A-body convertible frame Q & A [Archive] - Chevelle Tech

: A-body convertible frame Q & A


jnorth
Mar 16th, 07, 8:16 PM
Ok guys this seems to be a pretty common question so lets do a sticky on it :).

Question: What frame will fit my 68-72 convertible Chevelle?

Answer: Any frame from a 68-72 CONVERTIBLE A-body which means Chevelle, Cutlass, 442, Skylark, GS, GTO and LeMans. Hint- If you are buying a parts convertible for the frame then make sure it has a boxed frame! Some folks swapped out their hardtop frames with ragtop frames for racing.

Question: Can I use a 68-72 El Camino frame? They are boxed after all...

Answer: No you cannot just bolt one of those in. The section between the wheels (the boxed part) is longer by about 4".

Question: How about a hardtop frame?

Answer: Nope as it isn't boxed. IF you are good with a welder and the boxed part on your original frame isn't toast then you can cut out the boxed part and weld it in or you could try making your own boxes for it.

Now if someone else can fill in the 64-67 frame info it would be greatly appreciated. :beers:

sharpie
Jun 15th, 07, 12:42 AM
What about a 4 door? 68-72.:confused:

pgustavson
Jun 16th, 07, 12:28 PM
Now if someone else can fill in the 64-67 frame info it would be greatly appreciated. :beers:

1966 (and probably 1967):

The sedan, coupe, and convertible frames are the same length with the body-mount positions in the same locations. Of the three applications, only the convertible is boxed in the area between the forward mount positions and trailing arm mounts.

The El Camino (also boxed) and station wagon (boxed?) frame is 3.27" longer than the convertible frame (according to the Fisher Chassis Service Manual). However, the extra length is in the area between the two mount positions behind the C-notch, so it is somewhat straightforward to section it there. That area of the frame isn't boxed, so clamping and welding should not be very difficult. I haven't done it, but I've seen websites where folks have described the process.

Not sure if this holds for any year other than '66, but:

The diameter of the holes of the mount positions below the doors measure nominally 1.21", where as all the other positions measure in at nominally 1.43". I have yet to find a "convertible" body mount bushing kit that has bushings for the smaller hole. I've trimmed two to fit my frame.

:beers:

1968Chevelle300Deluxe
Jun 30th, 07, 2:08 PM
the 4 door is the same as the elcamino i think same wheel base i think as elcamino,4-door, and wagon dunno i think those are the same:confused:

GStage1
Jul 12th, 07, 8:55 AM
Buick GS models....coupe versions use the convertible frame for the 65-67 years.

james a larson
Jul 24th, 07, 10:53 AM
Would the frame on a 67 olds cutlass station wagon be the same as the 67 elcamino & chevelle wagon? Would it be boxed?

In view of the response regarding 65-67 Buick GS frames, what about the 65-67 olds 442 or olds cutlass modles, Would they have boxed frames?

1966_L78
Jul 24th, 07, 11:48 AM
Would the frame on a 67 olds cutlass station wagon be the same as the 67 elcamino & chevelle wagon? Would it be boxed?

Typically, these should not be boxed. the Chevelle wagon was not boxed, as the roof will help keep the body from folding...


The El Camino is boxed, because the roof does not extend rearward enough to provide the additional support for the body.

pgustavson
Jul 26th, 07, 7:38 PM
...the Chevelle wagon was not boxed...

Thanks, that clears things up - my post above could possibly have led someone astray...

RR68ragtop
Jul 26th, 07, 10:00 PM
1969 through 72 Pontiac Grand Prix have boxed frames, the length of the boxing is the same as the 68-72 chevelle convertible. The frame is not the same. Last year when restoring my 68 I used the boxing from a 70 G P and a 68 hardtop frame to build the frame for my car. Worked great!!! Grand Prix-- Great donor cars --disc brakes--tilt wheel--seats--etc.

Razah
Oct 17th, 07, 12:48 PM
I need a frame for my '69 convertible. I found a '70 Grand Prix frame. Any tips on making this work? I've heard the extra length is in the front to support the larger hood on the Grand Prix...

BlueSS454
Nov 22nd, 07, 11:48 PM
A 70 Grand Prix is a B Body I believe. If it is only longer in the front (like a 70-72 Monte Carlo is), your Chevelle steering column will not work as the cars with longer frame horns take longer steering columns.

vern
Nov 26th, 07, 4:03 PM
This diagram of frame dimensions may help answer some questions.

KeislerDick
Nov 29th, 07, 5:32 PM
Vern,
Do you have any info on early Chevelle/El Camino? I need to know difference between the transmission crossmember of '64 El Camino/Chevelle convertible (boxed frame) versus the hardtop (open frame).
thanks,

trannyman

KeislerDick
Nov 29th, 07, 5:36 PM
Tony,

I am looking for some help to identify difference between a transmission crossmember for a '64 El Camino/Chevelle convertible (boxed frame) versus the Chevelle hardtop (open frame). I have a hardtop - but need to make a crossmember for the '64 El Camino. I don't have access to El Camino or convertible.
thanks,

trannyman

vern
Nov 30th, 07, 9:41 PM
Trannyman,I got those sheets out of a package I bought on Ebay.They are called "crash sheets".Use that in the search box on ebay and you wil find it.The seller was Petes Auto Data.They range in price but are all around ten bucks.He does have some for 64-65.

Stk1514
Dec 27th, 07, 2:24 PM
Edit by mod- Please post want ads in the classified section. Thanks

Verle
Mar 19th, 08, 2:35 PM
Vern,
Do you have any info on early Chevelle/El Camino? I need to know difference between the transmission crossmember of '64 El Camino/Chevelle convertible (boxed frame) versus the hardtop (open frame).
thanks,

trannyman

The crossmember for 64 and 65 El/Camino and Convertible are the same.
They are shorter than the Hardtop crossmember.
Convertible is about 45 3/4" long.
Hardtop is about 55 1/2" long.
Length of HT is approximate, measured installed in the car.

Verle

Verle
Mar 19th, 08, 2:38 PM
Forgot to add, I believe the center is the same between the two.

Verle

cwest66188
Apr 24th, 08, 9:19 PM
well heres what i know.68-72 coupe frames for skylark,lemans,chevelle,cutlass are all the same.conv frames are exactly the same but they have a boxed in section on the mid rails the crossmembers are diffrent allso.4 door frames are the same as coupes but there is a 4" or so stretch in the side rails.wagon and elky frame are not the same as a four door they use a diffrent rear box in the fuel tank area.and takin off convt boxes ane reinstalling them sucks but lets ya get some paint or somthing behind those swiss cheese ones ya found because there all rotted or there 1500 bucks.thats what buying 7 diffrent frames for 3 cars will get ya.hope this helps

scottmn1
Apr 25th, 08, 12:08 AM
I have a 71 Chevelle SS Convertible. I need to replace the frame due to prior collision damage . The center section with the boxing reinforcements are good and solid in my original frrame. I have a 71 Chevelle 4 door, and also a 71 El Camino for parts cars. Would it be better and easier to use the 4 door frame, modify it/shorten it, and cut the original boxing reinforcements from my original frame and put in, or would it be easier/better to use the ElCamino frame and modify it? I have no problem with cutting a frame in half and rewelding. I have an auto body/frame shop so this would not be any big deal. I would take measurements and make a jig from my original frame to make sure everything was exactly right. Does anybody have any suggestions and or recommendations?

136679ss
Apr 25th, 08, 12:57 AM
I have a 71 Chevelle SS Convertible. I need to replace the frame due to prior collision damage . The center section with the boxing reinforcements are good and solid in my original frrame. I have a 71 Chevelle 4 door, and also a 71 El Camino for parts cars. Would it be better and easier to use the 4 door frame, modify it/shorten it, and cut the original boxing reinforcements from my original frame and put in, or would it be easier/better to use the ElCamino frame and modify it? I have no problem with cutting a frame in half and rewelding. I have an auto body/frame shop so this would not be any big deal. I would take measurements and make a jig from my original frame to make sure everything was exactly right. Does anybody have any suggestions and or recommendations?
The El Camino Frame is identical in front of the rear axle. This would be the frame to use to restore your vert. the difference lies behind the rear axle, it's about 3 inches longer. Obviously a very hassle free 2 cut fix. I don't have the wheel base figures here with me, but you can do a search and get the exact dimensions here on TC. good luck JN

scottmn1
Apr 25th, 08, 7:53 PM
thanks 136679ss, that's what I thought, but I wasn't sure. You confirmed my suspicion. I can just use my original frame to verify measurements when I cut the Elcamino frame to shorten it. ............Also, how many serial numbers are on the frame, where are they located, and how many digits of the vin is actually on the frame? Are the numbers on the frame excactly the same as the vin#, or does the frame only have like the last 5 digit"s or something?

136679ss
Apr 26th, 08, 1:06 AM
The ConVin is usually located on the drivers side rear either along the spring perch or on the same side midway between the rear axle and rear frame brace. The Con Vin includes Production location and sequential production number ie: K265276 These will match the last seven digits of the VIN tag if the frame in question was originally attached to the body you got the VIN number off of.

scottmn1
May 8th, 08, 6:49 PM
The El Camino Frame is identical in front of the rear axle. This would be the frame to use to restore your vert. the difference lies behind the rear axle, it's about 3 inches longer. Obviously a very hassle free 2 cut fix. I don't have the wheel base figures here with me, but you can do a search and get the exact dimensions here on TC. good luck JN


136679ss, The 71 El Camino frame is 4 inches longer between the wheels than my 71 Convertible.

136679ss
May 8th, 08, 7:10 PM
136679ss, The 71 El Camino frame is 4 inches longer between the wheels than my 71 Convertible.
Answer: Any frame from a 68-72 CONVERTIBLE A-body which means Chevelle, Cutlass, 442, Skylark, GS, GTO and LeMans. Hint- If you are buying a parts convertible for the frame then make sure it has a boxed frame! Some folks swapped out their hardtop frames with ragtop frames for racing.

Question: Can I use a 68-72 El Camino frame? They are boxed after all...

Answer: No you cannot just bolt one of those in. The section between the wheels (the boxed part) is longer by about 4".

I guess I shouldn't take people's word for anything anymore. :clonk: I apologize for the mis-information. The first post in this thread will clear things up a bit.

scottmn1
May 10th, 08, 12:18 AM
No problem, I will make it work anyway. It will only take a few more hours to shorten it in the center too. I have been comapring my convertible frame to the El Camino frame, and it appears I have to take out 4 inches between the rear body mount and the center body to frame pad, and then cut off the rear frame section from the El Camino, and put the rear frame section from my car because the Chevelle curves up higher at the rear body mount vs the El Camino mount, and the Chevelle rear section is 6 inches shorter than th El Camino(ie 10 inches shorter overall). I really don't see any problems with using the El Camino frame on a convertible as long as you have the right equipment to do the job right. There is a few holes that have to be added and removed to make it look authentic, but nothing too diffucult.

136679ss
May 14th, 08, 12:41 AM
The right equipment is definately key.

ywg396
Oct 18th, 08, 11:47 PM
Do any forum members work for these guys?

http://www.towerautomotive.com/products/lvf_stampings.html

They bought out AO Smith about 10 years ago and would be the guys to build new box sections... or new frames for that matter.

The question is how much would it cost and what is the demand?

The first set might be a little pricey imo...

68lemansconv
Jan 1st, 09, 12:54 PM
well heres what i know.68-72 coupe frames for skylark,lemans,chevelle,cutlass are all the same.conv frames are exactly the same but they have a boxed in section on the mid rails the crossmembers are diffrent allso.

Thanks for the info!

I have a 68 Convertible and was looking at removing the 2-speed trans for a TH400.... so a hardtop trans crossmember is different? Also where my transmission crossmember bolts to the frame there is multiple holes like you can move it forward or back... do hardtops have this too?

Thanks!

Unclesams
Jun 4th, 09, 11:34 PM
Was wondering if anyone has found or knows a supplier for the stamped steel frame sections we could weld into our A-body frames to box them. there was a local steel shop near me who did this but I contacted him and he had thrown the templates out when he moved, thinking no one would want them. I was about a month too late in finding him. He said if I bring him a frame and show him what I need, he will remake the templates and stamp them out of the correct gauge steel. Anyone else have a source?

offisland1965
Aug 3rd, 09, 1:16 PM
Anyone know where I can locate a frame for a '65 Chevelle convertible? They're about as common as a football bat! There was a vendor at the 2008 Spring Carlisle show (possibly out of Texas) who had 3 or 4 frames all stacked up, but I can't seem to locate them. They were right around the corner from the Ausley's truck. Anyone remember the guy?

ed1969
Apr 3rd, 10, 10:07 PM
Mark I see them twice a year @ Carlisle, Sundell Auto Specialties( 704-434-6759) NC
Let me know if you can't find one . I see a lot of conv stuff, Ed

zangszinger
Feb 20th, 12, 12:32 PM
ED
I see you know how to get ahold of vert. frames, I am looking for a frame for my 72 chevelle, can u guide me in the right direction.
thanks dave

canadian big block
May 6th, 12, 1:02 AM
A new kid on the block with an important question....

I'm building a 66 chevelle convertible and I'm in need of a frame. I have found a 66 buick skylark convertible frame that is in mint condition. Is this frame the correct match..... or do I need to make some minor modifications?

any imput would be greatly appreciated...

thanks

Thomas

Three504spd
Jun 21st, 12, 9:28 AM
Does anyone have a side by side view of a stock convertible frame and a stock hardtop frame?? I understand the concept of boxing the frame but I'm new to full framed cars and would like to see what the exact differences are. Thanks for the assist.
-Christopher

Danny66Droptop
Jul 10th, 12, 10:41 AM
Ok so I have a 66 convertible, in the middle of a frame off. My frame is pretty much swiss cheese. Contacted sundell but they wanted $3400 to ship a frame to the west coast, and by talking to the guy it seems as though they are just modding elco and hardtop frames to work, not always using original vert frames.

So... I located a chassis in perfect condition from a 66 elco. Ive heard from some people you shorten em 1.25", ive heard 3.27", and have been trying to do my research to get this right.

If i have both frames sitting side by side, is it as easy as to cut the rear most factory weld on the frame after the rear hump, and swap the chevelle trunk support section with the elco and call it a day?
It seems as tho people shortening elco frames dont have any chevelle frame to swap parts with.
I dont want to spread mis-information but i was told that GM made the frames exactly the same up to where the rear most weld is, and either put the chevelle trunk support section on, or the longer elcamino.
Please clarify if im wrong, and mods feel free to remove any misinformation in my post, but if the swap is that easy, it may help to keep people from being afraid of doing it.

bowtie65
Feb 17th, 13, 2:11 PM
I posted this same question in the in another area also. Are '64 and '65 identical?? I understand the verts are boxed. Can you use a '64 frame for a '65 body? vert to vert, or hard top to hard top. thanks.

jupatino
Aug 6th, 13, 2:55 PM
Does anyone have any information on using a 65 convertible cutlass frame on 67 convertible chevelle? Will it work or does anyone know if it will work. Half the posts I read show it will work and the other half say it won't work. Thanks

Juan