Do-It-Yourself Subframe Installation Guide
Have you been experiencing unnecessary vibration and harshness when you are driving your vehicle? If your answer is a resounding ‘yes,' then you may want to consider replacing your Subframe. The Subframe enables your vehicle to spread high chassis loads over a wide area of your body shell. It will also strengthen your vehicle's body by adding an independent front suspension, a front sway bar, disc brakes, and an improved engine. However, if you are thinking of replacing the subframe on your own, you must ensure proper placement and measurement to ensure that it will be properly installed. It also requires special tools and skills. If you're up for it, then follow these steps.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Jack and jack stands
- Plasma cutter
- Welding equipment
- Protective glasses and equipment
- Replacement subframe
Step 1: Wear protective equipment to ensure safety while installing your subframe. Raise your vehicle evenly at all four corners. Use a floor jack and jack stands to ensure that your vehicle will be secured as you perform the installation.
Step 2: Cut the original frame by a few inches in front of the firewall using a plasma cutter. Make sure that your vehicle stays in place as you cut the frame. You might need help in doing this, especially if you haven't tried cutting metal before.
Step 3: Put the new subframe under the old chassis. Level the subframe relative to your vehicle, and mark the height of the subframe. It depends if you want to lower your vehicle.
Step 4: Trim the original frame to match the curve of the subframe. Place the subframe relative to the rest of the frame. To ensure accuracy, make sure to take measurement and level the subframe based on the old frame and not to the body.
Step 5: This part is one of the more difficult steps. Use three hanging bobs to position the F-body subframe accurately. Remember to take the right measurements, even if it takes you a long time.
Step 6: Once the subframe is in place, trim the excess metal from both frames. Afterwards, temporarily weld the subframe in its correct position.
Step 7: Check the measurements again before you butt-weld the frames together. Weld small sections one at a time and double-check the measurements as often as you can.
Step 8: You may choose to paint over the subframe parts that you have welded to make it look natural.
Step 9: Reconstruct the front sheet metal mounts, the radiator core support mount, the bumper mounts, and the steering shaft.
Step 10: Make sure that all the parts that you removed will be reinstalled properly. This is important to gauge if you were able to install your subframe properly.
It would take you at least two hours to install a new subframe. It would help if you can ask someone to assist you during the installation. However, it is recommended that you bring your vehicle to an expert mechanic to install your subframe.