Convertible subframe connectors - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 18, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Terry
 
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Convertible subframe connectors

Hey guys, 1967 convertible, looking for bolt in subframe connectors for my vert, what are you guys using?

Thanks,
Terry
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 18, 02:56 PM
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

You have a factory X-brace sub frame connector under your car now (to keep it from snapping in two when you open the door).

https://www.scpcamaro.com/1967-69-Ca...ce-p/cxb67.htm

You can reinforce what you have by welding in rectangular tubing with mounting plates to make it stronger and take the place of a bolt in aftermarket frame connector.

If you have your heart set on a bolt in kit to replace factory parts and add a set of frame connectors I would look at this Hotchkiss kit:

https://www.rickscamaros.com/camaro-...1967-1969.html

BMR makes a similar kit,

I would also strongly consider at least a four point roll bar with any convertible. Be a real head ache if you ever flipped it without one.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 18, 06:19 AM
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

dont forget CONVERTIBLE DOOR ALIGNMENT WEDGES
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 18, 06:36 AM
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

Only reason to use the Hotchkis x brace is for exhaust clearance. It is weaker than the factory piece imho. The gussets are small and likely not effective.

The Hotchkis convertible subframe connectors appear to be the best of the worst. They are quite narrow in cross section in several places which weakens them. If you want effective subframe connectors weld in a set of DSE subframe connectors. Yes you have to cut and weld but they actually work....

Don

1969 Camaro LSA 6L90E AME subframe and IRS
1969 Camaro vert LS3 4L65E Ridetech level 2 - sold
1959 El Camino project
1969 Mustang Sportsroof project
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 18, 10:33 AM
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

Terry,
I looked for bolt-in subframe connectors for my vert but could not find anything that would work well.

All that extra floor bracing is a real issue. If you were to run anything substantial below it then you would end up with road clearance issues.

I ended up installing the DSE subframe connectors and doing a lot of cutting and welding.

The pic is not from my project but mine turned out the same.

John
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 18, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Terry
 
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

Thanks for the responses guys I guess Iíll leave it for now. Don I agree with you on the Hotchkis X brace, thatís what I have now and think itís part of the problem. Iíll wait till spring and decide how I want to proceed.

Thanks,
Terry
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 18, 02:53 PM
DT
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

I have both the hotchkis sfc and x brace for my vert. They seem like quality pieces to me. Just my .02
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 18, 03:29 PM
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

Quote:
Originally Posted by DT View Post
I have both the hotchkis sfc and x brace for my vert. They seem like quality pieces to me. Just my .02
I donít think it is a quality of construction issue. The parts are well made. It is a design issue. The x brace in particular is no where near as stiff as the factory brace. Both parts made design compromises for ease of installation and to keep the cost low imho.

And yes, I have used the x brace. I have also used Hotchkis subframe connectors.

If you want to test the effectiveness raise the car on a two post lift and watch the door gaps. It is quite enlightening...

Don
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1969 Camaro LSA 6L90E AME subframe and IRS
1969 Camaro vert LS3 4L65E Ridetech level 2 - sold
1959 El Camino project
1969 Mustang Sportsroof project
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 18, 03:42 PM
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Don
 
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

Here is a part that does add quite a lot of stiffness but would take some effort in a vert.

No Limit Engineering's Store

Don

1969 Camaro LSA 6L90E AME subframe and IRS
1969 Camaro vert LS3 4L65E Ridetech level 2 - sold
1959 El Camino project
1969 Mustang Sportsroof project
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1956 Cameo project - C5 drivetrain
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Last edited by dhutton; Sep 24th, 18 at 03:59 PM.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 18, 04:26 PM
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

There is a lot of good and bad info out there about all the various mods we are all making. The convertible cross brace helps stop the tunnel from acting like a hinge when the suspension at each wheel is working to control the cars ride. It's part of the arsenal of factory fixes for the missing roof structure. The Hotchkis cross brace is designed to allow for exhaust clearance more than anything else.

Subframe connectors tie the front and back of the car's substructure together kind of like a full frame vehicle but the ones I have seen and have experience with don't add any cross members to the overall structure. My Colorado truck has the same frame as the Hummer H3 but the H3 has I believe 2 more cross members and is a little shorter in total length. The H3 is far more capable off road for just this difference.

The convertible already has a reinforced rocker panel compared to the coupe, more of the factory fixes for the lack of roof structure. Anything you can do to add rigidity to the frame structure will help some but the fact that they run front to back only is limiting their benefit.

Subframe connectors (weld in or bolt in) provide some stiffness over not having them at all. I don't think welding subframe connectors to the front subframe is a good idea unless you have your own welder and the skills to undo the welds if you ever need to work on the sub frame. On the other hand the rear of the connectors can be welded to the frame rails (Hotchkis instructions suggest this) without issue of interfering with any other components on the car...

From experience I have a convertible, with Hotchkis subframe connectors and their cross brace. Trying to run 275 tires out back without rubbing when the body would flex going in an out of driveways at an angle is not possible. With 255's it is great unless I have back seat passengers. Then I discovered the Hotchkis frame brace they sell with the rear sway bar! What a great piece, with or without the sway bar. It's a bolt in frame cross member! What a difference, it has greatly reduced the side to side flexing the car experiences going in and out of driveways at an angle to avoid scrapping the belly in a lowered car. I am ready to put the 275's back on the car, (like fit on a coupe) I don't think they will rub now.

...Dennis

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 18, 05:11 PM
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Don
 
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

Quote:
Originally Posted by DjD View Post
There is a lot of good and bad info out there about all the various mods we are all making. The convertible cross brace helps stop the tunnel from acting like a hinge when the suspension at each wheel is working to control the cars ride. It's part of the arsenal of factory fixes for the missing roof structure. The Hotchkis cross brace is designed to allow for exhaust clearance more than anything else.

Subframe connectors tie the front and back of the car's substructure together kind of like a full frame vehicle but the ones I have seen and have experience with don't add any cross members to the overall structure. My Colorado truck has the same frame as the Hummer H3 but the H3 has I believe 2 more cross members and is a little shorter in total length. The H3 is far more capable off road for just this difference.

The convertible already has a reinforced rocker panel compared to the coupe, more of the factory fixes for the lack of roof structure. Anything you can do to add rigidity to the frame structure will help some but the fact that they run front to back only is limiting their benefit.

Subframe connectors (weld in or bolt in) provide some stiffness over not having them at all. I don't think welding subframe connectors to the front subframe is a good idea unless you have your own welder and the skills to undo the welds if you ever need to work on the sub frame. On the other hand the rear of the connectors can be welded to the frame rails (Hotchkis instructions suggest this) without issue of interfering with any other components on the car...

From experience I have a convertible, with Hotchkis subframe connectors and their cross brace. Trying to run 275 tires out back without rubbing when the body would flex going in an out of driveways at an angle is not possible. With 255's it is great unless I have back seat passengers. Then I discovered the Hotchkis frame brace they sell with the rear sway bar! What a great piece, with or without the sway bar. It's a bolt in frame cross member! What a difference, it has greatly reduced the side to side flexing the car experiences going in and out of driveways at an angle to avoid scrapping the belly in a lowered car. I am ready to put the 275's back on the car, (like fit on a coupe) I don't think they will rub now.
Interesting that you say the body is flexing torsionally when you go in and out of a driveway at an angle. I hadnít considered that and would have thought the rear suspension would be moving considerably more. Good that you saw improvement with the Hotchkis brace. Are you running the sway bar too? Did you add it at the same time? How much do you think it affected the issue?

I ran 275 tires on my wifeís vert with DSE subframe connectors and did not experience that issue. The car also had a stout transmission crossmember which I think added considerable strength. I had solid subframe bushings and a set of Hotchkis handlebars to address cowl shake. The car had a Ridetech four bar and the rear crossmber ties the two rear frame rails together and also bolted to the floor and trunk floor. Perhaps it was serving the same function as your Hotchkis rear brace. I did not have a rear sway bar.

I can tell you that with all the mods above I could jack one corner of the car and get no noticeable deflection in the others. It was very well tied together for a convertible.

Don

1969 Camaro LSA 6L90E AME subframe and IRS
1969 Camaro vert LS3 4L65E Ridetech level 2 - sold
1959 El Camino project
1969 Mustang Sportsroof project
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Last edited by dhutton; Sep 24th, 18 at 06:48 PM.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 18, 05:28 PM
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I also have the Hotchkis rear frame brace/sway bar. Nice nice piece.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 18, 07:47 PM
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Al
 
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhutton View Post

The Hotchkis convertible subframe connectors appear to be the best of the worst. They are quite narrow in cross section in several places which weakens them. If you want effective subframe connectors weld in a set of DSE subframe connectors. Yes you have to cut and weld but they actually work....

Don
The Hotchkis conv connectors have a cutout section so that they can fit under the factory floor H-brace. When I installed mine, that bothered me too, so I welded them at that point to the H-brace, although not called for in the instructions. Makes for a very strong/solid connector. My gripe with them is that on a lowered car I have scraped them a couple of times. Were I to do it over I'd definitely use the Detroit Speed braces.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 18, 08:11 PM
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

I'm with the others who installed the DSE connectors, best $200 I've spent! Also used the solid subframe bushings and Polygraphite bushings throughout. Add a large front sway bar and you will be amazed at the difference. I can jack the car without it wanting to fold like a taco and it drives and handles fantastic. Yes it takes some work to do the install but in the end the results are worth it.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 27th, 18, 05:53 AM
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Re: Convertible subframe connectors

DSE here also, I am curious to how DJD bolted the trunk to the frame rail?
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