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Old 03-18-2010, 03:53 PM
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yes i have a 1939 pontiac cheiftan and am looking to restore it am what to start by replacing the frame under it and i would like to know if i could use a later model car maybe a camero or i heard a guy say that he used a 1988 malibu can anyone give me a tip on what car could be used replacing the frame on that 39 pontiac thanks

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Old 03-18-2010, 07:35 PM
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Wheelbase is the distance from the centerline of one front wheel/hub to the centerline of one rear wheel/hub on the same side of the car.

Front track width is the distance from the centerline of one front tire to the centerline of the other front tire.

Rear track width is the distance from the centerline of one rear tire to the centerline of the other rear tire.

Finding a frame structure that has the same wheelbase, front track width and rear track width that your Pontiac has will be a daunting task. I would measure the front track and rear track of the Pontiac and try to find a donor vehicle that would be close, maybe something like a S10 pickup.

Think of your frame as a 3-piece unit. The front 1/3 stub mounts the motor, front suspension, wheels, tires and front brakes.

The middle 1/3 of the frame is the middle part under the car that mounts to the body with rubber or other compliant material body mounts. These eliminate the squeaking that would emanate from metal to metal contact.

The rear 1/3 mounts the rear suspension, wheels and tires and brakes.

If I wanted to do what you are considering, I would find a donor that has the track width, front and rear, that I wanted to use. I would then cut off the front and rear clips of the donor frame and save them, while discarding the middle 1/3 of the frame.

I would cut the Pontiac frame into thirds, keeping the middle part and discarding the front and rear clips.

I would bolt the middle third back into the car with new rubber insulators and chock the body up exactly where I wanted it for front/rear attitude. Then I would weld the new front and rear clips onto the middle third from the Pontiac.

You have to figure a way to have the control arms on the front clip to be at the same angles they would be with the car sitting on them with springs and weight. Long pieces of 1/2" allthread have worked for me in the past. You just use the allthread where the shocks would mount and use whatever washers and nuts you have to in order to tie the upper and lower control arms into position and allow you to mount tires and wheels to them and roll them into position to be welded to the middle third of the frame.

When you do it this way, you set the rake or attitude of the body anywhere you want it to be without having to monkey around with cutting coils or dropped spindles or any other fosdick parts to get the car lower.
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