Senior Tech Team
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Howard Lake, MN, USA
Re: Frame stiffening kits?
get some solid body mounts. that will stiffen things up quite a bit. you can then soften up the springs a touch if you think the ride is too rough for some reason.
follow what GM did starting in the 70's and going on up thru the G bodies- make some braces that go from the middle of the engine crossmember forward and out towards the front of the frame horns, then add a cross bar that connects the forward mounting points of those bars together and ties the whole front of the frame together with a big triangle.
my 74 Monte had some braces that went from the back of the engine crossmember by the motor mounts back to the frame rail by the firewall.
up in the engine bay, add some braces that cut across the front corners of the engine bay between the radiator support and fender- go about a foot out from the corner each way for the mounting points- and from the mounting points of those bars on the fenders, over the engine, and to a common point at the center of the firewall right above the distributor.. again, you are building a big triangle tying everything together.
another popular place to brace on the 78 and up G bodies is behind the rear seat- a couple of cross braces back there will tie the body together and actually prevents the factory body filler where the quarter panel and roof meet from cracking under high loads. i don't know what's behind the seats on an older A body, but the G bodies are pretty much wide open back there.
all these braces can be made out of thin wall steel tubing for not a lot of money or a lot of fabrication time- you are just making a bunch of triangles to tie different parts of the body and frame together. i can say from my own personal experience that just adding the braces from the engine crossmember to the front of the frame horns to my 84 Regal made the car feel a lot more solid and even got rid of an annoying creak in the dash that i could never track down.
"Detroit hasn't felt any real pride since George Bush went to Japan and vomited on their auto executives, I tell you whut"