More ’69 Sea Foam Camaro RS/SS Episodes

Detroit Muscle Featured Projects

Detroit Muscle Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

Matco Tools
MATCO Tools are the Official Tool Supplier to PowerNation
The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Marc)>> Today on Detroit Muscle we start our new Seafoam Camaro that one lucky viewer will have a chance to win.

(Tommy)>> We'll lay out our plans and get a baseline on the small block down in Engine Power.

(Marc)>> Plus some tips on restoring dull paint. [ engines revving ]

(Tommy)>> You know Marc a day like today is what muscle cars are all about.

(Marc)>> Absolutely man, especially when you've got a four speed.

(Tommy)>> Man we've got a four speed. We've got a deep set of gears. We've got a cool sound set of pipes and heck-atious looking car.

(Marc)>> Absolutely, '69 Camaro RS/SS.

(Tommy)>> You know it's gonna be kind of a sad day just to give one of these cars away but I guess that's the plan isn't it?

(Marc)>> Yeah exactly, but you know this car's kinda good to go the way it is. Why this car, why'd we choose this one?

(Tommy)>> You know it's a '69 Camaro. Who doesn't like a '69 Camaro? You know it's sometimes hard to giveaway stuff people don't want. People definitely gonna want this ole girl.

(Marc)>> Absolutely! Well the real reason we picked up this car is because Seafoam has a brand new product called High Mileage, and we figured what better way to show that off than a car like this? Since we were gonna do it we might as well give it away.

(Tommy)>> This ole four speed's pretty fun buddy.

(Marc)>> It is!

(Tommy)>> I see why they call these old cars muscle cars. Now I know you're not really a Chevy guy but you know they all, the big three, had their same variance of this car right here.

(Marc)>> Yeah absolutely, and there's nothing wrong with a Camaro. You know you always tag me as being a Mustang guy but I like all cars if they're cool.

(Tommy)>> But do you really like Mustangs?

(Marc)>> Not as much as you think I do. Not as much you think I do. I think this car is great. I love this car. It's not a big block car but that's okay.

(Tommy)>> It's not a big block car but it's still a whole lot of fun. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> I'll tell you man I need some of that fine dining of good ole bologna and cheese sandwich with some mustard and tomato would be so pleasant right now.

(Marc)>> That sounds good. I would take a shriveled up hot dog from yesterday that's still sitting there on the roller sweating.

(Tommy)>> Probably need to get some fuel too. [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Here you go boss. I'm gonna go grab a few things.

(Marc)>> Alright, hey get me a beef stick will you?

(Tommy)>> Alright.

(Marc)>> Remember earlier I mentioned Seafoam? Well let me show you what I'm talking about. We're using Seafoam Motor Treatment High Mileage. It's a blend of cleaning and lubricating petroleum ingredients that can be used safely in all gasoline engines and with all gasoline and ethanol blends. It helps minimize long term wear and prevents rough engine performance, especially in vehicles over 75,000 miles like our '69 Camaro.

(Tommy)>> You ready hoss?

(Marc)>> Yeah I'm ready to go.

(Tommy)>> Here's your beef stick.

(Marc)>> Thank you! I'm glad you're driving.

(Tommy)>> Good thing I've got a co-pilot so I know where I'm going. [ Music ] [ engine starting ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> I can tell you where I'm going, fun town!

(Marc)>> Population 2!

(Tommy)>> Now one drawback of a muscle car often times is gears on interstate.

(Marc)>> Yeah absolutely. You've got a low gear like a 4.10 or a 4.11 in the back. That's great for going stop light to stop light but if you're trying to make a long trip, well there's the tradeoff.

(Tommy)>> And this thing is not gonna be very fuel efficient you know singing about 3,200 r-p-ms just running with traffic, and that ain't even passing people. That's sitting in the slow lane watching people pass you.

(Marc)>> Yeah we barely got on the interstate here and it's already begging for another gear.

(Tommy)>> Well I'm at 64 and I'm at 3,200. Let's go ahead and stretch her out. It's got some response to it. I'm at 3,600 at 71.

(Marc)>> This thing will pass everything but a gas station at that rate.

(Tommy)>> I guess that's the reason why they put sweet sounding tail pipes under these things. That way whenever you're on a long distance haul at least you've got some good tunes coming out the back.

(Marc)>> Exactly! What else could you say about this car that's less than ideal?

(Tommy)>> Well you know cranking these old cars up in the mornings, giving it the old two pump jab and then the crank, and then another two pump jab and then a crank, and then you've got to hold your foot on it until about 2,000 r-p-ms for about five minutes. That ain't much fun cause you've got to babysit that thing. So switching over from carburetor to fuel injection would be a must.

(Marc)>> Absolutely, what about the handling?

(Tommy)>> Oh handling, you mean lack of.

(Marc)>> I mean by today's standards.

(Tommy)>> Look at that, woo! This ole girl sloshes you around a bit.

(Marc)>> By today's standards unacceptable.

(Tommy)>> You sound polite.

(Marc)>> A lot of people just don't know that. They think that '69 Camaro is just gonna be top of the heap but it was in '69, but today 50 years later it's leaving a lot to be desired, especially in the handling department.

(Tommy)>> You know not only in the handling department but the brakes as well. Earlier I got in the binders pretty hard back there and it was like there was a block under the brake pedal it was so darn hard to push.

(Marc)>> Yeah definitely needs some work there. Don't go away. We'll lay out plans for our '69 Seafoam Camaro and then strap it to the dyno and see what the small block has left in it.

(Tommy)>> Now after running a tank full of fuel through this old thing I have to say I enjoyed myself and I only made Marc squeal like a girl about two different times, but that's okay because that gave us an opportunity to figure out a few things that need some improvement.

(Marc)>> That's why I have the blank slate right here, but before we get into that let's talk about what we like about the car. '69 Camaro can't argue with that. What else do you like about it?

(Tommy)>> Man I dig this color. This garnet red is kind of a color that most people don't think of whenever they say I've got a '69 red Camaro. Most of the times they're thinking that bright lipstick red.

(Marc)>> Well what else do you like about it?

(Tommy)>> I like this hood. It isn't the cowl induction hood that most people see. This one is really something to look at it.

(Marc)>> I like it! So here's where I stand on this. I like '69 Camaros. I wouldn't have one if it wasn't an RS. So I like the hideaway headlights, and I'd probably go for the vinyl roof as well. Other than that I don't care about the color or anything like that, but I do like the color. It's a nice car but that paint could use a little improvement.

(Tommy)>> Yeah we can shine it up but you know, that's just shining up paint.

(Marc)>> Yeah we'll get there. So we've talked about what we like, and it's not a very long list. What needs improvement?

(Tommy)>> Definitely under the hood needs some love man. This thing runs fine but we need to throw some horsepower at it.

(Marc)>> Okay so engine, you want more power. You want to keep the small block Chevy or do you want to do an LS swap?

(Tommy)>> This one is perfectly fine. Let's upgrade it. Not do the LS swap.

(Marc)>> Right I agree with that. Everybody does an LS swap. Why do we need to do what everybody else does? Plus we've done plenty of them.

(Tommy)>> For sure man. Let's do heads, cam, intake, and fuel injection.

(Marc)>> What else does it need? If you're going that far what about we take the engine out? Send it down to Engine Power. Try to sweet talk those guys into going through it just to make sure everything's good. We're gonna be giving this car away. So instead of putting lipstick on a pig let's make sure it's a good solid foundation. They go through it. Let's get them to put the heads, cam, intake on it. Then we can get it back here, get the e-f-i on it, and while we're at it maybe do a belt drive.

(Tommy)>> Yeah a belt drive and let's address the cooling on this old thing. Maybe electric unit, you know what I'm saying, fans and all.

(Marc)>> Yeah that would make sense. Make it a little more reliable. If we're talking about turning this thing from a restored or factory type car into a resto mod I mean these are must haves. What else do we need? Is that good for the engine?

(Tommy)>> Yes sir but this thing, you know it has a stick in it. So we need to keep it a stick. So let's put a five speed manual in it. Something with an overdrive.

(Marc)>> Yeah so then you keep the fact that it's a stick. You have all the benefits of a four speed but with an overdrive.

(Tommy)>> Yeah and with this car here you can basically bolt one in it. You don't have to cut half the tunnel out and all that kind of jazz. So it just makes sense.

(Marc)>> Yep absolutely, and then where do we go from there? What are we missing? Suspension, we didn't even talk about the suspension.

(Tommy)>> There's a lot to be desired with this one right now.

(Marc)>> Okay suspension, steering, brakes, that kind of thing.

(Tommy)>> Yeah the whole nine yards, and with that let's start from the front and go to the back. One of these cars with the aftermarket support that's out there, complete front sub-frame. It bolts in with just a few pieces and you don't have to do any fab work.

(Marc)>> Right, so it sounds like a big job but it's really not.

(Tommy)>> No sir! The biggest job on suspension on one of these is in the back. This thing from the factory is leaf sprung. So the next step is taking this thing to a coil over and four link. It's gonna take a little bit of fab work but it's gonna be worth it in the end.

(Marc)>> That's gonna come with sway bars front and rear, all that right? It's gonna be a completely different car.

(Tommy)>> This thing's gonna handle like it's on rails, but handling's one thing. We've got to make this thing stop too. So some big brakes front and rear, four wheel discs is a must.

(Marc)>> Well if you do bigger brakes those 14's aren't gonna fit on there.

(Tommy)>> I hope we get a set of rotors that are basically 14 inches.

(Marc)>> Okay so wheels, tires.

(Tommy)>> Yeah wheels, tires. Now a Camaro has to have the right amount of stance to it. You know what I mean? Something that's just dialed in right. So maybe 18's and 20's, wider in the back of course. Something with a polished lip, I think that's where we need to go.

(Marc)>> Alright well I got a big spot right here. What do we put there? What did we miss?

(Tommy)>> Interior. I don't know about you. This is one thing that I normally don't think about but after riding around in this thing for a couple of hours. Actually just sitting in the car with no support when we were straightening out them curves a bit, holding on will make you physically tired. Something with some bolstered sides in it would definitely be a must. Carpet in this thing, you could say it's a little funky. Definitely could use some carpet at least.

(Marc)>> So you get like sports seats for the front. While you have the seats out put a carpet in it. Cover the rear seat to match the fronts?

(Tommy)>> Yes sir. We're not halfway doing the interior. This is too nice of a car. I don't want somebody to stick their head in there and go oh you've got a pretty nice. You cheaped out on the back seat boss.

(Marc)>> Cool, what'd we miss? How about a graphics package?

(Tommy)>> Yeah, yeah, you could do something very tasteful yet give it a completely different feel.

(Marc)>> Cool, so that looks like a long list but it's actually not that much. I think we can accomplish this pretty easily, and we're not going to ruin the way this car looks.

(Tommy)>> All we've got to do now is order some parts.

(Marc)>> Not it.

(Tommy)>> See y'all later, time to go! We'll take the Seafoam Camaro down to Engine Power and push it to its limits on the dyno.

(Marc)>> Well we're down here in Engine Power. We figured we'd get this thing on the chassis dyno, see what this thing makes just the way it is.

(Mike)>> Man everything's hooked up for the dyno but I've got to say this car's a little too nice to even mess with.

(Marc)>> I know, it's like done already, and we've driven it and it's an awesome car but it's a '69 Camaro and it's basically stock you know?

(Mike)>> Now what's up with the engine? Do we know anything?

(Marc)>> Small block really all we know. I mean it's a 350 car but could be stroked, could be bored, who knows?

(Mike)>> I see a little Demon carb and who knows? Cam maybe, never know, but man the interior, everything, it's a solid piece.

(Marc)>> It's cherry yeah. What do you think it's gonna make?

(Mike)>> 265.

(Marc)>> Under 300, I'd say 280.

(Mike)>> Alright let's see what it does. Four speed right?

(Marc)>> Yep.

(Mike)>> Alright! Hey guess what?

(Marc)>> What?

(Mike)>> You've got to be in the car to dyno it.

(Marc)>> That's where I'm heading. Come on man! Alright I'm gonna get some heat in it.

(Mike)>> Man you know it's having some fun in the shop time. [ engine starts ]

(Marc)>> What kind of mufflers you think those are?

(Mike)>> The way it started it sounded like a Duramax. It is pretty throaty.

(Marc)>> Those aren't glass packs. [ engine revving ]

(Marc)>> You good? [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Marc)>> Talk to me.

(Mike)>> 227, 303 on torque, I'm sorry. That was at 3,450 r-p-m. So 227 on power, 303 on torque, and a whole lot of choppiness above about 4,500.

(Marc)>> Really, where did that pull end cause I'm not trusting my tach?

(Mike)>> Right at 5,500, right at 55.

(Marc)>> Was it already falling off?

(Mike)>> Oh yeah, when you hit 4,500 the graph just started getting super choppy. Did you hear it and feel it breaking up?

(Marc)>> Yeah.

(Mike)>> And then you killed it right at 5,500.

(Marc)>> It's not lean though. I don't think it's lean.

(Mike)>> It's a little fat. Yeah it's a little fat.

(Marc)>> I'll take that.

(Mike)>> Make another hit on it just like it was.

(Marc)>> So same range?

(Mike)>> Same range, then we'll at least have a comparo.

(Marc)>> Okay. [ engine starting ] [ engine revving ]

(Mike)>> Picked up 4 on power, 5 on torque, 231, 308.

(Marc)>> Yeah I really felt it break up then. You could hear it.

(Mike)>> And it's following each other on the graph. I mean to the "T".

(Marc)>> Alright I'm gonna do one more.

(Mike)>> Always gotta do 3.

(Marc)>> Might as well. [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Mike)>> Alright they're all within a few horsepower. So I think you've got a good baseline. Best was 231 on power, 308 on torque. It needs a little help.

(Marc)>> Well you could do some tuning maybe to spice it up a little bit or try to make a little more power, but at this point what's the point right?

(Mike)>> Yeah it's got stock manifolds on it still. I mean it's such a clean car. So plans?

(Marc)>> Well we don't want to do an LS. I mean that would be an obvious choice but we think it'd be cool to kinda keep the small block Chevy in there.

(Mike)>> I agree 100 percent.

(Marc)>> So we want to stick with that and beyond that we're really wide open. We're kina hoping that was something you'd be interested in tackling.

(Mike)>> Oh I see where you're going with this, obviously.

(Marc)>> Yeah if we check the bottom end and make sure it's good. Maybe do heads, cam, intake.

(Mike)>> Well you know when it comes to small block and big block Chevys Pat is a diehard guy for it and a great builder for it. So yeah we'll definitely take it. One condition, you pull it.

(Marc)>> Yeah no problem. Pull it out, maybe do an e-f-i.

(Mike)>> I like it.

(Marc)>> I'd really like to keep that air cleaner just because it's so iconic and cool looking.

(Mike)>> Now the premise of the project is a driver. You're not looking for crazy power or anything like that?

(Marc)>> Yeah so the premise of the project is this is a stock '69 Camaro. It may have a few mods but it's basically stock, and we want to turn it into a resto mod. We want to just cross the threshold into resto mod. So we feel like we can accomplish that with a small block, put e-f-i on it, a nice daily driver. Something you could get in, turn the key, and drive across country in it.

(Mike)>> Freshened up bottom end, some really good induction up top. Keeping the manual?

(Marc)>> Yeah we're going with a five speed, TKO.

(Mike)>> It won't be any problem to do 425 horse or so at the tire on this thing.

(Marc)>> That'd be perfect.

(Mike)>> Sweet, well get the motor out and get it to us.

(Marc)>> Sounds good, thanks man!

(Tommy)>> With our old Camaro we decided to keep that original small block Chevy but if you're looking to upgrade to late model performance this may be right up your alley. This is a new stage 3 525 horsepower LS crate motor from Powertrain Products. It comes with new GM LS-3 heads with a multi-layer steel gasket, custom cam shaft, and high tension valve springs, and it's all wrapped in a two year warranty. So if you're looking for a tire screaming performance you may want to check out Powertrain Products. Coming up I'll show you how to restore faded paint to showroom new.

(Tommy)>> We've all heard the term "20 footer". Now our Camaro is a bit better than that but I can honestly say that the reflection on this ole girl needs a bit of some lovin'. Now back here on the top of the fender, what I call the belt buckle area, it's got a little bit of rash on it that we're gonna have to repair. All over the top of this fender has scratches on it and we can fix them. First thing you have to do is determine how deep they are. What I like to do is the fingernail test. Simply rub across them and if your fingernail catches on that scratch you're gonna have to do some sanding. Yep we're gonna have to sand this one. To smooth out that scratch we're gonna have to do a small amount of wet sanding with some 2,000 grit paper. The reason for that is if we just tried to polish across that well you're just gonna have a shiny scratch, and we're gonna do better work than that. You want to sand with nice smooth strokes. Don't use a corner of the block. Make sure you use the face of it cause you don't want to gouge out the surface that you're sanding on. Make sure you to pay attention to how much you're sanding. Sand a little while, feel it. Once it's gone is where you want to stop. Also inspect the scratch if the scratch is white that usually indicates that the paint surface is base clear. If it's just a colored scratch that could either mean you're all the way into the base material or you've got single stage paint. When making a repair like this I prefer to use 2,000 grit sand paper instead of 1,500 or 1,000. Yeah it takes a little longer to do it with this one, but whenever you go to polish it well it's gonna come up a lot faster. Looks like we're good to go. It's time to buff. To repair the reflection of our old Camaro and that spot that we sanded we're gonna be using some product from Sonax. Now this process doesn't really take all that long, especially whenever you consider how great this is gonna look when we're all said and done. Our first step is gonna be using the Cut Max compound. We'll just use a couple of drops here on this wool pad and then we can get started. Cut Max works really well on 1,500 grit scratches and above. It cuts through quickly and safely, and it's silicone and solvent free. So it's great for you guys in the body shop. Man yeah that looks good. Now I just need to compound both of these ends and then we can move on to step 2. [ polisher buzzing ]

(Tommy)>> Sweet! This next step is just as simple as the first. We're gonna be using the EX-0406 and a yellow foam pad. Both of these compounds are water based, and what that means is they have a huge working window. Also EX-0406 has an abrasive that breaks down that gives you that deep gloss look and eliminates that hologram effect. Son! Definitely doing some good. [ polisher buzzing ]

(Tommy)>> Woo wee, man that looks nice. Now I've just got to do the other side.

(Marc)>> After Tommy was done polishing our Camaro I took it over to get the graphics put on. We wanted something that was clean yet classic. So they added a two tone hockey stick stripe down the side of the car that matched the original stripe. To keep with the theme of our build we chose colors that tie in to the Seafoam High Mileage can and we added a subtle decal in the back with the Seafoam logo. Well here it is and I have to say the guys at The Wrap Lab did an amazing job, and it's now officially the Seafoam Camaro.

(Tommy)>> And you guys remember we're giving this thing away when we're all said and done with all these modifications we're gonna be doing to it. So what do you think's first?

(Marc)>> I think I need to dig in and get that engine out of there.

(Tommy)>> About time you get your hands dirty.
Show Full Transcript