Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 19, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

I have had these Sub Frame Connectors and I have tried twice to install them. The first time I could not get the leaf spring pocket bolts to come loose due to Nut clips broke so I gave up. Last week after I installed my new leaf springs along with all new pocket bolts/nuts I thought I would try again.

I jacked up the body enough that with the pocket bolts loose, the leaf spring was separating from the body, but I didn't separate too far because I was afraid that the leaf spring would move sideways or forward/backwards to the point that I might not get the bolts back into the nut clips. Also, these new front leaf spring pockets I bought have a tab that goes up into the body to help locate the pocket, but this tab prevents the connector from sliding back into place. This is why I cut a slot into one connector thinking that would get the connector into position, but it still would not go. I'm thinking it was because I don't think I had enough separation.

I think I understand that in order to get these to mount, I will need to also loosen the rear bolt in the sub frame and raise that part of the body to separate them enough so that I can place the connector into both areas at the same time. I just want to feel safe that I won't loose positioning of the current features when I take one side loose enough to really get an opening to be able to place this connector into position.

Thanks,

Brett......




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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 19, 06:36 PM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

My memory may be lame from the eighties. Yes you have to loosen the rear sub frame mount to place the front of the connector between the lower bushing and the frame. Also if I recall you need to completely need to drop the spring hanger. The connector sandwiches between the body and the hanger. Looks like the old Lakewood style connectors but maybe not as beefy. Not a real safe job unless you really know what is up and what can fall on your head.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 19, 06:50 PM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

You know thinking further if you have original rubber bushings in the frame you are not gaining the much putting the connectors in. You really need to put in solid bushings whether aluminum or poly on at least the four main sub frame mounts. Otherwise I think you are doing a lot of work for not that much gain.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 19, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

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Originally Posted by scblucam View Post
You know thinking further if you have original rubber bushings in the frame you are not gaining the much putting the connectors in. You really need to put in solid bushings whether aluminum or poly on at least the four main sub frame mounts. Otherwise I think you are doing a lot of work for not that much gain.
Ahh, but I do have aluminum bushings in already in place of the rubber bushings.

Brett.....

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 19, 09:55 PM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

OP

Did this a few months ago with Summit Sub-Frame Connectors. I held the rear of the car up on jackstands on rear sub frame and had 2 floor jacks. One to raise/lower the axle housing and another small one to push under leaf spring. I disconnected the lower shock bolt and removed the bottom spring perch. Then unbolt the 3 front leaf to rear frame bolts. The leaf will now just hang down

You loosen the front rear sub-frame bolt about 1/2". Slide the front "fork" end into the front sub-frame bolt and put the rear end up against the rear sub frame and then bring the front leaf plate back under the sub frame connector. I used a zip tie to hold up the back of sub-frame connector as you need two hands dealing with lining leaf spring back up and dealing with adjusting floor jacks. Yes getting the 3 holes to line up can be tedious and the clip nuts can move out of line

I found using the small floor jack to help push the spring up/forward help line up the holes for the 3 frame bolts. The larger floor jack brings the axle housing back up

I was fortunate and re-used the stock nut clips. They have a actual "nut" welded to the clip vs the stamped aftermarket ones.

Your install instructions will likely advise drilling through end of front sub frame unto SF connector and bolt it or weld them. I bolted mine.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 19, 06:27 AM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

If your nuts break, remove back seat bottom and drill a 1 inch hole above the bolts and replace with Gr 8 and a locknut.
You'll appreciate later in life. Leave the rubber bushings on the radiator support so radiator does not spring a leak from vibration.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 19, 06:46 AM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

what I found re-using the stock clip nuts was when trying to get the bolts started again they would push up the nut making it tilted so threads would not start and actually bending the clip up some. I would pull the clip nuts and use pliers to squeeze them back down so they then fit tight. PIA but was how I got mine to line up again. YMMV
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 12th, 19, 02:51 PM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

Did you ever get those connectors in Brett. It's not a bad job to do. I just installed the heidts in mine. they look similar to install.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 12th, 19, 03:09 PM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

When I did my Hotchkis sub frame connectors they came with the rear body mounts to use. I had solid bushings already from Global West, so I called Global and got one that was made to use with sub frame connectors. They're probably a little thinner, I don't recall.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 19, 08:08 AM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

I was curious about these connectors because they look to be straight, not bent a little to clear the rear floor pan. Hard to be sure from the angle of the pic but that what it seems like. Do they have the bend in them? It seems like you'd have beat the floor pan in to get it in. The heidts I just installed were bent and fit with no floor pan interference. Just wondering if that was part of the issue also.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 19, 08:58 AM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

FWIW my sub frame connectors (Summit) are straight. They do come up against the floor pan but did fit without any issues. The basically look like OP's pics
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 19, 09:38 AM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo camaro View Post
I was curious about these connectors because they look to be straight, not bent a little to clear the rear floor pan. Hard to be sure from the angle of the pic but that what it seems like. Do they have the bend in them? It seems like you'd have beat the floor pan in to get it in. The heidts I just installed were bent and fit with no floor pan interference. Just wondering if that was part of the issue also.
They are straight and hang low as a result.

I seriously wonder how much real improvement is gained with this style of subframe connector.

Don

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 19, 10:53 AM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

I've had this style of connectors on a few different cars...Comp Engineering i think was the brand. the difference is night and day. maybe the hotchkis and others are even better but just bolting in the style connectors in the OP will make a slop box camaro / Nova feel like a full frame car....or close to it.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 19, 12:14 PM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

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They are straight and hang low as a result.

I seriously wonder how much real improvement is gained with this style of subframe connector.

Don
yes the OP's are straight as are mine. Hotchkis makes theirs with a bend in them...IDK but it would appear that type would even hang lower where that bend is with the Hotchkis. Their rear connection looks different than the kind I have. Mine bolted directly above (against rear sub-frame) the rear lower shock mount/leaf spring plate. I replaced the stock rear frame bolts with Grade 8 1/4" longer bolts

Either type will certainly eliminate body flex common to unibody cars, especially ones with more HP than stock.

My car has a 2" drop and I have not experienced any clearance issues (hitting anything like speed bumps) with my SFC's. YMMV
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 19, 12:33 PM
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Re: Looking For Guidance Installing Sub Frame Connectors

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Originally Posted by SoCal805 View Post
yes the OP's are straight as are mine. Hotchkis makes theirs with a bend in them...IDK but it would appear that type would even hang lower where that bend is with the Hotchkis. Their rear connection looks different than the kind I have. Mine bolted directly above (against rear sub-frame) the rear lower shock mount/leaf spring plate. I replaced the stock rear frame bolts with Grade 8 1/4" longer bolts

Either type will certainly eliminate body flex common to unibody cars, especially ones with more HP than stock.

My car has a 2" drop and I have not experienced any clearance issues (hitting anything like speed bumps) with my SFC's. YMMV
The Hotchkis connectors actually tuck up and follow the floor about as much as is possible without cutting the floor, the only way you could get them up more would be cutting the floor like you do with the DSE style connectors, which is would I would use if I had a do over.

You can see the left frame rail in the attached picture,the Hotchkis connectors don't show because they're tucked up more than the frame is.


I would think any connector would be an improvement though.
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