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Which Chassis for 30 Model A with FE and 4-Speed

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by GTSDave, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. GTSDave
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 133

    GTSDave
    Member

    What chassis should I use for my Model A?

    It's a 5 window and all stock right now. The plan it to chop it, and build a 500 or so hp FE with a 4-Speed to power it.

    I plan to drive it on the street, but also at the track. Looking over the original chassis, I don't believe it can be built up enough to make it safe for the beating it is going to have to endure. The trips to the track would probably be on very sticky tires (slicks.)

    Is anyone else running a radical FE and if so what did you do for suspension and for the base chassis. These engines are not known for their light weight hehehe.

    Is anyone building a chassis on 32 style rails that can take regular trips to the strip with a big block or will this one need to be custom built?

    Any advice on the suspension and brakes would also be appreciated.

    I am still in the planning stages, but looking for advice as I put the plan together.

    -Dave
     
  2. twofosho
    Joined: Nov 10, 2005
    Posts: 1,153

    twofosho
    Member

    Wanting to run a 421 Pontiac in a Model "A" and wanting something more "traditional" than the typical rectangular tube frame, I had the similar dilemma.

    My solution was to find a '30 "AA" frame. While this frame is still a straight unstepped design, the rails are 6" deep instead of the 4" depth of a regular Model "A", so you start with something far more substantial even before boxing and adding in crossmembers/xmembers. I also like that most are for long wheelbases giving you excess rail length for most passenger cars. This allows them to be chopped down to size rather than lengthened, eliminating the need to graft on sections to make the frame long enough to deal with longer motors.

    As far as torque monsters and sticky tires twisting frames, that's just about a given no matter what you start with, but I'd guess any sanctioning organization is going to require you to run a substantial roll bar/cage that you can use to minimize it.

    You are aware that loosing the stock cast iron intake and exhaust manifolds makes the FE big block Ford not that much heavier than a SBC, Chrysler or Chevrolet.
     
  3. GTSDave
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 133

    GTSDave
    Member

    Already have an intake, and plan on eddie heads for it, along with mini starter ect.... I will lighten it up as much as I can.

    I figured I might need some type of cage, but don't want to end up with down bars going out of the back window!

    Didn't even think of an AA frame, but will keep it in mind. I don't want a tube chassis full race setup, but I am not opposed to having a new box type chassis built up for it.

    It is new territory for me as I have never done a car as old as this one. Once I got it home I was really taken back by how thin the body was and how lightweight everything was. Not exactly race ready LOL.

    I knew then and there it would need a much more substantial chassis for the build I am thinking of.

    -Dave
     
  4. LIL.TIMMYUser Name
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 741

    LIL.TIMMYUser Name
    Member

    about what i figured. i got a buddy with an un-restored 31 5 window coupe. all stock. i've spent a lot of wind-power convincing him that with a properly boxed frame, it'll handle anything he wants to dish out. he's being kind of a pansy about a stick-shift. we have lots of top-loader stuff to make it work. i think an automatic is just a easy way out as far as packinging goes. if it aint got 3 pedals, it ain't a hotrod, right!
     
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  5. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,106

    scottybaccus
    Member

    I suggest fully boxed deuce rails. I am stuffing a sbc and a muncie into my A rails and it is really tight for clutch linkage. A hydraulic throw-out bearing would help a lot, but I refuse to use one that requires removing the trans for service. I decided mechanical linkage was just as easy as an external slave cylinder, so I'm setting it up with a bell-crank in typical fashion. I would be Ok with hanging pedals, but my cowl steering conflicts with that, so I had to design a really compact set of under floor pedals. Deuce rails would give a lot more room for all this. No concern at all about power. Just box the rails and use a well designed K member.
     
  6. GTSDave
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 133

    GTSDave
    Member

    Thanks guys,

    Scottybaccus,

    I hear you on the juice clutch. I was thinking about an external slave cyld and standard fork/throwout bearing setup. Now that I think about it though, I will probably spring for a lakewood bell as I like having feet LOL, and that might make things even tighter around the frame area.

    Are the Deuce rails that much stronger when boxed? I have never been up close and personal with one to see how thick they are. I suspect with the wider cross section after boxing and a good K Member they may be just the ticket.

    Thanks again for the ideas,

    -Dave
     
  7. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,106

    scottybaccus
    Member

    Any rail will be much stronger when boxed. That will also reduce twisting of the frame in general, but the K-member is crucial. Deuce rails are also about 6" tall. That is where they really stand above the Model A. Lot's of room for exhaust and running gear.
     
  8. GTSDave
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 133

    GTSDave
    Member

    Thanks Scotty,

    Just checked out a couple of the treads on your truck. That thing is gonna be awesome.

    -Dave
     

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