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Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Suspension - Brakes - Steering> Front clips and frame swaps --- More work, less value
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-25-2005 08:42 PM
theHIGHLANDER All of you make good points here. I'll try to muddy up the waters some tho...

Value...who gives a fatratsazz about the value of the car that one figures "needs" a clip? Ok, my 67 used to be grandmas 6cyl Nova has about 1/10 the value of the cost of making it perfect original. I can't think of any lamebrain that would clip a 375hp Nova (prolly a 40K car these days), so what's the value gig got to do with it.

Skill...well unless you do this every day, or as a lifetime hobby, sideline, vocation, religion, maybe you shouldn't attempt it. I too have seen many a shakey weld job. Someone gets a bargain 110v flux core glue gun and thinks he's Jerry Bickle overnight, selling his unknown talent to unsuspecting buds. Seen that way too much.

Safety...Centerline might be on a little about the "fad" vs the actual reason for doing this. Right on, we all want IFS and disc brakes, and don't wanna special order repair parts so a common subframe seems logical. But you really need to know a lil bit about vehicle dynamics before diving in with both feet. Same ideas, excuses and lack of funding is more what killed the pro-street tub jobs, and I'm kinda happy about that anyways. There's a few that wanna have a set of 21.5x33s under their car, but not as many these days.

Kits...knowing front suspension dynamics, requirements (personal and mechanical), and a sense of value vs cost make most of those deals pretty smart. The engineering is prolly older than some of the guys that want it done or are doing it. Hell, the mustang II thing started way back in the 70's from drag stuff. And here's an old moth-balled idea...remember Corvair front suspension swaps? That was a kool idea in it's day when those parts were easy to get.

Bottom line is, most frame clip jobs are plain butt-ugly, don't line up well, and are pretty obvious to spot. Hey if that's all you want, go for it. I've maybe seen one that looked good and was real hard to tell without looking real deep into it but the guy spent an ungodly amount of time doing it. In the end it did look nice. Most of our rodding breteren just wanna ride and don't spend that quality time doing work of that caliber.

It's your car so do it your way. I don't want it on mine tho.
05-25-2005 07:45 PM
grouch
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreTime
Geez..this thread is two years old..!!!!!!

OMT
Yeah, but like a book, it's still new to those who haven't read it. The information and experience passed along is just as valuable now as the day it was typed.
02-15-2005 01:34 AM
OneMoreTime
Guidelines

And these are mine and no I do not expect anyone to agree with me any at all...!!

If it is a straight early truck or classic type of car then it is a matter of freshening the suspension with some new parts like kingpins and bushings, tie rod ends, maybe a rebuilt steering box, clean and refurbish the springs, to make it ride and handle like it did when new..

If one has something like a body and frame that has been stripped and not complete anyway then make a resto rod out of that..use a clip provided one can be located that is a good fit for the car..

I think some of the deal regards frame swaps revolves around using the S-10 chassis..This particular unit to me is the modern equivalent of the 32 ford rails..comes with disk brakes and has a lot of aftermarket upside to it..

For the guys who want to or feel better about it, then go with one of the aftermaket Mustanf fron clips from Heidt's, Fatman, Morrison, or who ever...those things are completely reengineered, look gorgeous and the only thing in those that came from Ford is the idea..

Now if we can just get people to think 3-4 times..measure a bunch..weld once and respect what they are doing maybe we won one..

Lots of ways to skin the cat so to speak..and we all have opinions..but there is always something to learn..

Geez..this thread is two years old..!!!!!!

OMT
02-15-2005 12:06 AM
jon5662 since I bought my nova a year and a half ago I've been going to as many car shows and events as possible bothering all of the nova guys with a million questions...not one of them that 1. drives it more than 5 days a year and 2. has more than 300 hp(with was a lot of them) absolutely hate the handling and braking(or lack of) that the stock subframe/suspension setup has to offer. Every single nova owner I've talked to that did a clip or had one put on or bought one with a clip done loved it and would do it again. Yes there's difficulties and things to work around but that's part of being a mechanic and a hot rodder!
I make a living maintaining, upgrading and fabricating stuff for airplanes, I think I'll be okay with throwing a clip on and hanging the sheetmetal.

If you've got a valuable car that you're not going to drive that much...don't bother cause yeah, cutting it up usually kills its value and there's no reason to put that money and effort into something you're not going to use.
If you want to use it as a driver I'd be doing as much safety stuff possible after almost being killed in a wreck a year ago- I don't ever want to watch the top half and bottom half of my femur sword fighting inside my leg again, through one eye. Furthermore I don't see how upgrading the brakes and suspension system is that horrible of an idea, last time I checked if a car stops and handles better that would tend to make it safer to drive.

Are clips the only way to improve? NO! My '56 shoebox all I did was get the top tube A-arms to get correct geometry and put discs and a sway bar on, next is a rack/pinion steering to upgrade from the power 605 box. It rides and stops GREAT compared to what it was stock and it costed a couple hundred. For my nova, I'll be doing a subframe...will it be a lot of work? yep. but I've never talked to someone that's got one done that doesn't like it. will it cost a little more? yep but if I'm able to stop in time to avoid an accident or decrease bodily injury I'd pay a lot more than the cost of a front clip.

and yeah, I want to kick the guys in the nuts that got their front clip swapped out just cause it was cool and made the build price of their project go up- for the guys that did that, you're not hot rodders you're toy collectors! oh yeah, and if you don't know how to weld, by all means practice as much as you can, BUT NOT ON SOMETHING STRUCTURAL! c'mon!!

and I'm spent. sorry for ranting so long...
05-15-2004 11:19 PM
Deuce
Re: Front clips and frame swaps --- More work, less value

Quote:
[i]

Like I said I know a lot of you won’t agree with me but your opinions are, as always, welcome.


Centerline
http://www.hotrodsandhemis.com [/B]

Centerline and I agree to disagree on a lot of things.....

But I have to agree with him on this...........most of the time.
I have seen a lot more bastard frame swaps than safe, well done, well thought out swaps. 32 frames under Model A's not counted.

A lot of the time.....not all.......the frame swap is started by a under funded, under educated car novice who wants disc brakes, IFS and a modern ride for a few hundred bucks

Most of the time........the abortion makes it as far as the scrap yard or is parted out. Lack of funds, knowledge and skills doom the project before the first bolt is turned.

Be Honest.........how many of you know of aborted projects just laying around for YEARS ? I know of 8 to 10 ( 1 at my house )

If you plan ahead, can weld and fabricate at a professional level, and stay with it...it can be done............just rarely that it is....


05-14-2004 04:30 PM
mile-hightoyz sorry bad habit....i like caps....
05-14-2004 04:13 PM
willys36@aol.com
Quote:
Originally posted by mile-hightoyz
BEFORE I DID MY FIRST SUBFRAME.....I DEBATED FOR MONTHS...EVERYONE SAID IT WAS SUCH A NIGHTMARE TO DO AND SO MUCH INVOLVED. THEN I SAID HELL WITH IT AND JUST DID IT....IF YOU CAN WELD AND MEASURE AND HAVE THE TOOLS TO DO MINOR FABRICATION THERE IS NO REASON YOU CANT DO A SUBFRAME YOURSELF.

IF YOU ARE CONFIDENT IN YOUR ABILITIES GO FOR IT DONT LET ANYONE TELL YOU YOU CANT. IF ITS YOUR VEHICLE THAT YOU NEED TO DRIVE IM SURE YOU WILL BUILD IT SAFE ENOUGH FOR YOU TO DRIVE IT...
THANX, I AGREE. AND WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING AT US?
05-14-2004 04:09 PM
mile-hightoyz BEFORE I DID MY FIRST SUBFRAME.....I DEBATED FOR MONTHS...EVERYONE SAID IT WAS SUCH A NIGHTMARE TO DO AND SO MUCH INVOLVED. THEN I SAID HELL WITH IT AND JUST DID IT....IF YOU CAN WELD AND MEASURE AND HAVE THE TOOLS TO DO MINOR FABRICATION THERE IS NO REASON YOU CANT DO A SUBFRAME YOURSELF.

IF YOU ARE CONFIDENT IN YOUR ABILITIES GO FOR IT DONT LET ANYONE TELL YOU YOU CANT. IF ITS YOUR VEHICLE THAT YOU NEED TO DRIVE IM SURE YOU WILL BUILD IT SAFE ENOUGH FOR YOU TO DRIVE IT...
05-12-2004 09:00 PM
Pony Sometimes the clip is done for safety reasons. When I decided to put a Ford 351m in my 53 Ford sedan I didn't want to deal with the old brakes and suspension. I cut to frame off just foreword of the firewall and had a rectangular frame section made in a welding shop on frame jig and welded in place. I set it up to use a 1980 Chrysler big block K-Member. welded up a set of motor mounts and body/bumper mounts and put it together. It was a fair amount of work and I used professional help when I wasn't comfortable or qualified, but in return I got power disc brakes, torsion bar suspension, and power steering. It rides great, tracks straight and stops on a dime. I would definitely do it all over again. I agree that to do a clip just for the sake of doing it isn't the way to go but a hot rod with a big engine and antique suspension/brakes is much worse than a properly done clip.
05-12-2004 02:21 PM
Slipangle HOHO!!! Take a look under a Chevy SSR!

The SSR is a factory frame chop reducing the length by 3 inches from its base wheelbase as it's a Trailblazer/Envoy, etc. derivative.
05-12-2004 05:27 AM
poncho62 I agree with Centreline, when the vehicle has more value, if left stock. My truck when I got it, was in such poor shape that it would have cost more than it was wrth to fix up all the componants. It was more economical for me to "sub frame" it............plus I got the Nova for free.
05-12-2004 02:13 AM
musky2
Clips and frame changes

I have a 63 Chevy2 convertible and I dont have alot of money but I think this car is kind of rare and one day will be a good investment . I mean I want to keep it , drive it and improve looks, safety, handling and conveniences but I always end up selling things to get money to buy something elese I want more or if I just need the money. Problem : If you add modern things even though you are improving the car in everyway are you lessing the value of the car? As for what Centerline says I do agree that alot of people want to be in or follow the fads , by changing suspensions etc. but in minor upgrades to suspensions are for any improvements I guess we all want that. Some people just take things a little farther than others or get a little more exotic. Guess thats why we have a free country and our own opinions. thanks musky2
05-11-2004 03:19 PM
Don Meyer Another reason to do a frame swap is when you have no frame! I have a Rolls Royce that is uniboby. The cost to repair the hydraulic system,suspension & brakes was $18,000.
I removed the sub frames & made a frame for it using GM front & rear suspension.
Don
07-02-2003 11:41 PM
willys36@aol.com
Quote:
Originally posted by adtkart
Don't pay any attention to Willys.... he can't even agree on disagreeing.
Man, are you wrong!!
07-02-2003 06:29 PM
adtkart Don't pay any attention to Willys.... he can't even agree on disagreeing.
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