Welcome to the third installment of our transformation of a derelict '68 Camaro into a better-than-new g-Machine, empowered with 21st-century acceleration, handling, and braking. The first stop after its nick-of-time rescue from the ravages of scavengers, target-shooters, and the elements was the Sacramento, California, headquarters of Chris Alston's Chassisworks, where it is losing all of its stock suspension components in favor of new, "higher-technology" parts and pieces.
This all-encompassing reconstruction starts with the installation of Chassisworks' NoFab bolt-on front-subframe kit, complete with the A-arm suspension and rack-and-pinion steering developed by Chassisworks specifically for this kind of performance-based application. Unlike the universal, weld-on, Mustang II-based packages, long available from the aftermarket, this NoFab design started from a clean sheet of paper, borrowing zero OEM parts. Chris Alston made extensive use of his company's sophisticated computer, software, and CNC equipment to come up with a package that is versatile, easy to install, requires no welding or other fabrication, provides dead-on suspension geometry, and is very good-looking to boot.
In the preceding segments of this effort, you watched as the stainless steel control arms, coilover springs, Wilwood four-piston calipers with Chassisworks hubs and rotors, rack-and-pinion assembly, antiroll bar, and all of the other suspension parts were installed on the factory-welded subframe and dropped crossmember. This process, including the alignment procedure, takes place before the whole setup goes into the car. Obviously, the motor and trans, along with the car's hood and front bumper, are removed for this subframe swap, but the front fenders and the radiator core remain in place during the entire installation process.
With the new front clip ready to install, the only thing standing in the way is the removal of the OEM subframe-which brings us to the subject covered in this segment: the disassembly of the stock stuff.
We mentioned that the scavengers had been picking on this car before we snagged it. In the interest of full disclosure, we should also mention that among the parts missing from this particular Camaro were the grille, front bumper, and good portions of the original steering and braking systems. Therefore, we ask sharp-eyed readers to refrain from writing us nasty letters when you notice a discrepancy or two in this segment. Where necessary, we have used photos from a different and fully intact Camaro-which, along with our own, had been thoroughly probed and prodded during the development of this chassis kit-to illustrate the disassembly steps covered here.
With that bit of lawyerese taken care of, let's get on with the show. Next month, we'll finish up the front-clip portion of the proceedings and watch while the new, bolt-in subframe is, well, bolted in!