FRONT FRAME SWAP????? - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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HEY ALL. I JUST TOOK APART THE FRONT END OF MY 68. THE TIPS ON THE FRONT FRAME IS ABOUT 1 1/2 INCHES CROOKED FROM A CRASH APPRERANTLY. THE PART THAT BOLTS THE BUMPER BRACKET. BECAUSE OF THIS THE REST OF THE FRONT DOESN'T LINE UP VERY WELL. IS THERE A FRONT FRAME SWAP WITH THE NOVAS OR ANY OTHER CARS? WHAT YEAR? AND THE PRICE RANGE?.....THE OTHER SOLUTION IS TO FIX IT. EITHER HAMMER IT STRAIGHT OR CUTTING IT AND WELDING IT STRAIGHT. HAS ANYONE EVER DONE THIS AND IS IT STILL SOLID AFTER FIXED....ANY HELP IS GREAT AND THANKS AHEAD OF TIME..CABRERA
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 12:17 PM
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I'm not really 100% sure here, but have you checked out local frame shops in your area? They may be able to help you get your's straighted. Just an idea, can hurt to ask.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 02:56 PM
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68-74 novas are the same, and you can probably get one pretty cheap. 67-69 camaros and firebirds are the same too, but they will probably be more expensive because they are from an fbody.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 03:16 PM
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Pick up a copy of the Dec. issue of the new mag. "Chevy Rumble" b/c it has an article in it that tells how to swap out subframes while leaving the engine in position.

The issue of Hot Rod (Nov., I think) that has the 454 w/ a small blower on also has an article in it about a guy that swapped a second gen subframe in his Nova, so might prove interesting to you if you want to do some frame mods for a front steer upgrade! pdq67



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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 03:59 PM
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Here is a link to front subframe dimensions for a firebird, they are the same as a Camaro. http://www.locl.net/homes/sapple/frmt/frmt6.html
I would fix the subframe if it's just the frame horn. A little heating and pulling should do it.
Make sure it isn't bent farther back.
David

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 04:40 PM
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I wouldnt try to repair the frame..I had a bent front frame "horn" I welded on a horn from another frame...yes, the fenders lined up after that but the egine wouldn't line up to the mounts correctly...I replaced the frame...If the horns are bent to the point where you can't line up the fenders..chances are theres other, not visible problems.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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hey all thanks for the responses, it's helped a lot. i'm going to get quotes on fixing it first....Cesar Cabrera
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 01, 11:26 AM
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pdq67

What did you mean by swapping a 2nd gen subframe in his nova?

Tony

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 01, 02:18 PM
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He has a '68/'74 type Nova that uses our subframe. He installed an LS1 and needed subframe cross-brace/oil-pan clearance so he modified a '71 up Camaro subframe to fit his Nova. He gained clearance due to the front steer plus, is now able to run stock 12" 1LE disc brakes and stuff like that.

It's alotta work but an EXCELLENT conversion that will update our cars rather poor front roll center plus the brake improvements and front steer.

There have been a lot of discussion on this topic if you are really interested so just do a search.

Some guy's can spend money for SOTA aftermarket subframes and some like myself want to use all "stock" GM stuff but of different years to do the same thing but relatively CHEAPER!!pdq67



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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 20th, 01, 06:47 AM
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pdq67,

I think you and I have talked about this before. Because that is what I thought about doing. But, nobody had done it or knew how to do it. Does the article talk about the mods to do the swap?

Have you learned anything?

Tony

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 01, 02:25 PM
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The article said that it was done "with major mod's" but I can't see all that much work if you have both subframes out, mounted level and next to each other so that you can measure everything correctly.

The mounts will need to be moved, the subframe needs to be notched at its rise at the middle mount so it will clear our first gen. and finally, the bumper end "horns" need to be narrowed so the bumper braces will fit. All per the article.

If I had a shop and welder, I would do it in a heart-beat!! A Sawzall or 4.5" angle grinder and wire-welder will do it. pdq67



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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 01, 02:09 AM
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I have a 68 RS/SS that the previous owner(s) have put a later model subframe under. It has the steering linkage in front of the crossmember. Problem is, the front wheels are at least an inch too far forward. I have no idea how the sheetmetal has been made to fit with an incorrect frame.... I know as soon as the shop is finished being built.

PDQ67, you mention that this would be a good improvement.... is there a way to use the later frame, but get the wheelbase correct?

Has anyone done this???

I have several Nova frames to correct the problem. Will the spindles (disc brakes) and power steering box work with the older frame?

Thanks
Robb
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