Camaro Restoration – Dis-assembly Front Sheet Metal

OK boys & girls, it’s time for the step 4in the camaro restoration series, are you ready, now that you have the front bumper and grille off of the car, you can begin the body or mechanical dis-assembly, it’s up to you where you go from here, but for this article we’re going to go with the dis-assembly of the front body panels, this includes the hood, fenders, header panel, valence panel, and radiator support, and the very first thing we’ll remove is the hood. There are two bolts holding the hood to the hinges on each side of the car, make 100% sure that you have a friend helping you with this part of the process, the hood is not light, and you don’t want to hit your front windshield with it, so now that we have that taken care of, open the hood of the car, and at the back of it are four bolts that hold the hood to the hinges. Give your friend a ratchet, and you take a ratchet and remove the front bolt on each side of the hood, once you have removed these bolts you can move the back bolts, but make sure that both you and your friend have a hand at the back of the hood holding it in place so you don’t put it in to the front windshield, or drop it on to the fenders, you do not want to have either one of these things happen, now you can remove the hood and store it in the corner. The next thing that you’ll want to do is remove the header panel, this is the panel that sits directly in front of the hood, it’s held in place by bolts that are underneath it, once you remove all the bolts it will pull out very easily, if it doesn’t pull out easily, you’d best check for more bolts, or something that the previous owner has added to hold it in place. The next item that we’ll remove is the valence panel, this is the panel where your blinkers are located on a 1969 model, in 1967-68 models depending on if the car is an R/S model or not, the blinkers / running lights could be located in the grille, the R/S models will have square blinker / running lights in the valence panel.

Once you have removed the blinker / running lights from the valence “if necessary” then you can move on to removing the valence panel, on the corners it will be held in place by nuts & blots, and along the top by sheet metal screws, remove all of the screws, start with the corners first, and then the top of the panel, once you have removed all of the the valance should drop of with ease, if it doesn’t check for more bolts holding it in place. Make 100% sure that as you pull these things of of the car that you have planned a good method of storage and labeling for them, or you will have problems when it comes time to put the car back together, oh and as an added way of remembering things, and how they went together, take pictures and keep them with the parts that they relate to. Now the only body panels left on the front of the car should be the front fenders, up at the to in front of the fenders, their should be corner braces, that are held by a bolt on each end, remove the bolts and take the corner braces off of the car, now you can begin to remove the fenders, there should be 6 or 8 bolts along the top of each fender, and one on the side of the cowl vent behind the door on each side, there will also be 6 or 8 bolts in each wheel opening, remove all of these bolts, give the fender a gentle tug, if it does not come off, you have missed a bolt somewhere along the way, remember to leave the doors open while you remove the fenders, so you have a place to grab on the back of the panel while pulling it off of the car.

Saving money is on everyone’s mind. Not only are you protecting your investment from dings, scratches and environmental damage but you are keeping it clean which means fewer trips to the car wash or detail shop. Cars are expensive these days. I am told there was a time where you could leave the showroom floor with a new Camaro for under $4, 000. A friend of mine jut purchase one in October it was $40,000, boy have times changed. If the cost of a new car isn’t bad enough, repairs are costly too and most insurance deductibles are $500. Who can afford that? If you like the idea but want an even easier way, they now have a top cover that covers the top half of the vehicle only. This cover is great for snow removal, ice build up and interior heat reduction. They are also lightweight and easy and simple to handle. The surface of the Cover has been treated with UV-protective, water-resistant coating that will shield your vehicle from the vagaries of nature, like rain, dust, snow, tree sap, bird droppings, etc. You can put this storage case in the trunk or cargo area of your car. When you want to clean your 370z car cover for Chevy, you don’t have to remove the cover from your car. The EZ Cover will provide ultimate protection of your Chevy if used properly and regularly. The EZ Cover also protects your Chevy from the harmful UV (ultra-violet) rays of the sun. The EZ Cover comes with attached cord and suction cup so the cover remains firmly secured to your Chevy. The cover comes with a limited, one-year manufacturer’s warranty that guarantees safety against any manufacturing defects which are highly unlikely anyway. They are available for the following representative and not exclusive list of Chevys: Chevy Blazer, Caprice, Cavalier, Camaro, Classic, Cobalt, Celebrity, HHR, Lumina, Impala, Malibu, Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban, Tracker, Chevy Sprint, and Prizm. They also improve the aesthetic and resale value of your vehicle.

 The Beginning of the Chevrolet Camaro

For over forty years Camaro and Mustang have been battling it out for first place in America’s heart. The Mustang arrived first, staking out the pony car high ground in 1964 and remained the only one of its kind during the two and a half years it took General Motors to respond. Since that time, Camaros and Mustangs have faced off in showrooms, at stoplights, on magazine covers and most dramatically on racetracks all across the country. Each has a large, passionate and loyal following. The story of how the battle lines came to be drawn, however, is almost as intriguing as the cars themselves.

While Lee Iacocca is universally recognized as the father of the Mustang, the Chevy Camaro’s parentage is much more difficult to define. Credit might rightfully be given to Alfred P. Sloan. President and finally Chairman of the Board of GM in 1937, Sloan was a visionary automotive pioneer who created the concept of annual styling changes and a lowest to highest pricing structure for each of GM’s brands, which at the time included Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac. The idea was to provide a low, entry level price point and keep car buyers coming back to GM over time as they became wealthier. By the early 1950s Sloan’s concepts were so successful, General Motors surpassed Ford Motor Company as the largest car company in the United States, holding over 60-percent of the market and with Chevrolet Motor Division dominated most high volume segments. Introduced in 1958, Chevy’s full-size flagship Impala out-sold both the Ford Galaxie 500 and Plymouth Fury by wide margins well into the mid 1960s. The compact Chevy II was launched in 1962 and size Chevelle was introduced in 1964, to face-off against Ford’s highly successful Falcon and Fairlane tandem. In the mid-1960s, both sales and spirits at GM’s Chevrolet Motor Division were at an all-time high. Combined annual car and truck deliveries were approaching 2.8 million units. On NBC, Dinah Shore closed each weekly episode of the hour-long Dinah Shore Chevy Show with a warm farewell kiss and a musical reminder to “See the USA is II/Super Nova model with dimensions and proportions remarkably similar to the Ford Mustang’s.

It’s a well known fact that GM didn’t approve production of what would eventually become the Camaro until six months after the Mustang was released. It’s also a fact that back in 1962, when Chevrolet design chief Irvin W. Rybicki and GM design boss Bill Mitchell approached Chevrolet General Manager Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen with the idea for a personal, four seat sports car, Knudsen quickly and confidently vetoed the idea. He was sure that Chevy’s existing models, particularly the Corvair, would be more than a match for any new small car from Ford. Knudsen would, incidentally, later be named president of Ford Motor Company in February 1968, temporarily stalling the ambition of a then up-and-coming vice president named Lee Iacocca. However, when Mustang shocked the automotive world with record-breaking sales of 26,000 units on its first day and 100,000 in the first four months, Knudsen knew he had made a mistake. Engineers and designers were given a simple mandate: Make it longer, lower, wider, faster and better than Mustang in every way. To most quickly and economically bring the new Mustang killer to market, the engineering team pulled ahead development of the 1968 Chevy II/Super Nova platform which featured a unibody structure from the windshield and firewall back. A unique feature, however, was a rubber-isolated front sub-frame. Isolated sub-frames had been used before but only in a few European designs, most notably some Mercedes-Benz models. One advantage was that it allowed a larger interior with more luggage space. Another advantage was that it provided a smoother, quieter ride.

The most important, however, is that it would accommodate a wide variety of performance suspensions and power plants. Other off-the-shelf mechanical components included four drum-type brakes, standard manual steering and Chevy’s rugged 230 cubic inch, 140-horsepower straight six engine mated to a three-speed manual transmission. The design team that produced the Corvette, Corvair, and Nova were given the challenge of producing Chevy’s answer to the Mustang. Preliminary design drawings and mock-ups included a two-seat roadster, a fastback and even a station wagon. But in the end, Chevy management insisted on a four-seat sport coupe, also available as a convertible. The final design had a long hood and a short deck, but didn’t otherwise replicate Mustang’s boxy styling. A wide satin silver grille with inset headlights and parking lamps, a low roof, large wheel cut-outs and a bold horizontal crease midway on the sides gave it a surprisingly fluid, road-ready appearance. Two trim packages were also created: an appearance-oriented Rally Sport and a performance-oriented Super Sport. An RS/SS combination could also be ordered. The RS package included a blacked-out grille with hidden headlights, revised parking and tail lights, upgraded interior trim and RS badging. The SS package included a modified 350 cid V8 engine, simulated air-intakes on the hood, special bumble bee striping and a blacked-out grill. When the RS/SS package was ordered the RS badging took precedence.

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