Installing mini-tubs, DSE Quadra Link, and more – Part 5

A couple days were spent making  big holes and then preparing to fill them. Since we are installing the Quadra Link rear suspension, the next step was installing the shock tower brace. This required cutting a large hole in the trunk area. The plasma cutter made short work of this but it did take some trimming and fitting to get the brace to fit into the hole. It will be welded in later.

Next Matt used a sharpie to mark the cut lines for the inner wheel well. Before we could cut it out, we had to drill out the welds on the bracket that supports the trunk lid hinge and the rear seat bracket where it attaches to the wheelwell. Matt purchased a special bit for this step. It helped but separating the bracket from the wheel well still took some persuading. To remove the inner wheewells, DSE recommends drilling out all of the welds. After seeing how long it took to do the two small brackets, we decided to skip this step and use the plasma cutter to remove the wheel well. Even with the plasma cutter,this step took awhile requiring Matt to get into the trunk (For your information, a body will fit into the trunk of a Camaro!!) and contort his bodyto get the cutter where it needed to be. Part of it is also cut out from the interior. Eventually, we had our large hole.

Next we began the process of filling the hole in the wheel well. As usual, getting the tub to fit required some cutting and trimming. We trimmed a little bit at a time to make sure it fit as well as possible. Once we had it fitting like it should, Matt had to make plates to cover the openings above the frame rail. The instructions also called for cutting into our new frame rail. Before we closed up the frame rail, Matt cut a 3/16″ plate and welded it inside the frame rail. He then fabricated the frame rail cover from 1/8″steel plate. At the narrowest part, there were basically three plates welded back to back. It should be plenty strong. We still have one more plate to fabricate tomorrow morning and then we will be ready to weld in the tub at the holes I drilled earlier today.

Other than seam seal, all that remained was modifying the trunk lid bracket by shortening it and re- attaching the rear seat back to the tub.



First up today was fitting the tub in our newly cut hole.  I did not count the holes, but I drilled many of them into the tub.  Once that was done, Matt fabricated the filler panels for the frame rail and the area above it.



Before we welded in the tub, it was time to install the panhard bar bracket to the frame rail and to the shock tower brace.  Since the tub would hide the welding areas for the bracket, Matt welded it in and also welded those areas of the shock tower brace that would have been difficult once the tub was in.

Next the tub will be welded in.  This will complete the major fabbing.  Before Matt does his finishing welding, we are going to mock up the rear suspension and make sure everything fits.




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