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Old 10-14-2010, 10:31 AM   #1
HardcoreZ28
 
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2 First Gen Firebird Questions

Hey guys I'm working on a 68 for a guy right now that another shop completely hacked up. Trying to get everything right for my customer. My first question is Firebird specific. It appears as if the tailpanel was replaced on the car and the area where the bumper runs across is curved in at the center above the license plate area. It's curved in probably a good 3/4" or more. I've never looked at one close enough to know if this is correct or if the other shop misaligned the panel and then just pushed the center in to be able to weld it to the trunk floor. Anyone know?

Second question is just first and possibly second gen related. The front mounts for the leaf springs are held up with 3 bolts that go up into the floor pan. I'm trying to remove them and they are just spinning. I'm assuming there's a cage nut above the mount that's spinning. I can't figure out a way to get them out aside from cutting that portion of the frame open to somehow stop the nut from turning. You can't get to it from inside the car because it's a double panel. Anyone know a trick for this?
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardcoreZ28 View Post
Hey guys I'm working on a 68 for a guy right now that another shop completely hacked up. Trying to get everything right for my customer. My first question is Firebird specific. It appears as if the tailpanel was replaced on the car and the area where the bumper runs across is curved in at the center above the license plate area. It's curved in probably a good 3/4" or more. I've never looked at one close enough to know if this is correct or if the other shop misaligned the panel and then just pushed the center in to be able to weld it to the trunk floor. Anyone know?

Second question is just first and possibly second gen related. The front mounts for the leaf springs are held up with 3 bolts that go up into the floor pan. I'm trying to remove them and they are just spinning. I'm assuming there's a cage nut above the mount that's spinning. I can't figure out a way to get them out aside from cutting that portion of the frame open to somehow stop the nut from turning. You can't get to it from inside the car because it's a double panel. Anyone know a trick for this?
Regarding the second issue-

They are actually 3 J-nuts. Like these bad boys:

http://www.firewheelclassics.com/sto...ID=&SKU=RLS28A

They break at the two tabs and then it's happy happy fun times.

I approached the problem this way. Granted, it's probably not the only way but I didn't want to cut the floor up to get at them from the top. I couldn't get the springs out so I ended up just cutting the spring eye buckets with a cutoff wheel and replacing them. I got a used set for $30.

Once the spring eye was out, I tried sticking a big flat bladed screwdriver in the hole to try and mechanically jam the nut and keep it from turning. I was able to get a few of the bolts out and fished the remains out of the frame with a telescopic magnet. For the ones I couldn't get, I used the cutoff wheel to cut an X across each bolt head, hit them with a chisel, and then used a magnet to pull the nut and bolt remains out.

Again, not the only way, but how I was able to do it without cutting anything that doesn't bolt on.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:51 AM   #3
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Bill.....regarding your second method. I'm assuming the x cut was to weaken the bolt and then you just broke the head off? How did you get the clip and so forth out after? I would think it would still be too large to pull out of the bolt hole.
I thought about doing something similar. Just grinding the whole head off of the bolt so I could pull the spring eye bucket down....then trying to find a way to remove the rest.
Let me know about that removing the remains part as I'll probably give your idea a try.
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by HardcoreZ28 View Post
Bill.....regarding your second method. I'm assuming the x cut was to weaken the bolt and then you just broke the head off? How did you get the clip and so forth out after? I would think it would still be too large to pull out of the bolt hole.
I thought about doing something similar. Just grinding the whole head off of the bolt so I could pull the spring eye bucket down....then trying to find a way to remove the rest.
Let me know about that removing the remains part as I'll probably give your idea a try.
Paul,

Yeah, I did that to weaken the head so I could pull it through. I'll have to check on how I got the peices out. I don't remember doing any cutting but maybe I ground the hole a little larger. It was last year sometime so I'll have to have a look.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:20 PM   #5
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I forget, cant you just drill out the bolt heads to get the springs and perches out? Then I think you can get to the clips from underneath.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:30 PM   #6
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I'll give it a whirl. I'm going to cut down the bolt heads with a grinder and try to pull the bracket off and see what the clips look like underneath.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BonzoHansen View Post
I forget, cant you just drill out the bolt heads to get the springs and perches out? Then I think you can get to the clips from underneath.
Yes, you can. I do not remember why this was not an option for me but it is preferable.
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:28 PM   #8
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I don't understand where you are with the question #1. Does this help?

http://www.yearone.com/serverfiles/f...ain2.asp?cat=4

Type in part number 638R.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HardcoreZ28 View Post
Hey guys I'm working on a 68 for a guy right now that another shop completely hacked up. Trying to get everything right for my customer. My first question is Firebird specific. It appears as if the tailpanel was replaced on the car and the area where the bumper runs across is curved in at the center above the license plate area. It's curved in probably a good 3/4" or more. I've never looked at one close enough to know if this is correct or if the other shop misaligned the panel and then just pushed the center in to be able to weld it to the trunk floor. Anyone know?
You had me curious so I went out to look at my 68. It goes straight across. Just to be sure we are talking about the same thing, could you put up a picture of what you're talking about?
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:15 PM   #10
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Featherburner....it's the tailpanel in the link Chris posted above to Year One's site if you type in his part number. I had a funny feeling it was supposed to go straight across. It's definitely bowed in quite a bit right where the bumper goes across. Can you take a second look for me since that's kind of a hidden area.

As for my second issue...got them out without too much of a problem. I ground the heads off and the brackets dropped right out. Then it took a little bit of prying and yanking but the leftover pieces came out of the access holes without me cutting them open or even stretching them out at all.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:09 PM   #11
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i just checked my dads 67 firebird... it DOES bow in slightly above the license plate, under the gas door, not dramaticly, but u can see the the gap differance by following the top of the bumper... pic coming shortly
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:15 PM   #12
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i just checked my dads 67 firebird... it DOES bow in slightly above the license plate, under the gas door, not dramaticly, but u can see the the gap differance by following the top of the bumper... pic coming shortly

Very interesting. Definitely looking forward to seeing the pic.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:32 PM   #13
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best i could get with the cell, ignore the reflection from the chrome, it makes it look much greater then it is, just follow the line on the top of the bumper, u can see it ever so slightly
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:57 PM   #14
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Sure can. I think the one I'm working on is similar. I need to have the customer bring his bumper by so I can hold it up and be certain. Thanks a lot for the help!
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