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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, i've finally gotten the money/time to do this, but after crawling under the car this weekend i realized im either going to have 0 ground clearance, or one hell of a crooked setup. How have you guys gotten around the sub-frame connecter under the car? anyone have pictures, i'd appriciate any help/pics/tips anyone has as this will be my first entire exhaust overhaul. Also any tips for getting the headers out, should be able to remove them and get the old ones out w/o lifting the engine if im not mistaken.

TIA!
 

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Here's an excellent crossmember site: http://www.geocities.com/gforcejohn/

Many brands of headers can be installed w/o lifting the engine. I had a few problems getting my Hooker's to clear in a couple of spots. Had to torch the frame componants a wee bit, and dimple a header tube on both sides.

My exhausts exit out the side behind each rear tire. See Member Cars, ElkySS_001: http://www.necoa.org/modules.php?set_albumName=album09&id=1c_Exhaust&op=modload&name=Gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php

or here: http://www.necoa.org/modules.php?set_albumName=album09&id=ElkySS_5_02_13&op=modload&name=Gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php
 

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G-force crossmembers are a high quality crossmember! They actually help to strengthen the frame a bit over the stock crossmember. If you know someone who is good at cutting and welding, you could have them notch your stock crossmember (something similar to G-force), but it has to be done correctly in order to line back up. Best way to do it would be to make a jig. When you consider the time and expense with having someone modify your stock crossmember, you might wanna just go with the G-force anyway and it gives a nice clean look to the underside of the car. But if your bent on bending your own, (pun intended), log on to my website www.theelcaminofactory.freeservers.com and go to my links page. Click on to COOL LINKS, in the tech section under crossmember mod, you will find info on modifying your stock crossmember or buiding one from scratch. 8)

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Actually, I let them torch the driver's side of my crossmember when they installed my duals. I intend to go ahead and install the G-force crossmember when I upgrade my TH350 to a 700R4 next month.
 

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I think thats a real good idea Dan, although modifying the stock crossmember is an alternative, I think it would have a tendency to weaken it. That G-force crossmember looks like it's pretty stout. Although I haven't installed one on my Elky yet, I plan on doing so when I convert my Elky from automatic to manual trans. That guy John at G-force has been real helpful!

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I'm sure there's plenty of shops that can fabricate one or modify yours and do it correctly...however if you have one fabricated (unless you know someone) I think the expense may be just as much as buying the G-force. I don't know what your plans are, but if you plan on dropping in a high performance motor with a lot of torque in the future, I don't think I'd want to depend on some backyard welder to modify the stock crossmember. Just my opinion. There's more to welding then just arcing a spark.

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Discussion Starter #9
well yeah sure eventually...as in like 5 years from now i plan on doing a lot of work, but thats not till i get out of college. I am going to talk to some people around here (i know quite a few people around here that are good with fabricating things, one guys built a few paintball gatling guns, and even an entire steam engine by fabbing his own parts)

i'll see what i can do, i realize its an important piece, its just annoying that GM put it in the way of my exhaust :(
 

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GM must have thought we've never want dual exhausts... :p
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ok first off.....elky ss, whereabouts is hamilton tennessee, im coming down with my family the 11th of july, goign to pigeon forge/gatlinberg area. Anywhere near that, its about 1 hour away from johnson city, i'd love to get a better look at your ride, i finally browsed the pics and wow man.....wow :)

second, yeha, what was GM thinking, my buddy and i got under the car again tonight and were trying to look and see what we can do...man its gonna be atough one, im guessing you took off the smog pump/alternator, and all that to get to it? i wish it were TPI on this baby, less vaccum lines to worry about, i guess its just label everything and hope it works when ya put it back huh? any tips for that elky since you've done it?
 

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Hamilton County, Tennessee is Chattanooga, TN. It's about 2-1/2 hours from Pigeon Forge. Located on the Tennessee-Georgia-Alabama border.
I hope to meet some ECC/NECOA members in September when I go to the Chevelle/El Camino regional meet in St. Louis. It'd be great if we could get 50+ members in St. Louis.
 

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theelcaminofactory said:
G-force crossmembers are a high quality crossmember!
I agree. I've bought three of them so far and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one for a future project. My friend has one on his 86 Elky too. If you try to have someone fabricate one will probably cost as much as buying a G-force one.

As far as going to the junkyard and finding one from a 74 and eariler Chevelle, good luck. When was the last time you saw one of those in a junkyard?

:mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yeah i've no doubt in their quality....250$ is an awful lot for a college student(me) especially when im getting headers for that.....blah, stupid expensive hobbies!!

as far as fabbing one, im sure i can get cheap steel, and since the guys a friend...i seriously doubt that much steel costs 250$
 

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I'm not trying to talk you into something just talking.

The frame of the 5th gens are a little weak. That G-Force cross member is very stout and heafty. Should add a little more regidity to the frame using one like that. I've even thought about adding some additional crossmembers to give the frame extra strength. I think that Buick had something added to their frame to give it more strength on the Grand National.

Here in Texas there are several bone yards that have 3rd and 4th gen Elkys and Chevelles. No one like the 4th gens so up to 73, I think is when GM Stopped, Chevelle, Buick, Olds should have the crossmember and I am pretty sure they'll all fit, although I am not positive. I know the Chevy stuff will.

I got the G-Force crossmember also. I put a 700R4 in my 5th gen and it mounted back 5" further than the 350 so insted of fabracating a crossmember or adding additional frame rails to compensate for the extra distance I got the G-Force member that was manufactured for the 700R4 swap. It is a really heavy piece and fits perfectly. I have no complaints.

Good luck on your hunt. If you find one in a bone yard it would possibly run you about 20 to 70 bucks. Here it would depend on where you went.
 

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Hey Pete, let us know if you find out anything about Buick Grand National crossmembers or additional aftermarket crossmembers. I've been looking/wanting to do the same thing. I've been considering some type of driveshaft loop that is welded/bolted in and can also serve as a rear crossmember to strengthen the frame and use to mount ladder bars to. Maybe G-force can come up with something.

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If I remember correctly the Grand National did have traction bars, I was told that they did. I was also told, for 5th gens, that that traction bar set up would fit the Elky.

A driveshaft loop could help a lot if it was made from something substantial.
 

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Yeah, I was thinking of a loop something similar to the G-force crossmember. Brackets could be added for ladder bars. What do you think? Could maybe G-force fabricate this and market it? I'm not really that good with fabricating. I think we might be on to something here! Maybe some manufacturer can come up with something to address the shortcomings of traction problems in G-bodies and then market it if they see enough people interested. Anybody else have some input?

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