Frame stiffening kits? [Archive] - Chevelle Tech

: Frame stiffening kits?


71Avido
May 13th, 11, 3:58 PM
Does anyone make/sell kits to stiffen a '71 chassis?
I'm looking to box my frame and add some braces.

YeahIgotAChevelle
May 13th, 11, 4:47 PM
I haven't, but it wouldn't be too hard to make up some cardboard templates and take them to a metal shop and have them stamp them out. Then some minor trimming and welding. I would recommend some "speed holes" to save some weight and also so you still have access to run wiring or plumbing through the frame rail easily, not to mention still being able to protect the inside from rust

71Avido
May 13th, 11, 5:25 PM
I suppose the boxing itself is easy enough, good tip on the lightening holes.
What I'm really trying to find is pre-bent tube to create bracing as shown below.
http://i469.photobucket.com/albums/rr60/sierra02_album/gg5.jpg
Maybe not that extreme but you get the idea.

greg5436
May 13th, 11, 6:48 PM
hpi motor sports in canada makes a complete kit for frame a-body cars. go to pro-touring.com and find it. you are looking at a complete roadster shop chassis in that last picture.you are not going to duplicate that. greg

Matty B
May 14th, 11, 3:00 AM
hpi motor sports in canada makes a complete kit for frame a-body cars. go to pro-touring.com and find it. you are looking at a complete roadster shop chassis in that last picture.you are not going to duplicate that. greg

Who says you cant duplicate the bracing of the RS chassis? Maybe not in a ready to go kit which you may be talking about but if not remember, they bent tubing too.

Hot rods to hell sells a boxing plate kit. Thing is, if you are equipped to install a boxing kit then you should be able to make it your self. It really is as easy as cutting some plate and welding it in.

As far as braces are concerned, Art Morrison sells a bent tube kit to fit in but it requires a crossmember as the lower control arm area of the frame to weld into.

OP, If you want an RS chassis without the cost, get ready to fab your own stuff. There arent kits or anything else that are gonna get a full ready built chassis but a little fab and elbow grease and you can do pretty good.

novaderrik
May 14th, 11, 3:41 AM
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.

F1 Speed
May 14th, 11, 4:53 AM
Does anyone make/sell kits to stiffen a '71 chassis?
I'm looking to box my frame and add some braces.

As Greg mentioned HPI Customs offers a great kit.
http://www.hpicustoms.com/

http://i1204.photobucket.com/albums/bb407/HPIcustoms/Chevelle%20frames/crossmember2.jpg

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg186/bart0510/frame1.jpg

http://i1204.photobucket.com/albums/bb407/HPIcustoms/Chevelle%20frames/IMG_3884.jpg

JChilders
May 14th, 11, 11:36 AM
I was just going to add in that I spoke to HPI about their kit this week. They seem like a good group of people.

71Avido
May 14th, 11, 4:22 PM
As Greg mentioned HPI Customs offers a great kit.
http://www.hpicustoms.com/


Thats the exact sort of thing I'm looking for!
Given, the crossmembers are way more trick that I need but something like that would be perfect!
I will wind up doing my own home-job on the boxing but since I don't plan on investing in a bender just yet HPI may be the ticket.

I also plan on installing some bracing around crossmembers/control arm brackets to stiffen things up a buit and hopefully keep them on the frame.
For those I am just planning on using 3/16" plate as some quick gussets.

Will the 3/16" be overkill for this job?

F1 Speed
May 14th, 11, 6:47 PM
Thats the exact sort of thing I'm looking for!
Given, the crossmembers are way more trick that I need but something like that would be perfect!
I will wind up doing my own home-job on the boxing but since I don't plan on investing in a bender just yet HPI may be the ticket.

I also plan on installing some bracing around crossmembers/control arm brackets to stiffen things up a buit and hopefully keep them on the frame.
For those I am just planning on using 3/16" plate as some quick gussets.

Will the 3/16" be overkill for this job?

Yup, 3/16" is perfect. Cool thing about the cross members in the HPI kit is that it comes with nice weld on exhaust hangers and the bolt holes are already there in the perfect locations.

Spankydxm
May 14th, 11, 10:59 PM
Yall suck...Mike you make me spend to much money by giving me all kinds of ideas. I just sent them an email. I been welding on my frame since thursday trying to get it ready to get powdercoated. Mike those pictures you posted are identical to my frame just my weld transitions are smoother. Nice job

70'ChevelleSUPERFREAK
May 14th, 11, 11:44 PM
just curious for those who have emailed HPI, how much is the kit?

F1 Speed
May 15th, 11, 7:08 AM
Yall suck...Mike you make me spend to much money by giving me all kinds of ideas. I just sent them an email. I been welding on my frame since thursday trying to get it ready to get powdercoated. Mike those pictures you posted are identical to my frame just my weld transitions are smoother. Nice job

LOL.... Ya I know what you mean. Hangin out here on TC tends to drive up the budget sometimes, but i love it all the same. Good luck with your project and be sure to post up some pics of your frame when it's ready.

just curious for those who have emailed HPI, how much is the kit?

The full kit posted in the pics is $600.00 and I'm told shipping is another $120.00 - $140.00. I fabed my own for my project a few years ago that looks almost identical (with the exception of the cross members) and I can tell you that $600.00 is right in the ball park when you consider material costs & CNC laser cutting time. I wouldn't hesitate to order this kit for my next project if I ever get the one I'm workin on now finished.
Here's what ya get in the HPI Kit and I'm told you can get it in various forms.
Rear Cross Member
Trans Cross Member
Side Mounts (Adjustable Trans Cross Members)
Tubular K Member
Exhaust Hangers
Body Mount Reinforcements

70'ChevelleSUPERFREAK
May 15th, 11, 10:04 PM
This is a good looking kit, a good addition to any A Frame.:beers::yes:

70'ChevelleSUPERFREAK
May 15th, 11, 10:08 PM
Thats the exact sort of thing I'm looking for!
Given, the crossmembers are way more trick that I need but something like that would be perfect!
I will wind up doing my own home-job on the boxing but since I don't plan on investing in a bender just yet HPI may be the ticket.

I also plan on installing some bracing around crossmembers/control arm brackets to stiffen things up a buit and hopefully keep them on the frame.
For those I am just planning on using 3/16" plate as some quick gussets.

Will the 3/16" be overkill for this job?

You would be good buying structural tubing in Steel, or even Chromoly. Take to a exhaust shop and they can bend up for a minor amount of cash..... good luck

The WidowMaker
May 15th, 11, 10:16 PM
id love to see a full frame with exhaust and then check the ground clearance under their tranny mount. i used 1" tubing, have ~1/4" clearance to the floor, ~1/4" clearance to the exhaust, and the exhaust is still the lowest point on the car. their tubing looks to be 1.5 or 1.75".

you can see in the below pic that the bottom of my tranny crossmember actually climbs a lot before flattening out and my exhaust runs right under the bend. theirs appears to be flat, and then dip for the trans. my inner webbing also only has ~1/4 to the floor, so theirs no way theirs sits higher.

http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab145/chevelle496ci/IMG_9947.jpg

novaderrik
May 16th, 11, 4:06 AM
As Greg mentioned HPI Customs offers a great kit.


http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg186/bart0510/frame1.jpg



this gives me a few ideas for stiffening up my 86 Camaro- i want to add some outer frame rails to tie the front and back of the car together and provide a place to jack it up NASCAR style while getting rid of the stupid bracing they put under there to support the trans and also making a good place to tie in a roll cage down the road.

Schurkey
May 16th, 11, 5:07 AM
It's very easy to add a bunch of tubing--and weight--to the frame.


It's very difficult for that to make a big difference in torsional stiffness. Might make a big improvement in side-impact crash protection, though.

For practical purposes, torsional stiffness is best achieved with a 3D structure; if you aren't adding a "roll cage", you're probably not getting the improvement you think you are.

71Avido
May 16th, 11, 7:21 AM
It's very easy to add a bunch of tubing--and weight--to the frame.


It's very difficult for that to make a big difference in torsional stiffness. Might make a big improvement in side-impact crash protection, though.

For practical purposes, torsional stiffness is best achieved with a 3D structure; if you aren't adding a "roll cage", you're probably not getting the improvement you think you are.

A roll bar is definitely in my future, I havn't done enough research on that part of it just yet to know exactly which style I want. I don't want a full "cage" but I do want the torsional stability.

andrewb70
May 16th, 11, 1:32 PM
It's very easy to add a bunch of tubing--and weight--to the frame.


It's very difficult for that to make a big difference in torsional stiffness. Might make a big improvement in side-impact crash protection, though.

For practical purposes, torsional stiffness is best achieved with a 3D structure; if you aren't adding a "roll cage", you're probably not getting the improvement you think you are.

Took the words right out of my mouth. Agreed.

Andrew

The WidowMaker
May 16th, 11, 10:15 PM
It's very easy to add a bunch of tubing--and weight--to the frame.


It's very difficult for that to make a big difference in torsional stiffness. Might make a big improvement in side-impact crash protection, though.

For practical purposes, torsional stiffness is best achieved with a 3D structure; if you aren't adding a "roll cage", you're probably not getting the improvement you think you are.

i really wish i would have done some actual testing on the rotisserie to prove that it does help. as much as a roll cage, hell no. but i dont remember jacking up my left front only a few inches and having my left rear come off the ground as well.

i cant tell you how much stiffness comes from the webbing or from the crossmembers, but i think just the added crossmembers are a big help. in order for the frame rails to twist in relation to each other, they have to twist in relation to themselves first. if they are held from twisting by a cross, this helps to keep the whole frame from twisting.

my .02 is that boxing the frame, adding a cross or two and adding the webbing is worth the effort. if its useless weight at least its behind the front wheels and as low as possible. any added impact resistance is worth its weight in gold as well, although i think most bumpers are going to impact the door instead of the frame.

Tim

Matty B
May 16th, 11, 10:17 PM
granted, that kit has some either plasma or laser cnc cut brackets, 700+ is damn steep.

Thats actually so steep I would buy a bender and do it myself and have a bender left over. Granted for the guy that wants to just weld it in, then I suppose thats the price of convenience.

F1 Speed
May 17th, 11, 3:02 PM
granted, that kit has some either plasma or laser cnc cut brackets, 700+ is damn steep.

Thats actually so steep I would buy a bender and do it myself and have a bender left over. Granted for the guy that wants to just weld it in, then I suppose thats the price of convenience.

:noway: Have you priced 1.625 x .120 wall DOM lately? Then there's the CNC time for the 3/16 frame rail boxing plates, body mount reinforcements, cross member parts and finding access to a good bender. Don't think you'd be able to get much of a bender after material costs though. Throw out $140.00 shipping from Canada and I'd say they are probably makin a little over $100.00 a kit in profit, if that.

When I did my own a couple years ago I think I was right around $500.00 and had access to a good JD Squared bender but had to pay for the CNC Laser cutting time and 3/16" steel plate. Hind site being what it is and all, I probably could have cut my own frame boxing plates & body mount reiforcments with a plasma cutter and saved a couple bucks, but I wanted a nice fit up and didn't mind payin a little extra to avoid the hassle of makin my own.

71Avido
May 17th, 11, 5:33 PM
:noway: Have you priced 1.625 x .120 wall DOM lately? Then there's the CNC time for the 3/16 frame rail boxing plates, body mount reinforcements, cross member parts and finding access to a good bender. Don't think you'd be able to get much of a bender after material costs though. Throw out $140.00 shipping from Canada and I'd say they are probably makin a little over $100.00 a kit in profit, if that.

Not to mention the time spent "engineering" a kit like this.
If I had to pay myself to do something like this start to finish for a 1 off job,
time+materials would be way over what I'd wind up paying for a nice kit.

Sounds pretty reasonable to me after all is considered.

Matty B
May 17th, 11, 11:39 PM
I didnt ask or see it but is that price is CDN or USD? Obviously the exchange is gonna make that price alot easier to swallow if not...

As far as material costs, DOM isnt that crazy. ~$6 a foot for that and you get better prices if you buy full 20'. Given the cost of CNC anything and the fact that the boxing plates them selves are straight pieces, its cheaper to just buy a two long straps of sheet for the plates. A chassis shop can bend and notch the braces and the outriggers. A drill and some small pieces of material for transmounts and thats about it. The crossmember in back for the loop and exhaust hangers is trick but could be done much simpler with the same functionality for less.

If you do this the non computerized way you shouldnt be in this for more than 250 bucks and I think thatd be high. Having the boxing plates CNC cut is a bit overkill but I do know a waterjet place that doesnt charge much at all to cut customer supplied materials as long as you have a cnc program for them to run.

As for engineering is concerned, I dont see much unless the goal is every last bit of tortional stiffness at the lowest possible weight.

Some stuff is just better to buy such as control arms or pieces that cannot be made properly without high specialized equipment. Things that have been handmade by many people for years is a whole different story (hell the factory boxed frames back then). I see this project as a big version of boxing your control arms in back.

Like I said, the kit shown looks awfully nice, but when shipping costs are figured in most people in most larger towns could source materials and have this exact product made locally for a lot cheaper.

ps. I want to reiterate that a similar product that does the same things could be done cheaper. The crossmembers are going to be pricy to replicate but a simple DOM transcrossmember instead of a cncd and welded piece will get you to the same place. This kit gets the stiffening in there with looks to boot. If utility is what your shooting for then this is overdone and can be pared down for weight and simplicity as well as cost.

JChilders
May 18th, 11, 4:57 PM
The price was $600CDN.

The Old Reliable
May 18th, 11, 7:20 PM
Any one know what the kit shown weighs?


Thanks! :beers:

kustom71
May 18th, 11, 8:24 PM
Not trying to hijack the thread but im curious
How would you run fuel and brake lines with a fully boxed in frame and all that tubing?

JChilders
May 18th, 11, 8:32 PM
Not trying to hijack the thread but im curious
How would you run fuel and brake lines with a fully boxed in frame and all that tubing?


I think you could run the lines the same way the boxed convertible frames run them.

JChilders
May 18th, 11, 10:23 PM
I just got an e-mail from Tyler at HPI. The kits ship weight is 68lbs

Matty B
May 19th, 11, 1:57 AM
The price was $600CDN.

Actually I havent check exchange rates in years, I thought our USD traded better but I guess today is trading $.98:$1. So its about the same where ever you live in N.A.

I think the kit is worth it for what you get. I look at things personally a bit differently where I ask myself, "Could this be done for less money if I do it myself?" This setup can be simplified with the same stiffening result for less.

I did have to step back and think about the advantages of a kit over scratch built if I didnt have the abilty to DIY. If all you have is a Mig and a grinder then this is a good deal.

My problem is knowing that I have a plasma cutter, a mig, a tig, grinders ect. Im not a full bore fab shop more like a well equipped high end personal setup. Some dont have that so I retract some of what I said.

Boxing the frame is as simple as a few pieces of strap. Making the braces takes a grinder, protractor and welder plus a trip to a chassis shop be it a 4x4 shop or race shop to bend some tubes to spec. The trans corssmember can be bought as a kit from Alston among other places.

What that wont get you is a boxed and ready to go kit. Some guys will need something that the can do in a weekend with a welder and not much else.

So I eat a few words about the reality of it for some knowing that with the tools it can be done for a much different price.

I guess Im too used to making stuff instead of buying it.

72chevellephil
May 19th, 11, 2:14 AM
I guess Im too used to making stuff instead of buying it.[/QUOTE]

you and i think very much the same matt!lol!

71Avido
May 19th, 11, 10:55 AM
I did have to step back and think about the advantages of a kit over scratch built if I didnt have the abilty to DIY. If all you have is a Mig and a grinder then this is a good deal.


Thats me! I make enough stuff when its feasible to do so, this time with all thats involved its not worth it for me to DIY.

I want to talk to them about leaving out the boxing plates since I can make those myself easily enough. I havn't heard back yet.

I've also got myself looking at the Chassisworks 8pt - rollbar kits for additional safety/stiffness.

The Old Reliable
May 19th, 11, 1:22 PM
I just got an e-mail from Tyler at HPI.



The kits ship weight is 68lbs





Not bad at all! :thumbsup:

kustom71
May 19th, 11, 10:16 PM
K I was just asking cause I didnt know how convertibles did it either
To tell the truth I didnt know convertibles had the frame fully boxed?
I thought the just had alot of bracing

GoFast Beaumont
May 20th, 11, 12:48 AM
are the convertible frames seamless? i know the 55 chevy ones are.

Matty B
May 20th, 11, 1:45 AM
Thats me! I make enough stuff when its feasible to do so, this time with all thats involved its not worth it for me to DIY.

I want to talk to them about leaving out the boxing plates since I can make those myself easily enough. I havn't heard back yet.

I've also got myself looking at the Chassisworks 8pt - rollbar kits for additional safety/stiffness.

Fair enough, I have a rule for myself that maybe you might take to heart.

Rule being, if I can buy the tools to make something for a similar cost I will buy the tools and DIY. Then you have the tools afterwards to make other stuff.

Few tools to own out right is a chopsaw, a decent mig welder, a drill press, a combo grinder (a grinder plus belt and disc sander in one unit) and a decent air compressor for die grinders and other tools.

Secondary tools would be a plasma cutter (they are almost indispensable once you have one) and a band saw (I dont have one and am saving for a decent one).

Tertiary tools would be a bender, notcher and a sheetmetal brake (a good one not the HF type I get by with).

Once your to that point you can and will make almost everything on your car. You will say to yourself, " Hey Self, they are asking a ton for that rear clip and I can make frame rails and the mounts for way less" Then you will look at the kits and say damn I can make that for cheap.

I like buying tools cause of that. Not only can I make a frame package, I can make a custom suspension, custom parts or just make stuff fit nicely without looking hacked.

Tools are the best investment you can make if you decide to build a custom car. They are cheaper than shop labor rates in the long run and you gain skills you wouldnt otherwise. Look at some of the home built cars here that are really nice and seem to get a ton of views. They are guys that invested in some tools (not cnc plasma cutters or a Bridgeport mill) just ones that allow you to do a job correctly.

Point being is a tubing bender. JD2 sells a nice bender for 3-400 hundred bucks for a base model. Along with a chop saw for a buck and a half and youre pretty close to making this kit and having tools to make other stuff after. You may be in it for a grand if you bought all the tools and materials but you have the abilty to make a roll cage among other things.

Just a few cents. I understand what some guys have to deal with, just want to highlight my point of view a bit better.

Schurkey
May 20th, 11, 1:05 PM
I have a rule for myself that maybe you might take to heart.

Rule being, if I can buy the tools to make something for a similar cost I will buy the tools and DIY. Then you have the tools afterwards to make other stuff...


I like the way you think. Not surprising; as I tend to think along the same lines.

My chopsaw is a plain ol' ordinary circular saw with an abrasive blade; I have a cheap Jet metal-cutting band saw but not the drill press...and various other differences. Concept is the same, though--If a person can buy and use the tools, he's way better off in the LONG RUN. Sometimes it's a kick in the ass in the short-term, though. Another consideration is finding a place to PUT all those wonderful tools.

Acquiring the skills to USE those tools is actually the "difficult" part; especially if it's based on trial-and-error rather than learning from a mentor.

71Avido
May 20th, 11, 2:23 PM
Another consideration is finding a place to PUT all those wonderful tools.


That is far more true that I wish it to be.
I don't have a workspace to call my own yet which is why larger more cumbersome tools are a real pain to work around.
As it is I work out of one of those tarp garages :yes:

70'ChevelleSUPERFREAK
May 20th, 11, 5:54 PM
Fair enough, I have a rule for myself that maybe you might take to heart.

Rule being, if I can buy the tools to make something for a similar cost I will buy the tools and DIY. Then you have the tools afterwards to make other stuff.

Few tools to own out right is a chopsaw, a decent mig welder, a drill press, a combo grinder (a grinder plus belt and disc sander in one unit) and a decent air compressor for die grinders and other tools.

Secondary tools would be a plasma cutter (they are almost indispensable once you have one) and a band saw (I dont have one and am saving for a decent one).

Tertiary tools would be a bender, notcher and a sheetmetal brake (a good one not the HF type I get by with).

Once your to that point you can and will make almost everything on your car. You will say to yourself, " Hey Self, they are asking a ton for that rear clip and I can make frame rails and the mounts for way less" Then you will look at the kits and say damn I can make that for cheap.

I like buying tools cause of that. Not only can I make a frame package, I can make a custom suspension, custom parts or just make stuff fit nicely without looking hacked.

Tools are the best investment you can make if you decide to build a custom car. They are cheaper than shop labor rates in the long run and you gain skills you wouldnt otherwise. Look at some of the home built cars here that are really nice and seem to get a ton of views. They are guys that invested in some tools (not cnc plasma cutters or a Bridgeport mill) just ones that allow you to do a job correctly.

Point being is a tubing bender. JD2 sells a nice bender for 3-400 hundred bucks for a base model. Along with a chop saw for a buck and a half and youre pretty close to making this kit and having tools to make other stuff after. You may be in it for a grand if you bought all the tools and materials but you have the abilty to make a roll cage among other things.

Just a few cents. I understand what some guys have to deal with, just want to highlight my point of view a bit better.

I am with you, buy the tools, learn to do things yourself, make it your car, personalize it your way. There is enough things you have to buy that others have, nothing is that impossible.

Not that much enginering goes into boxing frames and bracing..... that was all done years ago. Any diagonal bracing is going to add strength and rigidity.

I think all these kits offer is instant gratification. Its a question of why should I build it when I can buy it. A true mechanic will build it and be proud of it.:beers:

Matty B
May 20th, 11, 10:49 PM
I like the way you think. Not surprising; as I tend to think along the same lines.

My chopsaw is a plain ol' ordinary circular saw with an abrasive blade; I have a cheap Jet metal-cutting band saw but not the drill press...and various other differences. Concept is the same, though--If a person can buy and use the tools, he's way better off in the LONG RUN. Sometimes it's a kick in the ass in the short-term, though. Another consideration is finding a place to PUT all those wonderful tools.

Acquiring the skills to USE those tools is actually the "difficult" part; especially if it's based on trial-and-error rather than learning from a mentor.

You have a point on space. I dont even consider it cause I have a 5000sq ft garage (my shop). I have done the pep boys plastic garage thing and I can understand that if you can pick it up and put it inside after youre done, you dont own it.

As far as lerning how to use the tools, yes a tig is a PITA if you dont have a teacher (like yours trully). However Im sure we all have picked up a kit that required more than a little "massaging" to make it fit. Thats when you learn how to get creative with what you have on hand.

I have ALWAYS been a DIY guys since a kid. I remember when I was 8 or 9 I was in love with Top Gun. I loved airplanes and especially Navy planes. I had model planes and toys but no Aircraft carrier. My dad helped me make a wood stand in and more or less let me design it and he just cut the wood and I put it together. It was a POS but I had a 5 foot long carrier to pretend with even if it was more or less a long triangle made out of particle board we had laying around.

Im sure alot of guys in here spent high school in wood and metal shop and for me thats where the reality that knowing how to make stuff is more important than knowing how to buy it.. when it doesnt exist.

Learning is learning. Thats actually the fun part of getting new tools is learning what you can and cant do with it. Thats why some of us are tool addicts cause we need a tool for everything. Snap On is evil lol. Granted if youre still learning fdont do anything that may be a safety issue for you or someone else. I ll vouch some things have a steep learning curve and practice is a must before tackling the real thing but it makes us better mechanics.

Instant gratification is bad and expensive. Thats all I have to say about that.

Id love to do some how tos but Im so buried in work I cant do anything on my car even though everything is waiting for me to do it (its the story of my life, no money and ample time or flush with cash and no time to breathe).

71Avido
May 21st, 11, 4:55 PM
Ok Ok you have convinced me to do it myself instead, lol!
Actually after realizing I would have to modify the HPI kit pretty extensively to add a better rear crossmember I have decided to do it myself.

There is a local steel supply shop that would do the bend work for me on the cheap. The only thing up in the air is the trans crossmember.

I'll get that hammered out after the bracing is in.

Matty B
May 21st, 11, 7:29 PM
http://www.cachassisworks.com/p-164-trans-x-member-1-1-4-x-2-drop-with-46-max-width.aspx

There are a few kits available with different drops but I have used these and they are well worth the money. The ends of the crossmember are nice billet steel slugs that you weld in as well as welding on the transmount. Very easy to fab up and install, its strong and well priced.

clu269
May 24th, 11, 7:26 PM
Call Tyler at HPI.
The kit I got was setup to add a cross-brace at the rear. It doesn't bend back to the frame rail but continues on striate and bends up to attach to a cross-brace. I fabricated up a cross-brace with exhaust ports out of 2" x 4" x 1/8" tubing (similar to the one they made for the drag chassis) to stiffen the chassis in front of lower rear control arms. I will be running Currie lowers in a three link set up. He can give you whatever you want. I would email or call and talk to him. You will get a very cool trans mount that unless you have access to a plasma table and press brake will not be able to duplicate without hours of fabrication that could be put to better use. Unless you already own a tube bender and I do you won't be able to build it for the cost of the HPI. PM me and I will give you my phone number so that we can talk if you like. The quality of this kit is awesome and I very seldom give props to vender's. Kit come complete with installation instructions. I will be installing mine in the next month and can post build pics as I go. I have been delayed due to Graduations this month. Unless you have the time to engineer and fabricate all the parts needed I would go with HPI. They have already done the engineering and worked out all the bugs.

Clu

71Avido
May 24th, 11, 10:27 PM
I may have to re-think the DIY idea.
After over a dozen phone calls to everybody and their brother in the area I can't find a soul to put a single bend in tube.
I've called:
Industrial steel suppliers
Fence installers since the work with tube
Industrial electricians since the work with big conduit
Muffler shops
Machine shops
even my maintenance shop at work for laughs

Not a one of them can put a bend in pipe without kinking it.

The industrial steel supplier can ROLL the bend on their PIPE bender but the radius on the bend would be around 12". Thoughts on using a large radius instead of a tight bend?

Any suggestions on places that I havn't tried?

Matty B
May 24th, 11, 11:06 PM
I may have to re-think the DIY idea.
After over a dozen phone calls to everybody and their brother in the area I can't find a soul to put a single bend in tube.
I've called:
Industrial steel suppliers
Fence installers since the work with tube
Industrial electricians since the work with big conduit
Muffler shops
Machine shops
even my maintenance shop at work for laughs

Not a one of them can put a bend in pipe without kinking it.

The industrial steel supplier can ROLL the bend on their PIPE bender but the radius on the bend would be around 12". Thoughts on using a large radius instead of a tight bend?
PS I typed race car fabrication Massachusets and came up with a ton of places. Turner Motorsports could definitely handle that if they are willing to do it. They do BMWs but they build some sick sht. Beyond that they are all over just gotta look.
Any suggestions on places that I havn't tried?

Do you have a 4x4 shop, race fabricator or the like in your area? I dunno where in Mass you live but you cant be that far from a drag race fabricator or another shop that can bend tubing.

If not Im sorry. I can think of at least 10 places within 2 miles of my shop but I live in Sacramento and there are actually a lot of custom car shops of all types in this area.

71Avido
May 25th, 11, 1:16 PM
I did find one guy, small hole in the wall sort of shop that claims he can do it.
He claims to have done roll cages and the sort for years I guess. He's not sure he can bend it without ovaling the tube.
I'll have to give it a shot.

What materials should I use for this? 1-3/4" x .120 DOM is expensive at $120 per 20', is there something else that would be cheaper and equally suited for this job?

71Avido
May 25th, 11, 1:18 PM
PS I typed race car fabrication Massachusets and came up with a ton of places. Turner Motorsports could definitely handle that if they are willing to do it. They do BMWs but they build some sick sht. Beyond that they are all over just gotta look.

Given, there are a bunch of places in MA but I can only drive so far before it becomes a total waste of time and money.
Matty B you have been very helpful so far :yes:

The WidowMaker
May 25th, 11, 5:21 PM
nobody local will be able to bend the tube without some kind of kink, ovaling etc. the machines that will do it are 100k. any roll cage fabricator can do it and you wont notice the imperfections without looking for them.

12" radius will be too much. i used 1.75" .120 mild steel tubing with a 6" bend radius. there is absolutely no need for DOM. the wall will be more consistent with dom, and you will get a slightly prettier bend, but there is no reason for the added cost.

71Avido
May 25th, 11, 5:31 PM
nobody local will be able to bend the tube without some kind of kink, ovaling etc. the machines that will do it are 100k. any roll cage fabricator can do it and you wont notice the imperfections without looking for them.

12" radius will be too much. i used 1.75" .120 mild steel tubing with a 6" bend radius. there is absolutely no need for DOM. the wall will be more consistent with dom, and you will get a slightly prettier bend, but there is no reason for the added cost.

I was more worried about the structural integrity of kinked tube than the lack of aesthetics.
When you say "mild steel tubing" are you talking ERW? the stuff with a welded seam? Wouldn't that be less structural than DOM?
Im just trying to get what I need down before placing any orders.

The WidowMaker
May 25th, 11, 10:16 PM
I was more worried about the structural integrity of kinked tube than the lack of aesthetics.
When you say "mild steel tubing" are you talking ERW? the stuff with a welded seam? Wouldn't that be less structural than DOM?
Im just trying to get what I need down before placing any orders.

yep, erw. if youre building a cage or control arms there is no replacement for dom (although there are guys building that stuff from erw). but for the added members of the frame that basically work as a swaybar, theres no need. i cant possibly fathom a situation that would split the tubing.

71Avido
Aug 19th, 11, 10:19 AM
Finally able to upload some pics of the frame I did, this is all obviously before I finish welded everything in. All work was done with the body off the frame by only about 10 inches. I had a guy put 2 bends in the main tubes but everything else was done with just a 4-1/2" angle grinder and my welder.
Forgive the messy "shop".
I may still do some modifications to save SOME weight, the whole thing weighs probably a little over 100lbs.
For the record, this had added a very noticeable amount of stiffness to the frame. I pulled a coil on the rear to do some boxing/gusset work back there and the whole assembly never sagged on that side at all. I can jack it up from just before the rear tire and the front will start to come up before the rear even leaves the ground. Whether or not it will be worth it remains to be seen. :D
After this was all said and done, I am glad that I did it. It was a great learning experience. The kit from HPI would have been a much easier way to go but I can proudly proclaim that I did this all myself.
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/TheAvido/DSC03277.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/TheAvido/DSC03300.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/TheAvido/DSC03284.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/TheAvido/DSC03283.jpg
I know I know, the boxing plate is crooked!
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/TheAvido/DSC03335.jpg

ed1le
Aug 19th, 11, 12:37 PM
Not bad at all! :thumbsup:

I agree, thought it would be heavier

K I was just asking cause I didnt know how convertibles did it either
To tell the truth I didnt know convertibles had the frame fully boxed?
I thought the just had alot of bracing

Yes, convertible frames are fully boxed but other than the two extra bddy bushings in the rear, there's no additional bracing that I recall.

are the convertible frames seamless? i know the 55 chevy ones are.

I'm pretty sure it is but would have to crawl under the car to confirm for sure.


I'm not a big DIY-er w/ limited tools (and more limited in time!) so this kit would be perfect for someone like me. My buddy works at a body shop so I could take the car there we'd have the tools & lift to properly install it. No I just need something else...oh right, money! :D

71Avido
Aug 19th, 11, 1:34 PM
No I just need something else...oh right, money! :D
Last quote I got for that kit a few months ago was $600 and $150 shipped.

ed1le
Aug 19th, 11, 1:58 PM
Last quote I got for that kit a few months ago was $600 and $150 shipped.


I saw that in an earlier post...I meant I need money in order to buy it! ;)

Matty B
Aug 20th, 11, 8:22 PM
Congrats!!!

I knew you could do it and Im betting you saved quite a bit of cash in the process.

Props for doing it yourself, hopefully the Built Not Bought ethos grows with you.

willj313
Dec 20th, 11, 12:12 AM
Any one have pics of the HPI kits installed

FASTDMAX
Jan 4th, 12, 10:17 PM
for the guys that did it themselves or even the hpi kit how much room is in between the new bars that go front to back thanks

cozmacozmy
Jun 25th, 13, 2:50 AM
Finally able to upload some pics of the frame I did, this is all obviously before I finish welded everything in. All work was done with the body off the frame by only about 10 inches. I had a guy put 2 bends in the main tubes but everything else was done with just a 4-1/2" angle grinder and my welder.
Forgive the messy "shop".
I may still do some modifications to save SOME weight, the whole thing weighs probably a little over 100lbs.
For the record, this had added a very noticeable amount of stiffness to the frame. I pulled a coil on the rear to do some boxing/gusset work back there and the whole assembly never sagged on that side at all. I can jack it up from just before the rear tire and the front will start to come up before the rear even leaves the ground. Whether or not it will be worth it remains to be seen. :D
After this was all said and done, I am glad that I did it. It was a great learning experience. The kit from HPI would have been a much easier way to go but I can proudly proclaim that I did this all myself.
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/TheAvido/DSC03277.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/TheAvido/DSC03300.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/TheAvido/DSC03284.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/TheAvido/DSC03283.jpg
I know I know, the boxing plate is crooked!
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/TheAvido/DSC03335.jpg


Did you ever get this on the road yet? I'm looking to do this to my 67 in the future.

artmalibu
Jun 26th, 13, 11:50 AM
I just finished boxing the frame on my 71 and the frame stiffness is drastically improved. I had the bare frame on jack stands and when picking up 1 corner the flex was very noticeable. Now with the boxing plates, no flex. Now all the extra bars that are shown in the kit in this thread must make the frame like a tank.

artmalibu
Jun 26th, 13, 12:06 PM
I just finished boxing the frame on my 71 and the frame stiffness is drastically improved. I had the bare frame on jack stands and when picking up 1 corner the flex was very noticeable. Now with the boxing plates, no flex. Now all the extra bars that are shown in the kit in this thread must make the frame like a tank.

Bikerman9967
Jun 26th, 13, 1:33 PM
i ordered an hpi kit but it has yet to show up :/

Bikerman9967
Jun 29th, 13, 11:53 AM
I got my hpi kit yesterday. Looks pretty good. I'm going to mock it up over the holiday weekend and take some pictures. I have a full floor with rockers so ill be able to check clearance without putting my body back on

cozmacozmy
Jul 1st, 13, 1:19 PM
I got my hpi kit yesterday. Looks pretty good. I'm going to mock it up over the holiday weekend and take some pictures. I have a full floor with rockers so ill be able to check clearance without putting my body back on

Take lots of pics if you can Bikerman!

Bikerman9967
Jul 1st, 13, 1:27 PM
the kit is pretty well made, but by far a unbox it and install it kit. everything is oversized so you need to cut it to fit, which is understandable. going to sandblast on wednesday so hopfully i can have it mocked up by friday

cozmacozmy
Oct 14th, 14, 10:58 PM
how's the kit working out Bikerman9967?

tomsc4655
Nov 6th, 14, 9:54 PM
I hope I'm posting the pic right, but here is a picture of my HPI Kit installed. I am very happy with the kit and the fit.

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j79/sc4655/IMG_0355.jpg (http://s77.photobucket.com/user/sc4655/media/IMG_0355.jpg.html)

cozmacozmy
Nov 10th, 14, 6:29 AM
I hope I'm posting the pic right, but here is a picture of my HPI Kit installed. I am very happy with the kit and the fit.

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j79/sc4655/IMG_0355.jpg (http://s77.photobucket.com/user/sc4655/media/IMG_0355.jpg.html)

Looks awesome! How did the install go for you? Can you tell a difference with just the bare frame from before?

tomsc4655
Nov 10th, 14, 2:04 PM
The installation was easier than I thought it would be. I spent a lot of time on the side rails to make sure they were straight and had an even gap for the boxing plate. It really helped to minimize the grinding and fitting before they were tacked in. I have a lot of pics of the whole process, but it was very smooth. All of the pieces required minor grinding and fitting but once they were set to the measurements on the instructions, it all came together perfectly. As mentioned before, you can stand on each corner of these frames and basically twist them without much effort. That has been solved with this kit. I also re-welded every seam on the frame and then ground them all down smooth to give the frame a smooth seamless look. I know it is just cosmetic but the bare frame will be in my garage a while longer before the body goes back on and I didn't want to walk by it everyday and see the gaps and factory welds especially after the cost of the powder coat. For me, the kit was well worth the price. I plan on a carbureted 6.0 with a 4L60E and this kit with the adjustable cross member will make that even easier.

cozmacozmy
Nov 10th, 14, 2:10 PM
Thanks Tom!

Schurkey
Nov 10th, 14, 3:46 PM
http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j79/sc4655/IMG_0355.jpg (http://s77.photobucket.com/user/sc4655/media/IMG_0355.jpg.html)
What kind of engineer DOESN'T design-in diagonal braces for those big rectangular openings? The inherent stability of triangles has been known for centuries.

First Guess: Even with diagonal bracing, this sort of reinforcement could make a major difference in a side-impact collision, but is less useful in any other situation--torsional stiffness isn't increased nearly as much as they'd like you to believe. The boxing of the frame rails alone would give nearly as much benefit, with less ballast and perhaps less headache and certainly less expense.

jiyrulz1
Nov 25th, 14, 3:02 AM
Hey guys, long time listener first time caller.
I have a newbie question. I understand the benefit of boxing your frame as far reducing flex in drag racing but for someone who is fresh to pro-touring and on a budget how beneficial would it really be ? I'm running a gen 1 sbc so I'm not near worried about any torque induced frame damage, but will it help at all with body roll?

Schurkey
Nov 25th, 14, 3:30 AM
First Guess: A car with a boxed frame and crappy body mounts is still more flexible than a stock frame and proper body mount hardware.

Paul-ish
Nov 26th, 14, 6:44 PM
I ordered an HPI kit last week.
I also plan on reinforcing some suspention mounting points and boxing in the rear rails.

Bikerman9967
Dec 8th, 14, 12:01 PM
how's the kit working out Bikerman9967?

its taking up a ton of space in my garage for now. ive halted all work on my car for a long time now. very hard to get the motivation back to get working on it. :sad:

cozmacozmy
Dec 8th, 14, 6:41 PM
its taking up a ton of space in my garage for now. ive halted all work on my car for a long time now. very hard to get the motivation back to get working on it. :sad:

Well good luck with it.

grr456
Dec 8th, 14, 10:44 PM
I "E" mailed HPI 2 weeks ago when I saw their ad, but have yet to hear back from them. Been kinda typical of many companies lately. I'd be afraid to order from them, if they can't respond to a simple "E" mail...

My .02....grr

BigBlock1969
Dec 9th, 14, 12:42 PM
its taking up a ton of space in my garage for now. ive halted all work on my car for a long time now. very hard to get the motivation back to get working on it. :sad:


Common now dont talk like that.. your making great progress.