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Old 11-22-2011, 11:50 AM
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56 GMC with 74 Nova subframe

Hello. Got a couple questions. I am starting the install of my nova sub-frame onto my 56 GMC pickup. The problem I am running into is deciding where to splice into my frame to achieve the ride height I want. I am thinking about putting the top of the sub-frame flush with the bottom of the existing frame, but I am worried this would sit too low?

Does anyone have pictures of their installs? Or any advice would be appreciated.

I am planning on taking pictures to show my progress as I go.

Thanks a lot.

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Old 11-22-2011, 12:31 PM
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Here's a few shot's of a 58 Chevy I did with a Nova... If it has rear steering mount the clip just a little forward in the wheel well,, This will help you when it come's time to hook up the steering... Just enough to not know it was forward a little..





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Old 11-22-2011, 01:02 PM
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Thanks for the response and good pics, it looks nice.

Are you happy with your ride height? The way I was intending to do it would lower it just a bit more (at least that's what it looks like from the pic). I am just worried it will be too low.

What are you doing for your bumper mounts?

Thanks again. I appreciate the help. This is my first project so any help and advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:13 PM
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I am not big on the sub frame swaps at all. But this particular truck it can work out rather nice as you can see in Randy's photos, it looks like the darn thing was made like that! VERY few sub frame swaps look that good because the frame width is so different from the subframe. But those 55-59 (?) Chevy trucks are perfect for the swap.

I have only done one of these swaps and I found what I thought was a great way to set it up. Replace the shocks with all thread and tighten it down until the sub frame is at the ride height it was at on the Nova being the truck and Nova are real similar in weight. A simple measurement of the distance between the control arm rubber bumper and the frame will do it.

Set the frame up on jack stands at the height you want and then roll the sub frame into place. Use an angle finder on the upper control arms to find the exact angle it should be at (measuring off the stock Nova) and put those control arms at the same angle as you fit it up to the frame of your truck.

This will get you the ride height you want and the front will align as it should without the need for screwing with the control arms to get the alignment right.

Brian
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:49 PM
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Thanks. I will take that into consideration when I start this weekend. Be prepared...I might have more questions.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonwilson55
Thanks for the response and good pics, it looks nice.

Are you happy with your ride height? The way I was intending to do it would lower it just a bit more (at least that's what it looks like from the pic). I am just worried it will be too low.

What are you doing for your bumper mounts?

Thanks again. I appreciate the help. This is my first project so any help and advice is greatly appreciated.

If you put the frames even you will be higher then this truck.... The more zee you add the lower the truck will sit..... Do like Brian said... Take out the springs and use some rods to hold the arms at ride height and set it wear you want it to sit... Like I said the more you zee the two frames the lower it will sit..

Here's My 57 Chevy I did with a Camaro clip..


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Old 11-22-2011, 02:18 PM
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yeah I guess I was thinking about it backwards. I just thought putting the top of the nova under the existing frame would be real easy, but I guess it may not be as low as I actually thought.

Do you have pictures from a distance of the 58 you did that kinda show the full stance of the truck?
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
I am not big on the sub frame swaps at all. But this particular truck it can work out rather nice as you can see in Randy's photos, it looks like the darn thing was made like that! VERY few sub frame swaps look that good because the frame width is so different from the subframe. But those 55-59 (?) Chevy trucks are perfect for the swap.

I have only done one of these swaps and I found what I thought was a great way to set it up. Replace the shocks with all thread and tighten it down until the sub frame is at the ride height it was at on the Nova being the truck and Nova are real similar in weight. A simple measurement of the distance between the control arm rubber bumper and the frame will do it.

Set the frame up on jack stands at the height you want and then roll the sub frame into place. Use an angle finder on the upper control arms to find the exact angle it should be at (measuring off the stock Nova) and put those control arms at the same angle as you fit it up to the frame of your truck.

This will get you the ride height you want and the front will align as it should without the need for screwing with the control arms to get the alignment right.

Brian
Thanks Brian... I try to make them look like it was never added.. When doing one if you take your time to do all the body work on the frame you will never know it... I didn't try hard to hind mine on the 57 Chevy and I had a tilt front end and a lot of people didn't even see it was added..LOL


Now the best way to do it is before you cut the back frame rails off at the bottom of the clip,,, Always start by setting the lower clip frame rails level with the ground... Once they are level... Tack a piece of angle iron on the crossmember right in the center,, Run the angle front to back in the center with the flat part of the angle up.. This will be where you will set your level later .... But this point has to be level when you tack the angle on....(level with the back lower frame rails)... Once you have this tacked on.. You can cut the bottom lower frame rails off... Now keep in mine,,If your going to zee it any... You want to leave some of the roll down on the frame...Just get Reid of the lower rails... When you go to line everything up... And your frame is sitting level... Line the clip up, And set your level on that angle front to back... Set this at level with your frame level... And it should e very close to factory... I never had to use a angle finder on the a-arms yet..It work's out great... If you want to be even more sure.. Check the a-arms.. But if you do want I'm telling you.. You don't need too.. I hope this is making some sense.... If not let me know and I will give you my # and I can explain it to you better...Hope this helps you out..Good luck..
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:34 PM
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So you're saying tack a piece of angle to the cross member on the clip just before the turn down. But what where are you talking about welding that angle to on the other end?

I understand what you are talking about, basically have the lower frame rail of the clip level (parallel) with the frame rail of the truck.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:42 PM
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I really didn't get any good shot's of this truck from the side... This is about as close as I have... Now the shot's you see here with the front end on it.. Didn't have the big block in it yet..It did sit really nice with the big block in it..





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Old 11-22-2011, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonwilson55
So you're saying tack a piece of angle to the cross member on the clip just before the turn down. But what where are you talking about welding that angle to on the other end?

I understand what you are talking about, basically have the lower frame rail of the clip level (parallel) with the frame rail of the truck.

No... tack it right where your oil pan would be passing over the crossmember... Tack the angle like it would be the pan.... This is only used fro setting your level to install the clip and will get cut off after your done... If you don't do this... Once you cut the back lower frame rails off.. You will only be able to set it with a angle finder on the a-arms.... Doing it like I'm telling you is much easier...All your doing is adding a flat level spot on the crossmember to work off of...
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonwilson55
I just thought putting the top of the nova under the existing frame would be real easy,

There is a lot of people that do it like that... But to me it is a dead give away when you look under the truck... It is very strong and easy to do IF that's what you want to see under your truck....
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:50 PM
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Okay, makes sense now. I really appreciate the help. After seeing pics of your job i definitely want to try and make mine as concealed as possible.

I will post pics.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:38 PM
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I think I did what you are thinking of doing.....You are wanting to lay the trucks frame on top of the Nova subframe that went back under the floor, right? I did it this way because I felt it had more strength that way.......and it gave a place to bolt the stock cross member for the trans in.

That is the way I did mine 20 years ago....Heres the pics I have. It is on a Ford, nota Chevy, but the effect is the same









Hope this helps
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:43 PM
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yeah that's what I was talking about....maybe not leaving the entire portion of the sub-frame, but cutting it just before the cab mounts at an angle to tie it in nice.

I think after seeing NEW INTERIORS though I may be changing my mind.
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