The Devil Is In The Details – Chevelle Fabrication


As with any project, details can make or break the outcome.  The prettiest car in the world will be a disappointment if it squeaks, rattles or breaks down. Ground clearance and underhood fabrication are as important as body and paint. With that, we are showing off some detail fabrication that might otherwise go unnoticed. Ace fabricator Kurt Blackgrove has been working on inner wheelhouses, exhaust fabrication and a custom made fuel tank. The exhaust and fuel tank systems are critical while the inner wheelhouses add style and texture to the engine compartment. We’re also starting to plan the interior and ergonomics fabrication. We sourced a set of fifth-gen Camaro seats from the junkyard. There is plenty of work ahead, but it’s really starting to look like a car.

Kurt fabricated this inner wheelhouse from scratch, then turned around and made a mirrored image for the other side. The outer sections will be fabricated  shortly.
Here’s a look at the driver’s side wheelhouse from the underside. We enjoy studying work-in-process fabrication and Kurt makes it look easy.
Can you say “Compound Curves”? First, Kurt builds the sections that are visible in the engine bay. He then works his way out towards the wheel arches.
Moving underneath the car, a custom stainless steel exhaust system is being built from scratch. Ample clearance exists between the pipes and surrounding equipment such as these rear ShockWaves® and upper suspension links.
We’re using Borla’s stainless steel CrateMuffler®. They are specifically tuned for LS3 crate engines. They make CrateMufflers® for Ford and Mopar engines, as well.
Flex joints isolate engine movement from the rest of the exhaust system. The main pipes pass through a crossmember.  The overall goals are to maximize ground clearance while eliminating the potential for NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness).
Because we can, the Chevelle is getting a custom fabricated gas tank. Beads have been rolled into the metal for added strength.
With the front wheelhouses and under-car fabrication almost done, it’s time to start planning the Chevelle’s ergonomics. We’re using fifth-gen Camaro seats. They are large, comfortable and adjust nicely. A-bodies have plenty of room for big comfy seats. Once fabrication is complete, the seats will be completely reupholstered at a later date. Look for more interior fabrication in a future article.
Here’s one last look at the inner wheelhouses in the context of the entire engine bay. The wheelhouse detail complements the firewall detail. We’re thinking about using a different intake manifold after doing some shopping at SEMA.

For other articles related to this project, please click HERE

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