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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Default boxing Skylark frame

    Started out just planning on replacing the body bushings. One thing lead to another and before you now it the frame is out from under the car, and off to the sand blaster. If you have a convertible or real GS frame you do not need to do this. If you have a Skylark the frame needs help. ABC performance makes a frame boxing kit for $200. Gives you 4 laser cut plates to help beef up the frame.

    This picture shows the back section of the frame tacked in. That was easy to do. This part of the frame is usually in good shape and it just takes a few tweaks to get it to fit.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Doug Gorton
    Gravity, it's only a theory.
    Trying is the first step towards failure
    -Homer Simpson
    GSX clone- May 2002
    Supercharged 462-April 2010
    1973 Ski Nautique 351w
    87 GN- August 2005

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Linden, MI
    Posts
    4,677

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    The middle section of the frame is a different story. After 46 years of abuse the bottom of the frame is no longer in the same shape as it was from the factory. Most of these are all bent up and so was mine. I c clamped a length of 2X3 box channel along the bottom. Then took some more c clamps and applied pressure. Then tack welded along the bottom. Next step is to use an air hammer to convince the metal it wants to stay where I want it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Doug Gorton
    Gravity, it's only a theory.
    Trying is the first step towards failure
    -Homer Simpson
    GSX clone- May 2002
    Supercharged 462-April 2010
    1973 Ski Nautique 351w
    87 GN- August 2005

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Linden, MI
    Posts
    4,677

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    Found a better way to do this on the second side. Here is what the frame looked like to start with. Amazing how out of shape that bottom gets.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Doug Gorton
    Gravity, it's only a theory.
    Trying is the first step towards failure
    -Homer Simpson
    GSX clone- May 2002
    Supercharged 462-April 2010
    1973 Ski Nautique 351w
    87 GN- August 2005

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Linden, MI
    Posts
    4,677

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    I used the handy 2X3 chunk of box tube along the bottom of the frame. There are some protrusions on the bottom of the frame to avoid or it will set too low. Use some quick clamps to hold it in place.

    Cut out the chunk of metal that connect top and bottom rails in the center of the frame. I just lined up the edge of the top rail and used that as a guide. Same at the bottom.

    Next use two c clamps on each side of the area the center body mount is. Use the c clamps to draw the bottom rail down to the 2x3. Next step is to make a brace from a piece of 1/8 flat stock. I used 2" wide stock. The brace is going to hold open the space on each side of the body bushing hole. Make sure you leave enough room for bushing. Should be a rectangle about 2x2.75. Try to make it a tight fit. Then weld it in. Should look like the picture.

    Do the same thing on the other side of the body mount hole. Then you can start working with the C clamps from the center out.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Doug Gorton
    Gravity, it's only a theory.
    Trying is the first step towards failure
    -Homer Simpson
    GSX clone- May 2002
    Supercharged 462-April 2010
    1973 Ski Nautique 351w
    87 GN- August 2005

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Linden, MI
    Posts
    4,677

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    Work the C clamps to each end flattening the bottom of the rail. The problem is that releasing the C clamp will let the deformed part of the rail to pop back up. So on each side I put in two more braces. As you work to the ends and have a flat spot between clamps work in a brace. Only trick here is to place the bottom of the brace about 1/4 inch from the edge of the frame rail so you have room to weld the bottom then the top.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Doug Gorton
    Gravity, it's only a theory.
    Trying is the first step towards failure
    -Homer Simpson
    GSX clone- May 2002
    Supercharged 462-April 2010
    1973 Ski Nautique 351w
    87 GN- August 2005

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Linden, MI
    Posts
    4,677

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    Now it just a case of lining up the the boxing plate and tack welding it into place. C clamp work great for this too. My next step will be to take it to someone that is a better welder than me (trained monkey in my case) to do the finish welding.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Doug Gorton
    Gravity, it's only a theory.
    Trying is the first step towards failure
    -Homer Simpson
    GSX clone- May 2002
    Supercharged 462-April 2010
    1973 Ski Nautique 351w
    87 GN- August 2005

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    Guess I've always gotten lucky, all my frames are straight underneath. I have a 71 Skylark convertible and the rear frame rails behind the rear tires was not boxed in at all. I had to buy a drop in piece from ABC performance to box this part in. Turned out nice but I don't think this part of the frame gets put under much stress unless rear ended.
    Andy
    -------------

    1969 Buick Sport Wagon 400 .....14.14@99 best, non-posi
    1972 Datsun 1200 Coupe ...... Just dyno'd 285 rwhp!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Linden, MI
    Posts
    4,677

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    Quote Originally Posted by afracer View Post
    Guess I've always gotten lucky, all my frames are straight underneath. I have a 71 Skylark convertible and the rear frame rails behind the rear tires was not boxed in at all. I had to buy a drop in piece from ABC performance to box this part in. Turned out nice but I don't think this part of the frame gets put under much stress unless rear ended.
    Tony said that the rear is important because of the body mounts. It all has to do with tying the whole system together. Do the wagons have the same frame bracing as the convertibles and GS's?
    Doug Gorton
    Gravity, it's only a theory.
    Trying is the first step towards failure
    -Homer Simpson
    GSX clone- May 2002
    Supercharged 462-April 2010
    1973 Ski Nautique 351w
    87 GN- August 2005

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Derby, CT
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    I went a little farther with this ladder structure tying the lower rear control arms to the front frame section with the struts stopping frame from racking.Looks cool, no body mods and barely visible from the side. IMG-20140602-00623.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Linden, MI
    Posts
    4,677

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    Quote Originally Posted by 340 to 455 View Post
    I went a little farther with this ladder structure tying the lower rear control arms to the front frame section with the struts stopping frame from racking.Looks cool, no body mods and barely visible from the side. IMG-20140602-00623.jpg
    I thought about doing something like that. In the end did not feel it necessary for my goals. Did you ever upgrade the front end? The stock geometry leaves a lot to be desired. Will have pictures of frame all put back together soon.
    Doug Gorton
    Gravity, it's only a theory.
    Trying is the first step towards failure
    -Homer Simpson
    GSX clone- May 2002
    Supercharged 462-April 2010
    1973 Ski Nautique 351w
    87 GN- August 2005

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Derby, CT
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    No front end work yet just basic stuff , Firebird sway bar and fast steering box. Money is tight so looking at B or F spindles with larger brakes. Waiting for the right donor to drop in my lap. Upper arms would be nice but pricey. I didnt really have a solid plan when I started, I only wished I had modified the frame for wider tires in the rear. I saw this at the powder coaters the other day. Looks like it would have be pretty easy.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Linden, MI
    Posts
    4,677

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    Quote Originally Posted by 340 to 455 View Post
    No front end work yet just basic stuff , Firebird sway bar and fast steering box. Money is tight so looking at B or F spindles with larger brakes. Waiting for the right donor to drop in my lap. Upper arms would be nice but pricey. I didnt really have a solid plan when I started, I only wished I had modified the frame for wider tires in the rear. I saw this at the powder coaters the other day. Looks like it would have be pretty easy.
    ABC has a nice kit for that too. My car needs the extra tire but more traction equals more broken parts. For me the tires are the fuse. On top of that what is the 275 drag radial record? Way faster than I will ever go.

    I run B body spindles and Global West uppers. Someday will put on the D52 replacement calipers but things work good right now. With the B spindles and Global West springs it was a bit too low in the front and have to run a half inch spacer to get things good for the street. I have heard that the B spindles will cause excessive bump steer but I don't see it. Part of that may be I do not run super low profile tires. 15 inch wheels and 235/50's in the front makes for a good street setup.
    Doug Gorton
    Gravity, it's only a theory.
    Trying is the first step towards failure
    -Homer Simpson
    GSX clone- May 2002
    Supercharged 462-April 2010
    1973 Ski Nautique 351w
    87 GN- August 2005

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Linden, MI
    Posts
    4,677

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    Back from the powder coating. Came out pretty good.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Doug Gorton
    Gravity, it's only a theory.
    Trying is the first step towards failure
    -Homer Simpson
    GSX clone- May 2002
    Supercharged 462-April 2010
    1973 Ski Nautique 351w
    87 GN- August 2005

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Linden, MI
    Posts
    4,677

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    Mostly together now. Just in time to go under car for winter.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Doug Gorton
    Gravity, it's only a theory.
    Trying is the first step towards failure
    -Homer Simpson
    GSX clone- May 2002
    Supercharged 462-April 2010
    1973 Ski Nautique 351w
    87 GN- August 2005

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    4042 arbor vitae wis. 54568
    Posts
    692

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    Got to love it when a plan comes together !!!!!
    2 - 2 i say, 72 GS 350 4 4 speed cars
    1 72 skylark 4 dr. hardtop
    1 72 skylark 4 dr. sedan
    1 72 gs 350 auto
    1 71 gs 455 4 speed
    1 70 Estate Wagon

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Linden, MI
    Posts
    4,677

    Default Re: boxing Skylark frame

    Quote Originally Posted by agetnt9 View Post
    Got to love it when a plan comes together !!!!!
    Not sure about how much planning went into this. Put it on wheels today. Then looked in one of the parts boxes and saw the brake calipers. Would have missed them when I run the brake lines.
    Doug Gorton
    Gravity, it's only a theory.
    Trying is the first step towards failure
    -Homer Simpson
    GSX clone- May 2002
    Supercharged 462-April 2010
    1973 Ski Nautique 351w
    87 GN- August 2005

 

 

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