s in the rear. Knowing that polished finishes are a pain to keep up with, I opted to have them clear powdercoat the center of the wheels. Hopefully this helps with keeping them spotless!

    Billet Specialties even gave me a little present of a couple of pictures during the wheel build process!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    116
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    It was going to take a couple of months for the wheels to be made. I got to wondering what it would take to get the body and paint re-done so it was at least of average quality. I mean, I can't be building a car like this with half-assed paint and body! Here's where the awakening of how much body and paint can cost. Apparently there's wayyyy more to it than just stripping, prepping, and re-painting ...like I said, I was a rookie with this stuff! I took it to a couple of local and well-known body shops. A couple of them said they wouldn't even touch it and couldn't give me an estimate because there was no way to know what was beneath the old paint. I can see how that makes sense! I eventually stopped by a guy's shop that is known for restorations. This is where my first estimate of $25k was given to me. Ouch! I had no idea. He went over a lot of things on the car and told me he would need to know what was underneath the current paint first to give me a more exact estimate. Sooo....time to get the car blasted! I stripped everything down a few weeks later and had everything blasted. Worst case scenario was upon me! Previous owner(s) had some big time patch work done. There was enough mud on the car to take a full mud bath. Crap!










  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    453
    Country Flag: Australia
    Enjoying this. Sounds like it will be awesome. I have come think that buying an unmolested car that looks crappy but shows all its secrets is the way to go. No nasty surprises that way and you get it way cheaper at the start.
    1967 Mustang Fastback - widebody https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...stang-Fastback
    1966 Plymouth Fury III
    1961 Oldsmobile 88 "bubbletop" = next project

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    346
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    Man, it looked so nice too.

    Going back with the same paint scheme?
    _______________
    1969 Camaro
    1966 Skylark
    1964 Lemans
    1960 Biscayne
    Steve

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Apex, NC
    Posts
    1,020
    Country Flag: United States
    I like these builds. Keep the updates coming!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    116
    Country Flag: United States
    Quote Originally Posted by Zoomin View Post
    Man, it looked so nice too.

    Going back with the same paint scheme?
    It was one of those 10-footers... looked damn good from 10 feet away.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    116
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    Body work!

    I spent quite a bit of time looking at options for body work. I had heard of and read quite a bit about AMD Installation in Georgia. In April of 2015 I emailed a few pics of the car's condition over to Craig at AMD Installation and pretty much just asked what a "worst case" estimate would be to replace every piece of metal from the firewall back. He was excellent to talk to and left me with the comfort of knowing that it would be no big deal to replace all of the metal the car needed and he would only need the car for one to two months to get all of it done (compared to by shops that were telling me they might need it for a year or so to do the same work). I sent a deposit to him to reserve my spot in their schedule for starting the work July of 2015. Spending more time now to look for a reputable car transport company to give this thing a round trip from Colorado to Georgia and back two months later was a chore but I got it handled. Next thing you know it's July and the car is being loaded up and on the way to Georgia!




  10. #10
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    Jul 2014
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    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    Car arrives in Georgia a few days later and they rip into it give me a more thorough estimate of what it needs. By this time I had planned on the worst. Sure enough, it's crazy where rust is hidden!













    Craig decides replacing every piece of metal except for the upper firewall panel (with vin plate on it), the a-pillars, the upper dash panel, and the lower interior dash panel was needed if I wanted it done correctly. Game Time!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    Body replacement progress!

    Craig kept me updated with absolutely everything on the progress. Here are some of the daily/weekly pictures I received. Holy sh*t this was the real deal!









  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    More progress...

    Oh, and I asked if they could install the Detroit Speed mini tubs in it while it was apart. Sign me up! ..I mean, everyone else is doing it, right?! I had to pay for the parts but no extra labor charge since it was already apart this far.



















  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    453
    Country Flag: Australia
    Whoa! Wasn't quite expecting that! At least you will know it is right when done this time.
    1967 Mustang Fastback - widebody https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...stang-Fastback
    1966 Plymouth Fury III
    1961 Oldsmobile 88 "bubbletop" = next project

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    116
    Country Flag: United States























  15. #15
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    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
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    Car is back at the beginning of September 2015! ...yes, it took less than two months for them to do all of that work. I can't say how completely impressed I am with the work AMD Installation did. Fair priced, quick to complete the work, I would/will 100% use them again and refer anyone to them.





    Now time for the next task, installing the new subframe!

  16. #16
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    Jul 2014
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    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    116
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    The bugs on the firewall were included at no additional charge on its ride back from Georgia



  17. #17
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    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    I took a month or so off from the car. The wheels and tires came in. I couldn't wait to see what the 335's would look like stuffed under the rear.






    Tires mounted up on the wheels.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    I forgot to mention, just before the car came back from Georgia, I was helping a buddy get the motor out of his Mustang and off to have it made bigger and better. With the continual friendly trash talk of Mustang vs. Camaro with him, I inquired about having some work done on my LS3.... I have heard faster is better!

    I wasn't really worried about having any work done to the heads as the flow on these stock LS3 heads is already pretty kick ass. I was talked into doing a 416 stroker though!

    Pete at Total Precision Engines was the man! We went forged internals and studded everything.

    • 4" stroke Molnar Technologies forged crankshaft
    • 6.125" Molnar Technologies forged connecting rods
    • CP-Carrillo forged pistons and rings
    • Fel-Pro gaskets throughout
    • ARP Pro Series main and head studs
    • Torque plate bored and honed
    • Rotating assembly balance
    • COMP Cams 54-454-11 camshaft
    • COMP Cams 26926TS-KIT Beehive LS dual valve springs
    • COMP Cams 7955-16 Pushrods
    • COMP Cams 13702-KIT GM LS Series Retrofit Trunnion Kit
    • Katech C5-R timing chain
    • 160-degree Lingenfelter thermostat
    • Melling M295 oil pump
    • LS2 timing chain dampener


    I'm hoping that will do the trick!







  19. #19
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    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    Fitting an oil pan was the next trick. There wasn't much clearance between engine and power steering rack in that Heidt's subframe. The only thing that would give me enough clearance was the Holley 302-2 pan. Holley says it won't work with a stroker LS engine so I had to cut it apart a little bit and had my buddy Matt do some of his fabrication magic so the crankshaft would clear with the stroke.

    Ground the inside of the oil pan down to see if I was going to get enough clearance. You can see where I put the Dremel to use to locate the exact area of the pan that was going to need to be modified










  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    116
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    I finally got Heidt's to tell me who makes headers for their Pro-G subframe with an LS3 on it! Sanderson Headers was the answer.




    I went with McLeod's Direct Fit RST Street Twin Disk clutch and their Direct Fit Hydraulic Conversion Kit



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