73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:44 pm

Ishiftem wrote:Here is a link you may be interested in involving a c4 irs in a unibody. http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=119358


I found these drawings of the C4 frame and this shows in detail how the frame is put together. This is giving me some ideas on how to narrow the frame in the middle so it will fit under my Vega Panel Delivery.
Image

And this is the main frame rail.
Image

And this is the parts I will remove from the frame.
Image

:th:
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74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby 73astregt » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:50 pm

if your vette suspension swap works as nice or better than the one in that link your car will be a BEAST! im really liking that setup. im looking forward to watching your build! :th:
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:27 pm

73astregt wrote:if your vette suspension swap works as nice or better than the one in that link your car will be a BEAST! im really liking that setup. im looking forward to watching your build! :th:


I have looked at the Vega and C4 and measured both to see what the best way to make the Vette suspension fit.

It looks like the best way is to put 2x4 tubing between the points indicated by the red section in the diagram below.

Image

And cut away the section that is highlighted by blue.

Image

And if I need to narrow the frame by a few inches to get the wheels under the fenders all I have to do is cut the amount needed from the center braces between the frame rails. If I have to narrow the frame the only thing that I will have to change will be the engine frame mounts, shorten the tie rods to the front spindles and shorten the rear axle shafts. Also I would have to do away with the transverse leaf springs and install coilovers at each wheel which would not be that bad on a thing to consider anyway. A shorter front stabilizer bar would be needed also. So if I can make it work without narrowing it that would be the easiest way to go.

With this setup it will look like a Vega Panel that has been lowered and will handle the road like a C4 Vette (which is what the suspension will be).

Looks like a plan to me. :th:
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Ishiftem » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:03 am

Now you got me thinking about revisiting my rear suspension. Ditching the axle and putting the c4 irs. I looked into it before, but with the narrowing and mounting, I dismissed it as being costly and time consuming. Now I'm wondering about it again. It would be a nice complement to what I'm doing in the front. By the way, make sure you get the suspension out of a stick shift car. They have the dana 44. The automatics only had the dana 36. Not very strong.
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:58 am

Ishiftem wrote:Now you got me thinking about revisiting my rear suspension. Ditching the axle and putting the c4 irs. I looked into it before, but with the narrowing and mounting, I dismissed it as being costly and time consuming. Now I'm wondering about it again. It would be a nice complement to what I'm doing in the front. By the way, make sure you get the suspension out of a stick shift car. They have the dana 44. The automatics only had the dana 36. Not very strong.


I already have the 1984 donor car and the Dana 44 wasn't available until 85 so no luck there. Also it is important to know that in 1984 when there was no 44 offered, all the suporting components of the 36 were made a lot tougher than the 36's offered in the later versions. I got the 84 for parts for another 84 that I have done a lot of work on to get it back on the road. So I thought that since I had the donor just siting there with a good suspension I might as well use it to make my old Vega road worthy with the suspension from the C4.

I have an article about a heavy-duty rebuilt Dana 36 from Zip Products and they say it make the 36 almost as strong as the 44 so I may go with that modification after I get it all together.
:th:
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Astre-mutt » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:47 pm

I'm sorry, but there is no way you can ever get a Corvette frame under a H-body. The width is the least of your worries. Because of the engine set back, and rider position you'll be sitting where the rear storage is now. (unless you like riding in the fetal position) The Corvette rear end swoop into your Vega could be done with a lot of fabrication to your stock chassis. Then again the Dana 36 is only 1/16" bigger ring the later 7.5" rears the came the the H-body anyways. Not trying to be a doubting Thomas here, just practical. Flush the Corvette suspension idea, and just Pro street that thing. It won't corner worth a damn, but wheelies can be fun too! :D
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby 73astregt » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:27 am

i guess we will see if the vette frame will work or not right astremutt? stay tuned !
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:02 am

Astre-mutt wrote:I'm sorry, but there is no way you can ever get a Corvette frame under a H-body. The width is the least of your worries. Because of the engine set back, and rider position you'll be sitting where the rear storage is now. (unless you like riding in the fetal position) The Corvette rear end swoop into your Vega could be done with a lot of fabrication to your stock chassis. Then again the Dana 36 is only 1/16" bigger ring the later 7.5" rears the came the the H-body anyways. Not trying to be a doubting Thomas here, just practical. Flush the Corvette suspension idea, and just Pro street that thing. It won't corner worth a damn, but wheelies can be fun too! :D


Thanks for the encouragement and I accept the challenge.......... :th:

I decide from the start with my Vega it would not be just another wheel hopping engine and differential swap Vega that can only be driven wide open in a straight line. My goal is to have a Vega Panel that will pin you back into the seat taking off and will also take you through the turns at .9g while doing 100+ mph.

I have already gone over every problem that could come up (I hope, but probably not) with putting the C4 frame and suspension under it. I plan on documenting the build in detail here. I even decided to make it even harder by doing a 4 inch top chop so it will not be like every other Vega panel out there (not that there is anything wrong with all the nice looking panels and wagons out there).
:haha:
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:51 am

73astregt wrote:i guess we will see if the vette frame will work or not right astremutt? stay tuned !


Never say NEVER..........and the proof will be in the pictures. :th:

The build has begun. :arrow:
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:00 am

While working on my 5.7 install in my 97 Blazer in the basement I noticed that the sun was shining and it was warming up (in the 50’s) a bit outside so I decided to go out to the back yard to get some more measurements on the Vega and the C4. While getting the measurements I started to remove some things from the engine compartment so I could get more of an idea on the engine placement in the Vegavette.

I pulled the Holley carb. to get ready to pull the engine and one of the valve covers just to see what the top side of the head looked like. The engine is being pulled to go through it completely and possibly to put a different cam in (I forget what cam I used for the build back then).

Image

The inside of the engine is still as clean as when I built it and the outside is still as dirty as when we removed it from the mud truck. We had planned on pulling the engine back out to clean it up and go through the engine to make sure everything was still in good shape after running it for the last two racing seasons without a teardown. We changed the oil and filter after each weekend of racing and pulled the sparkplugs to look at them but that is all we did to the engine for two years.

Image

The above photo show that I have room to move the engine back at least 4 inches if I use a smaller distributer and do a little modification to the stock firewall. If I use the center section of the C4 firewall in the Vega body I can get all the room needed to set the engine back as much as needed to use the C4 frame (engine placement in relation to the centerline of the front wheels).

Image

The Accel Super Coil and HEI distributor will have to go to allow the engine to move back as much as needed for the C4 frame install.

More to come in the next episode of the Vegavette build…………………. :th:
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:55 am

Even though the top chop will be after the frame and suspension are installed I did get some measurements of the top and do some planning on what will have to be done to make a 4 inch top chop work on the Vega Panel.

Image Image

As you can see if the top comes down 4 inches it will have to move forward in the front and to the rear in the back to line up with the slope of the windshield and the rear hatch.

Image

For the front of the top to move forward and the rear of the top to move to the back it will have to be cut across the top just in front of and just behind the center post as shown above. Then two strips of sheet metal will have to be added to the gap to put the top back together. This will make the top 4 or 5 inches longer from front to rear adding to the lower and longer look of the top chop. Now see how simple the top chop is when you put a little thought into it. :rolleyes:

But as I said before, the cut of the top will have to wait until the frame and suspension is done.

More to come in the next episode of the Vegavette build…………………. :th:
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:46 am

I got some more measurements of the interior of the Vega and C4 and compared them here.

Image Image

The raised area behind the seats of the Vega Panel and the C4 (though not as long or wide) are very similar.

Image

After doing some measuring of both vehicles I am sure that by cutting the C4 storage area (see blue cut line) and the Vega floor (the same cut width) in about the same place I can use the center section out of the C4 floor in the Vega Panel which will give me the right width in the wheel wells. Then with a little sheet metal work on the sides of the storage area to join the C4 and Vega it should look almost stock in the rear area of the Panel. This will also move the storage area behind the seat in the Vega back some and the C4 seat will remain in the same position in the floor pan but slightly to the rear in the Vega body.

Image

And if the cut (blue line) is continued up the floor pan and into the firewall it will give me the center tunnel and firewall of the C4 to work with. This will make it much easier to keep the engine close to the same position in the frame and will allow me to use the brake master cylinder/booster from the C4 brake system.

I guess it would be better to say that this will be a C4 with a Vega Panel body put on it rather that a Vega with C4 suspension.Image

More to come in the next episode of the Vegavette build…………………. :th:
Last edited by Hondo on Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby bugdewde » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:45 pm

I like the idea..... Good luck. I agree, it may be easier to but the Panel body on the C4 stuff.

I know you have the C4 stuff already there and it seems logical to do it...... but check Schwartz's Vega out. He really knows how to make a car handle... His '65 Tempest (Temptress) won Hot Rod magazine's top prize for all around performance. I have seen it autocross... Wow!

He's building a Vega coupe.... and it WILL handle well. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=28329

Here's his website.... check out his Chassis and project cars: http://www.schwartzperformance.com/
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby Hondo » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:18 pm

bugdewde wrote:I like the idea..... Good luck. I agree, it may be easier to but the Panel body on the C4 stuff.

I know you have the C4 stuff already there and it seems logical to do it...... but check Schwartz's Vega out. He really knows how to make a car handle... His '65 Tempest (Temptress) won Hot Rod magazine's top prize for all around performance. I have seen it autocross... Wow!

He's building a Vega coupe.... and it WILL handle well. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=28329

Here's his website.... check out his Chassis and project cars: http://www.schwartzperformance.com/


Thanks for the links.

Looks like it will be a good driver. :th:
Some men talk 'cause they got somethin' to say.
Others talk 'cause they got to say somethin'.


FYI
In the basement now:Image
97 Blazer AWD getting a Vortec 5.7 installed
74 Corvette Stingray getting restored to original sepcs.
46 Willys Jeep getting restored to original specs.
1978 Honda CX500 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)wife's
1974 Honda CB750 motorcycle restored to original (waiting on warm weather to ride)mine
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Re: 73 Vega Panel Chopped 84 Vette suspension

Postby monza75tc » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:20 am

Hondo,

If they can fit an early Nova onto the Vette chassis, It should fit on the Panel even better. I would check on the width as it might be better(safer) to keep the original frame rails, just extend them a tad to match the wheel wells up. If you need to narrow it some just shorten the crossmembers along the frame and work with the steering and rear. Heck, if Eric of Norway can fit a Jag rear under one you should be able to fit the Vette rear under it. Check his Vega wagon out. I think he has some garage pic's on this site. He also made his front spoiler/bumper from a Toyota 4 Runner.

Dick
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