My Camaro

page 34


Status januari 2007

The rear axle is painted with POR15 now and looks like new! I also installed the Richmond Gear Powertrax No-Slip unit so spinning just 1 wheel is a thing of the past. After cleaning the brake lines and the emergency brake cables I took the rear brake calipers apart for a good cleaning and some black paint to match the front. I used Motip brake caliper paint which is nice stuff to work with. The package consist of a spray can brake clean, paint, paint hardener (it's a 2K paint) and a small brush. It is easy to apply and looks pretty good for something applied with a brush, it "flows out" nicely. The motor is also painted with this paint since it should be heat resistant and I could apply it with a brush. That saved me masking a bunch of stuff and overspray problems.

Whilst I was in the garage to get parts for cleaning/painting I took out the transmission. When I have time (and space) to work on the tranny I can just go and pick it up. It still works good, it just leaks so I will replace the seals and maybe paint it silver so dirt will not stick to it anymore.

Also the subframe is separated from the body again. When I get my ball joint splitter I will take the suspension apart and get it ready for paint (POR15). All ball joints are still in perfect condition since I replaced them during the 1st build. I only need to replace a few dust boots cause a few were damaged. I really notice a difference between the first time I took the car apart and this time. When I assembled it I coated all nuts and bolts with copper grease so everything comes loose with minimum effort now.

Another job is to make a template for the firewall. With a proper template I can cut a steel piece that can cover all holes left by the original AC. Most people weld those pieces in, but I can't weld myself and don't have sufficient power in my garage for a welder to come by and do the job for me. I did some research and decided I will glue in the piece with high quality (industrial) adhesive. Since it is not a structural piece and adhesives nowadays are even used to glue cars, boats and planes together I think it is a good option. This way I will not be depending on someone else for this job and it will be cheaper than hiring someone to do it for me, even with expensive adhesive. I have not seen it actually done before so I will make a proper report with my findings once I get this done.

Cleaning is the worst part of working on a car......it's dirty work and takes a lot of time! But it is also rewarding seeing an old part cleaned and painted. When mounting all the parts back on the car you know why you go through all this trouble.

I found a steering pump that will (probably) work with my billet alternator bracket. The original pump has the reservoir "around" it with the filling cap right above the pump. With the bracket located right above the cap opening it is impossible. The new pump has a plastic reservoir on the side so I think it will work.

Also the steering column, shaft and coupler have been detailed. I polished the top part of the column and painted the rest. A foam layer is glued on the metal mounting plate of the column to get a good seal of the firewall. I removed the old cause it was deteriorated, cleaned and prepped the metal and glued on a new foam layer. Since the rubber cover on the shaft was broken I regreased the shaft and covered it with a new rubber boot. The coupler allready had a new rubber disc cause I replaced it before so I just took it apart and painted it.

All brackets for the E-brake cables and the drive shaft are coated in POR15 now.(Driveshaft needs a new coat after sanding to get it smooth)

The old Optima yellow top I had bought second hand lasted a few years but finally died on me. As I was happy with it's performance I wanted the same battery again, but they are expensive. A guy I knew from a forum was selling new red tops for a very good price...so I got me one.

I just ordered a new mixer (gascarb) so I can run on LPG (propane) and still have full power. After going back and forth with my plans between running fuel injection, LPG or a combination of the 2 I concluded the following:

Gasoline will give more power normally. With a bi fuel system neither gasoline or LPG will provide full power since the mixer (on top of the carb) is a reduction in the airflow. A mono LPG system with a good mixer can give allmost full power with the benefit of the high octane number of LPG. (I have 10.5:1 compression) LPG is cheap, about 2.5 times cheaper then gasoline and readily available throughout the country which will allow me to drive the car more often, even daily if wanted. I can replace the original fuel tank with an extra LPG tank to increase milage, they can be found easily and cheap second hand. The LPG system I allready have performed good during the year I drove daily and I hardly drove the car on gasoline. To switch to 100%LPG the only change I would have to make would be the mixer.

There are some special LPG (propane) systems on the market so I have done a lot of research on the subject. I came to Technocarb and was impressed with their mixer so I ordered it. I found someone on the internet that had used the same mixer (with 2 vapourizers) and made 520HP@6000RPM on a 6Liter LS2 engine so it should be sufficient for my application. When my vapourizer is not capable of feeding my engine I can allways add a second one.

Untill the first testdrive I will not be able to tell about the actual performance but I am not too worried about that.

Some background on LPG..... Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) consist of mainly propane (C3H8) and butane (C4H10). In The Netherlands the mix during winter is 50/50-70/30 and during summer 40/60-70/30. A high propane mixture works best in colder areas and a high butane mix is better in warmer areas. LPG is a byproduct from refining oil, but also is created in Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) breakers. Under pressure or cooled LPG can be kept or transported since it is liquid then. Under normal atmosferic conditions it is a gas. LPG has a high octane number: 103-104,5 RON (Research Octane Number) at a 50/50 mix. LPG looses some power compared to gasoline but it is just a few percent. LPG is a clean fuel that mixes better with air and this better mixture results in cleaner exhaust gasses. An engine running on LPG stays cleaner inside, has cleaner oil (less pollution) and the exhaust will live longer. LPG is heavier then air so a gastight installation and good ventilation are a must. An engine running on LPG should have hardened valve seats.

At the moment I am working on the radiator support and fitting the aluminum radiator, airco condenser, transmission cooler and the electric fans. The fit of the (universal) radiator I had wasn't what I wanted, I would have to cut part of the radiator top mount plate and that would not look so nice. I decided to sell this one (again invest some more) and buy one that is specially made to fit my car without cutting. The airco condenser is in place, I didn't like the universal brackets that came with it and made new mounting brackets from aluminum tube. I clamped the tube in a vise to create a flat end for mounting and am pleased with the way they turned out. Some finishing still needs to be done on the brackets but here's an early picture to show how it will look.

So far for this (rather big) update. Now the waiting for my newly bought parts start but I won't sit still.....

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You can reach me by e-mail at: camaro-rs@planet.nl