C-Body Stub Frame Swap


I have been searching
around for tech info on how
to change out the sub frame on
my ’66 Polara 880 (318 Poly),
but it seems pretty elusive. I
have been told it is a pretty
easy thing to do but no one has
recorded this. Any help would be
—Tom Juhlke, Welland, ON
Easy? Sure, it’s only nuts
and bolts…but a lot of them.
Your C‑body has a stub, not a sub, frame.

The easiest way to do this is to
reverse the factory’s assembly procedure:
Remove the obvious (exhaust, cooling,
electrical, steering column, brake lines, etc.),
rig some kind of dolly setup under the frame,
remove the bolts, lift the body shell up leaving
the engine, transmission, and suspension,
complete, still installed on the sub
frame, sitting on your dolly setup (or some
large tires, etc.). Pull the engine and trans up
and off, strip off the suspension pieces, then
reassemble all to your “new” frame.
Whoever says this is “easy” has a warped
definition of that word. I’d agree that it isn’t
especially difficult, but it sure will take some
significant time and effort, especially dealing
with 50‑year‑old fasteners and the like.
Incidentally, while the body can be lifted
successfully with a good engine crane,
or two floor jacks, I, personally, wouldn’t
attempt this without a good two‑post lift.

Swapping C-body stub frames is not a Saturday afternoon project.
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