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FRAME, basic frame fabrication condensed version

Discussion in 'Tech Archive' started by Paul, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. Paul
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    Paul Editor

    ok,
    here is the condensed version
    compiled from all previous threads in this series.
    a step by step on how to build a Model A frame out of a bunch of tubing,
    an aftermarket front cross member and stock rear cross member..

    ......................

    earlier this week I picked up a couple sticks of 2x4x.120 rectangle steel tubing
    with the intent of making a Model A frame
    partly because I will be needing one soon
    partly as an exercise and also to see if I wanted to try to make them for sale

    I have a straight but crusty stock frame to use as reference
    so I got started on it yesterday,
    first I made a pattern of the frame horn..
    because it makes sense to start at that end

    and transfered that to the tubing
    then shifted the pattern to layout the actual cut line
    I will leave the rolled edge and make the weld on the flat

    Attached Files:

  2. Paul
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    Paul Editor

    then using a snipped off blade in the sawsall
    I first made the long straight cut along the bottom of the tube,
    followed by the long curve

    rolled it over and layed out and cut the opposite side

    Attached Files:

  3. Paul
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    then I ground all edges clean to the scribe lines
    clamped it to check fit and final shape with the pattern

    took the clamps off
    ground a bevel along the joint
    clamped and tacked it to hold
    reclamped it to the frame table to keep it straight
    an welded the first side up

    Attached Files:

  4. Paul
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    Paul Editor

    then after it had cooled

    I rolled it over and clamped it with the opposite face up
    tacked it
    and weled it too

    Attached Files:

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  5. Paul
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    ground the welds down,
    with the deep bevel and a good weld this makes a nice clean joint
    with minimal weld material removed

    Attached Files:

  6. Paul
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    Paul Editor

    next I trimmed the short curve at the top of the rail
    beveled the edges
    and clamped the soft part of the curve

    Attached Files:

  7. Paul
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    checked the shape with the pattern again,
    welded that up,

    trimmed the excess strip at the bottom

    rolled the top strip over the tip,
    checked it's shape with the pattern again
    and welded the end up

    Attached Files:

  8. Paul
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    Paul Editor

    then I layed out the slice at the inside of the horn to look similar to the stock frame

    trimmed it with the little grinder with a thin disc

    and cleaned it all up

    Attached Files:

  9. Paul
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    Paul Editor

    so
    there is one frame rail horn with a shape very similar to the Stock Model A shape

    Attached Files:

  10. Paul
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    Paul Editor

    need two rails to make an A frame

    so,
    following the same procedure

    a twin was born..

    that was yesterday,
    today I will try to make them look more like a frame

    Attached Files:

  11. Paul
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    ran out of grinder discs,

    so while the welds cool and before i go get some more,
    here's an update;

    measured the stock frame again, this time for the rear taper,
    I'll make the slice right in the middle of the side,
    tapering both top and bottom trying to minimize warpage

    so to end up with a two and a half inch tube height at the end I leave an inch and a quarter top and bottom, tapering to meet at the center 30" forward
    with a small piecut towards the bottom leaving the bottom strip intact

    again with the sawsall and grinder with the thin disc the cuts are made,

    the edges beveled and the rail clamped to the frame table

    and tacked

    Attached Files:

  12. Paul
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    Paul Editor

    and welded,

    then repeat with the other rail...

    and sit down to post pictures on the hamb :)

    more to follow.

    Attached Files:

  13. Paul
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    Paul Editor

    last pictures for the night as I close shop

    Attached Files:

  14. Paul
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    it doesn't get much more basic than this type of frame step or "Z"

    today I stepped my new A frame that I started last week
    I am going with a pretty minor step but the technique could be used for a more severe step
    or for splicing a sub frame

    first I cut two plates to be welded between the frame sections
    cut them as wide as the frame and as deep as the frame plus the depth of step
    I am going with a two inch step, so that plus the four inch of frame means 6 inches- less a shy eighth all the way around for room for weld

    then layout and cut the frame,
    I cut mine right at the firewall
    so the step will not show

    Attached Files:

  15. Paul
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    then with everything all clamped nice and solid,
    tack,
    and make the first welds

    Attached Files:

  16. Paul
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    cut some gussets from the same dimension material as the frame,
    mine are 45 degree wedges
    with everything still clamped solid
    weld the first two in,
    let it cool,
    roll it over
    and weld the other two

    before it's done
    plate will be added to the sides to further strengthen the area

    Attached Files:

  17. Paul
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    and finally another mockup

    I will channel the body over the frame the depth of the frame,

    measured at the bottom of body
    the body should be about a foot lower than stock,
    still have enough suspension travel to not bottom out,
    even with a mild chop there should be plenty of head room
    and with the frame six inches longer than stock between the firewall and front cross member,
    I won't need to tunnel the firewall so leg room will not be compromised

    Attached Files:

  18. Paul
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    another day,
    put a few hours in on the A's rear suspension

    it's all tacked,
    need to make a minor adjustment or two
    and it'll be ready to weld up.

    Attached Files:

  19. Paul
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    Paul Editor

    more..

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  20. Paul
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    I did go at this one totally backwards,
    I set the frame at ride height
    mocked up the body over it
    put the cross member where it didn't take up the whole trunk
    stuck the spring in the cross member and measured everything up

    then clamped the frame and rear cross member to the frame table

    Attached Files:

  21. Paul
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    Paul Editor

    and filled in the gaps

    Attached Files:

  22. Paul
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    I measured the spring when it was mocked up,
    crossed my fingers and whittled out some hangers

    Attached Files:

  23. Paul
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    hacked the bushed ends off some extra spring on top type hangers I had laying around

    split the brackets to fit over the rear
    and welded them together,

    bolted the shackle in place
    letting the bracket float on the axle

    Attached Files:

  24. Paul
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    nothing to the ladders
    just split to fit over the axle
    weld them back together
    position everything the way you like it and tack it all in place

    they save some fab time,
    but are not the cheapest way to go.

    I am sure if I took the time to make up a jig
    to position a tap square to the tube
    -wouldn't even need a lathe-
    I could have saved a hundred bucks easy.. maybe more..

    Attached Files:

  25. Paul
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    next I put together a pair of motor mounts for the little Chevy in my Model A

    this is again,
    like most of my so called tech threads
    very basic,
    nothing strange or exciting, just something to get the job done

    actually I'm only half done,
    I still need to put together the brackets that will weld to the frame,
    but I gotta buy a hole saw of the correct size first..

    so I'll show this part now,
    the rest later..

    I am using the Ford biscuit type mounts and the stock Chevy side bolt holes

    first is to position the frame at ride height
    and locate the motor where it will be in the frame

    locate the pad position
    and layout a pattern for the plate that will bolt to the block
    I happened to have a left over stock mount from some forgotten project to use to layout the holes
    but you could do it by careful measuring
    cut the pattern out and transfer to the steel
    I'm using 1/4" plate for overkill, 3/16" would work here too

    Attached Files:

  26. Paul
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    drill the bolt holes

    I didn't take pictures here
    but I drilled one hole,
    bolted the plates together
    drilled the next hole and put a bolt in it too
    drilled the last hole and put a bolt in it as well
    that way both plates will be the same.

    then with the big grinder with a course disc I cleaned the rough edges,
    then on the cheapo disc/belt sander I squared the edges up

    bolt the plate to the block
    and fit the bearing plate and gusset pattern

    Attached Files:

  27. Paul
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    transfer that to steel
    cut, clean, square, drill
    and tack in place

    cut a gusset to help strengthen it

    and repeat on the opposite side

    Attached Files:

  28. Paul
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    then finally weld them up

    and done,
    two basic mounts to hold my motor up

    ...well not all the way done,
    gotta put together the frame brackets...

    I'll go get that hole saw now

    Attached Files:

  29. Paul
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    ok,

    more cardboard templates
    more steel cut, cleaned, squared, drilled and tacked

    not bad for a Wednesday afternoon

    tomorrow maybe a transmission mount

    Attached Files:

  30. Paul
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    yesterday I started putting together a transmission mount for the A

    it needs to be removable and strong enough to act as a center cross member as well as hold up the transmission

    I formed a simple plan and gathered up some materials

    first was the tab that the mount itself will bolt to

    so cut, grind, drill and bend

    Attached Files:

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