Reinforcing the frame?? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-18-2003, 11:34 AM
scot august
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Back in 95 I box welded the open sections of 94 SS frame to no apparent benefit. Has anyone explored a more sophisticated frame strenthening, especially around the front and rear suspension attachment points?
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-18-2003, 12:46 PM
96capriceMGR
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While this is not renforcing the frame it may help you. Are you familiar with the body bushing mod? Did you know GM left out many of the lower body bushings between the wheelbase? Adding these bushings and making sure they actually contact the frame can make the car feel much tighter.
post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-18-2003, 03:46 PM
scot august
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96capriceMGR, That was one of the best improvements ever made to the car. I used the lowers from Dal and the 9c1 uppers. Total cost about $135. Vastly better steering perception, less body roll, less understeer, faster turn in and the car felt stronger and heavier at the same time more tossable as if it was lighter. Sounds contradictory but isn't. It's that direction I'm hoping a stiffer chassis will take the car.Question really is how to make the suspension attachment points more rigid because less flex there will have a similar effect on perception even it doesn't make the car one bit faster in terms of a lap time.
 
post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-18-2003, 04:19 PM
96capriceMGR
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I have not seen anything aimed at legitamately stiffening the frame, since we started with a full steel frame our cars are already ahead of many in this department. There is at least one engine bay brace available which is purely cosmetic for us, for unibody car a strut tower brace can help a lot. What are your other mods? I wonder if it is time for you to look at things like Global West Delalum(SP?) "bushings" they replace different bushings and are more like a Heim joint(best comparison I could think of) in that it is solid pieces that slide against eachother so you have the twisting like a bushing but without deflection. Another MUST do is the rear lower control arms lots of choices all much better than stock, if you have not done this yet it will make a huge improvement.
post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2003, 03:39 AM
Mike454SS
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Put Del-A-Lum bushings in the front end...made my car feel WAY lighter, and MUCH snappier/responsive/tossable. I can't wait to get a set of global west LCA's for out back as well...the zero deflection bushings are AWESOME. No bind suspension is the best kind of suspension. I honestly don't think reinforcing the frame mounting points will seem like a big deal at all when you get into things like that. Also bigger swaybars that keep the body level and more controlled make the car turn in faster and feel much more responsive.

Being a 9C1, my car already has full body bushings, and I plan on at the very least replacing them at some point, undecided if I'm going to upgrade. The Del-A-Lum bushings in the front end made a VERY VERY noticeable difference the very first time I pulled out of the driveway with them installed. I pulled out and yanked the wheel like I am used to doing to make a hard right when starting out...and the car reacted MUCH quicker than I had thought it would...much lighter feel, much more responsive to what I was doing with the wheel...they were expensive, but VERY VERY worth it.
post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2003, 04:12 AM
scot august
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96capriceMGR, Having done a lot of suspension experiments, I was looking to focus on the chassis for a while. Every generation of the Corvette for instance has been engineered with a more rigid platform than the last.C5 was much stiffer than the C4 and I've been reading about how the C6 chassis will be by far the most rigid yet.It's the reason the Z06 is only built as a hardtop. Makes sense when you see the trend in supercars and racecars using carbon fiber and structural adhesives. On my now two seat 98 B4C Camaro I used a structural adhesive called Dynaplate to reinforce the sub frames on the inside of the car,built a full frame underneath, triangulating shock tower brace front and two point rear, wheel well and floor braces, hoop and arms where the back seat used to be. Hoop welded to the frame. Put a jack in just the right place and you can pick up three wheels and still open and close the doors without binding. Steers like no F-body I've ever seen, but the ride and handling are both vastly better, because the suspension can do it's job without flexing the chassis or torqueing the body.On northern New England's frost damaged roads it's tighter than a friends Testarossa, which is a testament to what modern materials can accomplish. So I've ignored the Impala's chassis while learning how far I could take the Camaro's, but now I want to see just how much a B-body frame can be improved. I'm convinced that it's real easy and a mistake to have too stiff a suspension, but there is no such thing as too stiff a chassis.
post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2003, 08:18 AM
bengston
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Guess what we really need is a structural engineer, to look at where frame flex is occuring and what the most effecient means possible is to reduce the flex.
post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2003, 09:06 AM
protour4ever
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scot, I've had some thoughts along this line as well-you said fully boxing the frame has no real benefits? There goes one idea! I was also wondering if the rear braces that fit between the rear upper and lower c.a's forward mounts for a Chevelle would fit/help. (I'll find a link in a bit). Another idea-and I am REALLY not sure about this-wouuld be solid body mounts. The only reason I think about this is I have a '71 Camaro that has GW solid subframe mounts, and they are great! Tightens up the whole front end, and dosen't affect the ride at all. I looked and GW does NOT offer solid mounts for Chevelles, so I had assumed it was a bad idea for a full frame car. But tying the body to the frame directly would sure seem to stiffen things up. I know what you're saying, new car manufacturers are making a lot of fuss over how stiff their chassis are.

Oh and I can also vouch for the Del-a-lums, they are THE BEST!!
post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2003, 09:14 AM
protour4ever
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Well it's not the greatest link, click on "tubular braces" at the top. http://www.edelbrock.com/automotive/suspension.html
Chevelles came from the factory with variations of these to keep the frame mounts for the rear control arms from cracking.
post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2003, 09:58 AM
96capriceMGR
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I almost wonder if it is just time for a well engineered rollbar or bepending on usage and your tolerance level maybe even a cage.
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