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Welder Series Model A Frame

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by WelderSeries, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    I put this under "technical" because I thought there will be some good information here for building your own A frame.

    Obviously, we'll be using as many of our parts as possible. Grant Schwartz will be doing the fabrication and assembly, and I'll be capturing images that I feel will benefit those who view them. This is by no means a shopping list (but that would be great), but I hope you'll be able to take some of the ideas that we've put into this frame/build and expand on them to suit your own project.

    I have inserted links to our web store for the corresponding items in the text for "more information" purposes. It will also give you an idea of what kind of cost is involved in that step of the build.


    Teaser till later today when I get some more pics:
     

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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  2. PAPASMURF
    Joined: Jun 7, 2004
    Posts: 508

    PAPASMURF
    Member

  3. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage

    sweet!...hey DW..I got my stuff BTW..thanks
     
  4. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    Remember folks, this is not "how to build a Model A frame"... it's "how we built a Model A frame". You'll have tips and tricks of your own to add to the mix, and I'd be glad to hear about them.

    Let's get started!

    pic 1
    We stole the kids' sidewalk chalk and drew a full size sketch of the frame on the floor. Our wheelbase is established (108") and lengths of tubing can be measured from here. It will also let us establish what angles we need to cut the frame curves at.

    pic 2
    We'll be using 2x3 seamless mechanical (SM) tubing, 3/16" wall. The corners of this size tubing has a nice radius that will match the frame curves well. The heavy wall thickness will considerably strengthen the frame, too.

    pic 3
    Two 2x3 vertical frame curves (90 degrees each) have been cut in half to produce four 45 degree sections we will use for the rear kick-up.

    pic 4
    We will also be using one of our flat front crossmembers. This particular one is 28" long so that it can go from outside drivers rail to outside passenger rail; doubling as the front C notch. The rear side of the crossmember is tapered to the middle to mimic a stock Model A crossmember.

    pic 5

    Grant cleans off the scale from the tubing for a nicer weld and prepares to fabricate the rear kick-ups.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
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  5. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    pic 1
    Grant aligns the 45 degree sections of frame curves at each end of the kick-up tube. If you have a level surface to work on, it's best to clamp the tubes with the outside against the table. This way, your tubes will be flush on the outside (where people will see them most) if there's any minor variation in the tubing size.

    pic 2
    It's nice to line the seams up too... for aesthetic reasons.

    pic 3
    We will be kicking the front of the rails up right around the cowl, about 6 degrees. We marked a "V" through three walls of the tubing and Grant is cutting the sliver out.

    pic 4
    This picture shows the sliver that was taken out. The gap will be closed and welded shut.

    pic 5
    With the rear section of frame rail clamped to the table, we brought the front up to close the gap and establish our 6 degree angle.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  6. HRK-hotrods
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 922

    HRK-hotrods
    Member

    That is awesome. Just went to your site and checked out some stuff. I like the frame bends you have... I will keep them in mind should I need to build a chassis again. ;)
     
  7. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    pic 1
    Now it's time to attach the kick-up to the main rail.

    pic 2
    Here's a little tech tip that I learned while I was there. When Grant wants to check a 45 degree angle on material that's a little too large to put a regular protractor on, or if the angle doesn't come to a point, he uses a carpenter's square. When one end of the square is parallel with one side of the piece you're checking, the other end of the square should be intersected by the piece at the same measurement. It's probably easier to just look at the picture than try to figure out what I'm trying to explain. Anyways, I thought it was clever.

    pic 3
    Once the rails were to the shape we wanted them, we started mocking them up in the fixture. At this point, all we have to do is install a big wing and a good name for the project might be D"A"ytona... :rolleyes:. The top of the frame table will represent the ground at ride height.

    pic 4
    Using spacers, we brought the front of the rails up to the designed ride height...

    pic 5
    ...and did the same thing at the rear.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. NortonG
    Joined: Dec 26, 2003
    Posts: 2,117

    NortonG
    Member Emeritus

    Good work fellas!

    Norton
     
  9. blackout
    Joined: Jul 29, 2007
    Posts: 1,270

    blackout
    Member

  10. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    pic 1
    Grant is using the front of the table for a straight edge when he mocks up the rear crossmember. This uses two of our 90 degree horizontal curves. The inside of each frame curve will have to be shaved off because the rails aren't parallel at the rear.

    pic 2
    Kicked up! Man, this is what I had in mind most often when I pictured the frame curves being used. Isn't that awesome?!

    pic 3
    Moving to the front, we're going to trim the rails for our extended length flat front crossmember. The top line is parallel to the top of the frame rail, and the lower line is 6 degrees back from level.

    pic 4
    Grant has trimmed out the notch for the crossmember. We clamped the crossmember centered under the rails since the rear side tapers. There are a few things to keep in mind before this is done: the crossmember tapers, so the width is different at the outside of the rail and the inside of the rail, and the vertical lines need to be perpendicular to the 6 degree line; not the top of the frame rail.

    pic 5
    With the crossmember centered and clamped in place, we checked the angle and made a few tacks. This picture shows how the crossmember channel goes right through to the outside of the frame rails, creating a clean C notch without any extra parts. The front of the crossmember is also tapered towards the center to mimic a stock Model A crossmember.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  11. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    pic 1
    This is just a shot from over the driver side frame rail showing the tapered rear side of the crossmember. We have also attached the frame horns. The bottom of the frame rails had to be pie cut to match the height of the frame horns.

    pic 2
    Moving on to the motor mounting phase, we're trying to keep both pans above the bottom of the frame rails.

    pic 3
    The motor is sitting lower than in most cars, but with the frame so low it really looks like it's hanging out in the middle of nowhere!

    pic 4
    When you're mocking up bars or brackets, it's a good idea to leave one half of the bushing out. This way, you still get the correct width and center, but it's way easier to disassemble later.

    pic 5
    We started by bolting the tubular mount to the block. This is the shorter of the two lengths we make.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  12. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
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    pic 1
    Once the motor is positioned where we wanted it, the objective was to trim the frame plates so they hold the motor there. The plates are 6" from the center of the hole to the other end.

    pic 2
    Grant measured from the top of the rail to the center of the mounting hole (dimension x), and from the inside of the frame rail to the center of the mounting hole was 1/2" (horizontal dimension).

    pic 3
    These measurements were transferred to the table, where we made a mark at the vertical dimension (x) from the edge of the table.

    pic 4
    We know that the frame rail is 2" wide, so we add 2" + 1/2" (the horizontal dimension from the inside of the rail to the center of the mounting hole) and make a mark on the edge of the table at 2-1/2" from the first mark we made. The outside of the frame plate intersects this mark.

    pic 5
    We can now mark the plate along the edge of the table.

    pic 6 (I know, there's usually only five... but the mounts are almost done)
    Since Grant likes to wrap the bracket around the corner of the tube, we'll be measuring 2" from where the plate intersects the mark we made on the edge of the table. That will be the inside of the frame rail.

    pic 7
    With the frame rails on a rake, it's a good idea to measure and trim the longer of the two plates first. That way you can copy the first plate and trim a bit off to make the other one fit.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  13. RPU Rick
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 164

    RPU Rick
    Member

    I am really watching this thread. And learn'n too! Thanks for sharing. Rick.
     
  14. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    Cool! I'll hopefully have more shots mid week. We're waiting for front end components to come in then we'll be assembling that.
     
  15. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    Well, it's not exactly the front end like I said... similar only different ;)

    pic 1
    Here's what needs to be mounted next. We needed to decide a few things before going ahead and getting the mount we wanted. First, the transmission had to drop straight down. While not completely necessary, it's handy. Second, we tried to allow for growth. If a crossmember tube is directly behind the tailshaft, it's hard to change to a larger transmission without doing some major surgery. If you're married to a particular tranny, give'r.

    pic 2
    This is a kit from a great company I know called Welder Series. The tailshaft bracket attaches with two bolts; two on the back (you can see one), and two on the bottom, in the original mounting holes. A GM insulator is used between the tailshaft bracket and the crossmember bracket, which bolts on to ears that are welded to a 1-5/8" tube.

    pic 3
    Here is the transmission mount mocked up on a 1-5/8" tube.

    pic 4
    Grant is using a carpenter square (I didn't know anyone other than a carpenter used this tool so often!) to measure for some reinforcing tubes.

    pic 5
    Strong, removable, and lots of room for growth.


    I should ask if people like this format... pictures attached, or would you rather have the images as a part of the post?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  16. HotRod33
    Joined: Oct 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,265

    HotRod33
    Member
    from MO

    looks good.....I will watch for updates.......
     
  17. rjgideon
    Joined: Sep 12, 2005
    Posts: 511

    rjgideon
    Member

    Subscribed to this thread. I am really learning a lot about laying out a frame. Being 3/16", this frame should be able to handle about anything you throw at it.

    Also, I didn't realize you were from Canada. That gives us Yanks a better shake with the exchange rate as you point out.

    I use the carpenter's square a lot as well, I figured everyone did. Between that and the Skil saw with one of those C-5 carbide metal cutting blades from Harbor Freight, you'd think I was a carpenter.
     
  18. retromotors
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,045

    retromotors
    Member

    Daddy .... have you seen our sidewalk chalk???
    Somebody stole it!

    Waaaahhhhh!!!:D
     
  19. Patdoody
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 245

    Patdoody
    Member

    Looking good, I am def going to use some of these ideas when I start building my frame in the coming months.
     
  20. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    Those bends sure make life a lot easier, Never seen anything like them in the U.K.
     
  21. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    There's nothing like them in the anywhere ;)

    Thanks for all the positive feedback! Please let me know if you would like more info on any part of the build.
     
  22. jaybee
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 268

    jaybee
    Member

    Very nice, the bends bends in particular give those sections of the chassis a good look.
     
  23. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    thanks, it adds a little time to the build but I think the results are worth it.
     
  24. JOECOOL
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,742

    JOECOOL
    Member

    Really NICE, I feel like such a rookie. Question,do you guys ever run wireing or brake lines thru the frame to hide them?
     
  25. cowboy1
    Joined: Feb 14, 2008
    Posts: 914

    cowboy1
    Member
    from Austin TX

    a video of this tech would be AWESOME!!!
     
  26. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    I do have a short video showing how to trim a plate to the frame so the hole is in the right spot. I hope to have it uploaded in the next few days.
     
  27. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    Thanks for the compliments!

    I have worked on a frame where we ran fuel lines through the rails... mounted the line to the boxing plate before it was welded to the channel (32 rails) so we could pressure test it.

    Did you have a particular question about it?
     
  28. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 12,817

    Jeff Norwell
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Grant is sexy with a torch.
    Great stuff D.W
     
  29. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    WelderSeries
    Alliance Vendor

    thanks Jeff!


    Hey, I just got an encouraging note from Chris who asked why we haven't said anything about fish plates, or gussets, across the joints between the curves and the tubing. I was glad he brought this up, because it's something I haven't mentioned yet but should have. We will be adding our fish plates after the joints are finish welded - right now we've just got tacks on the joints to make sure everything is looking good. I said I was glad that he wrote because I think we all need to be comfortable with mentioning something that we feel may not be safe, especially to the guy doing the work. So thanks, Chris. Much appreciated.
     
  30. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,180

    fordcragar
    Member
    from Yakima WA.

    Very nice build series.
     

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