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Discussion Starter #1
I have been looking at a lot of different aftermarket subframe set ups and full frames. With the costs of everything for subframe kits and a full frame set up, it has got me thinking about is there anyone that has taking the stock frame and redone it and added a rear kit to it? Is there any real benefits to going the aftermarket route? My overall goal is to have a daily driver with 400ish hp and the same torque, overdrive transmission, a/c, that I could have fun in occasionally. I feel like the aftermarket side is the best way to go but it is very pricey and am just trying to get a better idea of my options.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes I know, I guess my main question would be has anyone just rebuilt stock front subframe with updated components and added a newer rear kit, four link or the torque arm kit?
 

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I have just north of 400 SAE certified net HP. My suspension is basically stock, and I'm happy with it for my part-time cruiser. I simply replaced all the bushings with urethane, new ball joints and tie rods, new coil and leaf springs, new shocks, and new stock brake components (plus rear disc conversion). Pretty much just the standard stuff you'd do to put any 40+ year old car back on the road.

For a daily driver or cruising car, I don't see any reason for frame replacement and all that other expensive stuff. Sure, if you want it just to say you have it and to show off to your friends, then that's reason enough. But I don't think you "need" the fancy stuff for the scenario you've described.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
rquad, did you add subframe connectors? I am always worried about being over the 400 hp and hurting the body/subframe. Yeah I suppose watching all the shows and seeing what can be done makes the decisions harder from a want and need stand point. I rebuilt the front end 10 years ago with urethane bushings etc. I did most of the work in high school and first couple years of college and am just trying to get a game plan and try to do everything at one time instead of the random stuff I did then. Thanks for the info.
 

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rquad, did you add subframe connectors? I am always worried about being over the 400 hp and hurting the body/subframe. Yeah I suppose watching all the shows and seeing what can be done makes the decisions harder from a want and need stand point. I rebuilt the front end 10 years ago with urethane bushings etc. I did most of the work in high school and first couple years of college and am just trying to get a game plan and try to do everything at one time instead of the random stuff I did then. Thanks for the info.
No sub frame connectors. I did go with custom composite mono-leaf rear spring replacements, but this was just to save weight - I don't expect the performance aspect is affected.

That said, the car does have slight traction issues, but I attribute that most likely to the rear being geared too low. I got a good price on a posi rear, but it has 4.10's in it. I'm going to replace them with 3.50's at some point. Traction is not horrible - I can nail it from a dead start, and as long as it's pointed straight it generally won't spin, or at least it's just a slight spin before it catches. But, if I'm turning onto a road from a dead stop and nail it, it will break loose every time. Also, if I'm on it hard from a dead stop, it will break loose bad and fish tail when it hits second gear. These issues might be helped or eliminated by subframe connectors or Caltracs, but I'm betting it will be a little less squirrely when I get the gears changed (I have a 4L65 automatic, so first gear is *really* low with the 4.10's in play).

There's so many variables involved that it's hard to make absolute statements. Horsepower, manual/auto, tranny gear ratios, type and width of tires, etc, etc. And there's also the cool factor and what you want to do with the car. I'm not going to discourage you from a new subframe. I'd certainly have done one if my budget was a lot bigger. I'm just saying I don't think you have to have it for your stated goals.

BTW, my car is strictly a pleasure car. I plan to take it to the strip some day after it's all sorted out to get a 1/4 time, but other than that it's nothing but a toy I drive for short outings a few times a week. However, I think it would work fine as a daily driver, and that was one of my goals.
 

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I've installed all poly bushings for body and control arms and have upgraded almost everything to Hotchkis...springs sway bar. I welded in a comp engineering sub frame connectors. For the street I couldn't be happier. Someday i may fo the gulstrand mod or change the uppercontrol arms with the new geometry. This winter i will change the steering gear box to a wuicker ratio out of a monte carlo ss. As rquad has stated unless your autocrossing or doing roadcourse I dont think throwing money at it will be of benefit....my 2 cents....
 
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