You’ve been following along with our quest to slam our Malibu with stock suspension and mini-tubs on a big Mickey Thompson ET Drag Radial 295/65 tire. Some people said “it can’t be done” and others gave us advice. And check out the ride height below: PERFECT. Thanks to everyone who gave us input. Here’s how we did it.
When we last left off we had added some support to the inner frame rails and were ready to finish up the notching of the frame rail. Only one thing stood in the way — the powerTV video guys were shooting a video on coatings with Techline Coatings in the shop. So for a good part of the day Mike was banished into the office, left to ponder the pending work that awaited him in the garage. But the day moved on and before long Mike was out in the garage doing what he does best…
On the agenda today was finishing off the frame rails by closing up the holes in the front and rear frame, and then by welding washers (TIG) in the rear control areas to replace the damaged 20+ year old OEM suspension holes that have been enlarged due to typical Grandma abuse.
Early in the day Mike traced and cut out the plates to box the frame in the rear where it had been notched. Then after spending some time at the bench grinder he was rewarded with the finished pieces.
The finished look complete with a melted body bushing. Smelled great too.
Here is where we added washers to the inner and outer lower control arms suspension holes to support the 1,000+ hp our 555 is going to apply.
Now it was time to box the front of the frame. We spent a little bit of time making the boxed frame more study that a simple end cap. This was simply traced out on a template and then bent using a beefy sheetmetal brake.
Here’s what we ended up with once welding was finished. The angled flat steel provided a nice triangulated gusset to the frame and would be dramatically stronger than a flat cap. And we had plenty of tire room.
Here’s another angle so you can really see the triangulated steel.
The last thing we did before shutting down the shop for the weekend was set the tires under the car and lower old Grandma down so we could check clearance and get our measurement for the Currie rear end going in the car. We are using a brand new, trick Currie Fabricated 9-inch that Currie is just releasing, and it’s going to be no joke. We needed to get a wheel to wheel measurement from the ‘Bu first.
Plenty of room back here with the 295/65 Mickey’s.
Before we slid the tape measure under the car we couldn’t help but stop and just take in the look of the car sitting at about ride height with the tires shoe-horned under the backside. This is at ride height.
After checking the clearance all around the huge 295/65 M/T ET Drag Radials, we were really happy with the amount of room we had around the tires. We then measured from inside of each wheel so we can send the numbers off to Currie so they can build the fabricated 9-in going into the car.
It measured out to 56 3/4 inches from wheel-to-wheel. With 15 x 10 wheels with a 5.5 backspace, 56.75 (hat to hat) is our magic number.
That’s all for this update, check back next week where we will be moving on to boxing the rest of the frame and finishing up the mini tubs.
Check out the rest of the photos below:
Driver side rear notch plate welded in.