My Camaro

page 37


Status june 2007

After I got the subframe to the Garage I came to the conclusion the body was the first job I had to start on. Cleaning and painting the underside of the body is hardly possible once the subframe and rear suspension are mounted. So I started scraping 36 years worth of dirt and grease from the body. Some parts were relatively easy since leaks made oil penetrate the thick layer of dirt and made it somewhat soft. Other parts that were dry were very hard to get off and required some force which is a hard job lying on your back and stretching your arm. (otherwise all dirt falling down would land in my face) I did use some protection, a cap, a mask and sometimes goggles. This is a dirty job and it takes a lot of time but I like the result. Most parts of the body (sofar) are still covered in the original paint from the factory under all the dirt. Some areas have surface rust, but nothing serious.

After scraping I used cloths with laquer thinner for further cleaning and degreasing, then I light sanded to make sure the POR15 will hold. Last part before painting is degreasing with brake cleaner spray cans, best and easiest way to do so. Since POR15 cannot be kept too long once opened I decided to first paint the first section I cleaned which is the firewall down to rear mounting points for the subframe. If you decide to use POR15 read the instructions carefully, the preparation of the surface you are painting is the key to a good job (as with other paints). When they say only time will remove POR from your skin they aren't lying!! So I was very carefully when painting above my head, I didn't want to walk around with black spots on my face for days. It is really starting to look good now and it is clean which makes putting it all back together a much nicer job.

I made a cardboard template to block off the holes in the firewall left by the airco unit, now only I need to go out and buy some sheetmetal. Once that is in place I will go over all seams with seam sealer and put another layer of paint on the firewall. I testfitted some parts I cleaned and painted like the steering column, wiper motor, brake pedal and hydraboost to see how it will look and to get those big/heavy parts out of my shed since they take up loads of space.

Every part that is not standard will get you into changing more parts. The Zoops aluminum brackets look very nice and allow you to allign all pulleys. But the alternator bracket is designed for the GM 10SI type and not the CS-130 I am using so I had to make a new bracket (see page page 30. When mounting the upper radiator hose I found it also interferes with the alternator pulley/belt, another point I have to address. Within the original design of the Zoops brackets the old style Saginaw pump is mounted in such a way that the filling cap is under the alternator bracket with no way of getting the cap off to measure/fill. A REALLY DUMB design IMO! By the looks of it they have made a change in their design since all new kits have the pump mounted at an angle with the filler cap pointing away from the motor.

This lead me to get a newer style pump with the reservoir mounted on the side of it which lead me to a new aluminum pulley since the old doesn't fit and a new fitting for the power steering pressure hose. (I might buy the DSE banjo/hardline to get around the reservoir)

When I mounted the motor I found out that the new steering pump hits the steering box :-( So now I am modifying an expensive aluminum bracket to get it all to work in my car. I drilled new holes to mount the pump closer to the motor and away from the steering box. Then I had to cut it shorter and make a notch in it to clear one mounting point of the pump.

Now I still need to test fit it again and see if it will work, then finish it of and polish it. I know I have to modify the tensioning rod too, but that should not be too hard (I hope). If I had only known............I would have bought a different kit. But as they say: hindsight is 20-20. I just count this in as "learning curve".

So another few steps closer to the finish, now I have to crawl back under and start cleaning again....

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