57 Camaro


Up until this point you could change your mind and spend a couple hours putting the parts removed back on to return the Camaro back to original condition.  The following steps will modify the Camaro making it difficult to return it to original condition.

The kit arrived today. 
I am very impressed with the quality of the fiberglass parts.  They are nothing like the aftermarket parts I have seen in the past.  Two very large boxes weighing about 250 lbs. each contained the individually bubble wrapped parts.  Once the bubble wrap and padding were removed it nearly filled one of the two boxes.  Well wrapped would be an understatement.  My experience with Bob Hess and his wife of Easy Rods has been very positive.  I have called to ask questions to clarify the instructions and they were answered in great detail.

Since we were last working in the rear the modifications to the rear crush grating is next.  Using a reciprocating saw I cut off the top section of the crush grating.  This is needed to allow the kit rear valance to fit properly.  I may have removed a bit too much... remove only one section and check the fit of the valance.  I removed two thinking I needed more room but am not sure if I really needed to.  I used self drilling / self tapping screws temporarily attached the valance to the flange where the trunk bumpers touch the body.

Cutting & Bending the rear wheel openings should not be done until the kit has arrived and can be used as a guide.  
To start fitting the rear fender it needs to be cut away where it interferes with the bulge near where the convertible top and trunk lid meet.  The trunk lid MUST be removed to fit the fender -- I tried with it in place, it can not be done.  Also a rubber block just behind the door opening should be removed, the fender will interfere with it until the fender is cut away.  Open the door.  Place the fender in the general location so it is about lined up with the door opening.  Don’t try to force it down, it will be contacting the little curved body part by the trunk opening / convertible top.  Instead mark the general location of this bump and cut the fender way to clear it.  Remove only a little at a time and keep checking the fit.  The fender will also have to be cut back slightly behind this area to clear another bump under trunk lid area. 
You will notice the bottom of the fender won’t go in to place.  The Camaro’s wheel opening will need to be modified.  Do NOT modify the fiberglass fender in this area.   I chose to deviate from the kit’s instructions slightly in how I modified the opening.  I placed a strip of tape vertically about 10” long from the bottom edge of the fender where the inner fender met it. 
I cut a horizontal line from the opening to the tape.  Then working from in the wheel openings cut the inner fender about where the tape line would be.  I then cut away the corner that was the fender opening from the outer fender.  This left a hole between the inner and outer fenders.
Using a hammer I moved the inner fender toward the rear of the car.  Then using a larger hammer eased the lower edge of the outer fender that was still attached to the inner fender inward and up slightly.  Once this corner was flattened a bit I eased the outer fender inward until it closed the opening created earlier. 
Finally the excess outer fender was folded over to finish the opening and pretty much close the hole created.  I will go back and fiberglass the hole from the trunk side and under coat the outside before installing the fiberglass fenders permanently.  As the new fender was fit some minor adjustments were made to the opening.  Once everything was close I traced the convertible top opening to the underside of the fender then using a saw cut away the excess.
  A slight gap is present between the fender and body adjacent to the convertible top.  This will be filled with fiber reinforced body filler before the fender is bonded in place.  Once bonded the opening will be finished up and smoothed further.
The driver’s side rear fender requires less modification since room for the spare tire is only on the passenger side.  The driver’s side only needs to be cut away and a few
self drilling / self tapping screws put in place to hold the inner and outer fender together.  The gas door also needs to come off but the hinge / door arm needs to stay.
   The next modification to the car is back up front.  The bumper frame extensions need to be trimmed back several inches.  First the radiator air deflector has to be removed to get enough room to cut off some of the front bumper mounts.  They both get cut off at the same angle as the radiator mount.

Next Page - Fitting the body