s10 frame

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s10 frame

Postby spyder_xlch » Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:27 pm

Without going into alot of detail, my frame rails are pretty crusty. I saw a post on another site where someone put an s10 frame in a vega. It may be easier than fixing what i have and i can get a real good deal on a frame with front suspension. i'm just wondering how much weight i'd gain by using the s10 frame. i'd lose some by cutting out the monza frame rails and inner fenders. any ideas?
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Postby Sirshredalot » Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:37 pm

Itd be a better option instead of going through all that work to just tub and subframe the car with a chassisworks kit or somthing.

cause youd go and put all that work in it and it would look like an AMC eagle....ya know...those 4WD station wagons from the 70's....Goofy.

Even with a tube chassis youd have alot more options for custom mounts and such....the S10 chassis will limit you and on top of all that work youd have to replace all the worn out factory bushings and live with riding "on the frame" cause youd have to "channel" the body to get it to hide the frame.

Youd also have to fabricate a new floor pan as well as frame mounts and body mounts...which would need to be reinforces to support the body of the car.

If it where me, I would run a CA chassisworks frame kit under it with a modified stock front end or a JEGS front clip...then youre serious.

BUT!!....subframe connectors can help alot...just hammer and cut the old sheet metal into submission and weld in the subframe connectors and VIOLA!....instant "frame".

Just my .02

God bless
-Shred
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Postby spyder_xlch » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:53 pm

I see where you're comming from Shred and I thank you for you're input. the thing is, I can get the frame and front suspension for about the same price as subframe connectors. maybe "racing chassis" is the wrong forum for this since it's not going to be a race car, just a kick ass street car. I didn't see any other forum where this fit in though. I don't plan to tub it and if i do it'll be very minimal. A few inches at the most. I only plan to run the frame back as far as the rear lower control arm mounts and i do plan to cut the floor some to sit lower. kind of like how you cut the floor for subframe connectors. Not the whole floor, just the low spots. I can use dropped spindles or springs to get it lower of needed. Fabbing motor mounts aren't a big deal nor is fabbing anything else I'll need to do. I guess I got alittle long winded here, all i really wanted to know was how much weight I'll be adding if anyone knew. Like I said before, it's not a race car but the less weight I add the less power I have to add. Plus I'm on a tight budget.
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Postby spyder_xlch » Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:15 pm

By the way, I had 3 of those AMC eagles. All 3 were wagons although they did make several different body styles. I had one lifted about 2 inches using Matador springs up front and F-150 springs in the rear. I was going to make a 2 door panel wagon out of it til the unibody came apart.
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Postby NixVegaGT » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:55 am

Check out Ray's project journal on the first page:

http://forums.h-body.org/viewtopic.php?t=1175

I did a similar thing. Here's a couple pix from my build page:

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2357894/7

I've still got to update this page because I've since finished the frame rails and I could take more detailed pix. My driver side rear trailing arm perch and corresponding unibody frame was rotted. For my frame rails I chopped out a channel right through them and ran the rails right to the trailing arm, creating a new perch for them.

I 'm pretty sure Ray left his alone. He went underneath and welded tabs up in to where the trailing arm mounts to share load through the frame rail.

The last place to get a different POV is Reid's garage page:

http://forums.h-body.org/garage.php?mod ... cle&CID=12

He built a weld in frame that didn't modify any existing structures. He's got plans for them too. I went a different direction but the plans helped me plan my solution better. It's worth taking a look at...
- Nic '73 Vega GT "DogBoxx" Batwing LS1
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2357894
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Postby Sirshredalot » Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:06 pm

Hey NixvegaGT,

I was looking at your car domain site and was wondering if the frame rails that you have put in go all the way back and the rear portion of them becomes the lower control arm mount?

If it is that looks like it would be significantly stronger than the other way of putting in the SubFrame connectors....between the body lip and the trans tunnel.

Please and thank you
God bless
-Shred
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Postby NixVegaGT » Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:31 pm

Thanks for asking, Shred. Yeah I went right through the unibody mount and welded everything together. It added a bunch of thickness to the perch for the trailing arm and, I'm hoping, ties the forces directly into my frame rail. Then I welded it the whole way into the unibody. It's likely WAY overkill but I wanted it to be really stable because I planned on racing it in Solo I and II.

The process also really cleaned up the line of the pinch weld on the bottom of the rocker panel. It makes it look really good. I'm having the body shop fill and sand the pinch weld too. I think it will look good... Hopefully work better.

Thanks man.
- Nic '73 Vega GT "DogBoxx" Batwing LS1
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Postby zeke » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:04 pm

NixVegaGT wrote:The process also really cleaned up the line of the pinch weld on the bottom of the rocker panel. It makes it look really good. I'm having the body shop fill and sand the pinch weld too. I think it will look good... Hopefully work better.


Now theres an idea! 8)

Thanx for your big post NixVegaGT , a ton of good info on frame connectors in those 3 links.

Thats one of my next projects and I may use a combination of your's and barebones ideas. I was under there looking at the rear lower control arm mounts today and there is just next to nothing there from the factory. I really don't want to cut my perfect floor tho, so i may form the connectors around it like barebones did. I have my own idea about the trans crossmember. Not sure how far I will go in the front. I guess the closer to the engine frame mounts, the better.
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Postby NixVegaGT » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:44 am

That sounds like a good idea, Chris. I was thinking along the same lines but I realized I didn't have any room for exhaust so I decided to raise the rear foot well a few inches... I think you're on the right track.
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Postby spyder_xlch » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:01 pm

Those ideas are great. I have seen them before and was going to go that route until I really got looking under my car. I think most people would strip and crush a car that's in the shape mine is underneath. the rear control arm mounts are gone, the left frame from the firewall to the lower control arm is almost not even there. the floors are about 50% gone. the reason i'm not crushing it is because the body is in great shape and it's hard to find a Monza around here any more. the rockers are rust free, the doors are ok with little rust on the bottom. no rust around the windows. it sat for 20 years in the weeds and just rotted real bad under the car. frame rail connectors won't help me. i'd have to rebuild alot of the front frame, floor pans and rear control arm mounts. til i do all that work I feel i'd be better off swapping in the s10 frame. I can get the frame, control arms, spindles, rotors, calipers, steering linkage, and steering box for under $200 from a guy i work with. I could probably get him to throw in the rear axle shafts too. Thanks for the input guys but do you see where i'm coming from?
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Postby NixVegaGT » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:20 pm

OK... The S10 frame that was referenced long ago was a hybrid that used just the front frame rails in the engine compartment. It was spliced into the unibody and connected with beams to the rear unibody supports. If the rear frame rails are gone then it's likely the floors are bad too.

Start by welding a network of 1" or 3/4" tubes inside the body to hold it where it is right now with out changing dimension. Then start measuring, drawing plans, and build some new frame components and start chopping. The point is the S10 frame really isn't practical to attempt to use. You'd be better off building your own frame from straight rails.

The frame rails I built totally replaced the rear trailing arm mounts. I could have built a frame from what I made. Or rails similar to Ray's... It will actually be more practical and less complex then trying to splice the S10 rails.

Do you ever watch "Muscle Car" on Spike? If you've got NetFlix you can order the DVDs. They built a frame for a GT350 race car project. They pretty much go through everything you'd need to do.

ANyone know of books for chassis building?
- Nic '73 Vega GT "DogBoxx" Batwing LS1
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Postby Sirshredalot » Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:54 pm

A good book for chassis design for racing is Doorslammers.

Its hard to find anymore...better off ordering it through JEGS than buying on Amazon...used copies are going in the hundreds when new ones are 30.

Anywho.

My car is pretty bad too...it sat in the weeds for years before I bought it.
The rear lower conrol arm mounts are toast....the rockers are clean but the driver side floor is history and so is half of the tranny mount pad.

Im gonna frame it all eventually....but i dont plan on doing a frame swap rather, but making my own frame...itll be lighter and easier and stronger.

Tubing is much stronger than a "C"channel style frame and saves alot of weight.
Id say that either way its the same amount of work for a better end result with the tube frame.
Note: "tube" can mean square or rectangle as well.

The S10 chassis sounds like a good deal price-wise...but I have a hunch (a good one) that it will be more headache than its work....and that is coming froma guy who REALLY likes to fabricate and do what others say he cant do.

From a practical stand point....look at it this way....if you start the S10 frame job....and realize its more work than its worth...youll have alot of work to "undo" to swap in a tube frame job....but if you go the tube frame route first with the s10 frame on the back burner ...that will leave you with a lot more options on down the road.

Either way it sounds like you have your hands full....just like I do.
But I love the car and wouldnt trade it for a mint car....just cause its MINE.

All of us have posted our opinions...and they are just that...opinions.....but alot of them are wisely educated opinions that have been there or are there right now.

The choice is yours

God bless
-Shred
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Postby NixVegaGT » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:19 pm

Well put, Shred. I realized my comment about the 1" tubes wasn't totally explained. I mean to just temporarily welding in some supports so the chassis doesn't move. Make sense?
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Postby Sirshredalot » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:06 pm

I understood what you meant Nix,

Welding struts across the floor to the rockers to keep the body from shifting and making everything off kilter....good idea....really good idea.

Especially when cutting alot in the floor.

God bless
-Shred
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Postby flracer » Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:29 pm

I think the s/10 frame was being done by gs jimmy he posted pics on the other board.Havent seen or heard anything about it since last year.
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