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Post Info TOPIC: 1987 Chevy Camaro Z/28


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1987 Chevy Camaro Z/28
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Hey everybody,

I figured I should make an official project thread for my Z/28, so here it is!

I have a rough idea of how I want to do it in terms of sequencing, but I'm open to suggestions. Now to start off, I'm useless mechanically right now, but I'm hoping to learn. The most I can do is change the front bulbs on my car and the tires, so that's a solid starting ground. With that being said I want to start off with easy things and work my way up. 

My Camaro has the LB9 305 with the automatic transmission and is in need of some love. The car sat for a few months before I bought it and it shows. Under low throttle it seems to stutter a lot. I don't really know how to describe it, but it seems to jump forward then slow down over and over quickly. I assume some of this is due to old gas, so on the way home I added 3/4 of a tank of new gas to the 1/4 of gas it came with, and that seemed to help a little. The next step, I think, is to check the start plugs and wires to ensure they are doing what they are meant to do. But the question is, where are the spark plugs? And if I need to change them, what model number are they? Or is there a document or something that will have part numbers for me? I assume to change the spark plugs I just disconnect the wires and use a ratchet to taken them out, or is there more witch craft to it then that? The car drives fine under medium to heavy throttle, and shifts beautifully.

What computer does my car use? I would guess it is an OBD1, but I'm not sure how to check. The reason for asking is I want to sync an app from my phone to my engine to monitor different gauges, as the ones in my Camaro don't seem to be the most trustworthy, and the temp gauge is broken.

The next steps I plan on taking for the car, if the spark plugs and wires fix the issue, is to get a better manifold and air intake system, as I heard these engines suffer from lack of air because of the emissions standards of the time. After that I plan on following up with a full exhaust system. 

Once that is complete I want to beef up the suspension with coilovers and make the rear brakes disc brakes. The upgrade the fuel delivery system and driveline parts, then swap the 305 out for a 350, 355, 383 or LS series engine (haven't decided on that yet).

 

Does this all sound okay? Or am I out to lunch?

Here are some pictures of the car and engine:

15032085_10211326299493189_1465083390953

15042163_10211335577165125_2753753116244

15036239_10211335578405156_3921704386689



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So a bit of an update:

I pulled apart the throttle body and the air focuser thingy (very technical terms) and everything looked good. The filters were nice and bright, and everything was clean. I crawled under the car and even found the barcode sticker intact on the rad. The seller stated that the car had a new rad installed recently, so it was nice to confirm that. Underneath the car I noticed it was rusty, but didn't look too bad.

My next step is removing and checking the spark plugs, which seems to be quite the challenge, so I'll probably tackle it this weekend.

I played with all of the controls on the inside and got familiar with what switch did what, as well as removed the T-Tops for fun, I'm really excited to use them next summer. I also found that the blower motor for the A/C and heat didn't spin, so I'll have to go and find the problem, maybe a fuse?

The other challenge is to find the horn and hook it up, as the car doesn't have the button for the horn on the steering wheel, so I'm curious if it even has a horn or not. I think I have found the horn, but I'm not sure.

I'll probably pick up the owners repair book this week so I can understand a little more about the car as well.

I'll call today successful!

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St.Marys Ont -Rod Side Member

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Good LQQKEN ride






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Brantford On, Hooked on Nova's

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My son has an 87 Camaro. He is on this site and the other site as well. He did a build thread on it(88 Camaro ...something something I think it was called). This past spring he did the swap to the LS(truck version) and it is a very impressive improvement from the 2.8 he had. Lots of work and the exhaust routing is the worst since he needed to keep it emissions legal even though it doesn't need an etest. They are a fun car that for the most part you can drive everyday under the radar so to speak. Good luck with your build.

Here is the LS swap thread.  http://ontariorodderscomunity.activeboard.com/t62283476/ls-swap-camaropictures-and-a-small-write-up/

The complete restoration is on the other site.






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Hi, and welcome from another thirdgenner. Dont know if you heard of it or not, but this link may be the best help I could offer.

Thirdgen.org has an answer to pretty much anything you could want. IF you havent already joined, I would. Its free, and the amount of information is amazing, from changing your plugs and wires, down to the last thing on your list, the LS swap.

Because of the ac and lines etc, your spark plug job looks intimidating, but its not that bad. If you dont have a spark plug socket(has rubber inside to hold the plug while you weave it through the mess of vaccum lines etc. Also typically has a hex on the end of the socket so you can use a wrench on it. may come in handy for the back plugs). There is probably a walkthrough on the thirdgen site.

Being a 1987, your car will have an OBD1 computer

In regards to the air intake system, it is factory ram air. I put summit racing K&N knock offs in, didnt notice a difference, but then i also swapped the motor to V8 from V6. The V8 hasnt seen paper filters, so I dont know if it made a difference.

However, there are Ram air ducts that basically put two big pieces of ductwork behind your grille to get more air to the motor, and Ive heard of good gains with that system. While pricy, edelbrock I think makes an intake box that is also supposed to provide noticable gains.

Summit racing would be where I would look for exhaust. Heres a link for some different systems...  Exhaust systems You can find sound clips on youtube for sure. The summit and dynomax kits are a pretty good value.

I swapped to disc brakes rear and I would do that before I even thought of coilovers. Even simpler than that, was a polyurethane bushing kit, and replacing the ball joints and tie rods etc. After I did that, the car was as tight as a new honda civic.

I did all of the bushings, rod ends etc for around $300 CAD, and if I bought another one, that would be the first thing I would do. Then I would follow with disc. I believe youll find that will satisfy your handling needs, unless you plan on track daying the car frequently.

I dont wanna overwhelm with info, but thats a good start. Thirdgen.org will have more stuff like this to read all about... If you need anything third gen specific, shoot me a PM and ill do my best to help out.

 

 



-- Edited by ThatChevyGuy on Monday 14th of November 2016 06:35:32 PM

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So I had the car running and pulled out a few injectors to see if I could notice a change in sound, to check to see if the injectors are firing. We (my brother and I) did it to two injectors, one made no change and the other one made a little change, which leads me to believe they are plugged and/or not working. So I'll probably replace the injectors once I learn more about them.

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Would have been better to drain the old gas completely.
- add some 91/93 octane
- pour some SeaFoam, in tank
- and change out the fuel filter
- its likely all full of crap, from the old gas
- and will cause fuel contamination, until filter is replaced with new

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So my dad and I pulled some spark plugs today. And it went well! We got 3 plugs out fully, and put 3 new plugs in to replace those. We broke one off, so gotta figure that one out next. I also need to change the other plugs out, but I ran out of time because I'm super slow at it. 

15208023_10211473652056911_352940101_n.j

We also got the Camaro inside today! Which is a positive.

15259178_10211473339169089_1276851396373

I'd call today a fairly successful day.



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Woodlawn On Rod-Side Member

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Most times the porcelain breaks off because you pull the socket at an angle and snap it off so there should be no problem getting the plug out. Sometimes I use the socket and a wrench on the hex and remove it. Good work so far.



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http://lightspeedmetaldesign.com/

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Them plugs were in a long time.
Did you gap and put a dap of anti seize on the new ones?
An easy out (square type, not the backwards thread type) may get the other plug out. May involve some really bad works, don't let your mother hear you. She will be upset and not get you any Christmas presents.
I have made a small slice with a really small hack saw to help get it out before.
Make sure nothing gets in there, blow out the hole with compressed air.


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Hi guys, take a look at the plugs. The one missing part of the thread is what is still in the motor. It is the threaded part with the little hook on the end that is still in the motor. The biggest part of the challenge is just getting to the plugs. Needs to me done from under the car. There is no room at all to get at them. Thinking an easy out will get it but not sure.

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Woodlawn On Rod-Side Member

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Guess I didn't look close enough at the plugs.



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"Fatchuk" Rod-side member Board administration & clean up guy

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Mike said..Did you gap and put a dap of anti seize on the new ones?  

I would not recommend doing that.. If you are using the new Iridium plugs you do not want anti-seize on them or you will have missfires as the antisieze prevents a good ground..

Using anti-seize on spark plugs will do the following:

  • Alters the tightening torque by up to 20% which may cause over-tightening (or breaking the spark bolt)
  • Reduces electrical ground contact if the anti-seize is non-conductive or semi-conductive (reduced spark possible)
  • Isolates more heat into the spark plug therefore causing the plug to increase the heat range above specification (can cause detonation/pre-ignition)
  • Autolite
    We do not recommend the use of any anti seize products for installing spark plugs. Anti-seize compounds are typically composed of metallic, electrically conductive ingredients. If anti seize compounds come in contact with the core nose of the plugs, it can lead to a misfire condition. Anti seize compounds can also have a torque multiplying effect when installing plugs. This can lead to thread distortion and thread galling resulting in cylinder head damage. Autolite spark plugs are nickel plated to resist the effects of corrosion and seizing. However, plug seizure is aggravated further when steel plugs are installed into aluminum cylinder heads for a long period of time.

    AC/Delco
    Do not use any type of anti-seize compound on spark plug threads. Doing this will decrease the amount of friction between the threads. The result of the lowered friction is that when the spark plug is torqued to the proper specification, the spark plug is turned too far into the cylinder head. This increases the likelihood of pulling or stripping the threads in the cylinder head. Over-tightening of a spark plug can cause stretching of the spark plug shell and could allow blowby to pass through the gasket seal between the shell and insulator. Over-tightening also results in extremely difficult removal.

    Champion
    The following material is excerpted from the Champion Spark Plug Handbook. It can be accessed at:
    http://dodgeram.info/Engine-Gas/Spar...plghnbook.html

    Champion spark plug shells (the threaded part) use an extruded steel to maintain exact tolerances. The extruded shell goes through a cold rolling process to form the threads. This prevents sharp edges which could cut new threads into aluminum cylinder heads. Once the shell is formed and threaded, it is zinc-plated to extend its life and reduce the chances of seizure in aluminum cylinder heads. Our latest technology combines Tin Tac" and ULTRASEAL'M coatings over the plating to further reduce corrosion and seizure. Champion recommends that you do not use an anti-seize compound, since one has already been applied to the plugs at the factory.
    .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    I never use anti seize ..I do recommend pulling the plugs at least once a year.. even for rarely driven cars..and not waiting till it has 100,00ks..
    I would recomend soaking all the plugs that you have not removed yet as well the broken one.. take your time let it soak for a few days before introducing an easy out.. aother tip I have used to remove a broken plug is tapering a bolt on my grinder and push it in the threaded core "not with a sledge hammer"  but with a smaller hammer to just make it snug.. and after a few days soaking it might come .. A little heat around the cyl-head might help.. If all else fails I have had luck with the same idea of the bolt and touching it with my mig right where the bolt is in the threaded portion.. Patience is a good choice here, get enough stuff out of your road to get into a comfortable position to work comfortably.. I must also say that on more than one over my lifetime I have had to pull a head , and or drill it out and install a Healy-coil with no after affects or trouble with a healy-coil..  Good luck.. and remember patience is the word to remember...


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http://lightspeedmetaldesign.com/

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I heard that before, most times it's because they put way too much on. I said dap, meaning a very small smear. Plug reps I talked to said yep, that's fine. It's the guys covering, more is better attitude is the problem.
Been doing it that way for 25 plus years, never a problem. 3 different dealerships, many independents.

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Thanks for the input guys!

In my line of work if I'm unsure of something in regards to a product I contact the manufacturer. I emailed NGK to see what they think. I know you both have valid opinions and the ways you have been installing plugs, but I'm just hoping to confirm everything.

I'll look into the use of the easy out (square type), to see what is involved for spark plug removal.

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Soak em with a good penetrating oil while your deciding.. I like a mixture of trans fluid, diesel fuel and some coke mixed.. .. I think it could be a tough spot to work with an easy out..But over the 40 years working in this trade what worked for one,  may not work for the next one so best get a plan "B" handy encase "A" doesn't do it.. always be prepared, broken plugs can be a pain depending on access..Good Luck and practice your facial expressions in the mirror because the trick is all in the way you hold your mouth...biggrin



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Komoka On, Board recruiter, Good will embassador Rod-side Member

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Lightspeed Mike wrote:

I heard that before, most times it's because they put way too much on. I said dap, meaning a very small smear. Plug reps I talked to said yep, that's fine. It's the guys covering, more is better attitude is the problem.
Been doing it that way for 25 plus years, never a problem. 3 different dealerships, many independents.


  The phrase. . .A LITTLE IS GOOD THEN A LOT MUST BE BETTER 

Doesn't always cover the task

TMJ 



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admin wrote:

Soak em with a good penetrating oil while your deciding.. I like a mixture of trans fluid, diesel fuel and some coke mixed.. .. I think it could be a tough spot to work with an easy out..But over the 40 years working in this trade what worked for one,  may not work for the next one so best get a plan "B" handy encase "A" doesn't do it.. always be prepared, broken plugs can be a pain depending on access..Good Luck and practice your facial expressions in the mirror because the trick is all in the way you hold your mouth...biggrin


 So just spray the broken plug with penetrating oil? Will that effect the cylinder if I get any penetrating oil inside of it?

 

It is definitely a tight spot for any sort of tools, I had to pretty much break my arm in 3 places to get the plugs out! I'm a little worried about pulling the broken plug out.



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You might be better off just pulling the head. Is it one of the two behind the heater /AC box?






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Will that effect the cylinder if I get any penetrating oil inside of it?

stuff a small piece of paper in the hole and leave enough of that you can just pull it out, make sure you blow the cyl chamber out real good with air if you manage to get it out.. another thing you can do is use a small clear piece of plastic hose, fabricate it with duck tape to the shop vac to vacum the cyl.. 

Is it possible to remove the inner fender and go through there with the wheel removed ??? .. I am not sure on that car but I also have done it that way..but as wayne says you might have to remove the head .. If you are unable to get a easy spot to work. You will not be able to do it from underneath..you need comfortable access it is a tedious frustrating job that requires patience  



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It's the front driver side spark plug, so it's one of the easier ones to get to I think.

I'm not sure I'm knowledgeable enough yet to pull off the head, but I guess if I have no choice I'm going to half to learn. I'm going to try and hit it with oil and try to use an easy out or something to get it out first.

I emailed NGK about using anti-seize and this was their response.

"DO NOT apply anti-seize to the spark plugs.
NGK applies a special tri-valent compound to the threads so anti-seize is not necessary.
The application of any other chemical agent to the threads will only lead to complications."

Thanks everybody for their help so far! This has been quite the learning curve.

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Use AC plugs .. for best performance.. NGKs belong in imports in my humble opinion..I think you might be lucky here if it's the front plug.. Ypu should be able to remove enough components to get to it fairly comfortable. It could have been a worse location.. Just soak the hell out of it for a week..I believe you can get it out.. good luck



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Soak!!! What Chuck said!

Be patient. The last time this happened to me I had sent it to shop for basic plug change/tune up. I didn't have time to do it myself.

You guessed it....... mechanic broke plug off. It happens.

I just had it towed back home, asked for and received good advice, confirmed what I already knew.

Soaked for 24 hrs .... took my time ..... a bit of heat and  an easy out.

Seems like the sh*ttier to get at, the bigger chance that that's the one to break. They probably don't get changed from previous owners for that reason.

What have ya got to lose???? nothing but a paperweight the way it is.



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So I have the day off work today so I tackled the remaining 4 spark plugs. And I did it! I got all 4 out without to many issues and only a small amount of bloodshed. 

15541338_10211662720463503_4807163770744

They are beautiful looking plugs, as you can see. I'm just happy I didn't break any doing it today.

 

So this leaves the one broken plug in there and then I will see how to car truly runs. That's a challenge for another day, and I'll probably need to enlist some help for that one. I did spray it with penetrating oil while I was under it today, so hopefully that helps.

 

While underneath my car today I noticed a concerning spot of rust, and I'm not sure if it will be a problem, or how to fix it. I'll post a photo so you guys can chime in.

15400395_10211662721023517_2374661201307

 

But anyways, I'm grinning ear to ear because I've never done anything like this before and it was a ton of fun. 

Not sure on my next step, but I'm sure I'll figure something out.



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OH OH,,, looks a little crusty. Was that car safetied??
TMJ



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toomuchjunk wrote:

OH OH,,, looks a little crusty. Was that car safetied??
TMJ


 Not yet, I am planning on getting it safetied in the spring, I bought the car as-is.



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http://lightspeedmetaldesign.com/

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Looks like some rocker and floor board replacement needs to be done before safety.


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You are lucky to have Mike for an uncle.. with all those nice fancy tools.. I am thinking the engine and trany should come out to do that job right and professionally  if your planing on keeping it awhile.. That looks like some structural stuff that needs doing properly.. May as well do it right..



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Check out this site, an 88 TA for 1300$. Needs engine. Scroll down a bit. Car is in Quebec, not far from Ottawa.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/799695653403963/



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I took a second look at my rust issue around my floor pan and I think I found good news. I striped out my seats and peeled back my cloth and sound dampening material.

15492460_10211686348414187_3902596181576 

Seats removed, door trim, door plate and other things all taken out

15492156_10211686348374186_6830977638433

Where the passenger behind the drivers feet would go.

15442377_10211686348454188_2409624846984

Underneath the go fast pedal.

15541496_10211686348854198_8309646622257

Underneath the drivers seat.

 

 

So my conclusions are as follows:

1. There was holes in the floor as one point, but was repaired by a different owner. Patches appear to be well constructed and use some sort of sealant (the black stuff)

2. Repairs would make the cab of the car 'gas tight', thus able to pass safety in that regard.

3. The underneath the car is still a structural concern, however, I do not believe it to be a concern in regards to fumes entering the cab.

 

So I've been a wannabe mechanic for about 3 weeks, so my conclusions are just based off of assumptions and what I can see.

What is everybody else's thoughts on this? Am I on the right track? I do not want to get a new car and start over, I'd like to make the necessary repairs to get the Camaro safe and legal.

 

My next step is to remove the ground effects on the driver side and inspect for damage in that location.



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http://lightspeedmetaldesign.com/

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Screwed down pieces are not good repairs. No matter how much tar. (not good either)
A quick google found this place. You can probably do better on prices through keystone in trenton, or one of their resellers.
This is want you want.
www.camarodepot.ca/exterior/replacement-body-panels/floor-pans/full-length-panel/camaro-floor-pan-full-left-1982-1992
www.camarodepot.ca/exterior/replacement-body-panels/rocker-panels/camaro-rocker-panel-left-1982-1992

Car is repairable. If you find a mint one you will pay. I think they used some left over Fords sheet metal. LOL


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I was not able to see your good news.. confuse Rust work is time consuming..( meaning if you can't do it and have to pay somebody) it's expensive.. For me if you were my Son.. asking me for advice .. I would have to say, now is the time to do the math. Where do you want to take the car and what,  is the long term plan..just start figuring the cost of getting there..

My best guess on the rust repairs and paint and body you are looking between 5 to 7 thousand , Then if you have to an interior, another 3 at the low end, weather stripping, tires, mechanics.. you see where I am going.. Of course this is all if you want to do the car up nice and keep it.. There are times and especially at this time of the year and into January and Feb .. There are some good buys to be had that might be a much better choice to build.. There comes a time where it is a good idea to stop and think about the project .. and if it's better to start with something better before you get buried in this.. This advice is mostly dependent on your skills as opposed to how much you have to hire done..

I know some times it is hard to accept the truth but is this really the one you want to have $12, 000 or more in and as a guy who restored and built a few cars in my honest opinion $12,000 is a conservative number to turn that into a nice car.... Have a good look and see what you could buy for that dollar figure..You have to be honest and take off your emotional glasses and think seriously.. I have seen so many people buy a cheaper car, believing they could make a nice car.. they spend a small fortune and run out of money and interest long before the car ever hits the road..

So My humble opinion just says .. Have a good disccussion with Mike and Dad and do some math before you get bummed .. Ask your dad about renovation projects . They can go on and on once you pull the drywall off and start with a lot of rotten wood around the windows and door frames.. I am not trying to discourage you Just trying to give my honest unsugared opinion..Every one  of us are more than glad to help you through the project .. just be prepared for the ugly that comes a restore.. Best of luck.. 

And a Merry Christmas to you..



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I did a thing today (well over several days). The original owner ripped the horn out and lost half of the parts to put it back together, so I made my own horn. It needs a few finishing touches and then I need to put some sort of cover where the old horn used to be and it should look okay. I've never been a driver to use my horn, and I wanted to try my hand at wiring one up, so I figured why not! Pictures are below.

15871696_10211898328513557_3613257172412

15871970_10211898329153573_6305553964479

As for the floor/rust situation. I've had a few offers from local friends and family to help me repair the floor, so I am going to take them up on it. I need to pull the side skirt off to see how much needs replacing/repairing and the state of the front fender. 

And for the spark plug, I have an action plan and I have enlisted help for it, so now I just need my help to have some free time to take a stab at it. After that we will see how the motor runs, and what to change next.

 

The quest for safety still includes:

-floor repair

-blower motor issue (going to test power to the blower motor and go from there)

-exhaust leak (either weld the exhaust on it or replace it with something a little nicer)

 

Thanks guys!



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Hey Southpaw, I like your enthusiasm.  That is quite a project you are undertaking.  but I think most members will agree with me here...  "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right." As FatChuck stated, you should do the math and get a clear idea of what you want to do with the camaro. I certainly don't want to discourage you or anything like that, but if I may, can I suggest rethinking that horn? Im sure with the fella's and resources in this forum we can find you some parts.  Come to think of it, rebuilding stuff with your own bits an pieces is a hell of a way to understand how stuff works.

Keep at it, I'm looking forward to seeing more of your posts.  It's nice to see the younger folks taking an interest.



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Thanks for the support Bam Bam!

I'm no expert by any means, but that's why they have the Internet, right?

I actually really like the way my horn is wired up, so I think I'm going to keep it that way. I don't imagine I'll use it anyways, so I'm not too worried about it being small.

Now for the fun stuff!

Another update:

Got the last of the spark plug removed from the cylinder. A little penetrating oil, a few sockets, an EZ out and a bar got it out!

16473549_10212210150588914_4802192356475

I installed the last spark plug and it seems to be running better.

I'm ordering some new spark plug wires today, so that should help restore it a little more. 

Time to do some research on the fuel injection system so I can take it apart and clean it all out.

 

Thanks guys!



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Another quick update:

I went to install my new spark plug wires today, and found out I ordered the wrong ones! So now I have to return/sell them and get new ones, so that puts a damper on my fun today.

However, I hit the fan motor for my heat/AC that wouldn't work with a hammer and now it runs, so that was pretty funny. So I'm going to take it apart and clean it so it operates flawlessly. So that's one more thing to check off the list.

On the note of lists, I found more stuff to replace.

-rear axle seals need to be redone, and as such, probably the rear brake pads
-A frost plug broke, so I'm going to have to fix that sooner then later

Never a dull moment with the camaro!


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Quick Update: The Camaro is at the garage getting safetied, hoping to get in on the road by the weekend!

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Wellesley, on Member

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Thats awesome,  Cruise night season is here...

 

Good Job



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The Camaro is now street legal and plated. Rear axle seals and brakes were changed, floor was patched, sealed and undercoated, exhaust was replaced and repaired. The car is having some issues with overheating right now, I am monitoring it for now, I am going to take it out to Rideau Carleton tonight for the cruise night if anybody wants to come say hi. I will be picking up a thermostat, gasket and coolant temp sensor tonight as well to see if that fixes the issue.

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http://lightspeedmetaldesign.com/

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Good to hear, enjoy your toy.


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Woodlawn On Rod-Side Member

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Great to hear you got it sorted out. Post some pic's again as the ones on here do not work for me.

http://ottawacarscene.freeforums.net/

 

http://www.highway43carclub.com/index.php/en/        Big show in Kemptville this Sunday.

 

plus they are on facebook.



-- Edited by henrystoys on Thursday 15th of June 2017 09:09:09 AM

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Woodlawn, ON. 57 B/A wagon, 408"BB with 14' Bonair travel trailer,71 Nova 355"SB, 51/53 HenryJ's, 07 2500HD with 26 Prowler 5th wheel,
www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/listing/user/henrys57wagon



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19144033_1972595462961934_75396989051776

Here is a really dramatic photo of they car!

I also grabbed some fuel injector cleaner to add to my gas, to see if it helps with the rough idle and lumping at low speeds. Did 20km with it so far and it seems to be helping a bit, hopefully going to be able to take it on a few longer rides to see if I continue to see improvement.

In other news, I took my mom for a ride in the Camaro, I'm not sure she enjoys the car as much as I do! 



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Brantford On, Hooked on Nova's

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Great picture of your pride and joy.

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Richmond Ont Carpenter/Renovations

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Anyone else see the original pictures? I got an x and a bunch of numbers. Chuk, any ideas?

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