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Old 04-17-2013, 11:57 PM
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Frame stiffening, 58 Chevy PU

Hey everyone,

I'm curious about frame stiffening. I have a 58 Chevy PU with a basic roll cage. The cage is tied into the frame. I was wondering what kind of things could be done to stiffen the frame? Mostly in the event of a crash, for safety.

I have a ac/dc stick welder and would prefer something that could be welded up and bolted in. The frame is stock, minus the Volare front end, nothing has been removed. If you could point me in the direction of some pictures or websites that would be great!

Thanks
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:39 AM
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maybe explain the question with more details?
There is a lot more to safety than total strength
crumple zones
air bags
seat belts and harnesses
tear away sections
fire suppression
fuel cells
fuel cut offs
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxllmm4 View Post
Hey everyone,

I'm curious about frame stiffening. I have a 58 Chevy PU with a basic roll cage. The cage is tied into the frame. I was wondering what kind of things could be done to stiffen the frame? Mostly in the event of a crash, for safety.

I have a ac/dc stick welder and would prefer something that could be welded up and bolted in. The frame is stock, minus the Volare front end, nothing has been removed. If you could point me in the direction of some pictures or websites that would be great!

Thanks
If you will explain the construction of your cage in detail, where each bar connects exactly, the size and wall thickness of the bars, I can probably confirm or deny that you will be safe in the cage. Now, is it actually a ROLLCAGE or is it a ROLLBAR??????? A rollbar has no front hoop, only the B-bar hoop right behind the seat. A rollcage has a front and rear hoop and is connected by longitudinal bars that run from the front hoop (the A-bar) back along the roof of the vehicle to the rear hoop (the B-bar). These connecting bars are called halo bars. So, please explain what you have and I'll try to help.

Oh, and by the way, that's interesting that you have a photo of The High and Mighty on your page. That was the pinnacle of automotive engineering in '59/'60 (featuring the world's first tunnel ram intake manifold) and was constructed by the Ramchargers club members. All those guys were engineers for Chrysler Corporation. As far as I know, it was also the world's first altered wheelbase car. The car shattered NHRA C/Altered records using a 354 hemi in a '50 Plymouth coupe.

Last edited by techinspector1; 04-18-2013 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:58 AM
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I agree with vinnie's comments about safety, as much as I disagree with some aspects of how newer cars are built the fact is they are much better at distributing the energy from a crash around the occupants. A large part of this has to do with selectively making sections very stiff and designing others to be sacrificial. At the end of the day if you are in a crash the alignment and frame geometry in the aftermath don't mean much if your dead.

That being said, One major thing you can do to stiffen the frame is to box the rails, currently the rails are shaped like this: [ by adding a plate to the open end you greatly increase their torsional stiffness as well as their "x" and "y" axis stiffness. I believe that vendors make plates which are pre-cut to do this all you do is clamp them in place and burn away. This is one route I am planning to go on my '58. Other options for stiffening the frame include welding the chrossmembers which are currently riveted in and fabricating chassis braces that can be bolted, or ideally welded in. Remember with this that welding is always stiffer than bolting when you can get away with it and if youfabricate your own braces look at cranes, bridges and other strong structures, an "x" or a triangle is your friend, avoid curves and parallelograms as they can buckle much easier.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:52 AM
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WARNING:

A roll bar/cage without being belted in and/or not wearing a certified helmet all the time on the street is

more dangerous than having nothing at all.We all think a crash on the street would never happen to us,but

it does.


FRAME STIFFENING:

Does boxing in a frame make the frame stronger?. Yes.But as many good welded attaching points a cage

provides a stronger frame.Design of that cage being the important factor with "Z"'ed or "X"'ed support

members.





WELDERS

Stick welded roll bars/cages is foolish.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinniekq2 View Post
maybe explain the question with more details?
There is a lot more to safety than total strength
crumple zones
air bags
seat belts and harnesses
tear away sections
fire suppression
fuel cells
fuel cut offs
Absolutely right. For those of us that do ride around in old iron, here's an example of what Vinnie noted.
► CRASH TEST - 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air VS 2009 Chevrolet Malibu - YouTube
"> ► CRASH TEST - 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air VS 2009 Chevrolet Malibu - YouTube
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