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Hot Rod Wheelbase - What's good? What's yours?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by stan292, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. stan292
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    stan292 Member

    I'm finally getting down to transferring my computer sketches (sorry guys, computer graphics is what I do for a living) into hand-drawn layout to exact scale (yeah, I can do that too - and did for many years before the advent of the computer).

    Anyway, I had been thinking somewhere around 100 inches for the wheelbase, but as I really begin to dial in the details - and pay close attention to scale - I'm quickly running out of room for everything.

    I'm using a straight six motor, so that requires some extra length (the block itself is 34" - without pulley, fan, etc.), and my cab is an International - a few inches longer than a Ford, I believe (52 1/2" from firewall to backside). Also, my axle is set out front about a foot ahead of the radiator cowl.

    Suddenly, it's looking like I'll need about 120" - that seems pretty long. Of course, I can set the motor back into the cowl some (it's currently located with its very back end dead even with the firewall), but I'd rather not. I could pull the axle back some too, but I definately want it haning out there on its own - suicide/racecar style. No way it can sit under the frame.

    I don't mind the long wheelbase per se, as it should enhance the ride (important at my severely advanced age - LOL), but I don't want it to be a bus either. Any comments, suggestions, examples, etc.?
  2. flamedabone
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    flamedabone
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    What kind of car are you building?

    My Model A on 32 rails is 109 inches. I made it as long as I could get away with to fit the big assed motor and give me th ebest ride I could.

    LOTS of variables, though. Gimme some particulars.

    -Abone.
  3. stan292
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    stan292 Member

    It's an RPU. I'm building the frame from scratch - so no problems there, any length is possible. Front end will be a straight axle with a parallel torsion bar - dragster style. Rear is a '65 Pontiac with quarter eliptical springs.

    My main concern is really that a 120" roadster will just look wierd being that long. Anyone else have fenderless rods in the 120" range? Pics?
  4. SamIyam
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    SamIyam Member

    Shorter is better.

    My Model A is 104" and the RR was around 95"

    Sam.
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  5. TINGLER
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    TINGLER Member

    Personally I think 120" IS too long.

    I think most rods are in the 108" range +/-.
    I'm putting a chassis together right now that will be 112" and I think its a little longish. But its what I need for the vehicle.

    My '63 Fairlane has a 120" wheelbase, and I've lengthened the wheelbase by 2 or 3".

    I would think you could pair your design down to well under 120".
    I'm interested to see how others respond.
  6. Kevin Lee
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    Kevin Lee Super Moderator Staff Member

    95 inches? Really? How'd you manage that? My car is 99" and the flathead is STUFFED between the firewall and radiator. The firewall is actually relieved a bit for the passenger side head and I had to run an electric fuel pump because the mechanical parts wouldn't fit the space.

    Is 104" stock for a Model A?
  7. Kevin Lee
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    Kevin Lee Super Moderator Staff Member

    And for some reason the only cool looking long wheelbase cars I can think of were built by abomber. His roadster and sedan are the one's I'm thinking of. He somehow makes it work without looking strange. I liked that roadster a lot.
  8. SamIyam
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    SamIyam Member

    Model A's are 104" stock... the RR was "around" + or - 2" :D 95"...

    Our digger is 104" too... kinda long, I'd like to shorten it to 98" and raise it some too.

    Sam.
  9. hillbillyhell
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    hillbillyhell Member

    Our blue tub is 116", give or take a little. My 34 pickup in progress is 120". The only real reason to run a wheelbase in that range is because you're hanging the front axle way the hell out there, and keeping the rear somewhere close to normal. The rest of the car has got to flow out to that length, or as others have alluded to, it'll look like shit.

    If you're hanging the front axle under the spring, you might find that something around 110" looks pretty good. The 29 5 window pictured here is 109" if I remember right, has about three inches more from firewall to grilleshell, and moves the rear back just a hair.
  10. Kevin Lee
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    Kevin Lee Super Moderator Staff Member

    Wierd. I never would have guessed the digger to be that short. And I guess with the T body you end up with a little more room since the cowl is shorter.

    I wish I would have made the front of my car a bit longer - not the sheetmetal - just wheelbase from the firewall forward.
  11. 2-TONED
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    2-TONED Member

    112" is what my 'stock' bodied full fendered 34 3 window is.
    it looooks 'perfect' ;)
  12. Matt Franklin
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    Matt Franklin
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    I'll probably shoot for the stock 103.5 (actually 103 and 15/32) inch wheelbase. I'd like to go shorter, but the SFE will push the front axle out ahead a little. I'll just bring the back wheels closer to the cab to keep it at 103.5".

    .
  13. plan9
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    plan9 Member

    i fit in the digger and iam about 6'2, 260 pnds... but my legs are scrunched up against the steering wheel, it looks longer than it really is, even in person.

    out of curiosity, would you have built the modified for more leg room or more space to work with.. OR both?

    iam building my coupe with a wheelbase of 108" ... model A on 32 rails.
  14. SamIyam
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    SamIyam Member

    I think shorter looks better... Like Rudy's pickup, and the RR... scrunched up...

    Here's the BFD at 104... and she looks Looooooooooonger than that. But the drive shaft is just 12" long, and it has a stock length drive shaft.

    Sam.
  15. 50Fraud
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    50Fraud
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    For a modified or a track roadster, I think shorter is better. This is 94", which would be just about right for multiple amputees, but it's the stock-length T bucket that makes it cramped.

    I think having the front end a foot ahead of the radiator will look freakish. It should be ahead, yes, but a few inches is plenty.
  16. Phil1934
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    Phil1934 Member

    Model Y. 93" with a 15% engine setback ( 6" in the cab). I can't recommend it, but shooting for Mokan '06!
  17. SlowLearner
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    SlowLearner Member

    Here's an example of a car that makes a 116" w/b look short..., but it's only because of the proportion of hood (immense!!) to everything else...and the massive "scale" of every component. 29-31 Mercedes SSKL (K - for kurtz "short") L - for licht "drilled and punched alot" ;)
  18. JohnnyFast
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    JohnnyFast Member Emeritus

    My CAD designed bucket/modified will be 106". I did this mainly to gain legroom and have a driveshaft of a decent length.
  19. Bruce Lancaster
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    Bruce Lancaster
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    On the original question about WB for the Inernational--why not get enough friends over to lift the cab and do a mockup?
    Stack the cab on some blocks to height you'd like to see--if its roof is still on, just give the part you aren't going to keep a spray can shot of primer contasting with keeper part so your eye can easily distinguish. Put engine where it will live, represent radiator-bed-visible part of frame with cardboard, just enough to establish the profile of the pieces that are still imaginary. Stand up four tires in appropriate places, stand back and squint at the results. Move tires around until visually happy. Wheelbase needs to look right to you, numbers don't matter.
  20. Bruce Lancaster
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    Bruce Lancaster
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    Don't forget to crawl into the cab and make motor noises.
  21. Jalopy Banger
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    Jalopy Banger
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    I believe this is a HAMBER's car and i like the wheelbase a lot. The propotions look very right. It's a kind of feeling to put the wheels, body and grillshell in right position to make the car look good, i think.
    Do any of You know the exact wb for this setup? Any pictures of the frontend?
    It's a lot easier to get a coupebody to look good with a long wheelbase then a p.u. With a good looking bed your p.u.body will be more in the middle of the car. With a coupebody You can have the body far back.
  22. Chopt 34
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    Chopt 34 Member

    First impression, 120 inches does sound a little long to me too, but then again it is all about proportions. It is difficult to say what numbers are the correct with out understanding the theme or look you are forecasting. Wheel and tire size and style have a big impact on the overall proportions. Tall tires and a semi exposed 32 style frame will help balance out the look if you are really set on the long wheel base. Since you are doing the layouts on CAD, you should be able to dial it in to your personal aesthetics and not worry about what anyone else thinks.
    As a comparison, I recently finished body & chassis layout drawings for a project that is packaged with a V12, and I ended up with a 120 inch wheel base on it.

    Have fun with the project
  23. stan292
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    stan292 Member

    Thanks for the input gang. Looks like I should shoot for 110" or less.

    I'll do a mock-up for sure before settling on anything. On paper, it doesn't look like I can do much to save space at the rear, but as mentioned, I can maybe move the motor back under the cowl - at least a few inches.

    I had something a bit different - that I thought would look pretty cool - in mind for the front end, but may have to revise that plan too. Reality bites, as they say. - LOL

    I'll post my final drawing when I get it finished.

    Thanks again for all the help.
  24. 34Hupmobile
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    34Hupmobile Member

    I've got a 250 l6 in my Hup. With the TH200R4 trans behind it my drive shaft is only 50". Wheelbase is 117". Front axle is beneath the radiator.
  25. Tman
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    Tman Member

    My touring is 112" I allowed 32" from base of firewall to the center of the front crossmember. I like it but if I were to do it over, I would move the axle back under the car and shoot for 104". When I mocked it up with 1/4 elliptics, it was 118" and waaaaaay to long.

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