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Beginning of a journey with my 35th LE

 
Old 03-19-2015, 06:00 PM
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Default Beginning of a journey with my 35th LE

Hey guys my name is Chris, I guess I'll tell you a little background about myself before I begin on my car. I am a student at the University of New Orleans studying Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. I've always been a Chevy fan, I was in the process of building a 1969 Chevy C-10 but have decided to sell due to no time to finish and lost interest.

Ok now I'll start on my car. About a month ago I found the car I've always wanted, 2002 Chevy Camaro SS 35th Anniversary Ed, within a budget I could afford. I understand that there really isn't anything different between a 35th LE and any other SS Camaro of the same year. Just a personal want for a long time now.

I was able to get the car for a cheaper than average price because the car does need work. I picked it up off a guy out of New Orleans who did not take care of the car. Now onto some pictures (if I can figure out how to post them).

This was the day after I bought the car:



When I bought the car it had been wrecked (nothing bad I have the original nose) and the previous owner tried to replace the front bumper and passenger fender but did a horrible job with aligning the body panels. The car also had replica black powder coated 17" 10 spoke wheels that I did not care for with the color scheme of the car. The windows were limo tinted all the way around besides the front windshield.

Below are some more pics of the car (some with the original bumper cover on)










Here is a few things that the car needs (possibly will grow once I start)

Bumper and Fender painted
New Tires
New taillights
New headlights
Clunk under rear of car fixed
New carpet
New interior panels from rear seats to the rear of the car
New windshield
Exhaust changed (sounds like straight pipes right now)
Wheels replaced with 35th Anniversary wheels

Im positive there is a lot that I'm forgetting.

So one of the first things that I was able to cross off my list was replacing the wheels. I was able to find a used set in Bay St. Louis, MS for a reasonable price so I went and picked those up. I was also able to align the front bumper and fender so that the gaps looked better. I also ordered a set of headlights for the car being that the old ones were destroyed. The tint was also removed at this point.



For me these simple changes changed the whole look of the car to me. I also ended up putting a new set of Nitto Motivo 275/40/r17 on the front of the car and picked up a set of Nitto NT555r 275/40/r17 for the rear of the car. I really like the way they ride an they seem to hook decently on the street.

I spent the weekend cleaning the inside the car and removing the front bumper to send off the be painted. I was able to pick up a factory front fender for free to get painted since the aftermarket fender did not line up very well at all.




So I ended up ordering UMI rear control arms along with their panhard bar, hoping it would eliminate my clunk in the rear of my car. If not oh well, it was an upgrade I planned to do anyway. I also picked up new rotors and pads for the front and rear of the car. I finally got a chance this past weekend to work on the rear control arms and brakes.





This picture really shows the condition of the paint........ horrible........ it will be getting a wet sand an compound and polish once I'm done the big stuff. Back on topic, the LCA and panhard bar were a breeze to install. Rear brakes also, front brakes not so much....... got the front torn apart and then realized that the slide pins were rusted in place. Luckily I work at Napa on the weekends and get the employee discount. While I was in the front wheel well working on the brakes I saw how dirty and covered in brake dust and crap the front suspension and wheel well was so I've been cleaning since...... I found out my front shocks are orange haha. The car is currently still on jack stands in the front because I've been cleaning.

Hopefully this weekend I will be able to install a lot of the parts that I've accumulated since I purchased the car. Such as Magnaflow cat back exhaust, new to me carpet (heard aftermarket doesn't fit very well), new interior panels, and a few other miniscule things.

I'll try to update this thread as I make progress on the car

*****Admins if this thread is in the wrong section I apologize please let me know and I will try to move the post******
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:33 PM
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Thats looks great, can't wait to see the front end fixed. I'll be interesting to see how well the paint matches and the front bumper stripe comes out. Are you planning on buying the anniversary leather seats or just regular Camaro seats for it?
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by McGinnis View Post
Thats looks great, can't wait to see the front end fixed. I'll be interesting to see how well the paint matches and the front bumper stripe comes out. Are you planning on buying the anniversary leather seats or just regular Camaro seats for it?
Hey McGinnis,
I'm hoping the paint matches decently. I will hopefully be getting the whole car repainted towards the end of the summer. It has some very minor clear coat failure right now. Only reason I'm getting the bumper and stuff painted is so I can drive the car and not have it look like it was just wrecked.

As for the seats the ones in the car are in pretty good shape besides the typical tear in the bottom cushion on the passenger seat. This is a car I want to get back to excellent shape over time so eventually I will be replacing the seat covers with replacement 35th LE ones.

I'm not sure what I am going to do about the stripe on the nose. The stripes are decals, I know there are replacements made just not sure whether I can get just the nose piece.
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Old 03-20-2015, 03:34 AM
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I love 4th Gens so much that I don't like their appearance modified in any way; definitely not the crap the PO of your car put on that blessed 35th LE. Kudos to you for putting this car back the way it should be. Don't worry about the paint. I bet some clay and compound will bring most of the luster back to the surface...
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by myk View Post
I love 4th Gens so much that I don't like their appearance modified in any way; definitely not the crap the PO of your car put on that blessed 35th LE. Kudos to you for putting this car back the way it should be. Don't worry about the paint. I bet some clay and compound will bring most of the luster back to the surface...
Thanks myk! I'm with you, I love theses cars completely stock. Yes the paint does have some life left, I will just have to see how it turns out after I'm done with most of the major stuff. It has clear coat failure so it will need a repaint in the future. An it also has the infamous bubbling paint on the sail panel.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:04 PM
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Props to bringing this car back to life, awesome car to have
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:27 AM
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Congrats on giving the car another chance at life.
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Old 03-21-2015, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by joeformula View Post
Props to bringing this car back to life, awesome car to have
Thanks! I've always wanted one an couldn't pass up the price. It will get back to its former glory.
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Old 03-21-2015, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by GDL View Post
Congrats on giving the car another chance at life.
Thank you!
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:39 PM
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Well I was able to pick up my front bumper and fender from my buddy who painted them. They came out awesome (helps to have friends that know how to paint haha) wasn't sure about how well they were going to match until I could get them on the car.

So before I started on the body panels I wanted to get the front brakes wrapped up. I ended up getting new hubs and caliper brackets. I wanted to replace the hubs because the passenger hub was making a clicking noise when I spun it, I had it apart and figured I would fix it now before it went out. I replaced the caliper bracket because on both sides one of the slide pins was rusted in place which stopped the caliper from being able to move and apply even pressure to both sides of the rotors.

I painted the center "hat" of the rotors to stop that ugly brown rust that always ends up happening.




I will end up also painting the calipers but was to excited to get the panels on to wait.

Ok so you get the point with the brake job... on to the fender and bumper

So I was able to get a free OE front fender to get painted so the first thing that needed to be done was removing the aftermarket front fender.




It was fun finding all the hidden bolts that hold the fender on, really? you put one in the door jamb. Oh well I found them all and got it off.




Ok so got the new fender on now on to the front bumper. I started to get excited at this point It was beginning to look like all the other 35th LE I usto google in my free time.




Little glamour shot after everything was buttoned up and taken off the jack stands. At least to me it was a huge difference from when I bought the car about a month and a half ago.




Well decided I was going to swap out my o2 sensors so I could get rid of that pesky SES light. Put the car up on the ramps took the old sensors out put my new ones in and went to plug in my plug extenders and the plugs are different so after a little bit of research I've come to the conclusion that I need the o2 sensors off the rear of a corvette.

Well that's all I have for this weekend, hopefully next weekend I can get my carpet, and interior panels swapped out and install my magnaflow cat back exhaust.
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:23 PM
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Wow tha looks great so far. Did you have issues getting the front bumper gaps even? I would think a huge front bumper would be hard to get to line up properly. I know from experience the rear bumpers are a pain to get lined up.

Last edited by McGinnis; 03-22-2015 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:16 AM
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Praise the gods; that car is regaining its former glory...
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by McGinnis View Post
Wow tha looks great so far. Did you have issues getting the front bumper gaps even? I would think a huge front bumper would be hard to get to line up properly. I know from experience the rear bumpers are a pain to get lined up.
Actually aligning the front bumper was not that hard. The bumper fits snug against the reinforcement foam and I put the 4 push pins in the top of the bumper. Once I had those it was just aligning the 3 bolts where the bumper bolts to the fender. It actually lined up very nice I was surprised.
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by myk View Post
Praise the gods; that car is regaining its former glory...
The painted bumper and fender made a HUGE difference. I also came across a SLP grill for the front bumper that I'm picking up today for $75. Seemed like a great deal.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:14 AM
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Great job...Keep up the great work...
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TEXASLESS View Post
Great job...Keep up the great work...
Thanks TEXASLESS!
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:15 PM
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Well here is my find that i picked up today for a wopping $75 (seemed like a good deal since they are $270ish online). I can't wait to get it installed!



Got a questions tho, what is yalls opinion on painting the grille insert to match the color scheme? Similar to the following.



I like the black look, but the painted to match grilles are rare (I know mine will be a replica) and not something seen very often on these cars. Any input is appreciated
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:02 AM
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I say keep it black. I like the "face" on 4th Gen Camaros...
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:22 AM
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Very nice job so far! Great to see someone rescued that poor car, 35th LE's are among the best looking Camaro's ever made and should never be neglected like that.

Originally Posted by LE35TH View Post
I'm not sure what I am going to do about the stripe on the nose. The stripes are decals, I know there are replacements made just not sure whether I can get just the nose piece.
GM Parts Direct still sells the decals for the front bumper, they're expensive (it's like $250 for just the bumper stripe set alone, and something like $600 for the whole car), but if you want original OEM they are still available. I found a site called 3rd Gen Decals that made my reproduction stripes for me and they did a great job, and I'm sure they could cut you some kind of deal on just the bumper stripes if you asked.
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by myk View Post
I say keep it black. I like the "face" on 4th Gen Camaros...
Thats what I was thinking when I was looking at it last night. Gonna stay with the black.
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