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sub frame help

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by THE CHIEF, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. THE CHIEF
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 847

    THE CHIEF
    Member
    from MIAMI

    im planning to clip my 50 pontiac i have 2 choices right now
    a early 80's jag or a 76 firebird, what do you guys think would be better here is a picture of the original frame. where would the cut be made if i was going wit the firebird frame? thanks in advance
    [​IMG]
     
  2. THE CHIEF
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 847

    THE CHIEF
    Member
    from MIAMI

  3. punkabilly1306
    Joined: Aug 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,656

    punkabilly1306
    Member
    from ohio

    im going to try and answer this with as little of knowledge as i have on clip swapping...you would first want to make sure the firebird clip is a good match width and length wise. Then you measure like a mad man every possible spot that could be used as a reference point, cut your old clip off a few inches in front of the firewall and using your measurements determine where your firebird frame should be cut. cut and splice line up and weld
     
  4. If your poncho is the same width as my chevy, then the f body clip is to wide.

    I'm using s-10 4x4 wheels and a small spacer to fix that. See my album for some pics.

    I can give you some more pics if your really interested.
     

  5. Let me say first, my experience is from "re-clipping" a '50 chev 3100 with a 77 Camaro clip.So, my frame was already cut.I wish it had not been cut before, but that's what I had to work with. A good level (as you can get) concrete floor and plenty of different ways to measure. Measure and cross measure! And measure
    again!
    Whatever you do, make sure the Firebird spindles wind up where the original spindles were in relation to the rear axle.(Keep the same wheelbase) I would start by putting the existing chassis as high as you can on jackstands, so you can slide the (unbolted, not cut) clip from the Firebird underneath. Line the spindles up and go from there.Keep in mind, the Firebird clip has a step in it. You can use that to determine if you want it to sit lower than stock or not; where to cut the gennie frame. Common sense will be your friend. If you're in over your head, pay someone else to do it.Someone who has done it with sucess before. I read everything I could get my hands on relating to clipping something, before I had my chance at it. I'm glad I did it. If I had it to do over, I'd start with a frame that hadn't already been cut. i hope this helps you.
     
  6. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,081

    19Fordy
    Member

    It would be convenient if you could cut it just in front of the 39 1/4 in dimension. But before you do make sure you maintain the stock wheelbase dimesnion.
     
  7. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,482

    phat rat
    Member

    for the wheelbase consider making a jig which the stock front and rear wheels sit in. Cut the stock frame and set the car at ride height then move the clip into place to determine where you want to cut it. I would recomend that if at all possible to have one going into the other rather than a butt weld. Then plate around it with at least 3/16. My cpe has 73,000 mi on it's sub job without any problem
     
  8. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,145

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    Width is a problem. Don't want to go thru all the trouble and not be able to lower car. There are narrowed A arms available to help with some inner fender clearance. Don't know anything about Jag set up. Have seen Jag front/rear installs, same for Corvette.
    Hope that you have done some searches here for more info. Measure and you might be better to find a set up that will fit your car better.
     
  9. studebaker46
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 675

    studebaker46
    Member

    what is wrong with the original suspension. rebuild parts are available at napa plus it fits the car. you can get disc brake kits for most applications. my.02 worth tom
     
  10. Sir Woosh
    Joined: Dec 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    Sir Woosh
    Member

    I clipped my 55 Olds with a 74 Trans-Am subframe. Never did it before and I was cutting a 34K mile car. Common sense and going around the car more times than indians around a wagon train is the key. The hubs and pivot points lined up perfect with the stock points. The sub frame tails were level with the 55 main frame rails and tied in great to the X member. I had to cut down the main rail height for appearance and boxed it at the transition area.

    Had a shop owner with many years of experiance building and racing cars to check out my work and it passed fine. Take more measurements than you think you should. Take crisscross measurements high and low off firewall points to make sure there's no twist even though the frame seems straight to make sure the front clip will go back on right without spacers you didn't need before.

    The later drivetrain fit the engine cradle better. The subframe had an oversized anti-sway bar and quick ratio steering box that made headers a breeze with good clearance everywhere. I was also able to set the engine lower and further back for better balance.

    I also cut everything in a way that allowed me to bolt the whole thing together tight and recheck all measurements before it was welded. For where they are located, I didn't see a need to remove the bolts after welding. Overwelded? Is that a bad thing?

    I'm very happy with the way everything went together and gave me a good body fit with no trouble. But I do have another 55 Olds that will stay in stock suspension with roller pin upgrades on the king pins and a disc brake conversion. It's a matter of opinion and what you want and how you plan to use the car. The subframed car is being built for super duty chores. The other is a low and slow cruiser.

    Best of luck with your project!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  11. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    I had a firebird clip sitting next to my 55. Once I started measuring, the front stance was alot wider, plus where the gearbox was going to be was right at the factory radiator and that would have had to been relocated.

    I ended up installing a 58 Pontiac front end with ball joints. The lowers bolted right in place and the upper I made a mount for. I added in extra positive caster and anti dive into my upper arm bracket. I can post the article if your interested. Bill
     
  12. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,482

    phat rat
    Member

    The earlier rear steer subs work better IMHO. But many guys don't like fooling with the steering hook-up because it's not as simple as the front steer. The rear steer is also a tad narrower which can be a benefit
     
  13. Pontiac35
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 52

    Pontiac35
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Contact Ken at 414-423-8163, he did a 49 or 50 Pontiac that sits about elbow high at the roof and according to the owner is a dream to drive. Car has no bags and makes me drool.
     
  14. onemintcaddy
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 376

    onemintcaddy
    Member

    71 Nova slapped on to a 56 Caddy,,,,, I seen an "How To" in a Hot Rod mag. and went to town. Just wish I would hve used somthing a little wider. Like was said,, Measure and cross measure! And measure again!
     

    Attached Files:

  15. THE CHIEF
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 847

    THE CHIEF
    Member
    from MIAMI

    thanks
     
  16. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    Check with flynbrian48, he used a early 80's gm full size front clip I believe, also has fully operational abs brakes on it as well. The firebird clip can still work, but I would prefer a rear steer assembly like a 67-69 firebird camaro or 68-74 nova pictured above. At least for me I didn't see the need for power steering on a hotrod, and didn't want to whack the front of the frame off. I did this swap in a weekend.
     
  17. To Tall
    Joined: Jan 14, 2009
    Posts: 222

    To Tall
    Member

    I did this with a 55 pick up it was a lot easier then I t looked
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
    mark your floor for your front wheels do not cut the sub frame just slide it under your old frame mark the old frame get your saws all cut the old frame weld and box it
    <o:p> </o:p>
    good luck!!!!
     
  18. FEDER
    Joined: Jan 5, 2003
    Posts: 1,269

    FEDER
    Member

    A friend did a Jag clip in His old plymouth. Everything went cool till He went to install the motor. Crossmember on the jag forced his motor to be REALLY high even with oil pan mods. FEDER
     
  19. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,032

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

  20. THE CHIEF
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 847

    THE CHIEF
    Member
    from MIAMI

  21. To Tall
    Joined: Jan 14, 2009
    Posts: 222

    To Tall
    Member

    sub frame is a sub frame (in the u.s) a frame is a frame

    the install is the same maybe you should not do this :eek:

    (hope i helped moveing back to the top)
     

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