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Expert opinion needed/front clip assembly


Well-known member
Jul 3, 2001
Auburndale, Florida
1969 Killer Shark
I need to hear from those that have been there and done it. That is building and bonding the front clip. When is the best time to do it.

I have settled on the big block build for my car. Right now the body from the firewall back is shimmed and bolted to the restored frame. I have stripped, sanded, and covered the rear body and doors in high quality eurothane primer. The final look for this car includes a smooth firewall, with complete color match inner fenders and firewall. I am running the Vintage Air super cooler II compact and thus have eliminated the entire air box from the firewall.

The front clip and inner fenders are all aftermarket parts. I am aware of the hand work needed to get them to fit correct. I am a few days away from having it assembled.

Now--do I:

1. bond the front, hand fit, sand, prime and paint the car then drop in the motor.

2. Set the front clip out of the way, paint the firewall, build and instal the motor-then bond the nose, hand fit, sand, prime, and paint the whole car.

3. bond the front, hand fit, sand, prime--paint the firewall and inner structure, install the motor, then paint the whole car.

The way I see it, 1. makes the most sense for a number of reasons. Option 2 allows for easy access to the engine, less back strain, and more room to work on things. Option 3 allows for mistakes and damage to the body, saving the paint for last. My only worry on option 3 is getting grease or oil on the bare primed parts causing paint problems.

What do you think?
I vote for #1

I too would do it as outlined in #1. I do have a question? Is this an original BB Car? If not have you done the front upgrade yet? if not I would do that before starting the front clip.

I did a front clip on a '74 years ago, it pays to make jigs to ensure proper measurements and alignment. Good luck and by all means please keep us posted, pictures are nice too.

Front Suspension


I bought the Performance Plus front suspension from VB&P with provisions for the BB. I also bought a BB core support. Plus, the aluminum heads and aluminum acc. brackets will drop some weight off the front.

Is there anything else other than brackets for the power steering etc. that I need to be concerned about going with the BB? I am running the L88 hood for air cleaner clearance.

I need to get back on the signature post. I am actually looking for a better picture. I was thinking about changing it from time to time as the car begins to take shape.

A good friend and Corvette fanatic (has an original 1971 454) also votes for option #1.

2 sounds better to me

I like to paint the areas that will be hard to paint after assembly. Then do all of the mechanical work before final paint. Seems like you will always chip the new paint no matter how careful you are.

Option 1

I am going with option one.

Just finished putting all the harware in the front clip while it was upside down. Nikki and I have been lifting on and off the front clip for the last couple of hours. It is an Ecklers piece. It came with the car so I don't know how old it is. It sat around so long that the upper headlight/hood surround rusted out. Bonded a new one in last night.

Looks like I will have a few hours of final fill and fitting at the front edge of the doors. However, they are pretty close right now. In fact, the Ecklers clip was about 1/2" too long on both sides. This has allowed me to cut it back little by little to get the desired door gap. I will have to mix my bonding agent cold enough to give me plenty of time to hang it in place. We broke the right inner fender during the test fitting. Good thing I had not already painted it.

Maybe by Saturday night the clip will be bonded and the front fender flares will be under way.

Thanks for the input.

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