Chevy Nova Full Tube Chassis - Fit To Be Tied

The Chassisworks Nova Gets Cut Apart...Then Reconnected

Terry Cole May 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0105_04_z Chevy_nova_full_tube_chassis American_welder 1/36

Ace fabricator, Mando Alvarez, made good use of the trick HTP America welder and plasma cutter. The Micro Cut 250 easily sliced through the floor and firewall, and the Mig 160 made connecting the tubes a piece of cake.

When Mando was done under the dash, the only sheet metal remaining was the dash itself. All of the underlying metal that protected the interior from the windshield wiper cowl vent is gone.

Making sure that the Nova was level to the floor was of paramount importance. Here, shop top dog, Richard Luchette, positioned the level on the top of the rocker panel.

Sucp_0105_05_z Chevy_nova_full_tube_chassis Dash_remains 2/36

With the floor removed, a disc grinder was used to clean up the sharp edges left along the inside of the rocker panel. With a clean surface a new piece of tubing can rest right along its inner face.

This is where the old rectangular frame connector was attached to the rear crossmember. After the connector was removed, the point where it was cut off from was ground smooth and a gusset was made to fit from the bottom of the upward frame rail. This gave it a cleaner look and added some structural integrity.

After taking some measurements and determining the angle of the bend, Mando went about making the first tube connector. Without an hydraulic bender, this was a hard task to complete.

Sucp_0105_06_z Chevy_nova_full_tube_chassis Level 3/36

Another precision operation is cutting the "fishmouth" notch required for the tubing to fit up to another piece of tubing. A holesaw-equipped notcher is the best-and an economical-way to accomplish this job.

As it turned out, experience paid off, as the round frame rail fit perfectly behind the front clip's mounting pad and at the rear crossmember.

When the floor was removed and the bottom of the main roll bar hoop was cut away from it's mount, it sprung inward. To mate it with the new rocker rail, Mando had to pull outward on the bar as Richard tack welded it in place.

Here's what the connection looked like once it was fully welded in place. Note how nice the rail fits at the rear crossmember.

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