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1967 Chevy Camaro Project - The Unfair Advantage
Super Chevy Follows Along As Prodigy Customs Builds A 200-Mph/8-Second/G-Machine Camaro.
Aug 1, 2010
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1967 Chevy Camaro Project - The Unfair Advantage
The floor was completely destroyed by rust and required a quick trim, but the inner and outer rockers were surprisingly OK. Later we will be doing some modifications to the outer rockers anyway, but it was nice to have some structural integrity intact. It made it much easier to build and attach our jig to the car.
We wanted to do a jig that someone at home might be able to build. Assuming your car is in good shape at each of the pickup points, you could build this jig for a few hundred dollars. We took a simple approach and welded the rockers to the jig. At the front and rear of the rockers we wedged some angle iron against the pinch weld and tacked it in place and made four equal length stations from 2x2-inch box tubing to support the outer body.
We made adjustable stations for the six critical pick-up points on the undercarriage. We used 2x2-inch square tubing for the outer tubes and made a sliding inside tube made of 1.5x1.5-inch tubing. We cut 3 inches off the outer tubes, welded the 3-inch drop to the inner tube, and slid the two parts together. We had to add a piece of 1⁄8x1-inch flat bar as a shim to keep the tubes snug so they would still slide and be adjustable. We then drilled through the inner and outer tube with the tubes compressed together; this would be our stock floor height setting. We then drilled another hole in the inner tube 1.5 inches below the first hole so the tube would have a stock floor height pin location, and then could be raised and pinned 1.5 inches higher. This will allow us to build the jig to the car, trim out all the original undercarriage, and raise all the pickup points equally at once.
The first pick-up point is the torque box under the firewall. This is the subframe mount and has an alignment pin opening used to align the front subframe. We used some angle iron and welded a 5⁄8-inch pin that goes through the alignment hole to it so the torque box could not move once we removed all the structure. Here we are lining up the pin.
You can see in this picture the torque box is mounted and locked in place by the pin.
At the front of the rear framerail, we mounted the front leaf spring bucket to the original framerail and welded one of our adjustable stations into the leaf spring bucket. For better photo purposes, we used this picture of the new frame rail bolted in place.
At the back of the rear framerail, we made a sandwich bracket with a piece of 1.5-inch tubing that fit precisely in the leaf spring bushing pocket on the framerail. When clamped together, the rear fame position was locked in place. Again, for photo purposes it was better to use a picture of the new framerail clamped in place. Once the six adjustable stantions were attached to the body, we welded them to the framework. We put caster wheels on our jig so we could move it around. Building our jig this way, the 10 critical pick-up points—including front and rear rockers, torque box, and front and rear spring eyes on the rear framerail—are all locked in position. The jig is square and all the pickup points are locked in proper relation to one another no matter where we roll the jig. There is no concern of whether the rolling jig is on level ground or not.
Once the body was mounted to our jig, we cut out the floors, trimmed off the quarters, rear body panel, and roof skin. We are doing this project as if we were at home without the benefit of a complete body jig. We did not want to blow the entire car apart and start building from scratch, which requires a extensive jig, so we are doing the structural repairs in sections and are retaining some critical structure areas even though some of these areas will be replaced later. For example, the roof inner structure is severely pitted and pot-holed, but still is intact enough to support the skeleton. To prevent the car from collapsing, we are leaving the roof inner structure in place and will replace it later. We then sandblasted the body skeleton to find out what other metal might need to be replaced.
Before we could get started on our floor-raising project, we had to do a some structural repairs.
The outer cowl sections were in sad shape. These sections are really welded in and structurally very important.
After drilling the many factory spot welds, a hammer and firm putty knife is your best friend for separating the panels.
The torque box in the stock floor height location.
The torque box is raised and pinned 1.5 inches.
The front back framerail...
...and the rear of the back framerail raised 1.5 inches.
We dropped the full floor in place at the stock location to show you how it fits. The Auto Metal Direct panel just fell into place.
Another picture of the floor in the stock location. Raising the floor will cause a few minor issues. You can see that when we raise the floor there will be nothing in this location to weld to, so Michael Serafine used a piece of 1⁄8-inch thick 2x3-inch box tubing to make a riser the floor could be attached to. Later this will also be our main roll bar hoop gusset.
We used a piece of 1⁄4x1-inch flat bar to make a filler piece on the inner rocker near the center of the rocker so when we raise the floor we have something to weld to.
With the floor now raised...
...you can see how our filler pieces...
...give us something to attach to.
We welded the outer perimeter of the floor...
...and tied into the rear trunk floor section.
We did not tie into the framerails yet.
We have something special planned for the rear rails.
We drilled 5⁄16-inch holes in the floor flange and welded it into the inner rockers. You can also see the drill holes from removing the old floor, which also get welded. But this shows perfectly just how much the floor is raised.
The last thing to do is reattach the raised torque box.
After some manipulation with a hammer and dolly, the flange on the torque box is welded. Next month we will build our firewall and tie it into the floor.
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