Yet Another Backhalf Question - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 09, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
Rick Beall
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Henry,il
Posts: 19
Yet Another Backhalf Question

Sorry for the long post but I have a lot of share. I have a 69 Camaro and the car has never sat level as it leans towards the right. I replaced the 10 bolt rear end with a TCI bolt in 4 link and it was during this install that I noticed damage to the car. As it turns out the car had been hit hard on the left front side at the cowl tulip panel and at some point that was “straightened”. The whole floor pan has waves of ripples in it that lead back from the point of impact, like dropping a stone in the water, all to to the rear from rail which was bent back and up at least 3 inches at the front leaf spring pocket. After having the frame rail replaced and surrounding metal straightened I bolted in the TCI system and the 9 inch rear end. The rear end is requiring a lot of adjustment on the left side to square it. I squared the old rear end in car before removing and measure it to be 29 inches behind the front edge of the quarter panel. In order to set the new rear end square to this measurement I have to have my rod ends run all the way in flush on the right side and ¾ of an inch out on the left hand side. This seems like a lot of adjustment. I have leveled and measured the body of the car and it seems square. Rocker panels are the same length and parallel in distance apart (although ¼ inch wider than spec). The quarter panels are the same length, rear wheel opening are even the cross section measure of the body is even. I don’t know the exact measurements off the top of my head because I measured it a while back but I know it was square.

With the damage I have on the under belly and frame rail but the apparent square ness of the car I’m thinking this would be a good candidate for a back half. It’s 69 Camaro that was originally a “Plain Jane” 6 cylinder with 60’s puke green paint and black interior. So I’m not chopping a COPO. I like the pro street look so it may be a good time to bite the bullet. I don’t want to get into a debate about PS vs. PT but I would like an opinion from those who have done a back half on what they think. Should I stick with the TCI and just tune it in? Is the rod end adjustment I spoke of to much to make it square? Am I going to run into more squaring problems in your opinion? Who’s kit would you recommend, Chris Alston, Checkered Racing, SW Race Cars etc..? And for those who have done this to a 69 what kind of specs would you recommend? For example I want to run 29 X 18.5. What kind of issues do I need to think about with tires that size, what back spacing is recommended, what frame widths are you running and what rear end width are you running. I know the best way for me to do this is to get the rim and tires set up I want to run and then build the car and I will do that, I’m just looking for combos that others liked on their rides.

Thanks.

Last edited by plain_jane_69; Feb 11th, 09 at 08:43 AM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 09, 09:13 AM
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Jeff
 
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Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

Personally I'd go with a kit that uses round tubing instead of square or rectangular. Just a weight savings. Take a look at RTJ's ride.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 09, 03:08 PM
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Royce
 
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Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

I have to respectfully disagree with the round tube for a stret car. First off it is more difficult to work with. It will alse be heavier wall and need more tubes to make it as strong.

Go with a 3" X 2" square tubing if you have or plan to install a roll cage. If you don;t want a cage then look for a kit that uses 2" X 4" tubing.

Keep shipping in mind. I have done business with Chris Alston Chassisworks several times and they are good people to deal with. I live about 45 minutes away so picking things up is nice.

Art Morrison have nice stuff and are also good people to deal with. Both of these places are a good ways away from you. S & W might be the closest to you. I have not done a lot of business with them but, the few things I have purchased, I didn't have any issues with.

You're right, you need to figure out what size tire you want, buy the rims and tires and build around them. One thing to keep in mind, with a huge tire sometimes getting them off and on the car can be a hassle. If you plan your back spacing right you can make that process a bit easier. Talk to a few of the Pro Street 69 guys to see what they have and what they would do differently. I know there at least 3 real nice PS 69's that post here regularly. If they don't respond I will get their screenames so you can send them PM's.

Royce (NO XQSSS) Bradley

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 09, 03:37 PM
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David
 
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Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

Here's what I have:
  • 2"x3" rectangle tube frame(not a kit).
  • Rear Frame width is 28" (outside to outside of frame rails)
  • 33"x19.50" tires
  • 15"x14" wheels with 4.5" backspacing
  • 9" Ford measuring 35" from backing plate to backing plate
Royce is correct on removing and installing a wide tire. It's not fun, especially if you have no one to help you with those wheels and tires.
Hope my info gives you some direction. Take Royce's advice and purchase the wheels and tires in your desired width first.

David F.

"All I need is a fast machine". Steve McQueen
My Machine: 1969 Pro Street Camaro
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 09, 03:45 PM
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Brett
 
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Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

Since your in Illinois, I will post this. I had my car back halved by Midwest Chassis and Performance in Pekin Illinois. midwestchassis.com The owner, Eric Vicary, has built some VERY fast cars. He is someone that I would highly recommend to you. He let me know costs up front, and completed the work in the time frame he said he would. He did not use a "kit" on my car, (not thet there is anything wrong with that) he did everything in house. I did not know him before I took my car to him, so I'm not 'promoting a friend.'
Just an idea if your looking for a (somewhat) local shop.
His website is not very up to date, but his work is!!
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 09, 03:49 PM
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Larry
 
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Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

I have a back halfed 67 that I am currently replacing the floorpan & firewall in to correct height and squaring issues. After the floor is in and true, I plan on getting a square tube crossmenber with a driveshaft loop from Alston to weld across the front subframe to enable me to tie the back half to the front, essentially making it a full framed car. I plan on working on it later tonight, I will take a few pics and measurements and post them for you later. I think you are on the right track here, I am also running 29X18.5 Mickeys on 14" wheels, no problems with getting them on or off. Mine is a ladder bar setup with a narrowed 9" Lincoln rear end, but if I did it again I think I would use a 3 or 4 link instead for streetability. Mine is going to be for thrashing and raced on occasion, but it drove ok with the ladder bar setup on the street and not a daily driver so 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. Also you will want to use solid body bushings to prevent frame/body flexing to avoid damage. Since I am replacing the entire one piece floorpan and firewall, I am raising the floor and firewall to drop the body on the frame without compromising ground clearance... why not it's easy @ this point and will get the look I'm after without grinding the bottom of the car off on speedbumps and pedestrians...lol Either way, it is one hell of a lot of work and in fact I gave up on mine for 2 years until I decided to "let-um drop" and get after it. About 40 hours later I am final fitting and close to welding it all back together, but going to screw it together first and fit the front sheetmetal to make sure there are no issues I won't be able to solve after the floor and firewall is welded in. Measure 20 times, cut or weld once. The other thing is the rear frame rails stick through the floorpan where the rear passengers feet go, so you have to cap the opening over the rear foot well so there is a flat surface with no hump. It only takes away about 3" of floor height in the rear, but I will never be back there so who cares...lol

Sometimes it's better to let someone think your an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 09, 04:59 PM
rtj
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Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

If you aren't a welder/fabricator, the suggestion to get a pro involved is a good one.

I put a roll cage in my BB vet and that convinced me to buy a ProStreet car that had the cage and back-half done. There are lots out there.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 09, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
Rick Beall
 
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Location: Henry,il
Posts: 19
Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

Rattlehead & RTJ- thanks for the heads up. It's nice to know that someone local can come to the rescue if needed. I think the fun of owning a hot rod is doing the work myself. I've done quit a bit of fabricating and welding so I don't believe this is above my ability. However, I will be doing just the set up and tacking. I have buddy who will mig/tig everything after final set up. He's certified to weld high pressure pipe so the welds are strong.

1969ProStreetCamaro - with 33's you would have had to stretch the wheel wells? I have a set of 31X18.5 MT's mounted on 15X15 welds with 4.5 back spacing I was thinking about using but I didn't really want to stretch the wells. Do you have any reference material on stretching the wells you could share? I'm really leaning toward the Chris Alston non prewelded 2X3X.120 kit for the rear frame. Since the car will see very little if any track time, I was thinking 8 point roll cage everything together.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 09, 06:51 PM
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David
 
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Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by plain_jane_69 View Post
Rattlehead & RTJ- thanks for the heads up. It's nice to know that someone local can come to the rescue if needed. I think the fun of owning a hot rod is doing the work myself. I've done quit a bit of fabricating and welding so I don't believe this is above my ability. However, I will be doing just the set up and tacking. I have buddy who will mig/tig everything after final set up. He's certified to weld high pressure pipe so the welds are strong.

1969ProStreetCamaro - with 33's you would have had to stretch the wheel wells? I have a set of 31X18.5 MT's mounted on 15X15 welds with 4.5 back spacing I was thinking about using but I didn't really want to stretch the wells. Do you have any reference material on stretching the wells you could share? I'm really leaning toward the Chris Alston non prewelded 2X3X.120 kit for the rear frame. Since the car will see very little if any track time, I was thinking 8 point roll cage everything together.
With a 31" tall tire,no wheel well stretching should be needed. 8 point cage should be just fine. Check out this thread.................https://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=150138

........for wheel well stretching. Lots of good info and some nice pics,especially Dave C's work

David F.

"All I need is a fast machine". Steve McQueen
My Machine: 1969 Pro Street Camaro
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 09, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
Rick Beall
 
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Posts: 19
Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

1969ProStreetCamaro - I'm a little confused. Everything I have read and even the posts in the link you sent talk about stretching the wells for 31 in tires. Sorry to be a newbie but is there something I'm missing. Thanks for all your help.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 12th, 09, 10:12 AM
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Mike
 
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Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

I would recommend stretching the quarter panels for 31" tires but you can cut and taper the bottom of the wheel openings to make the 31" tires fit. That is the area that will hit the tires. I am running 33" tires on my 69 and I stretched the quarters 5". If I was building a prostreet car I would put the biggest tire I could put on the car. At least that is what I did for mine. The kits only handle the 18.5" wide tires the last time I checked. I have 22" wide on my car.

I bought kits from Morrison when I did my car but that was over 15 years ago. Chris Alston also makes good kits. I am running a ladder bar setup. I was using the poly urethane bushing kit on my ladder bars and panhard bars but just changed the rod ends to solid ends and it really made my ride worse. But I got tired of changing th bushing every 4 or 5 years. David C. has the 4 link setup and says it has a better ride than the ladder bar setup.

I have my exhaust running out the back of my car and the pipes go under my rearend. So to take my rear tires off I remove the mufflers and rear pipes. Each side is flanged at the front of the muffler so it isn't to hard the take off. Then I put jack stands under the body / frame to lower the rearend. Let the air out of my tires then remove them. It isn't that bad actually.

Checkout my yahoo briefcase in my signature for pictures of my car.

Mike
69 Camaro Prostreet - purple w/ghost flames , 502 w/ 871 blower


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 12th, 09, 11:38 AM
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MARK
 
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Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

Here's a picture (not a great one) of the rear tires on my car so you can get a visual. My rears are MT 29X18.5X15 on 15X15 wheels with unmodified wheel openings. As you can see there isn't much room left. I don't think a 31" would fit in the opening. Sure doesn't look like they would. I specificaly went with 29's because I didn't want to have to alter the openings and also wanted the top to be functional. Any larger rear tire and neither would be a reality.



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Last edited by PROZ11; Feb 12th, 09 at 08:18 PM.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 09, 04:34 AM
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MARK
 
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Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

I adjusted the picture a little so the perimeter of the tire is easier to see.





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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 09, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
Rick Beall
 
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Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

Looks good PROZ11. Thanks for everyone's input. Here's what I have decided. I'm going to go with a rear 4 link kit that uses 2X3 rails and comes unassembled so I can set my width. I've found a pair of 29X18.5 tires which will be mounted on a pair weld 15X14 wheels with 3.5 inches of back spacing to use to set everything up. Once everything is set and looks the way I want (and I know I'm leaving out a lot of details like leveling the car and measuring square ness and marking centerlines but I will be doing all that during the build) I'll measure for my rear end. I want to use a 9 inch floater rear end and disk brakes. Any yeah's or ney's on that?
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 09, 09:44 AM
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Royce
 
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Re: Yet Another Backhalf Question

Sounds like a solid plan to me. Not sure you really need the full floater but, it won't hurt anything.

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