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Old 07-27-2010, 08:48 PM
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1954 Chevy sedan delivery

Hi I just bought my dad a 1954 sedan delivery and we are trying to figure out what frame we could put this on that would fit with some modifications. We have a frame from a 73-87 chevy 2 wheel drive pick up 8ft bed that I was told would work.
I have a few second gen (70-81) camaro subframes and I was told that could be made to work as well as a frame from a 94-96 impala,caprice,or a buick roadmaster.
It currently has the stock chassis under it but he wants to change it without spending a fortune.
Any help would be greatly appreciated
Thanks,
Mike
motionwannabe

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Old 07-27-2010, 09:34 PM
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All of the mentioned units are too wide. The Camaro sub is a hard to do option because of the Top Hat original frame design.

If you insist on frame swap. Go with 78-later GM "G" chassis. a 4-door ruster/body damage should be cheap for start. Frame is easy to modify for wheel base. Many engine combo's available.
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:09 PM
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Well we got our g-body frame for our frame swap. Has anybody else done this swap?? Im looking for some advice as to where to begin. Also once this is completed I will be selling the original frame from the 54. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:27 PM
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I'd check the HAMB.COM. I've seen folks there put just about anything you can dream of on the S-10 frame.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:45 PM
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What in the living hell is this about swapping frame? The frame swap craze is going to be the death to more cars than the hardtop racing of the thirties!

For goodness sakes there is NO SUCH THING as a "frame swap" on this car. To put the wrong frame under it will only swap your time, money and work from simply working with the one you have. Heck, even the stock suspension is pretty decent on that truck.

I'm sorry, I am so sick and tired of hearing about frame swaps I could throw up.

Brian
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:46 AM
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I'm sorry for my little outburst in the last post. It is just that it seems that every new poster wants to change the frame in a car. It's like that is the new way out of work. Nearly every one of them finally admits that it was something they thought was going to be easy. An easy and cheap way to put modern running gear and suspension under their old car. It is anything but EASY to do a frame swap.

Sure there are cases where it can be a way to go, or doing a frame clip, I have done one myself. But the full on frame swap is "usually" MUCH more work than modifying your original frame with one of the many kits on the market to make your car handle and drive like a new car. The debate on why do you want it to ride and drive like a new car is another issue, you could just buy a new car in my opinion.

But honestly, MOST posters who ask about frame swaps don't have a clue how much cutting of the car they will have to do to make it work. The frame shape under a late car like that must fit a complex shaped under body to work even half way decent, this is after MUCH mods with body mounts, fuel tank mounts and the like. It just isn't as easy as most of these first time posters think, they are in a dream world.

Lets start with asking motionwanabe "What is your expectations?" "What do you want this car to do?" "How much time, how much working area, What is the REAL reason you are after swapping this frame?"

Brian
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
The frame swap craze is going to be the death to more cars than the hardtop racing of the thirties!

...I'm sorry, I am so sick and tired of hearing about frame swaps I could throw up.

Brian
Amen, brother ..... Amen!
I don't understand why everyone seems to think frame swaps are the answer.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:15 PM
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WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MartinSr I completely understand how much cutting goes into this. Thats why I was asking for advice. Second of all, This isnt the first time Ive been around work. I own a body shop and have chopped tops and lowered floors etc etc. I was simply asking for advice.
Im building this for my dad. I was gonna do a front clip from a camaro. A member on here told me that a front clip is "miserable and dangerous".
The ******* that had this car prior to me welded 3in I beams between the frame rail and the lower front suspension. He told me it was how he was gonna make it a gasser. It looks stupid and dangerous. He welded a camaro leaf spring shackle set up under the rear. I have no clue if any of it is straight let alone square. Sadly the frame itself is beautiful other than his work.
I need this car to have power steering and a decent ride. My dad has health problems and I want him to be able to enjoy this not fight with it everytime he gets in it.
Im not in "a dream world" I was going by things I have read on this very website.
Im not looking to do a mustangll conversion either.
You seem to be knowledgeable. If a front clip is more practical please by all means point me in the right direction of where to start. I have a front stub frame from a 74 camaro. Any advice would be appreciated on how to do this as well. Or what can I do to make the original frame(sans the previous owners poor work) more user friendly? I wanted to do a straight axle originally but was told that was too much work as well.
I checked the H.A.M.B. and it seems they insist on the s-10 frame and I dont want to go that route.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:15 PM
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If your frame is that cut up you may want to go looking for another. I believe all 53-54 and maybe even 49-54 have the same frame. You need to do some home work but I believe all models be it a two door or what ever will all use that frame. I don't think one would be that hard to find.

If you do the clip, that Camaro is too wide by a few inches I believe. I know it's too wide for the Pickup of the same vintage (ask me how I know). A late seventies early 80's Regal/Malibu/Cutless frame has a little narrower front, but a few inches. The frame rails are also closer together to match your frame. I have not don't one of your cars so this is more from memory with other projects.

If you do a frame clip a couple of tricks is to put a piece of all thread in place of the shock so you can pull it down to ride height without the weight of the body and engine. You measure all this off the running car of the donor frame. It may not be prefect but a Regal weighs pretty close to what your stock delivery weighed.

So you have this frame clip with the all thread pulling the front down to exactly what it is on the donor car. The other thing that is VERY, VERY critical
is to take a protractor and record the angle of the control arm, the lower one is fine. OR if the car is aligned properly the upper one will work as well.

So you now have your frame at ride height and you have your control arm angle. You put the frame of the delivery at the ride height you are going to want it at, front and rear, up on jack stands on the frame.

You can roll up your sub frame and match it to the frame putting your control arms at the right angle and mate it to your frame. The welding of it to the frame is something I can't go into detail being I don't know your particular car for this project.

One other VERY important thing is to mock it up there and put the front sheet metal on. You can measure your butt off and there is NOTHING like the good old eye for putting the clip on so the wheels are perfectly placed in the wheel well. There is nothing that looks more crappy than wheels that aren't in the middle of the wheel well! Just a quarter inch can make a HUGE difference from the proper look and WRONG.

I know that your frame is two pieced boxed like frame and VERY different from the late model frame you are mating to it. This is one reason why I say to find another frame and use one of the MANY Mustang II kits for the stock frame.

But this is a basic quickie outline on putting a clip on.

Brian
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:48 PM
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If the original frame is that hacked up. it is probably best to have a new frame built.. Chevs of the 40s sells them..
reason is. I'm pretty sure the frame has to come from a Wagon or sedan delivery to fit the sedan delivery.. both of those are pretty hard to come by... G body's will fit and look right on the shorter wheelbase cars ( styleline and Fleetline ), but the Wagon and SD are longer
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:29 PM
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motionwannabe: welcome to this forum and please do what YOU want to do to YOUR vehicle. You're asking questions before starting work - that is the right thing to do and what these forums are all about.

MARTINSR: I have generally respected your posts in the past but you were probably out of line on this one. But kudos to you for catching yourself - that's a stand up thing to do. I would like to read about your rant because you obviously have a passion for it. But how about maybe just starting your own thread where you do the rant and explain why - I think that would be the right context.

My $.02 on the subject at hand is - "it depends". Keeping the original frame and performing the work to bring it to safe and modern ride standards = "X" man-hours of work. Swapping the body over to a new, "modern" frame = "Y" man-hours of work. Which is greater or better depends on the condition of the vehicles, your skills and what you are trying to accomplish and in however much calendar time.

I haven't done dozens or hundreds of swaps. I've just done one. But for me and for what and why I was doing it - the swap was what made sense and that's the way I went. Consider using some of the sheet metal off the floorpan, firewall or rear wall off of a vehicle that fits on the frame you are going to use. This metal may have all of the humps and bumps you need to clear the donor chassis - perhaps you can graft it over onto your body with less work than trying to mod the original body.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:21 PM
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I appreciate everyones comments. Theres a decent amount of info here. Like I said Ive even considered a straight axle.
I know reguardless its a bunch of work.
Im sure this will be the last car my dad and I build together since he and mom plan to retire and mom south so I want it to be special.
If using the original frame is the way to go,then is a straight axle a good idea.
Let me make it clear, we have NO interest in pro touring. Just want an old hot rod not too many people around here have and something thats definately different.
Has anybody straight axled one of these 54 chevys and utilized powere steering?? I found a thread on a 55 chevy that the owner removed the a arms and put a complete straight axle setup under it. He did a hell of a job. Plus I liked the way it looked.
Would this be a better alternative??
We want something different. I dont like the look of the big bulky lookin front end .
As always any advice is greatly appreciated
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:31 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motionwannabe
I dont like the look of the big bulky lookin front end .
That is my thinking, and why I sold my frame that I put a clip on and went back to a dropped I beam axle in my 48 Pickup. The front end just didn't belong, I call what it looked like a "placenta", it looked like exactly what it was, an after thought, a mismatch to everything the rest of the truck was and represented.

Post some photos of the frame you have.

Brian
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:37 PM
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I will post pics tomorrow Brian. That front end is the ugliest thing Ive ever seen. I looked at that thing for a hour one day just trying to figure out the thought process behind it. I came to the conclusion that it was made like that to kill animals. That big fat black center section is out of place as are the lower control arms.
So you went with a straight axle type setup??
Are you happy with that?
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:21 AM
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I don't even have a rolling chassis yet, still out in the back yard covered with rust. But after driving my friends truck with the same setup I have I will be THRILLED to drive around with it! I have to tell you,it was so sweet it DID drive like a friggin S-10! That is EXACTLY what I thought when I drove it! I thought to myself how I was waiting to be disappointed when I came to the first corner, but it drove like a late model truck to me.

But your set up would be much different, I don't now how it would be exactly. Your car came with an IFS, and not a bad one, sure by todays standards it is off a hundred miles. But it really isn't that bad. It is by the way the same front end as a Corvette up to 1962! A 60 Vette sure didn't handle that bad did it? COMPARED to a 65, yeah it wasn't much. But compared to cars of the day it was pretty damn good.

Here is a forum dedicated to YOUR car, get on there as well and ask them if the frame is the same as the other passenger cars and if it is the same as the 49-52. Click here for Chevy Talk forum That forum is VERY active (the sign of a good forum) with a full page of threads within the last three days! If it is the same as those other frames there are PILES of these frames around to fix your car. All I am saying is look at your options, learn your options and study your options.

Brian
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