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TECH: Camaro Clip in your 58 chevy-in one day!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by LUX BLUE, Dec 15, 2006.

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  1. JAWS
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,850

    JAWS
    Member


    I might get killed for this, but it should be 5*.
     
  2. Toad Frog
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 17

    Toad Frog
    Member
    from Texas

    LOL...why you say that??

    Actually I will check it at lunch. 5* down right??

    And if not??
     
  3. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    eh.
    5* isn't really what you should be shooting for in the beginning. it is what you should arrive at loaded and wet. (meaning with the motor and trans installed, running, and driving.

    Jaws- Yeah...I didn't mention the fact that the F bodies are different from side to side. unless someone calls me and say "this thing looks all kinds of crooked" at which point I point out the pretty impressive differences from side to side. then I generally mention to look at the areas immediately adjascent to the upper control arm mounts on the crossmember. one side has about 2 inches of meat behind it, the other has closer to 4.

    and as far as the alignment is concerned, any alignment man worth his salt should be able to get one straightened out without too much drama.

    lookin good kids. keep up the good work!
     
  4. flynstone
    Joined: Aug 14, 2005
    Posts: 1,645

    flynstone
    Member

    father and son cameros, my sons is the chopped one......did his first loved it so much made me one...........
     

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  5. Toad Frog
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 17

    Toad Frog
    Member
    from Texas

    Awesome...Thanks for looking Lux. So, it looks good where its at???

    Mine is at a hair over 6* at simulated ride height...(aka) level.



     
  6. JAWS
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,850

    JAWS
    Member


    Well, my buddy who does this for a living would be unhappy if I gave away all his secrets.

    The 5 degree measurement is on the cross member just below where the oil pan would sit. With the trucks frame level front to back and side to side. Not the bottom under the cross member. The flat portion in the middle on top. I am not talking engine trans degree or rear diff angles. I am stating the clip angle so that the caster measurements will come out when it is aligned. Tilted too far forward or backward will cause the caster to be way out.
     
  7. Toad Frog
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 17

    Toad Frog
    Member
    from Texas

    That is where I measured from. And it is a hair over 6*, so I think I should be fine. Right??

     
  8. JAWS
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,850

    JAWS
    Member

    5 is what it is when in the Camaro at factory specs. 1 degree would give you more caster. That isn't a bad thing, but too much of a good thing can be. I don't think that 1 degree either way would be catastrophic and probably not even noticeable.

    Like LUX said, any front end guy worth his paycheck would be able to get the front end to track right and align.
     
  9. mark rudisill
    Joined: Jul 7, 2010
    Posts: 22

    mark rudisill
    Member

    im starting on mine tomorrow
     
  10. I just picked up a Firebird clip for my 47 Dodge this weekend...also found out that it is a WS6 option clip...:cool:
     
  11. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 5,998

    daddio211
    Member

    I've had my wife's '48 peek-up done for months now, but I just haven't had time to do much else. I used Lux's info as guidelines and inspiration. THANKS DUDE!!!

    From what I can tell all front clips from 70-81 are the same... is that correct? I'm not sure what year my clip came from, and want to order the correct replacement parts.

    Before this thing hits the road I want to replace all bushings, bearing, tie rods, etc. Anyone have a particularly good recommendation for a source for these parts? I hear PST is excellent, but a little spendy. Suggestions?
     
  12. Toad Frog
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 17

    Toad Frog
    Member
    from Texas

    I order my parts from here. Mix and match as you like. I think that 70-81 are the same with the exception that some of the 81's (later release) had struts and no shocks up front and some have different size lower bushing. You will have to measure yours to make sure you get the correct ones. But, as far a tie-rod ends go....there all fair game. With one other exception I noticed that the center link on my Trans AM clip is different then the Z-28 center link. That is my experience with them. Someone else might have more info. Lux knows these front end VERY well. You might shoot him a PM or something.
     
  13. mark rudisill
    Joined: Jul 7, 2010
    Posts: 22

    mark rudisill
    Member

    Did anyone ever make a template?
     
  14. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX


    no problem! and rather going with the p.s.t, buy energy suspension peices, and stick with moog for everything else. from a money standpoint, it will be in the same ballpark, but p.s.t.'s balljoints are absolute garbage these days.

    and if You can spring for 'em, the spicer balljoints (avalible at most napas)...well, they're so damn nice, that I am actually talking about how nice goddamn balljoints are...dig it? I mean...quality. the kind you not only see, but can feel in your hands.
     
  15. mark rudisill
    Joined: Jul 7, 2010
    Posts: 22

    mark rudisill
    Member

    I've got a few questions. I'm in the process of putting 78 TA clip on my 58 Apache. I've already got the rear done. I Installed the 10 bolt from the 78 TA the clip came from. The rear is mounted on top of the springs, vertical shocks, and C-notched frame.

    What is a good location to measure from on the frame to the shock mount hole? I read 28 1/2" in a earlier post to the body mount, is this correct?

    I've got a set of 7" steel wheels. What is a good size tire to run? I was thinking a 225/70-15 or 215/70 all around. I just don't want to buy new tires and them be to big or small in diameter.

    Thanks
     
  16. 97ss150
    Joined: Sep 2, 2010
    Posts: 7

    97ss150
    BANNED
    from dfw

    I am keeping a close eye on this as well. i am thinking about doing this on a 58 as well.
     
  17. devilleish
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 251

    devilleish
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Been debating on it for a while and this thread was the clincher for the job on my '55. Can get a T/A subframe complete and relatively inexpensive, and as long as I do all the measuring, cutting, and fitment I have a guy who can weld the whole thing in.
     
  18. Toad Frog
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 17

    Toad Frog
    Member
    from Texas

    Question about the stock cross member that comes with those year clips.....will the trans be centered between the frame rails or will I have to modify it??? I am using a 5.3L/4L60E combo....and to me it looks off.....even if I rotate it 180 it is still to far to one side.

    So, was the tranny centered between the frame rails on this one LUX???

    Thanks
     
  19. BulldawgMusclecars
    Joined: Jul 15, 2010
    Posts: 508

    BulldawgMusclecars
    Member

    Lots of great info here!
    The clips are getting hard to find here (GA), though...most of the salvageable cars are being re-built, and the rest are usually pretty mangled, or have parts missing. Even if I could find one for a low price, by the time everything is rebuilt, the clip cleaned up/blasted, etc you're talking real money. I could see an easy grand being spent, just on parts. More if the steering box is bad. Plus, I have a soft spot for 70-81 F-bodycars, and don't want to take one off the road just to update another car. Not knocking anyone's decision to go this route; it just doesn't fit in my particular case. It would be different if I could find complete ones as cheap as some of you have, though.
    I have a customer who was interested in doing something like this on his '57 Chevy truck, and after looking at all the typical options (Camaro clip, MII) we decided on an early C4 Vette IFS. They used to be fairly pricey, but I picked one up at Brad54's swap meet a few months ago for about $300. For that, I got all aluminum A-arms and spindles, a rack and pinion, 13" disc brakes with dual piston PBR calipers (easily upgraded to later C5/C6 stuff if you wanted...we don't since we didn't want to go with huge wheels), and a sway bar. The calipers are fine, the rotors just need a cleanup turning, and the bushings still look new. To install it, I'm using a crossmember kit from Flatout Engineering.

    http://www.flatout-engineering.com/products.html

    I could probably modfiy the stock one to work, but it will work out cheaper for the customer buying one that is pre-engineered.

    Here's an article on an installation:
    http://www.classictrucks.com/tech/0302cl_corvette_suspension_install/index.html

    Granted, by the time its done, my customer will have around $1500-1600 in parts (this kit requires coilovers...C4s used a transverse leaf), but the installation will be comparable to a Mustang II as far as time is concerned. Plus, it will look much better than a Mustang II setup, and the handling will be far better. It doesn't look the least bit vintage, which will likely turn some of you off, but so would the 6.0 LQ9 engine and 4L65E the truck is getting. Look at the bright side though, his stock stuff will be for sale soon! :D
     
  20. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,565

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    complete front end rebuild kit is under $300, even with new bearings and rotors and calipers you come in well under $1k for parts. the big thing is to get one that's not all bent up. $200 for a steering box if it's bad. Still well under $1k. And a helluva lot cheaper to maintain than the Corvette. Let alone $800 for a crossmember?
     
  21. BulldawgMusclecars
    Joined: Jul 15, 2010
    Posts: 508

    BulldawgMusclecars
    Member

    As someone else said earlier, it all depends on your perspective, and who is doing the work. If you're doing it all yourself, your labor is free.If you had to pay a shop to get the clip, sandblast it, rebuild everything, then do all the cutting, welding, grinding etc involved in putting it in, suddenly the Vette option isn't so expensive. Figure how many hours it takes to do all that to an at best 29 year old subframe. The Vette crosmember deal takes only a few hours, about like a Mustang II.

    If you can do all the work yourself (free labor), and can get the complete clip cheap, thats the way to go. If you're paying someone else to do it, and want better handling/braking, and rack and pinion steeering, the Vette conversion makes a lot more sense. It also becomes a selling point for the car, rather than a question mark. There is still a stigma attached to a clipped frame, even though they can do the job well and be well done (such as the ones here). Most I have seen personally have been hack jobs, though, and I would be very hesitant to buy a car with one that was done by someone I didn't know. Undercoating and Bondo can hide all kinds of scary stuff.

    BTW, C4 brake/suspension parts are cheap...rotors from Rock Auto are $22 each, for example. PST gets $289 for the front end kit. I doubt parts for a 2nd gen F-body are any cheaper than that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  22. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,565

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    If you're putting a "used" Vette suspension in there you should be going through it as well, that right there puts the Vette cost out. And rebuilding a Camaro front end is a couple hours, blasting it is maybe an hour while it's stripped. Sorry man but the Vette is not the affordable option. And I've seen just as many hack MII's and other assorted crossmember jobs.
     
  23. JAWS
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,850

    JAWS
    Member

    I can tell you this much, not all MII front ends are created equal. Most factory frontend clips like the camaro or t/a, g bodies, 70's vettes are pretty much equal as far as structure goes. Metal thickness, parts availability, yada yada yada. My money is on those instead.

    Hell, I'd even toss the jag in that catagory of oem good stuff.


    To be fair, I got over 120K on my MII in my coupe. I will NEVER do one again if I can avoid it. Fine for an in town car of occasional driver status, not for a daily.
     
  24. BulldawgMusclecars
    Joined: Jul 15, 2010
    Posts: 508

    BulldawgMusclecars
    Member

    I probably will, though the clip I have is claimed to have only about 20k miles on it...and from the looks of it, I beleive that. $289 for a rebuild kit isn't the end of the world, either way. I'll post the real cost of the conversion once its done (early October), just for comparison.

    Affordable is relative...do what works for you, I'll do what works for my customer. Not everyone has the same budget. I wasn't trying to get into a pissing contest, just throwing another option out there. Use or disregard at your option.
     
  25. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,740

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    The Thread was Lux Blue's Tech on how to put a Camaro Clip into a '58 Chevy Truck.


    Which would make all of this a Tread Hijack...
     
  26. BulldawgMusclecars
    Joined: Jul 15, 2010
    Posts: 508

    BulldawgMusclecars
    Member

    With all the talk of Mustang IIs and Volare front ends, I didn't see a problem. Its not like this is a current thread. If Lux Blue would like me to remove my posts, I will be glad to.
     
  27. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,740

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    At least the MII and Volare are of a similar age as the Camaro.

    Not so much with the '84 to 96 range of your donor car.

    Sounds like you are in love with the latest and greatest as far as Street Rod tricks.

    Which brings it pretty far from Traditional Hot Rods and Traditional Customs.


    Feel free to start you own Tech Thread, about something Relevant and On Topic...
     
  28. Toad Frog
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 17

    Toad Frog
    Member
    from Texas

    Ok, I re-ask my question....seeing how we had a 101 course on vette, vs. MII, vs. TA/Camaro clip.

    Not really interested in that,;) but good to know. So, anyone care to tackle my question???

    Toad
     
  29. JAWS
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,850

    JAWS
    Member

    Ok, On the clips that my friend does, he uses a jig and mounts the motor where it is centered and modifies the camaro trans mount to do the same.

    He has done this for an LS1/4l60E, using the adapters for the stock mounts.

    I do know that on mine the engine sits now in the same location it did factory for the truck when it was a 283/3speed only it is now exactly 1 inch lower in the frame.
     
  30. Toad Frog
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 17

    Toad Frog
    Member
    from Texas

    Ok, Thanks...I am going to make myself a new cross-member today and see how it goes....now on centering the engine with-in the clip it looks like it is sitting to far to the driver side....here is a pic of it....It is not centered in the clip but it looks really close to everything...advise??

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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