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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Oct 2006
      Location
      McKinney, TX
      Posts
      1,101
      Country Flag: United States

      Popping my PT Cherry

      A couple of years ago I started a build project, but got so busy at work, the car sat for 2 years with no work being done on it...this all changed about a year ago.

      Well, I had this grand plan to unveil my project when it was completed this summer. . .but as with the best laid plans…something came up and put everything on hold.

      I’ve been saving and saving and bought a whole butt-load of parts and I had nothing but time on my hands this summer to get it completed. The plan was to post it up over a short period from start to finish. I always enjoy watching the “pro” builds because the changes happen so fast and its just fun to watch them come together so quickly. Recently though I have been following Iamtheonlyreal1’s build of his Volvo and changed my mind. It is even more fascinating to see them unfold slowly and actually see the forum used for its original purpose – exchanging ideas.

      Well, to make a long story short, I quit my day job because it was pure misery 60-70 hours a week and went back to school to get professional (accredited) mechanic training. I had school 3 days a week, and 4 for the project. All was going well, and then one of my instructors felt that I was a pretty good student and introduced me to a GMC service manager and very quickly I found myself as a technician in the dealership. Don’t get me wrong…I’m loving it, finally doing what I enjoy for a living, but now it is school 3 days a week, work 3 days a week, and my wife gets a bit irked if I am in the garage past noon on Sunday J

      I went from having more time on my hands than I knew what to do with to being so busy I had to schedule time just to think!

      So, without further delay here is my project. The pictures below are about a year of piddle-farting around with the tear down and floor install, and then about 3 months of very efficient work. I was hoping that in another 3 I would be done. Now that I am so busy it is a little harder to keep motivated so I am hoping that by putting up routine posts on the build, it will help keep me into it as much as I am now. It looks like this is going to turn into little updates each week
      Also, keep in mind that this is my first project, and you are getting to see it in all its mistaken glory.


      I've had the car since I was 17 (at this point it is literally half my life) and when I was driving it in highschool my friends would all say the same thing after riding shotgun - "This thing is a Beast!" Well, the name just stuck.

      Confucius says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

      My build Beast


    2. #2
      Join Date
      Oct 2006
      Location
      McKinney, TX
      Posts
      1,101
      Country Flag: United States
      I've got the past three months that I'll post a little on each night until I get caught up...then it'll be turned into slow updates :(

      At the start:


      Front and rear suspension removed:




      I put it up on a homemade rotisserie-built from two engine stands and some scrap steel:




      Built a jig so I could start cutting out the floors and welding in L and R panels without tweaking the body:




      To make sure the subframe rear mount bolt holes lined up correctly, I put in a vertical piece of angle iron through the old panel before cutting it out and marked it for height:


      Thats all for tonight-I'll get another back-dated update up tomorrow.
      Confucius says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

      My build Beast

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Oct 2006
      Location
      McKinney, TX
      Posts
      1,101
      Country Flag: United States
      New floors:



      Start of the prodigy bar:



      This is the other problem with sitting on pictures for too long…I had a several pictures of the trunk floor and tub install, but seem to have misplaced them. So, I guess I’ll show the only one I can find:


      As a complete NOOB at body work, I was a bit nervous about tackling the quarters myself, so I shopped it out to a local resto shop.
      This is the first time my Camaro has been out of the garage in about 3 years!


      They are a good, reputable place recommended by a friend and true to their word, I had the Camaro back in two weeks!
      I checked in with them after a couple of days, and they had some interesting things to show me:
      Apparently, the last “restoration” that my Camaro went through included silicone sealing skins over the rusty originals!





      All in all, they cut out about an inch of the outer wheel houses and welded in new, new quarters, new tail panel and RH outer trunk. They blasted the roof, rockers and doors as well. It was pricey, but it was done correctly (so my inexperienced eyes say), and quickly.
      Confucius says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

      My build Beast

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Feb 2011
      Location
      dallas, tx
      Posts
      1,693
      Country Flag: United States
      wait who is working on your car and how much per hr? Im in allen and i would help you if you need anything. Maybe swap some parts and what not

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Oct 2006
      Location
      McKinney, TX
      Posts
      1,101
      Country Flag: United States
      On to the butt:
      I welded the seam above the trunk


      Then covered it in duraglass (same stuff I used for the quarter/roof seam)


      Then to finish it off smooth, polyester filler. I put the trunk seal on so I could see where a closed trunk would be at rest. I left it closed for a few weeks so it would "settle" before I started bending it/beating it to form it correctly, and then got out the rods to finish off the gaps.








      I wanted to keep my spoiler, but I wanted it to be more along the lines of flush, than what it came with from the factory so I cut it down WHAT A MESS! I tried using my jig saw and that wasn’t very effective, and my 4 ˝ cut off wheel sent so much dust into the air it was actually hard to see (after only cutting off about 6 inches). I settled on my dremel with a steel quick-lock cut off wheel.



      I need to work on the gap between the tail panel and the decklid, but was getting distracted every time I looked at my shelves and saw my spoiler staring at me.




      I need to work out a way to cover up the 4 front mount screws. With the spoiler now flush, it doesn’t have but 1/16” of material to go through…I like what Anvil did with theirs, but haven’t settled on anything yet.

      It may not look like much, but this is the dust that I was able to sweep up after cutting down the spoiler. There is still about 1/4" up on my benches and shelves and well...pretty much everywhere.
      Confucius says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

      My build Beast

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Oct 2006
      Location
      McKinney, TX
      Posts
      1,101
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by icemanrd19 View Post
      wait who is working on your car and how much per hr? Im in allen and i would help you if you need anything. Maybe swap some parts and what not
      So far, I've done everything but the quarters and tail panel. I was just a bit nervous tackling the quarters on my own. I think that it is ultimately going to be the only thing I farm out. I've been stripping and repainting my original decklid getting more and more comfortable with the process of painting and putting on clear so I think that is my last unknown hurdle.

      As far as the work done it was done at Dusold Design in Lewisville.
      Confucius says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

      My build Beast

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Mar 2008
      Location
      Ramona, Ca. San Diego area
      Posts
      1,308
      Country Flag: United States
      I really like your rendering.
      67 Camaro convertible (Jinx)

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Oct 2006
      Location
      McKinney, TX
      Posts
      1,101
      Country Flag: United States


      Using the old deck lid to try out some colors…believe it or not, this is two different reds, cut down the center: Chrysler Flame Red on the left, Chevrolet Chili Pepper Red. Still not sure if I am going with either one. I am now leaning towards a darker, blood red like the new Mercedes red or 90’s era GM Victory Red. The biggest problem is that the darker the red, the more purple it becomes.

      Moving to the dash and firewall-

      Found some more rust!

      (don't quite know why there are dates on these pics..or why the date is so wrong)




      This has been the story of this build…rusty holes patched with none other than. . .crap tons of fiberglass. In the floors, the trunk, toeboards, and now, the dash and firewall. Hell, even the tulips had fiberglass on them. This guy must have thought it was the end all be all of rust repair!
      “nuthin’ a little silicone and fiberglass can’t fix!”

      I wanted a smooth firewall, but I didn’t want it to match the body color. I subscribe to the Foose philosophy in that when you open the hood, it should be like a jewelry box. Black everywhere with the bling in the middle. Nothing should distract you from its beauty.
      I stripped the wall and cut out the A/C evaporator lip and started filling in the unused holes. It made sense then, but I found out later I shouldn’t have spent so much time on it I had to go back and cut out a hole for the clutch and a hole for the fuse panel...oh well.



      Making a template:



      I found a steel supplier that had a 4x8 piece of sheet 14 gauge steel. Went to go pick it up with template in tow and asked if they could cut out a piece big enough to support the template, and got the best news I had heard, “hell for 10 bucks we’ll get the plasma on it and cut it out for you.”
      Best 10 bucks I ever spent!

      Coated the back of it and my firewall with Fuzor panel adhesive





      Fixed the dash panel as well:


      Primered and welds ground: I am running the vintage air heater and A/C lines through the firewall out of sight over the passenger front tire. The windshield wiper motor is going out of sight over the driver front tire. I have tons of pictures of the modified linkage, but again…can’t find them. I’ll dig for them and post them when I find them.


      I knew it was going to get scratched and marred in the build process when I did it, but damn if I couldn’t wait to see what it was going to look like. I got some hot-rod black single stage flat black and sprayed the firewall. I had to see what it would look like…and I was pleased.




      On the round-up of the trans tunnel I kept the raptor liner that I used on the floor, and painted the rest of the firewall with the hot rod black. Here is a texture close up:


      Making a cut for the fuse panel from the classic update. I plan on routing all of the wires over the driver’s wheel well, and fabbing up a cover plate that will hide the wires.
      Confucius says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

      My build Beast

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Dec 2009
      Posts
      1,607
      Country Flag: United States
      Absintheis-having-fun! Project is on a roll Bro. I used the SEM HRB and the also Raprtor. Did you dilute the Raptor? Looks great...:thumbsup:
      Ron in SoCal
      69 Camaro in progress
      http://www.lateral-g.net/forums/showthread.php4?t=31246

      Used to be known as flash911

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Apr 2010
      Location
      Sunny Flordida
      Posts
      345
      Your project is coming along very well! Looks like you are taking the time to do it right and have good foresite on stuff. Thanks for sharing. I'll keep watching.

      [/URL]

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Jul 2008
      Location
      ohio
      Posts
      1,135
      Country Flag: United States
      lol must have had same person do our body work! mine was same way but atleast they welded mine over the old yours must have been done late friday night lol
      keep the wheels a spinning and the Beavers a grinning(burt reynolds-smokey and the bandit)

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Oct 2006
      Location
      McKinney, TX
      Posts
      1,101
      Country Flag: United States
      Next on the list was deleting the drip rails. I think this might have been the most nervous I've been since the first time I spun my car on the rotisserie. After many searches, I found tons of drip-rail delete questions but not a whole lot of consistent answers about the process of removing the rails, so I was kind of flying blind on this.

      It took about 20 hours over three days to get the driver’s side done, and a little over 5 hours to do the passenger side. Amazing what a little experience and confidence will do for efficiency! They still need some work to get right, but they are pretty close to finished.
      I wanted it to have definition (as if there was a rail there), but didn’t want the rails. Imagine how happy I was to find out that there is a little ridge hidden underneath the drips!

      Took my time and cut out about 4 inches at a time and tack welded about every ˝ inch.




      Got some steel rod and finished it up so the bottom of the not-a driprail would be smooth:



      After thousands upon thousands of tack welds:


      Ground smooth and sprayed with rattle can primer for effect:




      Like I said, plenty of flaws right now, but MUCH better than what it had. The only time it was really challenging was on the A pillar where it was leaded in at the factory.

      Another issue was the fact that the ridge all but dissapears on the A-pillar so I had to build up the area with weld to create one.
      Confucius says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

      My build Beast

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Oct 2006
      Location
      McKinney, TX
      Posts
      1,101
      Country Flag: United States
      Ran out and got a couple of pics--

      It is difficult to get a good shot of these in primer. I'm hoping that they "pop" a little better when there is paint on them! Here is the best shot I could get of the transition on the A-pillar.


      Here is the backside where the drip tapers off at the quarter. I didn't want it to just end, but I didn't want it to go further than the window channel.
      Confucius says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

      My build Beast

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Jan 2008
      Location
      Charlotte
      Posts
      1,295
      Do you have a pic of the drip rails still installed?

      I guess I'm having a hard time seeing the before vs after...
      2005 LeMans Blue Corvette w/ T56 & Z51 & C6Z06 Brakes, Build Thread: https://www.pro-touring.com/showthread.php?64496
      2005 GMC Sierra 2500HD LLY / Allison
      2014 Chevy SS LS3 / 4 Door

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Oct 2006
      Location
      McKinney, TX
      Posts
      1,101
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by Ron.in.SoCal View Post
      Absintheis-having-fun! Project is on a roll Bro. I used the SEM HRB and the also Raprtor. Did you dilute the Raptor? Looks great...:thumbsup:
      I didn't dilute it--didn't know that you could! I did make a mistake in not cleaning the gun after the first bottle. Went back about 30 minutes later and the gun was glued to the original bottle...had to go back to the store and get another gun. Those things are like 45 bucks on their own, or for 90.00 you can get two more bottles of Raptor and a gun for free.

      Quote Originally Posted by BirdsThaWord View Post
      Your project is coming along very well! Looks like you are taking the time to do it right and have good foresite on stuff. Thanks for sharing. I'll keep watching.
      Thanks for the compliments. At the start I thought "Oh I'll zip through this in no time!" Then when I had to buy a second Left side floor board and second passenger side seat mount after making mistakes I realized that the first step in any part of this is think it through! Since then I've been known to stare at the car for an extended period of time and then checking online, then staring, then checking online...so on and so forth until I feel comfortable with the next step I take.

      Quote Originally Posted by bonecrrusher View Post
      Do you have a pic of the drip rails still installed?

      I guess I'm having a hard time seeing the before vs after...
      Unfortunately I don't. I did some googling and came across this pic...the car is rusted through, but the image gives a good perspective on the drip rail.
      Confucius says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

      My build Beast

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Oct 2006
      Location
      McKinney, TX
      Posts
      1,101
      Country Flag: United States
      On to the frame…what an adventure!
      I ordered a front sub from Heidts because it had a very similar appearance to stock and looked a bit sturdier than others in the same price range. My stock frame was tweaked, but really I just wanted an aftermarket one and I liked the idea of starting from scratch.




      After Powdercoating, and first assembly



      Well, as awesome as it was, turns out it was in the jig wrong at assembly and the engine mounts were not right. Quick rundown of the adventure:
      I didn't really know anything was wrong until I tried to mount my LS/trans in the frame...
      I ordered the edelbrock LS adapter plates and energy suspension SBC mounts from summit.
      They sent adapter plates for a different vehicle-I wouldn’t think it would make a difference on the mounting of the engine to the frame, but wouldn't be too surprised if there were header/firewall/steering clearance issues though. If only that was the problem. . .if only
      Sent back the wrong mounts and got the right ones but the engine was still not fitting. The best way to describe it is that the engine was too wide for the mounts on the frame.
      Here are some shots of the engine sitting in the frame.
      Left side bolted in:


      Driver’s side:


      Called Heidts and they said to get the energy suspension LS conversion kit and it should work. I did, and as the previous pics show, it didn't work.

      Talked with Owen in the Heidts engineering over a period of a few days and did some measuring and sent some pictures and after working with me he determined that the frame was tweaked during assembly.

      The good news? They owned up to it and sent me a new frame.

      Got it two weeks later. They are a hell of a company and believe me when I say that this single experience has made me a customer of theirs for life. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone is willing to own up to it, or make it right. They did both. I’ve already talked to them about my next project.

      The arms, R&P, sway bar, spindles all just transferred over, and since ordering it originally, Heidts changed the design to accept wider tires. The frame is actually 2 inches narrower, so bonus for me.
      The only thing that didn’t transfer were the coilovers. The old ones were about 2 inches shorter than the redesign. So when I put my wheels back on, it looked like I had slammed bags up front. It brought the frame so low, I actually couldn’t get my jack out from under it! Again I called Owen and he was quick to say oops, and sent out the right ones the next day.
      Confucius says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

      My build Beast

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Feb 2006
      Location
      Tennessee
      Posts
      814
      Country Flag: United States
      Great build and enjoying the fab work!!

    18. #18
      Join Date
      May 2007
      Location
      Mooresville, Indiana
      Posts
      1,877
      Country Flag: United States
      Fantastic build. Looking forward to watching it go together. All I can say is "stay the course".
      Tom

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Apr 2010
      Location
      Sunny Flordida
      Posts
      345
      Man you move quick! I have a question about your firewall. Did you weld the edges? I saw the adhesive, but am not sure how you finished the edges. Also, what type of metal supplier did you go to where they offered you to plasma cut it? I want top follow in your foot steps!
      What about the VIN plate that was on the firewall? Can I legally remove it and then re attach it to the new firewall?

      [/URL]

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Oct 2006
      Location
      McKinney, TX
      Posts
      1,101
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by BirdsThaWord View Post
      Man you move quick! I have a question about your firewall. Did you weld the edges? I saw the adhesive, but am not sure how you finished the edges. Also, what type of metal supplier did you go to where they offered you to plasma cut it? I want top follow in your foot steps!
      What about the VIN plate that was on the firewall? Can I legally remove it and then re attach it to the new firewall?
      Not really as quick as it seems. You are catching up on about 3 months of work all at once. To keep it alive for a little bit I am spacing a little each day. I was going to do this when the car was complete, but like I said in the first post---plans change and I got delayed because I landed a new job. So, not bad news...just slow for the build news.

      As far as the firewall, I welded the perimeter and welded the hole were the stock A/C Evap was removed. As far as the legality of removing the VIN--I am pretty sure that removing a VIN tag is illegal, but the firewall tag is just a "cowl tag" and only lists the build sequence and fisher info of the vehicle. The VIN is in the door jam below the A-pillar. There is a bunch of info on it here. I actually kept the cowl tag and plan on putting it back in the vehicle somewhere...just don't know where yet.

      Newest outdated update coming in a few min...
      Confucius says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

      My build Beast

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