Art Morrison Enterprises Chassis Install - Project XS Chevelle, Part 3: Assembling The New Foundation

Thanks To The Arrival Of The New Art Morrison Enterprises Chassis, We Can Get Project XS' Foundation Set In Place.

Patrick Hill Nov 25, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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In the last installment of Project XS Chevelle, we took care of repairing the toe boards and our rusty front body mounts. Thanks to Goodmark Industries, the fabrication work on this repair was kept to a minimum, with most of the custom work needed being getting the body mounts back up to snuff.

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In part three, we can finally get our front and rear Goodmark one-piece floorpan assemblies set in place, and make sure they fit right with the Chevelle's new Art Morrison Enterprises chassis. With the growing popularity of the '68-72 Chevelle with builders, the need for a full aftermarket chassis capable of handling the high horsepower of today's engines has become critical. Even the newest factory Chevelle frame is almost 40 years old. Under heavy torque and extreme handling, the stock frame is prone to cracking and twisting in certain areas because of the sharp angles and bends GM designed into the chassis. Add to that a lack of lateral bracing and a factory '68-72 frame can only take so much.

AME stepped in, using the design skills and knowledge from its other lines of full chassis to build a completely new A-body structure. Out back is Morrison's triangulated four-bar rear suspension.

This design provides a more stable and lower roll center than the stock Chevelle four-link system, with the benefit of very predictable handling traits. A new 9-inch rear housing is used, with AME's own DOM axle tubes welded on, along with CNC-machined housing ends and bracketry. An optional back brace can be added for cars intended for very high horsepower. An adjustable anti-roll bar and adjustable coilovers let the customer fine tune the car to the level of desired performance.

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Up front, AME created an all-new suspension design. Eight different designs were tried before this one was chosen. To package the suspension around the engine placement, a new set of control arms, crossmember, and steering arm were configured just for this application, resulting in a great performance handling suspension. With tubular upper and lower control arms designed for strength and to maximize the available room for tire clearance, it sets the C6 Corvette spindle at 5.5 degrees of caster and features a static 0.5 of positive camber. This leads to an aggressive camber gain as the suspension goes through its range of motion. With it being a C6 spindle, numerous aftermarket brake options are available. As part of all AME chassis, a new tubular, adjustable anti-roll bar and adjustable shocks allow for the customer to fine-tune the level of performance to their comfort level and driving style. A power rack-and-pinion rounds out the front suspension package.

The crew at Classic Automotive Restoration Specialists had their tetanus boosters before diving into our rusty A-body again, and this time we managed not to spill any blood. Follow along as we get the car's foundation solidified, and show you some of the things involved with mating a new chassis to a new floor, to a car in less than stellar condition.

Step By Step

With all the positioning verified and the main pans clamped securely in, it's time to tack weld the floors in place. With the front and rear pans installed, the car's structure is more sound than ever, and in our next installments we can start on replacing the tail area, quarter-panels, and readying the rear wheelwells for enlargement. We'll also be going back to the front of the car and cover repairing the windshield and upper cowl area.

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