1979 coupe deville chassis
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, 1979 coupe deville chassis in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I have a 1979 cdv that im fixing up, but the chassis is pretty rusty. What other year caddys can ...
  1. #1
    kingmadrigal is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    1979 coupe deville chassis

    I have a 1979 cdv that im fixing up, but the chassis is pretty rusty. What other year caddys can I use as a donor? Will other same body style GMs work. Any help or advice is greatly aappreciated

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    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: 1979 coupe deville chassis

    Any full size C/D from 77-96 (same thing, the C body was renamed the D body in the mid 80s). NOT B (Caprice/Impala/Roadmaster).

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    cadillac kevin's Avatar
    cadillac kevin is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayoldschool View Post
    Any full size C/D from 77-96 (same thing, the C body was renamed the D body in the mid 80s). NOT B (Caprice/Impala/Roadmaster).
    I recall 1980 coupe saying that a 98 frame was listed as about 2 inches shorter from wheel to wheel in the FSM.

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    kingmadrigal is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1979 coupe deville chassis

    So does it have to be a 2 door or is the 4 door the same frame?

  6. #5
    cadillac kevin's Avatar
    cadillac kevin is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmadrigal View Post
    So does it have to be a 2 door or is the 4 door the same frame?
    2 and 4 doors are the same length

  7. #6
    Mark 78 Coupe is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 1979 coupe deville chassis

    Where is it rusted? Replacing a frame is a huge undertaking, partly because all the parts involved are big and heavy. I would at least investigate getting the current frame welded. Those frames are repairable, and like anything else, if you choose to repair it, get someone who knows what they are doing. Even if you are charged $5-800 I think you would be money ahead. Also, check the body mounts as well. I assume the rest of the car is nice so that it is worth all the effort? Pictures?

  8. #7
    kingmadrigal is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1979 coupe deville chassis

    Its rusted from the door to the back, its pretty much falling apart especially whenever i jack it up, if it can be fixed that'll be awesome. image.jpg

  9. #8
    Fleetwood472 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 1979 coupe deville chassis

    I see your in Racine. I'm in southeastern WI too. I was just at Sturtevant Auto today and there is a nice 90-92 brougham there. You could probably pick that up pretty cheap and use the frame from it. Frame looked pretty clean on it.

  10. #9
    deVille33 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1979 coupe deville chassis

    I have seen the frame rail beefed up by welding a length of angle iron along the bottom of the rail. I have a '78 that had this done. Last year I cut the rear section off and used the rear section and the axle for something else. Most of the original frame has rotted away, but the angle iron is still attached at the front of the rail and still supports the weight of the engine and transmission mounted in the frame.

  11. #10
    Mark 78 Coupe is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 1979 coupe deville chassis

    I would be very careful about jacking your car up until you get the frame repaired or replaced. Depending on how badly your frame is rusted, jacking it in the wrong place could bend your car to the point that the doors might not open, or at the very least make them not open and close properly. My 78 has some frame rust issues, and when I finish my Mustang project, I plan on buying a mig welder, learning how to weld, and fix it myself. Check out lay it low if you haven't already, and see how many guys box these frames (so they can hop their cars). As has been stated before, get a professional estimate and see if it is fixable. Good luck.

  12. #11
    kingmadrigal is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1979 coupe deville chassis

    Thats my plan, i want to make sure the chassis is good so that one day i can put hydraulics in it. Thanks for all the advice!!

  13. #12
    deVille33 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1979 coupe deville chassis

    These frames are designed to be light weight. If you pull the body off the frame , your will notice it flexes. You will notice, they have truss bars located in strategic locations to help limit frame and component torque and flex. I find the weakest point is the back end of the side rails before the rail attaches to the rear support structure. Using the Service Manual, the lift points for the frame are located at the heavier structured sections the front and rear sections flat boss areas. The car body is actually a reinforcement element for the frame structure along the side rails. The body mounts tie the front and rear sections together.
    To do what you propose, I would not use this frame. I suggest you find a truck frame to set the body on. The side rails are beefier and although wider, they would stand up to the stress you are proposing to subject this car to.

  14. #13
    kingmadrigal is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1979 coupe deville chassis

    What kind of truck frame might fit??

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    Re: 1979 coupe deville chassis

    Everything you need to know about reinforcing that frame for hydro can be found over at layitlow.com. If you are ready for hydraulics, you need to be able to plate and wrap. That will make patching rust easy.

  16. #15
    85 FLEETWOOD COUPE's Avatar
    85 FLEETWOOD COUPE is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 1979 coupe deville chassis

    Iv heard 77-96 as well and heard it was not true at the same time but id just do 77-79 just to be on the safe side

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