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Re: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Front Suspension Swap to '78 Camaro
ColbyG #1391833 Fri Jan 08 2021 10:25 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,349
"Hey! I sound like Darth Vader!!
Yup, I did mine in 2006 with a '75 clip. Luckily, I had been questioned before, so I captured the whole process by taking pictures. Peg took it and created the Tech Tip.

If you look at my Suburban, my front springs are a little saggy. If I had fresh springs, putting my Suburban at stock height like Terry's, I'd have zero rubbing issues. And, to tell the truth, a lot of my rubbing issues went away when I installed the rear sway bar. In fact, the ride improved vastly!

Sometimes this stuff has to take a little adjustment. Afterall, the clip was made for a passenger car/Camaro and not a truck. Certainly not a Suburban.

Re: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Front Suspension Swap to '78 Camaro
ColbyG #1392196 Mon Jan 11 2021 01:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,886
C
'Bolter
This is apples to oranges but using a Nova clip that has all the features of a Camaro clip but is the right width which solves all the problems. Also, they made many more Nova's than Camaro's so they are easier to find. Here is a comparison of the two:

The mules, all red one has Camaro and red/black one has a Nova clip
[img]https://i.postimg.cc/hhKK7Vp2/truck-roll-pans-clips-010.jpg[/img] [postimg.cc]

Camaro clip not a good match and requires gussets and plating
[img]https://i.postimg.cc/H8W3CTb1/truck-roll-pans-clips-008.jpg[/img] [postimg.cc]

Nova is a good match and looks like a factory unit when finished
[img]https://i.postimg.cc/cvKWSSc3/truck-roll-pans-clips-006.jpg[/img] [postimg.cc]
[img]https://i.postimg.cc/JGpXFbTn/truck-roll-pans-clips-005.jpg[/img] [postimg.cc]


Evan
Re: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Front Suspension Swap to '78 Camaro
ColbyG #1392205 Mon Jan 11 2021 01:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,213
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
The Nova clip is the same amount of work as a Camero/Firebird clip. As Evan points out it is closer to stock width when finished. Most you find are drum brakes so your search may take a bit longer. I had one set up that way that I bought in a bunch of bodies and parts. Sold it to my brother several years ago and he’s running it with a ‘50 3100 Body on it with a 454 and TH400.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2) “Emily”
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe “Clarence”



"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!
USAF 1965-1969 Weather Observation Tech (I got paid to look at the clouds)

Re: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Front Suspension Swap to '78 Camaro
MNSmith #1392221 Mon Jan 11 2021 03:45 PM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 37
C
ColbyG Offline OP
'Bolter
MNSmith, thank you! I will keep note of the dimensions for the 28" diameter tire with a 4" backspace. I would like to go to an 18" or 20" wheel with low profile tires, so hopefully that will be possible and still keep those dimensions. If not, I suppose I will deal with it. Question: What is the widest wheel that you think I could go with, 8" or 9"?

Justhorsenround, thanks for letting me know that TerryB messaged you. Question: Can you tell me what you mean by "stock offset"? That's a new term to me. Also, thanks for letting me know that the Nova is more or less the same amount of work as the Camaro clip. I'm just happy to know that the track width of the Novas are closer to the original track width of the 47-54s. Either way, I'm learning a lot here!

coilover, your reply is golden! Thank you! I will keep all of that in mind for my next build, but to be honest, I might just go with a S10 frame. Not sure yet, as I don't know much about that swap yet. Question: Do you know what years of the Nova clip fit best with the 47-54 Chevrolet frames? I now wish I would have got a Nova clip, but no turning back now that my old frame is already cut! Either way, it's a fun project that will pay off with many good memories in the end.

Thanks, guys! I really appreciate y'all taking your time to post and give your insight.

UPDATE: Yesterday, I finished cutting out the front floor panels. The new panels should be in the mail in the next week or so, but I am going to try and attach the Camaro front clip before then. I know it will greatly help having those floors out, especially when it comes to welding.

Question: Do y'all think it would be too dangerous, as far as keeping the cab square, to remove the cab with that front floor panel out? I don't have any supports welded up, yet then again, I didn't think I would need to since the front floor is the only thing missing. If it's not too dangerous, I might remove the cab to have more space to install the Camaro clip. See attached photo for more understanding (if necessary).

Attached Files
Last edited by ColbyG; Mon Jan 11 2021 04:03 PM.

colby

1951 Chevrolet 3100: Photos [photos.app.goo.gl]
–Engine: 219 to 250 to 350 (waiting to be dropped in)
–Currently: Readying a 1987 S10 frame for mounting the body.

1956 Chevrolet 6400
–Engine: moved the 250 from 3100 - newly installed
–Currently: Adjusting Brakes & Installing New Headlamp Switch

1963 Chevrolet C10 Fleetside
–Engine: EMPTY
–Currently: Sitting in Barn
Re: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Front Suspension Swap to '78 Camaro
ColbyG #1392222 Mon Jan 11 2021 03:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,213
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
Stock wheel type with whatever offset (backspace) the stock wheel had.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2) “Emily”
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe “Clarence”



"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!
USAF 1965-1969 Weather Observation Tech (I got paid to look at the clouds)

Re: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Front Suspension Swap to '78 Camaro
Justhorsenround #1392224 Mon Jan 11 2021 04:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 37
C
ColbyG Offline OP
'Bolter
Originally Posted by Justhorsenround
Stock wheel type with whatever offset (backspace) the stock wheel had.


Thank you!


colby

1951 Chevrolet 3100: Photos [photos.app.goo.gl]
–Engine: 219 to 250 to 350 (waiting to be dropped in)
–Currently: Readying a 1987 S10 frame for mounting the body.

1956 Chevrolet 6400
–Engine: moved the 250 from 3100 - newly installed
–Currently: Adjusting Brakes & Installing New Headlamp Switch

1963 Chevrolet C10 Fleetside
–Engine: EMPTY
–Currently: Sitting in Barn
Re: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Front Suspension Swap to '78 Camaro
ColbyG #1392303 Tue Jan 12 2021 01:32 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,349
"Hey! I sound like Darth Vader!!
Going with the wider wheel can be iffy. You need to clear your A-arms, steering linkage and frame. Then you need to clear the fender on the outside. It could be a lot of trial and error. Or find yourself some stiff cardboard or plywood. Make a wheel assembly and bolt it to your rotor. Then turn one way and measure clearances with a tape measure. Then turn the other way, repeat. The put the "wheels straight ahead and measure some more.

Re: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Front Suspension Swap to '78 Camaro
ColbyG #1392322 Tue Jan 12 2021 03:01 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,886
C
'Bolter
The 74 and older have the steering gear box behind the cross member and are an easier steering column hook up but as Martin pointed out they have drum brakes. The 75 and newer have front steer with discs and require a couple of steering shaft U-joints which is no big deal.


Evan
Re: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Front Suspension Swap to '78 Camaro
ColbyG #1392666 Thu Jan 14 2021 07:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 37
C
ColbyG Offline OP
'Bolter
MNSmith & coilover, thank you guys! I'm getting more and more excited about it as I go.


colby

1951 Chevrolet 3100: Photos [photos.app.goo.gl]
–Engine: 219 to 250 to 350 (waiting to be dropped in)
–Currently: Readying a 1987 S10 frame for mounting the body.

1956 Chevrolet 6400
–Engine: moved the 250 from 3100 - newly installed
–Currently: Adjusting Brakes & Installing New Headlamp Switch

1963 Chevrolet C10 Fleetside
–Engine: EMPTY
–Currently: Sitting in Barn
Re: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Front Suspension Swap to '78 Camaro
ColbyG #1395210 Sun Jan 31 2021 09:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 37
C
ColbyG Offline OP
'Bolter
Well gentlemen, I decided to change directions. I found an 87 S10 right around the corner from my house with a cab (scrap metal $), broken engine (scrap metal $), brake booster, steering box, steering column, and all pedals (with clutch, which is what I want), for $360.

After calculating the difference in 1) Risk, 2) Time, 3) Money, I realized the best route. 1) The risk on installing the 78 Camaro clip was too high, especially as my first. 2) The time on the S10 would be less since, on the 78 Camaro clip install, I had to do a lot more fabrications, research, and line up my schedule with a friend who is a fabricator. 3) The money spent would be about the same, but if I calculate my time, I'm saving a ton by going with the S10.

All in all, the S10 motor and some other scraps brought $116, the pedals, steering box, column, and master cylinder all work great and are set aside for later use. I have a few more things to remove before hopefully beginning the paint process later this week.

Nonetheless, thank y'all for all of your time helping me with that Camaro front clip! I greatly appreciate it and learned a lot. But don't worry, there will be plenty of future questions / input to come...


colby

1951 Chevrolet 3100: Photos [photos.app.goo.gl]
–Engine: 219 to 250 to 350 (waiting to be dropped in)
–Currently: Readying a 1987 S10 frame for mounting the body.

1956 Chevrolet 6400
–Engine: moved the 250 from 3100 - newly installed
–Currently: Adjusting Brakes & Installing New Headlamp Switch

1963 Chevrolet C10 Fleetside
–Engine: EMPTY
–Currently: Sitting in Barn
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