As the suspension pieces were...
As the suspension pieces were prepped, the team at Jory's started to reinstall them on the new Collier frame. All of the fasteners were replaced with Stainless Works repop items, and many of the chassis items were also replaced. The engine and transmission were also sent out for rebuilding.
The main rails are fully boxed from laser cut metal pieces that are welded together in special jigs-which means that these are not like the factory 'C' channel rails, but rather a four-sided rail (often called a box rail)-so we thought mounting reproduction pre-bent fuel and brake lines would be a challenge. We were wrong. The lines went right on the frame like they were meant to be; the only thing we had to do was drill and tap some holes to mount some hold-down tabs.
Other than that, the various systems bolted right on the frame and everything looked great when everything was reinstalled. The owner of this vehicle is very excited to get it back on the road and enjoy the better-than-new performance of his beloved Corvette (a car his dad drove for many years and now is ready to once again be a longstanding family heirloom).
Without a doubt, swapping frames is an involved job, but if you have a rusty frame and want to enjoy safe, durable miles with your Corvette, you have to replace the frame. It's a tough choice, but one of those tough jobs that will pay dividends for years to come.
Collier Technologies Frames
As the original chassis parts...
As the original chassis parts came back from their rust removal process, they were wiped down with solvent and painted (as these parts are in Jory's paint booth).
The men behind Niagara Falls-based Collier Technologies, Bob and Rick Collier, are both Corvette enthusiasts. The engineering and manufacturing side of Collier Technologies, Davert Tools Inc, started in 1996, but these guys have over 20 years each supplying assembly line equipment as a Tier 1 automotive supplier to the OEMs including most GM plants in North America (including the Bowling Green Corvette plant).
Their frame business started many years ago when Rick needed a new frame for one of his vintage Corvettes and couldn't find one-so the brothers decided to build their own. Like most car guy projects, the frame building program was soon an over-the-top project utilizing Davert Tools engineering and manufacturing as well as other resources to build a frame better than the factory piece. Other than being fully fabricated, the Collier replacement frame has been through extensive simulated durability testing to ensure it can handle the rigors of being driven for thousands of miles.
The Collier Technologies frame...
The Collier Technologies frame is a fully fabricated unit that honors all the original frame mounts. In fact, some of the components bolted up to the Collier frame easier than the team at Jory's have experienced with stock frames!
While their journey to a final product was lengthy, we think it was worth the effort as every Collier Technologies Corvette frame is a fully-boxed work of art in its strength, mounting point accuracy, suspension flexibility (it can be set up to mount late model Corvette suspensions under an early vehicle) and appearance.
As a heads up, the Collier frame is slightly different from a stock frame, but once we spent some time with it, the appearance and functionality of their frame won us over. In the end, we would recommend the Collier frame for someone who plans on driving their Corvette like a regular car and wants late model rigidity and functionality in their older Corvette.
|Difficulty Index - 3 Wrenches|
|Anyone’s Project: no tools required||1 Wrench|
|Beginner: basic tools||2 Wrenches|
|Experienced: special tools||3 Wrenches|
|Accomplished: special tools and outside help||4 Wrenches|
|Professionals Only: send this work out||5 Wrenches|
One tip from the team at Jory's...
One tip from the team at Jory's is to mark the heads of the final torqued fasteners and the surrounding frame section with a line drawn by a paint pen, as shown. This line allows the team at Jory's to quickly visually inspect if a system or component has been final installed.
Reproduction brake and fuel...
Reproduction brake and fuel lines were purchased for the project and installed surprisingly easy on the Collier frame-considering it is a fully boxed frame. To mount the lines, the crew at Jory's drilled and tapped some 1/4-inch holes in the frame in locations near the stock frame mounts.
The final assembled package...
The final assembled package looks impressive and will provide years of fun, safe support for this vehicle. As soon as the engine and transmission are back from the rebuild shop, everything will be reinstalled to get this Corvette back on the road.