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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the process of building a chassis form the ground up. I'm working on the frame now and just made templates for boxing the C channels on my 64SS. I had the frame blasted and looked at the condition of the original factory welds. Amazing the thing held up all these years. Nothing cracked or bent, just not the greatest welds with gaps here and there along some of the bracket beads.

Question I have is in addition to laying down some additional MIG over the existing welds, is there any other area I need to add in more strength, maybe around some of the suspension brackets, or rear shock mounts?? I changed out the rear cross member today.

As long as I have the frame bare, I might as well tighten it up a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
With 96 views and no responses, do you think this thread is better asked in another section?
 

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What are your plans for your build? Autocross? Track? I'm seriously wondering if all this is worth it if its a show car/not a serious race car. I like to drive mine on the street daily, I really don't see much benefit for me to box my frame with 15 inch wheels...

The trend is to box the frame and add frame gussets / braces at the front and rear cross members (described in various build threads) especially in the Pro touring groups but I seriously wonder if it makes a difference in daily driving...
 

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I'd make any necessary repairs and be done with it. I highly doubt most frames that are modified really need it. Looks all pretty in the pics when in reality all it does is lighten you're wallet and add weight to your car. Factory welds aren't pretty they were never ment to be but it's held up all these years hasn't it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What are your plans for your build? Autocross? Track? I'm seriously wondering if all this is worth it if its a show car/not a serious race car. I like to drive mine on the street daily, I really don't see much benefit for me to box my frame with 15 inch wheels...

The trend is to box the frame and add frame gussets / braces at the front and rear cross members (described in various build threads) especially in the Pro touring groups but I seriously wonder if it makes a difference in daily driving...
Steve,
The car won't be raced or see track time but as long as it's bare frame now, I could hit a few areas with my MIG. I have the metal so I'll end up boxing the rails but it was other areas of concern dealing with suspension brackets and such that was concern.

I read on one of the other forums some areas of the frame tend to take abuse, whether raced or not and should be strengthened or braced if the car is apart. I was going to do more research on the site and see who has some other ideas. I see the commercial frame kits include gussets that tie into the area at the top of the rear spring perch. I'm only doing the frame off once so might as well get some work done while I can.
 

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Pete, aka foftyfo(I think) over in the wagons and four door forum did some extra work on the lower front control arm mounts, do a search on the site for that info and good luck.
 

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Boxing the frame is probably overkill, but if you have the time and materials why not? Aside from that, on the practical side all you should probably add are those additional braces that tie together the front mounting points of the rear upper and lower control arms. See my attachment for the ones I'm talking about. These are reproductions, but they are also available as tubed rods from aftermarket suspension sources.

When I was building the wagon I had a welder inspect the frame. He didn't find any flaws but he was agast at the quality of the welds. He ground out a few and then simply finished all the welds that were just laid in in pieces. Did it make much difference? Probably not, but as you said, while the frame is bare...... My welder paid special attention to where the suspension brackets are welded to the frame.

 

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Agree with Rich about the braces. GM engineers thought this was necessary, it cost GM money so it must have been effective.

Look at the bottom of the skid plate under the oil pan. If there is any road scrapes this is a good time to fill them in with weld and grind them smooth. Also look carefully at the rear shock mount hardware holes. Often they have cracks surrounding these holes.

As for welding quality from the factory it wasn't necessary for continuous welds. In engineering school we learned that stich welding was plenty strong. As for boxed frames, this was for convertibles and El Caminos that did not have the roof structure that the sedans and hardtops had. A full body shell is very effective for stiffening the car as a unit. Just a have new rubber body mounts as I am sure you intend.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Boxing the frame is probably overkill, but if you have the time and materials why not? Aside from that, on the practical side all you should probably add are those additional braces that tie together the front mounting points of the rear upper and lower control arms. See my attachment for the ones I'm talking about. These are reproductions, but they are also available as tubed rods from aftermarket suspension sources.

When I was building the wagon I had a welder inspect the frame. He didn't find any flaws but he was agast at the quality of the welds. He ground out a few and then simply finished all the welds that were just laid in in pieces. Did it make much difference? Probably not, but as you said, while the frame is bare...... My welder paid special attention to where the suspension brackets are welded to the frame.

Rich, Tom, Ray
All good advice and thanks for sending pics and offering up suggestions. I intend to add the lower control arm support brackets, not sure if aftermarket or originals. Also will probably cleanup some of the welds and smooth out a few areas. I have the metal cut and ready to go, so the boxing will happen. After all this then off to the powder coat. I'm hoping mine will look like Rich and Ray when done.
 
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