A couple of other things I’ve taken care of recently.
…and some gauges, since the stock instrumentation is just idiot lights:
The car came with a set of rally rims including trim rings and center caps. As other details of the car came together, the center caps started looking a bit rough by comparison. I’m not looking for a 100% concours restoration, I just want it to look cleaner.
First step was pulling the cap and scrubbing the loose paint and dirt off of it. I hit it with a toothbrush and some brakleen spray, and that did a decent job.
Next step was masking it off a bit before painting
Then I hit it with some satin black paint
Then I uncovered the top and gave that a quick spray to fill in the lettering
Then I wiped the paint off of the face with a paper towel and a little brakleeen spray. A couple of passes, and the paint was removed from the face completely.
Next step was carefully wiping the paint off of the ribs on the cap, again using a paper towel and a little solvent spray.
The inner panel has one large hole that the light housing sticks through, plus two small holes for the mounting studs. The large hole is 1-7/8” in diameter, and I didn’t have that size, so I had to wait for that to arrive in the mail.
I made a wooden template from a 2×4 to locate pilot holes for the three. I goofed on the orientation of the holes on the RH side and didn’t realize it until the first test fit with the lamp. Oh well…two extra holes.
a quick spray to seal up the bare metal, and on to final assembly.
A little touch up and… just need to hook up the wiring.
This was not originally an RS model Camaro. I’m pretty sure it was a base model, and someone transferred parts to it from a wrecked RS.
The base model taillights have one red and one white lens. The RS taillights have two red lenses, and the reverse lights go in the tailpan.
The base model tailpan has no holes…so I’m cutting holes.
To pass inspection, I had temporarily mounted the RS lamps to the bumper:
The left-right position is centered under each taillight. I measured 47 times and got the center lines mapped out.
from there, I found some templates online that showed the top edge of the holes should be 4.25” below the ridge on the tailpan (behind the bumper)
Then I drilled holes in the corners, and cut it out with a cutting disc.
still to come: cutting the other side and drilling the holes in the inner tailpan panel
It took me 21 months to go from this:
I managed to get the console installed finally…
There was a bit of last minute drama when the dashboard ashtray did not fit correctly, and the screws for the bracket are much much MUCH easier to get to with the console out, so I decided to spent a little time on that.
Somehow the previous owner had managed to screw up the opening so it was rounded on the sides. I am still puzzled about why this was done. I could believe the radio hole getting cut out to a larger rectangle, but that section of the dash is intact. Why (and how?) they rounded the sides of the ashtray opening I will never understand.
I took the face plate off of the dash, and poked at it a bit, enough to get the bracket to aim the ashtray low enough to actually seat into the opening.
I also did some caveman hammer-and-dolly work on the trim plate to get that sort of back into shape again. Someday I’ll get the ashtray fitting better and I’ll spring for a new trim plate, but it’s good enough for now.
I buttoned it all back up, and…it’s passable. I wasn’t planning on using the ashtray anyway.
With that last hurdle out of the way, a little paint, new rubber gaskets on the shift plate, and…bolted into the car at last.
I got the seat base edges tacked down with zipties…and then decided I didn’t like the way it was fitting. Note the white shows on the edges on the front and sides. Too far back on the frame. So, I took it apart again.
The edges were not landing where they needed to, and it was crooked. Since the center section listing wire gets attached first, you can’t shift it afterwards.
I started over by ziptieing the middle of the listing wire to the center back attachment point of the frame. This is about 2” in from the back edge of the frame. That leaves enough room for the cover flap to wrap around the edge about even with the inner edge of the frame
From there, I Hinged the cover back and put batting in for the center section between the listing wires. I ziptied the center wires to the springs, then replaced them with hogrings.
…and then replaced the zipties with hogrings, and attached the rear edge flap on the cover around the rear edge of the frame.
The seat bottom looks fine, but the seat back looks terrible. It’s showing the white backing, and it looks wrinkled. I’m taking it out again to redo that soon.
Almost done… I got the seat base mostly done tonight. I have to do the final batting adjustments and hog ring the outer edges down, but it’s looking like a seat again. Good progress for the evening.
I started by attaching the burlap base and attached it around the edges.
next was inserting the new listing wire into the sleeves on the cover
for the sleeves on either side of the driveshaft hump I had to clip the ends free just inside the topstitching. I’m not sure why they are assembled this way, but it seemed like the right thing to do.
I cut these long because the original ones were done that way with a bend at the ends.
the longest piece goes from the back corner, across the front, finishing at the other back corner.
I worked on the center section first. It’s a bit of a guess at how much batting to use but the original wasn’t padded as much here, and it has to fit underneath the seat back. It’s also tougher to go back and redo this so I tried hard to get it right the first time. It’s also tough to get the hof rings in olace, so the ziptie trick helps a lot here.
Next was the sections between the center and the side. I kept guessing at the right amount of batting. I adjusted it a few times and snugged the cover into place with zipties each time.
A little progress, I finished stripping the springs and got them painted. Again, it’s not really necessary to paint it, but it’s nicer to work on something that is clean.
There is listing wire across the back, as well as on either side of the driveshaft hump. Last pictures of the old stuff before I took it off:
A bit of wire brush work and time for paint:
The listing wire arrived in the mail, time to put it all back together again
While I was waiting for the new listing wire for the seat bottom cover to arrive in the mail, I installed the upper part of the back seat. I’m not happy with the wrinkle on the lower part of the driver’s side of the seat. I’m hoping it will improve when I get the bottom part of the seat installed. It’s still a huge improvement over what was there originally, so I’m very happy about the overall effect.