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52 chevy frame swap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 52chev1366, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. 52chev1366
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 16

    from laconia nh

    hello fellow hambers,
    i have a 52 chevy styleline. it is in storage right now so i can messure the wheel base. i looked up online and found that it is 115. idk how true this. im looking to swap the frame out to upgrade the frame and brake and suspention. anyone know a frame that will be the right wheel base thanx for the help..
  2. TurboHaddix
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 185


    Chevy S-10 long boxes are 117.5" The hubs are the same bolt pattern as stock 52 Passenger cars and the width is very close. If I were doing this I would just put a front clip on it from an S-10 and use the rear axle with modified perches and be in business. It's alot easier than making all new body points and trying to make the rear kickup clear the floor and back seat.
  3. crapshoot
    Joined: Apr 25, 2005
    Posts: 690


    why swap the frame is it rusted or wrecked? if your looking for better stopping power they do make disc conversions for that year. just updated the brakes its a hell allot easier and that old suspention with a couple updates would ride a hell of alot better than a s10 frame would under your car.
  4. TurboHaddix
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 185


    I have to agree. The stock IFS in these cars rides fantastic. Mustang 2 swaps and late model clips are not an improvement in ride. If you want discs you can put midsize late gm discs on the stock spindles with a little machine work and $300.
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  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,092


    It might be better to tell what shape the frame and floorboards are in now. If you are just looking for disk brakes and an open driveline I'd do like Crapshoot suggested and go with a front disk kit and swap to an open drive rear end. If the frame and floor are shot You might look into swapping the whole frame and floor out of a GM midsized car out of the 70's or early 80's.

    I've done a couple of frame swaps in the past and they can be a real booger to get things to fit right and line up right. The S-10 works good on the little AD GM pickups but it isn't a cure all for everything. Using the front clip and rear end might work well though.
  6. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,495

    from California

    "The stock IFS in these cars rides fantastic. Mustang 2 swaps and late model clips are not an improvement in ride."

    uh... unless you want to be low. cut a coil and they suck when you hit a bump. then you still have the old steering and a bunch of old worn out parts to deal with.

    frame swap will get you into fabricating body mounts, as well as trying to figure out how to mount your front sheetmetal as well as the bumpers. most likely you will have to fabricate parts of your floor to clear the new frame.

    Camaro clips... don't even get me started on those.

    MustangII is the best way to go.
  7. TurboHaddix
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 185


    Depends on your fab skills. You can replace king pins and links in the stock front for way less than a Mustang 2 setup costs. You can also modify the stock arms and spring pockets for airbags if you want to go low.

    The big question here is why are you wanting to do the swap?
  8. 52chev1366
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 16

    from laconia nh

    well it going to be channeled so the floor is gettin redone. thats why i was thin new frame. thanx for the help
  9. There's a lot of options for the stock frame, from low budget to money's no option levels. It's tough to find a replacement that will fit it just right. RacerRick on here has done the S10 swap on one of these and has said he didn't think he'd do it again.

    Front: Drop Spindles on stock suspension - Jag XJ6 front end - Mustang II kits - replacement stub - but the stocker unbolts so why? .. some guys have been fitting a Saab rack & pinion to the stock spindles, too.

    Rear, there's multiple rearends that will bolt in with the locator pin hole moved (Nova, Camaro, S10 4x4, 55-57 Chevy), there's replacement springs and Walton makes a complete kit with new perches.

    S10 is about the only one that fits under the car and isn't too wide, Monte Carlos and Impalas will fit but the front suspension would have to be narrowed up or the tires will rub especially on turns.
  10. AustinPhoenix
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 25

    from Austin

    What disc brake conversions will work with the stock spindles? I'm almost in the same boat as him. I'm rebuilding the front end of mine, but HAVE to have disc brakes. I'm going to take apart my dad's 79 buick to see if I can steal some parts before he realizes it...heheheee
  11. pprather
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,537


    Not old school, but if you want your '52 to handle and brake like a sports car, Art Morrison Enterprises now make a chassis for 49 to 54 Chevys.

    See Street Rodder, February 2009, page 148.
  12. I don't know why anyone *has* to have disc brakes; I drove an all manual drum brake car in normal street traffic for three years without a problem, and the car was 1000 lbs heavier and had no power assist. Just keep after the adjustments and the drums should work unless you're building a race car.

    Disc brakes is a matter of a rotor that fits and a bracket for a caliper. The stock spindle has provision to bolt a bracket instead of the backing plate - who makes a bracket?

    Over on they say a second-gen Camaro clip fits into these pretty good, both at the framerail connection and as far as overall width of the wheel track.
  13. i think art morrison makes a complete chassis for the 49-52

  14. Crash0000
    Joined: Mar 1, 2009
    Posts: 14

    from NC

    The anti-sway bars on the stock IFS are about the size of a pencil.

    The G-Body GM cars are supposed to have the same tread/track width as the standard 49-52 Chevy's. I'm using a '86 Pontiac Grand Prix front on mine. Power steering, power brakes and a nice beefy sway bar!
  15. ZRD
    Joined: Nov 14, 2010
    Posts: 42


    Does anyone know if a 57 frame will fit under a 52 fleetline?
    I have a 52 2 door fleetline and a 57 4 door belair frame that I thought I could cut down to size. Any thoughts on if that would be plausable???
  16. ZRD
    Joined: Nov 14, 2010
    Posts: 42


  17. ClayPigeonKiller
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 203


    You will have a lot better luck if you start a new thread rather than bringing up a two year old thread with a post.

    I doubt anybody has tried cutting up a 57 frame to put in something other than a 55, 56, 57. Those are fairly desirable cars and I think the 4 door frame is similar (if not identical) to the 2 door.

    If you want to know if the frame will fit why don't you go measure it?

    Is the '52 on a frame at all? If it is you would be foolish to try to swap it.

    1. No, I don't think it will fit.
    2. No, I don't think you would be gaining jack shit by doing a frame swap.
    3. Frame swaps sound easy, but they seldom are.
    4. Do yourself a favor and leave it on the stock frame, get a stock frame, or make a tube frame matching an original.

    Any option would be better than replacing an old rusty factory frame that fits with an old rusty factory frame that doesn't fit
  18. wetatt4u
    Joined: Nov 4, 2006
    Posts: 2,147


    I switched my 53 chevy over to a 84 Olds Cutlass frame,

    had to extent the frame 9'' ,but pretty much everything else worked out O.K.

    Now I have PS,PDB,TILT,CRUZ CONTROL 350 cu in Olds and 350 trans and all the rest.

    After all of that and around a year of work,

    I wish I had used the old frame and just up graded everything else on my old frame..

    Just me I guess !
  19. alleyboy1954
    Joined: Dec 4, 2008
    Posts: 7

    from so cal

    I am in the process of buiding a 80 el camino frame. have done 3 IN THE PAST check out some of the pics i got for my 54 chevy.
  20. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,820

    from KCMO

    Plausible? yes. just get some welding wire and sheet metal and get to it.

    smart, cost effective, improvement in ride or handling? no. unless the frame on the 52 is rotten, in which case you probably need to replace the floor also.
  21. scrubby2009
    Joined: Jan 9, 2011
    Posts: 188


    Just putting the rear frame clip (to retain factory bumper mounts) and trunk floor back in today. Front is done for now and other than times spent fabbing decent bumper mounts for the front, it was pretty straight forward. I'm not much of a welder, but with a Home Depot Lincoln welder and a 4" angle grinder, it hasn't been bad at all. The '79 El Camino frame I am using was complete and free and 2" longer than the 115" of my hardtop. Cut it in the middle and boxed it in for 18". Minor trimming of a couple floor support crossmembers was neededm but they were a little rusty anyway and needed patching.

    Attached Files:

  22. dlc3
    Joined: Sep 2, 2012
    Posts: 3

    from Illinois

    Can someone tell me if anyone has ever placed a 52 chevy bel air body on a 89 chevy silverado frame before? I have a old silverado that i thought about lowering the suspension and mounting the 52 body on. I would have to shorten the frame and make new body mounts i suppose. Among other things. But, i havent seen any discussions on here relating to this.
  23. ...I put this 49 togetner with a 70 Nova frt. clip,(drum brakes)it fit and handled excellent; that car has thousands of miles on it now...drove great. You just have to know what you're doin.
  24. truck frame has way too wide of tread, among other things
  25. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,295


    What he said. That has to be the worst idea ever, which is why it hasn't had any discussion here...

    Really, did you even LOOK at at both vehicles before asking this?

  26. dlc3
    Joined: Sep 2, 2012
    Posts: 3

    from Illinois

    flybri,ive done plenty of lookin and measuring ! And, ive decided to make it work. So, since no one else has done it i guess it will be a new subject in the coming future ! Stay tuned ! Thanks Rusty1 , see your a ole Illinois native? Nice to meet ya ! Yall, have a good Day !
  27. bigshag's stylemaster
    Joined: Apr 28, 2012
    Posts: 8

    bigshag's stylemaster
    from Alabama

    I have a good frame under my 49 fleetline. I do not think a frame sub is a good idea, but I am trying to find the best donor car to harvest for parts. Has any one used an ECI Disc Brake Conversion Kit? They use a 70-77 Camaro/Firebird 73-76 Chevelle/Monte Carlo rotor and caliper. Watlon kit does not have any info about what they use. I was hoping I could get the master cylinder and the rear end from the same car.
  28. thedrick
    Joined: Jun 29, 2012
    Posts: 10

    from latrobe pa

  29. ...those are nice lookin Chevy's you got there, very nice work on those frame swaps, it's a lot of work but worth it when they come out like yours.

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