What is a Front Clip on a Car?

February 22, 2024

When people talk about the front clip on a car, they usually mean everything forward of the doors. This includes the inner fenders, core support, and loaded header panel. They can also include the bumper. A lot of this stuff comes right off at the junk yard and is stacked on large outdoor shelves for later retrieval. But what is a front clip exactly?

There are many different definitions of a front clip, but the most common is that it is a collapsible piece of metal that protects the driver and other car parts in the event of a collision. The front clips are built from thinner steel tubing, which allows them to bend and absorb the impact without breaking. They are then welded to the firewall (the metal barrier separating the engine from the driver), floor panels, suspension, seat, and fuel cell.

In the video above, we visit Leicht Race Cars in Arden, NC, to see Gene and his crew working on a Late Model that has been wrecked. Happily the driver walked away, but the handling just wasn’t right afterward and the only solution was a new front clip.

Before the first arc is struck on the welder, Leicht spends a significant amount of time making sure the clip and the chassis are properly aligned. He uses a tape measure to cross check all the critical locations on both the chassis and clip. This prevents excess heat from warping the clip before all its locations are secured.

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Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
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