View Full Version : Making a 1st. generation firebird/camero stronger

Alan Wright
07-01-2004, 08:08 PM
Hi everyone,
I'm getting ready to tub a 67 firebird and install an air ride susp. Does anybody have any info on making this type of car stronger front to back by maybe adding a tube frame or reinforcment to the floor or anything else. All idea's would be welcome. :idea:

07-01-2004, 09:57 PM
Most chassis companies make bolt in and weld in chassis connectors for that body style

07-01-2004, 10:14 PM
Yup, they are called subframe connectors, and they do exactly that - they connect the front and rear subframes.

If you are backhalfing the car to tub it, you could either modify a set of commercial connectors or fab some from rectangular tube.

If you're mini-tubbing it, just use the commercially available connectors. I'd suggest the weld in subframe connectors.
Check with Summit, Jeg's, Chassisworks, Competition Engineering, etc.

Tim D.

Alan Wright
07-05-2004, 07:00 PM
Thanks guys,
I have the trunk floor cut out ready to rework my way forward. Need to move rails in then start making new inner wheelhousing. Will see what gives me the most strength.

07-21-2004, 11:11 AM
Try this link.


07-21-2004, 08:20 PM
hi alan, subframe connectors are easy to get and easy to install. the air ride on the other hand can be a nightmare. i have air ride on my f1 and it rides real rough , not happy with the ride quality at all. gary

07-21-2004, 08:21 PM
hi alan, subframe connectors are easy to get and easy to install. the air ride on the other hand can be a nightmare. i have air ride on my f1 and it rides real rough , not happy with the ride quality at all. gary

07-21-2004, 10:16 PM
Gary, are you using shocks or bags? Who's stuff are you using?.........john

07-22-2004, 10:09 AM
hi john, i`m running air ride tech. air bags on all 4 corners. i believe the problem is the bags are too short to have enough suspension travel. gary

07-22-2004, 10:18 PM
Gary, was this a kit or your own design? The reason I ask is I am going to do a `53 chevy truck real soon, and had anticipated using their front suspension/bags, and possibly the rears. This truck has to ride right the first time!

07-23-2004, 10:05 AM
john, this was not a kit, but the bag sizing was the same as the kit. i believe the ride quality problem is caused by the bag being so short, if you look at the height of a lincoln bag compared to the bags coming in these kits, the lincoln bags are twice as tall .

07-24-2004, 12:03 AM
I'll take that into consideration. The magazines are paid to rave about their advertisers products, and some owners won't tell you because they don't want people to know they got stung.

Any other suggestions?.......john

07-25-2004, 07:39 PM
john, just go for a ride in a car or truck about the same weight as your chevy with independent front and bags on all 4 corners, then tell me how you liked the ride. the lincoln mark viii drives and handles great , so it obviously can be made to work well

07-26-2004, 10:01 AM
Hi Guys
We have a 41 Willys and it has air ride and rides nice the A/R is from shock wave and performs perfectly. this car only weighs in at around 2800 . So i think you are correct in thinking length or travel is the problem. Also we just rear halved a 69 camaro and we welded our own tube connectors in if you are doing any floor pan work up front it makes it allot easier installation . If infact you do use weld in I suggest you go with a solid body mount front to rear . We are fabbing our's from aluminum . Good luck on your venture . :D Steve

Heavy Metal
09-08-2004, 01:42 PM
I do some racing with a secong gen firebird. The research i did for stiffening the chassis led me not to the common sub frame connector but to solid body mounts and a pair of braces that run from the firewall to the front a-arm mounts. This tri-angulates the subframe to the chassis, resists flex and does not affect ground clearance. It was info i picked up in old Herb adams books about the f-bodies. Works very well for the solo-2 stuff im doing.

09-08-2004, 10:59 PM
Sounds good, how about flex? Do the solid body mounts help with that? I've read several articles by Herb Adams, he's sharp........john

Heavy Metal
09-21-2004, 07:30 AM
with the front structure kit, and the solid body mounts i can know jack the front corner and lift the rear wheel with it. Something i could never do befor without centering the jack. Really stiffened up the chassis. I also found a recomendation to put a brace from the front cross member to the frame across the lower a-arm mount to stiffen up the suspension and reduce deflection. Have not tried that one yet.

Very impressed with the improvements. Its a t-top car so flex was a real problem.

09-21-2004, 11:24 PM
Sounds like you have it pretty well whipped, ought to handle.....john