Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

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Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby Low-Tech » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:27 pm

Well, I liked my ol' Camaro, but it was getting awfully rusty around the gills as of late. Durn that road salt. Guess that happens to a car when it gets old enough to vote and then some. (FYI: 1986 was NOT that long ago! I'm older than that!!) The bottoms of the doors were staring to rot out from water that seeped in past the worn out weatherstrips, and all the bumper corners had collected their fair share of scrapes, there were your garden variety small dents n' dings, and to top it all off, the clearcoat started to flake off the roof like a bad sunburn.

And then, about a month back, I nailed a deer that ruined both the hood and front nosepiece, the SECOND TIME in my ownership that's happened, remember? The first time was ANOTHER CAR and neither were really my fault! Is this thing snakebit or what?

So, considering that every single surface of the car had been blemished in some way, and considering the age and everything, well, I decided that there was only one thing to do....










TOTAL RESTORATION TIME! And I'm actually paying a professional this time, as there's only so much I can do myself with spray paint and sandpaper!

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Should be out of the paintshop sometime in the next couple of weeks, while it's apart, I bought replacements for just about everything that had to come off. New weatherstrip, new emblems, new door handles, new grille, new lock cylinders for the doors, new hood supports (it uses the hydraulic kind without a prop, and they lost their "zip" long ago) and I got a set of correct wheels for it too, so I won't be rolling around on the functional but mis-matched ones it currently has that make me think of tomato slices every time I see em'.

Once that's done, it's onto the interior, keep ya posted. Hopefully I'll have a car worth cruising this summer.

It seems to be a shame to have to put it all back together, I was kinda warming up to the "Road Warrior" look. All I need is a .50 cal Browning strapped to the roof, a crash helmet with a skull motif, and a pair of leather pants with a big knife in one pocket and I'd be ready to RULE the wasteland!
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby chrismachine » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:06 pm

Please take photos for us as you put stuff together and things :)
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby sum yun gai » Fri May 10, 2013 10:39 am

there's no reason you can't *still* dress up that way you know....
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traubster wrote:I find it irritating whenever I walk through a cemetery and there's not one gravestone that reads something like, "We're all grateful that he's dead. Sorry if he owed you money."
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby Low-Tech » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:50 pm

Got out of the paintbooth this week, has to go back in for some minor touch-up that you can't see here, but it certainly hasn't looked that good in a long time. There was a small 2'' black stripe that went around the bottom of the car when I got it, I'm debating paying to put it back on or not, because I thought it would look silly without it, but I dunno, one-tone isn't that bad after all. And the headlight recesses have to be painted black anyway to look right, so, they'll have to mix up a batch for me regardless.... they also said if I want, I can get a black anti-stone-chip mix put on, kinda like rhino-lining, but finer, that would protect it from kicked up rocks and stuff..... decisions decisions.....

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The last part I need is the rear bumper support, if you see that steel bar where the bumper cover was removed, the one with that black plastic block-thingy attached? That's the support, it bolts into the trunk and is supposed to be a sacrificial piece in a low-speed collision that will absorb the impact so the rear unibody doesn't fold up. After 20 some years of sitting back there and catching all the dirt/water/snow kicked up by the rear tires, it's gotten so rusty on the bottom the guys in the shop are afraid that it's going to either fall apart when they put the plastic cover back on, or, someone being anal might fail me for my yearly safety inspection on the grounds that it's structurally unsound, so I'm cruising online looking for a replacement.

That particular bodystyle of Camaro was built from 1982 to 1992 with only minor cosmetic changes (and the Pontiac Firebirds shared most of the parts/tooling) so one from EITHER model from any year will fit, I just have to find one that isn't all rusty.

Or I could bite the bullet and get a replacement, but that's a $130 investment, I'll probably end up having to do that anyway, but might as well try the cheap approach first. I've gone to a couple junkyard Camaros of this generation, but they're naturally all just as rusted out back there too, so no dice.

I did find a nice set of unsold-dealership-stock wheel caps to go with the new rims. They'll cover those black holes inside of where the lug nuts for the wheels are in that picture. And I'll get some new lug nuts too, those old ones are starting to rust as the cheap imitation chrome finish flakes off.
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby chrismachine » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:40 pm

You are amazing. I get all proud when I do something like reset the chain on my chainsaw, lol.
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby Low-Tech » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:27 pm

Thanks, but I'd like to point out that I DID NOT DO THE PAINTING, I hired a professional since I don't have the tools and training to get professional painting results. :lol:

If it were a farm truck, I could mix my own filler, apply it, sand it, then hit it with spray paint and it'd look like a halfway-decent repair for the 4 or 5 years it held up before it'd rust out again.... I wanted the rust to STAY gone this time, so they used a much more potent brand of filler material you can't buy off-the-shelf at Napa and some other stuff to strip it down that I'm pretty sure you need a license to buy or else the EPA will be on you :).

However, I did locate and do the sanding/filling prep work the front bumper/nose cover piece myself. And they didn't take a look at it and say something like "uh, we're gonna have to redo that a bit for ya....." so I guess I'm at least partway competent compared to a "real" bodyshop tech. :)
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby Low-Tech » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:37 pm

Finally found a new rear bumper support panel, bonus, it was still new-in-the-box and had never been used/sold. Ebay is a wonderful thing.

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That's what goes inside of this plastic bumper cover. There's a "CHEVROLET" decal that fits into that groove, they just haven't put it on yet

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The nosepiece is all assembled and ready to go back on, though it looks like I'll have to get a new headlight, the hi-beam light on the driver's side looks to have lost it's seal and is getting moisture inside, it happens to ALL those old sealed-beam headlights after enough time and they eventually fill up with condensation and become miniature square fishbowls. The grille and hood emblem are brand-new since the old ones were terribly faded and cracked.

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They did get around to installing new door hardware, whoever owned the car before me just painted over the door handles, and punched out the lock cylinders (because the doors were off another car) and they were too lazy to swap the locks over, so they just mangled them so they wouldn't lock....leaving big holes in the door where they should be, I bought correct ones so I'll have locking doors again.

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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby chrismachine » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:08 pm

Really starting to come together!
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby Low-Tech » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:36 pm

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Coming down home stretch now.... the spoiler and rear view mirrors came out the wrong shade of grey (he he, punny) the first time, so they had to make a U-turn and go right back into the paint booth for another shot. This time, it worked.

They're going to paint the headlight "buckets" in the nose piece black for me, and while the black paint is out, I'm going to have them paint some of the plastic parts that were originally black but got sun-bleached over time, like the big 3rd brake light assembly on the rear hatch glass and those 4 small decorative caps that hold the glass on.

They still make taillights for these, but they're expensive, $480 or so for a set of both. I might just bite the bullet and get them, as with everything fixed up, the tails are now the worst-looking part on the car. Bleached a bit, full of tiny stress cracks, and, at some point a previous owner had put some kind of cover over them, maybe "blackout" lenses, like window tinting, except for tail lights. When he did, he epoxied them on, and then later just ripped them back off, leaving behind little blobs of glue on the surface. We'll see what the "fun" budget looks like after I pay for what's been done already.
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby Low-Tech » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:53 pm

Whelp, it's all done. Paid the bill and got the keys back today, went for a nice long drive. The very last thing I had done was those mismatched wheels swapped for ones of a better color.

And stopped for some "photoshoot" material, as it won't stay this pristine for very long. ;)

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Oh, and in the battle of "who's got more horsepower under their hood?" Uh, this guy wins, hands down :eek: :)

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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby chrismachine » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:16 am

Fantastic!!!
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby Skimba » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:03 am

That's so sweet. It's gorgeous!
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby Low-Tech » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:12 pm

Thanks, about the only bad thing I can say at this point is that it's hard to get gas now without people wanting to come over and quiz me about the details/build specs on the car :)
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby PonderThis » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:46 am

Ha ha! I like the pic with the train engine in the background.
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby sum yun gai » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:08 am

well of course the train has more power, there's nobody driving the car! :P
ntw3001 wrote:Sass has to come from the heart, not from the shirt.


traubster wrote:I find it irritating whenever I walk through a cemetery and there's not one gravestone that reads something like, "We're all grateful that he's dead. Sorry if he owed you money."
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Re: Spring Project, time to spend some of that dusty old cash!

Postby Dusk » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:23 am

LT, that is a VERY desirable vehicle. :wink:
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