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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have a 1955 gmc pickup truck with the bigger wheelbase of 123.25" that is bigger than the normal wheelbase of most other trucksthat are 114" so my ? is does anyone know what cars that i can use to clip my truck that wont look to weird and will not require major mod. to make work me and my friend tried a 77 chevy 1/2 ton truck frame wise it lined up perfect under the cab but it now requiers major mods to make the engine fit and susp. to work i now have another frame so does any one know what clip i can use
 

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When you start doing clip's..Their's no such thing as not being a major job doing a clip...But on your truck a Nova is your best bet.No matter which clip you use.They almost all have the same amount of work..Some a little more then other's....I have a 58 Chevy truck in my album,That I did with a Nova clip.. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yes i know it takes alot of work but the truck clip sets the engine way to high we would have to cut the center support the holds the motor mounts down alot which also holds the lower control arms and the camaro clips and nova clips are good for the 114"wheelbase to small for the bigger wheelbase
 

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The reason I said what I said,Is because when you cut the front part of the old frame off and install the clip you still have to set the same wheel base no matter what clip you use.You have to install the clip in the right location..And also zee the frame if you want it to sit lower... :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
first thanks for the advise so what you are saying the frame should line up the same but the wheels in the wheelwell wont they sit in to far or really i guess i should get of my *** and try to find one and measure it wheel to wheel
 

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autobuff said:
first thanks for the advise so what you are saying the frame should line up the same but the wheels in the wheelwell wont they sit in to far or really i guess i should get of my *** and try to find one and measure it wheel to wheel

You don't have to worry about them sitting to far in..Did you check out the 58 in my album?Here's a shot of it.This is without the motor.. :)

The wheel he has on the truck in the picture is way to short for this truck,I told him to get one a little taller.
 

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autobuff said:
first thanks for the advise so what you are saying the frame should line up the same but the wheels in the wheelwell wont they sit in to far or really i guess i should get of my *** and try to find one and measure it wheel to wheel
The wheelbase difference is BEHIND the cab of the truck. The clip should only run from about the firewall forward. The total wheelbase of the truck doesn't matter. Now, if the long wheelbase truck is a one ton and you are concerned about the load carrying capacity of the Nova (or other) clip since you plan to actually use your truck to haul stuff, that is a very different question.
 

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NEW INTERIORS said:
68 to 74 will be good.. :thumbup:
You can use either the 68-74 or the 75-79 clips. Just be aware of the differences. The early clips are very similar to the 67-69 Camaros, but most came with drum brakes. They are also rear steer, which can sometimes complicate exhaust routing. The newer clips are very similar to the 70-81 Camaro clips and are all disk brake and front steer.
 

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Not to sound like a jerk or anything, but if you're going through all this trouble, why install a 30+ year old suspension system? Have you considered a tubular a-arm independent kit instead? By the time you replace all the worn bushings, brakes, bearings, steering box rebuild, steering component replacements, etc., you might be $ ahead in the long run by going with a Mustang II crossmember (Fatman, TCI, Heidts, etc) and a-arm kit, and a modern rack-and-pinion steering system. It's easier to install than a clip, and, they are engineered to work with your specific vehicle. Clips are not. Just food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i have thought abot that the first frame we did with the77 clip the front part of the orignal frame was bent including the front axle so i have to check this second frame to make soure it straight thanks for reminding about that
 

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AntnyL said:
Not to sound like a jerk or anything, but if you're going through all this trouble, why install a 30+ year old suspension system? Have you considered a tubular a-arm independent kit instead? By the time you replace all the worn bushings, brakes, bearings, steering box rebuild, steering component replacements, etc., you might be $ ahead in the long run by going with a Mustang II crossmember (Fatman, TCI, Heidts, etc) and a-arm kit, and a modern rack-and-pinion steering system. It's easier to install than a clip, and, they are engineered to work with your specific vehicle. Clips are not. Just food for thought.


The Mustang II was built from 74-78, by my math that's about 30-35 years ago (same as camaro/nova clips) New wear parts on both systems is a given, but r&p steering was developed for use on small light cars as a weight and cost saving measure. M II is great on a small, lightweight rod ( Mustang II's were under 3000 lbs) but for a truck that carries about a ton on just the front wheels I'll stick with something beefier, thanks. Clips, especially the late 70's Camaro/Firebird/Nova are designed for bigger, heavier cars and include a large piece of that strong, fully boxed, -designed by real engineers and computers- frame. As for engineering, kits are "engineered" to fit as many different frames as they can so they can sell more, period. How many "kits" come with a swaybar standard? Wanna have some fun, unhook the swaybar on the front of your daily driver, then drive in a "spirited fashion" down your favourite piece of twisty road and see how it "handles" !! And lastly, easy to install. Lets see, drill out or grind rivets holding stock crossmember and original trans bellhousing mounts( for mid 50's chev p.u.) and remove crossmember and mounts, trim frame rails for boxing plates, grind to fit boxing plates or make your own (oh what fun without a plasma cutter), grind to fit and weld in crossmember after determining proper rake angle of frame ( better do this on a frame jig if you don't want to weld a permanent twist into your frame), determine proper anti-dive angle of upper hats, grind to fit and weld those on, weld on strut rod eliminators and gussets so you can use full lower tubular control arms (gotta look cool, might as well get the stainless ones-Oops $$$$ penalty). Now, let's see is the easier part over yet? Don't forget we'll have fab (grind to fit) and weld in some motor mounts, possibly notch the frame for rack clearance ( you do want it low don't you? ) Now you can trial fit the suspension pieces ( don't put the springs in yet, you'll do that in a later mock-up) and the rack and see if the geometry is even close (you'd be surprised) . Check for bump steer, fix as necessary ( you do know how to correct that don't you, you don't want your ride to weave like a drunken sailor) Whew, I'm getting tired just typing this !! And that's not the end of it....does the "kit" compensate for moving the wheels forward as you lower the vehicle so it looks "right" (seen that boo-boo lots) and if so how much? With everything welded in place "as it fits" can your local shop get it aligned correctly or are you going to try to get it aligned with everything tacked in place during one of the many mock-ups you'll need to do, where's the ride height going to end up? Do you need drop spindles or not, how do you figure it out, what springs do you need( your truck is heavier on the nose than a M II, imagine 2 or 3 people sitting on the hood of the mustang, how's it going to sit,ride, handle?)and so on, and so on....
Or you can take a bunch of careful measurements from a suitable complete donor car (height and width of frame from ground at various locations while sitting at ride height, spindle centerline in reference to fixed location on frame) and some more careful measurements from the recipient vehicle sitting at it's planned ride height ( height and width of frame, location of rad support mounts in 3 planes in relation to the ground and a fixed point on the frame rearward of the graft, spindle centerline). Then cut both frames, grind to fit, and weld in place (the last two you will remember from the "kit") Modify the front of frame to allow mounting of the front sheetmetal, assemble new and refurb'ed suspension pieces and you're done, THE ENGINEERING'S ALREADY DONE ! You KNOW it will steer right because it's not "based on" a factory engineered steering system, IT IS ONE !!

I think at least in part the widespread use of the M II kits on bigger hot rods is due to the huge amount of ads and coverage these thing get in car rags, which is kinda self-perpetuating, you see. Also the myth that they are simple, safe and easy to install is a strong lure for lots of people. Now when was the last time you saw someone advertising clip installs in a mag, I did see one guy on Epay but that's about it.

At least, that's my not so humble opinion, of course anyone is free to do as they choose.For what it's worth, the truck in my avatar has an 85 Pontiac Grand Prix clip, done by me, and it rode,stopped and handled great. I've had experience with both, can you guess which one I'll be using on my next project ? I'll give you a hint, they used basically the same suspension from 1964 to 1988 because it worked great ! -and no it's not a Ford :)

Autobuff, if your truck is a 3/4 ton longbox, a late 70's camaro clip, PROPERLY DONE, will work great and cost less than a Mustang II kit if you can get the clip and the welding done for a reasonable deal. My 4 cents worth (gawd I ramble on sometimes...:) )
 

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LoL. Nice volley! :)

i think there is a misconception that the "Mustang II kits" are parts from, or built exactly like, a Mustang suspension. Truth is, they are not. The concept and the geometry of the Mustang II is what is used to fabrictate these kits, which are mighty beefy. Did a Mustang come with tubular control arms? Nope. 11" brakes? Nope. Want a sway bar? No problem, the kits do indeed come with a sway bar if you ask for it. The kits also come with pre-cut boxing plates, designed to fit the vehicle you'e working on, and the kit comes with the proper springs too for the vehicle. No fabbing required, no plasma cutter required, no fabrication required to allow the front sheetmetal to bolt up (that sounds like LOADS of fun!). Rack and pinion steering came on T'Birds too, much heavier cars. That's what comes in these kits ('88 T'bird units). And the kits come with new components, not 30-year old pieces with unknown history, potential damage (if it's coming out of a junkyard, why is there?). LoL. Unlike clips, that have 30+ years of wear and tear on them, that need to be (or should be) rebuilt, need to be inspected for damage, repaired as necessary, etc. 1/2-ton pckups aren't much heavier than Mustangs anyway. Getting the wheels cntered in the wheelwells is easy. Measure twice, weld once, that's all. :)

But to each his own, I was simply trying to offer another solution that may prove to be more cost effective, easier to install, and come with new components that were designed to work on the vehicle you're building. Sorry for being a jerk. :welcome:
 

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You're not being a jerk at all. I know that many, many people have used these kits and are very happy with them. I just don't agree that they are inherently better, easier to install, or more cost efficient.

As far as the MII kits being beefy, sorry but I think the Camaro has the advantage there. Of course, the strength of both types will ultimately depend on the skill of the welder/installer.
Tubular a-arms, 11" brakes, swaybar all extra on the kit ($$$) and must be done to approximate being just equal to the clip.
T-bird rack, yes it's a heavier car but isn't the rack the same as the MII except for an increase in width? Granted the r&p can have a nice feel to it but add power steering and the feel goes away.
As for using junkyard parts, the clip in my truck was from a low-mileage running car with a shot tranny. The clip on my new truck came from a 4 door car that was driven until recently, and then it became a parts car for a friend's resto project. Neither car had ever been in an accident and all the wear parts were/will be replaced just like on a new kit. The cost for the clip in both cases was simply asking for them and bringing them home, in other words, free. In fact, I have never had to use a clip from the wrecking yard as these cars are still available cheap all the time.
Yes there was some work involved to pull the clips and I did have to get a bit dirty. And the parts weren't all shiny and clean at first, I had to do that. But I feel the end result is worth it and I'm WAAAY ahead on cost.

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind, just stating my opinion based on my experiences. Your opinion is welcome too. :)
 

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bobinbc said:
You're not being a jerk at all. I know that many, many people have used these kits and are very happy with them. I just don't agree that they are inherently better, easier to install, or more cost efficient.

As far as the MII kits being beefy, sorry but I think the Camaro has the advantage there. Of course, the strength of both types will ultimately depend on the skill of the welder/installer.
Tubular a-arms, 11" brakes, swaybar all extra on the kit ($$$) and must be done to approximate being just equal to the clip.
T-bird rack, yes it's a heavier car but isn't the rack the same as the MII except for an increase in width? Granted the r&p can have a nice feel to it but add power steering and the feel goes away.
As for using junkyard parts, the clip in my truck was from a low-mileage running car with a shot tranny. The clip on my new truck came from a 4 door car that was driven until recently, and then it became a parts car for a friend's resto project. Neither car had ever been in an accident and all the wear parts were/will be replaced just like on a new kit. The cost for the clip in both cases was simply asking for them and bringing them home, in other words, free. In fact, I have never had to use a clip from the wrecking yard as these cars are still available cheap all the time.
Yes there was some work involved to pull the clips and I did have to get a bit dirty. And the parts weren't all shiny and clean at first, I had to do that. But I feel the end result is worth it and I'm WAAAY ahead on cost.

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind, just stating my opinion based on my experiences. Your opinion is welcome too. :)
Well if the clip come free (or close to it), then that's a no-brainer. I'd jump at that option too. I was comparing the purchase of a donor clip to that of an MII kit. The original post requested a solution that "wasn't major work". Having done both, I think the kit was much easier. Installing the clip itself was simple enough, but messing with the rad mounts, sheetmetal and bumper mounts was a nightmare. Then again, I was young and stupid. Now, I'm older and stupider, I guess. LoL. :)
 
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