Installing a LS1 Motor in my 1977 Camaro-Part 2


During the two years of owning the Camaro, I have had nearly everything out of the car with one exception….the motor.  With it out of the way as well as the driveshaft and exhaust, it was time to cosmetically address these areas.

The engine bay and bottom of the car looked like this when the motor came out.

I wanted to clean up and smooth out the firewall and clean and paint the crossmember and the frame area.  Since I am not a metal fabricator, my buddy and I trailered the car to Tim Leonard’s shop in Albemarle.  Tim painted by my car and my buddy’s ’38 Chevy and has done a number of show car restorations.

I told him what I was looking for on the firewall and he went to work.  He fabricated two panels that covered the entire firewall but were removable for repairs or touch up.  He also made panels to cover the windshield wiper motor and the plumbing for my heater hoses and AC lines at the firewall.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.  Huge improvement!!!

Once I had the car back from the bodyshop, I put it on the lift and hung plastic to cover the wall and the floor.  I then sprayed the underside with eight cans of Gunk engine degreaser and attacked the underside of the car with my pressure sprayer for about three hours.  The maxim here is dirt never goes away…it is only transferred to other places.  In this case that meant the plastic and me!!

After letting it dry for a day, I masked off wiring, lines, bolts, etc. to prepare it for painting.  Three cans of Rustoleum satin black later and it looked much better.  While it was not as good a job as could have been done with a body off frame restoration, it will suffice for now.

Now it was time to move on with getting the motor ready to go back in the car.

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