The Chevelle Build Update: It’s Mini-Tub Time!
[caption id="attachment_3972" align="aligncenter" width="600"] A 295/35/18 BFGoodrich KDW can now fit in my wheelwell. Yeah![/caption] It's been quite a while since the last Chevelle build update, so I thought I'd get everyone up to speed on the latest progress at Allison Customs. As Jeff shared with you last time, the new trunk pan was being prevented from going in by the old tail panel......which it turned out was a swiss cheeed piece of bondo, rust, and a few creative fixes. Since we weren't able to find a cost-effective factory piece to use as a replacement from a donor car (since this is not a piece re-popped by anyone yet) Jeff fabriacated the entire thing by hand, which in itself was a miracle since he had no original template to go by. With the new tail panel in place he turned his sites onto the trunk floor, and more specifically, the wheel tubs! [caption id="attachment_3974" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Before. Note that the wheel well has just about 12.5 inches of room.[/caption] Since it's my goal to use the Chevelle as both my daily driver and a Pro-Touring competition car it was clear that we needed to fit as much tire under the rear of the car as possible. The future engine plans include a 500+ LS power-plant which may be more wishing than reality at this point, but we are preparing for it nonetheless. Since we didn't want to change the way our Detreoit Speed Suspension would mount in any way Jeff had notched the rear frame rails on the outside of the rail to make additional room there, and he gained about 1.25" if clearance there. Now it was time to make the same amount of room on the wheel wells. The pictures tell the full story, and after a little trimming here, some new metal here, and a little magic there, we can now fully engulf the massive 295/35/18 BFGoodrich KDW tires! [caption id="attachment_3973" align="aligncenter" width="600"] After! 14.5" of room for giant tires![/caption] Jeff asked me after sending these pictures as to whether we should go back to an air suspension setup, simply because it now looks like we'd have ample clearance to lay the car on the ground at shows. I'm not quite ready for that one yet! Since we're going to be replacing so much structural metal in the car Jeff is having to carefully plan the next steps going forward. He'll have to cut the existing quarters a bit to get the new trunk floor in which will be welded to the new tail panel, the old quarters, and the old floor pan. The new floor pan will then going in next (which will include new inner and outer rockers) and will be followed by repair or replacement of the firewall. Once everything is nice and solid he'll tackle the quarters and take care of some other suspect areas in the body (mainly in the window well areas). If all goes well the body may be back on the frame by Christmas! [caption id="attachment_3975" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Tire clearance issues should NOT be our problem from here on out![/caption] For those of you that are new readers here, the Chevelle build is one that has been a long time coming and is a dream come true for me. It all literally started 9 months ago when I received a call from Jeff Allison out of the blue saying that he enjoyed the podcast show, felt that it give him the inspiration to start his own shop, and that he'd like to build my car as a thank-you gift (and no, I'm NOT making that up!). For more details on that story please listen to Episode 72 of The MuscleCar Place podcast show. [caption id="attachment_3986" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The future! I'll include this here are a little teaser for next time![/caption] Stay tuned for more Chevelle updates soon! -Robert Kibbe