|December 31, 2008 - As much as I hate the thought of a ladder frame, it might work out.|
The original frame rails are at almost the perfect width to let me mount the control arms directly to them. Add an extension at the front to hold the upper control arms and a cross-piece for the steering rack - and voila. The upper arms don't see as many side forces as the lower ones do, but they do see forward forces under braking. The whole thing will probably be more prone to twisting as it's only in one plane, and I'm still concerned about a good upper mount for the shocks. So maybe it does make most sense to continue with the previous design. But it's an interesting possibility.
This tubular subframe actually makes it look like a pretty good option. I'd basically do the same thing, except it would be welded to the frame of the car instead of bolted.