big block frame reinforcement? - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-13-2015, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: orange county,california
Posts: 61
Question big block frame reinforcement?

Hello All,
This topic will be directed towards big block 65-70 impala guys.
I have a 67 impala convertible with a 454 w/ cast heads, not a performance motor.
Do you guys think its recommended to reinforce a stock frame,at least the front? has anyone ran in to issues with the frame twisting or cracking.
I know some of the 67's cars were equipped with a 427 motor but im not sure if my car originally had a small block or maybe a 396.

Reason i'm asking is i'm about to sandblast and powder coat the frame,so now would be the time to do it if needed.

Feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 06:50 AM
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Location: Estero, FL
Posts: 471
There was absolutely no difference in the way the frames were built. However, the big block equipped cars seemed to settle the frames a little bit more over the years resulting in the upper control arms being pulled slightly inward. This is generally resolved in using the offset upper control arms which restore the camber adjustment. In severe cases I have heard of cars going back on the frame machine to be pulled back, but if this was necessary I would use it as an excuse to buy new tubular control arms.


1965 Impala SS 396
1967 SS427
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,383
As Mike stated the frames are identical. What I would do would be to fully box the frame to stiffen it before I attacked it with a hole saw to lighten it up again. In my '85 Impala I ripped the stock upper triangulated four link mount off of the passenger side of the body with 582 cube big block. I welded in a rear cross member and converted it over to a tubular arm four link with Panhard bar. But I was running slicks and a 250 shot of nitrous at the time that I broke it.

If you read Carroll Smith's book "Racing Chassis and Suspension Design" he talks about the importance of starting with a strong foundation, the cars frame, to build upon. Another good book is Dick Miller's book "Drag Racing Traction: Rear Suspension: Coil Springs and Four-Link" as it addresses the short comings of the factory rubber mounted suspension when you are applying torque. Your 454 will have lots of torque so that is something that will have to be addressed to limit wheel hop with the stock four link. Finally if you want your car to be able to turn and stop as well as go in a straight line then I would recommend reading Mark Savitske's book "How to Make Your Muscle Car Handle" . . .

Big Dave
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 02:02 PM
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Location: San Jose, CA
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It really depends what are you planning to do with the car. Cruising and occasional burnout no need to waste your money and time, if you are planning on racing the car than yes you need reinforcement, but in that case a lighter car wouldn't be a bad idea.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 10:30 PM
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Location: Canada
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On a street car with an iron headed big block you will be just fine with the stock frame. I've had a number of 65-69 big block B bodies over the years and never had an issue.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-15-2015, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: orange county,california
Posts: 61
Thank you all for the great feedback as always.

I have decided to leave as is for now.
with the exception of upgraded tubular arms.

the frame will be on its way to get blasted and coated.
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1967 impala frame, 454 motor, 67 impala convertible, big block

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