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Author Topic: Is my subframe saveable or beyond repair ???  (Read 1254 times)
DAVEN1256
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« on: May 23, 2012, 09:41:09 AM »

I am trying to get some opinions as to wether my original GM '68 subframe is repairable or beyond hope. This is a first time restoration project for me and I am learning as I go. I just got the subframe stripped of all it's components and I found more damage than I was expecting!

I lost a good part of my original body when I got the shell repaired and am doing my best now to save whatever original parts that I can now as long as the cost doesn't get out of hand or I would have to sacrifce any structural integrity. I know getting the frame sandblasted or dipped would give me clearer picture of it's condition. I don't want to do that first though if it's already a lost cause. I am going to list the problems both structural and cosmetic and provide a Photobucket link with some pictures:    http://s1057.photobucket.com/albums/t386/daven1256/

Structural: 1) The four main mounting holes are shot. ( I know this is repairable )

2) The drivers's side coil spring pocket is starting to rust through right where the top of the spring seats. I don't know if it rusted from the top down, the bottom up, or both. It's so crusty on both sides, it's hard to tell. This scares me the most!

3) The upper shock mounting hole on the drivers side has enlarged slightly and the metal thickness at the hole thinned out a little bit.

4) Most of the outer and inner surfaces of my frame have shallow rust pitting. If there is pitting, then there is some material lost which would mean some loss of strength. I don't know if this is an issue or not

Cosmetic: 1) Again the pitting on the ouside. ( I know this can be smoothed with body filler. )

2) Four of the slotted holes on the outside surfaces towards the front end are pulled outward and distorted from transport truck tie downs.

3) The bottom of the main cross member is caved upward slightly. Probably from jacking it up there. About a 1/4 in. in the center.

4) The bottom surface of the driver sider rail, between the firewall and the under the seat mount, is caved upward slightly also. About and eighth inch in the middle. Again, probably from jacking.

5) The factory welding is about as sloppy, messy, and ugly as you can get!

I did my best to check the subframe dimensions against those shown in the '68 Fisher body manual. Some of the dimensions shown are hard to check because you can't run a measuring tape directly from hole to hole because there is stuff in the way. I rigged up a way to do it but I am sure there was some room for error. The difference between my dimensions and the factory dimensions ranged from 0, 1/16, 1/8, and 3/16 inches at the worst.

So in the end, I want to put a structurally sound, cosmetically nice looking subframe back under this car. Preferably, the one that came down the assebly line with it. Can any or all of these things be repaired or is time to find a replacement in better shape ?

Any comments are appreciated.................Thanks...Dave

http://s1057.photobucket.com/albums/t386/daven1256/
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tmodel66
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 09:57:35 AM »

It can easily be fixed if you can use a torch and welder. I would make my own parts though. I've heard the reproduction repair kits are thin and don't fit.
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Daniel  
'69 SS 350/4 speed  Fathom Green--POP
Sauron327
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 11:31:47 AM »

With the deteration and damage as indicated in the photos you posted on Team Camaro, I'd buy a better one. If the metal is thin overall due to the corrosion shown, toss it. Not hard to find a subframe.
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69Z28-RS
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 12:23:43 PM »

Look for a good non-rusty, undamaged original part; should be better than a repro..
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
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L78 steve
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 12:36:04 PM »

Nova frames are the same, Easier to find.
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69 Z/28 Dover White X33,ZL2,PS,M20,Std.int.04C
JKZ27
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 03:31:43 PM »

Frames are specific to each year. Although, they will all bolt in place 67, 68 and 69 all have minor differences, most notable is the lower control arm bump-stop location, I think. There are measurement specifications in the service manual so you can check your replacement for straightness.

John
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camaronut
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 04:23:36 PM »

Yeah I would definately get another one, and they aren't that hard to get......

Now here's how anal some people are in the hobby......

I was accused by someone a few years back that my car was a fake, and not a real 69 SS...X11 car so I can see the reservation....

When resotring my car, the original subframe was twisted, so I trashed it.......so I got another used one, that came from a base car which had the brackets bolted onto the side of the frame for the brake hoses.......so I took them off, and left behind was a "ghost" of the bracket and the hole was threaded......which would not be the case on a true SS, which has disc brakes and the brake hose bracket installed on top of the frame.....

Crazy to have to think of that, but if you're building the car to go into concourse judging....that's somthing to think about...
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67conv6cyl
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 06:17:14 PM »

Dave, I am not sure where you live however I have a very very clean 1968 camaro subframe there is no pit or rust on it at all I have owned it for 19 years it is in my heated and cooled basement, it does have some dents on the middle cross member (maybe from jacking) the mount hole are perfect it is from California, The best part is you can have it for free if you come and pick it up and promiss not to sale it for profit, it is free for your 68. The lower control arm bumps are correct for 68 camaro only. You don't even have to paint it there is not a scratch on it! other than the the bottom dents it is the cleanest I have ever seen, it is a bare subrame. I live in North Carolina.
Paul
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68camaroz28
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 09:23:40 PM »

Dave, I am not sure where you live however I have a very very clean 1968 camaro subframe there is no pit or rust on it at all I have owned it for 19 years it is in my heated and cooled basement, it does have some dents on the middle cross member (maybe from jacking) the mount hole are perfect it is from California, The best part is you can have it for free if you come and pick it up and promiss not to sale it for profit, it is free for your 68. The lower control arm bumps are correct for 68 camaro only. You don't even have to paint it there is not a scratch on it! other than the the bottom dents it is the cleanest I have ever seen, it is a bare subrame. I live in North Carolina.
Paul

Now that is what makes this hobby and the meeting of other car people so great. Good on ya Paul!
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Chick
68 Z/28 NOR 01B Orig motor/trans/rear
69 Z/28 NOR 07A Orig Block & GM Cross-ram/carbs
69 L34 Rest. Nova Father/Son Car
69 L78 Surv Nova Purch 4/69 31K miles
67 L89 Corv Tribute
68 Corv 427/400 Orig motor
07 Corv Z06
R 68Z build- http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=182584
DAVEN1256
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 09:24:50 AM »

Dave, I am not sure where you live however I have a very very clean 1968 camaro subframe there is no pit or rust on it at all I have owned it for 19 years it is in my heated and cooled basement, it does have some dents on the middle cross member (maybe from jacking) the mount hole are perfect it is from California, The best part is you can have it for free if you come and pick it up and promiss not to sale it for profit, it is free for your 68. The lower control arm bumps are correct for 68 camaro only. You don't even have to paint it there is not a scratch on it! other than the the bottom dents it is the cleanest I have ever seen, it is a bare subrame. I live in North Carolina.
Paul
WOW !!! .........Paul......thank you for your generous offer. I live just outside of Orlando, FL and am very, very intersted. I am going to send you a PM shortly to talk about it. It might take me a little bit. I am fixing a water leak right in the house right now..........Dave
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