My Camaro

page 57


After making plans and gathering parts it was time to get to work, I actually started in the last week of 2017 since I had a few days off from work. The plans: remove the TH350 automatic 3 speed and install the T56 6 speed manual gearbox, to make better use of the double overdrive change the rear axle from 2.73 gears and a Powertrax locker to 3.73 gears and a limited slip and finally remove the Propane (LPG set-up and install fuel injection (EFI). Turned out this is a big amount of work all together!

First I removed the rear axle and disassembled it, I took out the Powertrax so I could sell it. I cleaned up the rear discs and painted them.

The connectors I bought for the reverse lights, lockout solenoid and speed signal from the transmission came with a short piece of wire attached. I soldered longer wires to them so I can connect them in the car later. I took the old mechanical speedometer out of the dash and mounted the new electronic one. Pulled an extra wire for the speed signal and made all the necessary connections.

One thing that bothered me was the battery tray, I secured the battery with a tie-down strap, it worked but looked cheap. I made some modifications using sheet metal and also mounted a main power switch to it.

Lars and I removed the LPG/Propane set-up and sold it.

When I was working under the hood I knew I had to install a new wiring harness for the EFI and make some modifications to the existing wiring. I used to wrap my wiring looms with electrical tape which works fine and looks okay.... but now I have bought these black woven nylon sleeves.... looks a lot better and works nice. The cooling fans now have connectors in the wiring for easy removal. I also added a relay box to get rid of all the loose components.

The EFI requires a coolant temperature sensor and my intake had a provision for one next to the thermostat housing. Only 1 problem... the steel NPT plug that was in there was stuck. I had to drill it out, use a NPT tap to repair the threads and then I was able to install an adapter. How sometimes these simple jobs can turn into a big pain. The thermostat housing I had made the upper radiator hose interfere with the sensor, a swivel thermostat housing solved that problem.

The vaporizer of the LPG system was tied into the coolant system but since I took it out I could re-route the heater hoses over the inner fender. Using hose couplers made lengthening the existing heater hoses easy.

The conversion to a manual transmission required an extra pedal, to mount it I needed to take out the pedal hanger and to do that also the steering column had to come out. A DSE bracket for the hydraulic clutch master cylinder fitted nice but I modified it so I had a nice seal to the firewall. The rod on the hydraulic master had to be shortened. Due to the extra thickness of the clutch master bracket the nuts I had to fasten the Hydroboost were too short. My stepdad Willem can really make anything so he made me some custom nuts and a special bolt to mount the master to the pedal.

I took out the original fuel tank, the electric pump, hoses and pressure regulator and installed a new EFI tank with internal fuel pump.

I don't have much space to work's tight but I managed to remove the transmission. I started cutting a hole for the shifter in the transmission tunnel, then mounted the bellhousing and slid the T56 under the car. I had to lift it on the small scissor jack I have from my motorcycle building days. Not easy laying on the floor with little space to work in... once it was on I lifted the trans in place and slid the new transmission crossmember underneath it. The T56 fits the tunnel without modifications and also the x-member is a direct fit....Nice!! Cut a hole in the tunnel for the shifter, then I made a sheetmetal plate to hold down the shifter boot and screwed it in place with some self tapping screws....tunnel closed :-) I made an extension for the shifter I had... it was too short and the wrong thread size for the shifter knob. I welded a bolt with the head to a nut that fits the shifter so I could screw on the extension. Shifter location is pretty good now I think :-) The red button is to activate the reverse lockout solenoid which prevents accidentally shifting into reverse when selecting 6th gear.

I took out the rear axle and had it rebuilt with new 3.73 gears and an Auburn limited slip differential. The T56 is longer than the TH350 so I needed shorter driveshaft. I could have had the original shortened but for just a little bit more money I now have an aluminum one.

The Holley Sniper EFI looks good and is easy to install. I ran the new fuel lines from the tank and installed the wiring. Welded an exhaust bung for the O2 sensor and ran the car. Only thing was the exhaust was hanging too low so I redid it and gained a lot of ground clearance. The gas pedal required a lot of force and was hard to control. I changed the linkage on the sniper to a progressive linkage which made it so much nicer to drive.

Another thing I did once I was able to buy the 3rd garage in the row is take down the walls, this will make working on the cars so much easier. Where I had to struggle with the lack of space in the past I now have plenty! :-)

Almost 2019 now, I will just drive the Camaro and work on finishing the Nova. I need to finish the wheels, mount tires and put them on. Once that's done I will focus on dent and rust repair, but that might be for 2020.



You can reach me by e-mail at: pro-touring @ hotmail .com