1968 Chevy Camaro Third Member - Right Of Way

Currie Enterprises Shows Us The Right Way To Install A Third Member On Our '68 Project Car Known As Bad Penny

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We don’t even want to know where they came up with the phrase “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” especially if it’s accurate. Nonetheless, there’s generally one correct way to do a particular task when dealing with performance parts. Shortcuts taken during an installation can come back to haunt you down the line, and the time you saved by cutting corners will simply evaporate when you have to do the whole deal over again.

Camp 0812 01 1968 Chevy Camaro Third Member Front View 2/13


We got schooled in this life lesson when we took our ’68 project car, Bad Penny, over to Currie Enterprises to install the aluminum center section we built a few issues ago (Gears Of War, July ’08). We discovered—during what we thought was going to be a routine swap—installing a part is as important as how a part is actually built. Some of the issues comprised of choosing better parts while others involved outright mistakes we had made. Hey, we never claimed to be perfect, but at least this way we all get to learn from our errors.

Camp 0812 02 1968 Chevy Camaro Third Member Center Section 3/13


We were also plagued with leaky axle seals. Even after replacing the seals they would start to seep after a short time. Nothing is more embarrassing than a nice car that leaks fluid all over the place.Currie diagnosed the leaky axle seal as being the result of the axle not being held firmly in place. The axle bearing retainer plates provided with our brake kit are just stamped steel, under the stress of the car being pushed hard laterally they were flexing and letting fluid though. The fix came in the form of these laser-cut ¼-inch thick plates from Currie (PN CE-9005TW, $12.95 each). As you can see, they are a lot stronger than what we were running and have no chance of deforming.

Camp 0812 03 1968 Chevy Camaro Third Member Leaky Axles 4/13

Currie diagnosed the leaky axle seal as being the result of the axle not being held firmly in place. The axle bearing retainer plates provided with our brake kit are just stamped steel, under the stress of the car being pushed hard laterally they were flexing and letting fluid though. The fix came in the form of these laser-cut ¼-inch thick plates from Currie (PN CE-9005TW, $12.95 each). As you can see, they are a lot stronger than what we were running and have no chance of deforming.


The only downside to the Currie parts is, unlike the stamped steel version, they have to be installed before the bearings are pressed on. Sure, you could slot them, like the other ones, so they can slide over the axle, but you would be giving up a lot of their improved strength. Besides, Currie feels that having even pressure around the entire circumference of the axle seal is critical for staying leak-free.


We also discovered another part of our problem was that our left axle was just a touch too long and was rubbing on the center section. This explained why the car was hard to push when first built and was also causing the axle to push outward and flex the axle bearing retention plate, thus exacerbating our leak. Currie took some measurements and then milled a bit off the end of the axle. One more problem fixed.

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