89 RS restore and possible mods - ModernCamaro.com - 5th Generation Camaro Enthusiasts
3rd Generation F-Body 1982-1992 Camaro & Firebird Discussion

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post #1 of 54 Old 07-06-2008, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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89 RS Restore & Mod

In the next year, I won't be using my 89 RS as a daily driver. Hopefully I'll have a new 5th gen Camaro by then or some other new car. However, I refuse to trade in or get rid of the thing, so instead I've planned to mod my car.

As far as mods go, I'm looking to mod the following areas:

Chassis
Suspension
Drivetrain
Brakes
Engine

My car is an 89 RS with a TBI 305 engine (LO3) and a automatic transmission (700r4). The attached Excel spreadsheet is the current list of parts I have and it will be updated as I make changes to it.

Starting with the chassis, I just want to stiffen it up and make it last longer. I am going to be using UMI SFC's since it provides the best support for the rear LCA mounts and is the least intrusive to the underside of the chassis. I will be getting a Spohn LSx K-member to accept the LS3 E-Rod engine.

Current suspension is front strut and rear shock and I am sticking with that style of setup, just making it a great all around performer.

The drivetrain will be all new: Dana S60 rear end with Truetrac and a rebuilt 700R4 using the Mega Monster rebuild kit.

I am converting to 4 wheel vented disc brakes. Wilwood offers the best kits to date that I can find. I'll be using the Wilwood FDL Front & Rear kits. Both kits have 4-piston calipers and the rear kit features the parking brake integrated into the rotor hat. I'll be getting the rear kit from Spohn at the same time I get the S60 rear, so its just plug & play.

Thankfully, after two years of waiting, I've found the perfect engine: the LS3 E-Rod. Its 50-state emission legal, turn key, and has everything needed for an LSx swap.

Any and all help is appreciated. I'm not going to be doing anything to my car soon, other than taking care of the body and minor repairs. However, I'd like to get a solid plan laid down before I go restoring my car.
Attached Files
File Type: xls Tooling & Parts List.xls (34.0 KB, 109 views)

Project: 89 RS => AX/RR

Last edited by 89RS; 06-09-2010 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Content addition & Update
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post #2 of 54 Old 07-06-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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Interesting project, sounds a lot like what I have done with mine. Are you dead set on keeping the 305? Reason I ask is that you can build or purchase a 350 cheaper than what you will end up with in the forged bottom end 305.

As for suspension, your front end uses struts and rear uses shocks. You could change over to an airbag suspension which would be really nice but can get extremely expensive. For the rest of the suspension components you could replace all of the formed sheetmetal components with tubular components. I used Spohn for all of my tubular suspension pieces.

Upgrading of the brakes should be one of the easiest upgrades / conversions you can do to the car. You have numerous options depending on how much money you want to spend and whether or not you want to change wheels. If you are not against going with a 17" wheel you can custom fit a 4th gen Camaro setup on the car. You could also use a C4 or C5 setup also. Or you could go aftermarket with a Baer or Aerospace components setup.

If you have questions feel free to ask, I'll help you out anyway I can.


David

Last edited by 89RS in KY; 07-07-2008 at 06:23 AM.
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post #3 of 54 Old 07-07-2008, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, I'm for sure going to stick with the 305. While I do understand that just building up a 350 would be cheaper and easier, I'd like to keep the same engine in the car that it came with.

On the suspension, I was thinking along the lines of struts and shock on all wheels (if thats possible). As for brakes, vented disk brakes on all four wheels (again, if its possible). I want the car to look as stock as possible, yet have more modern performance and handling.

About the drivetrain, Hughes has several street/strip converters with stalls built in, so I don't really have to worry about that. But could I ask, what rear end gear would you recommend? I want to maintain a good fuel economy, but have a little better performance. I was thinking around a 3.08 (like the one the 89 Z-28 had) or a 3.27.

Project: 89 RS => AX/RR

Last edited by 89RS; 07-07-2008 at 06:45 PM.
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post #4 of 54 Old 07-07-2008, 08:40 PM
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I say "don't fear the gear". 3.27's are only found in the 9 bolts. You've got a 10 bolt so it'd be 3.23's. I'd go with something a little lower - at least 3.42's.

www.fquick.com/demonspeed
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post #5 of 54 Old 07-07-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89RS View Post
Yep, I'm for sure going to stick with the 305. While I do understand that just building up a 350 would be cheaper and easier, I'd like to keep the same engine in the car that it came with.

On the suspension, I was thinking along the lines of struts and shock on all wheels (if thats possible). As for brakes, vented disk brakes on all four wheels (again, if its possible). I want the car to look as stock as possible, yet have more modern performance and handling.

About the drivetrain, Hughes has several street/strip converters with stalls built in, so I don't really have to worry about that. But could I ask, what rear end gear would you recommend? I want to maintain a good fuel economy, but have a little better performance. I was thinking around a 3.08 (like the one the 89 Z-28 had) or a 3.27.
If you are going to go to the the road course or auto cross track as much as possible I would invest in an adjustable strut and shock combo. They sell the Koni's for our cars at Jeg's and Summit. Then buy a quality set of subframe connectors and have them welded in. If you have a t-top car you will not believe the difference it will make in the way it rides and handles.

Look up Ohio Crankshaft and see if they carry a forged bottom end assembly for the 305, it will be pricey though. And as far as a stall converter goes, get your cam specs, car weight, rear end gear ratio and other mods you plan to do. Every combination is different when it comes to the converter. You will have a 700R4 transmission in your car and will need a lockup converter for it. I would recommend a 3.08 or 3.42 ring gear, the 3.42 will help you coming out of the corner on the track and will also be good on the street.

David
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post #6 of 54 Old 07-08-2008, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. Found a crankshaft and rods for my car at Ohio. However, I'm still having trouble finding forged pistons (either steel or aluminum) that allow for about a 9:1 to 10:1 CR with 58 cc heads.

I went to Baer last night and found a set of brakes that would fit the stock wheels. They were the Serious Street series brakes. Also went to Spohn and found a wealth of items that would help out my chassis, suspension and rear end. I think I'll be going with coil over struts on all 4 wheels (if I'm missing anything, let me know).

I'll try and make a list of parts (to my best knowledge) this week and let you go over it and see what you think. I've got some minor body work I've got to take care of (rust on the fender flares and a hole in the wheel well) and thats going to cost me about $1400 to get done. The small joys of being a college student.

Project: 89 RS => AX/RR

Last edited by 89RS; 07-08-2008 at 05:04 PM.
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post #7 of 54 Old 07-08-2008, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'll probably go with the 3.08 rear end in a new axle. This car will be mostly a DD after I'm done with it, but I'll do some AXing in it for sure but probably not enough to warrant a 3.42 or lower rear end.

Project: 89 RS => AX/RR

Last edited by 89RS; 07-13-2008 at 01:04 PM.
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post #8 of 54 Old 07-09-2008, 01:59 PM
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For suspension, you should try UMI Performance. Tell them "demonspeed" referred you.

www.fquick.com/demonspeed
Present: '02 SS #7146
Past: '89 IROC-Z|'91 Z28|'00 SS #0795|'01 Z28
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post #9 of 54 Old 07-09-2008, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info demon, I'll keep that in mind. I'll probably find something on there that I will need.

Finished the first of many drafts of the parts list (see my OP). Feel free to tweak it and recommend changes as you see fit. I'm willing to learn and would like to know whats best for my car before I go out buying stuff for it.

Project: 89 RS => AX/RR

Last edited by 89RS; 07-13-2008 at 01:05 PM.
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post #10 of 54 Old 07-10-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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So far I did a 350 swap, 'glass hood, new clutch, headers, Edlebrock carb & intake. I want to tackle the suspension soon also! Best of luck to you!
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