Nova/ChevyII Subframe Install - Gettin' A Handle On It

Classic Performance Products' New First-Gen Nova Subframe Assembly

Jim Rizzo Aug 30, 2006 0 Comment(s)
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This easy-to-install collection of components is CPP's new Mini Subframekit. Dollar for dollar, it is perhaps one of the most beneficialupgrades available for the poor handling of a First-Gen Nova, and one ofthose "why didn't I think of that?" kinda products.

One of the many benefits we magazine guys enjoy is being at theforefront of new developments and products for the hobby. Sure, some maybe mundane recreations or variations of existing products, but lots ofthem are actually exciting and extremely beneficial additions to thehobby that go a long way in increasing our enjoyment, safety, andperformance. Classic Performance Products' new Mini Subframe Assemblyfor First-Gen Chevy IIs is one new product that's gonna put one heck ofa smile on the faces of Nova aficionados.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of CPP's Mini Subframe is that it'san extremely installer-friendly bolt-in assembly that anyone withgeneral mechanical aptitude can install on his or her own. Sure, you'llstill have to hit the local alignment shop when you're done, but there'sno need to enlist the aid of a professional rod shop--unless, of course,you prefer to write a check rather than turn a wrench. Let's take a lookat what this cool new assembly consists of and how easy andstraightforward its installation is.

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For this installation, we used a '67 Chevy II that sported stocksuspension, though it had received an aftermarket disc brake upgradesomewhere along the line. Since the Nova had some issues above andbeyond those typical of a First-Gen, there were some repairs/upgradesdone in addition to the Mini Subframe installation performed. The uppercontrol arm bushings, new lowering coil springs, and a new set of CPPspindles, and disc brakes were included while they were at it.

By eliminating the factory strut rods and adding adjustable forwardcontrol arm mounts, this kit adds stability, alignability, improvedsteering response, and over 2 inches of additional ground clearance foryour early Nova. Plus, by eliminating the bind of the factory strutrods, you're finally able to achieve and maintain proper alignmentwithout the use of a "Lock Out Plate," and as a bonus, gain afree-flowing up-and-down motion in the lower control arms. The resultmakes for distinctly improved ride quality and pleasingly positivefeedback from the road. The Mini Subframe accommodates both the factorysway bar and aftermarket 1-inch-diameter bars (1 1/8-inch bars will notwork). The unique one-piece crossmember ties both framerails together bybolting in where the factory strut rod mounts were located, providingadditional strength. The one-piece crossmember design adds a measly 2pounds to the car after removing the heavy factory strut rods and bulkystrut rod mounts. As we stated earlier, there is no cutting or weldingrequired.

The rear of the tubular lower control arms mount in the factorylocation and the original camber adjustments are used, as well. Thefront of the lower control arms mount to the new crossmember and add aforward caster adjustment to guarantee a perfect, simple, andhassle-free alignment.

The Mini Subframe kit includes two one-piece 1 1/4-inch 0.120-wall DOMtubular lower control arms with CPP's premium ball joints, a simplebolt-in 1/4-inch-thick steel crossmember with forward mounting, fouralignment cam kits, Grade-8 hardware, and CPP's low-friction, long-lifebushings. The retail price for this kit at this point is under $350.They also offer a deluxe kit that comes complete with upper control armbushings, upper ball joints, 1.5-inch-lowered coil springs, springperches, and shocks for a measly $599. Take a look at the install shownhere, and then check out CPP's Web site or give 'em a call forparticulars. If you've got a First-Gen Nova, you'll be glad you did.

Sources

Classic Performance Products
Placentia, CA 92870
800-522-5004
www.classicperform.com
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