There comes a time during a build when everything starts to come together. It’s a moment when you can step back and really look deep into what you’ve been working hard to achieve and actually see (in our case) an artist’s rendition finally coming to life. Regular readers of Camaro Performers magazine have seen Project Orange Krate, our ’71 Camaro, evolve over a number of issues. At Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, Peter Newell and his talented staff have taken on numerous tasks from initial teardown to fabrication and installation of everything from cutting-edge suspension components to replacement sheetmetal, exhaust, and rollcage to name but a few.
With this article, we’ll tighten up a number of areas on the second-gen and get the car to its complete mocked-up rolling stage. With a dramatically lower suspension and increased front tire size, it was an easy decision to replace the stock steel inner fenders with a pair of Anvil Auto’s slick carbon-fiber units. These inner fenders are not only cool to look at, but they offer a significant weight savings over the stock ones as well as full coverage for the increased tire size. For our installation, since we’re replacing the driver-side fender with a fresh stamped-steel unit from YearOne, it made sense to attach the inner fenders to the fenders while they were on a padded stand, and then install the complete units onto the car.
In preparation for remounting the YearOne 2-inch cowl hood back onto the car, a call was placed to Eddie Motorsports for a pair of their CNC-machined polished billet aluminum hood hinges. Crafted from 6061-T6 aluminum, they feature extra smooth operation thanks to sealed bearings and come with everything needed for an easy installation. The detailed instructions feature a number of mounting tips in regards to the amount of potential adjustments that may be needed to achieve proper fitment to the car.
When taking on an installation like this it’s important to have help for both the mounting of the hood to the hinges as well as performing all the necessary adjustments. Always place antiseize on the bolts before installation, as well as being conscientious of the actual bolt length when installing the hood as some hoods may require shorter bolts so as not to dent the outer sheetmetal when tightened. To avoid hitting your fenders when closing the hood for the first time, be careful when dialing in the fitment. We also installed a pair of Eddie Motorsports polished billet aluminum trunk hinges to balance out the allure fore and aft.
Finally, the hood, fenders, doors, and trunk lid were all adjusted for proper fitment utilizing shims where applicable. This gave the body a clean look and prepared us for the next stages, when we take a look at final trimming to fit and custom body modifications as we move closer to the spray booth.
01 Anvil Auto’s replacement inner fenders offer additional room over factory steel inners for running larger rubber and are constructed of 100 percent carbon fiber for some nice weight savings. Plus they look just plain wicked.
02 Competition Specialties’ team member George Kouthouridis prepared the inner fender for installation by applying a few rows of 2-inch masking tape to protect its glossy finish.
03 To secure the inner fender to the fender lip, J-nut clips were carefully slid into place.
04 The prepared inner fenderwell was then carefully slid into place making sure that the carbon fiber was well protected.
05 A ratchet wrench was used to install the cup washer retainers and 1⁄2-inch bolts to the upper inner fenderwell.
06 Once all the hardware was in place, it was gradually tightened, securing the carbon-fiber fenderwell to the new fender.
07 With the original mockup fender removed, the front end was ready for the YearOne fender to meet up with the fresh Classic Industries header panel and lower valance.
08 The protective tape was then removed and the assembled unit was lowered into place.
09 All mounting bolts were first thread loosely into place. Here, the header panel is secured to the fender using 5⁄16-inch bolts and a ratchet wrench.
10 In no time, the new Year One front fender was in place awaiting fitment to the body.
11 It is amazing what a visual impact the new inner fenders from Anvil Auto made on the engine bay of the car!
12 For the ultimate in functionality and dress-up, a set of Eddie Motorsports billet aluminum hood hinges did the trick. They come complete with everything you’ll need to make the upgrade straight out of the box.
13 To prepare the hood struts for installation, you first need to remove the wire keeper from each end of the socket. Next, mount the strut to the hinge. Note that for proper operation you must install the strut with the shaft side down.
14 Position the hinge on the corresponding fender and hand-tighten the hinge to the body with the provided 3⁄8-inch button-head bolts, flat washer, and AN nut.
15 CNC machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum, the hinges look wicked as they await the hood. Be sure to replace the shock wire keepers once all hinge adjustments are complete.
16 Shop owner Peter Newell joined George to install the YearOne 2-inch cowl hood. For initial adjustments, carefully close hood to establish body lines and avoid any potential damage.
17 Wow, talk about finally getting a glimpse of what lies ahead! The combination of stance and attitude seems to be what Orange Krate is all about.
18 To work on the initial fitment of the new fender to the original door, we outlined where some of the adjustments were needed.
19 To begin the adjustment of the body lines, a number of fender shims were set in place under the top fender mount. There are four points of adjustment where these shims can be installed to achieve the proper panel alignment.
20 Looking inside the top of the doorjamb, you can see a number of shims already in place for adjustment purposes.
21 Once the fitment was completed, you can see just how much change was made to the panel lines. Final preparation of the body lines will be addressed in an upcoming story.
22 To add a bit of dazzle to the rear of the car, a set of Eddie Motorsports billet trunk hinges were the perfect complement to the hood hinges.
23 To remove the factory hinge, the tabs on the hinge pin first need to be straightened. A hammer and standard screwdriver were used for this step.
24 The hinge pin was then removed followed by the hinge.
25 The new billet hinge was then set in place. A body hammer was used to gently move the hinge pin back into place.
26 With the new hinge in place, the hinge pin only needs its tabs to be readjusted to secure it in place.
27 The trunk lid was then secured to the new hinges using the fresh button-head hardware and washers. Note that for our purposes, the strut was not set in place at this time.
28 The trunk lid was then fit back to the body as we await the next stage of the build where we will final prep the body and make any custom updates to the sheetmetal. Stay tuned!