View Full Version : 3rd gen nova subframe tuck

03-28-2013, 02:06 PM
I have a 1969 nova and was just wondering if anyone has tucked the frame into the body an inch or two? The main problem i can see with dropping the front lower eventually the subframe is going to be extremely lower than the body and limit the lowering... just wondering if any one knows if its possible or if its been done? eventually thinking about underbody paneling for it too which the tuck would help with THANK YOU

03-29-2013, 05:41 AM
I have a 73 with the sub-frame fairly modified. Not sure what your trying to do other than just lower the car but the first thing your will run into will the the cross-member under the motor by the oil pan. Then of course you will also run into the oil pan. Just moving the frame rails up into the body will do nearly nothing but create a lot of work for yourself. You will have to move the motor and transmission up. Modify the firewall and transmission tunnel all the way back to the rear-end. You will have to modify the rear end as well for the drive-shaft angle. These are just a few of the items that will become issues. If you just want a real low car then your Nova might not be the right choice.


03-29-2013, 08:42 AM
I have thought about this in the past. With my Nova being as low as it already is this would be the only way to get the car lower; and like Jake is saying it would be a lot of work. You would have to move the transmission hump and driveshaft tunnel up ~3", modify the underbody stiffening channels, the subframe mounting points on both the body and core support, the steering column hole in the fire wall, front and rear engine bay brake lines, and remove the inner fenders and trim the inside of the outer fenders.

If you don't already have a subframe height of around 3.5-4", then there are other much easier ways to get your car lower.

03-29-2013, 01:18 PM
sure its possible, alot of trucks do the body drop. my friends s10 blazer a few years back..

03-29-2013, 05:53 PM
I have been reviewing this. There are issues. But I am trying to work through them to perform this on my car.

It depends on how low you want to go. Suppose you make the frame rails flush with the bottom of the rocker arms. This gives you the maximum lowering.

1. The steering box will not line up with the steering shaft. You need to alter the hole in the firewall and the angle of the shaft. You may want to change the mount for the steering shaft at the dash. Not a showstopper.

2. The transmission tunnel will need to be modified to clear the new location of the transmission. A bit tougher than the steering, but it has been done a number of times before. Not a showstopper.

3. There is no room under the belly for the exhaust. You will need to run the exhaust down the now modified transmission tunnel. Kill two birds with one stone. By the way, you may need custom made or shorty headers so the collectors are off the ground.

4. Foot room will be shared with the frame rails. Another sacrifice to be bad fast! Not a showstopper.

5. The radiator support will be far too high. Modify the front horns of the frame to lower them. This will also keep your bumper from sitting where your headlights should be. Not a showstopper.

6. You cannot use the stock transmission mount because the mounting surfaces will be inside the passenger compartment. You will need to fabricate a new transmission mount that bolts to the inside of the transmission tunnel. This may be a bit difficult, but is not a showstopper.

7. Everyone says it cannot be done. That's just 'cuz they don't have the guts to do it themselves.

I am going to be removing my sub-frame as soon as I get my engine back together to take the measurements. I plan to lower the rockers to 4.5" to 5" at the front of the doors with a bit of rake so the tail will be almost 1" higher. I will check to see where my subframe sits with the lower A-arms flat. That will tell me where I want the suspension to sit.

I want the crossmember to be 4.5" off the ground. I am not sure if this will require relocating the lower A-arms, steering box and idler arm or not. I will know soon. After I get this all laid out, then I will need to move the upper A-arm pivot to give me the desired geometry (According to the Guldstrand mod).

It is not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. I will be posting my results on my build thread. https://www.pro-touring.com/showthread.php?97746-Project-Scope-Creep-74-Nova-Spirit-of-America.

Good luck!

03-30-2013, 11:18 PM
Thanks alot everyone for the responses. i had not thought about the steering column or the radiator mounting thats great input. i do know it would be hard but for the stance i want if i get the guts its worth trying. That was deffinitly the answers i was looking for thanks

04-01-2013, 02:57 AM
Thanks alot everyone for the responses. i had not thought about the steering column or the radiator mounting thats great input. i do know it would be hard but for the stance i want if i get the guts its worth trying. That was deffinitly the answers i was looking for thanks

You're welcome.

I forgot two other items.

1. The inner fender support will need to be modified to move up the inner fenders. I guess you could remove them entirely, but I prefer inner fenders on my cars. I like to drive my rides, but don't want all the road scum and dirt on my motor.

2. The hood hinges will need to be modified or replaced by something else. The inner fenders/wheels will hit them.

I think this is a great idea. I don't like the idea of my subframe sitting 2-1/2" off the ground or my body sitting 7" high. This, in my opinion, is a great way to build a low car that can be thrashed on public roads without bottoming out.

I am eager to see where you go with this.

04-06-2013, 07:46 AM
Here is what I measured on my Nova subframe:

With 25" diameter tires, about the stock size, and the lower control arms level to the ground the frame rails would sit at about 4-7/8" above the ground. The crossover under the engine would be at about 6" above the ground.

That means that you could have your rockers near 5" from the ground and still have good ground clearance and correct suspension geometry. That is what I am shooting for on my build.