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Camaro Disaster

I need advise. A friend of mine that helps me out with welding decided he would build a 68 camaro. It has no rockers,partial floor pans welding in. no trunk pan or rear frame rails or quarters.He got started by welding in repo frame rails and trunk pan.then hanging the rest of the sheet metal. Naturally nothing fits or lines up.I don't now how to straighten up this mess nothing was braced up before all those parts were cut out.I'm thinking starting with the door with new pins and bushing and using them as a reference point .Then install the rockers??? This is over my head, using all this repop stuff and trying to get it all lined up is way out of my comfort zone. Guys please help me out. THANKS
i've inherited this kind of mess before. i use screws to get it all together before any welding is done.
and i charge for the work and for the aggravation.
Most repro stuff ill-fitting. I would suggest putting as much of the car together as possible before doing anything permanent. Even the little stuff. I recently replaced the tail light panel on my car using a Taiwan John panel. I made sure I braced everything up before I cut and installed the new one so that it fit perfectly. I checked everything except I didn't actually install all of the tail lights before paint and guess what happened? Nothing like grinding and welding on fresh paint! Like Shine suggested, use screws or small tack welds that can easily be undone. If you have access to a similar car, that would be great so you could take some measurements. It's very easy to get ahead of yourself only to find that you missed something at the end. Take a look at some of the posts from the pros like Rusty and Chad. See how they get stuff ligned up and modified as needed. I'm not sure about the old Camaros but if it's like a typical unibody car you might have some sagging in the whole car with that much sheet metal removed. Especially it it's a convertable. Not much advice here, but hope it helps.
dont let it intimidate you . you can start with nothing and build any of them. just put it together the way you want it. i very seldom use braces and cut them up all the time. poteets 35.jpg

poteets 35 finished.jpg
I guess if I had it I would put it on the frame machine and start measuring everything. Several main things to watch would be to make sure the rockers are level with each other and that they are the correct distance apart, and that the ends of the rear rails are in the right place. Then try on a known good stub frame and see if it will fit square and level. Once that stuff is correct you can move to door/hinge pillar/quarter alignment.

Here's some specs: http://www.stevescamaroparts.com/Camaro_Unibody_Frame__Dimen.html

Rocker pinchweld measurements might be harder to come by, knowing someone with an unmolested car might help.

How you support the vehicle while welding can also affect the final fit of the panels. At the front stubframe mount and at the high point of the rear kickup on the rail is a good start.
Fitting fitting fitting, always start at the rear and move your way forward, clamp and screw everything together untill it all aligns. Sometimes moving a few parts an eighth of an inch can put everything else in perfect alignment. Wheelhouses, rockers, rear panel-numerous parts can be prepped for welding before you mockup so you'll only have to partially disassemble to start welding. Setup your door hinges so you can pull the pins-this can sometimes save hours of realignment time.
He's a welder, have him weld up a jig to the aforementioned frame specs, mount the car, cut the metal loose and start over. I know, I know, it's a ton of work but if the car was tweaked every which way to Sunday when he replaced the metal, you 'll be forever chasing your tail trying to straighten it out. Plus, you can sell the jig when you're done. satty on jig.jpg
Don't panic take your time. It may take a few times to get it right. That's what screws, vise grips and tack welds are for. I don't use much bracing either.

I start at the cowl/firewall and work my way to the back and then go back to the cowl/firewal and work my way to the front. 40 ford begin.jpg

40 ford off frame.jpg

40 ford 7.jpg

40 ford ls.jpg
you find out quick on the old ones huh keith. :) measurements dont help much . cowls and qrt panels dont adjust . you have to build to them. one disaster can be installing qrts without the trunk lid set.
we have a bad habit of cutting stuff in half . first cut.jpg

Thanks for the replies. Good advice as always.I think he is going to build a jig.Does anyone know of a demensions diagram for the sheet metal? Thanks guys!
I have been lurking here and have not really had much to share but have built numerous basket cases. The most effective way I have found to go about this is to hang the doors so they fit the cowl. Mount the deck lid and use the doors and deck lid for alignment purposes. Your door gaps and deck lid gaps will tell you when the car is in shape. It does take patience but is not rocket science either.

Be cautious as you weld it up. The welding process will cause it to draw some. Good bracing is important.

I am sure everyone will enjoy all the pictures you can post. :)

John L
shine;n39530 said:
i've inherited this kind of mess before. i use screws to get it all together before any welding is done.
and i charge for the work and for the aggravation.

I 100% agree.... especally the aggravation point. This is something that only someone with alot of time and the room in a shop should tackle. You will need alot of 1/8" screws and see if you can find a measurement chart to help you get things as close to where they need to be. You will also want to support the car on stands level and check for square as you go. Alot goes into this type of project I wish you well.