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Let's build an authentic 1932 frame

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by edwardlloyd, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,058

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    I decided to document the '32 frame I'm building currently and post it here after the positive response from my Model-A rear crossmember install post:
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=606187

    The frames I build are unboxed frames using original 1932 K-members and then various rear crossmembers and various front crossmembers too. There are loads of places you can get reproduction 1932 frames but few of them are going to look correct on a traditional rod. Follow this tech and I'll try to walk you through building an authentic 1932 frame the best I can.

    You will need:
    from Jim at Big Flats Rivets. (www.bigflatsrivet.com)
    40 (Buy 50) 5/16 x 1" RH rivets
    Up to 12 1/4x7/8 RH rivets. (If you have to re-attach the K-member legs. Just six if your K-member is intact)
    1/2 RH air tool
    5/16 RH air tool
    1/4" RH. Jack screw
    5/16 RH. Jack screw
    (If your K-member legs don't need re-attaching you could skip the 1/4" rivets and do it all with the 5/16"

    A gas torch to heat up the rivets.
    An air compressors and riveting gun
    A welder and cutting and grinding equipment

    1 pair of reproduction 1932 rails
    Front and rear spreader bars
    An original 1932 K-member
    A Model-A front crossmember
    A rear crossmember.

    Prices:
    A pair of reproduction 1932 rails will cost around $700
    An original 1932 K-member in fairly good condition will cost anything up to $750 these days.
    An good uncracked original Model-A front crossmember is also going to cost a couple of hundred bucks these days or you can use the excellent repro crossmember from Shadow Rods. (No other repop front crossmember will do)
    Rear crossmember prices are still reasonable at around $100.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  2. I wish you were in the states. Your frame is EXACTLY what I want.
     
  3. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,058

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    First up is to clean up those new '32 rails inside and out removing all traces of rust, grease and primer. Then weld the spreader bar spacers in place using the central hole. Grind the weld flush and then prime the inside of the rails with Rustoleum of a similar quality red-oxide primer.

    Send your original crossmembers off for media blasting to remove all rust and crud.

    When you've got them back immediately paint them with primer leaving blank any areas you'll be working on later. It's a lot easier to wipe off greasy finger marks and general grime from primed parts than from sandblasted ones. Also any splatter from welding will not stick to the work piece like it will to freshly blasted steel.
     

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  4. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,597

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    This should be a really cool thread. Once of the reasons that I went with and Ionia frame is because of their respect for original for parts. It's got a bunch of rivets in the original locations and holes where they need to be. Can't wait to take some notes!
     
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  5. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,058

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    Now a word on tools.

    Contrary to some complements I've had, I am not a master craftsman. I just buy the right tools for the job.

    Here are some tips: These are tools you should always have not just for biulding this frame. Many in the USA in particular use air grinders and air cut-off wheels. Those things scare the crap out of me and are noisey, difficult to control and dangerous.

    I use these variable speed electric angle grinders. One is an AEG, the other a Bosch. Both have variable speed. I won't buy one without it. Most work can be done with a lot less than 11.000 rpm, safer, quieter and with less heat generation.Both Angle grinders also have quick release tool-less hub locks fitted which makes changing discs quicker. I never use grinding wheels, but prefer the sand flap wheels which are quieter, safer and kinder to your work piece. For cutting I use the ultra-thin 1mm Stainless Steel cutting wheels. They are 125mm in diameter so last some time.
    They are very tough and last for years of near constant use. The blue one is over 5 years old now. It's transmission does get hot now after a while but I always have two on the go anyway. Try not to leave them lying on the floor when you're torching out a front axle from a '46 Ford though. Even if they're only one week old they won't survive having a complete '46 Ford front axle landing on them :-(

    The third picture shows the kind of air riveter you'll need to rivet up the frame. Wear ear protection - it's loud!

    Ed
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  6. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,058

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    First up, repair any missing or damaged sections of your crossmembers. I had to replace some cut off flanges on this 32-34 rear crossmember and luckily still had some '34 crossmember steel left over from a previous build.
    Weld up the rivet holes on the rear crossmember and grind flush on both sides. Make sure you have a smooth surface to the weld. if not reweld and grind again. Finally paint with Rustoleum.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,058

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    As you can see from the first picture here I have made some tools to transfer the holes in the K-member up to the fresh rails. If you're only building one frame paper patterns will do just as well.

    You'll need to weld up all the rivet holes on the K-member too, because they'll most likely have been drilled out too big and you'll never be able to drill through exactly where the existing hole is.

    On the K-member legs only two of those many holes at the end are rivet holes. The four larger holes in a diamond shape are not used (side mount I think) and the one furthest back is a front fender mounting hole. Weld up the two rivet holes per side. If a hole has been drilled out to much it may need plating back in.

    To be correct the three rivets per side attaching the legs to the frame rails are the smaller 1/4x7/8 RH rivets. However you can use the larger size rivets used elsewhere on the frame if you want to. I did on this frame.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  8. Cool! Thanks for the pics.
     
  9. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,058

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    Now for setting up the crossmembers in the frame. Remember - measure, re-measure, measure again after every operation. I have it easier because I have built a jig from an original 1932 Ford V8 frame, No. 18-54XX, so one of the very first. The dimensions I'll show you are the ones from that frame and may vary a bit from frame to frame.

    Firstly the K-member.

    Fit the rails to your spreader bars. The rails will sag and won't take their proper shape until the K-member is firmly strapped in place.

    Set the K-member rear edge (see picture) 62 11/16 inch back from the front of the rail.

    Uses strong loading straps to pull the rails in tightly against the K-member.

    Once you're happy with the positioning of the K-member and your frame is square clamp the legs tightly to the rails - side and bottom so that the legs sit nice and snug at the bottom of the rails.

    You can drill all the holes through the rails now,, drilling from inside the frame using the K-member legs as the guide. Once you have one hole done insert a tight fitting nut & bolt and tighten up. This will ensure all the holes line up true. Don't forget it you are using the smaller 1/4x7/8 RH rivets here don't drill the rivet holes oversize.

    I prefer to to drill the entire frame first inserting temporary bolts as I go along. That way I'm finished I can still correct something if I find I've made a mistake.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  10. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,058

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    Here's a nice little diversion and the last one for today.

    Drilling the three rear fender mount holes. The picture contains all the information you need.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. 32SEDAN
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,264

    32SEDAN
    Member

    Hey what are all of those "MM" markings?! :)
     
  12. reece
    Joined: Apr 27, 2004
    Posts: 351

    reece
    Member
    from NC

    Maybe he worked at GM in the eighties...half metric half standard. All joking aside this is a great thread. Nice work.
     
  13. Thanks for this thread! Looking forward to the rest!
     
  14. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    Mongo like tech. :)

    Me subscribed!
     
  15. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,248

    The37Kid
    Member

    Thank you Edward, this in info everyone needs, it sure will help me when I get a pair of '32 rails. Just were does one start to measure from once the rails are on the work bench? Is the width of a '32 frame the same in the back after the factory installed the kick up reinforcement brackets? I'm wondering if the stock rear crossmember I have is an early or late one. Thanks again, Bob
     
  16. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,058

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    Next up are the rear shock mount holes. This picture shows where to drill 'em. The hole sizes are in mm because I only have metric drill bits. Use metric drill bits or convert to standard. You may not be mounting lever shocks but the "original" holes should be there right?
    Ed
     

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  17. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,058

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    Pretty close on. I was brought up in England in the eighties where everything is half half. 2x4 timber is sold by the meter. I'm not kidding. And British cars were a mix of both. I recently mated an Ford Sierra '87 four speed 'box to an '88 Ford Sierra 1.8 liter (Pinto) four, both donar cars were German production. The bellhousing bolts going into the tranny were standard, the bolts going the other way into the '88 engine were metric. Nearly stripped a thread finding that out!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  18. Mac30
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 274

    Mac30
    Member
    1. S.F.C.C.

    This is great! Thanks for posting!
     
  19. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,559

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    Nice. I love seeing tech like this...
     
  20. ntxcustoms
    Joined: Nov 10, 2005
    Posts: 905

    ntxcustoms
    Member
    from dfw

    Keep it coming and 1 vote for the tech-no-matic
     
  21. thunderbirdesq
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 6,716

    thunderbirdesq
    Member

  22. 35mastr
    Joined: Oct 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,899

    35mastr
    Member
    from Norcal

    Cool frame tech.
     
  23. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    3wLarry
    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    patiently waiting...
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  24. bscottstudio
    Joined: May 19, 2005
    Posts: 222

    bscottstudio
    Member
    from Kansas

  25. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,058

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    Well I just about finished the frame today, or would have if my customer hadn't mailed me over the weekend telling me he wanted to fit a QC. So the '32 rear crossmember is coming out and another Model-A rear crossmember is going in.

    I've covered installing an original Model-A rear crossmember on another tech thread:

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=606187

    Oh and tomorrow I'll be fitting my new reproduction '32 pedal boxes - lasered out, bent up and welded together this week. The production facility making them for me is just accross the road from my shop so I've been popping in all week to monitor the process.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  26. Nice work Ed.

    I think you should get a web site up and start manufacturing and selling your '32/A chassis online.
     
  27. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,206

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Amazing, Ed. Truly amazing. Very well done.
     
  28. andyg
    Joined: Aug 10, 2007
    Posts: 560

    andyg
    Member

    subscribed. very nice and just in time for me!
     
  29. Cowtown Speed Shop
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,179

    Cowtown Speed Shop
    Member
    from KC

    Looks like nice work...can't wait to see more
     
  30. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,058

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    Now we can move onto installing the Model-A front crossmember. I'm going to cover installing three different kinds of front crossmember. The first two photos show the distance from the K-member to the front crossmember.

    The first front crossmember and by far the easiest to install is the excellent reproduction from Shadow Rods, if you can hold of one they are a great piece of work. Locate it, make sure it's square and drill two holes per side on the sides rails and three per side on the top of the side rails. Place nuts and bolts in the holes to secure. make sure the rivet holes side to top aren't too close to each other or you won't be able to hold one rivet in place once the opposing rivet is installed.

    The third picture shows the Shadow Rods front crossmember sitting on top of an original '32 frame. The angle of the end plate is correct for '32s.
     

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