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Old 02-01-2004, 12:59 AM
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subframing a 55 chevy pickup


any advice for a first timer on acamaro subframe job, i got a 110 mig and a 220 buzz box arc welder? will the 110 mig cut it?

i bought this big window 55 pick up at a swap meet for 500 bucks. it was actually a 3200 chopped 9 inches and got a short stepside bed on it now. anyways i got an 80 z28 donor car that i want to use to subfram this pick up.

i was told to bolt the camaro rear end into the truck first (over the leafs for lower stance) and then square up the front subframe to the rear end? any ideas on where and how to weld the subframe into the truck frame? joints, reinforcement? etc?

any advice or tech article links would be greatly appreciated! Thank You!

John

P.S. This site is awesome! I love it!

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Old 02-01-2004, 06:58 AM
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Before you go hog wild read the article here. It is an excellent primer on choosing and installing an independent front suspension system on older trucks. Also keep in mind there are many more ways to screw up a clip install than there are ways to get it right, and your safety depends on getting it right.

Before you start hacking away at your frame do a lot of research and make sure you're not going to jump into something you may not have the skills to accomplish correctly. You do have choices and there are several other options that may suit your skills and work better for you. I'm not saying you don't have the skills to do a clip correctly, maybe you do. However it has been our experience that if someone asks the question they probably haven't done one before and may not understand what is really involved. Since there is a lot of engineering required that a novice probably hasn't thought about, it's usually a good idea to point out some of the technical abilities someone will need to do it right the first time.

Also check out the knowledge base for links to tech articles as well as a search of the forum archives for some of the various discussions we've had on this subject. There's a lot of good info there.

Good luck

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Old 02-01-2004, 09:24 AM
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Like Centerline stated, do some searching and reading before going too far. This subject has been covered numerous times on this forum. This type of project has no room for short-cuts. Probably as many people fail at those attempts because there is more work than they expected, and require skills that they don't have. There is a huge safety concern on these types of projects.

Read all of the posts that apply and then if you have more questions, post them specifically.
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Old 02-01-2004, 10:06 AM
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I used a Nova subframe on my 51 Ford. I knew nothing about doing this at the time (1992) and it turned out very well. Maybe I was just lucky.

The only advise I can give is.....Measure 100 times before you cut once...

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Old 02-02-2004, 01:57 PM
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MEASURE

I am currently working on a small window 55 and thanks Centerline for the article. With all the parts available for IFS, I would not do the donor thing. Driving is more fun than looking at my project in the garage. If you have to do it, MEASURE / MEASURE / MEASURE / MEASURE / ETC. Get some channel and box both units before cutting. Then after taking the Camaro front off, clean every part. Take it down to the bolt. Clean it and powder coat it. By that time Copper will be closed and you will have had time to think. I have done three and they are fun. But they are A LOT OF WORK for the pay back. Great truck and good luck.

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Old 02-02-2004, 08:57 PM
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Here is what I did

I believe this is a 75 or so camaro front clip. Rear steer.......

I set up the frame on jack stands and shims to ride height. Then figured out where the splice would be on the old frame. I cut off the old frame and actually rolled the clip right over the old frame.

Measure, measure, measure, weld, and then plate....

It actually was not too hard.

I did read somewhere (might have been here) that you should move the wheels base forward or rearward (I can't remember) 1" so that they line up better with the fender opening. I don't think I did that. I believe that I set it up with the original wheel base.....

Cant see much with the 500 Caddy in the way......
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Old 02-06-2004, 04:22 PM
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i like your guys' advice and trucks! TRI-FIVES ALL THE WAY. btw when you say "chopped" your usually talkin about the top. dont chop it. those curved windows usually average about 3 before they get one right w/o breakin one. nice 55!

HEY PONCHORAMA, DID i ever tell you about my mom and dad's only new car they ever bought? the 62 bonneville??? i sure love those suckers

Last edited by bullheimer; 02-06-2004 at 04:29 PM.
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