There's nothing quite like the moment when your project rolls out of the paint booth wearing its glossy new vibe for the first time. It's a major turning point during a build that generates excitement on all levels since you can almost smell the high-octane fuel and burnt rubber. Shop owner Peter Newell and his team at Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, moved forward with the reassembly of Project Orange Krate, our '71 project Camaro.
Technology has come a long way since our 70's-era muscle car was originally built, and cutting-edge performance has been infused throughout every facet of its resurrection. While it's great to hit the dragstrip, and carve through the autocross, we felt it was important to work in a number of features to make the time spent in the cabin as comfortable as possible, especially when just going out for a cruise.
Driving a restored or modified Camaro is no reason to suffer with loads of vibration and road and wind noise, not to mention excessive interior heat during everyday driving, which we have all become accustomed to. To address this situation, we contacted QuietRide Solutions in Stockton, California, to see what they had to offer. Being in the specialized business of manufacturing automotive insulation products since 1977, they have everything needed to dial in our ride. Their AcoustiShield line provides car owners with the materials to fully insulate their cabin from roof to floor, thereby creating an "acoustic envelope" isolating them from the effects of outside noise, vibration, and heat.
To bring your car to life, nothing is more important that its wiring. For Orange Krate it was imperative to have a kit that could address many of the car's original aspects as well as numerous modifications it has undergone. American Autowire's Classic Update Series offers a complete wiring system designed exclusively for modified vehicles.
For example, their new fuse box is designed to install in the original location and the harness is laid out and formed to allow for nearly all aftermarket accessories, including heating and air conditioning, gauge packages, and windshield wiper systems.
To give a hint of just how bitchin the interior is going to be, Newell installed a fresh, black dashpad from Ground Up. It's constructed from a flexible urethane material to prevent it from warping after repeated exposures to the sun and extreme heat. The dashpad also offers additional strength by incorporating six retainer clips for mounting as opposed to the three in factory form.
Stay tuned as Orange Krate moves closer to completion by the talented staff at Competition Specialties. Dig it!
01. Fresh from the paint booth, Peter Newell and his team at Competition Specialties got started on the final assembly of Orange Krate.
02. To give Orange Krate a rock-solid feel as well as drown out road noise, QuietRide Solutions sent over every pre-cut Dynamat Xtreme kit available. Each Dynamat Xtreme pre-cut kit comes complete with an easy-to-read layout of where each section goes, plus tips for the perfect installation. Before application, lay out all the sections in the area to be worked on to confirm their individual spots. Prior to installation, the area was cleaned of any contaminants to ensure maximum product adhesion.
03. Here, the release liner under the passenger seat floor area was removed and the section was laid in place. One of Newell's preferred application tools is a fresh, hard plastic body filler spreader.
04. Since the factory floor now incorporated Detroit Speed's subframe connectors, the pre-cut section needed to be modified. Using a razor blade, the area was trimmed to fit.
05. Newell continued onto the driver-side front floor section, carefully working the Dynamat Xtreme into every crevice of the panel.
06. Here you can see just how nice the application of the pre-cut floor kit (PN XGM F2F) came out, giving the car a truly improved solid feel.
07. We continued onto the rear of the car using the under rear seat pre-cut kit, which only required minor trimming due to the Detroit Speed rear suspension modifications.
08. Newell followed with the installation of the rear package tray kit. Since Orange Krate will be getting a new sound system, he trimmed the rear speaker openings carefully using a razor blade
09. Team member Pat Dickinson completed the Dynamat Xtreme installation by securing the roof kit in place. At this point the increase in overall body solidity was remarkable.
10. Since Orange Krate is heavily modified, a call was placed to American Autowire for one of their Classic Update Series complete wiring kits (PN 510034). Everything to take on the job came in one box with all sections in individually labeled bags.
11. To get started, the kits for the front lights, engine, dash harness, and rear body were unpacked and laid out on a clean work table.
12. Newell unwound the new dash harness, mounted the fuse box in its factory spot, and began routing and wire tying the harness in place. Here you can see the dash harness all laid into place, including the routing of the added rear body kit and console kit.
13. The bulkhead connector for the front light kit is snapped into place with the engine harness connector, forming one unit that will bolt to the dash harness firewall connector.
14. The completed connector is then bolted in place at the firewall to the dash harness connector with the provided bolt to create a secure unit.
15. Since the original factory dashpad was cracked and warped, Ground Up supplied us with a fresh dash unit with new mounting hardware and original lower instrument trim panel.
16. The dashpad and original lower instrument trim panel, were then secured together using the original factory mounting hardware.
17. Next, secure the six new mounting clips to the rear of the dashpad to prepare it for installation using a 3⁄8-inch socket and ratchet.
18. Align the dashpad and carefully slide the six clips into the upper metal dashpanel and push the dashpad forward till the clips snap into place.
19. The new dashpad looks killer and gives us an idea of just how nice the interior is going to look.
20. Newell then routed the rear body wiring kit through the factory locations and into the trunk.
21. For the ultimate in insulation, QuietRide Solutions offers a 1970-1974 GM F-Body pre-cut AcoustiShield kit (PN GMAF 7074-CAK), which includes everything to get the job done, step-by-step instructions, and any needed adhesives.
22. Installing WeatherShield to the inner door was a snap. First, make sure the inner panel surface is clean and dry. Then apply three strips of Dynamat Xtreme to the inside of the doorskin to stop panel vibration.
23. Next, lay a sheet of aluminum barrier insulation on top of the inner door panel frame and trace the amount of product to be trimmed off. This will keep it hidden behind the door panel upholstery when applied back in place.
24. Using scissors, carefully trim away the excess aluminum barrier insulation as well as make accommodation for the inner door handle and window riser.
25. To secure the insulation in place, the kit includes a roll of double-sided foam tape. Work your way around the outer perimeter of the door structure, keeping within the barrier limits. Add adhesive strips to the raised inner structure areas as well.
26. Carefully peel away the top adhesive tape strips and lightly place the insulation in place. When satisfied with its position, gently press down to adhere it in place.
27. Newell first test-fitted the pre-cut AcoustiShield panels in place. He then applied the included spray adhesive to the fibrous side of a panel and then followed with spraying it to the corresponding floor area. He then secured the panel in place.
28. Once the heat absorber/barrier was glued in place, aluminum tape was applied to all seams and edges.
29. The completed installation of the AcoustiShield kit looks amazing and will make a huge difference in how comfortable the cabin of Orange Krate will be once it hits the road.