The New Frame…


The new frame has been completed and it is stunning.  My cousin Jim Thompson did all the final welds yesterday and the frame is now ready for media blasting.  Why?  I want to get a nice, clean surface so primer can stick nicely and then many coats of top quality chassis black paint will be applied.  I’m not doing this again, and I want to make sure the frame is 100% good to go.

Jim was able to make the pads on the frame so the factory GM Solstice mounts could be used.  This is a good thing:  they are double isolated as to not transmit vibration plus they have a special affair that if the rubber does fail, the mount locks and keeps the engine in place.  Granted, the engine-side mounts had to be custom-made.

So what does it look like?  Take a look:

The picture above shows the front of the new frame.  You can see the steering rack mounts as well as the two suspension towers.  The factory “A” arms will bolt right up and will be fully adjustable for caster/camber/toe.  All beauty of all this will be that all the factory components bolt right up.  And, last but not least:  note the brace at the top of the towers:  this ties the whole thing together.  No flexing.

On this picture you can see the mid-section.  I know – the picture is not sharp but I was so excited and the iPhone was not exactly ‘steady’.  On the top of the picture you can see the “U” shaped extensions which will have the body mounts drilled.  You can also see all the gussets that have been added for strength.  Still missing:  the transmission mounts.  There will be a mount added that will tie the back end of the tranny.

And finally, the back end of the frame.  This photo is not the best and there is a lot of details that can’t be seen.  Suffice to say, the tail end has a slope similar to the factory frame.  You can also see the mounts for the a) coilovers, b) the control arms and c) the bump stops.  Remember there will be a narrowed, solid axle with posi-traction mounted here with a four point control arm suspension.

I realize these pictures might not exactly make sense right now.  Soon (actually, very soon) I’ll have the frame fully assembled with the front and rear suspension in place.  I’ll have full documentation on how all that looks.

As a side note:  weather today was awesome.  I had a chance to ride in Jim’s TR4 today with the hard top off.  It was amazing!  I realize you the reader must be pretty fed up with me stating how great the Ecotec is, but honest:  it is an awesome engine.  We went for a ride today and Jim kept the revs up high.  This thing gets the job done.  We have been doing research on boost and that would really take things to the next level.   Seriously, if you are thinking of using an ‘aftermarket’ engine for an LBC you need to consider the Ecotec. It will honestly amaze you!

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