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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys, I'm chipping away at the car again, I have the engine together and have done some mocking up of the engine and trans in the frame with the new side mounts. The BBC should make a good 500 hp. Im not building a race car, just a fun evening/weekend cruiser for around town... maybe see a few trips down the track.

My question, should I beef up the stock frame? I have already added a trans cross member,and welded in the 4 link in the rear. Is that enough?

What have you guys done? I have thrown around the idea of fabbing up a center section like whats on the AME chassis. Just was wondering if it was overkill or if it would add incredible rigidity, and something I most definitely should do. I don't have much of a frame of reference.... I'm one of those guys who bought a non running car and then took it all apart years ago, so I don't really know what the stock frame can or should be able to handle.

The body is on the rotisserie so now is the right time if I'm going to make any further modifications.
What do you think?
This is a picture of my brother taking a break:rolleyes: I have sanded down the frame and those red components will soon be all black.

Gil

Thanks for your input
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Hans for posting the pics. That is a nice looking setup you have. I was thinking about doing something very similar.

Has anyone done this?.... is the ride noticeably different? Again, I'm not looking to build a corner carver, but just something reliable.

Thanks,

Gil
 

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The AME kit is about the best way out there to stiffen the frame, especially in torsion where the stock frame is weak. It does help with longitudinal stiffness some. It's not a trivial amount of work to install one of these...around 25-35 hours. The kit includes the long bent tubes, and the short curved ones in the center, plus some straight cut exhaust tubes. You have to also order the u-bend, and supply some more 2x4 tubing for the cross-piece. Or you can modify the installation some other way if you want. The material cost is almost $500. I've installed three of them so far...here's one:

 

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Hey Guys, I'm chipping away at the car again, I have the engine together and have done some mocking up of the engine and trans in the frame with the new side mounts. The BBC should make a good 500 hp. Im not building a race car, just a fun evening/weekend cruiser for around town... maybe see a few trips down the track.

My question, should I beef up the stock frame? I have already added a trans cross member,and welded in the 4 link in the rear. Is that enough?

What have you guys done? I have thrown around the idea of fabbing up a center section like whats on the AME chassis. Just was wondering if it was overkill or if it would add incredible rigidity, and something I most definitely should do. I don't have much of a frame of reference.... I'm one of those guys who bought a non running car and then took it all apart years ago, so I don't really know what the stock frame can or should be able to handle.

The body is on the rotisserie so now is the right time if I'm going to make any further modifications.
What do you think?
This is a picture of my brother taking a break:rolleyes: I have sanded down the frame and those red components will soon be all black.

Gil

Thanks for your input
I would consider the AME center brace also. I used their products on Geoff's 56 Chassis.

 

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If you are looking strictly for drag racing application help, I don't think the benefits of the AME frame are worth the trouble IMO.

What you do need to do is make the rear crossmember where the 4 link ties in very strong and stiff. And that means some sturdy diagonals forward if you don't do the AME X member. Check out the rear crossmember in NickP's photos. (It's probably AME also.)

On the other hand if you want some cornering ability too, then the AME X member would be a good addition.

Which brings up the other question. Are you going with a true "4-link" (drag racing suspension) or a "4-bar" (street suspension)?

A 4-link suspension uses metal on metal link ends, and the bars are not parallel when viewed from the side. The suspension will bind up when you corner and will be rougher and noisy due to the metal on metal link ends. It's really drag race only suspension, and it can be tuned to plant the tires into the track ("anti-squat").

A 4-bar suspension uses rubber or plastic bushings in the bar ends, and the bars are parallel when viewed from the side. The suspenion won't bind up when you corner, and it won't be as harsh and noisy. But you won't have the anti-squat (tire planting) characteristics of the 4 link.

AME and others sell both. It might serve you well to call AME and discuss your needs, or we can probe them further here.
 

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Check out the rear crossmember in NickP's photos. (It's probably AME also.)
Just to clarify; No, the only thing from AME is the center 2" hoop and the 4" ID tube for Exhaust. The rest is Fabbed in my shop.
 

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where did you get the AME kit and what model corvette subframe did you used, looks very nice, like to build one for my 55 belair. thanks Bill
 

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I built this center from scrap. It really stiffened up the car and I will do it every time I have a chassis removed from a body. I could not find anyone local to mandrel bend my 2x4 so I had to weld it.
 

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I built this center from scrap. It really stiffened up the car and I will do it every time I have a chassis removed from a body. I could not find anyone local to mandrel bend my 2x4 so I had to weld it.
Silly Question: ??

How do you get the driveshaft out for service?

Is there enough room to sneak it out... or are the bottom loops removable?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
THanks for the comments and pictures... This is just what I was looking for. The setup is the TCI (Total Cost Involved) 4 bar setup. The bars are parallel to the ground with a panhard bar.

In looking at the setup it just seems to me to need some additional support at the bar that locates the rear end. THere are no gussets or additional bracing and I think if I tie it to a center frame support just like the pics you guys have posted I think that would provide the extra support I might need.

Hafrod, you say you would add one like this to every frame you work on, I appreciate that point of view.

Laz, I have to admit I think I first got the idea after looking at your work. Very well laid out.

How large are the exhaust holes that are welded into the cross members, are they 4 inch?

Gil
 

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John T, jack up the rear of the car where the leaf springs don't have pressure on them and the driveshaft goes right in.
 

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How large are the exhaust holes that are welded into the cross members, are they 4 inch?

Gil
The exhaust tubes came from AME, and they can be had for either a 2.5" or 3" exhaust system. The 3" exhaust clearance tubes are 4 1/4" OD/ 3 3/4" ID I believe. Notice they're larger than the 2x4 tubes.
 

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where did you get the AME kit and what model corvette subframe did you used, looks very nice, like to build one for my 55 belair. thanks Bill
dei355, that is not a corvette subframe, it's a C4 Corvette k-member grafted into the tri-5 frame. We cut it off at the firewall and fab new pieces all the way to the front bumper, then we add the C4 rear mounting brackets as well. I got the kit directly from AME, but as I mentioned it doesn't have everything you need in it.

If you're interested in discussing a C4 conversion frame build, please e-mail me at [email protected]. Thanks! :party0031:
 
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