Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Injun Territory, 'Merica!
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On first and second generation A body frames, I'd look very close at the passenger side front frame area where it curves downward behind the lower control arm mount. A body frames often crack in this area coming off a welded seam. ESP ones that have had heavy powertrains installed since day 1, lot of miles on them, subjected to much higher HP engines on the strip, then run ragged on thevsteet. I'd weld up any questionable welds.
If the car/frame previously has had a ton of miles, and the frame has been to the frame shop multiple times to be chained down and jacked in order to get it to hold an alignment (for a while), most likely has the MOOG upper arm "crash shafts" in it, it very well may behoove you to start over with a low mile frame, one out of something that hasn't been driven into the ground. What eventually happens in high mile heavy drivetrain '72 and earlier A bodys is the front frame crossmember fatiques. I've ran across the serious frame crossmember fatigue several times on very high mile driver GTO's and a few other A body's with factory installed big block engines.
If you don't mind the extra weight, you can buy one of the frame boxing kits and weld the extra steel plate sections in, not as strong as thevfactory formed HD frames, but it s an improvent in frame rigidity. With such a kit, first, investigate it thoroughly, you may need to look at where your 3/8" fuel line runs and note if any rebending or line replacement is going to be required. I've never welded a hardtop frame up with the aftermarket plate pieces, have only dealt with factory HD frames/ convert frames and center boxed areas; i.e, have even created factory HD/convert frames out of two different A body frames.
Front of the rearend mtg crossmember, you can either continue to run the very late '65-67 "4spd" braces, buy the repro versions, or buy the tubular style offered by several aftermarket companies. Would also box the upper and lower rear control arms. Factory '66 442's actually had boxed upper control arms, have a pair, and the upper rear control arms in my 455HO GT-37 had the exact same boxing installed over 40 years ago. Be careful with the extent of installing polyurethane control arm mounts in the rear suspension. I never install them in the cast upper perches on A body rears, the urethane bushings will create bind, not free movement that is needed at that point.
What are you running for spindles?