Closing The Gap

Replace those work-out rubber body mounts with high-strength urethane

One of the most time-consuming and aggravating jobs in any restoration project is getting all those once-perfect door, trunk, and hood gaps to line up as they should. Most times, we all seem to chalk up those large and/or uneven gaps to either just plain vehicle age or our own misalignment when reinstalling panels we've removed for one reason or another. Both excuses can, and do hold true, but the most common reason for this misalignment is the latter--age.

Let's face it, old age sucks. We're all facing it whether we want to think about it or not. Heck, gravity and wear and tear certainly takes its toll. How many of us are as physically tight, trim, and perfectly aligned as we were 20 or 30 years ago? Well, if all those years of getting up to change the channel (for all you youngsters out there, TV remotes weren't common until around the time of the Second-Gen Camaro), or grabbing another brew out of the fridge or cooler, or wandering down to the end of the driveway to get the mail--not to forget the earth's plain old gravitational pull--can do this to our bodies, think of what 20 or 30 years of pot holes, temperature extremes, burnouts, and stop-and-go driving have done to our classic Chevys. Those chewy old rubber body-mount cushions aren't up to the task any better than our own aging and softening bodies are. Fortunately, in just a few hours time, we can rectify our sagging cars and go a long way into bringing them back into shape--too bad whipping our own bodies back into shape wasn't a fraction as easy.

Energy Suspension offers fresh new body-mount kits (along with an expansive line of urethane suspension component kits) that are just the ticket for solving these dilemmas. In this example, we chose its PN 3-4142 body-mount package to revive an old Camaro project car that's been hanging around the Primedia Tech Center waiting for some much deserved attention. It's a really straightforward task, with its most difficult aspect breaking free those original (and almost always rusty and crusty) body-mount bolts. So, just like the instruction sheet from Energy Suspension says, spray the car's caged nuts generously with your favorite rust buster, and then get to work. l

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Energy Suspension is the first name that comes to mind when we think of suspension rebuilds and upgrades, but too many of us overlook the needs and benefits of replacing our car's body mounts with the same high-quality urethane components. Energy offers a complete selection of mounts for dozens and dozens of model, year, and body styles of Chevrolets.

HYPER-FLEX is Energy Suspension's unique and technically advanced performance polyurethane, and has been awarded nine U.S. patents. Durability is superior to most rubber components that are used for cars, trucks, and SUVs. Road salt, oil, and a host of other common under-car contaminants will eventually destroy the rubber bushings on your Chevy, not to mention the weight and torque forces that typically compress most rubber permanently. Energy Suspension replacement polyurethane components stand up well to contaminants that often destroy rubber, have been engineered to give longer-lasting performance and not compress permanently, and are offered in a variety of durometers (firmness or softness), depending on the particular product application.

Here are a couple of images (they say a picture is worth a thousand words) that compare those mushy, standard rubber OEM mounts...

...to Energy Suspension's HYPER-FLEX urethane replacements. Fortunately, (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), these components will be serviceable well beyond our lifetimes, allowing future generations to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

This diagram (included in the installation instructions) shows the three points at which a Second-Gen Camaro body mounts to its subframe. We suggest starting from the front of the car and working rearward.

Also shown is the correct orientation of the urethane cushions, sleeves, and washers (for those of us who happen to read directions)

Here at the Primedia Tech Center, we're lucky enough to have our resident wrench (known to us as "Installation Jason") to do our dirty work. Figuring the original bolts would be a rusty nightmare to remove, I graciously accepted his offer to remove them for me.

Once the bolts were removed and the well-worn rubber mounts were pried out of place...

the new Energy components slipped right into place. The new sleeves, bolts, and washers make reinstallation a breeze.

Once in place and finger-tight, you can make the rounds and snug 'em all up. Replacing your worn-out body mounts will go along way toward rectifying those nasty door and panel gaps...

... and will also aid in reducing some body flex during hard cornering--a more than worthy investment in time and pocket change, believe me.

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