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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-22-2012 05:07 PM
gdstock [COLOR=#000000]I thought I would post up some pics of the 54 Bel Air that I have been working on.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000]It is currently on a rotisserie. I have cut our front floor and fitted new floor pans. Most of exterior is stripped and bondo removed from several places. Still have more rust to cut our and replace sheet metal.[/COLOR]
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11-22-2012 02:05 PM
gdstock Had to put project on hold. Still could not find 18 ga sheet metal but learned of a place to get it. But I am in the process of it may be end of December before I can et everything moved and set up and get back to work. I did find some scrap sheet metal that I had out in a storage building that is 0.007" thinner that the body on the Bel Air. I suspect that would work fine.

Been driving to new job and staying there during the week and coming home on weekends. No much time for anything lately. Can't wait to get moved!
10-14-2012 01:21 PM
big gear head You may have to order 18 gauge. That's what I had to do. 16 gauge is 1/16 inch, which is pretty thick for body parts, and hard to form.
10-13-2012 10:52 PM
gdstock Looked everywhere between Eastland and Temple for 18n ga sheet metal....only to find none anywhere. Going to Austin Monday and understand there is a place in Pflugerville (just north of Austin). No time to work on 54 this weekend as I am rebuilding the OD in Dodge Ram.....I FUBAR'D it last weekend.

I found 16 ga metal but I think it would be problematic in shaping. The sheet metal on body measures 18ga. If I cannot find 18ga, would 16 ga work?
10-12-2012 07:05 AM
AutoGear good luck, if you have questions, just ask. Tell Father In Law "thanks for his service" from the Crew
10-11-2012 08:55 PM
gdstock Thanks. Spring Perch. Could not remember what they were called! I think I have seen them on Summit's site and a few other places. Hopefully I can leave the original in place and new ones will fit up to prevent cutting on axle tube if possible.

All this makes me want to go back out to garage and work some tonight. Could not do anything today as I ahd to yake FIL to VA hospital for appointment. He likes to sit out in garage and watch me work!
10-11-2012 08:43 PM
big gear head You will have to change the spring perches. Your springs will be narrower than the Camaro springs and in a different location.
10-11-2012 08:21 PM
Originally Posted by big gear head View Post
Yes, where the wheels bolt on. That's the total width.

Thank you. I will go measure it tomorrow. I will also measure where the springs mount so I can make sure that will fit up or have to be modified to make something work.

Thanks for all the info!
10-11-2012 08:10 PM
big gear head Yes, where the wheels bolt on. That's the total width.
10-11-2012 06:59 PM
gdstock Thanks for the info guys. I'll have to google the Warner OD.

And 500 to 600 for an adapter....not sure I am ready to put that much into adapter. Rather spend on suspension of interior than adapter...

Any thought on what would need to be done to replace steering gearbox if I go with rack and pinion from either Heidts or CE?

On measuring the rear end, is that from wheel flange on axle to teh other side? (Haven't done any rear end work or swapping before).
10-11-2012 06:12 PM
big gear head The 1st gen Camaro rear end is 60 inches wide and the 2nd gen Camaro rear end is 61 inches wide. You should measure what you have and see which one would fit best.
10-11-2012 07:00 AM
AutoGear Why not a 3spd stick with a Warner overdrive? Perfectly suitable for what you're trying to do; you could also use a T5, although Im not sure WHICH T5 the inliner crew prefers. I'm sure someone here can provide the info. The T5 swap is probably more involved than the 3spd. If you're keeping the motor stock, and want to keep the 'feel' of the car, I believe the 3spd stick would be unique and work well for your application. I'd also put a 3.55 to 3.73 set of gears in the car.

Edit: Its seems strange to say something that was commonly used in the 50s and 60s as being 'unique'
10-11-2012 06:00 AM
Originally Posted by gdstock View Post
Thanks for the info!

Could the 235 be upgraded to handle the 700R4? i understand that the early corvettes had the 235 in them. I would really like it to handle 70 mph pretty easily if it can be done (without costing a fortune). I'll look for a Camaro rear end!
A 235 inline 6 engine will require an adapter setup to install the 700r4 trans onto the 235 engine. LAst time I checked that adapter setup was in the area of 550.00 to 600 dollars
10-10-2012 10:26 PM
matt167 Yes. with the OD, it probably could do 70 MPH on the highway. Stock form it probably won't hold the speed very well on anything other than flat ground. dual carb Intake and headders will strengthen it up quite a bit tho.
10-10-2012 09:53 PM
Originally Posted by matt167 View Post
That car has a torque tube diff, so if you want to swap the trans, you need a new rear end. 2nd gen Camaro rear will fit up and it will hold up.. If you just wanted a better driver and a stock 3spd, then you could just get the rear out of a '51-'54 Powerglide car as PG cars had 3.73's and stick cars had 4.11's
A 700R4 Auto is a good auto, but the 235 if in stock form is going to 'feel' overdrive a bit. I would keep 4.11 gearing if you went with the OD trans.

My car ( '51 Fleetline, 235/ Powerglide ) will go down the road about 60 MPH with more to spare ( 60 is as far as I'v taken it ), but it cruises best at 50-55 MPH
Thanks for the info!

Could the 235 be upgraded to handle the 700R4? i understand that the early corvettes had the 235 in them. I would really like it to handle 70 mph pretty easily if it can be done (without costing a fortune). I'll look for a Camaro rear end!
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