Our previous installment on the Holley Project Roadrunner covered the topic of media blasting. When it was all said and done, it was apparent that the investment of $4,300 in this B-Body was showing true signs of its bargain nature. However, just because rust had set into the front frame rails and other significant structural components doesn’t mean the Roadrunner wasn’t a worthy candidate for resurrection. In fact, with the skills available to the project--specifically those of Muscle Car Restorations of Eau Claire, Wisconsin--we knew that while the work seemed ominous, the craftsmanship available would step up to the task ahead.

After sandblasting the body at DeWayne Krumenauer and Randy Goettl’s Progressive Stripping in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, we were down to the bare elements of the Roadrunner. What would lay ahead was in plain view--replacement of the front stub/front structural clip. John Balow noted, "Because the frame rails were very rusty and the torsion bar mounts were questionable, we felt the best method to ensure structural rigidity would be to remove the front stub. Other reasons to make this major repair would include if the car you are repairing had been in an accident and the frame rails were bent." But where do you find a complete, intact front stub that extends from the transmission crossmember forward? Balow turned to Neil Freeman for the replacement sheetmetal. Balow ordered the front third of a 1969 B-Body and the craftsmen at Muscle Car Restorations carefully removed the front stub from the donor car body.

As you know, alignment is critical with such a swap, and the front stub, when complete with the transmission crossmember, offers an excellent way to guarantee exact placement of the motor mounts, transmission crossmember, and other critical measurements. The question most would ask is, "Does this constitute a re-body?" In a manner of speaking, it does. However, if smaller areas were replaced, the splicing and welding would be far more apparent than the exposure of the front stub with replacement or original sheetmetal. "We don't want it apparent that the car has been reframed," said Balow. "What we do want is to reassemble the car with factory spot welds. It is not 100 percent undetectable, but it can be very close to perfect with a lot of tedious work." Of particular note with the Holley car were the torsion bar mounts. Rather than risk a torsion bar failure, as well as other structural issues, the replacement front stub grafting to the original unitbody was the only option John would consider.

Follow along as we demonstrate the work involved to make the repair.

SOURCE
Auto Meter Products, Inc
413 Elm St
Sycamore
IL  60178
815-895-8141
N/A
www.autometer.com
Indy Cylinder Head
8621 Southeastern Ave.
Indianapolis
IN  46239
3-17/-862-3724
indyheads.com
Iverson Automotive
8-00/-325-0480
9-52/-932-9026
Freeman Auto
138 Kountz Road
Whitehall
MT  59759
406-287-5436
Year One, Inc.
P.O. Box 129
Tucker
GA  30085
800-Yea-rOne
N/A
www.yearone.com/
Holley Performance Products, Inc.
1801 Russellville Road
P.O. Box 10360
Bowling Green
KY  42102-7360
270-782-2900
N/A
www.holley.com/
Progressive Stripping
5939 210th Street
Cadodt
WI  54727
715-723-5884
Muscle Car Restorations
7-15/-834-2223
musclecarrestorations.com
PPG Steve Durham
15091 Fort Campbell Blvd.
Oak Grove
KY  42262
502-439-9387
Classic Restorations POR-15
221 Spice Ave. N. E.
Lake Placid
FL  33852
800-225-7422
N/A
www.snidle.com
Auto Action Movers
800 Wisconsin St.
Bldg. #2, Suite 309
800-733-0106
Hooker Industries
1024 W. Brooks St.
Ontario
CA  91762
909-983-5871
Paul’s Plating
90 Pattison
Evans City
PA  16033
800-245-8679