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Discussion Starter #1
I bought new rad support bushings from the paddock. When installing the fenders the gap at the door is way off seems as the bushings are to thick even after torquing. If I remove the bushing the gap is even. Has anyone had this problem? Any ideas appreciated. Thanks
 

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How were the old ones ?. I had a similiar fender alignment problem with my 74 after putting the wrong bushings in from PST. It's quite possible the body to frame bushings are worn out. If the firewall base bushings are too thin then the front frame horns where the radiator support bolts on will be too high and this will pull the bottom back edge of the fender away from the rocker sill and the bottom front edge of the doors.
I would look at your firewall base bushings and check to make sure the 1/2" spacer is still in place. If this is gone but the bushings are fine this too will cause alignment problems.
When I was going through mine with the wrong bushings in place I could barely pull the fender back to close up the fender to rocker sill gap but when I did it also distorted the fender and then the inner wheel housing would not fit properly.
Jim
 

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bushings

i had a problem with my new bodymounts . the 1/2 spacers, made the frame tilt down too low and cause the fenders to curve down at the front where they meet the hood. when i eliminate the spacers, it seemed to cure that:confused: . i haven't got the car on the road yet, but i don't feel right about leaving the spacers out as they were there from the factory?:confused: it seems to be a common problem in different areas when replacing the body mounts. this was one of the biggest dilemas of the restoration . is one brand better than others?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The old lower bushings were shot but the uppers were o.k. The gap before I removed the fenders was good now it's close but not right. I have 3/16" at the top of the door and 5/8" at the bottom. I'll check for the 1/2" spacer. I may have to swap out the body mounts. I was thinking of triming the new lower bushing. Thanks
 

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Here are the dimensions of the factory firewall base bushing off of my 74 Nova:

http://hometown.aol.com/krystaldesigns/images/firewall base bushing 1 of 6 (original dimensions).jpg

On mine currently are the ones that are too thin (they measure 1.00" compared to the originals at 1.40") but what I have done temporarily while I concentrate on the front end sheet metal alignment was to purchase some big fender washers and made a stack of three of them to get a 0.40" thickness. Later I plan on either having one piece spacers made or see if another bushing can be used.
I found out on mine this firewall mount difference of 0.40" made the front frame ear ends be high by at least 5/8" (I still have the measurements written on a piece of tape on the frame). I never measured what the gap was at the rear bottom corner of the fender to the rocker sill with the two different firewall base bushings but it sounds like you have the same problem with not the radiator support bushings but with the other body bushings.
Trim the bushings you have if you want but it might be worth the time to check out the other ones and maybe replace those too.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info. I will see if the paddock will sell the only the body bushings and install all new however I would like to change 1 at a time as I don't want to throw everything out of alignment. Any ideas on changing 1 at a time. Motor and trans are out. Thanks
 

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I would first get some 5/8" dowels or some long 5/8" bolts (you may have to sand down the thread a little. I had to do so on some old bolts I had laying around as the threads prevented them from sliding into the alignment hole nice and easy) and stick them in the firewall base alignment holes for a reference. With both dowels in place you should be able to look from one side to the other and they should line up like this: I I and not like this: / \ .
I would also look at them from dead center in front of the car and they should also look square to each other and not like this: / / or this: \ \ .
Now they may not be just right but with a reference check once you are all done you can make sure it's still the same.
I never bothered checking my alignment holes on my 74 when I took it apart as I wanted to line them up and then see how the front end went together and so far, so good but every car will be different.
I would do a search either on this site or the older Camaro sites as they have pretty much the same designed subframe and see how others have changed them one at a time. I would think it's not that hard but I've never done it. I've always had the frames out to do things to it and then put it back in as an assembly.
What I would do before you put the bushings in is soak the bolts and threads with a penetrating oil to where you don't break loose the captive nut. The one on the firewall base you can see but the other one in the rear is boxed in and the only way to get to it is cut open a flap in the interior floor. Don't be suprised if the factory bolts are rusted thin down to a pencil size. If they are, replace them. Years ago on my 73 I needed them that day and went to a tractor supply and got some grade 8 ones. While they didn't have the correct markings they were stronger than the older ones AND in better shape.
Also be aware when changing them you may possibly damage the steering column coupler (rag joint) if you don't do it right or realign the column with the new frame bushings. You may also want to check the condition of it out also (more money/more money :D ).

Jim
 
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