1971 Chevy Camaro Gets New Front Sheetmetal

By Chuck Vranas   –   Photography by the Author

There comes a moment in every buildup where you need to address the status of the body. Many times it can be when all of the mechanical and chassis fabrication upgrades are finally completed. It’s always good to have a plan of action regardless of whether you’re going from ground-zero or taking it on in steps to reach your goals. Regular readers of All Chevy Performance will recognize the ’71 Camaro laid out across our pages as having started its journey as a picked-down shell that was totally bare bones and barely a roller. It’s certainly come a long way through past articles addressing the suspension, brakes, LS driveline, cooling, and exhaust.

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001 A Master Body Hardware kit from AMK Products was sourced from AMD
To prepare the new front fenders for fitment, first install five U-Nut mounting clips in place along the fender’s inner lip using a small hammer to tap them into place. A Master Body Hardware kit from AMK Products was sourced from AMD to make installation of the nose a snap.

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We recently followed up at Procision Industries in Taunton, Massachusetts, where shop owner Pat O’Brien was preparing to move forward on the next step of addressing the body. Seeing that the car was void of any front sheetmetal, it was a perfect time to look into options and address ideas of how he would like the styling of the car to look. O’Brien contacted Auto Metal Direct (AMD) to check out their vast catalog of sheetmetal components as well as everything needed to complete the full assembly of the front end. Any particular needs for your restoration project, from body components to glass, electrical, trim, and everything else you could imagine, they’ve got it covered.

002 It’s always good to have help when test fitting a fender in place to the body
It’s always good to have help when test-fitting a fender in place to the body. Here, Pat O’Brien of Procision Industries (right) was assisted by team member Carl Pietro for the initial lineup.

When it came to the front end, there were numerous choices available, from standard front sheetmetal, including the fenders, valance, header panel, and one-piece bumper with grille, to the Rally Sport version incorporating turn signals in the header panel as well as offering split bumpers and an Endura nose. Here, the decision was made to incorporate the standard front end sheetmetal accented by a 2-inch raised cowl hood. To complete the installation, AMD included a complete Master Body Hardware Kit (PN H-70FB-S, 368 pcs) as well as all related brackets, rubber components, shims, latches, plastic components, and filler panels. Taking on a job like this it’s important to have help, especially when it comes to panel fitment, alignment, and hood installation.

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003 To loosely anchor the fender O’Brien chose to start at the core support and move rearward
To loosely anchor the fender, O’Brien chose to start at the core support and move rearward using hardware from the kit and a ½-inch wrench and socket to set it in place.

Bringing it to the next level regarding underhood components, a call to Eddie Motorsports raised the bar with a set of their CNC-machined billet hood hinges crafted in the USA from high-quality 6061-T6 billet aluminum. The stunning hinges feature stainless steel nitrogen-filled gas struts with sealed bearings for flawless hood operation and are available in varying strengths to accommodate all types of hoods, from standard steel to fiberglass and even carbon fiber. They’re available in a machined or polished finish as well as a myriad of custom Fusioncoat colors and arrive ready to install with all the needed stainless steel mounting hardware.

004 Next the fender was loosely secured to the inner fenders while checking for proper fitment using a ½ inch socket
Next, the fender was loosely secured to the inner fenders while checking for proper fitment using a ½-inch socket.

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Finally, Rocket Racing proves that performance and stunning looks don’t have to break the bank with their flow-forged aluminum one-piece wheels, which are available in a number of different sizes and offset combinations for most popular applications. Here, the Attack-Series wheels feature a generous caliper clearance design along with a crisp machined face and rim with titanium color accents and a clearcoat for protection while a set of Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 Plus Series tires ensure excellent handling.

005 A pair of body bolts with load distributing cup washers were then installed to the upper rear side of the inner fenders
A pair of body bolts with load-distributing cup washers were then installed to the upper rear side of the inner fenders.

Seeing the car with its new front end sheetmetal and wicked rollers easily raises a pulse rate as the build moves closer to the street every day.

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006 Next the rear of the fender was loosely secured to the firewall and top of the cowl using body bolts and a 916 inch socket
Next, the rear of the fender was loosely secured to the firewall and top of the cowl using body bolts and a 9/16-inch socket. Follow by starting the alignment of the fender to the door using the provided shims to set the gap.
007 With the initial alignment and gap set all body bolts were securely tightened to anchor the fender in place
With the initial alignment and gap set, all body bolts were securely tightened to anchor the fender in place.
008 U Nuts were then set in place on the valance panel where required to prepare it for installation
U-Nuts were then set in place on the valance panel where required to prepare it for installation.
009 The valance was the test fitted to the lower fenders prior to starting the installation
The valance was the test-fitted to the lower fenders prior to starting the installation.
010 Using the body bolts from the kit the valance panel was aligned to the fender bottoms and secured using a ½ inch socket and wrench
Using the body bolts from the kit, the valance panel was aligned to the fender bottoms and secured using a ½-inch socket and wrench.
011 Using the body bolts from the kit the valance panel was aligned to the fender bottoms and secured using a ½ inch socket and wrench
Setting the AMD header panel in place, the allure of the second-gen starts to come to life with its dramatic flowing body lines all joining together on the front end.
012 Using hardware from the master body kit the header panel is loosely bolted into place
Using hardware from the master body kit, the header panel is loosely bolted into place on numerous planes using a ½-inch wrench and socket. Make sure to allow room for the inclusion of the filler panels and bumper brackets to follow as well as finessing the fitment.
013 Here you can see the filler panel and outer bumper bracket
Here you can see the filler panel and outer bumper bracket that will be layered and installed in the area between the valance and header panel.
014 Utilizing U Nuts secured to the valance
Utilizing U-Nuts secured to the valance, the filler panel and outer bumper brackets were installed. Follow by installing the inner bumper bracket into the turn signal area of the valance using the supplied bolts. This step will be duplicated for the passenger side.
015 Next to prepare the grille for installation
Next, to prepare the grille for installation, the retainer clips were installed to all the mounting points.
016 Here you can see all of the mounting points for the new grille
Here you can see all of the mounting points for the new grille. Note that the original factory hood lock support is also in place.
017 The fresh standard replacement egg crate–styled grille from AMD was then installed
The fresh standard replacement egg crate–styled grille from AMD was then installed to the six mounting points using the provided screws.
018 a standard chrome front bumper made from heavy gauge steel installed
To add a dusting of dazzle, a standard chrome front bumper made from heavy-gauge steel featuring an OE-quality chrome finish was selected and added to complete the look.
019 a standard chrome front bumper made from heavy gauge steel
The new bumper was then installed to the inner and outer bumper brackets using fresh hardware and a ½-inch wrench and socket.
020 Adding a new factory replacement hood release assembly
Adding a new factory replacement hood-release assembly ensures plenty of smooth, reliable operation, and long-term durability for years to come.
021 Once lowered into place the assembly was secured
Once lowered into place, the assembly was secured using the provided 12-point bolts and 7/16-inch 12-point wrench and socket.
022 a pair of Eddie Motorsports billet three piece fender braces with a gloss black Fusioncoat finish fit
For plenty of style, a pair of Eddie Motorsports billet three-piece fender braces with a gloss black Fusioncoat finish fit the bill perfectly when accented by their included stainless hardware. Always remember to use a good-quality antiseize on all stainless bolts.
023 a new reproduction OER replacement cowl vent screen was snapped into place
To keep debris from entering the cowl area, a new reproduction OER replacement cowl vent screen was snapped into place and secured.
024 Here the Eddie Motorsports billet aluminum hood hinges in a gloss black Fusioncoat finish are installed
Here the Eddie Motorsports billet aluminum hood hinges in a gloss black Fusioncoat finish are installed to the factory location with a 7/32-inch hex key using antiseize on all stainless bolts to prevent galling.
025 The installation process requires two people to complete it safely
The installation process requires two people to complete it safely, especially when mounting the hood in place to secure it to the new hinges. From here the hood is adjustable from four points on each side to ensure proper fitment and alignment.
026 applying a small amount of grease to the ball studs on the hinge
Before installing the stainless steel gas hood struts in place, apply a small amount of grease to the ball studs on the hinge. Follow by removing the wire keeper from each socket end of the strut. You can then mount the strut in place making sure to have the shaft side down (“body” end up).
027 The Eddie Motorsports billet aluminum hood hinges add the perfect amount of dress up to your engine compartment
The Eddie Motorsports billet aluminum hood hinges add the perfect amount of dress-up to your engine compartment
028 one of the most important parts of the front sheetmetal installation is the hood safety latch
Next, one of the most important parts of the front sheetmetal installation is the hood safety latch. This reproduction preassembled unit sourced through AMD includes the lock plate, pilot bolt, spring, retainer, and jam nut. Installation was a snap.
029 To complete the job front and rear hood adjusters are installed
To complete the job, front and rear hood adjusters as well as…
030 hood side bumpers help complete the proper alignment of the hood
…hood side bumpers help complete the proper alignment of the hood.
031 alternate angle of hood side bumpers
This is alternate angle of hood side bumpers.
032 wheels to bring the performance to the pavement with a set of Rocket Racing Attack Series lightweight one piece performance wheels
There’s nothing better than a set of ultra-cool wheels to bring the performance to the pavement with a set of Rocket Racing Attack-Series lightweight one-piece performance wheels matched to Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 Plus Series rubber for plenty of grip and great looks once it hits the street.
033 The new AMD sheetmetal frontend brought the build to the next level
The new AMD sheetmetal frontend brought the build to the next level, giving it razor-sharp looks that will add plenty of allure once it gets prepped for paint.

Sources:

Auto Metal Direct
(833) 404-4777
autometaldirect.com

Eddie Motorsports
(909) 581-7398
eddiemotorsports.com

Procision Industries
(508) 734-6081
procisionindustries.com

Rocket Racing Wheels
(866) 464-6553
holley.com

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of  1971 Chevy Camaro Gets New Front Sheetmetal.acp april 2024

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