Chevy Nova Forum banner

1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys, long time reader first time poster here... I have a 63 ht that i am building usuing tci 4 link rear, frame connectors, front suspension and dse mini tubs. Before i started this project last fall i did my research, i have heard of issues when installing a 4 link or similar setup and not supporting the car correctly. I lifted the car by the rear axle, leveled everything and then supported the car by the rear shackle area, front "torque boxs" by the front spring mounts, and by the front subframe. THEN I lower the rear axle and removed it, this way the car is supported and weighted like it always had been with leaf springs. It stayed like that the entire time i worked on it, nothing moved, no signs of any issues. I did the dse tubs first. While the frame was open i added 10 steel to the inside of the rail in the tub area. I also added at 10 guage plate to the entire front portion of the frame. The only section I didnt reinforce is from the rear of the wheel well to the bumper/ shackle area. I bolted in the tci suspension, frame connectors, and fitted 295s and all looked good..... until i lifted the car by the rear axle and supported it by the rear axle as if it was sitting on the ground... then i noticed the dimples or small dents by the front of the wheel well, then i lightly touched the lower quarter panel farther forward and the whole thing popped in ..... made me sick..... If I lift it by the rear bumper area everything pops back out on its own.. question is,, what do i do now?? is this because i didn't reinforce the rear section of the rail from the tub back?? Did I do something wrong.. I called TCI and they said the mini tub weakens it and I may have to shrink the quarter panel?? Problem is the car is painted...

Should I support it by the rear and add plate the rear section of rail?? Add a rear roll cage or something?? Starting to feel like I ruined a good car and wish I would have kept leaf springs and be done with it.

Id post some pictures but I haven't figured out how to do that yet...
ok, pictures added in my profile...

Thanks, Al
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,404 Posts
Been there and have witnessed others. Some people never have an issue and for some it shows up later after driving it for a while. I believe it's caused by the lack of upward pressure on the body with the rear leaf spring missing. Some will disagree but it's my thought. I fixed my before it got on the road but had final paint on the car. I welded in a strut base in the trunk close to where the end of the frame stops. I welded another strut mount at the top of the tub. Made a strut bar with left and right heim joints. Installed the bar and tightened the bar until the quarter straightened out and then just a tad more. It worked for me. I drove it like that for the next 4 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
This happened to my 65' aswell, and i assure you, the fab guy supported n leveled my car to the fullest degree. Im over it as its a full custom 4 link and rear set up now and my car needs quarters anyways, so for now, i just look away. Hopn when new quarters go on, its gone for good!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
Shane, great idea n forward thinkn. Any before and after pics? It seems your theory makes most sense. The lack of the sprung wieght via the leafs prolly causes this. These cars are basically tin cans from the factory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Shane 65, Thanks for the reply, its hard to belive that lack of support in the rear will cause the front of the quarter to buckle. Did you have to put a lot of tension on the struts? Suprised the wheel well didnt pull or anything. That may be one of my best options although I may try plating the rear half of the frame first and see what that does. It would sure be nice to know what area is flexing for sure and just fix that... but why would it be that easy... lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
Plating the frame further isnt gunna solve/fix it. I believe Shane is correct in his thoery. In my build, we actually used new fully boxed frame rails altogether from Auto Weld and moved em inward 5" if i recall. So they were all there and intact. Fully burned in, including my subframe connectors done in a similiar manner. My guess is maybe something in the outer wheel tub has more influence?!?! Id like to know more about Shane65's strut set up n if its still holding up. If so, i may be able to make something work using my rollbar thats tied in tite to the chassis work too.

Shane, is your strut set up pushing or pulling on the 2 points? Im guessing pushing?! Which would further support the idea of the lack of leafsprings being there n distributing the wieght that quarter needs. Im relieved in knowing i m not only one who experianced this phenomenon. Anxious to try n resolve it b4 we hang new quarters
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/#/topics/495185?page=23

Pg #23, post #228, 2nd pic is when i first noticed it. You can see the checkered shop floor in the reflection. It looks like a fun mirror where the dimple happend forward of the rear wheel well. Just wanna compare notes with either of yours if its similiar.
ACUPP84, if you can email me pics of yours, i ll post them in this thread for you.
[email protected]
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,404 Posts
I did this back in the stone age (in 1999 or 2000). Drove the car until 2004 and sold it after owning it for 17 years. I actually discovered it while working on the car and before it hit the streets. Back then nobody was making 4 links for our Novas. I made mine and the rear area of the 4 link is the same as what a few of the manufactures do. I did the front attachment different from what I've seen since. I tied into the rockers and front spring perch area. It attached to both areas as well as the floor. It was solid.
The discovery was made when, while jack stands where placed on the axle tubes, I sat on the trunk sill as I prepared to lay down in the trunk to do something. I heard a small noise when I sat on the sill. Got up and sat down on it a couple of times. with the noise repeating. Had my wife witness the quarter panel dimple in slightly each time. I imagined what would happen with stuff in the trunk and the road dips and bumps could repeat what my big butt was doing to the car. Thought about what the cause could be and that's when I thought about what supports the rear of the car. The rear of the car is held up by the rear end which in turn holds up the body by the front and rear leaf spring. This is how the factory designed the car. Putting in a 4 link has eliminated that rear support of the leaf spring. Now the axle holds up the car and the axle is holding up the body at the coil over or air bag(in my case) which is fairly close to the rear axle. The load is now a single point rather than spread over the length of the leaf spring.
Take a pencil for example and place it on your index fingers near the ends of the pencil. Imagine a 1 pound weigh(the body) sitting on top of the pencil ends. It can handle the load and feels stable. This is like leaf springs holding up the body. Now take the same pencil and the same 1 pound weights at each end of the pencil but only use one index finger to support. The index finger is now a fulcrum point and doesn't take much to raise or lower the ends of the pencil. The sheet metal frame nor the body design was never made sturdy enough to do what a 4 link does for body load. Some people have put in 4 links and never had an issue but for others a dimple forward of the lower wheel opening is the result. I was at a car show last year and there were around six early Novas there. I saw the dimpling on three of them and looked underneath. All three were with 4 links while the other three were leaf springs and had straight quarters. Not sure if 66-67 4 links cars have the dimpling issue but if they don't it could be the quarter panel design is more sturdy. The floor and sheetmetal frame are the same as 62-65. The 64 I'm building has very slight dimpling and I will do the strut treatment to it(some day).
The strut rod is pulling the floor upwards as if putting compression on the strut. If you lengthen(add tension) you can make it dimple or dimple more. The opposite of what you want to happen.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,404 Posts
Plating the frame further isnt gunna solve/fix it. I believe Shane is correct in his thoery. In my build, we actually used new fully boxed frame rails altogether from Auto Weld and moved em inward 5" if i recall. So they were all there and intact. Fully burned in, including my subframe connectors done in a similiar manner. My guess is maybe something in the outer wheel tub has more influence?!?! Id like to know more about Shane65's strut set up n if its still holding up. If so, i may be able to make something work using my rollbar thats tied in tite to the chassis work too.

Shane, is your strut set up pushing or pulling on the 2 points? Im guessing pushing?! Which would further support the idea of the lack of leafsprings being there n distributing the wieght that quarter needs. Im relieved in knowing i m not only one who experianced this phenomenon. Anxious to try n resolve it b4 we hang new quarters
The strut is pulling on the two points. With modified frame work you have the strut bars may not react to eliminating the dimpling. The frame addition may have been done with the dimpling already in place and with the addition stiffness any weakness has been taken away. The quarter panel may be permanently dimpled. You could try putting a beam across the most real frame rails and jack the rear of the car on that beam. As the car raises, watch to see if there is improvement in the dimple area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Quarter Panel Dimples

Shane,

I brought my 63 in for body and paint because I had the dimple too. I've got a TCI Torque Arm. The shop reinforced the frame rails and repaired the quarter be paint. After paint, I drove it for a few miles and the dimples are back.

Do you think that if I used your strut thing, it will pull the dimple out and I'll be OK from here forward???
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,490 Posts
I am just wondering if it would help to urethane or epoxy a piece of mild angle to the inside of the quarter panel in the effected area.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,404 Posts
Shane,

I brought my 63 in for body and paint because I had the dimple too. I've got a TCI Torque Arm. The shop reinforced the frame rails and repaired the quarter be paint. After paint, I drove it for a few miles and the dimples are back.

Do you think that if I used your strut thing, it will pull the dimple out and I'll be OK from here forward???
I answered the pm you sent me. See what happens with the jacking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Thanks Shane!

It scares me to think about re - doing that quarter and having it happen for the third time !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Hi guys, long time reader first time poster here... I have a 63 ht that i am building usuing tci 4 link rear, frame connectors, front suspension and dse mini tubs. Before i started this project last fall i did my research, i have heard of issues when installing a 4 link or similar setup and not supporting the car correctly. I lifted the car by the rear axle, leveled everything and then supported the car by the rear shackle area, front "torque boxs" by the front spring mounts, and by the front subframe. THEN I lower the rear axle and removed it, this way the car is supported and weighted like it always had been with leaf springs. It stayed like that the entire time i worked on it, nothing moved, no signs of any issues. I did the dse tubs first. While the frame was open i added 10 steel to the inside of the rail in the tub area. I also added at 10 guage plate to the entire front portion of the frame. The only section I didnt reinforce is from the rear of the wheel well to the bumper/ shackle area. I bolted in the tci suspension, frame connectors, and fitted 295s and all looked good..... until i lifted the car by the rear axle and supported it by the rear axle as if it was sitting on the ground... then i noticed the dimples or small dents by the front of the wheel well, then i lightly touched the lower quarter panel farther forward and the whole thing popped in ..... made me sick..... If I lift it by the rear bumper area everything pops back out on its own.. question is,, what do i do now?? is this because i didn't reinforce the rear section of the rail from the tub back?? Did I do something wrong.. I called TCI and they said the mini tub weakens it and I may have to shrink the quarter panel?? Problem is the car is painted...

Should I support it by the rear and add plate the rear section of rail?? Add a rear roll cage or something?? Starting to feel like I ruined a good car and wish I would have kept leaf springs and be done with it.

Id post some pictures but I haven't figured out how to do that yet...
ok, pictures added in my profile...

Thanks, Al
Hi Al,
I have a 67 Nova and had the same thing happen. I tubbed it and put a CBR 4 link and after a while I noticed the same problem. Haven't done anything yet but it has been on my mind as to what the hell just happened. Love to hear more from anyone. I like Shanes Idea but want to be sure I have a fix before I fix and repaint.
Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Im glad Im not alone in this but its a bummer to see so many nice cars with this problem

It will a bit before try any fixes, im kind of leaning twards Shanes idea combined with some better frame reinforcing. My dimples will actually transfer further forward into the form of a dent in front of the wheel, it looks like someone kicked the quarter panel.... lift it by the rear bumper and everything goes back to normal. Hopefully one of us on here can confirm a sure fix.

I think reinforcing the inside of the quarter panel with anything will just transfer the dimple or dent somewhere else.

I have no choice but to find a fix or deal with it as is, I don't think ill ever be able to match the paint on mine with out repainting the whole car....

Keep the ideas coming!
Al
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Mini-tub Quandary

I just got around to reading and re-reading this thread, since I am doing the same type of mods to my 63 droptop. I started out with the DSE mini-tubs and followed with the Alston four link for the rear. I purposely did not notch the chassis rails as it has never made since to me. There is just such a domino effect from doing this as far as I am concerned. I carefully welded up everything and triple checked everything with regards to being square and flat with regards to how the car sits on the ground. Have not had the chassis flex at all and I was still able to fit a 275 tire easily and a 285 super tight. I did have to trim up the DSE wheel tubs to get the maximum width and height out of the openings.

I have always noticed one thing about droptop Novas that was always leaving a question in my mind - bone stock/without mods the car would open up about a quarter of an inch at the door opening as soon as the wheels came off the ground on the lift. But the input you members are providing tells me that I should add that support in the truck, since I'm already expereienced at making the link bars with high quality rod ends. If anyone wants me to post pics, just say the word.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,404 Posts
I think pictures would be a great idea. I did the bars on mine 20 years ago. I have a 63 Nova and put a TCI 4 link in it. No buckling yet, but I have avoided crawling into the trunk unless I have a support at the rear of the car. I'm rethinking the top anchor point. To get the best in effect the anchor should be as high as possible. Car is painted so I have to take that into account.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Progress pics

Okay. Here are some pics. Overall goals - restomod, crate hot cam LS3, LS7 clutch/flywheel, TKO 600 modified, Moser 9 inch, Infinity electrical, DSE mini-tubs, Billet Specialties custom wheels and a lot o minor but expensive new parts. BTW, I searched for this car for about 2.5 years. I wanted a vert with all original sheet metal floors and I finally found it!
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Top