Doin' my own body work.

Hello y'all, new to the board and I have a little question. I have a 73 vette and I need to put on a new front clip. How hard would it be for lil ole me to
take the current one off and put on a new one? Thank you kindly.
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Miss Mac wrote:

I haven't done it, but I know it's a LOT of work, perhaps too difficult a project for anyone who has to ask the question. You also may need to remove the engine to gain working space.
Basically you need to have some way to align the new front end in all three planes, front and rear, which means you probably need to take measurements (before you disturb the existing front end) of the old front end in relationship to the frame or other repeatable positioning aids. It may be possible to align things by eye when the radiator support is in it's proper position and bolted to the frame and clip, assuming you really have a good eye and a lot of experience. You may also need to fabricate some jigs to assist with front end positioning/alignment. If your old front end is not in a condition to measure, you may need to take the measurements with someone else's car.
The old front end is bonded to the body (unlike metal cars where the front clip is bolted in position), so you have to separate the old front end from the cowl and door frames and grind any residue of fiberglass and bonding agent off the body to get down to the main body fiberglass. Then you need to dress the bonding surfaces on the new front end and properly position it in place using clamps, etc until you have it exactly where it needs to be, grinding and smoothing all mating panels until it's exactly in position and clamped so the outer surfaces are aligned (may take multiple iterations to get things right); then mark the panels to enable you to put them back in that exact position before separating the front clip from the cowl again to coat the mating surfaces with an appropriate bonding compound; now reposition the front clip in it's prior exact position and re-clamp and/or screw it as required to hold it tightly in position on the cowl until the bond cures. Fill/grind any areas that need it, remove any clamping screws, grind out the screw holes and fill the holes with fiberglass mixture. Smooth all the joints down, fill & primer.
Here's a couple of sites that might be of assistance: http://www.glas-ra.com/v3_4.html
http://www.glassmandan.com/tutorials/003.html (guess Dan's got a good eye, because he doesn't mention any measurements)
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I'll second glas-ra. Even if you don't do it yourself, I have found Glas-Ra manuals to be a good resource in understanding the Vette body and associated repairs. They are not that pricey either.
Marty
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As for measurements, virtually all manufacturers publish tables of critical dimensions and tolerances for aligning damaged frames / structure. They're usually published in the factory service / repair manual.
-- Vandervecken

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Thank you for the reply. Ya, after reading the links you gave I see I'll be paying someone a billion gazillion dollars to do it.
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that would be my guess. but it is cheaper to have some one do it right the first time than it is to have some one redo it On Wed, 25 May 2005 20:04:44 GMT, miss snipped-for-privacy@cox-dot-net.no-spam.invalid (Miss Mac) wrote:

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