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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well Im not sure how common this is but my subframe body mounts are rusted through. These are the ones that mount under the fenderwells by the firewall. Im guessing the previous owner of my Nova put in some temporary washers because there was one large washer in there.
holding it to the rusted frame.

So my idea is to weld in some large washers to fix the problem. My brother says he would come by with his welder and finish the job but I have to get some washers yet.

I need to get the frame hardware kit but Im guessing I will have to really search around for washers in the right size. The body mounts measure around one and half inches round and the washers I will need will have to be at least two and a half inches to weld them to the remaining bracket.
 

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This was very common and oddly enough, of all the Novas I've own only one has needed repairing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Ok no problem. I went to Lowes and they didnt have any washers the size I needed. So Im wondering down the isle and came across something called a brass bore adapter plate for a home door handle and am thinking damn it looks like the perfect size for the repair but damn its made of brass. So Im looking at this thing like wait I bet its just some brass coating over steel. So I bought it anyhow and ground the thing on the ground in the parking lot and sure enough it was just some brass coating all over it that just grinds off so Im good. They seem to be magnetic so Im sure they are steel. So in a way your advice was good.

This is what they look like but the brass is just a coating so Im going to just sand blast it off so I can weld it to the frame



Is the washer about 1/2" thick? If so, it is supposed to be there.


Ok thats good to know but Im sure the hole isnt suppose to be almost the same size as the washer.
 

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Ok no problem. I went to Lowes and they didnt have any washers the size I needed. So Im wondering down the isle and came across something called a brass bore adapter plate for a home door handle and am thinking damn it looks like the perfect size for the repair but damn its made of brass. So Im looking at this thing like wait I bet its just some brass coating over steel. So I bought it anyhow and ground the thing on the ground in the parking lot and sure enough it was just some brass coating all over it that just grinds off so Im good. They seem to be magnetic so Im sure they are steel. So in a way your advice was good.

This is what they look like but the brass is just a coating so Im going to just sand blast it off so I can weld it to the frame



Those bore washers are WAY too thin. I'd either wait and get some heavy duty washers, or make your own patch out of heavier steel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
They were actually as thick as the heavy duty washers they had. I could also double them up but I dont think I need to. They seem to match the gauge on the frame as well since the welded bracket is made of thinner metal than the actual subframe. Here is a picture of one and its as thick as any washer I have seen without being thicker than the bracket Im welding it too.



Ill know better when my brother comes over with his welder.
 

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The ones I have are much thicker than the ones pictured. The washers I have measure to a little over an 1/16 inch thick and they seem plenty strong. They were actually as thick as the heavy duty washers they had. I could also double them up but I dont think I need to. They seem to match the gauge on the frame as well since the welded bracket is made of thinner metal than the actual subframe.
I would look in the hanger department. Where the Simpson ties are. Look for some 1/8" washers, they will be at the bottom of the shelves where all the heavy stuff is. Black in color, not plated. I dont think the 16 ga pieces you have will provide much strength, even doubled up. And dont forget, it may not need to be round, they have small 2"x2" square plates drilled too. Im sorry, Im prolly not much help. When I need a washer I just make one :) JR
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I would look in the hanger department. Where the Simpson ties are. Look for some 1/8" washers, they will be at the bottom of the shelves where all the heavy stuff is. Black in color, not plated. I dont think the 16 ga pieces you have will provide much strength, even doubled up. And dont forget, it may not need to be round, they have small 2"x2" square plates drilled too. Im sorry, Im prolly not much help. When I need a washer I just make one :) JR
I can tell you though the existing subframe bracket isnt 1/8 inch thick. I figure by the time I weld in some material it will be plenty strong if not my brother says hes going to bring some washers. It may be all refabricated by the time Im done anyhow.

This gives you an idea of the thick washer that was on there.



Here is the hole being alot larger than its suppose to be.



I could probably go off of these repair panels.




 

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thats right, the bracket is NOT 1/8" but to be exact its 3/32" ......i measured the thickness on mine.... welding in a flat steel plate would be only done nicely if the subframe was out of the car.....on mine im gonna weld in a flat piece of 3/32" plate there even with the rest of the bracket and then re-drill the 1 1/2" hole with a bi-metal hole saw on the end of a drill.... also make sure you put back that thick washer exactly where it was...otherwise you frontend will NOT line up....it has to be there....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
thats right, the bracket is NOT 1/8" but to be exact its 3/32" ......i measured the thickness on mine.... welding in a flat steel plate would be only done nicely if the subframe was out of the car.....on mine im gonna weld in a flat piece of 3/32" plate there even with the rest of the bracket and then re-drill the 1 1/2" hole with a bi-metal hole saw on the end of a drill.... also make sure you put back that thick washer exactly where it was...otherwise you frontend will NOT line up....it has to be there....
The subframe will be removed for sure. I just need to support it to remove it. I have the subframe completely stripped as of now and its not even connected to the body. I would prefer to have it rewelded correctly and not a quick job since I already have my brother coming with the welder.

Im considering getting these repair pieces since they look like they will let me align the hole correctly but my brother may want to fabricate it out of a piece of 3/32 inch piece of steel and drill it like you mentioned to save time.

http://www.ss396.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=Nova&Product_Code=RFR-646&Category_Code=SUBFRAMEREPAIR

Im going to try a crash coarse in welding with my brother since he has done it a while but I need to figure out the price and all thats needed to get my own welder running so Im not bugging him all the time.
 

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The subframe will be removed for sure. I just need to support it to remove it. I have the subframe completely stripped as of now and its not even connected to the body. I would prefer to have it rewelded correctly and not a quick job since I already have my brother coming with the welder.

Im considering getting these repair pieces since they look like they will let me align the hole correctly but my brother may want to fabricate it out of a piece of 3/32 inch piece of steel and drill it like you mentioned to save time.

http://www.ss396.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=Nova&Product_Code=RFR-646&Category_Code=SUBFRAMEREPAIR

Im going to try a crash coarse in welding with my brother since he has done it a while but I need to figure out the price and all thats needed to get my own welder running so Im not bugging him all the time.
use a floor jack to support the front of the subframe while removing it with a friend. and just roll it out together on the floor jack.
i would not get those repair plates in my opinion. because they are a different thickness. and more importantly you DO NOT want to disturb that 5/8" hole on the side of the subframe bracket because that has to be DEAD ON because its used to align the subframe to the body. i strongly suggest getting a 3/32"square piece of metal and fit it in the round hole by making the round hole square and fit it in. but remember just to grind away only whats rotted and not go any further. from the pic you have showing the rotting hole it looks to me that you should be fine and not get near enough to that 5/8" alignment hole. and weld it flush with the top of the bracket so that you don't disturb the subframe height. then in the body by fisher book it will tell you where the centerline of the 1 1/2" body mount hole needs to be drilled in the new welded in plate. just make sure you have the crossmember bolted up to the subframe to hold the rear body mount holes in centerline measurement first because the subframe will tend to relax and expand there and your measurement would be off at the firewall position then. if you need these 2 measurements i can look it up for you. i hope i explained this ok...i could always expalin better on the phone....
 

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I would go to your local machine shop and have them made exactly like you want. It shouldn't cost too much and will be well worth it in the long run. This is something you only want to do once.

All it takes is some round stock and a lathe. The money you've already spent in gas running around looking for something could have paid for a good portion of the cost. Take some dimensions and make a drawing of exactly what you want and take it to them. You can even make them a little oversize or whatever you need for added reinforcement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
use a floor jack to support the front of the subframe while removing it with a friend. and just roll it out together on the floor jack.
i would not get those repair plates in my opinion. because they are a different thickness. and more importantly you DO NOT want to disturb that 5/8" hole on the side of the subframe bracket because that has to be DEAD ON because its used to align the subframe to the body. i strongly suggest getting a 3/32"square piece of metal and fit it in the round hole by making the round hole square and fit it in. but remember just to grind away only whats rotted and not go any further. from the pic you have showing the rotting hole it looks to me that you should be fine and not get near enough to that 5/8" alignment hole. and weld it flush with the top of the bracket so that you don't disturb the subframe height. then in the body by fisher book it will tell you where the centerline of the 1 1/2" body mount hole needs to be drilled in the new welded in plate. just make sure you have the crossmember bolted up to the subframe to hold the rear body mount holes in centerline measurement first because the subframe will tend to relax and expand there and your measurement would be off at the firewall position then. if you need these 2 measurements i can look it up for you. i hope i explained this ok...i could always expalin better on the phone....
I would be grateful for any measurements you may have since I dont own the book you mentioned. If the procedure you explained is the correct way then thats how I would like to do it. I will end up printing most of what your explaining so I can read it back to my brother when we get to fixing it.

I should be fine fabricating and welding what I need once I get together with my brother since he has much better tooling than me. My brother is in the process of building a machine shop but he lives very far from me but Im sure he will bring whatever is needed. I may end up going off the driver side mounting hole since its still in fairly ok shape so Im thinking if I mirror that side I should be able to get the right measurements.


Thanks for all the input and Im especially grateful for the extra effort you put into it BDK.

Im guessing this is the correct book.

http://www.gregsonline.com/eshop/FisherBody/71FB.htm
 

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I guess I've been lucky and the frames I've worked on have not needed any bushing hole repairs.

Looking at what you have and how I might approach it is to just get some regular flat steel the same thickness or a tad thicker. You might be able to look around and find some metal off of something else and make that work. Next I would cut out the rot on the existing mount with somewhat straight edges and then lay the new piece of steel on top and with a scratch awl mark the bottom on the new steel using the edges of the hole on the frame bracket from the underside. Using a jig saw cut to the marked line on the new steel and then grind it and fit it to where you have a slight gap on the edges. I would then bevel all of the edges so you get a good weld and then using some small magnets from the underside, place the new patch in place from the topside and place a couple of tack welds on the topside to hold it in place. If the steel is a little thicker than normal with the magnets underneath then that side will be flush from the old metal to the new metal but the top will be a tad higher. No big deal. Once you get done fully welding it up, use a large disc sander to bring the top surface level with the surrounding metal.

With the patch fully welded in and the welds ground down, use information as to where the center of the bushing hole would be and then drill a pilot hole. Use a compass to mark circles larger than what the bushing hole needs to be and then come back with a hole saw the same size or slightly smaller than the bushings and drill the new bushing hole into the new steel patch. Check the fit and if needed use a rat tale file to enlarge the holes evenly (this is why I would use a compass to mark larger circles than what is needed so you can evenly enlarge the holes and have a reference mark to go by). After it's all done then I would give it a coat of paint to seal it up.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well I talked to my brother last night and he says he has some 3/32 steel laying around he can use.

The only thing is he suggested that we just sandwich the steel on top of the existing bracket which would end up raising the bracket 3/32 of an inch. He seems to think this wont make a big difference and I should be able to adjust everything afterward.

As far as the hole he has a plasma cutter so no big deal there.
 

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Well I talked to my brother last night and he says he has some 3/32 steel laying around he can use.

The only thing is he suggested that we just sandwich the steel on top of the existing bracket which would end up raising the bracket 3/32 of an inch. He seems to think this wont make a big difference and I should be able to adjust everything afterward.

As far as the hole he has a plasma cutter so no big deal there.
thats good you found some 3/32" flat metal. however in my opinion, i would not just weld it on top of the bracket. especailly that he has a plasma cutter. your talking 10 minutes to fit it in. believe it or not 3/32" is a difference esp. when your aligning up the front end sheet metal the 3/32" turns into 1" or more difference by the time you carry it to the front bumper....remember its leverage because of the travel....
 
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