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lower front re-enforcement bars for k-frame?


GuyWithCavalier
12-13-2011, 06:25 PM
Is there a third party kit that allows you to add lower front bars to the k-frame?

This seems like a no-brainer,
given that the k-frame is notorious for rotting out and turning car into death-trap.

If not, why can't I weld on or bolt my own metal bar or slab to the k-frame, so I don't have to replace it again?

Has anyone else tried reinforcing their k-frame, before it rots away?

I was inspired by the photo below,
which shows someting called a "Front Lower Tie Bar",
and looks about perfect or just what the cavalier needs,
to make it a legitimate and safe frame...

(upper right photo, red bars):

http://d3d71ba2asa5oz.cloudfront.net/23000098/images/sb-pic.jpg

Moppie
12-13-2011, 06:49 PM
Those tie bars there to add extra strength to an existing design, not replace it.
They simply reduce body flex which helps stiffen the chassis and improve handling.

They should not be considered any kind of safety device, or frame replacement.

If your frame is going rusty, then the only safe thing to do is replace it with one that isn't.

If it hasn't gone rusty yet, then you could strip it down and rust proof it with POR15 or a similar product.

GuyWithCavalier
12-14-2011, 10:14 AM
Those tie bars there to add extra strength to an existing design, not replace it.
They simply reduce body flex which helps stiffen the chassis and improve handling.

They should not be considered any kind of safety device, or frame replacement.


Well, in my mind you have a problem with Cavaliers:

The K-frame rusts away quietly until there is a horrible incident.
This may be in part the fault of the owner, for not inspecting it,
but how many drivers have any clue about structural engineering re: cars?

In my mind the fault is mainly with the designer (GM),
and of course the whole line of mechanics that were right there
under the car doing routine maintenance for the next 12 years.
One of them at some point should have said,
"Hey, you have a potential death-trap: Cavaliers/Sunfires are notorious for this.
I suggest you preventatively rust-proof this part,
or (in case its really bad) replace this as soon as possible,
like in the next 2,000 kilometers."

This is something any good mechanic could and should have done.
Anyone doing an oil change on a 5-10 yr old Cavalier
should look at it, and maybe hit the k-frame with a hammer
to test for integrity.
Little old ladies can't be expected to anticipate that
GM started using cheap thin sheetmetal to save a few cents,
on a specific vehicle-body.


If your frame is going rusty, then the only safe thing to do is replace it with one that isn't.


This ain't so helpful, given that:
The only replacement is a used one from the wreckers.
They are all rusty, its just a question of degree,
something that ordinary citizens aren't really capable of gauging.


If it hasn't gone rusty yet, then you could strip it down and rust proof it with POR15 or a similar product.

I could, but I decided it was more cost-effective to just sand off the loose rust and paint, and spray it with "Rust-Converter",
then paint it with primer, and hope that lasts another 5 years.

I also put some underbody ashphalt spray in the slot where
the steering rack attaches to the k-frame. I hope this helps,
but who knows?

Moppie
12-14-2011, 02:45 PM
Anything is better than nothing when it comes to treating rust, although sadly, the little bit you can see and treat is usually only a small fraction what's actually there.


It sounds like GM did a real job on designing the Chavalier, we got a small number of them sold here badged as Toyota's from Japan.
They were not a popular car, quite low spec, very expensive, very unreliable and hard to fix as parts were hard to find.
There's very few left on the roads.

We also have to have an inspection every 6 months where cars get given a warrant of fitness. One of the things they check for is structural rust.

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