Aftermarket chassis or not? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum



Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans Advertise
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> General Rodding Tech
User Name
Password
lost password?   |   register now

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-26-2019, 01:26 PM
curtis73's Avatar
Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
 
Last wiki edit: How to find cheap parts
Last journal entry: Found an LQ9 today
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Carlisle, PA
Age: 46
Posts: 5,502
Wiki Edits: 16

Thanks: 32
Thanked 59 Times in 48 Posts
Aftermarket chassis or not?

Started tearing into my 67 LeMans convertible project. Headed in a sorta pro-touring vein; Body will remain mostly stock, custom interior, 500-hp LS6/LQ9, T56, insert axle here (maybe a 9" if the one I have isn't too narrow)

The vehicle itself has 276k on it, and the frame has had a rust repair done. It's mostly a wet noodle, so something needs to be done. At bare minimum I'm thinking brakes and a refreshed/upgraded suspension, but there is also the option of big-dollar aftermarket stuff.

I don't think I need to go full-on Schwartz chassis since I've never needed 1G cornering, and since this is also going to be something I want to actually drive whenever I want, I don't want unobtainium/expensive parts. For instance, I would rather have some LS1-era F-body discs up front and off-the-shelf brake parts out back on an 8.8 or 9" so I'm not ordering Brembo or Wilwood every time I need to do maintenance. This will be a driver, not a HPDE or trailer queen. (Ok, maybe some HPDE stuff) I want to be able to drive cross country with it, not hide it in a garage.

Do I get an aftermarket frame, or try to stiffen up a stock frame?

    Advertisement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-26-2019, 01:47 PM
johnsongrass1's Avatar
Race it, Don't rice it!
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Columbia, Mo
Age: 43
Posts: 6,951
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 105
Thanked 710 Times in 584 Posts
AFCO makes a nice aftermarket version of those that you jig up and weld together so that might be something to look at for repairing yours.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09-26-2019, 02:01 PM
curtis73's Avatar
Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
 
Last wiki edit: How to find cheap parts
Last journal entry: Found an LQ9 today
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Carlisle, PA
Age: 46
Posts: 5,502
Wiki Edits: 16

Thanks: 32
Thanked 59 Times in 48 Posts
I had seen that, but they only list 68-72. The 64-67 were specific, especially when it came to convertibles. Any insight?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 09-26-2019, 02:18 PM
johnsongrass1's Avatar
Race it, Don't rice it!
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Columbia, Mo
Age: 43
Posts: 6,951
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 105
Thanked 710 Times in 584 Posts
Not really. I didn't realize they were different.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 09-26-2019, 02:39 PM
techinspector1's Avatar
Member
 
Last wiki edit: DynoSim combinations
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Zephyrhills, Florida, USA
Age: 77
Posts: 16,916
Wiki Edits: 326

Thanks: 1,890
Thanked 2,804 Times in 2,099 Posts
Try these fellows, they've been around for a long time.......
Chassis & Custom Suspension Manufacturers*| Auto Weld Chassis
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 09-26-2019, 03:19 PM
39 master's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Alamogordo, NM
Posts: 1,231
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 278 Times in 237 Posts
Two things: First I like your statement about using "off-the-shelf" parts. While on a road trip replacement parts are just around the corner and not have to be flown in. Second, can't build a house on shifting sands. Rather you get an after market frame or repair, upgrade, fix and paint you will never be happy unless you have a sound "foundation".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 09-26-2019, 03:35 PM
curtis73's Avatar
Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
 
Last wiki edit: How to find cheap parts
Last journal entry: Found an LQ9 today
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Carlisle, PA
Age: 46
Posts: 5,502
Wiki Edits: 16

Thanks: 32
Thanked 59 Times in 48 Posts
Techinspector, thanks for that resource.

39 master, I agree. I can engineer a decent suspension geometry and I'm an above average welder. I'm just curious if I can get any significant additional stiffness from modifying a stock frame versus the weight savings and rigidity of an aftermarket frame.

I have already spoken with Schwartz and they are very eager to help out with parts choices if I decide to buy just a bare frame and put my own components on, but even just the bare frame is $8000-10,000. I'm hoping for a middle of the road solution. I don't need the 1G that Schwartz frame can offer, nor do I want a $10k price tag. I'm hoping for a $5k price tag and a good, solid improvement over the wet noodle I have now.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 09-26-2019, 03:54 PM
curtis73's Avatar
Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
 
Last wiki edit: How to find cheap parts
Last journal entry: Found an LQ9 today
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Carlisle, PA
Age: 46
Posts: 5,502
Wiki Edits: 16

Thanks: 32
Thanked 59 Times in 48 Posts
Just got off the phone with AutoWeld. Fantastic resource, but he said that since they've never done that A-body, I would have to absorb some of the cost of making the jig and he quoted $15-18k since it would be a complete custom job start to finish. We both agreed that they were more toward the Pro Street, Mustang2 end of the spectrum and I'm more on the Pro Touring, C4 end of the spectrum.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 09-26-2019, 05:36 PM
techinspector1's Avatar
Member
 
Last wiki edit: DynoSim combinations
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Zephyrhills, Florida, USA
Age: 77
Posts: 16,916
Wiki Edits: 326

Thanks: 1,890
Thanked 2,804 Times in 2,099 Posts
Well then, I would just build a jig and make the damned thing myself. It's just tubing, welding wire/gas and labor. And you have a pattern to start your jig with........
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to techinspector1 For This Useful Post:
64nailhead (09-26-2019)
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 09-27-2019, 09:12 AM
curtis73's Avatar
Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
 
Last wiki edit: How to find cheap parts
Last journal entry: Found an LQ9 today
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Carlisle, PA
Age: 46
Posts: 5,502
Wiki Edits: 16

Thanks: 32
Thanked 59 Times in 48 Posts
Welll… I have the welder and I can build a jig with some wood, but I can't duplicate mandrel bends and the R&D that goes into an aftermarket frame. I also have a one-car garage full of motorcycle and tractor. Suffice it to say, it's worth $5k or so to upgrade instead of starting from scratch.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 09-27-2019, 10:40 AM
idrivejunk's Avatar
Grand Prix User
 

Last journal entry: Last look
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,893
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 4,303
Thanked 5,057 Times in 2,989 Posts
I passed the thread title over because I do body work at a shop that puts various aftermarket frames under various bodies. Finally read it though, and I think I may have something to add without anyone yelling advertising.

First off, be it known that few whiz-bang new frames "bolt up". Bodywork required. That being said, the fact that you have a 67 LeMans convertible made me think...

A job came through a few years back which is pretty much your exact scenario. Last time I knew, and I don't know the current owners, they were calling it the Sugar Shack GTO (a 65 convertible) and it was every bit of a quarter million dollar build if not more, but we were the shop who finished it, and it came to us with a frame which might interest you already under it. I have plenty of pics, but the idea seed may be all you need.

They took what I would call the stock torque box corners... basically just the curved kickup areas, and built onto those. Seems like an easy way to go about what you're after. You can fix and reinforce the reused sections to the moon if you like but they keep the stock dimensions in place and you are free to graft on what you wish.

Of course, this puts your car down the whole time. Unless you can find a suitable donor frame. Since you have read through the whole disclaimer part now ha ha, I will see about digging up some images. I think there was quite a bit of overkill on it but am no chassis designer. Stand by for a couple inspo pix.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to idrivejunk For This Useful Post:
techinspector1 (09-27-2019)
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 09-27-2019, 11:25 AM
idrivejunk's Avatar
Grand Prix User
 

Last journal entry: Last look
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,893
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 4,303
Thanked 5,057 Times in 2,989 Posts














Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 09-27-2019, 01:04 PM
CaptMike's Avatar
Capt Mike
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: 25+ miies from Oregon City Oregon
Posts: 114
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 53 Times in 42 Posts
If your frame is reparable, I can tell you from experience it will probably be less expensive and less labor to repair it and bracing. But, it'd really nice to work with an all new frame and set up everything without any mods to a frame.

AME (Art Morrison Enterprises in Fife WA) will Fab a perimeter frame or frame rails. They have quite a large selection.

I sent a CAD drawing to Brock @ Art Morrison Enterprises in Fife WA and they bent my Frame Rails for my '37 Chevy Coupe build to our Spec, was less than $1K with extra tubing sections. I chose C4 Corvette IFS and got my front cross member from Don @ Flat Out Engineering in Orange CA. The rear suspension uses the C4 Spindles and Dutchman's 9 inch IRS Center Section.

I have some experience with the Corvette C4 IFS & IRS, and I had a bunch of the components on hand. AME also bent my Roll Cage pieces. All where just about as perfect as can be had. Making the Frame Extension for the Body mounts was relatively simple.

As shown in the photos the frame rails are a work of art. We TIG welded on a frame table loaned to me by a friend.

IF your a DIY Guy and can at least tack weld, TIG Pro's can be found that will weld on location.

Michael..
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	37 frame 5.JPG
Views:	28
Size:	108.4 KB
ID:	447833   Click image for larger version

Name:	37 frame 1.JPG
Views:	29
Size:	107.9 KB
ID:	447835   Click image for larger version

Name:	37 frame sus 13.JPG
Views:	29
Size:	90.3 KB
ID:	447837   Click image for larger version

Name:	IRS 2.JPG
Views:	29
Size:	102.4 KB
ID:	447839  
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to CaptMike For This Useful Post:
techinspector1 (09-27-2019)
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 09-27-2019, 06:24 PM
39 master's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Alamogordo, NM
Posts: 1,231
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 278 Times in 237 Posts
Chassis

FWIW department I build my own frame for the '39. No blueprints were available so I plumpbobbed the outline to the ground and made a set of drawings. Got two sticks of 2" X 4" 11 gauge and went at it. Turns out the frame was very easy to build and would recommend it to anyone who can fab. The finished product will not be as nice as a mandrel bent $10K frame but for under $500 and tucked up under the car it works just fine.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	backhalf 2.jpg
Views:	16
Size:	65.3 KB
ID:	447841   Click image for larger version

Name:	frame Apr 21 002.jpg
Views:	31
Size:	74.3 KB
ID:	447843  
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to 39 master For This Useful Post:
techinspector1 (09-27-2019)
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 09-30-2019, 03:54 PM
curtis73's Avatar
Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
 
Last wiki edit: How to find cheap parts
Last journal entry: Found an LQ9 today
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Carlisle, PA
Age: 46
Posts: 5,502
Wiki Edits: 16

Thanks: 32
Thanked 59 Times in 48 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptMike View Post
If your frame is reparable, I can tell you from experience it will probably be less expensive and less labor to repair it and bracing. But, it'd really nice to work with an all new frame and set up everything without any mods to a frame.

AME (Art Morrison Enterprises in Fife WA) will Fab a perimeter frame or frame rails. They have quite a large selection.

I sent a CAD drawing to Brock @ Art Morrison Enterprises in Fife WA and they bent my Frame Rails for my '37 Chevy Coupe build to our Spec, was less than $1K with extra tubing sections. I chose C4 Corvette IFS and got my front cross member from Don @ Flat Out Engineering in Orange CA. The rear suspension uses the C4 Spindles and Dutchman's 9 inch IRS Center Section.

I have some experience with the Corvette C4 IFS & IRS, and I had a bunch of the components on hand. AME also bent my Roll Cage pieces. All where just about as perfect as can be had. Making the Frame Extension for the Body mounts was relatively simple.

As shown in the photos the frame rails are a work of art. We TIG welded on a frame table loaned to me by a friend.

IF your a DIY Guy and can at least tack weld, TIG Pro's can be found that will weld on location.

Michael..
I have given considerable thought to what you suggest. I was thinking of basically bucking a stock frame on the floor, welding in some center ladder parts, then cutting out the heavy parts on the perimeter and welding in some 2x4 tube. I have no idea if that would be any good (not a real engineer but I play one on TV).

The real draw to something like a Schwartz frame is that it (at least claims) 100+ lbs lighter, 200% stiffer, and requires zero body mods. (unless you want to tub it to fit 345mm.) I guess it's a question of whether or not I'd rather open the wallet and capitalize on someone else's engineering, or if I want to take a $500 chance on trying it myself.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent General Rodding Tech posts with photos

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.