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Post Info TOPIC: 1988 Camaro - 4.3L V6 Engine Swap


BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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1988 Camaro - 4.3L V6 Engine Swap
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Hey everyone, Ben here. For anyone who doesn't know, my name is Ben Davis, and my dad is Richard (Slab). Looks like it is time to start a build thread  for my 1988 Camaro. But, before I get into the work, lets get some background information...

So I was 14 years old, and I was looking for a car. The Camaro that my dad had in his shop obviously rubbed off on me, but I couldn't afford a first gen. So the hunt was on. I looked at tons of Camaro's, but at the time, my dad was looking to do a LS swap into one of his Nova's. There was an ad showing a 1988 Camaro, with a LS motor, something like 1000 dollars. It was close by, so we went to have a look. The motor was rusty, iffy; didnt really think that it was the right motor for my dad, but we proceeded to look at the car anyways. We looked it over, ran a magnet over the body, and suprisingly, it was solid. We were certainly thinking of buying it. It had rims on it that we didn't necessarily want or need, but after a little haggling, we ended up buying the car and rims for 500 dollars. 

I had it towed home, and after a while, sold the rims for 280 dollars, bringing the total cost down to 220 dollars. I also painted it with some old paint that my dad donated to me, as it had to sit in the winter. Spring came, and the tear down began. And that is where I will start. 

These are the first photos I took, exactly how I bought it. I sanded it down and painted it so it could sit through the winter.

The next pictures are of the interior after I took it all out. 

Both my dad and I were surprised to find almost zero rust in the floors, frame, and exterior! A very pleasant surprise. 

I can't remember exactly when it happened, but a truck came up for sale. It was a 2000 Chevrolet S-10 X-Treme and we got a good deal on it. My dad said to me " If I get my money back out of the truck, you can have the motor and whatevers left". So I took the offer, and we brought the truck home. My dad did end up making his money back from the truck, so I was left with a motor, and all the hardware that goes along with it. Things were held up for a while, but eventually, the truck came in, and me and my dad ripped the whole thing apart, and pulled the motor and transmission out.

We put the motor and transmission in my car, and tacked in the engine mounts, however not long after it went in, it came out again.

^^^ In this above shot, I think I am putting the trannie-crossmember in.

After the motor came back out, I cracked open the transmission from the block, took a couple things apart, and after my dad modified out engine stand with a little extra support the engine went up on the stand, which is where it its now.

Recently, I have gotten some sandblasting and painting done. I did some brackets off the motor, a couple pulleys, the belt tensioner, the alternator bracket, and the waterpump. I also got some bolts done as well. 

So, that is about where the project stands at the moment. As soon as the truck box that my dad is working on is out of the shop however, we are going to go full steam ahead. Our current goal it to have the wiring organized and hopefully have the motor running in the car. We also hope to have the whole car finished for the Camaro nationals in st Catherines in June. 

Thanks everyone for reading the post. I hope that it is good enough to give a general idea of the project. Ill try to answer any questions and keep the thread updated the best I can. I am sure that my did will check through every once and a while as well. 

 Ben Davis

 



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TRENTON, ONT

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Greetings from Trenton!
It is good to see that you have started your own build thread. Looks like you did very good for getting a good solid car to start with. Always nice to have an almost rust free vehicle to start off with! Also nice to start with a car that easy to get parts for.

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Nice work Ben!

smilesmilesmilesmilesmile



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CLARINGTON, ONTARIO

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Great project! and great to have a project like that to share with your dad.

Many years ago I bought an '85 Trans am, the 305 had been swapped out for a 327, it was a 5 speed t-top car...solid no rust. I sold it when I bought my first house...it was a great decision at the time. I didn't really miss the car until recently...I have three kids, a mortgage and a very busy job...I guess those are the things that make you start to look back at your youth and long for some of the fun you used to have (don't get me wrong, I'd never trade anything I have to go back to that time...I just enjoy the memories).

One of my best friends had a black '88 Camaro, we had a riot in it too, you'll have lots of memories of yours when you get older and start to look back.



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ANCASTER, ONT

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Awesome Ben, I do love a thread with pictures

What colour do you have in mind for the beast?

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SARNIA, ONT

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Great job Ben.  Cool, cool, cool, my first car (and first project) was a also a blue Camaro, a 1977 Type LT.  Keep up the good work, Rhys. 



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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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I was very happy to start off with something that had no real major rust issues, especially since these cars tend to have a problem with the floors rotting out.

I think the car will be fun too, 2inchestoolow. It will certainly be a bonding experience between me and my dad!

Hey, Dave. At first I wanted green, but now I am thinking of a solid black color with some red highlights here and there. I bought custom made door panels that had Z28 written in red, and black always looks good!

Builderrhys, the 1970's and late second gen is what I am looking to get into next. Thanks for the encouragement too!

                                                                                                                      Update

I actually forgot something in the thread. I actually have parts that I bought, and I got some for christmas too. 

Recently, I bought a bunch of car parts, including

-Headliner                                                                                                      -Headers*

-Motor Mounts                                                                                                -Summit Racing Seats*

-Shift Kit and 4 speed Gate plate for a B&M Pro Stick                                     -Gasket Kit

-Custom Stiched Door Panels

-Front Suspension Parts (Ball Joints, Inner and outer Tie Rod Ends)

-Rear Suspension Bushings 

*Christmas Presents

 



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NORTH BAY, ONT

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Wow Ben your'e doing great!! Good bunch of neat stuff there you have bought!

Your'e very fortunate to have a dad to learn and work with,, so many young guys will never get that opportunity.

Keep us updated on your'e progress.

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Ben don't forget the frame connectors we traded some old Nova junk for!! The door panels were purchased at a great price by Ben from a fellow who had an Iroc and sold the project before he got to install them. He's learning how to wheel and deal a bit too with this project......now that's what HOTRODDING is all about right??!!

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AYLMER, ONT

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slab wrote:

Ben don't forget the frame connectors we traded some old Nova junk for!! The door panels were purchased at a great price by Ben from a fellow who had an Iroc and sold the project before he got to install them. He's learning how to wheel and deal a bit too with this project......now that's what HOTRODDING is all about right??!!


                 That's what it's ALL about Rich.



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MILTON, ONT

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Great Job Ben!!..and Rich...lol. I love that you have a smart plan in place with realistic goals and a target deadline. I can't wait for the day when you come and pick ME up to go to a swap meet. Keep up the good work.

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BRANTFORD, ONT

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Great Job Ben !

You are a great inspiration to your DADA.....keep motivating him to finish the Nova (s)

I have to stop by and see how your making out

I have a great welding bench I was going to get rid of.....do you want it? or have room for it?

Your price......FREE

Let me know

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ANCASTER, ONT

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Grumpsbodyworks wrote:

Great Job Ben !

You are a great inspiration to your DADA.....keep motivating him to finish the Nova (s)

I have to stop by and see how your making out

I have a great welding bench I was going to get rid of.....do you want it? or have room for it?

Your price......FREE

Let me know


 And I have a nice little vice you could bolt on to it. Free. I don't have anywhere to mount it



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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Me picking you up would be interesting, Kurt. I think the big block is a little more fun though   

Ill have to talk to my dad about the bench and the vice. I dont know if there is enough room in the shop right now, but ill let you know when I get conformation.

Thanks again for the positive comments everyone. Ill get back to work next week when I get back to my dads house.

Ps. Hows the truck box going dad?



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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Don't ask.....

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BRANTFORD, ONT

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Ok ill ask

Hows the truck box Rich?

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ONTARIO

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I heard "Box" and now I'm interested in this conversation !!

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ONTARIO

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Hey Ben,w00t.gif

Great to see that you're underway on your Camaro. It's good to see you and your dad working together side by side. Although, the pictures always show you working and dad snapping pictures.confuse Working on your first car, will give you an appreciation and satisfaction, that the majority of young people your age, will never know. Keep up the great work Sir. 

Your OldGuy Buddy Joe.sleep.gif

Ps. If you're thinking of painting the car yellow with red flames, we're gonna need to talk.whisper.gif



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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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OldGuy 71Acadian wrote:

Ps. If you're thinking of painting the car yellow with red flames, we're gonna need to talk.whisper.gif


 No, that will not happen hahaha. Thanks for the encouragement. Hope to get some more work done this week. Ill post some more pictures once that happens. 

Grumps- I dont need the welding bench, there is no room in the shop for it. Thanks for the offer though.

Dave- Same situation, now I dont have something to put the vice on, but thank you very much. 



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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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OldGuy 71Acadian wrote:

Hey Ben,w00t.gif

Ps. If you're thinking of painting the car yellow with red flames, we're gonna need to talk.whisper.gif


 I've got left over paint to paint it yellow with red flames!!!biggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrin



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MILTON, ONT

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Oldguy 

Hi Joe

and Dad stop fighting over the colour! we all know he is going to paint it PURPLE...Just Say'n



-- Edited by 69SS454 on Sunday 3rd of November 2013 08:34:26 AM

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ONTARIO

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69SS454 wrote:

Oldguy 

Hi Joe

and Dad stop fighting over the colour! we all know he is going to paint it PURPLE...Just Say'n



-- Edited by 69SS454 on Sunday 3rd of November 2013 08:34:26 AM


 See Ben, Pop wants ta paint it so that you can only drive it in Stoney Creek and Kurt wants you to put a life sized doll of Barney the Dinosaur in the passenger seat.jawdrop.gifomfg.gifshocked.giffrustrated.gifevileye.gifrofl.gifrofl.gifrofl.gif



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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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I guess the only thing left to ask is what do YOU want, Joe!!??

-- Edited by 66-67-88Chevy on Saturday 9th of November 2013 11:43:32 PM

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ONTARIO

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66-67-88Chevy wrote:

I guess the only thing left to ask is what do YOU want, Joe!!??

-- Edited by 66-67-88Chevy on Saturday 9th of November 2013 11:43:32 PM


Well, I'm happy you asked young man. Colour and graphics are a very personal decision. I myself, prefer a solid colour and chrome accents, but that's just me. I have seen lots of cars that look fantastic in a two tone, while others have wild paint jobs that also look great. In the case of Kurt, it wouldn't matter what colour his car was, it's my duty as his friend ta rag on him a little. Hey Kurt  nana.gif Same goes for yer Pop. Hey Rich nana.gif So with all that being said, here is one fer you, my young friend.  Hey Ben nana.gif

There, now love has been spread throughout the valley. Keep up the good work Ben.biggrinbiggrinbiggrin

 



-- Edited by OldGuy 71Acadian on Sunday 17th of November 2013 08:24:06 AM

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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The Problem

 

The Solution

Ill write some more details of the adventure later when I have some time. 



-- Edited by 66-67-88Chevy on Saturday 23rd of November 2013 12:34:57 PM

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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I'll give some details...............
2.8l multiport automatic car with 119k on it. Rust free!!! Trip to Barrie to pick it up, blasted by snow, but made it home safe and sound. Seller was going "on Base" and was a young paramedic in the army. Very nice honest guy. Car is original paint and came with a new dash pad. I won't steal anymore of Ben's story(I'm pretty surprised and excited about the car too!LOL)

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NORTH BAY, ONT

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Nice car. Like those bicycle wheel clothes line pulleys. They are the best, used them for years.

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MILTON, ONT

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Making me proud Ben...And so it starts...buy one car...then a second to use as parts for the first...then a third to fix the second and before you know it...

 

camaro_firebird_junkyard.jpg

 

And thats just the front yard!



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CLINTON, ONT

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Wonderful project    keep up the good work   I love Camaros    

 

 

 

 

 

100_3111.jpg heres # 13  



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BADEN, ONT

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69SS454 wrote:

Making me proud Ben...And so it starts...buy one car...then a second to use as parts for the first...then a third to fix the second and before you know it...

 

camaro_firebird_junkyard.jpg

 

And thats just the front yard!


 You've owned lot's of Chevy's then?

 

Hey Ben, that new Camaro looks really sweet! Really nice clean car, I'm impressed with the interior, the red usually turns orange or pinkish looking.

Congrats on the new find.



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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Let me explain the problem....

The 2000 S10 extreme 4.3 engine has a computer much different(I believe ) than an LS engine which everyone is swapping. Ben and I saved every pc. of wiring out of that S10 and that is the mess on the floor and around the engine. What we found out a bit too late is that everything seems to be plugged into that computer. The LS computers(maybe not all) are almost a stand alone engine computer(so I have been led to believe) the one we have is not. The other limiting factor is the E-test that the 88 will need.  We were over our heads and trying to come up with a new plan. 

While considering all options/solutions , Ben found this car on the interweb. This 1987 will be Ben's new project (though it doesn't need much).  Ben says to me that the 1988 was not a mistake because he has very little money tied up into it compared to the Knowledge and experience he gained from all the effort he put into it.  The 1988 will be sold (anyone want to buy a great race car shell???)  and since he only spent money on a few parts that were specific to the 4.3 and that 88 , they will be sold to help with the new project. 

There ya go Ben...Saved ya some typing...LOL 



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BRANTFORD, ONT

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Ben

Congrats! You have now learned lesson 2 of cars!

WHEN SOMETHING BETTER COMES ALONG. JUMP ON IT!!!

Your smart to buy another camaro. You already have a ton parts

I d jeep the camaro Throw in a v8. And a cage and race it at OSHWEKEN!

Yourself in street stock

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Thanks again for all of the positive feedback.

Kurt- Until I get my own place, I dont think that would ever happen. I think even dad might freak!!

We were actually thinking of making the car into a drag car, but at the moment, I think i need to re-stock my bank account.

Either or, I have a problem with the new car. Its transmission is stuck in gear. When you start it, when you take your foot off the brake, even with the ebrake on, it starts to roll foreward. Now that arouses different problems. If its in gear, why does it start (if the neutral safety switch is on the shifter itself, then that makes sense, because the shifter was in park when we started it). When we move the shifter, the cable moves, but the lever on the transmission does not move. We were also able to roll the car while it was in gear by hand. Finaly, when trying to manually shift the transmission into and out of gears (we wanted it in neutral so we could push it), multiple settings didnt change the fact that is still wants to roll forward. Dad put it into what he thought to be neutral, but when it was on the ground, we fired it up and forward it goes. Any one have any ideas about what that is all about? Thanks

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ONTARIO

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2 shifter cables on that car. One to the steering column that activates the switching and interlocks, and one to the trans. Check for movement at the transmission linkage. If the cable is moving at the transmission, the linkage inside may be broken.



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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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While I was under the car, I had Ben move the shifter in the car. The cable moves but doesn't move the arm on the trans. I was able to move the arm(lever) by hand but it didn't seem to make a difference as to it being in drive or neutral . I am a bit puzzled by this (but it was snow squawls and freezing when I was under the car on the trailer) because if I had it in neutral when we rolled it off the trailer, then why when we started it did it start pulling forward ?? On the other hand , if I didn't have it in neutral would it have rolled off the trailer?? I am inclined to believe something internal is off. Still guessing though.  Oh yeah...the car drove up onto the trailer.
Any ideas??



-- Edited by slab on Sunday 24th of November 2013 01:46:40 PM

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Hey Dad. Mr. Darling seemed to think that it was something internal as well. If there is no trannie fluid, it wont shift, and inside, there is multiple valve and clicker things.

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Ben.. Car needs an appraisal to register. Campbell tire will do it but we have to take it there. They figured it would come off the trailer in gear just like it was in neutral. I may have not had it in neutral after all. But it shouldn't move if it was in park. We will need to get it in the shop quick Sat. and try and put the new shifter in then get it to Campbell's for the appraisal.


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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Going to switch the shifter cable from the 1988 Camaro to the 1987 tomorrow and see if that fixes up my transmission issue.

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Went out in the morning and took the shifter cable off of the 1988 Camaro. It was in good condition still and was the exact same. Moved the 1987 into the shop today. Grumps came over, and i drove it across the street and did a donut in the snow! Took it back, and got it back in the shop. Found that the old shifter cable was torn completely and was frayed like crazy. After I changed the cable, I fired it up, put it in reverse, and it went back! Put it in neutral, gave it gas, and it didnt move. Solved my problem with a free part from my other car. So after a burnout chant, I did my first burnout in the presence of Grumps and my Dad. Fun stuff. Car was an amazing deal. Also pulled some crappy purple window tint off the window, and fixed my radio. Very productive, and fun Saturday.

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BRANTFORD, ONT

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Great car Ben !!!!

Proud to watch you fix the car yourself

GOOD JOB BEN !!!!!!

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SOUTH RIVER, ONT

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Nice job



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BRANTFORD, ONT

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I DID MY FIRST BURNOUT !

I thought you were stuck in the snow!

I DID DOUGHNUTS!

I thought you weent following your GPS!

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Grumpsbodyworks wrote:

I DID MY FIRST BURNOUT !

I thought you were stuck in the snow!

I DID DOUGHNUTS!

I thought you weent following your GPS!


 He's still holding to his story that he didn't mean to do the doughnut!!!

It was kinda fun heckling him while he got that shifter cable put in!!biggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrin

Your timing yesterday was perfect Grumps. Picked a great day to stop in!

 

The plan we came up with was to start doing mechanical and cleaning up the engine bay and underneath until around March.  Then start the body and paint so that we don't have to heat the shop up for the painting steps. We still need the car done for the Camaro Nat's in June.



-- Edited by slab on Sunday 1st of December 2013 09:12:10 AM

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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took the car over to get an appraisal today. Gotta go get the appraisal form tomorrow

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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So I guess my car (When i first got it without the transmission working) was worth 1000 dollars. I practilly stole the car at 550. Sooo.... I did get some work done on it. I cleaned up the rad support, the air intake assembly, and started on the passenger side wheel well. I dont have any before pictures, but I have a picture of the drivers side untouched wheel well. Picture that crap everywhere! dohdohdoh

The little grey sections are where it is starting to surface rust, but it is covered by the radiator overflow jug, so you dont see them.

Other wheel well. What a difference it makes.

Because the camera is not that good quality, the plastic doesnt look the best but looks literally new in person.

^^^ That above one is just reference nothing special.

^^^ Looks like I found an old picture. All of the old oil spray and gunk is gone now. Paint is still fresh looking and in good condition as well. AWESOME CAR. 

 



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DORCHESTER, ONT

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Ah, youthful enthusiasm. Wish I had some....even just a little bit. Nice goin', Keep it up!

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MILTON, ONT

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Great Job Ben...Very excited for you.

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Fordy Acres Car Farm wrote:

Ah, youthful enthusiasm. Wish I had some....even just a little bit. Nice goin', Keep it up!





Couldn't find Ben the other night...looked all over the house....He was out in the shop, cleaning the car!! smilesmile

-- Edited by slab on Thursday 5th of December 2013 06:29:21 PM

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BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Hey everyone. Feels likes its been forever since I posted last. I got a lot of work done on the car today, as well as having a good visit with old guy. I basically cleaned all of the passenger side wheelwell, frame and firewall. I also removed the heater box, cleaned it, and put it back on too. Ignore the dirty wiring casing, I will be changing that later. Unfortunately, for now, it takes away from the rest of the clean stuff. 

This junk is how it started, and it is even worse in some of the previous pictures.

Removed the heater box, this is what it looked like with it out. 

Cleaned all around it, and behind where it was sitting. There was some dirt specs here and there. 

Here are a couple pictures of the firewall behind the motor. Im going to take the wiper motor off, and continue cleaning around Monday. 

And finally, a picture of the heater box all cleaned up and back in the car. 

So, it looks pretty good, huh? The pictures dont look as good as it does in real life. Its cleaning really nice though, and the paint underneath is still untouched and basically mint, aside from the surface rust and bubbles here and there. Like I said, I will try to get some more done on monday. School ends on the thursday, so I can work on it all day friday, and from then on, I can motor away on it. Dads got a couple weeks off too, so we can start the front steering components. I have new inner and outer tie rod ends, ball joints, and sway bar endlinks to put on, gotta sand blast a bunch of other parts too. 



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Ben Davis - 1987 Camaro

http://imgur.com/a/L4LjK#0



BRANT COUNTY, ONT

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Hey everyone. I got some more work done on the Camaro tonight. I pulled the wiper motor, and cleaned the firewall behind that. I moved along, and cleaned the air chamber thing (correct me if I'm wrong; think that's what its called, what's before the master cylinder, the black thing). I then removed some of the sensors on the bracket, and cleaned behind it too. I then moved along the wheel well, and thats where I stopped; its getting really dirty and hard to get off, I decided to call it quits.

Anyways, heres the pictures....

An Overview 

Passenger Side

Firewall

More firewall (black thing in the left corner of picture is what I was talking about, pleas fill me in).

Wheel Well (drivers)

Whats Left.......

What a difference it makes. The paint is in good condition too. Soon the boring cleaning pictures and stuff will end, and I can get onto some more interesting things. 

 



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Ben Davis - 1987 Camaro

http://imgur.com/a/L4LjK#0

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