I havnt read all thru the thread.
Scott is the guru on panels / paint here.
Anyway yesterday I went out to reassenble my front clip.
1/ bolt on the inner gaurds
2/ alingned the door gaps to the body.
3/ hung the fenders on and with the rear bottom bolt and top bolt aligned them to the doors
4/ loose mounted the wheel well bolts
5/ loosely added the front panel and the hood catch centered
6/ mounted the hood...the hood catch bolts and the hood spring bolts where hand tight so I could 'slide' the hood into place square... the hood intially starts well back... and roughly set the hood to fender hights with the fender/ hindge bolts for each cnr.
7/ bolted up the front panel to fenders centered on the centered hood catch.
8/ With a 3x1" stick with carpet stapled over the end and a rubber mallet I can tap on the rear cnrs gently of thehood with it cliped down...sliding it forward, bit each side, a little 'twist'. to get gaps staight, and even... got it even on the 3rd go....
Since the windscreen cowl is off one can tighten up the rear hood / hindge bolts to hold in place when carefully release and lift the hood....then tighten the hood catch bolts and the front hood/ hindge bolts... and check alignment.
9/ set the front cnr hight adjuster screws...note 6/ these need to be in ball park.
10/now remove the lower window trim...align the screen cowl with the hood .. centered and gap...the top edges will align with the top of the fenders...there is tollerance to play with here because when the windscreen trim goes on it just covers the top edge.
11/ u will have ahuge gap either side of the cowl and fenders...this is now taken up with the fender bolt in the A piller above the door hindges. May require removal or add a shim at the bottom of fender to realigne the panel swages
12/ now mark and remove the cowl and bolt the bottom winscreen trim into correct place, slide thecowl into place and bolt down...dont forget the window washer tubes.
13/ remove the wheel arch bolts couple at a time and put the wheel arch trims on.
14/ shim up and add the fender bolt to firewall...
15/ assemble the wind block off bits behind the lights, battery tray, front lower cnr panels, cowl etc.
Took me a day, up to grill sitting in, screws/ bolts in place ready to lign up today,
And make sure u put the front side lights in and enblems the fender BEFORE the grill....
And the Camaro logo behind the wheel wells BEFORE putting the fender on.
The fender is ALWAYS, once tightened down, sticking out further than the door
get the height right...shims under bolt top of firewall....
Then 'stretch' the fender down with shims in the bottom rear fender bolt....stretching pulls the fender in..a combo of stretch and sliding in on the bolt gets the center fender/ door swage right....have all the rest of the mounting bolts not in or very loose.
If cant get with other mounting bolts in, remove.. if then get it but the fender bolt holes dont line up, then i would suggest (assuming the panels are right shape) that the car may have had a accident in the pillar at some time of its life....may require sloting of a couple top fender mounting holes a couple mm.