Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 19, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

I am starting a project to narrow a Impala 12 bolt for my 69 Camaro. It's not going to see any strip time so no C Clip eliminators, spools, etc. I am building in the vein of a COPO BE rear end. Sort of like the guys over at powernationtv.com did. I would like to use USA made parts as much as possible. I know Moser has the small bearing ends and spring perches so I'll order those.
If anyone could recommend parts and vendors you've had luck with I'd appreciate the advice.
My second question is has anyone used the 12 bolt narrowing bushing on EBAY from seller leadmineproducts? It looks like you get bushing for the caps and bearing ends, you supply a 1 1/4 bar to keep your ends straight when you weld them back on. If anyone has had luck with something like this let me know. Thank you in advance. Brent.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 19, 03:12 PM
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

Hadnít seen those before. Very cool. Thanks.

Don

1969 Camaro LSA 6L90E AME subframe and IRS
1969 Camaro vert LS3 4L65E Ridetech level 2 - sold
1959 El Camino project
1969 Mustang Sportsroof project
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 19, 03:31 PM
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

Have you done a cost breakdown? Impala is coil spring so there is more than just shortening the axles. I know a 1st gen 12bolt as a starting point will be several hundred more than the Impala assembly, but enough that you are still saving after buying perches and dealing with the shortening of the axle tubes?

I have seen complete refurbished 12bolts for both and it's maybe $500 more for the 1st gen assembly. Based on that can you shorten and convert the Impala assembly, axles, bearings, perches, cutting and welding for $500?

If you already have an Impala 12bolt that's another story... If you are doing the work yourself I applaud the skills needed to do the job.

...Dennis

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 19, 04:06 PM
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

I use the Mittler Brothers fixture.

'69 RS/SS396 pro street/427/4spd/9"

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 19, 04:41 PM
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If you are going to go through all of that, go with the Moser Ford big bearing ends and axels. I did in on a Chevy 2. You are going to have to get axels anyway. If you don't have the rest yet, the 70 Monty Carlo had a 12 bolt too.

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1969 x-77 Z/28 orange/ white stripes, named by my daughter "Clementine ", M-22 close ratio, 4:10 12 bolt, CE 302. Hugger orange with white stripes. White standard interior. Restoration complete May 2018
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 19, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

I'm aware of the Monte rear ends. I cut up a 65 Chevelle rear for another Camaro years ago. Still feel bad about that one. Swore I wouldn't do that again.
Where I'm from I've only seen a few 12 bolt Camaro rear ends come up for sale. In the 80's we had a guy that did a lot of narrowing of rear ends, mostly 9 inch Fords but he did a Impala rear for me and it looked and ran great. I've got another Impala rear in my shop with all the brackets removed. I wanted the same dude I had before to do it but he's closed shop years ago. I guess I'll give it a whirl.
The funny thing is we have nice 8.5 Nova rear axles for sale all the time on Craig's list in my area they cant give them away. I have 2 of them an nobody wants them. I'm seriously considering cutting the ends and perches off on and using them on this project.
One more question. Is Tom's differential still doing business?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 19, 05:52 AM
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

8.5" with aftermarket parts is as strong or stronger than a 12 bolt stock....so I'm told.

68 Camaro~LSx ~all motor
1.54 60'--6.95 @ 98.45 660'--10.96 @ 121.53
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 19, 06:45 AM
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

I cut down a 69 Chevelle 12 bolt for a 71 Vega back in 1974. I drilled out the factory plug welds and cut the tubes to the length I wanted for the car. I used a piece of pipe as an alignment tool as I recall. In addition to the pipe, I checked the alignment with a string line. It worked well.
I used aftermarket axles and C-clip eliminator bearing cups that mounted to the stock flanges. I installed aftermarket MW axles and a Moroso posi.
I used a 4 link and even re-used the stock mounting brackets. It worked very well.
The main thing I was concerned about was welding brackets to the tubes and warping (bending) the tube with welds on only one side. I controlled the heat to minimize warpage.
I ran the car for over 25 years with no problems. The 3200# car would pull the wheels on the strip.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 19, 06:50 AM
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

I can't find the Nova rear ends anymore. I sold them as quick as I could get them. I could still sell them if I could find them. Don't cut them up.

Tom's is still open, but I'm told that they are trying to sell off the inventory that they have and then close.

You don't have your location listed. Where are you?

'69 RS/SS396 pro street/427/4spd/9"

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 19, 07:36 AM
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

The 1972 and later nova should have the 8.5 in addition other x bodies
Buick Apollo 73-79
Buick Skylark 73-74
Nova 68-79
Olds Omega 73-79
Pontiac Ventura 71-77
Pontiac Phoenix 77-79

No cutting required
The driveshaft May need changing

The dimensions are here

https://www.novaresource.org/axle.htm
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 19, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

Utah. I have 2 of them and a couple of fellows in the local ads had 2 for sale and they went 30 days without a sell at $200.00. I wont cut them up then. I'll have my son try to sell them. He has better luck selling stuff. Thanks, Brent
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 19, 02:46 PM
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

I would go with the 8.5" rear and sell the Impala rear.

If you are set on chopping up the 12 bolt, what do you think you will have in it when you are finished, money-wise?
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 19, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

I think the wisest thing you could do is buy a Moser rear end. Around 2800.00
Building out the Impala rear. Eaton posi, axles, bearings, installation kit, perches, housing ends, 1500 or so, possibly more. Add the stress from possibly warping the whole thing welding it up and the trouble setting it up. The 8.5 is good rear end. Hopefully someone locally here will want one. I'll try to pass one on to someone who can use it and keep one in case I screw this project up. Brent
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 19, 10:48 PM
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

I narrowed a 69 impala 12 bolt I had from a car I parted out to use in a 69 Camaro years ago. The rearend was 3.31 posi so I had hung onto it for years thinking I would just rob the posi carrier and gears out of it but never did. So... one day i hatched a new plan. I cut the 12 Bolt tubes off & then cut the axle tubes to length off a junk 8.5 10 bolt and butt welded them to the 12 bolt rear end. The 8.5 tubes already had the multi leaf spring perches on the tubes, so I rotated them to set the correct pinion angle welded them on. I found a good set of used 12 bolt Camaro axles on ebay for 75 bucks, and used the 8.5 backing plates & brakes. The whole thing only took me a few hours and when it was done, it bolted it right in my old blue 69 and I headed to the track and beat the hell out it with a 4 speed and slicks. I ran it under that 69 for a few years until I pulled it out right before I sold the car. That same rearend has now been under our 68 convertible for 4 or 5 years now and never once given me any trouble. I would do it again, as it is a very inexpensive way to put a 12 bolt under a Camaro.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 19, 10:27 PM
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Re: Narrowing a Impala 12 bolt for my 1969 Camaro

Like you, I am thinking of sourcing a cheap 12 bolt and cutting it down. Does it have to be an impala, or will any Chevy 12 bolt work? I know the video, same one I have watched multiple times, used an impala and cut everything off and welded new perches $60 or so, which is fine. I would prefer to find a posi unit with gears I want but may not be possible. Just curious at the price if you have started this at all. If the price is similar at all to a newer rear end from strange or moser I may just go that route, but costs are piling up and looking to save some where ever I can.
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