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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of a project ('65 wagon); will be in the market for a clip hopefully by the end of the year, but wondered how many folks out there have an after market clip and which type they have?

Reason I ask, is that I just don't see many 62-67 Nova's in my area with them although when talking to Nova owners they tell that the original clips are garbage (I'm a nova newbie just doing some homework). I think I have seen 1 after market clip (chassis works) out of the nova's I've seen. If the stock clips are that bad, why don't I see more after markets out there? Of course price is a concern, but after doing all the suspension/steering upgrades you're not far off anyways.

Thanks.
 

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There are probably a dozen front clips out there: Heidt's, Chassisworks, Checkered Racing, Total Cost Involved, Hot Rods To Hell, etc... Each one has pros and cons.
 

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I personally will not own a Nova without the stock clip. I don't like the aftermarkets, for many reasons.

I think the CPP mini sub frame kit on a stock clip gives you alot of the same results, with a small portion of the money.

I've even turned down free aftermarket clips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
undercvrSS, could you elaborate on the cons of the after market clip?

This is all good info; just trying to do homework as I stated earlier.

What kind of cost is the CPP mini sub frame kit?


I personally will not own a Nova without the stock clip. I don't like the aftermarkets, for many reasons.

I think the CPP mini sub frame kit on a stock clip gives you alot of the same results, with a small portion of the money.

I've even turned down free aftermarket clips.
 

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undercvrSS, could you elaborate on the cons of the after market clip?

This is all good info; just trying to do homework as I stated earlier.

What kind of cost is the CPP mini sub frame kit?
The cons I have for them, might not matter much to you.

my cons:

- you need to run a rear sump oil pan, which is now behind the axle center line. I know of alot that have been cleaned off.

- Without airbags (if you want it low) you can't get it low enough. (for me anyway) I have my car with dropped spindles parked next to a freind with a clip with air bags. all the air out, the crossmember was resting on the ground. It was only 1 1/2" lower than mine at the fender opening, and was not drivable.

- the crossmember does not give enough ground clearence for me. If you run a 15" wheel, the crossmember will be below the rim of the wheel. dangerous if you have a blow out.

- You need to refit all the sheetmetal, and replumb the brakes, remove engine and trans

These are my main concerns with them. I also think they just look ugly with that big crossmember and rack hanging down, and the wheels being sucked into the fenders so far because they narrow the track width. I understand the benefits as well, but the cons outway them for me.

Also, I worked for TCI for 5 years, and was there when that product was being developed, so I'm very fimiliar with them. All companies have great quality.

CPPs kit installs in hours, and keeps the integrity on the car being an early Nova. Plu CPP's basic sub frame kit retails for about $400 compared to the thousands it will cost to do a clip.

But, I value everybody's opinion, and understand "to each his own"
 

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I'll go one further, and say that the stock clip is "A-OK", even WITHOUT the CPP control arms. Rebuilt the suspension with all new busings, etc, rebuild the steering box, add an idler arm bearing conversion kit, and disc brakes. You will be amazed at how well the car drives. Sure, It won't burn up the corners, but it will be perfectly safe for most driving conditions.

When people talk about the horrible dangers of the stock front clip, I can only assume that they are driving cars with worn-out parts. Mine was pretty crappy with worn bushings, but once I rebuilt it and got rid of the flexi-rubber idler arm, it made a HUGE improvement.
 

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Just finished a rebuild of my 64 stock front end + disc brake upgrade. Tracks straight and rides nice. I wanted to stick with the factory look.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Surfdog, I'm actually picking up a stock clip in a few weeks from another site member. I initially wanted it just to make my project a roller (its on jack stands now; previous owner had a TCI clip on it, but for monetary reasons I opted not to take it), but after starting this thread, I am really considering using the stock clip with the upgrades mentioned here.

It's a surf wagon I'm doing anyways. It's not like I'm racing it. As long as it rides nice and straight, I'm good to go.
 

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I agree, stock clip rebuilt and properly aligned, it will drive just fine. Just go to a real alignment shop, not some place like "Dummy, Joe and Mack" that has someone that was flipping burgers last week as their alignment expert. It takes someone that will take their time and is knowledgable about these front ends to get it right. Usually every town has some independent front end and frame shop that has been in business forever that can do it right.
 

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Put the front end together correctly and they arent all that bad. You can usualy find moog stuff on sale. However if you want big wheels and want to driver faster than you should than shell out the 4,000+ plus converting to an aftermarket clip. When you buy a clip dont forget to ask them what the bottom line is for all the extra stuff you'll need. Its shocking. But dont get me wrong a clipped car handles really nicely but for my self a stock clip or a cpp mini subframe is a good trade off.
-DD
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Staying stock, is certainly outweighing after market for me after reading all your responses. I've yet to read anyone say after market is the only way to go, but as undercoverSS said, "to each their own" and it depends on what you are going after.

For me; I'm just looking for a nice daily driver that handles better than it did in '65 (ok; hoping a lot better ;-) It's not like I can't find other areas to throw $$ at.

Thanks everyone for the feedback!
 

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I agree, stock clip rebuilt and properly aligned, it will drive just fine. Just go to a real alignment shop, not some place like "Dummy, Joe and Mack" that has someone that was flipping burgers last week as their alignment expert. It takes someone that will take their time and is knowledgable about these front ends to get it right. Usually every town has some independent front end and frame shop that has been in business forever that can do it right.
I did mine at home with a tape measure and a fasttrack alignment tool (see Eastwood catalog, though I did not buy mine from there). Drives great.

One thing on the CPP lower arms....

I am sure they are great, based on all the positive feedback I've read here. However, I just don't understand why strut rods get such a bad rap. 65-70 Impalas had 'em, Early Mustangs had 'em, Mustang IIs had 'em. Surely these cars were not all death-traps on wheels?

Anyway... using all new Moog bushings, ball joints and tie rod ends made me 100% happy with my stock suspension. The Idler arm Ball bearing kit, and disc brakes are really my only non-stock components, and I'd highly recommend both. :)

Should also mention that I am running 195/60R15 tires... a fairly skinny tread. Maybe the stock set-up gets real weird w/ wide 17" wheels? :confused: I dunno...
 

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I did mine at home with a tape measure and a fasttrack alignment tool (see Eastwood catalog, though I did not buy mine from there). Drives great.

One thing on the CPP lower arms....

I am sure they are great, based on all the positive feedback I've read here. However, I just don't understand why strut rods get such a bad rap. 65-70 Impalas had 'em, Early Mustangs had 'em, Mustang IIs had 'em. Surely these cars were not all death-traps on wheels?

Anyway... using all new Moog bushings, ball joints and tie rod ends made me 100% happy with my stock suspension. The Idler arm Ball bearing kit, and disc brakes are really my only non-stock components, and I'd highly recommend both. :)

Should also mention that I am running 195/60R15 tires... a fairly skinny tread. Maybe the stock set-up gets real weird w/ wide 17" wheels? :confused: I dunno...
I agree. I've owned a bunch of Novas before using CPP's kit on my SS, and I never had a problem with the struts. they all worked fine.

The CPP is just a nice upgrade, that makes a definite difference.
 

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i have owned many novas, and agree the stock clip is the way to go for sheetmetal alignment and what not, i have front clipped my last 2 novas now, i have driven cars with the cpp kit as well, and driven many stock front end novas for years , for me you can t beat the drivabilty of the aftermarket clips, if you are undecided i say try to drive someones car with a front clip installed and then make your decision .......
 

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If you decide to keep the stock front end, make sure you keep these guys in mind when it comes to alignment or front end rebuild: Lee and Sons, in Fullerton.

Lee is a master of early Nova front ends.....

Mark
 

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One thing on the CPP lower arms....

I am sure they are great, based on all the positive feedback I've read here. However, I just don't understand why strut rods get such a bad rap. 65-70 Impalas had 'em, Early Mustangs had 'em, Mustang IIs had 'em. Surely these cars were not all death-traps on wheels?
Your right they made 10s of millions of cars with the strut rods. They are perfectly safe. But with some simple upgrades they can be made to be alot better. I think the CPP's have really been so popular because they do make a significant difference and at an affordable cost.
 

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You can rebuild the stock front end to make them decent but the clips and crossmember kits offer a whole lot that you cannot achieve with a stock subframe or the bolt-on kits like the CPP or Churchboys.

  1. The clips and crossmembers allow the use of a conventional rear sump pan like the majority of cars run. That's a big bonus. The front sump pans and the notched rear pans are compromises to work around the rear-steer suspensions.
  2. They also relocate the front wheels rearward properly centering them in the front fender opening. A MAJOR improvement for tire clearance and appearance.
  3. The clips and crossmembers make installing a big block a piece of cake and give you a whole lot more room by removing the shock towers and all of the obstructions.
  4. The clips allow you to bring the wheels inward for more tire clearance and better looks especially with big aftermarket brakes like Wilwoods.

It's all in what you are hoping to achieve.

If you plan to just leave the small block in and keep the car fairly stock, rebuilding the factory front end is probably a good choice.

If you are looking to keep the small block in and are looking for better handling and want to retain the factory sheetmetal, the CPP or Churchboys stuff is probably a good investment.

If you can weld and are looking to save some money and like the factory sheetmetal minus the shock towers but also want the Mustang II suspension and all the benefits of a clip and possibly install a big block, the front Mustang II crossmember kits are a nice upgrade.

If you want a totally bolt-on upgrade that gives you several suspension options and accompishes everything listed above (but costs the most money), the clips are very nice.
 
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