top of page

Classic Car Subframes 101

From planes to boats, to cars as we know today, subframes have truly come a long way. A once optional component is now a gold standard in virtually every vehicle that flies, floats, or drives.

However, most people don’t know about what the subframe is or what it does. We’re here to remedy that by taking a closer look at this essential component and why doing a subframe and chassis swap in Orange County, CA is such an amazing idea.

What is the purpose of a subframe?

A subframe is an integral component of a car. Its primary purpose is to carry some of the most essential parts of the vehicle, such as the suspension, drivetrain, and steering. In some cases, (specifically, in the front wheel drive cars) it also serves as a mounting point for the engine. Hence the alternative name “engine cradle” or simply “K-frame”.

Is the subframe important in a classic car?

While the subframe plays a support role in a car, its benefits go far beyond being a glorified engine hanger. In fact, a subframe can improve ride quality and safety – the two biggest pain points of any classic car. And, as a major bonus, it can cut maintenance costs.

How does a subframe improve your safety on the road?

The subframe helps spread the high weight of mentioned components over a wider area. In doing so, it makes it easier to steer your car and improves its overall handling. This directly translates to faster reaction times in those sticky situations. Speaking of sticky situations...

If you ever end up in a car crash, a subframe can literally save your life. Since it’s a series of interconnected components, it acts as a multi-layered cushion. As such, it disperses the force of the impact, reducing the effects on the car’s occupants. Therefore, it is definitely a chassis upgrade that should be high on your priority list.

How does the subframe improve ride quality?

As a general practice, subframes are fitted with either springs or rubber bushings during installation. Which may not seem like much, at the first glance. However, this simple upgrade helps dampen the vibrations that are all too common on the harsh Orange County roads (especially dangerous ones, such as Live Oak Canyon road), thus vastly reducing the noise and discomfort a driver and passengers may feel.

How can installing a subframe help you cut maintenance costs?

Another great side of a subframe is that it is an independent unit. This means that if your vehicle’s frame or chassis needs repair or replacement, you won’t have to change a perfectly good subframe. A mechanic can disconnect and take out the entire unit, fix what needs fixing, and put the subframe back in.

Of course, the reverse logic applies too. If your subframe is broken and in need of repair/replacement, it is only the matter of unbolting and taking it out for some TLC. Overall, this upgrade can help you cut down on the maintenance costs, especially in the long run, as subframe design allows them to last for decades.

What’s the best place to do subframe and chassis swap in Orange County, CA?

Whether you only wish to swap your chassis and subframe to a modern version or give your vintage ride a top-to-bottom overhaul, Chimera Motors should be your first choice. For years now we were and remain Orange County’s top classic car shop, offering prime services at affordable rates. Give us a call today and we’ll give your car the treatment it deserves.


Featured Posts

Recent Posts

Search By Tags

No tags yet.
bottom of page