Frame Reinforcement

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Swifster
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Frame Reinforcement

Post by Swifster »

I'm heading to VA next week to pick up a Daytona frame. I'm going to be putting around 500HP between the frame rails. HAs anyone stiffened or reinforced their frame to take this much power without twisting or cracking the frame? If so, how was this accomplished?
Tom
Sterling Heights, MI

1964 Studebaker Daytona - Laguna Blue, 289 4V, 4-Speed, Power Steering, Disc Brakes, Bucket Seats, Tinted Glass, Climatizer Ventilation System, AM Radio (136,989 Miles)

Cost To Date: $2125.60
Mike Van Veghten
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by Mike Van Veghten »

I put a full roll cage in my 60 Lark. That car will sit firm on three jack stands now, without sagging more than a couple of thousands. A stock frame can be measured with a yard stick supported the same way.

I doubt much else will last very long. Any kind of doubler will just be a patch over the original material. Once the original material cracks / breaks, all that work will be lost.

Maybe...removing the flat panel under the "hat" section of the original rail, and fully welding on thicker material might help some. Also the "fully" weld will also help over the spot weld of the original assembly. The closed "hat" section frame can be strong, it just starts with a too thin material to begin with.

Mmm...rethinking...if you plan on utilizing all of that 500hp, I think I'd go for the cage. BOTH for the cars health...AND yours..!

Yea...a little history lesson. I remember a friend buying his dads 66 Chevelle, 396, back in the early 70's. He upped the power with a nice 427. He put on a pair of good tires on the back...and proceeded breaking body welds. The panel between the trunk lid and back window was the worst. The body panels tore open on the drivers side and started splitting on the passenger side. As I recall, two or three of the rear control arm mount welds started cracking too.

Mike
Swifster
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by Swifster »

I was hoping this was going to be a little easier. A few gussets here, a few gussets there. For the most part, the car is going to be a cruiser. But there'll be other days, as few as they are, I'm going to want to use all the ponys. I have a couple of ideas to brace the frame similar to a convertible or a wagon. I don't really want to run a full cage, but was thinking of running a roll bar and rear bracing. I was hoping someone had already been down this road. Isn't there an area around the front crossmember that's susceptible to cracks and tears? :mrgreen:
Tom
Sterling Heights, MI

1964 Studebaker Daytona - Laguna Blue, 289 4V, 4-Speed, Power Steering, Disc Brakes, Bucket Seats, Tinted Glass, Climatizer Ventilation System, AM Radio (136,989 Miles)

Cost To Date: $2125.60
Mike Van Veghten
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by Mike Van Veghten »

Lotsa high powered Studebakers out there...MOST have aftermarket frames..!
Where would these gussets go? The only place that JUST a gusset may help is around the motor mount area, the cross member to frame rail welds. There's nothing" in the wagons that aren't in any other car, I know, I have a "few". The convertibles have the big "X"-member. That may give you a few more miles before damage starts. Don't count on a lifetime, or even close.

The longer you stay out of the throttle, the longer the OEM chassis will last.

Pretty hard to phyt physics..!

Mike
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Jessie J.
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by Jessie J. »

A Daytona J8 frame that is rust free and straight is about the best you can work with, short of scratch fabricating an entire new chassis.
That easy access will permit installing a strong X member. If you have a engine and trans in place you can fashion and weld in a steel tube 2x4 X member and additional cross members that will be both stronger and lighter than the convertible or ‘Avanti’ frames.
If you run traction limited conventional highway tires it should be sufficient. 10’ Wrinkle wall slicks, you will get better results with a full cage.
I hauled a Daytona frame home from Pennsylvania a decade ago with that plan in mind. But ‘life’ got in the way.
PackardV8
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by PackardV8 »

Jessie J. wrote: 15 Nov 2020, 15:26 A Daytona J8 frame that is rust free and straight is about the best you can work with, short of scratch fabricating an entire new chassis.
That easy access will permit installing a strong X member. If you have a engine and trans in place you can fashion and weld in a steel tube 2x4 X member and additional cross members that will be both stronger and lighter than the convertible or ‘Avanti’ frames.
If you run traction limited conventional highway tires it should be sufficient. 10’ Wrinkle wall slicks, you will get better results with a full cage.
I hauled a Daytona frame home from Pennsylvania a decade ago with that plan in mind. But ‘life’ got in the way.
I've always wondered why the convertible/Avanti/wagon frame X-member is so heavy. Studebaker Engineering was notoriously frugal with material and cost. If it is so easy to make a stronger, lighter piece, why couldn't they do it?

jack vines
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Champion V8
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by Champion V8 »

A wild guess from a swede who's not into this as much as some US folks are; I reckon it might've had to do with costs since they by these years were pretty tight of money + that thinner / stronger steel is more expensieve so they had to lighten up on the "weight it the enemy" slogan..? Just a wild guess & I've been wrong before.
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Champion V8
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by Champion V8 »

Now since I've dropped in on this subject another thought comes to my mind as I've had a few Citroen DS/ID & 2cv's & there's the idea to have weight low down & centerd for roadholding. & Lotus had frames that was kinda pure "x-frame-made" without the side rails.
So..?
Mike Van Veghten
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by Mike Van Veghten »

Champion V8 wrote: 19 Nov 2020, 15:30 Now since I've dropped in on this subject another thought comes to my mind as I've had a few Citroen DS/ID & 2cv's & there's the idea to have weight low down & centerd for roadholding. & Lotus had frames that was kinda pure "x-frame-made" without the side rails.
So..?
Something like the 58 thru 64 Chevrolet Impalas.
There was no real side rail as part as the big heavy "X" frame that they had. BUT... I owned a 59 El Camino. I needed a quarter panel. I had one cut off of a junk/wrecking yard car. The lower rocker panel, below the doors on on most all Studebakers is a single layer of steel, on most American cars could be two layers of steel, was "nine" layers of steel on that El Camino. Basically, nine pieces of various shaped tubing inside of one another, all pinch-welded together to form a somewhat strong body panel to keep the body from flexing, front to rear and twisting axially along the cars centerline.
I don't know if all of the "X" framed cars had that design of a rocker panel, but I know that at least the 59 and probably the 60 did.

Mike
PackardV8
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by PackardV8 »

Image

The 1959 Elco was a pinnacle of styling, for sure.

jack viens
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Champion V8
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by Champion V8 »

Yes I know about that, I had a -64 Impala once & been driving quite a few of the younger ones too & they sure do flex! The Lotus had fiber glass bodies so that makes them different & I think they probably(?) might have gone for thicker/stronger x-frame instead due to roadholding as in keeping the weight more inside the wheels, but that's also much smaller cars.
& during the 90's I often borrowed a friends company car for hauling stuff to our tugboat & that's a -60 El Camino.
;)
Mike Van Veghten
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by Mike Van Veghten »

Champ -

Actually the GM "X" framed cars were pretty stiff, front to rear.
Although they would twist pretty easily. Although this 60 below is partly suspension movement...

Image

The lowriders around here use the "X" framed cars regularly because of their stiffness. They have the frame halves reinforced because the welds break, but otherwise, these cars are like gold around here for their front to back stiffness. I know a guy almost making a living on his reinforced frames.

Mike

Hey, I posted a picture..!!
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Champion V8
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by Champion V8 »

Nice picture!
So maby old dried out suspention rubbers is the problem then? Not much of roadholding from the x-framed Impalas as I've experianced, maby because I've had unybodied, leafspringed & torisionspringed early 60's MoPars at the same time as driving or/& owning some. (But I like some of them anyway.)
Mike Van Veghten
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by Mike Van Veghten »

Well, I had a big white, 61 Impala way back.
I scared the "pants off" of a couple of people with the way that car handled.
I had a set of Basset NASCAR wheels on it, lowered, heavy springs, big anti-sway bars on both ends, Goodyear radial tires that were above my wallets right to spend. A 421 inch, 409 with a switch-pitch T-400 trans.

The radials didn't work too well in a straight line, but it handled like a car half it's size. Done with the right parts...yes, the "X" framed cars...COULD be made to handle well.

Mike
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Re: Frame Reinforcement

Post by Champion V8 »

An x-frame Impala set up that way sure is a car I wouldn't mind driving or even owning!
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