Since the cage will be going in over the winter, I wanted to do something in the mean time to tie the body into the chassis. I will be mounting my motor with plates this time around (front and mid), and the mid will be tied into the firewall and frame. Obviously having the motor tied in this way, I don't want the frame and body fighting each other with the mushy oem body mounts...
I started off with a set of the harder Energy Suspension pieces...
but man was It disappointing. Here is what I ran into:
Everything started off smooth. My chassis is EXTREMELY clean and straight for a 1981, and every body bolt came out no problem.
Next I sorted out the new Energy Suspension pieces and realized that they don't have an integral inner sleeve. Instead they want you to reuse the sleeves from your oem bushings. This is what most of mine looked like!
....obviously I was not going to reuse those. That might be acceptable for some people, but considering once the cage is in this body can't come back off (without cutting the cage back out)
.....I don't plan on doing this job twice.
I tried to track down just the sleeves, but they were never offered as a service item through GM to begin with, and nobody offers them through the aftermarket. After talking to Energy's tech line, I just got frustrated and decided to go another route.
I lowered the body down on the frame as far as I could and measured any points of interference. I got it down to the point where the rocker box now tucks the frame, and the rear wheel tub lip sits almost on the rear rails.
After I measured, I determined that if I machined a set of aluminum body mounts, I would get the structural tie I am looking for, AND lower the ride height almost a full inch without affecting the suspension. (keep in mind this would not be ideal for everyone as it also lowers your hood to intake clearance and transmission to tunnel clearance, but I have plenty of both to spare)
I dropped a few of the poly mounts with my machinist so he could use them for height reference and I provided him with some sketches for some "half height" bushings. I should have them back in a few days and be able to get the body mounted back down.