X frame

Carmine

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 8
#1
So, someone please tell me what idiot at GM, designed the "X" frame on '58-'64 cars. Not that it matters anymore, but what a terrible idea in my opinion. I was just out in the garage and tried to put my '62 on my 2 post lift. What a royal pain in the ass, this is. You have to be lined up perfectly for the lift arms to meet portions of the X frame. I never am. So, I have to jack it up and put skates under the wheels to position it properly. I have to do this almost every time. Even then, the arms barely reach the lifting points. This X frame nonsense must not have been too brilliant an idea. It only lasted 7 years thank God, Carmine.
 

wristpin

Well Known Member
#3
Carmime maybe get metal or wood arms made that slip into place on your lifting arms which line them up exactly as they need to be aligned on the X-frame. Then hang several tennis balls down from ceiling to use for alignment and stopping point for when you drive the car in to go on the lift.
 

Carmine

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 8
#4
Assymetrtical two post lift and no problems. I believe the X frame was for more foot well depth.
I have the same lift Scott, and struggle each time with it. My other cars have the outside frame rail and they are a pleasure to put on the lift.

That's an idea Wristpin. I also thought about making a connector of some type that bridge the arms together. Something with pins that slide in the holes reserved for the pads. There has to be something available so that this issue can be avoided, unless I'm the only one who has it. No surprises there, Carmine.
 

Junky

Well Known Member
#7
Help me to understand that because you have difficulty in getting your car aligned properly to fit onto your 2 post lift, that means that an "idiot at GM, designed the "X" frame on '58-'64 cars". I find this extremely interesting, since I was alive when these cars were introduced, and owned a few x frame cars at the time. Whenever I took my car in for service, the technicians at the Chevrolet dealership, the tire shop, or any other repair facility, never had a problem lifting these cars on their 2 post lifts. I can only assume that when something is more difficult for the younger generation to accomplish, that it is the fault of the generation that had designed the product, and as a result, that older generation is deemed to be a bunch of idiots. Hard for me to fathom this concept of ineptitude, but that must because I am from the generation of idiots. I just can't believe that the generation that designed and built the war machinery that was used to win the Second World War, and subsequently, the cars that were built after the war, were such a bunch of idiots!
 

Fathead Racing

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 7
#8
I have to agree. Just because you are having issues adjusting your lifting arms on your two post lift does not make the GM engineers idiots. My 60 Impala sits lower than any car I have ever owned thanks to the X frame design, which in my opinion makes the car way cool. This seems to be your problem not the fault of the lift or the X frame. Take a step back and collect yourself young man.
 

blkblk63ss

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 5
#9
You have to remember Carmine back in the day when these cars were new the lifts were a 2 post ,one post per axle. I used these in a dealership . It had a post in front with arms that extended out to go under each lower a arm. The rear post had a u notch cradle that come up and simply put the housing tubes in that notch. This type of lift would raise any car or pickup with a rear solid axle. That is the lift that was used in the dealership up to about 1984 when dealer closed and a new shop was built by new dealership. There were also a single post lift with spider arms from the single post ,these were common also in tire shops. The newer lift as your Carmine were not designed for these cars ,so the design is not friendly to the x frame .With a little engineering as mentioned you can make a bracket that contacts frame and extends out to have a light contact at pinch weld bottom of quarter panels to stabilize the bracket,so full load in on frame and not on pinch area.
 
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La Hot Rods

Well Seasoned Member
Supporting Member 4
#10
I worked with those two post in ground lifts. The rear post was stationary and the front was movable. The rear post could be set as Don stated or you could lock in the cradle that would pick up the rear by the tires. It could get scary trying to let the car or truck done, as the rear post would hang up and not want to come down. You had to stand watch as it was going down because it had separate controls for front and rear post.
 

blkblk63ss

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 5
#11
I worked with those two post in ground lifts. The rear post was stationary and the front was movable. The rear post could be set as Don stated or you could lock in the cradle that would pick up the rear by the tires. It could get scary trying to let the car or truck done, as the rear post would hang up and not want to come down. You had to stand watch as it was going down because it had separate controls for front and rear post.
Don't switch the levers in sequence to lower vehicle and walk away. As I was walking I looked back to see the car was nose down on ground and rear was all the way in the air, yikes, the rear control lever became unlatced and I did not hear that as I walked away, so rear stayed up and front went down. Also raised a half ton pickup up and after fully raised front and rear I discovered the rear cradle only lifted differential with only one point on rack side of housing straddled. Crap,,,, as I slowly lowered it the cradle shifted and the pickup rocked severely to the side in the rear and the center chunk fell in the center of the cradle. I got it down to put jack stands under differental and lower the rear post to get it positioned correct. After that I always made sure rear cradle was seated properly after raising rear axle of ground, lesson learned.
 
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409newby

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 9
#13
In the early 70s I worked as a mechanic in a Chrysler/Plymouth dealership that used these 2 post lifts one mech was working on a class c motorhome on friday and left a tall jackstand under the trailer hitch to lower the rear axle while working on it, didn't finish the job and left the MH on the lift for the weekend when we came to work on monday everyone was spooked by what they saw, the rear lift had lost pressure over the weekend and dropped to the ground the entire MH was suspended by the front A arms and the jack stand! The jack stand was under trailer hitch by about a 1/4 inch, the controls for the lift were on the ground close to the front post everyone stayed back while the shop air compressor filled then one of the guys had a long pole that he used to operate the control for the rear post, rear post came up lifted the MH up when it did the jack stand sprung out with force, luckily everything worked out. needless to say some new policies were put in place like lowering all vehicles before going home :yikes
 

1958 delivery

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
#14
There's a few things about X frames that make them a pain in my eyes. Yes, pain in the neck to find a good lift point, 2 piece driveshafts suck. Exhaust routing/muffler placement less then desireable.
Now, as far as dumb as GM engineers, connecting the rear end upper arm to the trunk floor was stupid, same brain fart as attaching the upper shock mounts in 1955-57 Chevy cars to the trunk floor.
 

blkblk63ss

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 5
#15
Those lifts also when oil is low due to slow leaks in time ,when raising I remember they would start raising normally then all of a sudden shoot up about a foot. Time for oil. And to think they had no safety locks either,at least our lifts did not. I was always Leary of those lifts,
 

409gang

Well Known Member
#18
You have to remember Carmine back in the day when these cars were new the lifts were a 2 post ,one post per axle. I used these in a dealership . It had a post in front with a solid axle unless you had a Volkswagen, Corvaiiiiiiiiiiiiii arms that extended out to go under each lower a arm. The rear post had a u notch cradle that come up and simply put the housing tubes in that notch. This type of lift would raise any car or pickup. That is the lift that was used in the dealership up to about 1984 when dealer closed and a new shop was built by new dealership. There were also a single post lift with spider arms from the single post ,these were common also in tire shops. The newer lift as your Carmine were not designed for these cars ,so the design is not friendly to the x frame .With a little engineering as mentioned you can make a bracket that contacts frame and extends out to have a light contact at pinch weld bottom of quarter panels to stabilize the bracket,so full load in on frame and not on pinch area.
Your exactly right back in the day when X frames were built they only used single post and 2 post lifts that lifted the A arms with one post and the axle tube with the other post. My dad had a automotive shop and he specialized in transmission repair, he had a new building built in 1960 and that is exactly the kind of lift he had . He had a 2 post lift in order to remove and service transmissions. You would pull the car up to a set of stops and adjust the rear saddles to the axle tube of the car. Back then all cars had solid rear axles unless you had a Volkswagen, Corvair, or a Corvette. The 2 post lift as we know today came out long after the X frame cars were built.
 
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