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Anyone put a tri-fi Chevy on a Vette chassis?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 2Tony, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. 2Tony
    Joined: Dec 25, 2006
    Posts: 21

    2Tony
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Got an opportunity to get a inexpensive 80's vette, and curious if I can put my '56 chevy 210 on it (use vette frame, suspension, brakes, steering, engine, transmission, etc).
    Anyone have experience with this?
    Thank you!
     
  2. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,657

    treb11
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    if it is 84 or newer, there is not really a chasis per se. it is more of a structure. best bet is to pull the suspension and drive train and adapt to orig frame (if it is worth saving)
     
  3. hotrod-Linkin
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 3,382

    hotrod-Linkin
    Member

    the corvette chassis is not suited to the tri five or anything besides a vette. a tri five frame is about as good as you need. not much else works.

    back to the vette frame..they are wide and bulky in the middle,hard to mount a body to.
     

  4. edweird
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,187

    edweird
    Member

    Heres one. It belongs to a friend. He skinned an early 90's vette and lengthened the frame. Every thing on the car is all corvette including the wiring and dash.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Sounds like a good plan if you have a rotty shell with a bad frame under it.
     
  6. 2Tony
    Joined: Dec 25, 2006
    Posts: 21

    2Tony
    Member
    from Austin, TX

  7. 2Tony
    Joined: Dec 25, 2006
    Posts: 21

    2Tony
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    That's what I'm talking about. Does he have more info? Or, can he point someone in the right direction?

    After reading some of the posts above (that vette's don't really have frames), I started to comprehend why there is no info to be found on such a conversion.
     
  8. wolfgang
    Joined: Dec 17, 2007
    Posts: 47

    wolfgang
    BANNED
    from Norman, OK

    Go over to trifive.com, they bastardize 55"s all the time.
     
  9. Did you even get a quote or at the very least talk to these guys?

    I have to laugh a bit to myself when I see posts like yours. Please don't think I'm being flip here but, this shit costs money to do. I gotta admit to being a bit staggered every time guys like yourself want some really cool components but complain about how much parts cost to do it. It takes money, talent and determination to pull this off. How much of each you put into it is directly proportional to how much you have of these three things.

    Mind you you don't need all three, but you must posses at least two.

    I strongly suggest using these guys if you have never done an IFS/IRS installation before. The time you would save and the knowledge and skill you purchase from these companies will make a much better, cleaner and safer installation plus it keeps these companies in business. Too much of our industry is being shipped to China or elsewhere precisely because "it's too expensive".

    If your entire budget to build the suspension system is $4K, there are plenty of bolt on front end goodies available provided your stock frame is good enough to use. And you could utilize the IRS economically enough with a Progressive or similar kit. This route would be in your budget and very do-able with a high probability of actually finishing the job.
     
  10. edweird
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,187

    edweird
    Member

    pm me. I'll tell you more.
     

  11. Why not post the info here?

    Even better if you have some pictures of the process he took to get there. Mostly so people can see just how much work is involved in doing this. I would be interested in seeing how he pulled it off.
     
  12. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,226

    wvenfield
    Member

    lol
     
  13. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,554

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    ELpolacko gave you the best advice anyone could give you. If you choose to not follow it then it's on you. But really trying to adapt that chassis creates way more work then it saves. And in my opinion you'll end up with a better car by following ELpolacko's recommendation. Updated suspension on the stock chassis is definitely the way to go unless you want to buy a model specific chassis with Vette parts.
     
  14. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,694

    Weasel
    Member

    I'll chime in with my unsolicited 0.02 here:

    It strikes me that what we have here may be a lack of understanding from 2Tony of what is involved. All too often there are 'throwaway questions' that are asked by people who hang on to a buzzword, but who have no in-depth understanding of the amount of work and/or the practical feasibility of implementing their proposed project. It is all too easy to 'fly a kite' and waste people's time - people who really do understand what is involved and take time out of their busy professional lives to try and help someone who may well be out of their depth. There is some extremely good advice that has been given out in some of these posts, but I wonder if the original post actually merits such good advice?

    That having been said, I have had a C4 IFS and original cross member and an afternarket Jag IRS cross member grafted to an oddball chassis. I had this done by a professional race car shop because I do not trust my fabricating skills or lack thereof, to such a critical task and ensuring that everything is square and true, nor do I have a chassis table. It was not a cheap exercise. In hindsight I wish I had gone the aftermarket chassis route and may still choose to sell my modified chassis and take that option, even if it means paying the extra cost of having a custom chassis digitized from the original. It might have been a little more expensive but it would have yielded a far better underpinning for a very rare car.

    Too often questions like this are asked because somebody can 'get something cheap' and they fail to calculate the amount of labor involved in grafting, stretching, modifying so that a body which was not specific to the chassis in question can actually be fitted and look right. Another point is that the 1984-1996 Corvettes were one of the worst riding cars ever - bone jarring.
     
  15. TrannyMan
    Joined: Dec 3, 2005
    Posts: 473

    TrannyMan
    Member


    lol Like they don't do it here....:D
     
  16. Well said Weasel, We don't know. He did however mention a 4K budget so at least that is fairly realistic compared to some of the posts we get around here.

    I have done a few Corvette based chassis before. Only one did I use the front IFS crossmember, it was an F100 and was actually reasonably easy to do. Just took time and labor to pull off. I have not worked with these all that much but I can tell you that the biggest issue with the front suspension is dealing with the rack-n-pinion location. It's awful high compared to other alternatives so you either raise the engine over it or set it back into the firewall.

    Never once did I consider using the Corvette substructure/frame, just not close enough and easier to start from scratch than to modify.

    Check out the pics: http://s206.photobucket.com/albums/bb93/ELpolacko/1956 F100 frame Corvette/


    [​IMG]

    And here is a complete frame we just did for HotRodRon's old man, it's a kit car!: http://s206.photobucket.com/albums/bb93/ELpolacko/1956 Corvette RonC/

    [​IMG]

    At the same time we also did a 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo with a narrowed C4 rear: http://s206.photobucket.com/albums/...aker Hawk/1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo BradB/

    [​IMG]


    Feel free to browse the albums. If you have any questions I would be glad to answer them.
     
  17. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,398

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    2Tony if you take a good look at El polacko's photos and albums you will see that about that gets used out of the Corvette is the suspension components them selves and often there is quite a bit of fabricated pieces replacing the factory Vett parts.

    Unless you just have money to throw away or it has a hell of an engine and transmission in it and you can sell enough left overs to recover some of the money 4K for a Corvette to strip for parts sounds a bit on the high side to me. Around here the front and rear suspensions hub to hub out of C-4 Vetts usually go for well under 1000 pulled and sitting on a pallet for the pair.

    I think that Morrison sells a complete frame ready to bolt the Corvette pieces on for a tri 4 but you would have to check with them to see about that and the cost. That would probably be the easiest way outside of loading up the car and the Corvette and heading to El Polacko's shop with a suitcase full of hundreds. Then you would still have to talk him into working on it and get on his schedule.
     
  18. JRODHOTROD
    Joined: Mar 23, 2006
    Posts: 440

    JRODHOTROD
    Member
    from Manor, TX

  19. edweird
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,187

    edweird
    Member

    i dont have any more pics and i doubt the owner does either. He literally skinned the vette added the length, and lowered the 55 down on the vette and made mounts.it was pretty straight forward .his is kinda rat roddish, but the same principle would apply . Just take more time with the fit and finish. Hope that helps. Good luck!
     
  20. Kind of what I figured by the pictures you posted. I blew them up and the car does look a bit ragged, race car like. Still would have liked to see some pictures of his process.
     
  21. KJSR
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,372

    KJSR
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Utah
    1. Utah HAMBers

    What does that mean? Is it that the majority of us wouldn't drive it around the block due to safety and workmanship?

    I think ELpolacko gave some realistic advice if doing it correctly.
     
  22. Ghost28
    Joined: Nov 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,188

    Ghost28
    Member

    As said before. You don't use the whole chassis just the front and rear suspension points, or cross members. Most cars that have had this done to them are not right for this board. But you asked a question and it deserves an answer. The nomad was in a magazine awhile back. And I have pictures of a 57 vert the same guy was building. Both turned out well, and were quality builds. but as said before it's not for everyone. On another note I built a 32 chevy coupe using all 92 c4 corvette suspension and drive train. and was one of the best driving cars I've ever had...John
     

    Attached Files:

  23. 2Tony
    Joined: Dec 25, 2006
    Posts: 21

    2Tony
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Thanks for the responses.

    I was not dissing the very expensive chassis that a few folks introduced on here....would love to have endless cash flows to throw at my '56.
    My question was just a matter of, are there other options?
    (I was thinking along the lines of S-10 frame swaps, Caprice frame swaps, etc...but with a vette).
    It sounds like the answer may be "yes" (anything's possible) but the general consensus is that it is not recommended.

    The discussion is great, though. More ideas/input welcomed!
    Thanks,
    Tony
     
  24. Dreamweaver
    Joined: Feb 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,017

    Dreamweaver
    Member

    Some quick use of "google" gives you a lot of info. These numbers are approximate as I took maybe 10 minutes to look them up.

    Car WB Frt Track Rear Track
    C3 98" 58" 59"
    C4 96" 60 60
    C5 104 62 62
    56 115 58 59


    Hope you are real good with a welder.
     
  25. 460 willy
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 249

    460 willy
    Member
    from wisconsin

    I had a 1953 chevy truck that had late 70's corvette suspension front and rear we just used the front nad rear of the frame not the middle. Like someone had stated the corvette has a VERY wide middle section. What I can tell you is the truck drove very nice. My truck was built in the early 90's and I do not have any pics of the suspension work.
     
  26. TrannyMan
    Joined: Dec 3, 2005
    Posts: 473

    TrannyMan
    Member


    I got a crap load of 55's. all of them got stock frames and they all drive fine. If I was trying to build some super high dollar car I might look into changing the frame but just to drive around the stock one works just fine. Everything is still available for it.
     
  27. edweird
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,187

    edweird
    Member

    no its safe and built good, just needs to be finished better on the inside.
     

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