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Building a '26 Help on Frame/Suspension Ideas

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by splitnrag, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. I'm new to the rods and this level of build so I'm going to ask a couple of questions and hopefully someone can give me a decent direction. I bought a '26 Tudor I have the opportunity to buy a complete full model A frame, with the running gear (4banger), the gauges, the wiring everything has less than 300 miles on it and he has the boxing plates as well. He tore the car down to parts because someone wanted him to ship it but everything other than a body is there and just needs to be put back together.

    1. Is buying this a good route (approx 3k) as I learn and just put the '26 body on this after I put the boxing plates on it and powder coat it. I would then upgrade the suspension and motor later but would get me driving sooner.
    2. Building a frame from scratch and if I do this is there a set of plans out there or good measurements? I can weld, cut and most importantly I can grind :)
    3. Is there a complete kit on the market that isn't welded up but I can put together and weld.
    4. A good source for frames?
    5. What suspension components make sense? I know this is a big open ended question but want input from those that have been there and done that.
    I have built a few cars but not from total scratch so this is stepping beyond my knowledge and the best way to gain it is trying it however I want to do what makes sense both in money and in time. My ultimate goal would be to run a Flathead V8 and a decent suspension and brakes. I don't need a fast car but safe and enjoyable driver.

    Thanks for the read and look forward to some insight.
  2. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    Buying a complete "A" chassis to just part it back out to replace with other components just doesn't seem to make sense. A Madel "A" frame is a couple of inches longer wheelbase than a "T" too. The first thing we need to know is how do you want the car set up? Full fendered, fenderless hot rod, channeled, stock height?
  3. Bilt
    Joined: Jun 23, 2011
    Posts: 311


    My two cents. If you are planning on swtiching the running gear after the 3 grand investment, I would put that money towards a frame. There are a lot of companies which can help you out with a frame. Check the Alliance Venders area here and you can find a few. If you are only wanting to put togethor a good dependable driver easlily and cheap, go the small block chevy route. If you want a good traditional build you are right on track. Look at build threads here and it will fill you head with as many ideas as you need. You are in the right place.
  4. Ok my hopes is to build something between a "rat-rod" and a "street-rod". I'm wanting to go for an "Old School" American Graffiti kind of look. Fender-less, lowered some not sure if I need to channel it, steel wheels with small hub caps but have paint on it with a decent interior. I love the look of the Flathead V8's and really like the retro-rod look. I don't know if all of this makes sense in my mind it does but being this new I may not have all of the correct terminology. As I figure out what to do next I'm going to move forward on replacing the panels I know I will need to replace and I will probably start figuring out how much chop I want to go but wait until I mount the body to see what really appeals to me but right now my mind has a 5" chop. I want to see the big picture before I do that as I like stock cabs with a raked over front end.

    The colors will be a deep red/burgundy red(maroonish) with tan wheels and pin-striping. I have some ideas on interior but have to make sure I get the colors figured out first.

    The other color I have been thinking about is a radical bright green almost candy green but on the shades of a bright yellowish green. Hard to explain however this is all pie in the sky and a long ways away I need to get the components in place first.

    So my hope is just a very nice driver that I can say I built, lowered but not too low that the drive-ability sucks a mild chop and just a fun toy. I don't have the desire to have something I'm not willing to drive like my last rod. This one is going to be for use and function. Hope that explains it better. Thanks

  5. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    Cool! I'm partial to '26 '27 "T" sedans full fendered and stock height my self, but hey, it ain't my car, right?! Sounds like you have the vision of what you want worked out very well, and that is half the battle. The reason I asked you that question is that it makes a major difference in what frames you can start with to acheive your final goal. In the case of a fenderless Chopped sedan like you want, a Model"A" frame wouldn't be a bad choice.

    A 3000.00 stock "A" frame with it's entire driveline and suspension wouldn't be the best to start with in my mind because most every bit of that will be changed or replaced except the frame itself. A clean basic Model "A" frame to work with can be found anywhere from about 200.00 - 700.00 for really nice stuff.

    I think the very first thing I would recomend to you if you were a client at my shop is to go out and grab a copy of Mike Bishop and Vern Tardel's book, "How to build a traditonal Ford Hot Rod" The car you see in your minds eye is evry much the same as the car constructed in that book with a "T" sedan body instead of a '29 roadster body. It really gives you a good primer on what parts are what, what modifications need to happen and where, that most books on the subject don't. Following the chassis buildup is gonna get you damn close to your vision.

    I think you will find that putting your chassis together piecemeal and buying the right stuff the first time will be the cheapest and least "headachey" way to do this. Nothing slows a build faster than knowing what component you want use, but having this one, "so maybe I can make it work"... You almost always end up redoing it at some point. Best to get what you need the first time! Having the book as a reference, and asking questions here about specific components as get to them will be your best bet. Take it slow, research methodically, and ask if you don't know. Good luck!
  6. This was exactly what I was hoping to find here was a good source to start doing my research and learn as I go. I'm very torn on the chop or not chopped look. I love some of the radical stuff out there but find it hard on the human body when they sit so low and ride so ruff so I'm indecisive. I absolutely appreciate your input. I will search the book down and start doing some home work. I found a 30's style Model A that is very close to the look I enjoy that someone was selling on here. I have plenty of time and actually have 2 other projects ahead of this one but I want to start gathering parts as I finish up the other two projects. The sheet metal work and all can be done now and I can get it ready to put the paint on while I acquire everything else. Again thank you for the tip on the book and look forward to the day I can roll this to a show.
  7. OK too much reading going on here. So this is my take on it.

    A T on an A chassis is as traditional as it gets. Powder coating is not but that is another discussion all together.

    I would peddle all the banger stuff and get my axle dropped or find a dropped axle, use a dearched rear spring and out some sort of a later model motor in it. Unless 45 MPH is good for you.

    Build it right straight out of the box.
  8. Later Model Motor as in? One thing I guess I never have gotten over the years is building a Ford with a Chevy motor. I'm sure cost, ease of parts etc... just seems like a blasphemy way to go but hey I'm sure that is a huge can of worms. :)
  9. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    Naw, if you want a flatty, build a flatty! I don't hold any problems with putting a Chevy in a hot rod personally, as a matter of fact, I think it's about the easiest way to go and possibly the best! But we have established that this isn't my car! The reason I asked about how you wanted to set the car up is not to be "wordy", but that I would do it very different ways if the car was set up differently.

    Say you wanted full fendered, It's easy as hell to build a replica "T" frame from tubing that will fit and be the right wheelbase from some simple drawings Wescott's has.

    With your want of a flatty and no fenders, the extra 3 1/2" of a Model "A" frame won't matter and will actually make things easier to set up, so an original frame would be a good base.

    If you had said you wanted more of a rat rod kinda deal with a hemi in it, time to sit at the drawing board for a bit and design then build a frame from some fairly stout tube such as 2" x 4". Then possibly discuss things like double kicks front and rear, stuff like that.

    I wanted you to dig into this book a bit because it's about the best tome out there on doing the type of vehicle you want to do. For instance, you talked about boxing the frame. In this book, Mike Bishop makes a good case for NOT boxing it. And with the power levels your talking about, it would be the way I would do it.

    Beaner is a great guy and I count him as friend here, but I still think that buying a complete roller chassis that you will eventually take the wheels, engine, trans, rear end, spindles, brakes, probably the front spring, shackles, tie rods, and steering out of and get rid of, is kinda false economy. If that chassis was about a 1000.00, maybe. But 3000.00 is allot to pay for a whole bunch of stuff you will have to resell...
  10. I don't believe I mentioned that I got 2 "T" frames with the deal but hadn't really put thought this way because everyone I talk to says the "T" frames are weak and only good for a stocker. I did think about using this as a template and the only reason I drug it home. I'm going to do some homework. Again appreciate the information as I dig into learning.

  11. Well it doesn't take much to be later model than an A banger.

    Flathead V-8, early valve in head Caddy/Olds/Pontiac/Chrysler/Chevrolet/ Buick/Packard/Ford (like in Y block) Lincoln, Merc./Offenhauser?

    I am not a young man and I still think that early '60s cars are late model if that helps. But later model than a model A gives you options out the wazoo.

    As far as being blasphemy I am a hot rodder, I will bastardize any make or model car or truck to make it faster, or better in some fasion.

    We used a T frame under the ravens '27, it is light even boxed it is light. Ya know what T frames are good for? You lean them up against the wall, weld some ears on 'em and use them for rear end racks. ;)

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