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t25torx
t25torx New Reader
5/31/13 9:12 a.m.

Just a little back story here, I had been hunting for a 5MT hard top car for about 4 months, with a 3k price limit I was hoping to find a reasonably clean higher mileage car in stock condition.. long story short, it's amazing how hard that is to do. I finally found this car on Craigslist in Bloomington Indiana, talked to the guy, car sounded good, so I put a deposit on it and took off early from work to pick it up. Car had a little more body damage than I could see in the pictures but nothing too bad, so after a short test drive and look over for any bad rust, we exchanged currency for the title and off we went back home with my new prize.

I topped off the fluids before we left and the car ran fine on the way home, the speedometer was not working, but other than that all the gauges worked, oil pressure was fine, temp never got above 180 and this was on a 95 degree day. So all in all, I think it was a good buy.

My first plans were to strip it and set it up for CP auto-x duty, but I finally decided to just rebuild her to a daily driver so I could enjoy the fruits of my labor everyday. I haven't decided which direction I want to go with the engine yet, so that'll be one of the last things I tackle on the car.

Snapped a few shots after I got the car home. Here's the rest of them,

t25torx
t25torx New Reader
5/31/13 9:12 a.m.

So I started work on the car back in July, two years ago( I feel so unproductive now that I've typed that out.), mostly just stripped it down to get ready to clean it, this has to be the filthiest car I have ever seen, the previous owner worked at a quarry so it's filled with dust from that place, as you can see in the photos.

Also has a fair amount of rust going on, drivers and passenger floor pans and rear wheel arches both sides. This was the first rust repair I was going to have to take care of.

With the interior out I could see it really needed some work, and will need a new headliner and carpets for sure, since I'm changing the color it was going to have to happen anyways.

So here are the pics and a link to the gallery.

t25torx
t25torx New Reader
5/31/13 9:13 a.m.

This is the first area I patched up on the car. Remember that I'm working with a 110v Crafstman Gasless Fluxcore welder so it's not perfect looking. Getting it down low enough to not burn through the sheet metal was a real pain, I ended up having to go take a hobby welding class to teach me the ways of the flux and arc.

From this -

To This

t25torx
t25torx New Reader
5/31/13 9:24 a.m.

I was able to get all the rust and holes patched on the rear of the car, so it was time to move on to the floorpans. That was going to be a fun little venture.

The drivers side of the car had more rust on it in the wheel arches seen here, so I had to make a lot of patch panels for this side, thankfully they will be covered up by the new carpet.

And my finished patch panels. Not factory fresh but It's not going to be a show vehicle so that'll do pig.

t25torx
t25torx New Reader
5/31/13 9:26 a.m.

I had to strip out the dash to get to rust on the firewall, and I also wanted to remove main wiring harness. I weeded through the harness and removed the SRS computer and sensors, I'm not a big fan of airbags and I haven't decided if I am going to be using the stock steering wheel anyways.

t25torx
t25torx New Reader
5/31/13 9:30 a.m.

After I finally got motivated enough to start hacking up the passenger side floor pan and start fabbing up a new one it didn't take too long to get it done. That old pan was just rotten to the core, along with the firewall area next to heater box. It took some time but I got it all welded up, and then it was time to move on the the drivers side.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave MegaDork
5/31/13 9:35 a.m.

Nice - Looking forward to seeing how this develops...

t25torx
t25torx New Reader
5/31/13 9:37 a.m.

After the drivers side was all welded up i broke out the grinder and started to remove the sound deadener off the floor pans and prep it for painting. I was still planning on turning it into a race car at this point and just used tractor enamel brushed to give it a nice shiny coat.

t25torx
t25torx New Reader
5/31/13 9:42 a.m.

I also got these GTA door panels that will be replacing the flat, bland, Camaro panels, along with a new rubber seal kit for the doors, windows, trunk, and under hood.

The front bumper cover has seen better days along with the front GFX panel,

GTA Panels

Old Camaro panels

t25torx
t25torx New Reader
5/31/13 9:47 a.m.

After much cursing, bleeding, and cutting I got the old drum,open diff unit out. I also had to cut out the lower control arms since all the bolts were rusted solid. Once that was out of the way it was time to bolt up the new 4th gen Z28 rear end, lower control arms and panhard rod. I also took this time to slip some used 4th gen Z28 shocks and springs in there. The installation went smooth as silk, I still need to get some handbrake cables to finish it up. Then I can check that off the list.

Next up is getting it prepped for paint. I purchased all the stuff to get it prepped and have it taped up and ready to prime the jams and cut in the doors. I also got some seam sealer to redo the drip tray under wiper assembly. I have a ton of prep work ahead but I hope to get it painted before the end of this year, hell, my plan is to get it all done before the end of this year!

On to the pics!

t25torx
t25torx New Reader
5/31/13 9:54 a.m.

And that's the way it sits right now. I'm actually going to have to back track a little and put the doors,hood and hatch back on it in order to transport it down to FL when we move in about a month. It's been so long ago I hope I can remember what bolts go where, DOH! I told myself I would label everything as it came off the car, but I was slacking and just put them in a big rubbermaid box /shame. Let that be a lesson for me. Once it's safely tucked away in it's new garage I can get it primed and painted.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
5/31/13 10:54 a.m.

Put that airbag back in and try the car at STX!

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku UltraDork
6/4/13 1:01 p.m.

Impressive effort. +100 for saving a classic! can't believe how bad that floor was... Do you have your RPO tag? I would love to get a look at it. Possible locations are under the console door and the rear compartment lids. Provided you still have these parts of course. Interested in any codes starting with "D" or "M".

t25torx
t25torx Reader
6/4/13 9:25 p.m.

I'll have to check and see if it's still in the glove box from the trunk panel. I think thats hwere they are in these cars. I could have sworn compnine was a free service at one time, I decoded my truck VIN there once and was going to do the same for the car.

petegossett
petegossett UberDork
6/5/13 5:34 a.m.

Wow, I haven't seen a vehicle that looked this decent, yet was so rusty underneath, since I had my Sidekick. I applaud your efforts to save this one!

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku UltraDork
6/5/13 8:16 a.m.
t25torx wrote: I'll have to check and see if it's still in the glove box from the trunk panel. I think thats hwere they are in these cars. I could have sworn compnine was a free service at one time, I decoded my truck VIN there once and was going to do the same for the car.

Actually I need those codes from a factory manual car. Decoding my auto won't help.

fornetti14
fornetti14 HalfDork
6/6/13 8:36 p.m.

I've been looking on CL for one of these and you don't see many 5-speeds.

I'd like to pick up a car like yours (after someone does all the metal work).

t25torx
t25torx Reader
6/6/13 8:44 p.m.
fornetti14 wrote: I've been looking on CL for one of these and you don't see many 5-speeds. I'd like to pick up a car like yours (after someone does all the metal work).

I'll sell it to you. Just come get it before I have to move it from TN to FL.

fornetti14
fornetti14 HalfDork
6/6/13 8:47 p.m.

Gah! Don't tempt me! I'd have no idea how to put it back together. TN is about a 10 hour trip (one way).
Why did you go with a RS instead of a Z28. Just curious.

t25torx
t25torx Reader
6/6/13 9:26 p.m.
fornetti14 wrote: Gah! Don't tempt me! I'd have no idea how to put it back together. TN is about a 10 hour trip (one way). Why did you go with a RS instead of a Z28. Just curious.

Availability. I couldn't find a Z28 with the 5 Speed, or if it had a 5 Speed it had T-Tops.. At this point I'm not sure I know how to put it back together It's been so long since I took it apart, I have a general idea, but I'll be looking at GM parts diagrams for sure, and pictures I can find online.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku UltraDork
6/7/13 8:39 a.m.

Yeah, 5 Speed cars are tough to find. That's why I'm doing a conversion on mine.

t25torx
t25torx Reader
6/7/13 8:57 a.m.
Gearheadotaku wrote: Yeah, 5 Speed cars are tough to find. That's why I'm doing a conversion on mine.

The original plan was for a 5.3 aluminum LS motor out of a Trailblazer EXT mated to a Muncie 4 speed. I had purchased a conversion bellhousing already, but I decided after doing all that rust repair I wanted to drive it on the street, instead of being a dedicated track car.

fornetti14
fornetti14 HalfDork
8/29/13 1:00 p.m.

Any updates? Is it running and driving? I've passed on a few cars locally due to rust.

Rust rust rust

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku UberDork
8/29/13 2:55 p.m.

Yeah, I'm curious too.

doc_speeder
doc_speeder Reader
8/29/13 11:10 p.m.

I really don't know much about these cars, other than that they were on the top of my wanted list when I got my DL. That was a long time ago, they were new cars then. I'd like one someday. Thanks for saving this one!

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