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Projects Subframing

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Daves 48 Special, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. Daves 48 Special
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 76

    Daves 48 Special
    Member

    HELP ---------Does anyone know of any websites that will talk about subframing on a classic using a camaro subframe?
    Looking for information on doing the work the right way .
     
  2. srdart67
    Joined: Feb 3, 2008
    Posts: 357

    srdart67
    Member
    from Sharon, Wi

    i did one on a 59 chevy pu. didnt look at how to do it til i was done. came out better than what i was seeing. lots of different ways to do it. just use the search tool and you will find a few good ways
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  3. socalmerc
    Joined: Feb 24, 2008
    Posts: 475

    socalmerc
    Member
    from socal

    what kind of car are you gonna do it to?
    i have done camaro and nova. not to hard just a lot of measuring and mapping it out before you cut away
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  4. 46stude
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 1,711

    46stude
    Member

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  5. 46binder
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 245

    46binder
    Member
    from Kenosha,Wi

    If your going to subframe your Plymouth, a Dakota subframe would be easier and probably cheaper. If you want info on it, search the HAMB for Dakota, or check out moparts.com I have one in my 1949 Dodge
     
  6. There's lots of info on here. I've done a couple. Pretty simple really.
     
  7. BrandonSilva
    Joined: Aug 5, 2008
    Posts: 170

    BrandonSilva
    Member

    I think LUXBLUE had a good Camaro subframe thread on the HAMB
    other than that, here's at least some pics that will help you "see" the project ahead of you. Everyone has there own little tricks or way of doing subframes....after you've done yours you will too. Just make sure that the camaro is the right subframe for the project (there are others to choose from). Make sure the geometry is right and for fuck sake measure measure measure.

    http://www.customclassictrucks.com/howto/ford_f100_front_suspension_comparisons/index.html
    http://www.backyarddiyguy.com/gallery/66chevy/66-f01.html
     
  8. So is it better to run a Kodak or a Nikon?
     
  9. resqd37Zep
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,217

    resqd37Zep
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    I'm doing a 49 Cadi now. Hell I just came in from cutting the old front off tonight. What kind of car are you doing? There is a ton of good info right here on the HAMB.
     

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  10. Daves 48 Special
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 76

    Daves 48 Special
    Member

    Its a 48 plymouth 4 door special Deluxe that im working on
    Thanks all for the info it really helped out a lot .
    The reason im doing a camaro is that it was almost gave to me or should i say i made a little on the extra parts of the camaro so i have a total of 120.00 invested in the subframe -engine and trans-rearend ,not to bad i dont think so im trying to make it work with the camaro parts .
    Thanks again for all the infomtion you all have given me .
     
  11. The usual problem with a Camaro is that it is too wide for almost everything.

    I've used the front frame from an 80's 'A' body, which works better and is narrower.

    Subframe is what you end up with, not necessarily what you start with. What I mean is a full frame car can have the front cut off, then it becomes a subframe to be welded onto your frame.

    Measure a LOT, and make triple sure the wheelbase is the same on both sides.

    I like to cut a subframe like a banana, along the creases, then I put it up against the frame, and weld the 'peels' back along the original frame. I think this works better than a butt weld, looks better than a butt with fish plates, and might be easier to get aligned at first, too.

    If your frame is too narrow (Advance Design, anyone :) ), cut a slice as far back as practical, bend it outward, and box it to much farther back.

    Remember that ride height will be a lot lower than the sub with springs, so either allow for it, put some threaded rod through and pull it down, or remove the springs and block it to ride height.

    There is a lot more, but that should get you started. Please do not use a Camaro if it is too wide. It won't look right, won't work right, and you'll have ruined the frame. Cheap is not always best, because you'll end up paying lots more to 'fix' the 'repair'.

    Cosmo
     
  12. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,565

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    Thank you sir... great advice.
     
  13. nutajunka
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,466

    nutajunka

    Did a 48 ply. coupe about 20 years ago. Try to find a rear steer subframe, fits nice and you can mount your rad. support on it easy. For wheel's get some no wider than 6 in., that way it will clear the fenders. Rode and drove like a caddy...:D
     
  14. 46binder
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 245

    46binder
    Member
    from Kenosha,Wi

    This is how a Dakota frame lines up, slid right in the Dodge frame, much easier.
     

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  15. Dave, I've got a 51 Ply 3W bus. coupe that I put a rear steer Camaro (Nova) stub under. Worked out great, but the comments about it being too wide are valid. I'm using Fatman narrowed a-arms and wheel offset to solve the problem. Be CAREFUL when you locate the front axle centerline, as that old Ply suspension moves back A LOT as it compresses.

    Couple of photos here: http://www.pro-touring.com/forum/vbpicgallery.php?do=view&g=2128
     
  16. Sorry, I guess you have to register... here's one.
     

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  17. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,325

    73RR
    Member

    Gotta love that B-RB ^^^^^^...Just cannot understand why more are not used.


    .
     
  18. flamed34
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 733

    flamed34
    Member

    We had a '39 Plymouth we decided not to build, but when looking at options found that a '70's Volare spindle swap was supposed to be quick and easy. I can't recall at the moment, but I think the same swap could be performed on the '48.

    The reason to do a subframe swap would be to a) get independent front suspension and b) improve braking options. Since the plymouth already has IFS, I would regard it as easier and more prudent to upgrade (IMHO). Plus, you have a continuous frame, and factory mounting locations for sheetmetal, radiator support, etc...all the things you'd have to alter / fabricate.
     
  19. Daves 48 Special
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 76

    Daves 48 Special
    Member

    There is a two inch different wthe two ,the 48 is more pinch than the camaro i would like to find someone that has done this before and be 100% sure before i go any farther ,i have a print out if any one is interested i can email them over,any takers?
     
  20. coachcraft.ltd
    Joined: Jul 8, 2009
    Posts: 36

    coachcraft.ltd
    Member
    from fillmore

    Hey Dave there is a guy down in your area his name is Jay copeland ,he moved to Grasselean texas back home .I met him when we moved the shop to Fillmore ,The man knows his stuff .I don't have a phone number .But he is the man if you get a hold of him Tell him Anthony told you to call him . Anthony at Coachcraftltd
     
  21. Daves 48 Special
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 76

    Daves 48 Special
    Member

    The reason for doing the swap is for bigger motor ,power brakes/steerring trying to make this a every day driver plus do a little travel to different carshow ,its a very heavy car that needs the Ifs front that is a must .I will try to print out the two frames .
     
  22. Daves 48 Special
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 76

    Daves 48 Special
    Member

    Here is the measurements of both .
     

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  23. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,860

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I haven't done it on a Mopar but have done a 48 Chev pickup and a 51 Merc. Both with rear steering Camaro/Nova subframes.

    From my experience I can say this. Set your car level in the shop at the height that you want it to finally ride at. When you slide the subframe or stub up to it have it level and have the bottom of the crossmember at the exact distance from the floor that it sat in the doner rig. That should give you the desired ride height when you are finished and you won't have to screw with cutting springs or dropped spindles or stiffer springs to raise it up.
    It's damned important to make sure that the frame rail or theoretic frame rail off the stub is on the same exact plane as the frame rail on the car. I fixed one that someone had put on wrong a few years ago and it wasn't fun.

    I have to say that I really like the looks of the way that Dakota stub fits that frame and it would have a factory look to it when it was done.
     
  24. Two inches is really a LOT. You might be able to use 4WD S10 wheels to get things under the fenders, but you'll still have cornering clearance problems. And now you have raised the cost factor of that 'cheap' sub. Better to start with the right width. Can you not find a Cutlass that doesn't run for cheap?? You can also sell the Camaro sub to someone who doesn't know to ask.

    I swear Camaro subs are used only because everyone talks about using a camaro sub. They are right for so damn few early cars.

    Cosmo
     
  25. 53choptop
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,197

    53choptop
    Member

    my .02 cents

    there are several issues i see already:

    1. because its a front steer, you will have to do quite a bit of metal work to make sure the gear box does not interfere with the radiator,
    2. All the sheetmetal work to make the fenders line up properly
    3. That year camaro is about 61 inches wide, with the earlier camaro 68-69 rear steer is 58 (correct me i am wrong)

    If someone one on here already did the swap using a rear steer and said it was too wide, a front steer (70-79 camaro) would be alot of headaches.

    i would suggest rethinking it, been there done that and it sux when you realize that its not gong to work.
     
  26. resqd37Zep
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,217

    resqd37Zep
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    Fishplates are your friend when using the Camaro subframe. These pictures are from a different post by another HAMB'r but you'll get the picture.
     

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  27. We used a front-steer camaro sub under my kid's shubox ford after a 'friend" narrowed it 3 inches right through the middle. Well, the "friend" didn't reinforce the subframe enough and we didn't find it out till we took the car to have it aligned. Luckily we were able to use offset upper control arm shafts [old roundy-round racer trick] to get it back in specs but we had problems finding exhaust that would clear the now-narrow sub with encroaching control arm mounts....got it handled with SBC block hugger headers but everything is damn close. I'd be looking at dakota parts or a rear-steer sub with S-10 4X4 wheels.
    Good news is..........the variable ratio power steering box used on Z-28s and Trans-Ams makes these subframes handle like a slot car! Add the 1.25" front stabilizer bar and you'll love driving the car. It won't ever handle like a stodgy old Plymouth 4 door again...you'll love the way it'll steer.
     

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  28. socalmerc
    Joined: Feb 24, 2008
    Posts: 475

    socalmerc
    Member
    from socal

    i use the nova rear steering on my 53 merc and on a 54 merc at the shop i was working at. it worked great and the wheels tucked in fine. i did the splitting the old frame and sliding the clip in then welded the seems back up and did plug welds. after that i i cut long plates and plated all four sides. with plug welds also.
    you have to put plates that go from the old frame to the clip or else your gonna get a flexing there on the joint, at least i did on my first one. i did a camaro on a 56 ford and we had to do a lot of work to get the radiator support and sheet metal to fit the front steer.
     
  29. hkestes
    Joined: May 19, 2007
    Posts: 546

    hkestes
    Member
    from Plano, TX

    Dave,

    Again I have a 48 Plymouth coupe daily driver with a rebuilt stock front suspension. All the parts to rebuild the front end are readily available so there is no issues there. There are also several kits available to put discs on these cars as well as rack and pinion steering kits. The only other thing would be a shock relocation for the upper mount to the frame rather than the upper A frame. This is an easy modification.

    I had a 48 with a Nova subframe and other than the brake upgrade that came with the subframe there was not much that I could point to as an improvement.

    With an upgraded stock suspension, you do not have to worry about any potential frame alignment issues. You also have all the stock sheet metal mounting locations so no fab work involved.

    Just my $0.02 worth but think long and hard before breaking out the torch.
     
  30. '48 Plymouth 4dr shows in my book as a tad over 3000 lbs shipped, so maybe 3400 lbs fully dressed with fuel, driver, spare, etc. That's not exactly heavy. Doesn't it have IFS now? The SBC doesn't weigh so much that it will overwhelm the stock front end. I can't understand wanting to make 10 times more work for yourself, especially if you've never done this before.

    On the other hand, it's just a '48 Plymouth 4dr, you pretty much can't give them away - we tried once - so if you end up with a mess or never finish it it's not that big a deal I guess.
     

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