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Aftermarket Chassis in a 65 Riviera


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1 hour ago, KongaMan said:

What's the point?

I'm noticing a reoccurring theme with your posts...

 

If you don't like it, keep quiet about it.  Some like to mess with things, others don't.

 

 

Back on subject:

I was excited when I read the first post about keeping the original paint and interior that I was going to see something near drop in frame wise but alas they cut the floor out of it.  I've only made it through the first page but I'm sure there is going to be something to glean out of it for my Pro-Touring 64.  I certainly like my 4L80E.

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I have looked at the arch of the rear section of my '64 Riviera frame when it was bare and I KNOW a Jaguar subframe and IRS could be installed in my car, a major project, but straight forward.

That is what I consider an improvement. A 4 link narrowed rearend on coil overs is Neanderthal. The side rails of the aftermarket frame invade the area of the really strong rocker panels of the existing body. Nice pictures, but why'd you do it?

 

Throw some big wedges in the right front alignment and go find a circle track.

Bernie

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5 hours ago, KongaMan said:

Most folks here like to mess with things.  OTOH, some of those folks mistake change for improvement.

And some people mistake the way it was for the way it should be...  I'm not going to put a Chevy/Corporate engine in my Riviera but his makes a ton of power with a minimum of fuss, the transmission is a very nice thing to have, and the front suspension on a Riviera goes back to the 50's.

2 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

I have looked at the arch of the rear section of my '64 Riviera frame when it was bare and I KNOW a Jaguar subframe and IRS could be installed in my car, a major project, but straight forward.

That is what I consider an improvement. A 4 link narrowed rearend on coil overs is Neanderthal. The side rails of the aftermarket frame invade the area of the really strong rocker panels of the existing body. Nice pictures, but why'd you do it?

 

Throw some big wedges in the right front alignment and go find a circle track.

Bernie

The front suspension is way ahead of the stock stuff both in terms of serviceability and actual suspension design.  Looks like it's a clone or tweaked version of a C5/6 Covette, the uprights definitely are.  I like the work they did on the front end, should be pretty tunable for the desired handling characteristics and comfort if they use the adjustments in the sway bar, shocks, and springs.  I would have made the upper arm adjustable in the leg length to be able to set caster and camber a bit easier.

The rear suspension does look like it's a compromise design to fit, since they didn't keep all the central spine of the X-frame they have plenty of room in the chassis for a proper torque arm suspension which would be easier to adjust and more versatile than the 4-link.  It's not Neanderthal but its harder to get more than drag racing performance out of since it's characteristics require a lot more movement on the chassis side of things for adjusting link angles.

The frame probably is an improvement however, you get most of the stiffness of the X-frame from the triangulated center section with the side impact (minor factor) and longer lever arm stiffness of the perimeter frame.  The X-frame is not a great design for anything other than getting the body channeled over the frame unless you use the body as a fully stressed member.  The boxed heavy gauge rockers help but they are attached to the body which is then rubber isolator attached to the frame.  There's a lot of room for movement there, you want something stiff you want a tall section out there at the outside of the car where you can get away with something lighter because the lever arm multiplies how it stiffens the frame.  More work, i.e. less cutting and pasting from other designs, would have been to keep the central spine but cut out the inner rockers and add the perimeter rails and a set of body mounts at the front and back of the doors.  Probably could have kept the original floor pans as much as possible with the rear tub job if they ran the exhaust through the crossmembers like they did in the above.  I do want to see the finished interior.  

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15 minutes ago, CTX-SLPR said:

And some people mistake the way it was for the way it should be... 

 

No, they acknowledge that it is the way it is because they acknowledge that's the way it was.  One cannot retroactively apply contemporary standards to history.  The car is pushing 55 years old.  As such, it stands as a testament to the engineering technology of the time, and the fact that these cars are still capable of functioning well in the current environment is testament to the capabilities of that technology.

 

That's not to say that a stock first-generation Riviera represents the pinnacle of automotive engineering.  It doesn't; there are clearly better cars being made today as technology has inevitably improved. Nonetheless, there is something timeless about these cars, and there is no small degree of hubris associated with the somewhat masturbatory implication that these fabricators stand above the original designers or that the end result of their labors should be universally acknowledged as superior to the original.

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Yep, not my cup of tea when a nice original 65 is hacked up because it can be "improved". There's plenty of cars out there that are not worth restoring but would make good customs like this.

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General thoughts on 50+ year old cars might be "Oh, an X-frame is an X-frame". But they sure aren't all the same. When I had the frame out from under my '64 Riviera a guy a couple miles north of me was doing a body off on a '64 Impala SS. The differ in the two frames was dramatic. The number of heavy sections was far greater on the Buick and we commented on the added boxed sections as well as the the many extra feet of weld. Without a bunch of detail just look.

5a9abce498201_buickframejpg.thumb.jpg.49a5ffb84725f8be8e10f4e5c369ea72.jpg

61-64chevboxframe1.jpg.25c457f506d123d20012c704e569b948.jpg

 

The Buick is heavier and has a much more sophisticated rear design with a track bar.

I get together with a street rod builder a couple times a week and we has similar, but not exactly the same taste in cars. We both make generalizations, but neither of us subscribe to the ideas promoted on mainstream TV or the niche counter culture that gives birth to these jobs.

 

The guy wanted all the technology of a C whatever Corvette, should have bought the Vette.

 

Twenty years ago my cousin built a street rod and used a Maynard Troyer built stock car chassis under it, pretty much what this looks like to me. He learned never to do that again.

I am not a good listener. And I rarely ask for help. But I do tend to learn from other's mistakes. If you have a Riviera body, the best thing to drop it on is one of these:

016.thumb.png.4c22f716c8d43fcb059210590c6daeac.png

 

Bernie

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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BTW, the highway institute probably picked the X-frame spindly '59 Chevy for the left corner hit just because it was the best "folding" car they could find.

 

There is no way they sat at a table and randomly picked a ;59 Chevy.

 

 

 

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Overall I love it, but I guess you can only see the first set of pics without subscribing to that forum.  

 

From a monetary perspective however, I'll never understand doing this because you'll probably never make your money back.  But then again, people that do this probably don't consider $100k a lot of money.  

 

From an engineering perspective, I have mixed feelings.  On the one hand you are creating a chassis with 5 decades worth of technological improvements in metallurgy, machining, fabrication and design and analysis.  But on the flip side, if this is just some random speed shop, can their engineering department really compare to that of General Motors at the height of their influence even with the massive advantages afforded to them because of technology?

 

For the most part, I prefer progress and am disappointed that I can't see the rest of the pics without making another account.  If the guy has the money and it's a reputable stop doing the work, then that would be one killer car in the end even if visually it would look almost stock.

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It is a neat idea, and to each their own. At one time, I was all about this. With 25 years of hindsight, I feel now that the FUN of an old car is the driving experience. I love the way my 65 goes down the highway, and while it tracks and stops great, I feel that I am way more involved in the driving experience at all speeds. That is the enjoyment for me, right along with the various noises and smells of a 50 year old vehicle. With my 2003 Corvette, things don't get really interesting until the wind is sucking the side windows out. Up until that point, that car is just simply a point and shoot missile. My Riv is like really good bourbon; you have to SIP it, to enjoy it.

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This is a win win as far as I am concerned. The completed car will be a very nice high profile car that will raise the awareness

level of 65 Rivieras at car shows, and because it is so modified, my car just went up in value some more as another nice stock car has

been taken out of circulation. Win Win.

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The welds on this project are straight up porn. Gorgeous. Regarding originality, if it makes the owner happy, it can't be that bad. Hope they adjust the firewall fabrication so it isn't literally touching the bell housing. PRL

 

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Here's an older build (the shop that did it is nearby to me though this is the first I've heard of either the shop or the car).  Looks to be a bit more along the lines of what a lot of us would want though:

http://lateral-g.net/forums/showthread.php?t=35944&highlight=East+bay

9795916556_82d11d788e_c_zps76547c81.jpg

I'll have to see if the car is still floating around here in the East Bay AND call the shop to see if they know where it went.  They also used the same supplier for the front suspension "The Roadster Shop" which from what I know from the Pro-Touring world has an excellent reputation for suspension work.  Not quite Detroit Speed level but considering Detroit Speed doesn't do custom stuff for anything less than full on show cars it seems, The Roadster Shop looks to be one of the better folks that work off of a formula to tweak a template design for other cars.  I'm going to join Lateral-G and see if I can pull some of the pictures over with the owners permission.

Edited by CTX-SLPR (see edit history)
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Those look like the Wheel Vintique units that I'm not sure if they make anymore.  Either way they came in 5x4.75in  only last I checked so with the Roadster Shop suspension I bet they switched over to that pattern with the C5/6 hubs

 

I'm not sure if I can afford them but I'm wanting either 

]attachment.php?attachmentid=107238&stc=1

Rushforth Salt Shaker

or

MUROC-III-POLISHED-BRUSHED.png?x48858

Budnik Muroc III (I can't find a picture with the webs properly blacked out

Edited by CTX-SLPR (see edit history)
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12 minutes ago, Hazdaz said:

Woah, that's a hell of a pretty car. 

 

Never particularly liked brown for paint, but damn does it go with this build. 

Notice the lack of the ribbed rocker molding but a contrasting paint on the rocker below the stainless molding.

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44 minutes ago, RivNut said:

Notice the lack of the ribbed rocker molding but a contrasting paint on the rocker below the stainless molding.

 

Yeah, I think that's one of the things that makes it pop the most.  Reminds me a little of the Mako Shark concept from that same year and this Jay Leno video that I happen to have watched just the other day:

 

https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2014/03/06/cars-of-futures-past-1965-corvette-mako-shark-ii/

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, steelman said:

Hope he has some thick skin. As you saw, not much tolerance for anything modified here.

And those Rushforth wheels look amazing.

Seems like its not his first rodeo for something like this.  I'm sure he's done worse to something else.

 

Going through the pictures and found almost the exact Rushforth wheel picture I used myself in there!  I'm going to get all of them downloaded then start posting them up.  The other thread I linked I'll ask their permission after I'm caught up with the current one.

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Not as much strength in those square corners as opposed to radius/rounded like stock. Square corners have a higher tendency to crack/break the reason for so much extra support in the middle.

Just my opinion.

 

 

Tom T.

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4 hours ago, telriv said:

Not as much strength in those square corners as opposed to radius/rounded like stock. Square corners have a higher tendency to crack/break the reason for so much extra support in the middle.

Just my opinion.

It's more than just an opinion.  Ask the guys who designed the DeHavilland Comet.

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Tonight's picture blast: Original frame with driveline, and engine bay mockup

Looks like they are keeping the factory wipers.  Also looks like they are keeping the same brake pedal and steering setup.  Be interesting to see how the brakes work for them if they keep the same pedal ratio.  I thought it made things long and squishy.

Original Loaded Frame1.jpg

Original Loaded Frame2.jpg

Firewall1.jpg

Firewall2.jpg

Firewall3.jpg

Firewall4.jpg

Engine Mock1.jpg

Engine Mock2.jpg

Engine Mock3.jpg

Engine Mock4.jpg

Engine Mock5.jpg

Engine Mock6.jpg

Accessory Mock1.jpg

Drivers Motor Mount and Rack.jpg

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9 hours ago, telriv said:

Not as much strength in those square corners as opposed to radius/rounded like stock. Square corners have a higher tendency to crack/break the reason for so much extra support in the middle.

Just my opinion.

 

 

Tom T.

I don't think those inner box sections are there because there is a square corner in that location, more because they want a stiffer body.  I don't like it much ascetically but they aren't a production shop with stamping machines and while it's going to be more prone to cracking I doubt this thing will ever seen anywhere close to the miles (even in anger on the autocross etc) to cause that to fail.    The more I look at it, the less I see copied from their other full frame products which leave me a bit puzzled at how they did the parts.  Honestly looks like they treated the car as a unibody and converted it from there.  Weird. 

62-67-Nova-Chassis-1-1024x682.jpg

Roadster Shop 62-67 Nova full-frame conversion

 

The bulges, with square corners, from what I can see are there to route the exhaust through since they did copy something of an X-frame taking up all the space under the floor pans.  Because of the flat floor, even with the paneling pieces, they had to add a lot of bracing and it's pretty close to what the frame has.  Interested to see what they do for seats and exhaust packaging in there.

5 hours ago, KongaMan said:

It's more than just an opinion.  Ask the guys who designed the DeHavilland Comet.

I wouldn't ask them, I'd ask the guys who figured out that they got crack propagation out of the window frames...  Also there are plenty of square body joints in the factory Riviera and other cars, just because a stressed skin aircraft had cracking issues doesn't mean that a full frame car will suffer from the same.  It's be worse if you did that in the middle of a shear plane vs. on the border, sure it could twist like a lidless shoe box but its not that likely to crack.

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50 minutes ago, CTX-SLPR said:

I wouldn't ask them, I'd ask the guys who figured out that they got crack propagation out of the window frames... 

The guys who first figured that out fell out of the sky.

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In stock form the Riviera body it cradled on the frame, supported in front by four mounts at the base on the cowl and with two mounts at the top of the arch over the rear axle. The rigidity of the rocker panels carries the span between those mounts. The rest of the mounts take up lateral loads anddon't carry much weight. The oval mounts at the rear of my car hardly showed any compression and weren't replaced.

 

This car would be a rough ride with six or eight tight body mounts. It is going to ride like a skateboard anyway, but I can see the body taking a beating. My guess is cracks at the rear side glass and sail panel first. Building brackets to reestablish the original mounting concept would be a good move while everything is apart.

 

Reading up on the body mounting differences between B-body variations on this forum: http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/

might be a good idea, especially between the Roadmaster and the 9C1 mounting.

Bernie

 

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