Camaro Revival! Part 1. Trying To Bring Some Life Back Into An Old Muscle Car.
40 Years of New England weather have not been kind to her...
Before I start, if anyone is interested in watching me get this Camaro back up and running Via YouTube, here is the video below and maybe think about subscribing for more Camaro content along with many other old cars I have laying around.
I would also would like to thank my sponsors, my bad decisions and beer for helping me deal with these old clapped out cars over the years. If it wasn't for them, I don't know where I would be. Maybe in something reliable.
So I have owned this car for about 10 years now and it's time to actually start addressing things before they get worse and start to put some love back into it after slaying it for so many years. I rebuilt the front end, added new polyurethane bushings in control arms, threw in some new ball joints, tied it all together with some 2 inch lowering springs. I also decided to replace everything in the steering rack as well. Everything was so worn out and made the driving sloppy. Once I replaced all that, she steered like she was new again. No more fighting to keep it straight going down the road and at that time, it was good enough for now but that was back in 2019. It's 2021, I needed to start addressing more thing. Things I just kind of dealt with over the years but not anymore.
It's been years since she has had a proper oil change, the turn signals work when they want to, fuel gauge doesn't work anymore, there is a fuel leak, and I have some serious frame rot that needs to be addressed.
First step was a much needed oil change. I think last time I changed it, it was back in 2018 I believe. Oil is oil but I figured it was time to change it. It was a bit overdue. I drove it up on the lift and started to get to work. When I drained that oil, it was blacker than midnight inside a coffin. Yep.. Way overdue. Once I drained that out, I slapped a new oil filter in place of the old one and added some fresh oil. I'm sure that 350 cubic inch small block thanked me.
After that, I had to address the turn signal issue. Passenger side flashed somewhat but very slow. Drivers side would just stay solid. Flashing indication or anything. I was hoping this was going to be a cheap and easy fix, and it was. I bought a new flasher relay for the car and swapped it out, boom! Good as new! Only downside was that I had a burnt out turn signal bulb in the trunk and I lost the keys to the car a couple years ago and only replaced the ignition key cylinder and not the one for the doors and trunk. I didn't have anything important in the trunk so i just left it locked and the doors unlocked. If you really wanted a clapped out Camaro that bad to steal mine, you deserved it.
Up next was to find out why the fuel gauge did not work and to swap clusters. I wanted a cluster with a 130 mph speedometer and not the stock 85 mph one that most cars came stock with. This cluster also had a tachometer built into it along with other gauges like temp gauge, volt meter gauge, and an oil pressure gauge. The previous cluster I had in the car only had dummy lights.
But, before I went any farther. I was going to drop the fuel tank and take a look at the sending unit. I found out the sending unit on the tank was also rusted and leaking and needed replacing. Also, the ground strap was disconnected and rusted heavily, which explains why the fuel gauge stopped working. Once I drained all the fuel and dumped it in my other vehicles (can't let anything go to waste around here.) I dropped the tank, getting it ready to replace it with a new sending unit.
I did also drill out the old lock on the trunk just to be able to get to it and see what was inside. As soon as I popped it open. It stunk like dead mice. I vacuumed out all the mouse nests and mouse poop left behind from the recent tenants of when it was sitting in the backyard for a couple years and when I moved the carpet, I found the air line to the air shocks. Air shocks where a big thing in the 70's and 80's. You would fill up the valve stem with air and when you did that, it would raise the ride height of the rear end a few inches to give it a badass stance when you went down the road. When I added air to mine, they actually worked! I was really surprised! Those air shocks were older than me and they still hold air!
Now for the major reason why I also dropped the tank. These second gen Camaros are prone to rear subframe rot and my car was not spared. Where the leaf spring shackle meets the subframe is all rotted out at the bottom. This was pretty serious as I did not want it to get any worse or have the subframe completely break with one good bump when driving. I am still deciding if I should try and tackle this issue by myself as I can somewhat weld, or hire a professional who has years behind the welder to replace the rot and see what their input is.
But stay tuned for part two of this Camaro revival. Check me out on other social medias like Instagram for more up-to-date content. Think about subscribing to me on YouTube if you're actually diggin' the revival and other builds I have going on. But for now, I gotta get back to my shop and keep on, keepin on with this project camaro so I'll see you in the next article.