23 Jul 2023
The thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat.

The sanding and buffing and polishing continues with more 2000 grit sandpaper:
Nice and flat
nice and shiny
shiny, all around.
"New" bed corner moldings (I put new in quotes because these sat sealed in the package for probably better than a decade).  The chrome here is not good.
Went to install it anyway.  The mounting stud broke before the nut made two complete turns.
It's a Year One piece.  I emailed their customer service but: surprise!  No response.  Not that I really expected anything beyond "hey, sucks to be you." but I guess this is what one gets for purchasing from Y1.  I put the old beat up one on instead.  It's rough but at least it survived installation.
Found a few paint defects that needed handled - runs that I couldn't see until things got flat.
Sand with 800-1000-1200-1500-2000 with the Tolecut tiny block (Tolecut Starter Kit - 8-Cut, PSA Sanding Sheets for Nibs, Runs and Imperfections, SP9738, K800 - K3000, 6 Sheets + 2 Toleblocks - - Amazon.com, no I don't get any referral bonus from that)
More of the same.
Went to install the new door handles ("Restoparts" - OPG branded) and the rods on the buttons are way too short - the door won't open from the outside (good thing one window was down!)
Comparison - I tried straightening the rods but even if I made them perfectly straight they wouldn't have been long enough.

Put the old buttons in the new handles.
Roof is polished.  And dusty.
So much compound landed on the package tray.
Buffed the gas door too
Applied Raptor bedliner.  It came out beautiful.  Used about 2 1/2 quarts.
With the bedliner sprayed, I can start installing bed trim.
This is the old bed corner molding I was talking about.
Grill mounted.  Dust everywhere.

There is Something Wrong with the driver's side fender at the front - the fender is tweaked a little, preventing the corner trim and the headlight bezel from lining up quite right.
Side marker, wheel trim
Better view of the Raptor
I couldn't finish the doors as I couldn't find the vent window regulators - I searched the drawers, various boxes in the attic.. no luck.  Finally I searched in the "wrong" paces and found them in a coffee can marked "doors and windows".
Not pictured: Mounted the tailpipes once I got the rear bumper on.

One final task was needed before the car could get back on its wheels - there's a minor oil leak somewhere that manifests as a drip when the vehicle is running.

Added some flourescent dye to the oil, here you see that it's running to the pan - maybe rear main seal?
Something from the pan?
Nope - something spraying near the oil filter.

Turns out the fitting for the oil pressure gauge wouldn't tighten down.  Replaced the fitting and all was well.
Made a little bit of a mess while the fitting was out.
It does glow pretty well.
Test-fit of the bed front edge trim.  I think I'm mounting this wrong.
Can't find the bumper bolts I just bought two days ago so this is only partially mounted... but - it's the first time she's had her face on in years.

Also if you compare it with this picture from *2006* when I tore it down, you'll note that I did straighten the bent part.
Bed moldings installed, hold-down hooks painted and installed.
Note to self:  Install the window fuzzies before the window trim.  Dammit.
Test start, no drips from the oil pressure line, safe to put her on the ground.  The car is very low and looks great in person.  The door panels are here, the headliner is here, I've been given approval to go purchase some late model Camaro seats.. this will be driveable soon!
Next task - and this is where the "agony of defeat" comes in - is to try and identify why it's idling at ~2500 rpm.  My thought was a rather severe vacuum leak.  Hooked up the computer to check IAC position and the like.. over a period of about ten seconds it went from idling high to idling rough to a bang and all the oil falling out of the bottom.

I would like to believe that the rear main seal let go but that doesn't explain the rough nor the bang.

Called it a day here.  I'm angry and disgusted and sad.  I have to finish some work on the daily driver before I can jack this back up and assess the damage.  At least the flourescent dye will help show where the oil came from.

Go back to the previous, happier day (4 Jul 2022)