View Single Post
Old 02-13-2016, 03:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
Bill the Engineer
Master EcoModder
Bill the Engineer's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Lower Slower Delaware
Posts: 420
Thanks: 392
Thanked 575 Times in 230 Posts
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
My concern is the structural integrity of a unibody vehicle with the roof removed. The original Firebird was unibody with a front subframe with 4 mounting points to the cowl-back unibody of the original car. Very marginal for strength as could easily be demonstrated by lifting the car right at the lower fender mounting points in the front of the rocker panel, and watching the door gaps double in width, when the car was new. (I know, used to adjust the gaps as a part of repair processes).

It will probably take some considerable reinforcing in the rocker panel and transmission tunnel up to and including increasing the actual height of the rockers and tranny tunnel as well as significant cross bracing of those 3 areas to improve torsional rigidity.

You mentioned two prior attempts to restore the original Firebird. I think this project will make a restoration look like a cake walk in retrospect. Estimated time, about 3k hours. Lots of fabrication since no replacement parts will be available.

A tube frame structure similar to the Mercedes 300 SL roadster, integrated into the two existing structures?

Just my 2 cents worth.

All good point which I will address in future postings. I thought long and hard about the issue of strength and torsional stability. Being a machine design engineer with 35+ years of experience certainly helped. The below photos will be explained later, but lets just say that I have the added strength of both car's rocker panels that will be welded together.

Bill the Engineer

Last edited by Bill the Engineer; 04-11-2018 at 08:08 PM..
  Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Bill the Engineer For This Useful Post:
BamZipPow (03-04-2016), elhigh (02-14-2016), HHOTDI (03-03-2016), mcrews (02-13-2016), Xist (02-14-2016)