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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-26-2016 08:14 PM
John long Hey guys. Thought I would drop in for a quick update. I wish I had more shop time but life has to be lived.

I made the ouside plates and welded them in.

Next I made gussets to go inside the plates for rigidity. I have them welded in on both sides.

The templates are made for the inside plates and top plates and hope to get started cutting them out tomorrow.

The plasma cutter has sure payed for itself during this process. This is a picture of the gussets I cut out to go inside the frame rails. This would have been a major job with a cut off disc or band saw.


07-22-2016 04:24 PM
John long I have the frame welded up and the inner walls added. Both of these verticle sections will be hidden once the inner and outer sides of the frame are added. They will be buried inside the frame rail for added strength.


07-15-2016 08:33 PM
John long
Originally Posted by 496CHEVY3100 View Post
Is the nova front or rear steer.
Rear steer David. 1974. Last year for this one.

07-15-2016 08:23 PM
496CHEVY3100 Is the nova front or rear steer.
07-15-2016 08:04 PM
John long You know, the only centerline I used was the center holes in the sub cross members. Before I cut anything off the sub, I cross measured it from corner to corner as well as corners to the center holes. I also cross measured the convertible frame at several places and it was good also. On top of that, I ran a line from bottom king pin to bottom king pin on the floor and marked that.

I tacked the the sub into position today. The lower ball joints and spindle nuts match the convertible marks plummed on the floor And the front frame horn holes and center hole in the cross member all cross measure to the body mounts on the convertible frame within 1/32". Also, a 4' carpenter square reads exactly the same at 4 locations, 2 on the convertible and 2 on the sub. If it isn't right, I don't know what else I could have done.

I would be willing to bet money, This frame will be closer than the body. Will it need to be shimmed? Of course it will.

07-15-2016 12:54 PM
deadbodyman I made a giant mistake when I did my first sub. I assumed both frames I was working with were straight and undamaged so I just took my measurements from the jig holes and didn't use a center line. Well, one wheel wasn't centered in the wheel well when the fender got put on. It wasn't until I ran a center line that I found one rail had been bent in around where the rear door pillar was. Something like this couldn't happen your case though I don't running over it with a bulldozer could bend that frame in the middle.
The Camaro that I got my sub out of didn't have any sheet metal at all on it (that's why I picked it, less work) if it did I would have looked closer because one rail was up about a 1/2 " it wasn't worth fixing so I got another one. Glad I caught that one. Common enough mistakes anyone could make but need to be watchful of. nobody wants to find out a frame was bent AFTER its all done and cant be aligned. You got to remember, these subs are about 30 yrs old most all of them have been in an accident, heck its tough to find a 5yr old car that hasn't been in an accident. Running a few reference lines before getting started isn't complicated and can save a lot of grief.
07-15-2016 06:44 AM
idrivejunk Hey John, since I'm not sure how much collision repair you've been around I'm gonna drop a couple links here in case a little more info about measuring is needed, for 100% confidence. The principle of a datum plane is very helpful in measuring big oddly shaped items such as your frame:

That is something you can establish even if your floor is less than level. A guy needs a flat, level reference to check progress with and thats what an imaginary datum plane provides. In addition, some folks make jigs to avoid repeating some measurements a lot while a chassis is under construction.

Here is a basic article that touches on the subject:

Measuring Basics - Body Shop Business

Bear in mind that for insurance work on late model body-on-frame vehicles, the unspoken tolerance is 5-7 mm. Older vehicles are rarely even within 1/4" over the length of the chassis. This is accumulated variances of length, width, and height, and on modern unibodies the spec is 1-3mm. Yikes!

I have measured just as many vehicles without computerized measuring systems as with. My structural repairs are well accepted. I confidently tell people if their frame "is OK" or not because I've studied and applied the knowledge successfully for years. However I don't splice frames, nobody ever asked me to. So the metallurgy and integrity of such is not my bag, but I'm just offering up some measuring coaching because thats what I can do.
07-14-2016 06:44 AM
deadbodyman Well John. I WILL be hard on you because were friends and I know you can handle it, Plus YOU know how I am sugar coating aint my thang.
First I don't see any type of center line they both need a visible center and well marked, thats where everything is measured from, curves and tappers mean nothing the center is everything get both frames in line then slide the sub back or forward for the correct wheel base. If your sub goes off center line it back up at a glance.
Lawyers always say don't ask a question that you don't know the answer to, along those lines I always say Never cut if you don't have a solid plan to go by. Having both frames cut at this point removes a lot of options.
Here in Ga. a frame can not be cut and butted together even if its sleeved all four cuts (top, bottom and sides) need to be staggered by 6-8 inches, so the outside cut and the inside cut will be 6-8" apart same with the top and bottom. like the seams in a brick wall.
I haven't been looking at your frame as long as you have but my first impression was to leave the rails and cut out the cross member, then remove the cross member from the sub and only use that and its suspension. But THATS me, You may have something better and easier in mind but mainly I just don't see how any of this can be done without knowing where center is on both frames. That cant be changed so its perfect reference line. Something to think about anyways.
07-14-2016 06:32 AM
idrivejunk John, yes that picture explains a lot. I can read your little "this goes here" marks and understand completely. What maybe I missed was the solution to solve track width. I won't poke with stick, just wait for that part to come up. The discussion has been a little scattered between this and the today thread so it will be cool if you pile it all in a thread. Keep on rockin'.

Mark, color consistency is something you either do or nobody buys the paint. Just like cars have to run. You guys are blessed to be near the source of your favorite brand.
07-14-2016 06:06 AM
Too Many Projects Not being hard on you, just offering a different view of how the merge could be accomplished. I'm certain you will blend it to look good, my concern was achieving structural integrity with the rails so far offset.
07-14-2016 05:51 AM
Originally Posted by idrivejunk View Post
Touring a paint manufacturing facility must have been pretty cool. I would have so many questions it would take all day for sure. Did you learn any interesting tidbits you can share? The splice you're planning sounds like something I've seen at work once, kinda. I believe I can visualize your plan but not 100% so will watch and learn. Glad theres an extra set of hands around when need be.
The ONE most interesting tidbit I've learned about SPI paint is The batch of paint they made yesterday will be an exact match to the paint they made 5yrs ago. So If your like me and bought a gallon of SPI red thinking I'll be painting soon then five years later when your actually ready to paint but not sure if you have enough because the basic paint job turned into a full resto, you'll have nothing to worry about if you need more. Its an exact match. Something I thought was very interesting.
I didn't believe it was true so when I got the second gallon I popped them both open and sure enough it was exactly the same. The only difference was the price.
07-13-2016 09:45 PM
John long
Originally Posted by Too Many Projects View Post
I would be tempted to cut the top hat behind the crossmember and bend it to align straight with the Nova frame and plate it that way. You could modify the crossmember to bend to the new frame without going any further forward. It looks tight for a BB and bellhousing now. Do you plan to mock up the drivetrain on the sub before getting too far into it ?

You're right, I would've taken the easy way out and installed a Chassis Components conversion...
LOL, And I would not blame you.

I am not going to move or modify the X member now, Once I get the bottom of the body painted and on the frame, I can mock up the engine and see where I am. I will not be surprized at all if I have to change it some though.

I think I have a vision for what I am going to do now and the "ugly" will be hidden inside the frame.

Give me a few days before you are too hard on me......

07-13-2016 09:22 PM
Too Many Projects I would be tempted to cut the top hat behind the crossmember and bend it to align straight with the Nova frame and plate it that way. You could modify the crossmember to bend to the new frame without going any further forward. It looks tight for a BB and bellhousing now. Do you plan to mock up the drivetrain on the sub before getting too far into it ?

You're right, I would've taken the easy way out and installed a Chassis Components conversion...
07-13-2016 08:55 PM
John long Being frugal is tough!!

07-13-2016 08:48 PM
John long
Originally Posted by Too Many Projects View Post
Are they that far offset too ??? or is that just for measuring/cutting/mock up ??

They are Mitch. I will be able to flow the outer walls into each and make it look much better but this is not an easy job. I sub framed a 41 Packard years ago and it was nothing like this thing. I can fully understand why the M-11 guys sneer at doing this to one of these Chevys.

Don't get me wrong. I am not having second thoughts but only because I have the time and am not paying someone to do it. On the other hand I would hate to be doing this for a customer. No way would a customer understand the hours they would be getting billed. I intend to start a thread on this but not until I can be ready to post some progress. No one wants to watch me trim these pieces for days and days.

Now I reallize there are many quicker ways. You could make a verticle plate and just mate them up or you could weld the top of the sub to the bottom of the convertible frame but I don't like the looks of the joint those methods leave. My goal here is to make this as natural looking as possible.

Also, remember I am trying to ceate room for a big block.
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