Last month, we introduced the new Chassisworks No-Fab bolt-on front Camaro frame and showed it next to our g-Machine '68 Camaro. This close-to-terminal, virtual basket case of a car was rescued just in the nick of time from its looming fate of stripped parts, spreading rust, and invading weeds, and the first order of business is to install the bolt-on front clip. This complete suspension system literally bolts onto First-Generation F-Bodies, plus '68-72 Novas. This latest incarnation of the No-Fab line utilizes the same suspension, steering, and braking components as the revolutionary bolt-on clips that Chassisworks originally developed for '62-67 Chevy IIs and Novas.
While front suspensions designed using old Mustang II technology are a good upgrade over most factory frontends, Chassisworks committed considerable time, research, and resources to produce all-new components specifically for its line of front subframes. According to Chris Alston, this fresh approach was necessary to guarantee easy installation and an accurate fit, along with absolutely correct suspension and steering geometry. In fact, aside from the adjustable shocks, Wilwood disc brakes, and the flexible brake lines, just about every other piece found in this kit exists nowhere else but in the Chassisworks catalog.
Naturally, the F-Body kit differs from the Nova versions both in the configuration of the framerails themselves and in their method of attachment to the unibody. The other major difference is that the suspension components are mounted onto the subframe before it goes underneath the car, rather than after. All of the front bodywork stays in place throughout the installation process. This eliminates the hassle of re-aligning the fenders and such, making this major-upgrade conversion even easier.
As implied in the No-Fab name, there is absolutely no welding or cutting involved in the installation of this front clip. Granted, a few small holes do have to be drilled and tapped in the framework to secure the brake and fuel lines to the frame and in the fender panels for the new Chassisworks rubber splash boots. Other than that, there are no further modifications required for either the car or the subframe. There is also no need to acquire exotic tools to install this bad boy in any of the intended vehicles. (For those who would like to see if this project is within their ability before ordering any hardware, a copy of the photo-illustrated Installation Guide is available from Chassisworks for only $39.)
In last month's story, we showed the steps involved in attaching the steering rack, stainless-steel control arms, and cast spindles to the basic frame, which arrives from the factory welded up and ready to go. In this segment, we start with the simple alignment process developed by the Chassisworks engineers. We won't stop until the frame is completely ready to find its way into the car.
Next month, we will be showing all the steps required to get the car prepared to accept this high-tech transplant. The subsequent installment will follow the actual installation of the new subframe in our '68 Camaro. At that point, we'll undoubtedly have hatched further plans for this happily adopted orphan and will be ready to tell you all about them. So stay tuned, as this exciting technology turns our g-Machine into one cool canyon-carving cruiser.