Measuring the P400 and SV Frames

Nov 24, 2004 - Frame Changes?
There has been some confusion about whether the dimensions of the frame changed on the SV. I suppose it depends how you define "frame." The overall dimensions didn't change, but the rear suspension mounting points had to be moved. The lower mounting points are completely different than the P400 and S. The upper mounting points are of the same design, but they are extended by 1.5" to accommodate the longer lower control arms and keep the wheel verticle. If the uppers had not been extended, the rear wheels would lean in at the top!

Here are some measurements taken by Gary Bobileff and myself.

We first measured the upper frame, using the sway bar mounting bolts as a reference point. Here's Gary with the SV.

Here is a P400.
And this is an SV. The distance is 35 3/8" on both cars.
Then we measured rear of the lower frame. This is a P400.
This is the P400.
And here is the SV.

So, the basic frame of the P400 (and S) and SV are the same. Now look at the mounting points on the frame for the upper suspension. The upper photo is the P400 and the lower is the SV. Here we measured from the outside of the mounting hole. On the P400 the distance is about 28 9/16". Subtracting the diameter of the hole (11/16") gives a center-to-center distance of 27 7/8".

On the SV the distance is 31 1/8" so center-to-center is 30 7/8". The difference is 3" or 1.5" per side.

Summary: The SV lower suspension arm, from the Espada, is 1.5" longer than the P400/S arm. The upper suspension points are mounted 1.5" further out on each side. Add the 1" offset from the 9" wheels and you find the SV is 2.5" wider per side, or 5" wider track. Now, track is measured from wheel center to wheel center, and the SV 9" wheels have 1" offset, which means all 2" are on the outside. This makes the SV 7" wider in total.

So while the basic dimensions of the frame didn't change, the rear suspensions points did. There were several other frame changes: