57 Camaro


Before permanently attaching the rear body panels to the Camaro I decided to move to the front of the car and continue test fitting each body panel before getting out the adhesive.

After all the trimming and fitting on the rear fenders the fronts are a welcome relief.  They simply slip on with few modifications.  To get them to the proper position I found I had to remove the Camaro’s inner fender splash guards, two ground screws from the radiator support and relocate some wiring.  One other thing to do one the Camaro before attaching the fenders... the top mounting bracket will interfere with opening the door.  It can be bent out of the way easily now.  I discovered the problem after the fenders were already on and had to carefully cut them off from the door opening.  With some work they could be used to attached the front fenders if something is built up in the fiberglas fender.  On the front mounting flange of the fenders near the radiator opening are two small dimples.  These need to be drilled out so the original mounting screws can be used to position the fender.  The wide flanges on the fiberglas fenders will also need to be cut away to clear the fuel lines and the hood hinge bracket. The hinges can be used to locate the position of the two mounting holes in each fender by loosely attaching them with the third mounting bolt and tracing the other two.  Curiously the driver’s side fender  has a lower mounting tab that appears to line up with the original Camaro mounting point but the passenger side doesn’t.  At first I tried using it but turned out it was in the wrong position and caused the curve of the fender by the door to be below the door surface.  This would have resulted in the door panel standing too high.  To get this curve right the fender had to be bowed slightly by holding the middle along the door edge out slightly then self-drilling / self-tapping screw used to first attached the bottom then the inner fender.  There is a small bulge  on the Camaro that prevents the bottom from fitting properly, a small relief will need to be cut in to the fiberglass.  On the driver’s side be careful of the fuel lines.  Once the all these points are mounted additional screws were put in place on the wide flange and inner fender.  Don’t forget to reattach the two ground screws /wires removed earlier.
A bit of tape and some clamps temporarily attached the front center bumper and other “chrome”. 
Next the hood was dropped in place and a door skin taped in place to get a first look at what the Belaro will look like when done.  Time to kick back, take a break and admire the results so far.

Break time over, time to take everything back off the car and prepare for glueing. 
The glue doesn’t stick well to paint, dust or unprepared fiberglass.  Every place glue will be used has to be roughed up or brought back to bare metal and wiped clean.  The holes cut in the rear fenders needs to be covered and painted or under coated.
As nice and strong the fiberglass panels are they need to be supported so they don’t flex.  The area around the gas door is one area that needs more support.  The gap can be filled with fiberglass reinforced filler. 
To prevent the filler from sticking to the fiberglass put tape around the backside of the opening.  Filler is then mounded around gas area on the Camaro. 
The fender is then put in place to mold the filler to the right shape and height.  Once set the fender is removed leaving the perfect surface to apply glue to support the fender.  Later, after the fender is attached for good the gas filler opening can be cleaned up by applying more filler and blending the edges.
Once every mating surface has been prepared by grinding and wiped down with lacquer thinner the rear parts can be glued on.  Start with the rear valance followed by each of the rear fenders. 
By the way, the kit includes all the adhesive you will need BUT does not include or even mention you will need a 3M Automix gun to apply it.  I found a compatible gun at a local autobody supply shop but it cost me a few hours of build time to locate and purchase.  The adhesive should be applied to all exposed metal to prevent rust.  It can be spread using a plastic filler knife, it does not need to be applied very thick.  Don’t forget to remove the tape around the gas filler opening. 
I applied adhesive to both the Camaro and the inside of the fiberglass.  As each part is put in place a series of self-drilling / self-tapping screw were used to hold the panel in place.  The screws will be removed after the adhesive has cured in 24 hours.  The small holes left will be filled later.  The both rear fenders were done at the same time so the trunk hinges can be used to hold the fender panel in place.  The inner trunk panel can be glued and screwed in place next.

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