Register now to get rid of these ads!

Hot Rods Weight - Horsepower- Torque

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hipojoe, Nov 26, 2021.

  1. hipojoe
    Joined: Jul 23, 2021
    Posts: 299


    How much can a stock Model A frame handle... Boxed or stock with narrow wheels and tires , No traction devices? Curious where the outer limits would be!
  2. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,073

    from Alabama

    Horse power is really kind of a "pie in the sky" number....
    Outer limits??? Until it breaks.
    There's just too many variables. Unboxed? Boxed?...How is it reinforced? X member? K member? F1 member? Stock???
    The Model A platform has had anything from 4 bangers to blown big blocks....
    Stock...maybe with a F1 or 32K member...will probably live with any stock American V8...
    Then you get into how it's driven.
    Case in Point.....A WW1 fighter could not do certain maneuvers because if it did the wings would fall off. So.....
  3. Can take 40 h.p. for sure. Actually, I had a stocker with an 85 h.p. flatty and it was happy.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  4. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,638


    I'm running about 650hp in a modified T frame...
    How long is a piece of string?
    XXL__ and VANDENPLAS like this.

  5. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,226


    The frame can handle a lot of HP with your parameters. With skinny tires the HP will just go up in smoke.
    twenty8 and VANDENPLAS like this.
  6. 1930artdeco
    Joined: Oct 25, 2011
    Posts: 259


    My guess is an easy 100 HP as the frame didn't change to much into the V-8 world. Think. It is designed to flex so huge amounts of HP won't go well. My two cents worth.

  7. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,642

    from illinois

    Depends greatly on how badly the frame is corroded ...
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  8. 569A0AE8-75A1-4F11-AC75-7F0203A746B5.gif What are your plans ?

    sounds like ….. lol im not sure , stock frame big horse power.?

    Big power usually requires other mods as well, ( brakes , suspension etc etc etc not just a frame upgrade .

    Please . Tell me more
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
    mad mikey, '28phonebooth and Blues4U like this.
  9. twenty8
    Joined: Apr 8, 2021
    Posts: 641


    Go real skinny bias ply tires with the pressure high and you can probably have as much power as you like. If it won't hook up, it won't put much stress on the frame.

    More to the point, how will a standard frame stand up to the high corner speeds and braking forces we put our rods through these days. Again, if the tires just let go, the frame will see little stress.

    As we increase the performance potential of the car, we should upgrade everything to suit. You know the saying, "weakest link" and all that..............
    mad mikey and VANDENPLAS like this.
  10. hipojoe
    Joined: Jul 23, 2021
    Posts: 299


    OK a little update.. My pops has just got his car running after 60 plus years of sitting, the MEDLEY Coupe and he has a few more cars that might need a transplant. So for some specifics I was curious what might lay down in place without ripping or bending the very frail and anemic A chassis. I have a few options for the install either small blocks or Big Blocks. Cornering will be driven like the 40s 50s as well as the looks but an occasional stop light to stoplight romp I dont want it to fold like a taco, this is what I was concerned about running a combo that will be just as much as it can handle without ruining a chassis. Something like this engine might be a touch too much. What are some real life combos that some have run? DSCF0023.JPG
    chevy57dude likes this.
  11. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,640


    Traction, braking, repeated applications of either or both, and contact with hard objects are the things that put stresses a frame, if its in good shape before hand. Skinny bias ply tires will limit both traction and braking, but might increase the chance of contact with the hard objects. Repeated applications of traction and braking are cumulative and add stress over time.

    If some strange event would allow traction with big HP (like the pictured motor appears to have), a twisted frame could happen pretty quickly. Boxing the frame would help raise the original number, but at what HP level the failure occurs is just going to be a guess, until a number has been proven factual for your frame's failure.. The last guy's frame may be better or worse then your frame. Gene
    VANDENPLAS and twenty8 like this.
  12. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,370


    Who told you an A chassis was frail and anemic? Thousand of threads on the HAMB of stuff that will kill you ( mostly hype IMO) but I can’t say I’ve seen one thread of a failed Model A frame. Boxed A frames done properly turn it into basically a 2x4 1/8” wall square steel tube frame which is more or less the industry standard for almost every aftermarket frame, from Ts, A, and a zillion street rod chassis. Anything done poorly or incorrectly can be ripped and bent and folded like a Taco, but that fault lies with the builder, and NOT the Model A frame. My former Model A had a boxed chassis with stock crossmembers, a V8 and manual trans and quick change with bias ply tires. No mater how hard I dumped the clutch, quick shifted or otherwise smoked the tires, everything your supposed to do with a hot rod, nothing complained, much less failed.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
  13. hipojoe
    Joined: Jul 23, 2021
    Posts: 299


    I have seen many a HEMI and Big Chevys in there over the years but I feel the sheer weight of a Big Block is just too much. So now asking about probably a strong small block...maybe 350 HP without fear of the Taco effect, not a long hauler just a weekend cruiser with the thought of not winning ANY races or breaking the old Gal to smitherines.
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,895


    Frenchtown Flyer's Number One rule:
    Surest recipe for disaster. I tend toward 12 second motors in nine second chasses.
    BradinNC, Just Gary, X-cpe and 8 others like this.
  15. 19Eddy30
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,361

    from VA

    427 Ford , definitely will need boxing in other support on a stock Model A Frame, 427 Ford ,thinking 750 plus weight ?? If me, I would probably pre-arch frame before boxing,
    Will send you a pic , Not HAMB friendly, It depends on how brave / bullet proof you think you are!! close to 700 hp big inch SBC . Short shifting,
    6:45-50 in 1/8 , hazing 29 tall tires Bridgestone street radial , ( no drag tire) 7 inch foot print , 3:42 gear
    100-105 mph , stock model A frame, straight Axle 4 bar F&R ,
    Minimum boxed .All steel No chop , full fender's sedan , weight was under 2,800pd
    I would not Personally run it in a 1/4
    No roll cage , Hand full ,
    I know Im not "Bullet Proof" or have Big enough ones!!
    (Been over 220 in 1/4)
    1320 time would ben around 8:80s possibly 70-ish @ 145 plus .
    Car went to another HAMBer with out motor & trans , he put a mild 383
    & went mid 10s in 1320 & had slow it down where he ran @ ( No Cage)
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
    Just Gary and mad mikey like this.
  16. We've all seen the sagging Model A frames that were still running stock engine, trans, etc., so check it over CAREFULLY! How pristine is it? Rust pits? Rust in pockets and out-of-the-way places? Straight flanges? Is it square? What rear suspension are you planning? How do the stock and proposed components weights compare?
    Ford had a good design, in that the frame didn't have to resist all the loading of braking and acceleration: the engine/trans, torque tube and rear end acted more like a single unit. The skinny tires didn't hook up very well, and turning resistance with the skinny tires was nil.
    If the frame is solid, not pock-marked like a teenager's face, square, etc., I'd strongly consider boxing it before going gung ho on the drive train.
    You're gonna hear about all the elephant motors, W blocks, etc. that have been run, but there are a lot of variables to consider, and I would think long and hard about what I asking a 90 year old frame to handle, to provide a safe platform for me and those that ride with me, as well as other drivers on the road.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  17. twenty8
    Joined: Apr 8, 2021
    Posts: 641


    We need to extend the thinking here. It is not just about how much power we can get away with before we damage a frame. The handling/cornering/braking dynamics will be dependent on how much frame flex (or lack of) we have. ALL forces are transferred through the frame, making the frame the crucial foundation for the car.
  18. 19Eddy30
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,361

    from VA

    Like Twenty8 said ^^^^
    I only was able to get away with my set up Because I used wheel speed & Not planting the tiers , Things would of broke , Normal Driven around it was safe, But making a Pass questionable each time, when I built the car from original 4 banger I stop driving my Blown Altered, just wanted a H-R to drive , it started with a stock 305 with a 177 , became boring real Quick, next was a 327 around 475 , then next 2 motors where big torque & Hp ,
    I dont recommend a person to play with
    a set up like I was , Really not even me ,
    ( No cage & other safety )
    Things can happen , it was a hand full @ time's I would go W.O.T
    ( characteristics on different roads )
    mad mikey likes this.
  19. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,802


    I raced a buddy of mine at a carshow next to an old airfield, they had an exhibition run. I think it was one of the Bottop Custom Kulture shows in the mid 2000s. My buddy in his mostly stock Model A Sedan ( 10 bolt rear, 40 brakes, stock 305sbc, no posi) vs me in my 34 Plymouth healthy 355sbc,posi, slicks). The Plymouth lauched as straight as ever and won , but looking in the mirror after crosseing the finish line I saw the A veer across both lines and into the grass. That was a true WTF moment. We found out, the A frame did the twist when he launched and he kept the car straight by countersteering. Problem was, when he let off the gas at the finish line, the frame went back to normal, but he was still countersteering. Luckily nothing was harmed but his underwear:D My point is, a 2bbl 305 is enough to make a Pretzel out of a stock A chassis, maybe not on the highway or city cruising. I´d recommend boxing it and tying it together as well as possible in case you to tend to grow a wild hair from time to time.
    Just Gary, VANDENPLAS and Elcohaulic like this.
  20. My model A frame was redone in the 60's for all out drag racing. It is built overkill, custom cross members, heavy box etc. Built to last and last. A stock A frame? Any even mild V8, no. You have to box them and other mods, make it as strong as you can, and then stronger. Just my opinion.
    chevy57dude, twenty8 and VANDENPLAS like this.
  21. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,817

    from Ks

    I would box and brace a model a chassis if I was going to run a hotrod engine. Why wouldn't you? If for no other reason than to keep the body straight. LOL (Hey how come my door won't close?) :D
    twenty8 and mad mikey like this.
  22. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,720


    Pic grabbed from the web. 4 point roll bar tied into a boxed frame would do a lot to make it rigid.
    19Eddy30, hipojoe and mad mikey like this.
  23. hipojoe
    Joined: Jul 23, 2021
    Posts: 299


    Thanks guys for the response I was concerned about just installing a vintage looking engine, more for the looks then setting any records at the track. A vintage FE Ford or a HEMI weighs in around 700 pounds depending on how its dressed so the sheer weight might not make the A Chassis too happy, if some driving and some pot holes get in the way I dont want doors to start getting gaps as well as poor fitment of running boards hood etc.. A small block makes plenty of steam with about 250 lbs less weight to carry. A friend has a small chebbie with a vintage OLDS looking top end and was impressed with the way it looked. So looking for some real world set ups you guys have run, with the GOOD, BAD and the UGLY stories that go with your experiences.
  24. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,720


    Remember, if a more is better, then too much engine is just right! With respect to @THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER that is. Normally aspirated, that big Ford you showed would be a torque monster. This is hot rodding! Mad Mikey runs a blown SBC, don't know his HP but I'll bet it's a hoot to drive. He has a little horror story of his own...
    lothiandon1940 and mad mikey like this.
  25. 19Eddy30
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,361

    from VA

    The main issue with the A frame for a roll cage Needs to be more thinking and complex design, Because the frame in Narrow , frame rails run down the center of Both driver & passenger seat,
    Roughly 10 inches or so away from body subrail, a 32 fame would be a better Choice, then thinking and design two mount fenders and running boards if you go that route with fenders , It can & has been Accomplished.

    I never had a issue with my door gaps or coming opening,
    When I first drove car as original, the doors would not shut all the way after father inspection I found that the door strikers and latch were worn over the years. I weld them up and re-ground to a correct shape, No more problems after that.
    There are a Few HAMBer here knew my care & seen , that can verify I drove it hard & built the way I described. I was only able to sneak threw Tec one time a track, was given Warning to slow it down, ( No cage) in my head I Was not going to do , last pass I stepped it up , but still short Shift , was told could Not make a run any more , So i installed a Data logger for my testing elsewhere.
    Sine then I transform my Original 32 sedan with Motor & trans from the
    "A "
    Its faster & more stable , with a weight percentage of 46 percent on the front &
    54 on rear , Fenders will be going back on ..
    mad mikey, chevy57dude and hipojoe like this.
  26. hipojoe
    Joined: Jul 23, 2021
    Posts: 299


    Love the look of the top pic looking fairly original. I dont want to run a roll bar or cage so theres that.
    19Eddy30 likes this.
  27. 19Eddy30
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,361

    from VA

    Yes 50ish build & Original restored on the inside, front fenders, grill shell Original to the car With maybe a whopping 100 hp F-H , 39 train ,32 rear. 40 brakes, I drove it that way for about 7 yrs ,
    I kept the inside Original looking and hid things throughout the body .
    I'm planning on putting the hood back on but I need to come up with a different Header configuration & build , primary tubes are 2 -1/8 inches,
  28. You said it. We have probably around 200 hours labor in when we did my full cage. Came out great and I feel much safer as the car is now much faster. 8.50 cert.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.