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Technical Frame Width - newbie question

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Kevin Vannoy, May 11, 2021.

  1. Kevin Vannoy
    Joined: May 11, 2021
    Posts: 8

    Kevin Vannoy
    Member
    from WV

    Hey guys,
    I have a situation I'm hoping I can get some advice on. I've been searching the last couple days for an answer and haven't come up with anything yet. I'm pretty new to all this and don't really know of anyone local to me that can give me advice. I found Ron Young's plans online, which were well written and easy to understand. It was very kind of him to put that information out there for the younger guys like me. I did run into a potential issue though. I built the frame as specified and checked it time and time again to make sure it is square. It turned out great, but the inside to inside rail width is sitting at exactly 20". When I started searching for motor mount solutions for a 350 sbc I found that most items out there are for a much wider frame. I emailed one company and they suggested that at that width I'd have issues with the starter and fuel pump. This is my first build so I wanted to come to you guys in the forums to see if you can help me decide what to do. I hate the thought of throwing away all the time and effort I put into the frame that I built. Is there any way I can either fix the frame that I have, or make the 20" width I have now work? Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    Thank you!
    -Kevin
     
  2. pennafxu
    Joined: Aug 20, 2010
    Posts: 2,220

    pennafxu
    Member
    from Kentucky

    Frame for what? Pics?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. Kevin Vannoy
    Joined: May 11, 2021
    Posts: 8

    Kevin Vannoy
    Member
    from WV

    I’m sorry I should have mentioned that. It is a 23’ T bucket frame built according to the Youngster plans that are out there written by Ron Young. I don’t have pics of it to send but I can take some later when I get a chance.


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    stillrunners likes this.
  4. KevKo
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 787

    KevKo
    Member
    from Motown

    Yeah, 20" is pretty tight if it is at the trans mounting face. You could run an electric fuel pump to eliminate one issue. A mini starter will give a little more room. Cushion-style motor mounts can sit on top of the frame rail. Late model side mounts will need brackets off the frame rail. Or a cross-member type mount.
     

  5. I haven't read the Ron Young book, so I'll ask, how does he manage the engine install? That seems to be the question here.
     
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  6. Last edited: May 11, 2021
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  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,535

    squirrel
    Member

    The download shows how to build a frame, and how to set up the front suspension using parts that are no longer available, and says zero about how to mount the engine, etc.

    Usually when starting a complex project like building a car, it's a great idea to have a plan for how to do the whole thing. Especially before you spend money and time building one part of it, with no plan for how to attach all the other parts.

    But as for how to build the car with the frame you have...you might want to take a look at pictures of various T buckets on the internet, and see where the engine usually sits, relative to the frame. You might find that it sits up pretty high, and the starter and pump might actually sit above the frame, and the motor mounts would also sit up kind of high.

    this pic is in the download....although it may not use the frame in question!

    View attachment 5059642
     
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  8. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,790

    1934coupe
    Member

    Kevin you should be OK with that width. If you built the frame you can build side mount also. But a lot of companies offer weld ons like this;
    Trans-Dapt 4100 Engine Swap Motor Mount Kit
    I prefer side mounts in my builds, the Transdapt is the simplest but I tend to do things the hard way and would use stock Chevy motor mounts (pick a car say 69 Camaro) and make up my steel brackets to weld to chassis. You can adjust side to side and up or down of engine with all accessories on it. Also you should let us know where you are from there may be someone around that can help.

    Pat
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  9. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,749

    lake_harley
    Member

    20" inside width at the front seems reasonable. Here's a link to a T radiator shell with dimensions that would appear 20" I.D. working out OK. https://hotrodfiberglass.com/product/model-t-or-t-bucket-grille-shell/

    To me a big factor in building a T frame would be the taper going toward the rear of the car. Personally, I like the width at the firewall to be just narrow enough so the body will just fit over the frame rail (without a notch in the cowl side) providing the body will be channeled over the frame like a lot of T's.

    Having the body to be used to lay out the frame would be a HUGE benefit. Wheelbase would likely figure into the taper of the frame too, depending on the length of the engine being used and how long the frame is (for appearance preference) ahead of the firewall.

    All the way at the back it also has to be a reasonable width to work with a turtle deck, short pickup box, or whatever you have in mind back there. Last, but certainly not least, rear suspension mounting would need to be considered when deciding kickup etc..

    All that said, if you like the look of a finished car that was (actually) built according to the plans you're using you know what you'll end up with, and the frame you've built per plans should get you there.

    Lynn
     
  10. Kevin Vannoy
    Joined: May 11, 2021
    Posts: 8

    Kevin Vannoy
    Member
    from WV

    I want to thank each of you for your response to my question. I am new to this and I now realize I shouldn’t have followed the frame plans without further research. No doubt that is an important lesson learned for the future. You all provided valuable insight which is very much appreciated. I will take some of these suggestions back and apply them to what I have at this point. Thanks again!


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    1934coupe, Just Gary and 5window like this.
  11. Welcome to the forum Kevin...now if you want ongoing support, suggestions and assistance, I suggest you post some pictures and description of your frame, progress, parts and plan, and turn this into a newbie build thread...others will chime in and provide encouragement. If you take the advice offered along the way, you won't stray to far from the path and will very likely end up with a pretty cool ride.

    Also, in your personal details, it helps if you include a general area of where you're located. Surprisingly, there maybe someone on the board relatively nearby that might offer eyes and hands on assistance when needed.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
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  12. Kevin Vannoy
    Joined: May 11, 2021
    Posts: 8

    Kevin Vannoy
    Member
    from WV

    Thank you I appreciate the advice! I’m located in WV but I will also update my profile with that information. I’ll post some pics as I go as well


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    1934coupe likes this.
  13. I measured an old 283 I have on a stand and the fuel pump is about 11" out from the center; but you may be OK. Here's a pic of the last T I made and the pump is above the frame rails.

    The front of this frame is 20" inside like usual; but the back is 26" inside also as usual with frames I build.

    I may be putting a starter on the 283 later today if I get to it and could get you a measurement of the width there.
    Screenshot (53) (Medium).png
     
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  14. falcon2
    Joined: Feb 6, 2014
    Posts: 15

    falcon2
    Member
    from michigan

    Engine's are usually higher in t frames than model as or later cars

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  15. This picture of another old T I built shows how high the frame mounts (used with stock side mounts) sit above the rails.
    Old drive way pic.jpeg
     
  16. Kevin Vannoy
    Joined: May 11, 2021
    Posts: 8

    Kevin Vannoy
    Member
    from WV

    Thank you Rich I appreciate the response! How wide is the point where the frame mounts are attached? I was wondering with the taper how much wider that would be than what I would have at that point with no taper.


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  17. Most every universal mount kit is meant to be cut to fit each individual app on the frame side. Side mount like Rich posted or the biscuit style side mounts. You have to mock up your engine in place, bolt on the engine side and measure for the frame side. Frame side then gets cut to the right length and tack welded in place. No final welding is done until you know everything fits in the intended spots
     
  18. I would run factory style SBC engine mounts from a 1969 Nova/Camaro (pictured) then make the frame mounts to suit your project. With this style of engine mount, the rubber insulation pad bolts to the engine. You then make frame mounts to suit your application. Those fabricated frame mounts would/could look similar to the second picture MINUS the rubber bushing as you already have the rubber in the block mount. The reason I say "I would run" is because that is exactly what I used when I built engine mounts for a '38 Olds with SBC. Simple, cheap and works great.

    You do not want to use the later style factory SBC Camaro mounts as the rubber insulator gets bolted to the frame and would make fabrication a LOT harder.

    engine mounts.jpg hot rod engine mounts.jpg
     
    stillrunners likes this.
  19. Kevin Vannoy
    Joined: May 11, 2021
    Posts: 8

    Kevin Vannoy
    Member
    from WV

    Thank you Tman! I do have a block that I can use to mock up the mounts. That sounds like a great process to follow.


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  20. Here is a different picture of the same idea that I described a minute ago ... '69 Camaro style block mounts and aftermarket brackets that, in the example pictured, are welded to a tube cross member. In your case, you skip the tube cross member and make frame tabs similar to what is pictured.

    more engine mounts.jpg
     
  21. I prefer this style of mount vs. factory. The "C" part is frame side and can be ordered in different lengths and cut to fit. They also can be made out of 2x3 rectangular tubing

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Crankshaft
    Joined: Dec 4, 2004
    Posts: 38

    Crankshaft
    Member

    Kevin, congrats on starting your project. I’ve seen comments about Young’s frame suggesting going to 26” outside face to same. Gives you some room for accessories. Also, no taper. Easier to locate mount points. I took a tip and laid out my frame using 2x4, making it easier to visualize. Good luck!



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  23. Another trad way to do it is a HURST style mount.
    [​IMG]
     
  24. Kevin Vannoy
    Joined: May 11, 2021
    Posts: 8

    Kevin Vannoy
    Member
    from WV

    Congrats on yours as well Crankshaft! Man I wish I would have had that idea before I started. That might have helped me out along with more research. I've learned a valuable lesson though, and with the good advice from everyone here I think it'll work out in the end.
     
    leon bee likes this.
  25. KevKo
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 787

    KevKo
    Member
    from Motown

    If your frame doesn't have any center cross members yet, you could cut off the rear cross member, notch the rails near the front, spread slightly, and make a new wider rear cross member.
     
    Tman likes this.
  26. Yes, that would be an easy fix
     
  27. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,920

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ^^^^ Spreading the narrow 20" rail space at rear is the best solution.

    An older friend came to my shop with a 'glass T bucket and a narrow perimeter frame, nicely welded.
    I was contracted to make a neat, simple T roadster for him.
    He showed back up in a week, driving a '70 (?) Plymouth 'Swinger', 340 engine and torqueflite trans.
    I pulled the engine/trans, frame was too narrow...Cut the rear member out, sliced frame tubes from the inside, right behind the front tube. Pulled it to 25" inside (rear) and squared it up on frame table. Made a new 2.25" tube rear member, fit it in.
    Welded it all up, just right. (my welds looked a little nicer than the 'pre-operator', so I finished it all out before assembly)
     
  28. Lot of ideas so far. I didn't see if you had a body on hand; but you should have one before going much further and possibly getting in trouble. Besides a block you should have a water pump, fan, and a distributor (not an ugly HEI thing either and most importantly a body. Since the frame is already built you should have an idea of the rear axle center. Block the frame up, set the body on top, then either find a 29"-30" tire (or a cardboard cut-out) and use it to locate the body on the frame. Then make sure you have enough room between the firewall and front crossmember for the engine (from back of dist to front of fan blade) and about 4"-5" for a radiator. If that all looks feasible, I would go on to making the frame into a rolling chassis; then build your mounts using the info you learned in the positioning mock-up. One thing to consider with your narrow frame is that the rear radius rods will likely be inside the body width; mounts like Pete & Jakes ladder bar mounts will probably work better than the ones in Ron's plans as they hold the top lower.
    rear bar.jpg
     

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