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Old 06-04-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
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Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

Hi, I have a 1989 RS Camaro with a slightly damaged frame. I was curious if I could just get another third gen camaro and swap out the frame, around me (Pennsylvania) I could probably get one pretty cheap so I figured it might be a good option. Also, I have been told that hoods are interchangeable between third gens but the front fenders and ground effects arent, is this true?

Thank you for any help,
Drew
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:11 AM   #2
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

Welcome to the forums dturn. The unibody part of the cars are the same from 82-92 for the most part. The only exception is the convertibles, as they done my various companies throughout the 3rd gen range. If you want to ask about specific parts of the body, we could probably help you even more.

As for the hoods, they do all fit. The fenders also do fit, but some have different mounting holes for lights or ground effects, depending on the years (the convertible exception applies here as well). The ground effects are more year specific and are usually compatible with 2-3 similar years.

Try searching the forums and you can find a lot of information about which items are directly interchangeable.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:23 AM   #3
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dturn2110 View Post
Hi, I have a 1989 RS Camaro with a slightly damaged frame. I was curious if I could just get another third gen camaro and swap out the frame, around me (Pennsylvania) I could probably get one pretty cheap so I figured it might be a good option. Also, I have been told that hoods are interchangeable between third gens but the front fenders and ground effects arent, is this true?

Thank you for any help,
Drew
Third generation F-bodies (Camaro & Firebird) do not have frames. They are uni-body cars. They have two sub-frames at the front and rear of the car respectively but they are pretty well integrated into the body. So in essence the body of these cars save for the front fenders, hood, bumper cover and doors are all one piece. As for the hoods, yes they do all interchange. The fenders do as well except for the convertibles. Cars that didn't have the ground effects on them would need to have holes drilled to mount the ground effects or filled in if removing the ground effects. As far as I know the holes for all the ground effects are the same for any given year.

Out of curiosity what makes you think you need a new frame/uni-body?
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:33 AM   #4
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

Thank you for the quick replies. Sorry if this information is somewhere else on the website, every time i tried searching I could only get info on firebird to camaro interchangeable parts. My current car has an r-title. I'd like to have a clean title for it, so I wanted to swap it out with another car.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:40 AM   #5
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

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Thank you for the quick replies. Sorry if this information is somewhere else on the website, every time i tried searching I could only get info on firebird to camaro interchangeable parts. My current car has an r-title. I'd like to have a clean title for it, so I wanted to swap it out with another car.
Honestly there is no reason to do that. If you like your car and there is nothing wrong with the uni-body I wouldn't bother.
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:14 PM   #6
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

Unless the value of the vehicle has the potential to be significantly greater with a clean title, I wouldn't go through the effort to switch the unibodies. That's an enormous and expensive undertaking that likely would cost more to do than the price tag difference on your car.

I'd either leave it the way it is, or find a new vehicle if a clear title means that much.
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:21 PM   #7
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

Thank you for the input, but it is something i'd like to do. So you guys are saying that the frames are basically interchangeable. Also, if I could get a car for like $500 and then switch the title over, it would just be work and making stuff fit, how would it be expensive?
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:33 PM   #8
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

Its not a traditional frame, as stated above. Its the unibody, meaning the roof, pillars, quarterpanels, floor, firewall, etc, all as one piece. You'd need to get a clean unibody, then transfer your engine, dash, interior, suspension, steering components, all body parts, all wiring and electronics to it, then paint it all to match. Your unlikely to get through all of that and painting without spending quite a bit of money.

If your set on doing it, we'd all certainly be willing to help you through it, but we're trying to make sure you understand its not just a traditional frame that your pulling off the car, but the more complicated uni-body.

If your sure you want to do this, I'd say find a Z28 or an IROC with a good unibody, and maybe other good parts, and combine the two cars for one very good vehicle that'll have some real value later.
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:48 PM   #9
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

Thank you for all the information. I also have a 1977 Firebird so I am familiar with the unibody. I do realize the work, i'm up for the challenge. Would any certain year camaros be an easier transfer than the other with my 1989 RS?
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:19 PM   #10
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

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Also, if I could get a car for like $500 and then switch the title over, it would just be work and making stuff fit, how would it be expensive?
Because its not as simple as all that. Any body panels such as fenders or hood that get transferred over to the other body may need some fitting work done to them. Depending on how bad the condition of the car with the "good" uni-body is, you may have to transfer everything from the old car over. That's more involved than you might think. You don't realize how complex these cars are until you start messing with their wiring. Believe me I've taken the dash out of one of these cars before. Such a swap isn't as easy as you'd think. It is very time consuming. As for the expense part of it, you need to paint the body you are transferring into and you'll find tons of stuff along the way you'll want to replace while your at it. A fitting here, a relay there, steering and suspension components, etc. The amount of money needed can get out of control very quickly.

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Its not a traditional frame, as stated above. Its the unibody, meaning the roof, pillars, quarterpanels, floor, firewall, etc, all as one piece. You'd need to get a clean unibody, then transfer your engine, dash, interior, suspension, steering components, all body parts, all wiring and electronics to it, then paint it all to match. Your unlikely to get through all of that and painting without spending quite a bit of money.
Actually I'd strip the car with the "good" unibody down to the bare body and paint it before transferring stuff into it. Since both cars will have to be taken apart almost complete as it is, why not do it right? It will make things MUCH easier on the painter and provide better results when all is said and done.

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Originally Posted by campin1983 View Post
If your set on doing it, we'd all certainly be willing to help you through it, but we're trying to make sure you understand its not just a traditional frame that your pulling off the car, but the more complicated uni-body.

If your sure you want to do this, I'd say find a Z28 or an IROC with a good unibody, and maybe other good parts, and combine the two cars for one very good vehicle that'll have some real value later.
Agreed.

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Originally Posted by dturn2110 View Post
Thank you for all the information. I also have a 1977 Firebird so I am familiar with the unibody. I do realize the work, i'm up for the challenge. Would any certain year camaros be an easier transfer than the other with my 1989 RS?
Well the closer the cars match the easier it should theoretically be. Still once you strip the cars all the way down they are basically the same with very few differences between year models in regard to the uni-bodies themselves. However the electronics and some other components can often be very different. Essentially the major changes were in 85 and then again in 90. So essentially you have three styles of car. 1982-1984, 1985-1989, and then you have 1990 which was a half year of production. Those cars look like 1989 cars but have some updates carried over into 1991-1992. So its more or less in between. Then you have your 1991-1992 cars which have both interior/electronic differences and exterior changes specific to them on top of that. I would basically recommend finding an IROC-Z or Z28 that is as close to the year model of your car as possible and work with that.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:40 PM   #11
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

87WS6,

Thanks for elaborating and clarifying what I said (and meant to say), I'm home on a sick day and not thinking perfectly clear! Definitely agree with you on all of that.

I'd say, if possible, the target car here should be a 85-89 Z28 or IROC, with the best of both cars going into that unibody.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:21 PM   #12
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

Thanks alot guys for all of your help. I'll try and find one of those.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:26 PM   #13
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

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Originally Posted by dturn2110 View Post
Thank you for the input, but it is something i'd like to do. So you guys are saying that the frames are basically interchangeable. Also, if I could get a car for like $500 and then switch the title over, it would just be work and making stuff fit, how would it be expensive?
You cannot switch the frames at all.

You CAN swap the drivetrain, interior, suspension, and body components over to a NEW car. But, that new car would have a different VIN and essentially be a different car. Swapping the VIN tags would mean that you would be committing fraud.

Think of it this way. You'd be parting your current car out to use the pieces on a new car. Which is what many people do with these cars when they have a damaged/rotting frame, but everything else is good. They find a good roller, and then use their current car as a donor.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:50 PM   #14
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

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You cannot switch the frames at all.

You CAN swap the drivetrain, interior, suspension, and body components over to a NEW car. But, that new car would have a different VIN and essentially be a different car. Swapping the VIN tags would mean that you would be committing fraud.

Think of it this way. You'd be parting your current car out to use the pieces on a new car. Which is what many people do with these cars when they have a damaged/rotting frame, but everything else is good. They find a good roller, and then use their current car as a donor.
The original poster never said anything about swapping VINs or doing anything of the sort. I believe he understands that he'd basically be getting another car and swapping all his parts over. If he didn't, he should understand that now after reading all of the posts in this thread.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:58 PM   #15
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

I believe the idea at the core of all of this was to have a different car with a clean title, featuring all the parts from his old car. If he swapped over his old VIN plates, not only would it be illegal, but he'd still have a salvage title, defeating the purpose of the whole exercise.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:02 PM   #16
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

He asked if he could get another car then switch its vin to his current car. Read the posts, guys.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:20 PM   #17
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dturn2110 View Post
Hi, I have a 1989 RS Camaro with a slightly damaged frame. I was curious if I could just get another third gen camaro and swap out the frame, around me (Pennsylvania) I could probably get one pretty cheap so I figured it might be a good option. Also, I have been told that hoods are interchangeable between third gens but the front fenders and ground effects arent, is this true?

Thank you for any help,
Drew
No mention of switching VIN tags.

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Originally Posted by dturn2110 View Post
Thank you for the quick replies. Sorry if this information is somewhere else on the website, every time i tried searching I could only get info on firebird to camaro interchangeable parts. My current car has an r-title. I'd like to have a clean title for it, so I wanted to swap it out with another car.
Not here either.

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Originally Posted by dturn2110 View Post
Thank you for the input, but it is something i'd like to do. So you guys are saying that the frames are basically interchangeable. Also, if I could get a car for like $500 and then switch the title over, it would just be work and making stuff fit, how would it be expensive?
Nope, still not seeing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dturn2110 View Post
Thank you for all the information. I also have a 1977 Firebird so I am familiar with the unibody. I do realize the work, i'm up for the challenge. Would any certain year camaros be an easier transfer than the other with my 1989 RS?
Again, there is no mention of switching VINs.

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Originally Posted by dturn2110 View Post
Thanks alot guys for all of your help. I'll try and find one of those.
Maybe I'm missing something because its still not here.

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Originally Posted by Awesome-X View Post
He asked if he could get another car then switch its vin to his current car. Read the posts, guys.
No, I've read the posts and I don't see it. Maybe you'd like to point it out for me? The original poster asked about switching frames so he'd be able to get a clean title. There has been no mention of VINs was made at ANY point by the original poster. The word "VIN" was not typed by him even once in this thread.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:25 PM   #18
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

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He asked if he could get another car then switch its vin to his current car. Read the posts, guys.
Ugg.... I did read the post, and I responded to it several times. Why in the world would he be asking about switching fenders and stuff like that if his purpose is to just grab the VIN number and title from the next vehicle and swap them? And nowhere does the poster say "I want to switch the VIN plate" He never says "VIN" at any point.

I can see how maybe the idea of switching VIN plates could be his intention after rereading it several times, but if it is, then the plan is to take the uni-body of a clean car, put his car parts on it, then pull his VIN off of his car, put it on the newly created vehicle, and somehow convince the authorities that this car no longer deserves the salvage title....

It doesn't make any sense. Judging from the tone of the thread and the way he has reacted to advice, it seems most likely that his intention is to strip down a donor uni-body, then put all of his parts on that unibody, and use the donor's clean title and VIN number (which would still be legally affixed to that unibody) in order to have a 3rd gen with a clear title.

I would like to hear from the original poster on this, because if I'm wrong I'll happily eat my shoe. But if I am wrong... its the strangest most backwards plan to get a clean title I've ever heard of.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:58 PM   #19
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

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Ugg.... I did read the post, and I responded to it several times. Why in the world would he be asking about switching fenders and stuff like that if his purpose is to just grab the VIN number and title from the next vehicle and swap them? And nowhere does the poster say "I want to switch the VIN plate" He never says "VIN" at any point.

I can see how maybe the idea of switching VIN plates could be his intention after rereading it several times, but if it is, then the plan is to take the uni-body of a clean car, put his car parts on it, then pull his VIN off of his car, put it on the newly created vehicle, and somehow convince the authorities that this car no longer deserves the salvage title....

It doesn't make any sense. Judging from the tone of the thread and the way he has reacted to advice, it seems most likely that his intention is to strip down a donor uni-body, then put all of his parts on that unibody, and use the donor's clean title and VIN number (which would still be legally affixed to that unibody) in order to have a 3rd gen with a clear title.

I would like to hear from the original poster on this, because if I'm wrong I'll happily eat my shoe. But if I am wrong... its the strangest most backwards plan to get a clean title I've ever heard of.
That's basically my take on it and how I read the posts as well.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:16 AM   #20
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

Yeah guys 87WS6 and campin1983 are right. I wanted to put all of my parts on a clean titled clean unibody. No intentions of just switching the VIN tags, i'm not quite sure how 2 people managed to pull that out of my posts.

But I appreciate the advice both of you provided. And I am now hopefully going to get the unibody I want tomorrow. I know a guy that has a few third gen camaros lying around that are those years (85-89), so hopefully one will work out.
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:09 PM   #21
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

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Yeah guys 87WS6 and campin1983 are right. I wanted to put all of my parts on a clean titled clean unibody. No intentions of just switching the VIN tags, i'm not quite sure how 2 people managed to pull that out of my posts.

But I appreciate the advice both of you provided. And I am now hopefully going to get the unibody I want tomorrow. I know a guy that has a few third gen camaros lying around that are those years (85-89), so hopefully one will work out.

Yay, my shoe shall go uneaten!
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:27 PM   #22
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

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Yay, my shoe shall go uneaten!
yeah leather aint that tasty
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:25 PM   #23
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Re: Are frames interchangeable between 1982 - 1989 camaros?

It is a LOT of work. Trust me, I have done it.
Do not forget that all the tools and skill required to make it happen.
They take up lots of room when they are all apart.
Just my opinion. If you have the drive, it can be done. It is just when you have it apart and 6 months down the road, most people loose interest and sell.
That's is when the bargain hunters like me swoop in.
It can end up being a lifestyle.....
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