Hot Rods

  Hot Rod Jim's Chassis Shop

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        Hot Rod Jim has sold the design of the TriFive Frames to Nerd Rods. Please check out their site for more information about their chassis offerings. The Nerd Rods version even comes in a Weld it Yourself Kit.

          Hot Rod Jimís Stage 1 TriFive Frame is the solution for home hobbies looking for the best performance to dollar in handling upgrades for your TriFive. The HRJ Stage 1 Frame uses the suspension from the 1984-1996 Chevrolet Corvettes and adapts it to your TriFive with no body modifications required. The Stage 1 frame comes as a kit including the frame, transmission cross member, a nut and bolt kit to put the corvette suspension to your frame, and all the custom adapters for, your choice of, QA1 coil over shocks or Air Ride Shockwaves. Clearance for bigger tires front and rear, a significantly lower stance, the performance of a new car and all for less than you think.

What makes our chassis different from the Art Morison Chassis?

  • Longer shocks and a large selection of sway bars for better ride quality. Not everyone wants a stiff race car. Our chassis will hold its own in the corners if that’s what you want but we also have the adjustability built in for a good firm, responsive pro-touring feel with a softer ride for comfortable driving.  Break neck handling with coil over shock stiff springs and crazy sway bars with either softly sprung shocks or air ride.
  • IRS Corvette Suspension.  HRJ make use of the readily available Corvette rear suspensions to save weight and with a few modifications to the geometry better handling for your TriFive. Less un-sprung weight means better handling and better and a better ride.  
  • Only a hand full of specialty parts on our chassis. Everything else is readily available parts for the mass produced Corvette from OEM and the aftermarket suppliers.
  • Exhaust flexibility with room for your choice of mufflers and X pipe or cross over.

How does Hot Rod Jim build their frames?  

  • The frame is made with 2”x4” Boxed tubing for a majority of the frame with only 3 sections made from 2”x3” boxed tubing.
  • All flat parts have been CAD designed and are CNC Laser cut for repetitive accuracy.
  • The main structure of the frame is 2”x4” boxed tubing with a small partition of 2”x3” where room is limited.
  • HRJ has a custom Jig for the sole purpose of building this frame.
  • 100% TIG Welded. None of our competitors can claim that on their frames.

Why not just upgrade the suspension on my old frame?

          Why not use a 15 year old computer?  Technology, your old car defiantly doesn't suffer from a lack of style but the lack of up to date technology.  Why would you trust your car sitting on a 50 year old frame with its 50 year old technology to safely get you from point A to point B and do it as comfortably as your new car? That's why we're here to help.

But I just want a good Driver.

          If it’s not comfortable then you won’t drive it. We’ve seen it time and time again. Someone finishes there project or gets the old car of their dreams and for the first month you see them in it everywhere, next month only once in a while, then the car starts to sit in the garage. It doesn't handle like my new car, it doesn't stop like my new car, it doesn't accelerate like my new car, It’s not comfortable like my new car. So we want to help make your TriFive Chevy into YOUR NEW CAR.

What does the corvette suspensions have to offer that my stock chassis doesn't’t?

          Corvettes are constantly use as a testing ground for the next generation of passenger cars so yesterdays Corvette is today’s modern technology with our chassis you’ll gain the following advantages over your stock suspension.

  • All Aluminum suspensions components making the car lighter and more agile
  • Corvette Front Suspension geometry, designed for better handling over the stock TriFive suspension and will give better control and handling with less body roll or sway
  • Independent Rear Suspension, better grip of the rear tires and a softer ride.
  • Limited Slip Differential STOCK on all C4 Corvette suspensions
  • Power Rack and Pinion in either a 2.5 lock to lock rack or a 2.0 rack for someone looking for a little faster response from their car
  • Coil Over shock Adjustment for all 4 wheel
  • Clearance for larger 11.5” tires on at all 4 corners without modification to the body.  

Your Building your own chassis here’s some info you’ll need to know.

          Your choice in rims and tires will decide which suspensions you’ll need to get for your chassis. If you want that classic stock look the 84-88 ½ suspensions features a narrower suspension, 60.5 inches to the outside face plates verses the stock trifive suspension width of 60 inches face to face. The 84-88 ½ suspensions also has smaller disk brakes than the later models so you’re only required to run 16 inch tall rims to clear the calipers. If you like the look of the more modern rims and low profile tires found on the newer Corvettes,  want a more stable suspension and want a more modern look with the availability for larger brakes the 88 ½ up to 96 is the suspensions you’re looking for.  The suspension is 62 inches wide face to face and will require a deeper rim as well as a taller 17 inch rim to clear the larger brakes

How Do I tell the Difference between the two Suspensions?

          The easiest way is by the rear suspension. The rear calipers on the early corvettes (1984-88 ½) had a drum style e brake with the mechanism built into the knuckle (see figure 2). The Later model 1988-96 had the e brake built into the caliper (see figure 1).

Figure 1 Figure 2
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What do I get with a bare frame?

          When you order a bare frame, un-painted and without powder coat, you will get the frame with all the body mounts and suspension mounts for your C4 suspension and your TriFive Chevy. You will also receive a transmission crossmember un-mounted; you will need to drill through the frame rail to mount the transmission crossmember as well as your bumper mounts. You will also get a nut and bolt kit (figure 3)consisting of all the bolts you will need to install your Corvette suspension onto your frame.  The only fab work you’ll need to do is building your motor mounts, the stock corvette motor mounts will not work without firewall modifications.  We clean off the stock motor mount (figure 4) and build a motor mount to clear what we need (figure 5 is a slotted SBC Mount) (figure 6 is our LS motor using a custom mount to the motor).

Figure 3
Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6
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What else will I need for my chassis?

          First you’ll need a complete front and rear suspension from a C4 corvette, our bare frame, and the included nut and bolt kit. Next you’ll need to decide on what you want to use for springs and dampeners. The stock corvette mono leaf springs and stock shocks might work on some cars but not others. Depending on your body style, motor choice and other weight added to the car there are too many variables for a set weight. We suggest coil over shocks or Air Ride, both units can be changed to accommodate the difference in load front to back and offer the advantage of valued shocks that can help fine tune the ride of you Chevy. The Air Ride is the option of choice because of its "on the fly" adaptation allowing you to add or remove spring rate to your car without the need to switch the springs. This means if one weekend your cursing by yourself you’ll have a nice pleasant ride but say the next day you pile 4 people and a full trunk of luggage you could have very well have added 800-1000 pounds of weight and will now have a very uncomfortable ride.  See AirRide’s Web site, and our Rolling Chassis Page for more information about their systems on our chassis.  We have Coil over shock kits (figure 7) as well as air ride kits (figure 8) available with all the adaptors you’ll need for your suspension (you will need to specify the year of suspension you have to get the right adaptors).

Figure 7   Figure 8


Bare Frame

Frame, Nut - Bolt Kit, and Transmission Crossmember

Coil Over Shock Kits

2 Front QA1 Single Adjustable Coil Over Shocks and Springs
2 Rear QA1 Single Adjustable Coil Over Shocks and Springs
Suspension Adaptors (Please Specify the Year of the Corvette Suspension and your weight's.)

Think you want to go the Rolling Chassis rough Click Here for more information on our Complete rolling chassis and to see photos of the complete chassis


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