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welding body to frame (model a)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by SledKicker, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. SledKicker
    Joined: Sep 8, 2012
    Posts: 34

    SledKicker
    Member

    is there a reason NOT to weld the body to the frame instead of bolting it on, other than not being able to easily remove the body? Wouldn't this strengthen the entire chassis and create a kind of "pseudo-unibody"?

    Just curious, never seen anyone talk about it. Newb question i'm sure.
     
  2. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,093

    old soul
    Member
    from oswego NY

    Its just once your done with the mess it makes it hard for the next guy to cut the cobs out and try to save the body.
     
  3. 3Kidsnotime
    Joined: Oct 4, 2010
    Posts: 247

    3Kidsnotime
    Member
    from Utah

    Kinda like welding a carb to a intake to make sure you dont have a vacume leak...
     
  4. AllSteel36
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 562

    AllSteel36
    Member
    from California

    squeak, rattle and cracks come to mind:)
     

  5. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,248

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    Unless you have a particular reason to do it, I wouldn't.

    It's nice to be able to pull the car apart if need be, and unless you actually design the inner structure of the body to add additional strength when welded together, it won't.
    Also you need to consider that door alignment often relys on slightly shimming body bolts to twist the cowl etc and fine tune the door fit etc.
    If you don't nail that the first time with a welded on body you're outta luck.

    Now...having said that...IF you DID do the required bracing and prealignment of components and did actually create a true unitized shell/frame the resulting vehicle would be a step ahead of a regular A in stiffness etc.

    I think you would need to have a major goal in mind however to make all the required reworking worthwhile.
    Unitized is not as simple as just welding the crossbraces to the frame!;):D
     
  6. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,093

    old soul
    Member
    from oswego NY

    combobelation
     
  7. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    There were a few cars in magazines "back in the day" that boasted that the body had been welded to the frame. On the surface it seems like a great idea.........makes one strong unit out of it all. But in reality it isn't a smart thing to do.

    As was mentioned, it makes going back in later on and doing work very hard, and you have no way to shim to get good door alignment and body fit. Another problem would be rust........if you do them separately you can shoot epoxy primer and paint between where the body sits on the frame, but on a unibody you can't.

    My advice is to do it just the way 99.9% of the rest of us do it, use bolts.

    Don
     
  8. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    Do it, it's traditional as hell, mabey not 'right' in most peoples eyes but ive had enough '32 frames in my or friends of mine's posession to prove it was done a lot back in the old days
     
  9. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,093

    old soul
    Member
    from oswego NY

    It all depends on the color you plan on painting it and what your using for a grill
     
  10. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,093

    old soul
    Member
    from oswego NY

    Just picture Pauly Shore looken at it sayen. COMBOBULATATION!!!!!!!
     
  11. big daddy Raleigh
    Joined: Jul 11, 2008
    Posts: 123

    big daddy Raleigh
    Member
    from Denver CO

    By all means do what you want.
    Looking at how much flex and movement there is in a car cruising down the road, the body is going to want to move at a different rate than the frame will. Knowing that the weakest link is going to give out first, even though there is more steel in the door skin then there is in an entire Honda, the frame is more rigid than the body. With this the body will develop cracks from the fatigue. There's a reason for the 99% club on this one...
     
  12. Makes it hard to lift the body to check the serial stamped on the frame, that's for sure.
     
  13. U-235
    Joined: Dec 18, 2010
    Posts: 452

    U-235
    Member

    if (heaven forbid) your in an accident and need to replace or fix panels, it may be difficult....mine is channeled over stock frame using rubber pads under mounting points.
     
  14. bustingear
    Joined: Oct 29, 2002
    Posts: 1,878

    bustingear
    Member

    Cob job....
     
  15. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,093

    old soul
    Member
    from oswego NY

    Very good
     
  16. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,084

    The37Kid
    Member

    The only car I remember reading about with a welded body to chassis was the John Buttera '26 T Tudor. I wouldn't do it myself, I like nuts and bolts. Bob
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  17. NeedFiber
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 106

    NeedFiber
    Member

    Ha ha ha! Well said.....
     
  18. Kerrynzl
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 2,283

    Kerrynzl
    Member

    There would be no increase in beaming and torsional strength on a roadster.
    Take off the hood and side panels,and open the doors and you'll see the weakest points haven't been strengthened.
    All you would have effectively done is welded the cowl and subframes to the frame.

    To increased strength in the passenger area [ the point furthest from the springs ] You would be better off welding in a high tunnel to create a backbone style frame.
    If you looked down the frame longitudally [front to rear ] Ford triangulated each end of the frame by using spreader bars and "V" shaped crossmembers.
    A Deep "X" shaped crossmember in the center would do wonders
     
  19. 296 V8
    Joined: Sep 17, 2003
    Posts: 4,666

    296 V8
    BANNED
    from Nor~Cal

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  20. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,248

    Hackerbilt
    Member

  21. ROADSTERJEFF
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 491

    ROADSTERJEFF
    Member

    There is a reason the fame of a Model-a is make to flex. The wood blocks and shims to aglin the doors. Welding is not the answer!
     
  22. 296 V8
    Joined: Sep 17, 2003
    Posts: 4,666

    296 V8
    BANNED
    from Nor~Cal

    welded at the cowl
     

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  23. OoltewahSpeedShop
    Joined: Oct 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,103

    OoltewahSpeedShop
    Member

    Welded solid since the '50's.... None of the problems ya'll are guessing about.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. John Lafayette
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 95

    John Lafayette
    Member

    Agree with strengthining the frame with an x member. Building a steel cage inthe body as well. Thats what I am going to do to my roadster when i do it over again. It flexes too much on these crappy New England goat paths!
     
  25. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,045

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    So, you can easily remove the body? Cool lookin' roadster, btw.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  26. bgaro
    Joined: Sep 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,189

    bgaro
    Member

    mine has been welded on since the early 60's. the left rear sags down a bit, it would be nice to shim it up a little instead of major surgery..........traditional as hell......and it hasn't fallen off yet.
     
  27. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Sure, some things were done that way in the old days, like using a torch to cut out the floor, letting the body drop down, then welding it all back to the frame. But that is just one example of how some "traditional" methods of doing things was not the right way to do them. We've learned a few things in the last 60 years, I hope, and we care more today about things like door gaps and body alignment. :rolleyes:

    Don
     
  28. metal man
    Joined: Dec 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,949

    metal man
    Member

    That's right. The way he did it was genius,and he had some good reasons to do it. Much more extensive than just welding vs bolting.

    I can't think of a good reason to just weld the body to the frame.
     
  29. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Yea, but on the HAMB, politically correct trumps period correct every time...
     
  30. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,093

    old soul
    Member
    from oswego NY

    To me if your going to weld the body to the frame. Its just a lack of skills and craftmenship and maybe pure lazzyness.
     

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