Photo 1 shows how the stock Monte steering gear bolts right on. Note in the foreground of this photo, just in front of the steering gear, the radiator mount that I have been talking about. Welded to the frame in the exact same relationship to the rest of the truck, all the sheet metal bolted back up, no problem. Very clean installation. We even had room for the commercial 4-tube headers that came on the truck when my friend bought it. Red arrow shows where we cut the rivets off the Monte engine mounts. We then bolted the mounts to the engine and dropped the engine in the bay. Bolted it to the tranny and welded the motor mounts where they fell. Very poor boy but it worked like a champ!
One of the last things we did was slap in an EZ wiring harness (last photo).
When the seams are welded, add fish plates of 14ga metal to top and bottom of rails. As photo 1 shows, the fish plates are diamond shaped to wrap half way around the frame from top and bottom. The diamond shape insures there will be no vertical weld lines on the frame which could cause stress risers and eventual cracks. This way only long diagonal lines are created.
Photo 2 shows the finished and painted joint. Missing is the usual globby lap of mismatched frame sections common to other clips. In fact, once painted and with the fenders on, we had a hard time even seeing the joint from the engine compartment!
Fig 3 shows where the front frame rails need ot be cut to allow mounting of the bumper bracket in their stock locations. Now weld the radiator mounts removed from the old frame rails in the exact location they were on the old frame. Done carefully, the stock sheet metal will bolt right into place as though it was meant to go there.
Incidentally, the first photo show the donor car to look for. The second two photos show two views of the clip in place ready to weld. Be sure to measure, measure, measure, and measure again before striking an arc! As yo can see, the modified Monte frame rails slip snugly over the PU rails. Weld every joint you can find. We used 1/8" 6011 rod @ 90amps on a Lincoln buzz box.
Now come the scary part! We left the body, transmission, etc. in place and just stripped off all the front stuff and engine. Second photo shows where we cut off the frame rails, about an inch in front of the big hole in the frame rail. The rear spring mount that needs to come off. White arrow show where the frame needs to be boxed with 14 gauge plates of sheet metal. Box it clear back to the X-member, welded solid on top and bottom.
The second photo shows where we flame cut the Monte’s frame off. The chalk lines show where the Monte frame needs to be cut to fit the PU frame. Plenty of material to work with. We set the truck frame level with the floor jacks. Then welding the Monte clip in with the top part of it level gave the truck the perfect low ride height. Aligned top of Monte channel with the top of the PU frame. Third photo shows the way to split the clip rails to fit the PU. We cut it into 4 flaps – top, bottom and two sides. Monte frame section gets really wide as it turns down so we cut a wedge out of the top and bottom flaps to the width of the PU frame. The top flap is exactly the size and position of the PU rails. It and the bottom flap were bent up flat with the frame surface.
The first photo is a shot of the stock 57 frame. If your truck looks like this, then read on! We left the body, transmission, etc. in place and just stripped off all the front stuff and engine. Set the chassis on jack stands at the exact stance you want the truck to ride at. Three measurements are critical. First, using a carpenter's square, drop the center of the axle down to the cement and mark it with chalk. This will index the new front clip. Next, the height from the ground, width, distance form the cab and center line of the truck for the two radiator mounts (yellow arrow) is vital to measure precisely. All the front sheet metal is mounted on these two points. Finally, the height and extension from the cab for the front of the bumper mounts (red arrow) must be measured so they can be installed on the new clip frame rails.