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Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Suspension - Brakes - Steering> 57' Suburban IFS swap
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-10-2008 05:57 AM
fattys50 Thanks for the advice Big Don. I have already attached the front ifs out of the 88 caprice to the 57'. After a lot of measuring and taking criss-cross readings of course. I think the project is going well for my first time doing an ifs swap. I have alot work to do to finish it off in the front. i just got done degutting my 88' subruban to send it on its last trip to the boneyard. I pulled the motor and tranny and other choice items for the 57' last week. The master plan is slowly coming together...
04-19-2008 11:43 AM
Big Don
57 frame

You are hitting on all eight here with this idea.....

I have done three cars this way and it is the best way. As far as width on this project build. The most important measurement is between the inside to inside of the front brake drums. Write that measurement down and don't lose it. Find a GM front frame that comes within plus or minus half inch. The exact measurement you require upon completion can be obtained by negative or positive dishing the wheels.

The best place to start is to take some butcher paper and hang about 4 feet up on a wall and take the measurements of the original frame and write them on the paper. Draw a base line for the original frame on the paper, insert all measurements onto this drawing. Make sure you record the wheelbase measurements exactly and get some good crossframe measurements also. Those will come in handy later on. When you have done that get another paper and hang it on the wall and project the height, etc. for your build on the new frame...... Important MEASURE 3 TIMES CUT ONCE!!!!!

I always retain the original center section of the car and use it over, because that allows you to set the body back on and have true mounting holes to line up to. Do not try and build the rear subframe until the front subframe is done. Then you can use the front section measurements to keep the wheelbase and cross rack straight.

Once you have the rear coilover section in place, then cut the original rear frame section until you can make it fit back to the rear of the new section. Then all the bumper, gas tank and body bolts simply drop back into place.... You will have a sub with an all new ride!!!!

Probably a late 70's or early Caprice sized chassis will fit it.
04-18-2008 07:47 PM
fattys50 slow going on the project but things are starting to pick up. looks like i have the steering figured out. my brother was in town and we went to the boneyard for fun and had a couple of good scores. i picked up a keyless tilt column out of an older chevy van and a sway bar in better condition than the one that came on the caprice. i was able to salvage the u-joints and will be able to make it work with the caprice steering, plus it's looking like there will be enough clearance for headers too. thanks NEW INTERIORS. i have to make a decision on what motor because i have a running 350+700r4 (cheap date) in my 88' sub that 's gonna get yanked and sent to the boneyard. OR get the machining work done on the big block. not sure if the saginaw will hold up to the bbc. i'm open for comments. if anyone has checked out the pics, please let me know if they are clear enough, i have been having trouble with my camera.
04-08-2008 09:30 PM
NEW INTERIORS You shouldn't have any trouble with the headers.The engines sit real low in them trucks. The 58 Chevy I did had a sbc in it,It looked like the motor was sitting on the ground.
04-08-2008 06:17 PM
checkin'er out

i added some weight to the tune of the original 283 Sunday to see how the stance would end up. i'm within an inch higher of where it was sitting with just some threaded rod. i had to remove two broken springs from the rear on each side to even things out. the newest pic i posted was without any weight. it's looking like i will have plenty of clearance for an hei distributor and BBC. but the motor will be sittin pretty low. i'm concerned with header clearance and any advice is welcome. i will definitely have some time in on welding and smoothin the two frames together but it'll get done.
04-06-2008 06:55 PM
fattys50 thanks for the vote of confidence but i'm getting it slowly but surely. as the weather gets better, i'll be hittin it harder.
04-02-2008 03:18 PM
Originally Posted by luvmyvw
I tried to find the pics with the centerline but I couldn't find them. email me with more detail and I will try to help. I have many friends at work that are great at combining my math expertise with their technical knowledge.
Fattys50 has high intllegence and an engineering backround. The centerline math is no problem and his streetrod knowledge gives him the edge to finish the alignment of the front end with perfection.
04-01-2008 04:35 AM
I am Partial

Watching you diligently work on your front end you are on the right track. You are getting closer to the end on the front. You are doing a fantastic job. We will be showing the new ride off in no time at the car shows with the kids. Luv ya Jill
03-25-2008 06:02 PM
fattys50 progress has been slow going but the frame and centerline has been established on the garage floor in prep for this weekend after i get out of work. i hope to get some good pics on the project journal.
03-21-2008 05:20 PM
Originally Posted by fattys50
new interiors, thanks for getting me back on track with the project.
No problem fattys50!!!! Anyway I can help you, I will,
03-21-2008 05:01 PM
Some help?

I tried to find the pics with the centerline but I couldn't find them. email me with more detail and I will try to help. I have many friends at work that are great at combining my math expertise with their technical knowledge.
03-21-2008 04:16 PM
fattys50 thank you for the boost in confidence luvmyvw, but it's far from remarkable. just doing what i enjoy. i have alot more work to do. new interiors, thanks for getting me back on track with the project. so far i have transferred the framerail outline to the garage floor with a plumb-bob and found a centerline of the suburban. i have to make some reference points on the garage floor and pick a couple of spots on the ifs to get it square to the frame. the pics in my journal show how the sub is going look with the new ride stance. i will be getting a lot more done tomorrow and post stuff in my journal and explain some more. any suggestions on where i should pick the points from off of the ifs? all comments welcomed.
03-20-2008 02:06 PM
luvmyvw I've seen your work fattys50 and it is remarkable! Can't wait to see this one at the shows.
03-02-2008 05:43 PM
fattys50 Cool i appreciate it new interiors. weather up here is starting to break a little and i will be wrenchin a bit more this week. after i get thru the front, the backend will getting the treatment. nothing will be safe once i get thru this
03-02-2008 03:32 PM
NEW INTERIORS When I did the 58 Chevy I tack a piece behind the cross member to hold the frame.Then remove the old cross member,It just get's in your way.I then put the back of the front clip level and then tack a piece of flat bar on the clip cross member to hold my level Then I cut the back of the clip where I need to.Then you have that flat bar to go by.Hope this helps you.If you need to pm me And I will give you my phone # you can call me And maybe I can help you out.
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