Customizing and TuningSuper Simple '68 Camaro Mod

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Hi Guys,

I've done several different builds and they have involved machine tools and quite a bit of time. But, with the Trans-Am race coming...and some new racers here on RLD...I thought it would be cool to do very simple mod on a '68 Camaro (which was raced in the Tran-Am series).

And you don't really need much more than this...

The car is a current Copo '68 Camaro and the donor wheels and axles will be coming from a '69 GTO with Faster Than Ever wheels. The stick-n-seal is new to me, but seems to work well.

The wheels and axles are a direct 'pop in' replacement on this car...but I'll glue them in place as well. 

And, of course, while I have the body off, I'll strip the paint and shoot a new rattle can paint job on it.

Stay tuned...I'll make this '68 faster and a little cooler as well!

This is the last time you'll see the stock Camaro!

I just ran the cars down my current track...14" drop and 160" straight. The Camaro ran 1.97-1.98 and the GTO was at 1.92 (that's a couple car lengths difference). Luke11's Galaxy that just won the Sedan race ran 1.89! But that car was about 55 grams and the GTO is about 39 grams...the Camaro, as it sits, is 33 grams.

The way I figure it, if I can get the Camaro down around 1.93-1.94, that would be great!

Off to drill some rivets! 

When drilling the rivets on a Hot Wheels car, please be careful...

I like to lay the cars upside down in a vise and drill very slowly, until you start to get into the plastic of the chassis. If you've ever held a car by hand and had drill catch, you will understand why I put it in a vise. Those cars can fling out of there really fast!

Fortunately,  the drilling went well and I was able to gently 'pop' the body off. Here's what the parts look like...

Since I drilled the rivets carefully, I'll be able to 'pop' the body back on to test. Here is what the Camaro looks like with the body off...

Remember, this car only weighs 33 grams, so I'm going to have to fit 7 grams of weight in there somewhere!

But first? I need to swap some wheels!

the loc-tite stik n' seal doesn't hold in axles, use JB QUICK for them...
Thanks Smitty...I wasn't sure about that!

In most newer Hot Wheels, the axles are held in by three little plastic tabs. It is pretty easy to get a stiff blade under the axle and pry up to pop the old axles out...

As simple as that...

But when getting the donor FTE axles out, I like to be a little more careful. I cut the little plastic tabs off, so I won't risk damaging or bending the axles at all...

It's a little fiddly, and you'll want to do it under a magnifier, but you can carefully pry the little tabs up...install the FTE wheels and axles...and then...carefully...bend the tabs back over the axle.

Now, you have a new '68 Camaro chassis with a set of 2005-2006, first generation FTE wheels and Axles in it...

Let's see if I've gained any speed!

No big gains yet...but a small one. 1.96. That's without adding weight or glueing the axles...we are well on our way!

I might have to call the car "My 2 Cents"...

With two pennies, the weight is at 38 grams. I'm not sure I'll use the pennies, but I'm trying to keep it I might!

I figured that I would strip the paint off tonight too...

I like to do sections at a time...

I'll do the front, the middle...

The rear...

And, before you know it, it's done...

And I also dabbled some JB Weld on the axles...

And then, flipped it over and put it on my wheel jig...

The wheel jig keeps the axles in line...and you can go back about a half hour after you put the JB Weld on, and set your end play.

A little paint and some glue tomorrow, and we'll have a potential Tran-Am car

Nice tip Chris, thanks for sharing!

The stripped body sitting on the chassis, with the axles JB Welded in place...

Kinda makes you want to see another Bare Muscle series, doesn't it?

I radiused the rear wheel wells...just a little...and primed the body this morning. I'll shoot paint later today.

Super Bowl of spray-bombs... go C10 go !... buddy loves the fade jobs... good stuff

The pennies are glued into 'My2 Cents'

And the bottom has been ground out of the seats...

The interior sitting in place over the pennies...

Grinding the interior takes a little patience,  but I think the cars look good with interiors

A little Orange paint first...and some black paint faded on there...and that's it...

I have some bird shot to bring the weight of a little closer to 40 grams...that will get glued in and the body will be glued on...provided it has some speed!

I hope that this quick build up has been a help! These are just the basics...little tweaks might have to be made to get it running perfectly straight...and these techniques can be used on just about any car.

Please let me know if I can help you out! Don't be afraid to ask!

NICE!  VERY HELPFUL INDEED!!  I texted this thread to my wife, her instant reply was "Ohhhhh NO!!!! You ain't touchin' ANY of my Camaros!!". LOL. I have a spare!!!  


go ctd go !
awesome! Glad I could help!

If you watch the Pony Wars race, the #18 Camaro of Keef921 is basically the same as this car. So that will give you an idea of the performance of this guy.

The #16 Camaro of C-10 (me) is a similar car, but was built using axle tubes...mainly to widen the stance a bit.

I usually use lead for weight, but not everyone has lead laying I thought the pennies would work for this build! Modeling clay can also be packed into the bodies to ad weight.

(Plumbing vent cover "boot" used in roofing). 

When I get to the built for raceing stage, I plan to use one of these for my lead source. Very soft and bendable when fresh. Cuts and melts easy as well.   

What is your source of lead?

careful melting lead, the funes are as bad as eating it...
Agreed, fishing weights are what I use and I vise to mash into the shapes I fumes

Good plan, CTD! I have a bag of 50 caliber lead balls that are easy to flatten out and fit into a chassis. 

I also have a spool of 1/2" x 1"'s got to be about 100, if anybody needs some, let me know!

Look for lead sheets on Amazon...down to 1/16 inch thick...good for making "glass" on bodies with no interiors...just paint it black for the

Years ago I use to shoot patch round ball guns and we had a never ending search for soft lead.  I was fortunate enough to go to the scene of several X ray rooms that were being dismantled and got the soft sheet lead just for carrying it out.  This lead is about 1/8th of an inch and you can use heavy shears for cutting it into small pieces.

roof flashing is about 1/16", and most people don't use it all and are happy to get rid of the scraps...

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