34 pontiac 81 camaro subframe install ? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:23 AM
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34 pontiac 81 camaro subframe install ?

I started the install of my 81 camaro subframe onto my 34 pontiac this week. I have looked at it several times in the past and got convinced that the track width would work fine for me. I have everything measured and cross squared from the original front stub axles. Welded a guide plate near the firewall to give me an extra reference point. Here is the big question I have. I believe the 34 pontiac frame is the same as a 34 chevy frame so can someone tell me is the top of the frame from the firewall forward level? It looks to me like the top is level and the bottom gradually tapers up to the front of the car. My plan is level the pontiac front to back using the old frame top as the guide. Then level the camaro subframe using the back couple feet of it as the leveling guide (after it dips down and straigthens out going towards the rear of the camaro). The height that the subframe will install is purely determined by making the pontiac fenders clear the a-arms. Then everything works backwards from that. I cannot be sure if the power steering box will clear until I get it tacked in place and mount the fenders where they should be. I just wanted to talk through it and see if I am missing anything else. I removed the sway bar from the subframe because it interfers with fenders where the swoop down in the front. Also cut about 5" off the front of the subframe to clear the fenders. At this point it looks like the subframe will slide underneath the pontiac frame and have maybe an inch of space then get boxed in.

I will level both frames front to back and side to side, plus cross sqaure to plumb bobs that mark the stub axles before tacking it into place. I will then recheck all of the fender and hood alignment before welding anymore than I have too just to keep it tacked in place.

This is 1 of the 2 most major tasks in this build that I have to tackle. I have thought about it long enough I am tacking it in this weekend.

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Old 05-17-2005, 02:12 PM
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I found some more good info from reading all of the links in the subframe sticky. Basically making sure the lower a-arm is level front to back or slighlty lower at the back when the rear of the car is at the desired ride height.

Also useing 4 levelers on the pontiac frame and 4 on the camaro frame to get everything leveled before tacking together.

So the only place I am not sure of is how to know that the pontiac frame is level. Unless I hear different I will use the top of the pontiac frame in front of the firewall.
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Old 05-17-2005, 03:47 PM
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Please post pics if you can. I'm working on a '34 Olds 4door and am possibly headed toward a swap/graft of a camaro subframe as well. If you could post the measurements of your frame where the Camaro subframe is going I could do a comparison to mine to see if it's feasible. I am also told that my frame is the same as a '34 chevy...so it would be interesting to see.
Would appreciate your info.
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Old 05-18-2005, 02:49 PM
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I've got everything prepped so that the subframe is very close to final position. Before I locate it any closer and square frame/check fender fitment I need to devise a clean method of joining the two frames. The pontiac frame is much narrower where it needs to join. I would like the pontiac frame to be wider from the firewall forward anyway for engine/header clearance. I just have to get a good design in my head that is strong and clean looking.
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Old 05-18-2005, 05:03 PM
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Your Camaro sub has a track width of about 62". Before you weld this in you might want to measure the distance between the outside lip of your fenders just to make sure you won't have any tire clearance problems or your tires won't wind up sticking out beyond your fenders too far (which is more likely what will happen). It's your car though so if that's what you want, go for it.
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Old 05-18-2005, 10:01 PM
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I checked the width before I started and it looked good. The pontiac had the knee action shocks and is actually pretty wide up front. I will assemble the front fenders with the tires I plan to run before anything is welded so I can back out if I didn't measure right in the beginning(which is possible). I also want to make sure that I can make the front steer PS box clear the fenders before I commit all the way. If track width looks good at final fitting and PS box can be made to clear I am going to use it. I came up with a plan I like for combining the two frames. I took some pictures with the subframe close to position. I will load them up tomorrow.
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:20 AM
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I uploaded 3 photos to my album showing about where the subframe will mount. One thing I like is how I can get rid of the original narrow frame and flare out right in front of the firewall to have more room for the engine install.
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:17 PM
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Check these pics out. They show how a friend of mine grafted a Camaro clip on his early GMC pickup. They might help.
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