which subframe

Discussion in '1955-1959' started by 56pos, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. 56pos

    56pos Guest

    New here and Im in need of help. First a brief history. Bought my 56 about a year ago. 283 v8 W/ 3 speed, big back window, 64 ss rear end. The truck runs great (little under powered) and looks good. The guy I bought it from had it for about 6 months and he bought it from a guy who completly restored it in 1989. He lowered it but what he did was heated up the springs and bent them. THe problem is the fron springs are prety much resting on the bump stops. Ive been saving to buy a new subframe. Ive been kinda puting it off but now the frame riding on the axlw is taking its toll. THings are comming lose and just recently the radior and front fender have cracked. I need to do something before it gets worse.

    My question is my shop teacher has a 1985ish camaro subframe, Will it fit my truck. What are other choices other that that and the Mustang II frame do I have? I'm on a limited buget and have about $3,000 to do it with. I'm starting to get pissed with the truck and want to sell it but I love it too much. I can get a good deal on the camaro frame and may have a place to get it put on cheap also.

    tl:dr trucking falling apart b/c of poor/no suspension. Which front end?
  2. DrMike

    DrMike Member

    Jan 1, 2000
    If you want to keep the truck stock, just buy the springs, shackles and bolts from Chevy Duty. I did this route with mine a couple of years ago. My 58 had the springs heated too and every time I hit a bump in the road, the frontend would pound you. Cost you a lot less than a subframe.

    If you want to follow the subframe route, the two you already mentioned are fine. You also might consider the Plymouth Volare. It is a perfect match for a bolt-in. You don't have to notch or modify the frame at all. They are still plentifull in salvage yards.

    There is a guy here in the Bakersfield area that does the entire job for you for $1200 including the subframe. Does one a day. Was going to have him do mine but a new engine kind of took preferrence.

    Hope this helps.

    Dr Mike
  3. Phil

    Phil Member

    Mar 5, 2003
    Do you really want to cut your frame in half? Dodge Dakota is also an option. My truck has a MustangII, been driving it for 3 yrs but if I was to do it over again I'd look into the Dakota setup. Check out www.chevytalk.org and go to their 50's pickup forum for more info.
  4. [updated:LAST EDITED ON Oct-20-04 AT 04:07 PM (CST)]The correct way to do a volare clip is to notch the frame. You don't have to cut the frame in half, like you would with a GM clip, but you do notch the bottom of the frame so that the clip slides into it. No need to fab sheetmetal support. It is very easy. But so are the after market clips. I would say the volare is the easiest way to go out of the subframe swaps. But the after market kits really easy also, but they are expensive. If I were to do mine again I would go with the Mustang II, Monte Carlo, or a dakota. Because you can not air bag a volare. Now I'm thinking I want air bags. I could always cut my frame and go with the Monte Carlo but I hate doing something (IFS installation) I've already done. But maybe I will, I'll have to thank about that. I've also seen a S10 front clip installation it look very good. You have options, just make sure who ever does it knows what they are doing. But the volare and after market kits you could do yourself if you know how to weld.
  5. 56pos

    56pos Guest

    I havent looked much into details of subframing yet but what do you all need? If you get a chevy all you need is the frame, but with the dakota, Volare, or Mustang II is there kits to put on gm discs, calipers, engine mounts, ect? Also please rank the top 3 frames, if you disagree with someone elses list please post why.

  6. [updated:LAST EDITED ON Oct-21-04 AT 02:02 PM (CST)]56pos,

    You know what they say about opinions right? Well everybody has an opinion about subframing. I’ll try to help, but you have to make a decision about what is best for you.

    *Easy of installation and skill level to install correctly goes in this order
    1. After market clips (mustang II, dakota, etc.) this also includes corvette and jaguar ifs (no or very little cutting on your frame reattaching sheetmetal is not a problem)

    2. Volare (notching the bottom of your frame sheet metal attachment is not a problem just as with the after market kits)

    3. GM Clip (the hardest) you are cutting you frame in half at the firewall and grafting in the GM Clip. So from the firewall farward the GM Clip is now a part of your frame. You must fabircate your radiator mounts and mounts for your sheetmetal.

    Expense (starting with the most expensive)
    1. After market kits are the most up front cost the most expensive.
    2. GM Clips and Volare are the least expensive.

    Time of installation.
    1. After market kits require less skill and time
    2. Volare is next as far as skill and time
    3. GM Clips you really have to know you stuff in my opinion.

    This is subject to debate. I've road in Volares, Mustang II, GM Clips, and they all have a nice ride to me.

    1. After market kits looks the best and have so many products to dress the up.
    2. GM Clips is next a lot of after market stuff available also
    3. Volares can look bad and ride good. Although if you spend so time you can make them look good. Mines look like it was made for my frame.

    Volares drop out of the donor car all in one piece, everything you need it there or should be. They do not have a GM bolt pattern. They are 5 on 4 1/2. I had my rotor redrilled to 5 on 4 3/4 to match my iroc rearend.

    GM Glip as you know is the frame part of a unibody car. Everything you need is there or should be.

    After markets kits. Like the Mustang II the skys the limit. you can get GM rotors, f*** rotors.
    You also just buy the cross member and go to the junkyard and look for parts. But most people just buy the hub to hub kits.
    I believe the Dakota is just the cross member and you go to the junkyard to look for the components, at least that’s what my buddy did for his.

    GM Clips and after kits can be air bagged.
    Volare can't

    Now make a choice and live with it.lol
  7. Oh sorry I missed the part of you question about the 1985 camero subframe. It will work although I've never done one. People usually use 1969 to 1981 camero ifs. But I heard of people using the 3rd generation ifs. If you are going that route I would chose a Monte Carlo around 1979 to 1988.

    I've done them and like the way the fit a better you could make them look factory.
  8. 57gmcv8

    57gmcv8 Member

    Jan 14, 2006
    Over in England we use Jaguar XJ6 front clips. Power rack (not steering box) front frame has to be notched 0.5" each side. Jag and Chevy use the same stud pattern.:D
  9. 57 restomod

    57 restomod Member

    Jan 28, 2005
    Volare clip

    I installed a Volare sub-frame (actually there's several models and years with the same sub-frame) in my 57. I'm a novice and budget and level of difficuly was a concern for me. A couple of advantages I liked as well is that the stock frame is kept complete so reinstalling the front body parts is the same. If you cut the frame it'll take some engineering to re-attach the front body. Also the Volare has adjustable torsion bars so you can adjust ride hieght to some degree. Getting proper hieght can be difficult if you go the Camaro route. I took lots of pictures if you go this route. Murray murrsue@hotmail.com
  10. scarab777

    scarab777 Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    meridian, id
    hey Mike,
    could you send me pics of your frame job. I would love to see how the volare turned out. I just bought a 56 what is going to get some type of new suspension. cic the volare just bolt in with ease and did the 305 bolt in? thanks a lot.

  11. bill55

    bill55 Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    Tacoma, WA
    I went with the M11 with tubular arms and a power rack, gm brakes with a ford bolt pattern to match ford 9". Costs a little more than a gm clip, with a clip, once you cut and weld, thats it so it better be right or you will be looking for another frame. If you don't have the skill or never done one, I would look for someone who has plenty of experience. The aftermarket IFS like the M11 are straight forward and easiest to do.
  12. coilover

    coilover Member

    Mar 30, 2005
    Plano US
    ifs front

    Another low price option is the 71-78 van front crossmember. The van is necessary for the TF trucks because the pickup is too narrow. Lots of these have been done but do have the tires spaced an inch too wide out. Wheels with extra backspacing would cure this. The lug pattern is 5 on 5 compared to your 64 rear pattern of 5 on 4 3/4. That Dakota setup sounds good. Around here the yards crushed out most all the Volare/Aspen cars when the Chinese pushed the price of scrap so high. The chryslers have a 5 on 4 1/2 bolt pattern. On a camaro or any clip that has you cut the frame you will need to do your own work or labor will eat your cash reserve in a hurry. Radiator core support must be mounted near perfect or front sheetmetal will not align, bumper mounts, steering linkage, trimming of inner fenders, etc,etc, must all be fabricated. You were right to get imput and good luck.

Share This Page