One of the many benefits we magazine guys enjoy is being
at the forefront of new developments and products for the hobby. Sure, some
may be mundane recreations or variations of existing products, but lots
of them are actually exciting and extremely beneficial additions to the
hobby that go a long way in increasing our enjoyment, safety, and performance.
Classic Performance Products' new Mini Subframe Assembly for First-Gen Chevy
IIs is one new product that's gonna put one heck of a smile on the faces
of Nova aficionados.
Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of CPP's Mini Subframe
is that it's an extremely installer-friendly bolt-in assembly that anyone
with general mechanical aptitude can install on his or her own. Sure, you'll
still have to hit the local alignment shop when you're done, but there's
no need to enlist the aid of a professional rod shop--unless, of course,
you prefer to write a check rather than turn a wrench. Let's take a look
at what this cool new assembly consists of and how easy and straightforward
its installation is.
|By eliminating the factory strut rods and adding adjustable
forward control arm mounts, this kit adds stability, alignability, improved
steering response, and over 2 inches of additional ground clearance for
your early Nova. Plus, by eliminating the bind of the factory strut rods,
you're finally able to achieve and maintain proper alignment without the
use of a "Lock Out Plate," and as a bonus, gain a free-flowing
up-and-down motion in the lower control arms. The result makes for distinctly
improved ride quality and pleasingly positive feedback from the road. The
Mini Subframe accommodates both the factory sway bar and aftermarket 1-inch-diameter
bars (1 1/8-inch bars will not work). The unique one-piece crossmember ties
both framerails together by bolting in where the factory strut rod mounts
were located, providing additional strength. The one-piece crossmember design
adds a measly 2 pounds to the car after removing the heavy factory strut
rods and bulky strut rod mounts. As we stated earlier, there is no cutting
or welding required.
The rear of the tubular lower control arms mount in the
factory location and the original camber adjustments are used, as well.
The front of the lower control arms mount to the new crossmember and add
a forward caster adjustment to guarantee a perfect, simple, and hassle-free
The Mini Subframe kit includes two one-piece 1 1/4-inch
0.120-wall DOM tubular lower control arms with CPP's premium ball joints,
a simple bolt-in 1/4-inch-thick steel crossmember with forward mounting,
four alignment cam kits, Grade-8 hardware, and CPP's low-friction, long-life
bushings. The retail price for this kit at this point is under $350. They
also offer a deluxe kit that comes complete with upper control arm bushings,
upper ball joints, 1.5-inch-lowered coil springs, spring perches, and shocks
for a measly $599. Take a look at the install shown here, and then check
out CPP's Web site or give 'em a call for particulars. If you've got a First-Gen
Nova, you'll be glad you did.