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Projects Lowering the front of my '30 A

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by PetesPonies, May 2, 2020.

  1. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 371

    PetesPonies
    Member
    from Maryland

    crossmember 2.jpg Stock A axle, but getting some lowering by moving the crossmember up and using a reversed eye spring. I looked at what was available as far as crossmembers. I didn't want to have a clearance issue, which I thought might happen with a total flat crossmember. So I cut the original crossmember and welded a flat piece in to give it some drop. I have a SmartCamber, so I was able to check the angles precisely before and after modifying the crossmember. My two frame rails were within 1 /10 of 1 degree of each other. I thought that was pretty amazing. I had heard the crossmember had about 6 or 7 degrees of caster. Mine had 5.6 degrees of caster. I cut the center of the member out, and welded in a straight piece. So there is still some drop to the member, but not nearly what was there. Plus I still have my radiator mount pads. I now have 6.4 degrees of caster after the piece was welded in. Welding is not done . . but it's all in place now.
     
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  2. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,549

    flatford39
    Member

    Never seen it done that way. Pretty intriguing. I need to keep watching this thread.
     
  3. A drop axle and reversed main leaf would've been way easier with no potential clearance issues between the frame and suspension. But since you've already jumped in, the only issue I see is that it looks like you butt welded in new metal to get your drop but now the load is just being held up by the welded areas, I would've had some mechanical support by lapping the joints so the new metal was pushing up into the bottom of what's left of the stock crossmember.
     
  4. ydopen
    Joined: Mar 14, 2010
    Posts: 197

    ydopen
    Member

    Have you tried your radiator. Mine takes up space below the mounting pads and is close to the u bolts with a stock crossmember.

    John
     
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  5. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 371

    PetesPonies
    Member
    from Maryland

    I don't own a radiator. So if one can work with a totally flat crossmember, it certainly will work with mine.
     
  6. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,664

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    Metal that is butt welded with the proper gap and bevel will be as strong as as the surrounding metal.
     
  7. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,048

    mickeyc
    Member

    On metal as thin as a cross member A proper
    penetration is imperative a small gap is is all that is needed. When a part that thin is beveled little is gained
    if anything. t The photos are not clear on my screen.
    I do see what looks like a few flaws in the welds. Grinding the welds if not necessary for clearance is
    not needed. I agree with the over lap opinion on load bearing.
     
  8. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 371

    PetesPonies
    Member
    from Maryland

    What you are seeing is far away from the actual joint. I made wide fillet beads on top to get a curvature. The actual joint is welded, both sides. I do this work all the time, there's no problem with the weld strength at all.
     
    scrap metal 48 likes this.
  9. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,048

    mickeyc
    Member

    Of course Sir. I am sure you know what your doing.
    No offense meant.
     
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  10. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 371

    PetesPonies
    Member
    from Maryland

    Also, I just realized that pic I posted was the first step in welding. That wasn't the completed pic. That pic was even before the underside was completely welded. Then the upper part was finished. I'll post an undated pic. It turned out good.
     
  11. ydopen
    Joined: Mar 14, 2010
    Posts: 197

    ydopen
    Member

    "I don't own a radiator. So if one can work with a totally flat crossmember, it certainly will work with mine."

    What I was saying is there may not be room for the radiator bottom tank with a your crossmember.
     
  12. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 371

    PetesPonies
    Member
    from Maryland

    And what I am saying is that people run completely flat crossmembers, which mine is not, and they obviously find a radiator that works.
     
  13. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,235

    Model A Gomez
    Member

    I've seen front cross members stepped like that but I don't think you will get a radiator to fit. The radiator bolts thru the flat spot with the slotted hole and extends down a little, the spring u-bolts go over the top of the crossmember and will be in the way. You can eliminate the crank guide but still have the u-bolts on top the cross member. You can see in the pictures that the lower hoses are below the radiator mount and my lower hoses are a straight hose. Lay a straight edge across the mounts and see if you have any space, the lower tank will be below the tabs unless you have a custom made radiator.
     

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  14. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,854

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Model A Gomez has a point. On my 29, with aftermarket "flattened" crossmember, there is a little over an inch between the lower tank and the crossmember, subtract 7/16" for the u-bolts and you will have a big 1/2" space. You say you don't have a radiator. Rule #one in car building is, if you are doing something out of the ordinary, have all of the parts needed for mock-up, or something will come back to bite you later ! I know, been doing this stuff for 55 years. IMG_4750.JPG
     
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  15. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 371

    PetesPonies
    Member
    from Maryland

    Marty, you're proving my point aren't you? You have a radiator with a flat crossmember. What's the issue?
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  16. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 371

    PetesPonies
    Member
    from Maryland

    Here's the pics of the metal finished. Then primed. So I was going to ask about the crank guide Was that to catch oil that flew out of the crank?? LOL So it's not needed at all? I see aftermarket members obviously without them.
     

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  17. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 371

    PetesPonies
    Member
    from Maryland

     

    Attached Files:

  18. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,017

    sloppy jalopies
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Modine # 397... '60s ford 6 cylinder pick up... cools my buddy's SBCs...
    .
    *** heard they went out of production***
    .
    ... if you want one, buy now...
    .
    center fill, the top tank is trapiziodal, bottom tank is about 2" tall all the way across...
    originally mounted with a 3" wide steel flange on each side...
    trim most of it off, what is left gives a good spot to weld your grill mounts to...
    they fit in a '28 shell... part of the top tank shows... we use black painted plastic florescent light defusers… looks good...
    buddy got them for $125 apiece... I had to pay $155... did not bitch...
    my shell, '30 shell only...
    his shell with the 397 radiator... you can see the 397 top tank seam... flash makes it look grey... it is black... DSCN1074.JPG DSCN0820.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
  19. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 371

    PetesPonies
    Member
    from Maryland


    Thank you very much !! So, that radiator will fit a '30 shell too ?, is that what you are saying?
     
  20. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,017

    sloppy jalopies
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes sir, the pic above your post shows it in a '31 shell...
    I feel you will need some sort of insert as the radiator looks kinda crude without one...
    '28-'29s grills are slightly wider than the '30-'31s... 3/8"-1/2"...
    the '30-'31s are about 4" taller...
    I think they used make a 3 core version …[4 wheel drive ?]
     
  21. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 371

    PetesPonies
    Member
    from Maryland


    That's perfect thanks!
     
  22. When I was building my Model A I looked at the front crossmember thing and as I was using a stock radiator I could see it would not fit. the set up you are looking at there is not a stock radiator and as you can see it fits fine.
    so do you plan on an aftermarket radiator?
     
  23. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 371

    PetesPonies
    Member
    from Maryland

    The type of radiator I use is of no concern to me, as long as it fits. This is a Hot Rod :)
     

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