replacing a front unibody frame with a tube frame ? (bit long) - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:16 PM
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replacing a front unibody NISSAN frame with a tube frame ? (bit long)

so my project car is a bit beaten, including the fact that the front frame is swayed 1/2 inch, and its rusted out at the firewall (floors are good tho)

unibody 1989 nissan 240sx hatch back

front engine, rear wheel drive. solid axle 3 link rear suspension with a WOBlink for centering

iron block v6, aluminium heads. turbocharged, 500+ hp, 6 speed transmission

car will be used for daily driving, drag racing, and road courses, along with some autocross and some drifting (yea, so shoot me, lol)

and i might even realy beat on it by using the car for offroad rally courses ...


since ill be converting the car from strut front suspension to dual a-arm, moving the front tires forward some (for oil pan / crossmember clearance) adding coil over's, gutting the strut towers, and later adding a roll cage, theres not much left up there

upper frame rails (top of the fender)
radiator support
battery tray area

why bother fixing the rails ? might as well square up / brace the pieces i need to keep and cut the frame rails out too

the car will have 1.5x4" 120 wall steel tubing welded to the inside of the rocker panels as subframe connectors , running all the way from the rear torque boxes to the lower front fender bolts, and welded to the rocker panel along the top and bottom (stiched) and welded to the floorboards (welded solid)

whats the best way to go about running new front rails ?

square tube?
round tube ?
what size ?
what thickness ?

whats the best way to tie them into the original framerails and also into the subframe connectors

anyone have example pics of what i should do ?

thanks in advance

EDITED by Deuce ... to add more information and changed the title also

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Old 04-06-2007, 05:55 AM
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What kind of vehicle ?? what drivetrain ??
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:49 AM
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unibody 1989 nissan 240sx hatch back

front engine, rear wheel drive. solid axle 3 link rear suspension with a WOBlink for centering

iron block v6, aluminium heads. turbocharged, 500+ hp, 6 speed transmission

car will be used for daily driving, drag racing, and road courses, along with some autocross and some drifting (yea, so shoot me, lol)

and i might even realy beat on it by using the car for offroad rally courses ...
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Old 04-06-2007, 11:25 AM
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In this case I would just build a new chassis probably with 2x3 square tube as the foundation and tie in the roll cage to the chassis as part of the structure of the chassis..The existing floor pans and body would be attached to that..then you would have a chassis body construction and no longer a unibody although you could weld the body to your chassis structure and gain some stiffness..

Good Luck

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Old 04-06-2007, 06:33 PM
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well this car isnt realy being built using purchased steel products. i work at a structural / ornamental steel fabrication shop, so its more of a "what should i be on the lookout for" type question

my rear suspension tubing are all drops from the production of some storage racks

the subframe connectors were originaly part of a fabrication jig

the frame side rear suspension mounts are some cnc plasma cut plate steel pieces that went unused (all oval, just need to cut them in 1/2 to get pieces that can be weldedto square tube frame rails)

all the engine mounts, front suspension mounts, rear axle brackets and the like will be unused scraps (yet to be dug out of the scrap bin, lol)

this car is being built cheaply, because i KNOW ill eventualy put it into a wall or gaurdrail ( or a tree, or another car, lol)

id rather have a $5000 car that im not afraid to destroy then a $15000 car im afraid to drive to the limit
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Old 04-06-2007, 09:49 PM
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I agree fully with what you are saying..Perhaps some other suitable materials will show themselves..I would however expect to have to purchase some items in order to get the right stuff that you will need..

Sam
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