I’ve been following this thread for a while and I gotta admit, like everybody else, it makes me scratch my head as to what the root cause is. I get that, when mini tubing an early Nova, the frame rails are very thin in areas but just seems odd that some haven’t done mini tubs and still had issues. The fix that you guys have developed with the struts is quite impressive but I’m wondering if those that have experienced this buckling had subframe connectors installed before or after and, if so, what type of subframe connectors?...weld-in or bolt-in, did they go thru the floor like the DSE connectors or were they following the contour of the floor pan? My other question would be if anyone with the DSE Quadralink has experienced such issues? I do feel that the first gen Nova’s may be more susceptible due to the design of the rear quarter sail panel area differences.
When I mini tubbed my 68 Camaro and put a four link in it, the frame rails are very thin in areas on those cars as well, however, you don’t read of any such issues in the forums pertaining to quarters buckling on those cars. One would think that if it was a unibody issue related to how the body’s supported, that the issue would be common in Novas as well as Camaro’s, Mustang’s, Falcon’s and many others...especially given the number of these cars that receive these types of mods. As a comparison, when I did my 67 Nova, I did the Quadralink, mini tubs, torque boxes, DSE subframe connectors and since then, the car has been hanging on a rotisserie by the rear leaf spring mounts and front subframe mounts ever since (being rolled over and around the garage). You’d think that if it was gonna happen, that that’d be a good way to cause it.
There’s no doubt that the way the weight is transferred probably plays a role but I have a theory in my head that involves a lack of a coilover crossmember and the way in which the upper locating arms are attached to the body that could add to the woes many have seen. Not at all trying to turn this into a DSE advertisement, but I do feel that there’s some critical differences in the design of the Quadralink, specifically in the heavy duty crossmember that gets welded in place of a large section of the trunk floor in between the tubs as well as the inner frame rail supports that the coil overs attach to and the upper link mounts. I think those three areas take the majority of the “supporting role” (literally) out of the truck/floor pan and transfer it to areas that have specifically been reinforced to handle it. I think the subframe connectors probably play the smallest role in this exact issue, however, are definitely part of the whole package that brings much-needed rigidity to the body...but i don’t feel the brand or attachment method is a deal breaker. I’d be real curious to hear from anybody that used the TCI or CBR setup but also used the DSE coilover crossmember? I feel this one piece might hold the key to the puzzle and can be purchased separately from DSE. This is just my two cents.