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Discussion Starter #1
Have any of you had any problems with down tubes on the TCI clips. The driver side went in perfect with one spacer supplied in the kit. But when I went to install the passenger side it did not fit right without having to force together. My Nova is a 62 and has never been hit or in a accident. I have noticed that if you hook up one side to the frame its off at the body about 1 1\2 in and slightly twisted. If I hook it up at the body first it is about 1 1\2 in from hooking up from the frame. What do you think. Here are some pictures.




 

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try loosining the bolts and put a jack under subframe... manuver it around, individually tightened will prevent one part of the puzzel from aligning but put together/manipulated together, it'll prolly all line up ok... after ya get it installed the first time yer gonna find it very quick and easy to R&R while doing mock-ups (if any)

i had my Heidt's clip on and off prolly a dozen times screwin' around with stuff...

if there IS a problem (all the time here never heard of one) i'm sure it'd be taken care of quickly and proffesionally... a very good product from everything i've ever heard...


hope i helped :)


OH i DID have a down tube on MY Heidt's unit that the mounting flange was bent... due to shipping ??? i dunno, but they took care of me overnite fed express...
 

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I mounted my frame tight the the 4 mounting holes, then put in the 2 down tube bolts, with nuts on loose. I did have to finagale the upper mounts a little, but everything tightens up good.
 

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My CW clip had the same issues and my frame was never in an accident either. I think you just have to force these clips on and use the slack in the bolt holes to your advantage.
 

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I had same problem with my Scott's clip (see other thread http://stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30486) which appears to use Chassisworks downtubes. Apparently I'm not the first to experience this. I tried & tried, but couldn't get mine to line up without major forcing, which I was unwilling to do (my car is straight, too). I gave up and bought a pair of Heidt's adjustable downtubes (probably could have made a set easily enough) which go on real easily and can be adjusted later for panel gaps, etc. Some guys don't like the looks of them, but I actually prefer the straight tubes.

I would check with TCI to see what they say - others must have run into this as well. Good Luck, and keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I emailed ibuildum on this problem and he has not got back to me yet, maybe he knows something about this problem that we don't know. It just seems that its a little bit to far off to force in place. Well if nothing can be to fix the problem by just moving stuff around, then its time to break out the torch and bend thing around to get it to fit without breaking the down tube. Well see.:rolleyes:
 

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1BluII said:
I had same problem with my Scott's clip (see other thread http://stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30486) which appears to use Chassisworks downtubes. Apparently I'm not the first to experience this. I tried & tried, but couldn't get mine to line up without major forcing, which I was unwilling to do (my car is straight, too). I gave up and bought a pair of Heidt's adjustable downtubes (probably could have made a set easily enough) which go on real easily and can be adjusted later for panel gaps, etc. Some guys don't like the looks of them, but I actually prefer the straight tubes.

I would check with TCI to see what they say - others must have run into this as well. Good Luck, and keep us posted.
I seriously considered the Heidts' adjustables as well. I like the look, and as we know, the quality of these cars built over 40 years ago was not of the highest standards. To me these adjustable tubes will work better than trying to shim them into place......62Nova, I had the same problem as you and others with the pass side tube - although mine was not quite as far out of alignment as yours is. I enlarged all mounting holes on the lower frame and the 3 uppers on the d/s down tube. On the p/s down tube and shim, I slotted the mount holes for additional clearance. Then I assembled the complete clip but left all the bolts loose. This allowed me to align everything using all the additional clearances I gained. The lower mount plate that attaches to the frame rail for the p/s side tube also needed to be ground on each side so that it sat flush with the rail. After all this was finished, I reassembled everything, tightened all bolts and checked the frame with a level. To my supprise, the frame was level with the rockers front to back as well as side to side. BTW I only needed one firewall shim behind each down tube. Another option may be to weld the tubes to the frame, then shim/adjust them at the firewall. Either way, it takes some jonnying to get them to fit. Good Luck.......P.S. another suggestion - replace the lower frame mount SHCS and the lower shock mount bolts with Grade 8 hardware. Supplied bolts are Grade 5 - not recommended for suspension fasteners.
 

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NovaStar said:
My CW clip had the same issues and my frame was never in an accident either. I think you just have to force these clips on and use the slack in the bolt holes to your advantage.
I usually have people put all the frame & firewall bolts in loose at the same time, picking up the frame as neccessary.

These cars move alot in the firewall area. In development we used a coordinate plotting machine to map the stock car.. we found a large difference.
even Chevrolet knew this...this is why they put 7/16" bolts in 1/2" holes
on the frame mounting.

The same frame would fit one car easy, then have to be forced by two brutes & a boy on a 45 K granny car, then need just a tug for a 9.90 drag car.
 

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I had some issues initially with my Heidts unit. I was able to bolt things up but had issues lning up the fenders. I contacted a experienced friend who helped me and helped me adjust to make sure things are level-although I could bolt them, I needed to use the supplied shims to have things level. Hope that helps.
 

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hey there 62,
i had the exact same issues with my tci clip on my 67. if i remember correctly, the way i got it to fit was by starting with all the bolts loosely threaded. then slowly working around, tightening the clip into place. also, i had to use a ratcheting tie down wrapped around the subframe to get the bolt holes to line up. hope this helps and good luck.
 

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yeah it has to do with tolerances in the manufacturing processes of the day, so many shims, etc...i had issues making my front clip, i thought i was going nuts or doing something wrong but the car was just not "right"...with the same exact measurements from the lower frame mount out to the LCA mount were different lengths by over 1/2"....it makes it look like i had bad measurements, but the car is just off....if it were me i would first try jacking the front of the subframe up before trying to bend anything...try those kinds of things first, as a last resort break out the torch, its the best tool ever made
 

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Guys , I highly recomend you test fit the radiator support and the fenders for proper gap at rear of fenders before you do any cutting or heating on the downtubes . I had to shim my TCI downtubes at the firewall considerably ( 1/2 " on D/S , 1/8 on P/S ) and still had to pull lower/rear portion of fender to get proper gap , this twisted fender and headlight bezel wouldn't fit right then . I ended up removing downtubes and cut off upper mounting plate , then reinstalled them with the bottom plate bolted on , and the cutoff firewall plate bolted to the firewall w/ 1/8 " shim on each side . Next I jacked the frontend up ( w/jack centered on crossmember and fenders & rad. support installed ) until I got everything lined up to my satisifaction (you may have to loosen and readjust fenders as you lift subframe ) . Next I measured the gap between the firewall plate and the downtube and cut a piece of tubing to fit the gap , tacked it to the end of tube and plate (w/everything still lined up ! ) then remove downtube and finish weld & reinstall . This may seem a little extreme but I didn't want all those shims showing , but I did use one 1/8" shim on each side so I would have some adjustment each way if I needed it . I'll try to get some pics and show ya'll how it came out , Terry
 

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being as i haven't installed one i would say cheby2 did a great job of explaining how to do a real clean well done front clip install

This may seem a little extreme but I didn't want all those shims showing
i personally don't think so, if your going to go through all the trouble doing it in the first place....do it right!

on my custom clip i did things that have taken weeks to redo because they just weren't "right".....
 

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wow sounds like everyone has the same problem with these - this looks like this info would be good to move to the front clip tips sections - moderators??

yup me too i bolted my checkered clip up and had to force it to get the bottom bolts to line up and then noticed that at the front it wasnt level - i put a washer under each bolt on the bottom of the passenger side - fixed her right up. I guess considering the funky tolerences on these cars i'll bet no two are alike - bet it drives the companies who make all these clips nuts when they get the same calls over and over from different nova owners facing the same problems and it really isn't their fault - it was the GM's fault for not having tight tolerances to begin with .. hahaha. Like my neighbor who builds street rods always says - hmm it's a bolt in deal huh? naw it's more like a place to start, some cutting or fabbing or jimmy-ing is always part of the process
 

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Discussion Starter #15
WOW! I never thought that we all have the same problem, and there so common. It seems to me that it's the passenger side down tube. Well I guess that when they say just bolt and go, they really mean bolt and go after you get all the bugs worked out, then you paint and you refit and refit again, then run the brake lines then cut the springs for the right height, and run the brake lines, transmission lines, inner fender panels and rerun electrical line, ect,ect,ect. But I think if we did not have any problems then we would not have any fun building are cars and talking about are problems! I think this site is great. Thanks for all the input guys.:D :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
cheby2, Nice ride! Well this is what I ended up doing. I really don't like forcing thing together. So after lining everything up, I put the down tubes on, now I had to force the passenger side down tube on, but gently. Getting all the bolts to go in. Then double checking everything that it's still lining up, then taking a torch to the lower part of the down tube and heating it up til it glows. Then letting it slowly cool down, about 25 minutes. Now doing the same to the upper part of the down tube and waiting 25 minutes to cool down. Once it all cools down, Take the bolts loose, they all came out with ease, and the down tube fits perfect. Now I'm happy:D . And all the fenders fit great and line up. So that's what I did to make mine fit.
 

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badnova said:
I guess considering the funky tolerences on these cars i'll bet no two are alike - bet it drives the companies who make all these clips nuts when they get the same calls over and over from different nova owners facing the same problems and it really isn't their fault - it was the GM's fault for not having tight tolerances to begin with
Your check is in the mail..
 

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Me too!

Just installed a TCI clip on my 66 and had similiar problems as described here. Nothing major but it did take some adjusting to get everything bolted up. Haven't gotten to the fender fitting yet. I might add something to the comments by Badnova, I had to install full floor pans and had a hard time trying to get the new ones to set down tight on the floor braces. The old pans were so bad in places that the front seat was sagging on the drivers side. Since the floor plays a big part in the total rigidity of the body I am sure my body got tweaked every time the previous owner jumped on the gas. Not surprising that it may take some adjusting to install these "bolt-on" clips.

One more thing, it is nice to see that so many people are willing to admit that they had similiar problems, regardless of what brand clip they installed. It shows class and the willingness to help others. That is why I enjoy this forum.
 
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