Beefing up the chassis

Discussion in 'High Performance Modifications' started by SPG, Dec 28, 2018.

  1. SPG

    SPG Bumblebee Builder

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    Hey guys, a few weeks ago a few people criticized my build thread and one of the main things that stuck out to me was needing to give my car more support. Been doing a bit of research and there are a lot of mixed feelings about what approach I should take.

    As of right now I have this kit picked out for my motor and transmission
    And this kit for the subframe to reduce flex, also I am capable of welding if you're concerned about that.

    I am also getting sway bars for the front and rear from customworks, not sure how much that helps, but I was told to get it and I'm not going to argue with it.

    Some post I have come across suggest replacing the entire front subframe with an aftermarket solution...which is very expensive. (yes I know I'm already spending lots of money, what's a few extra grand right?)

    Will all of that be fine? or would you recommend I go in a different direction? I plan on starting to drop loads of money around march so I'd like to get my ducks in a row and make corrections accordingly.
     
  2. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

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    It depends on what you are going to do with the car. I have a 1979 Z-28 T-Top car. And I decided to make a Pro-Touring car out of it .Before there was such a term.I have very healthy small block and to stiffen up the car I added Competition Engineering sub connectors .Bigger sway bars anstronger mounts for the same. I plan to add firewall to subframe braces and eventually a roll cage.Others have done it differently depending on application.I have read a number of books such as HP books Chassis Engineering and other Pro-Touring applicable books. And I have looked at and ask questions at the Vintage Races in my area. Like the Jim Halls 1970 Camaro number 1 Trans Am car.And other forms of road racing ,IMSA .SCCA and even NASCAR. Just do your research and then decide what to do within you within your skills and budget. Good luck to you.
     

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  3. SPG

    SPG Bumblebee Builder

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    I'm dropping in a gen v lt4 in the car. The most thrashing that would be done would probably be drag racing....and even then I wouldn't be going all out as I would need to add a roll cage and other things to the car which I don't intend to do unless I want to get kicked off. So this would primarily be for street use. I looked at CasperCasper LS swap and he didn't really modify his frame or anything and just dropped in a new motor. So if the frame is already pretty solid then I might not need to do a whole lot aside from sway bars and subframe connector...but that's why I'm asking.
     
  4. Goodwrench1965

    Goodwrench1965 Veteran Member

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    You can make these cars pretty darn fast with the stock subframe and some chassis connectors. I suggest Comp. Engineering Slide a Link traction bars to control wheel hop. The sway bars are good for corner handleing but not nessesary for the dragstrip. I’m not sure why you want to install the new fuel injected engine unless you just got a lot of money and time to spend. You can build an engine of the generation that came in the car a lot easier and debatably cheaper. It would only really be cheaper to go modern engine with a salvage LS option I think. The point is as far as beefing up chassis the stock subframe with chassis connectors can hold way more power than some little normally aspirated small block will ever make. The cage is really just for safety.
     
  5. SPG

    SPG Bumblebee Builder

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    Alright thanks for the info. The roll cage is more of a requirement for autocross/drag if you want to go over a certain speed, they cap you, and if you go over you get kicked out (at least with the ones near me)
    as for the engine swap, I'm doing it because I want to, I already know there are cheaper options at my disposal, doesn't really concern me.
     
  6. Goodwrench1965

    Goodwrench1965 Veteran Member

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    Yes I know what you mean about going to fast and track requiring a cage. These cars are so darn heavy and power levels we are talking about your a LONG way from getting told you need a cage! All I’m saying about the injected engine swap is do your homework because there is a LOT of work involved that will take the car and your wallet out of commission a long time. Even an experienced person who has done that before will spend a lot of hours and time to convert the fuel system, ignition, transmission engine clearances and the list goes on and on! I’d bet $10,000 for parts and supplies plus 160 hours of experienced close to expert mechanic time would be common to convert to a good modern engine in one of these cars!
     
  7. SPG

    SPG Bumblebee Builder

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  8. Goodwrench1965

    Goodwrench1965 Veteran Member

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    I see you have done a lot of research and obviously know a lot more about the late model stuff than me. I know I’ve been building old fashion engines for 30 years and they still can be very expensive and time-consuming and complicated to deal with. I’m sure there are some advantages to working with a new engine like what you’re dealing with but there’s also a lot of complications too. Here is a link to an article in a Chevy magazine where it says they’ve spent “hundreds of hours” of fabricating various items to make an LT4 work in an old Chevelle! And that’s the experienced group of guys and professionals working at this magazine! You Could buy a 434 carbureted small block with a dart block and make the same horsepower way easier.
    http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/en...w-to-get-a-gen-v-lt4-into-your-classic-chevy/
     
  9. Rustbucket350

    Rustbucket350 Veteran Member

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    I have the Pro Touring F Body kit with the frame connectors, solid body bushings, and G braces. I'm not sure if they even exist anymore, but it was good stuff if they don't. I just use cheap rubber bushings on the control arms because I kind of want that part to give a little. I still have the old Edelbrock IAS shocks from like 10 years ago that only have about 1,000 miles on them. I suppose Bilsteins are the closest they have now but I'm not sure. I run the Hotchkis front and rear springs. No sway bar on the rear and whatever size a V6 80 Camaro came with on the front. It'll squat the rear with the 4.11s and it handles well with around 450 hp. Well enough that a rear sway bar isn't even necessary. I bought a 10 point Jegs brand cage not too long ago that's sitting on the floor in the garage that looks like it'll fit well and do the trick compared to a lot of other, more expensive retailers. If you keep the rear leaf setup, you'll probably want Caltracs.
     
  10. SPG

    SPG Bumblebee Builder

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    Thanks, I'll look into Caltracs

    Here is another subframe option that is available to me
    someone suggested that, claiming round subframes are stronger and said "why else do you think roll cages are made out of round tubes instead of square ones"
    is there any truth to that? do you think this may be a better option than the Hotchkis one? or would it not matter a whole lot in the grand scheme of things since I won't be putting this car under too much stress.

    Also for installation, even though I'm more than capable of welding, people have said you should only do this project while the wheels are supporting the car. I only have ramps, would that be fine? or should I just bite the bullet and pay a shop to do it since they can lift the car properly.

    I'm sure these questions may seem silly, but knowing anything about cars has been a pretty recent development for me, haven't really cared about them a whole lot....I have knowledge in other subjects haha

    edit: after a quick search I might be able to rent a car lift for a day, far cheaper than bringing it into a shop. (probably)
     

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