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33/34 Ford frame/crossmember questions...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fat Hack, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,704

    Fat Hack
    from Detroit

    Okay, experienced chassis guys...

    Suppose you wanted a pretty simple hi-boy style fenderless 33/34 Ford coupe, stock 'modern' motor with open drive trans and buggy sprung front and rear...and you didn't want it to sit like a 4x4...what's the best way to tackle the foundation for such a deal, the frame/chassis?

    1. Stock frame modified to accept the newer running gear and steering?

    2. New rails with the right stuff stuck between 'em?

    3. Aftermarket frame?

    I know alot of guys go for the Model A crossmembers to mount the spring(s) in a buggy sprung application, but I never quite understood WHY? Is this an aesthetic thing, or does it lower the car, or what?

    Not looking to support a bunch of horsepower here, but DO want an open drive system and the look of traditional buggy springs fore and aft with the typical dropped I-beam front.

    What have YOU guys done on similar projects?

    Any comments, ideas, etc welcomed and appreciated...

  2. I know what you mean about 4x4 or spending big bucks. As long as you never plan to put front fenders back on you can drop it for little or no $$$$. Cut a V wedge out of the frame right at the front body mount hole and tip the front of the frame up. Don't over do it, I belive a 1/4" wedge raises the front crossmember like 4" at the Axle. If your going to run a hood top you will also half to re-align the rad since it moved with the axle.
    On the rear just remove the stock spring crossmember and do a strait piece of heavy wall square tubing. You will just raise the stock spring up dropping the rear of the car. Since you are changing the rear end I'd also go to a 46-48 type rear spring. They are cheaper and easier to get.
    These are both things I've done several times with nothing but a welder and some time saving my $$$$$ for Beer.
    Good luck, The Wizzard
  3. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,477


    A modified stock 33-34 frame would be fine, although you should box it for strength, especially up front. A Model A front crossmember is usually used in lieu of the stock front crossmembers on 32's as it provides about a 1 inch drop. Don't know about 33-34's. For the rear, The only time you would run a Model A crossmember is if you are using a quick Change rearend. That way the spring will clear the rear portion. For the front if you run a dropped axle with reversed eye spring it'll set nice.
  4. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,763

    Member Emeritus


    Not a high boy but it will give you an idea of what can be done with the basic unaltered 34 frame. Old dropped axle (4"ish) stock wishbone and reversed eye spring. To me this is a good compromise. Low enough but still driveable. If you want cartoon low it will take more surgery.

    The trans you finally decide to use will determine if the stock Xmember needs to be cut up too much. I have about 6" clearance at the lowest point of the rails. That gives about 4" clearance at the Xmember (2" lower than the rails) A stock unaltered 33-34 frame is double thickness in front of the firewall and doesn't need boxing. IMHO.
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  5. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,763

    Member Emeritus

    I love the F-1/F-100 steering boxes. They have the look and work well. (gotta have it for a highboy):D With a highboy, your choice of dropped axles increases. I got a chrome dropped and filled axle for the coupe cheap. He replaced it with a narrower axle for fender clearance.

    You don't have to go 1-800 for all the parts. A stock spring can be rebuilt with a home grown reversed eye main leaf but if you have no spring at all, an aftermarket may be cost effective. There are lots of ways to save money over the check book hot rodder.

    My first 34 P/U frame had one piece of 4" channel iron replacing the whole Xmember when I bought it. I bought a Xmember kit and saved a frame others thought was junk.

    If you sit down and add up everything to build an aftermarket frame, those high buck original rolling chassis's don't seem so high buck anymore.

    All my cars run the stock wishbone (I know hairpins are more traditional) maybe but they work well unless a hairpin is part of your vision.

    Figure out what you really want but be flexable to amend your plans if a good deal comes along.
  6. Because it works good. I'm not an expert chassis guy, but......The stock-car/Sprint Cars of the 40s and 50s that I grew up with and drove a couple of; used the buggy spring setup, because it worked the best. The improvement to that system at the time was splitting the wishbone. Virtually NOBODY used anything but Henry's buggy spring setup, even when running sprint cars with big V-8s. The major/modern improvement to that would be a 4-point independent suspension.

  7. bigken
    Joined: Jul 7, 2005
    Posts: 2,789


    Hey man, workin' on my '33 pickup as we speak. Just got done boxing the rails. I am using the stock frame, front and rear crossmembers. I was told that the '32 front member would not be neccesary. What I did, was cut the center section out of the existing frame. I then folded the remaining 'X' brace, back into the frame rails and welded them inside the rails. No sense in trashin' parts I thought would help stiffen the frame. I boxed ot from front x-member to the rear x-member. Welded solid, both sides.

    Here is a pic to give ya an idea:
  8. Not 34 but a 32 with 1/2" pie cut at cowl line=lowers it 4" with a stock axle it sets like a dropped axle car. I also run an A style frt crossmember that I made.
    Oh- I forgot,ya have to also slit the frame BEHIND frt crossmember and tilt the horns down to look level again....

    Attached Files:

    • 34.JPG
      File size:
      59.2 KB
  9. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,704

    Fat Hack
    from Detroit

    Your car has the right look and stance, Kenny!!:cool: :cool: :cool:

    How does it drive and handle with the single split bones front and rear??
  10. Smooth and straight up to and including 90 MPH-Hack!.

    It will however shuck an axle if you Neutral Drop it at 3500-RPM's......:D


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