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57 bel air chassis and front suspension upgrade experts look in here:

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by R72K5, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    having a damn hard time finding out about 57 chassis info, thought it would be easy since they are so common and about everyone has one of these things, but i guess not,


    what are good front suspension clip donors to look for for a 57 bel air ? how can i tell if a chassis under a 57 is the original and not something else, are they supposed to be leaf spring solid beam axle like a truck ??

    everything is welded to the fully boxed frame including leaf hanger brackets and body mount brackets, is that stock 57 design ??

    front rails are perfectly straight and rears too i believe, rear suspension is leaves with coils and airbags and 9" axles redrilled to chevy 5 lug truck wheel pattern

    were 57's 5 lug on 5" pattern with 1/2 studs originally ??

    it looks like the front wheels are GM car like nova caprice camaro chevelle s10 5 on 4 3/4" 7/16" stud pattern though.

    so would like 68-72 A body front clip work under the 57 somehow ?
    i know of a 71 cutlass for like 250 or 300 we could get if the front clip could work under the 57 ? is there a write up and pics online anywhere on how to do this to the 57's ?

    i dont even know if the chassis is a 57 chassis, no idea,


    oh and is steering box supposed to be rear or front steer in 57 ?

    this 57 is rear steer big time with the steering box mounted up high and close to firewall

    someone has to know something or where i can find out ??
    where are all the 55-57 sites ??


    thanks for anything
     
  2. BranndonC

    BranndonC 3/4 ton status

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  3. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    lol

    well i just need to find out what type of steering and suspension that these cars origginally had, IFS with conrol arms and ball joints, or solid beam with leaves and knuckles like what is under it right now,

    and also if these cars were front or rear steer,

    and what all vehicles are good front clip donors for these cars- front or rear steer ones.


    apparently no one knows anything about chassies of the tri 5's, even as commonly modified as they are, i cannot believe it... thats crazy,,

    maybe ive bene dreaming that 55-57's were hgotrodded and modified and such ?

    no ?

    not even in cali ?



    thanks
     
  4. BranndonC

    BranndonC 3/4 ton status

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    i know nothing
    sorry
     
  5. Corey 78K5

    Corey 78K5 1 ton status

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    The 55-57 150, 210 and Bel Air were all equiped with coil sprung independent front suspention. In the rear was a spring under leaf sprung solid axel. Only drum brakes were offerd in both the front and the rear. I'm not quite sure what You mean by front or rear steering? But I can say for sure that only the front wheels did the steering and it was a basic steering box mounted to the frame that did the work.
    If Your looking to up grade to disc brakes and such then there are plenty of companys that make kits for the stock suspention. Just look in any street rodder magazine.
    If You need any other info I can look at the chassis on My Dads 57 Bel Air 2dr hardtop.
    BTW back in the 60's and 70's it was popular to swap in a strait axel in to the old 55-57 and run the quarter mile in them.
     
  6. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
     
  7. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    lol

    this is funny
     
  8. JDBlazer454

    JDBlazer454 1/2 ton status

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    try www.hotroddersgarage.com they are pretty knowledgable about lots of cool tri 5 hot rods. I personally don't know much about them as I have yet to own one myself but from what I have heard 70-81 Camaro front subframe makes a nice donor and plentiful, 68-74 Nova (x body cars) make good donors as long as they have front disc brakes, Chevelles are a full frame car so good luck fabbin one of those in.
     
  9. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    oh chevelle and other a body are full frame hmm
    interesting

    i wish i could find out what type of front suspension was originally installed on these 55-57's, IFS or straight axle

    hmmm

    thanks ! /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
     
  10. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    i wish i could find out what type of front suspension was originally installed on these 55-57's, IFS or straight axle

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [ QUOTE ]
    The 55-57 150, 210 and Bel Air were all equiped with coil sprung independent front suspention.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [ QUOTE ]
    BTW back in the 60's and 70's it was popular to swap in a strait axel in to the old 55-57 and run the quarter mile in them.

    [/ QUOTE ]
     
  11. CaveBlazin

    CaveBlazin 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Hmmm someone has a 57
    Are you looking to buy one or are you looking to finish yours?? Would be interesting
     
  12. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    i wish i could find out what type of front suspension was originally installed on these 55-57's, IFS or straight axle

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [ QUOTE ]
    The 55-57 150, 210 and Bel Air were all equiped with coil sprung independent front suspention.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [ QUOTE ]
    BTW back in the 60's and 70's it was popular to swap in a strait axel in to the old 55-57 and run the quarter mile in them.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    thanks Kenny /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif ok so this one is for sure a straight axle converted one then yep, that explains why everything is welded to frame rails

    so i wonder what would be best to do to get this thing back to IFS front, go magically find a 55-57 frotn assembly and put it all on or just cut rails and weld on a clip from an IFS donor car later years ?


    but the 57 is rear steer, not too many later IFS cars were rear steer, cept maybe the 68-72 novas, or i dont remember.

    of course i guess it wouldnt matter, just would need ot lengthen the column box shaft to go up to front when clipping on a later IFS assembly.

    right ?

    hmm.


    thanks
     
  13. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Hmmm someone has a 57
    Are you looking to buy one or are you looking to finish yours?? Would be interesting

    [/ QUOTE ]

    its my stepdads car, im gonna help do this stuff to it, but i think he is just doing the minor things wrong with body right now and thne start on the 72 BBC 4 speed chevelle and do it all first and then go back to the 57 with the steering upgrade/conversion back to IFS and to discs

    i hope to learn a bunch and be able to use what i learn by helping with these two projects towards landing a career doing this stuff later on somehow somewhere, wont happen here though, gotta relocate to where this stuff happens for real all the time

    he bouth these carsa long time ago, like when i was 2 and is just now pulling them out of stoage theyve been in virtually ever since then, the chevelle is majorly rotted out quarters rear filler panel at bottom of back glass, and floor pans and such, one fender crunched and bumper too from hitting something he did something stupid and hit something i dont know how just before putting it up in storage, both cars about 50% gutted as far as interior stuff and exterior trim work and glass goes, he has all the parts stored away somewhere for both, going to be interesting..



    thanks
     
  14. JDBlazer454

    JDBlazer454 1/2 ton status

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    He has some awesome projects /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif The only way we learned to fabricate stuff was to do a little research (check out car shows and look at other cars and talk to the owners) and to read up online then acquire the parts needed and tackle the project. I hope to build a tri 5 Chevy in the future, its one of my dream cars to build.

    We have a huge project of our own we are working on, we have a 70 Camaro that we are attempting to put a 94 Lt1 and tranny into and putting 4 wheel disc brakes onto. Will be cool when done but its alot of work right now and overwhelming when you think about everything that has to go into it. We are still at the beginning stages of it, parts car was just finished being stripped this last weekend and there is still an old 350 in the 70.
     
  15. unick

    unick 1/2 ton status

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    put a 90's corvette suspension in there.
     
  16. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    man,... a 70 maro, damn,.... well hope car gets all back together, personally alll id do to such a car is swap to disc brake spindles from a disc brake nova or maro or whatever, and put in a nice 400sb or something else cool and then run her, nothing wrong with drum rears, they dont do much percentage of stopping anyways, just put some god wuality shoes on and new cylinders and maybew aluminum drums from a 80s F body or B body with 9.5 x 2 brakes and that would do it for sure.
    all that FI engine swapping can be no fun, i wouldt ever try it unles si was rich and researched and planned for everything and anything that could go wrong, and if i knew i could get the car back together for sure, id hate to ruin a car like that becuase i couldnt afford to finish it, that would be horrible.,


    good luck /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
     
  17. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    put a 90's corvette suspension in there.

    [/ QUOTE ] screw that junk, i would never use vette suspension under anything cept a vette,

    thanks
     
  18. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    update:

    i found a stock original unrestored(can tell by all the rust lol) 57 in an alley across town by accident today while was loading up an 83 chevy van for scrapyard trip in the AM, and the 57 has its front sheetmetal clip rmeoved and sitting on ground next to it and has a sbc engien in it and well the suspension on it is stock IFS and well the frame rails are curvy and normal looking and are nothing liek how my stepdads gasser 57 is like,

    so hmm..

    i dunno what options he is going to have with trying to get the 57 turned into an IFS car for daily driving, gonna have to be either weld front clip from a 68-74 X body or some other rear steer design GM car, or find an originla untoucvhed 57 chassis and put his body onto that, but then he will have to find a firewall to put back in the car and i noticed that the rear quarters wheel openings have been modified, the flares have been replaced with what looks like some kind of round tubing bent to opening shape and riveted to the opening from backside of the quarters

    maybe they did that on these gasser conversions to minimize damage to quarter panelss from tires explosions ??
     

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