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early convertiblrd - stiffening?
Posted by: jmaechtlen ()
Date: May 12, 2019 04:24PM

I'd like to know about any stiffening that was done on the early convertibles versus the coupes and sedans.
My car doesn't have the stock roof or exterior skin, so it's a bit more flexible than a stock car would be. If I know what stiffening was done on 'verts, I could maybe stiffen mine in a similar manner.
The usual answer would be to 'start with a convertible', of course - but this car was built from a coupe, and I'm sure not going to transfer this skin to a donor 'vert!
I'm sure it is on one of the available manuals - but which?
Thanks
Jay

Jay Maechtlen
El Monte, Ca
Yes, it started out in life as a 61 2door.
It has a custom fiberglass skin, and a transverse 3.8 Buick.


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Re: early convertiblrd - stiffening?
Posted by: Caraholic4life ()
Date: May 12, 2019 04:38PM

If memory serves, the outer rocker panels were made wider which should make an obvious visual difference when looking in the area between the door sill and seats.

I don't know how one might go about adding effective bracing to the car underneath.

It appears that your car has a fixed roof line that goes all the way to the windshield post.

With that in mind, maybe something to consider would be to have a chassis shop that installs roll cages and subframe connectors take a look at the car and offer suggestions.

If you were to have a loop installed that follows the roof line from front to back with bars that connect from side to side along the top of the windshield and rear window, you could make the chassis very rigid while adding a layer of safety for when "the car decides to flip over on it's own".

1962 95 F.C. Van
1965 Monza Coupe
Westminster, Maryland

MID ENG enthusiast &
prior Kelmark owner.

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Re: early convertiblrd - stiffening?
Posted by: rowin4 ()
Date: May 12, 2019 06:01PM

Google: 427 bbc v 8 in a corvair because I have to much time on my hands. Post by vairefast on his build. Page 2 has pictures of his frame stiffening.

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Re: early convertiblrd - stiffening?
Posted by: FLSteve ()
Date: May 12, 2019 06:15PM

I had an early vert that was full of rust a previous owner welded a bed frame or 2 to make it stiffer!! When I remover the frame the car fell apart. I think it actually gave the car a few extra years of life.

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Re: early convertiblrd - stiffening?
Posted by: jmaechtlen ()
Date: May 12, 2019 08:32PM

The 427bbc thread has nice pics of adding in some rectangular steel tubing - nicely done.
I was actually considering doing that with round tubing, (like driveshaft tubing, for example) on the grounds that it is stiffest torsionally, and that's what I need.
But I was wimping out 'cause I'm not wild about doing such radical surgery on the car.

Re some other comments - the rails over the door opening are actually steel tubing, about .080. They are tied into the windshield frame well, but they weren't tied that well into the rear structure.
I agree, giving it a roll bar hoop and tying that into the door rails should stiffen things up a bit.

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Re: early convertiblrd - stiffening?
Posted by: jmaechtlen ()
Date: May 12, 2019 09:09PM

And yes, I understand that the car has already had radical surgery...
grinning smiley

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Re: early convertiblrd - stiffening?
Posted by: rowin4 ()
Date: May 12, 2019 09:20PM

Going with round tube the size of drive shaft is kinda large and would be hard to fasten in to the body. I would look at some 1 x 3 fastened to the inner rockers and floor pan.

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Re: early convertiblrd - stiffening?
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: May 12, 2019 09:23PM

Early convertibles have an extra "rocker" panel inside the car. This is why the heater outlets are different, sheet metal vents like your house heat vents vs cast aluminum vents in the convertible.

You can see how wide the rocker is in this picture. It is under the extra carpet next to the door sill molding.

There are other little gussets under the car too.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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