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Poolplayer 09-18-2012 07:01 PM

1985 Corvette suspension help
I am new to building street rods. I have a lot of experience in Chrysler restoration. Now, I am trying to build a tri-5 stepside pickup. I havent found what I want yet but I did run across a 1985 corvette that was rolled. The price is great ( $2500) but I dont know enough about using the suspension on anything much less on an older truck frame. I would think that the frame needs to be boxed but, can I use the suspension for this project??? I dont want to let a (hopefully) great opportunity get away.

Is there some where to look for the information?
Is this worth buying to do the project?
Should I just buy a modern frame and use the suspension?
What about using the whole front clip? can you do that?

1) The corvette still runs and drives althought will not pass inspection with a crushed roof and no glass.

2) Engine will be stock for reliability and would like my wife to be able to use it.

3) My mechanical skill level is pretty good, 27 years as a bucket truck builder/installer. They would bring in a cab and chassis and we would rebuild and install the unit with outriggers to a finished truck. lots of experience dealing with frames and double walled frames.

3) 7 years as a production welder and certified in 2 positions ( need a little practice its been a while)

I appreciate your patience with a newbee!!

S10xGN 09-19-2012 09:19 AM

Take a look at Progressive Automotive's crossmember kits...


AutoGear 09-19-2012 09:34 AM

Lil John Buttera built a prize winning shoebox nova with then-new C4 vette suspension and drivetrain. Yes it can be done to varying degrees. If your vette has the L98 aluminum headed TPI motor; it makes plenty of low end grunt to drive a truck. That 700r4 (Im assuming you don't have the god forsaken Nash 4+3) can be made to be bulletproof for a couple hundred bucks (if your donor is pre-1987 you'll want to upgrade the trans to post-87 specs. I bet you could even repurpose the bucket seats if you got creative enough.

PSST 09-19-2012 12:02 PM

I am only familiar with the IRS end of things.
If you Google "corvette irs truck" you will find a couple of articles from Rod and Custom that are informative
(along with multiple other sources as well).
Here on Hotrodders check out Stovebolter's Journal. The modifications he has made are basically what would be required. I had to do the same procedure (but narrower) for my installation in my 27 coupe.
Basically it is a LOT of fabrication once you have the parts. Your welding background will come in handy...
Since the 'vette has been rolled make sure that you look at the dogbones holding the IRS in place. I found that they tend to have been bent on the rollover and need replacements.

Poolplayer 09-20-2012 08:22 AM

Thank you to all that replied. After researching the amount of work and cost of mounting the corvette suspension I am going to pickup the Corvette on Saturday. Compared to some of the work I have done in the utility equipment industry, this is not harder and within my skill set! I'm sure there will be sturbling blocks along the way, but "being hard is what makes it great" (league of their own). I really thank those that responded. Any other comments or suggestions are most certainly welcome.

Poolplayer 09-20-2012 08:58 AM

anyone have a guesstimate of either what type of damage or how much is the cost of repair of damage to the rear suspension?

Poolplayer 09-20-2012 09:04 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Here are some pictures of the 85 corvette. I'm just concerned that there may be too much damage to the IRS and front suspension. The cost to repair is that more than waiting to find a better deal. The front wheels are not noticable damage to the eye. I dont know the story of the damage but seems to be a low speed roll over.

65G10 09-23-2012 11:33 AM

I'll toss this link at ya. They cover alot of DIY/IRS stuff
Independent Rear Suspension Forum

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