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Username Post: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?        (Topic#132803)
stevenb8 
Member
Posts: 25

Age: 48
Loc: prescott, AZ
Reg: 03-05-05
05-31-06 03:37 AM - Post#944722    

I am getting a complete 74 camaro subframe and would like to know if front clipping the frame is worth it? My frame is disassembled and needs all suspension components disc brakes, steering, tie rods. ect.

Camaro frame complete, and has benefits of motor mounts, better header room, updated gear box, ect ect.

Who or anyone dont this to a tri 5? and how much is needed for swap?

thanks



 


redlinetoys 
Senior Member
Posts: 1537
redlinetoys
Reg: 04-17-04
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 05:22 AM - Post#944723    
    In response to stevenb8

It will be interesting to see the opinions here, but I personally would not desire purchasing someones car that has had a front subframe clipped on unless the work was really outstanding. I am not questioning your work, but generally it is painfully obvious when someone tacks a clip on. There is really nothing wrong with the independent front suspension already on the car. You can gain power disc brakes and a different steering box, but is it worth it. Don't forget the ability to attach all the front sheetmetal, the bumper brackets, the radiator core support, etc without problems. I can understand clipping an old straight axle pickup truck but I wouldn't do it or recommend it on a tri five.

http://public.fotki.com/redlinetoys/

Bob
RedlineToys



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GslLKzhPth8





 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27658
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 06:06 AM - Post#944724    
    In response to redlinetoys

Amen, brother redline!



 
TriFiveChevyJohn 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 1802
TriFiveChevyJohn
Loc: North Texas
Reg: 11-22-04
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 06:26 AM - Post#944725    
    In response to Rick_L

With all of the "add-ons" available today, I don't really think the whole front clip thing is necessary.

Cut two coils!


 
chevynut 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11073
chevynut
Loc: Ft. Collins, CO .....
Reg: 09-22-01
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 07:26 AM - Post#944726    
    In response to redlinetoys

Quote:

I can understand clipping an old straight axle pickup truck but I wouldn't do it or recommend it on a tri five.




Why not? I'm not sure a Camaro clip is the way to go, but a Progressive C4 clip sure is nice, and personally I like my own C4 setup. I don't think it detracts from the car's value, and performance is certainly enhanced.

Here's Greg's Progressive C4 clip setup:



Here's my home-built C4 setup:



'56 Nomad, C4 Vette F&R suspension, Ramjet 502, Viper T56 6 speed See My Nomad Build
'56 BelAir 2DR Sedan in waiting
'01 Porsche Boxster S
'03 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 Duramax


 
chevynut 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11073
chevynut
Loc: Ft. Collins, CO .....
Reg: 09-22-01
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 07:29 AM - Post#944727    
    In response to TriFiveChevyJohn

Quote:

With all of the "add-ons" available today, I don't really think the whole front clip thing is necessary.




Maybe true, but the old suspension geometry just doesn't compare. That's one of the reason's Rick went with the C3 spindles.

Plus, by the time you add up the cost of all of the upgrades, you could do a nice clip and get lots of goodies and better looks. Is it "necessary"? No, but neither is a 502, a blower, a 9" rear, or many of the other things we do to our cars.

'56 Nomad, C4 Vette F&R suspension, Ramjet 502, Viper T56 6 speed See My Nomad Build
'56 BelAir 2DR Sedan in waiting
'01 Porsche Boxster S
'03 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 Duramax


 
4dr 57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4624

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Reg: 11-10-04
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 07:47 AM - Post#944728    
    In response to stevenb8

I'm not exactly sure a '74 front end would be worth the hassle to install. For a driver, I like ole 55's rack and pinion and disk brakes and a swaybar. For an expensive showcar that is also a corner cutter, see chevynut's outstanding example! Man that's beautiful!

It's all good. mostly




 
jaybee 
Senior Member
Posts: 602

Reg: 12-31-69
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 07:50 AM - Post#944729    
    In response to chevynut

True enough when you're talking about C4 suspension, but does a '74 Camaro front end really represent much of an advancement over a suitably upgraded Tri 5 suspension?

Thanks for putting the two variations on C4 side by side, it makes for interesting study.



 
chevynut 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11073
chevynut
Loc: Ft. Collins, CO .....
Reg: 09-22-01
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 08:07 AM - Post#944730    
    In response to jaybee

Quote:

True enough when you're talking about C4 suspension, but does a '74 Camaro front end really represent much of an advancement over a suitably upgraded Tri 5 suspension?




Note that I wasn't promoting the 74 setup, just reponding to Redlines "I wouldn't clip a tri-5" comment.

'56 Nomad, C4 Vette F&R suspension, Ramjet 502, Viper T56 6 speed See My Nomad Build
'56 BelAir 2DR Sedan in waiting
'01 Porsche Boxster S
'03 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 Duramax


 
redlinetoys 
Senior Member
Posts: 1537
redlinetoys
Reg: 04-17-04
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 08:58 AM - Post#944731    
    In response to chevynut

"...unless the work was really outstanding."

See several examples above.



Also go to a couple of car shows and look at some of the cars bastardized with both camaro and corvette suspensions and make sure you are really comfortable with what is required versus what is gained.



I stand firm.

http://public.fotki.com/redlinetoys/

Bob
RedlineToys



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GslLKzhPth8





 
Nick P 
Dedicated Member
Posts: 6107
Nick P
Age: 72
Loc: De Queen, Arkansas
Reg: 10-15-03
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 10:07 AM - Post#944732    
    In response to stevenb8

Quote:

Also go to a couple of car shows and look at some of the cars bastardized with both camaro and corvette suspensions and make sure you are really comfortable with what is required versus what is gained.




Interesting comments. I am a proponent of doing what “you” want rather than being guided down a road that someone else has inspiration for, or would rather be on. Our hobby has transcended from raw desire to build a car that no one has done in the past, copy some element of something that you have seen on other examples, graft a gift (sub-frame) onto a present car/chassis or do something that has not been accepted publicly.

As to the suspension geometry or components not being different from 55 to 74, if they weren’t, then Chevrolet would still be making the 55. Attachments, geometry, mechanics (not principal) and other facets of the 55 versus a 74 camaro are quite improved.

Clipping or replacing the front suspension members/chassis is a worthwhile project. It may task your abilities for a while, but you can overcome all of those sidelining items and have a successful conversion. For me though, I will have to side with Laszlo and have already opted for the C4 suspension in the front. A progressive front clip is resident on my chassis. I did however depart from using the stock frame members and simply continued on with fresh new rectangular and square tubing to provide a platform for the rear 9” and triangulated members.

In closing, again, the choice is yours and yours alone – to do and to be happy with.



 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27658
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 10:41 AM - Post#944733    
    In response to Nick P

Given the things that you have to do to put a 74 Camaro clip on a 55-57, I just don't think it's got the benefit for what you put in it.

For everything that is better on the 74, you can do the equivalent to a stock frame and everything will fit easier with less work.

Let's see what you get with a 74 Camaro clip. You get unequal length a-arms of about the same dimensions as stock. You get a slightly taller spindle. You get side engine mounts that use the same rubber cushion as the kits. You get disc brakes with 11" rotors just like all the conversions. You get an 800 steering box with a mushy valve similar to a 605. You can upgrade it, but that's extra cost. It's mounted in front of the wheels so you have to build something to connect the box to the column, make it clear everything, and keep it from binding. You get a decent sway bar. You have to build a mount for the radiator support, and you'll have to build something so that you can mount bumpers. The inner fenders won't fit until you modify them.

If you're going to clip a 55-57, put the C4 stuff on it, either with the Progressive clip, a Lazslo style clip, or something similar. Then the same amount of work will give you much more real benefit. Or just get an AME or other complete frame.



 
awsum55 
Senior Member
Posts: 8863
awsum55
Age: 67
Loc: O.P. Kansas
Reg: 09-27-01
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 12:16 PM - Post#944734    
    In response to Rick_L

It seems that the main reason for using the Camaro clip is that it is free. All the things mentioned are true, but they all cost more than free.

Five things that you cannot recover in life:

* The Stone after it's thrown
* The Word after it's said
* An Occasion after it's missed
* The Time after it's gone
* A person after they die


 
chevynut 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11073
chevynut
Loc: Ft. Collins, CO .....
Reg: 09-22-01
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 12:35 PM - Post#944735    
    In response to awsum55

Quote:

It seems that the main reason for using the Camaro clip is that it is free. All the things mentioned are true, but they all cost more than free.




Good point, but it seems that the consensus it that the improvements you get are't worth the effort involved to attach it. I agree with Rick about the front end sheetmetal work. All the stock sheetmetal fits on my clip with very minor mods for the a-arms, but I made all new stuff for my car anyhow . I don't know how much modification is necessary for the Camaro clip, but it certainly needs a radiator support added, and the steering needs to be figured out (is it front steer??). I would be surprised if the engine mounts were in the right place too.

So while the parts are "free", the finished product won't be.

'56 Nomad, C4 Vette F&R suspension, Ramjet 502, Viper T56 6 speed See My Nomad Build
'56 BelAir 2DR Sedan in waiting
'01 Porsche Boxster S
'03 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 Duramax


 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27658
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 01:02 PM - Post#944736    
    In response to chevynut

"is it front steer??"

Yes, that's why the steering shaft has to be fabricated.

"I would be surprised if the engine mounts were in the right place too."

Well that may be a problem too, maybe not. As most of us know, moving the engine forward or back has consequences with the stock frame - no different with this. So moving the engine mounts or doing some mods (firewall or radiator) to accomodate the engine position could easily be part of the project.

One more thing I forgot, the track width on the 2nd gen Camaro is a bit wider than the stock 55-57 tread width. Of course some of the disc brake conversions for the stock chassis do this too - but again, fender clearance or narrowing the track some way may be part of the project.

I just think there's so much stuff to do that makes this a bad project for the novice fabricator. And if you're a skilled fabricator, there's so many better projects than this one.



 
USMCVietVet 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 2369

Loc: Enterprise Oregon USA
Reg: 05-22-02
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 01:15 PM - Post#944737    
    In response to Rick_L

I have a 69 Camero sub frame done on my car (55chevy) it was done 14 years ago when that was one of the only ways to get disc brakes and power steering easly --i bought it this way but would shoot you some pic's of the car as best i can if that would help--Tho the welding etc is hard to see--I like the way it works but if i had to do it again would just convert the origional stuff--that said the car is much safer than origional (had one) so it is worth it to me--your "free" stuff will come in handy--glenn

I was--glenn's 3rd 55 previously
55 chevy 210 2 door 350/4L60 RIP(gone)-and missed!!

-1967 CAMARO--red Z-28 /4speed

02 dodge diesel pickup chipped and no muff 6 speed
13 Honda Ridgeline
06 Honda Ridgeline
14 Honda CRF 250 L


 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27658
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 01:22 PM - Post#944738    
    In response to USMCVietVet

A 67-69 Camaro (or 68-74 Nova, which is the same thing) clip makes a lot more sense to me than a 2nd gen Camaro clip. But it would be rare to find one of those free today. And if you got one free, it might be wise to sell it to a Camaro/Nova guy.



 
stevenb8 
Member
Posts: 25

Age: 48
Loc: prescott, AZ
Reg: 03-05-05
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 02:23 PM - Post#944739    
    In response to Rick_L

thanks guys. Rick why would a 67-69 make more sense to you? The subframe is basically the same, they are really close to each other.

Also I work for a restoration/hot rod shop and we have been debating the same things you guys have. I know about the corvette suspension. Some of the guys here also bring up the point that I have a perfect unmolested 55 chevy frame.

I dont want to look stupid cause I ask this when I work for a restoration shop I just wanted some other ideas. This is my first 55-57, I have mostly owned chevelles and camaros.

I believe im going to use the stock frame with upgraded components.

thanks



 
redlinetoys 
Senior Member
Posts: 1537
redlinetoys
Reg: 04-17-04
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 02:47 PM - Post#944740    
    In response to stevenb8

Hey Steven,

There are no stupid questions. Stupid answers maybe... Just kidding!!!!!! It appears you are fairly new to the forum and I think you will find out that every question asked here brings up great debate and knowledge that will help you decide what is best.

Many times I have known exactly what I wanted to do or how to do it, but have posed the question here publicly, not to stir up a heated debate, but to hear knowledge from those whom have been there done that. Sometimes I decided to proceed on the same course and other times I shifted gears.

Enjoy your car!



http://public.fotki.com/redlinetoys/

Bob
RedlineToys



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GslLKzhPth8





 
USMCVietVet 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 2369

Loc: Enterprise Oregon USA
Reg: 05-22-02
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 02:50 PM - Post#944741    
    In response to redlinetoys

Good point redline--heck i'm turning my 55 into a Camaro it's already got the clip trans and possably the moror out of one now--maybe i'll do hidden rs headlights next----NOT --Glenn

I was--glenn's 3rd 55 previously
55 chevy 210 2 door 350/4L60 RIP(gone)-and missed!!

-1967 CAMARO--red Z-28 /4speed

02 dodge diesel pickup chipped and no muff 6 speed
13 Honda Ridgeline
06 Honda Ridgeline
14 Honda CRF 250 L


 
mnfmkf 
Senior Member
Posts: 631
mnfmkf
Loc: Portland Oregon
Reg: 01-05-03
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 03:01 PM - Post#944742    
    In response to stevenb8

I put a 76 nova subframe on a 55 Cameo see it at

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/411074

Youll need to re position the motor mounts ( EASY)

Fairlly easy to do. Measure x 10 cut once.

It came out dead on the car handled great sat perferct and was a zillion tines better than a straight axle 55 truck.

It will run a coulle hundred bucks to get it all re done if you do it yourself.

Results will be a plus PS PDB Tilt steeriong. A OK conversion.

Doing the db swap and r&p steering to the 55 car set-up dosent make sense to me.

best option is C4 vette IRS/IFS .

Mike 57 Belair HT



 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27658
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
05-31-06 03:07 PM - Post#944743    
    In response to stevenb8

stevenb8,

First reason I like the gen 1 Camaro better is the track width is very close to the same as a 55-57. Second reason is that they are rear steer, like a 55-57.

But everything else that everyone listed is still something to overcome. You can do a LOT to these cars with inexpensive parts, without fabricating much if anything.



 
Thadd 
DECEASED Member
Posts: 11178
Thadd
Age: 80
Loc: Rolling Hills, Ca,
Reg: 12-30-01
Re: free camaro subframe. Install on 55?
06-01-06 03:01 AM - Post#944744    
    In response to Rick_L

If it were my clip, I would sell it to someone with a 55-61 truck....

Proud member of the BABY BLUE T-SHIRT BROTHERHOOD


 
ampsbad41 
Poster
Posts: 1

Reg: 01-29-17
10-26-19 06:24 AM - Post#2778785    
    In response to chevynut

did you do this yourself ? I have a few C4s and a camaro was wondering which way to go any pics and info would be greatly appreciated



 
rcr3 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3198
rcr3
Age: 68
Loc: MANHEIM PA. U.S.A.
Reg: 11-24-02
10-27-19 06:38 AM - Post#2778861    
    In response to ampsbad41

13 year old post.

'67 Camaro survivor
'06 Z71 Sierra Ex Cab
'37 Chevy cp.SOLD!!6/7/14
'74 Nova Custom cp.
'73 Nova pro-street project
'17 Chevy Trax LT
'00 S10 Ex cab






 
Bad56Sedan 
"13th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1145
Bad56Sedan
Loc: Pasadena, Texas
Reg: 04-29-04
10-27-19 05:10 PM - Post#2778911    
    In response to rcr3

Search feature works!

VC56S 2 door Sedan, 39 Years



 
rcr3 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3198
rcr3
Age: 68
Loc: MANHEIM PA. U.S.A.
Reg: 11-24-02
10-28-19 04:25 AM - Post#2778932    
    In response to Bad56Sedan

sometimes...

'67 Camaro survivor
'06 Z71 Sierra Ex Cab
'37 Chevy cp.SOLD!!6/7/14
'74 Nova Custom cp.
'73 Nova pro-street project
'17 Chevy Trax LT
'00 S10 Ex cab






 


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