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Old 01-13-2006, 09:23 AM
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29 sedan

OK here's the deal, I came across a 29 Ford body out on a back street the other day. It has been chopped and will need to be reworked. It will need new doors and some new metal above one of the doors. Other than this, it is solid and would probably take a guy like me a couple months to make it a good body. The guy wants $500 for it. So I'm thinking about making this my next project.

Here's my plan and questions. I would like to buy a new frame, which one? Next I would like to buy a donor vehicle for all the other components. Basically I'm thinking about getting a Ford Ranger and use it for the front and rear suspension. Then probably use as many other components as I could, such as brakes, steering, seats, engine trans, etc.

Sound like a plan or am I way off? Should I get the 29, or is it too much to start with just a body? Is a Ranger a good donor or is something else better?

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Old 01-13-2006, 03:21 PM
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If you are intending on using the Ranger twin I-beam front suspension I would suggest you look instead to the pre-1979 Ford F-150 series for your donor. These twin beams are forged and look almost like a traditional dropped front axle when viewed from the front. Here are a couple shots the '78 beams under my '32.





(you can see more pics of the front suspension by clicking on my journal.)

The Ranger beams are shorter, stockier, and in most cases they are welded or stamped steel rather than forged. Also, with the F-150 series you should be able to find yourself a good 460 or 351W, 351M, or 351Cleveland depending on the year of donor truck you can locate. With the F-150 you will also get the very healthy Ford 9" rear end.

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Old 01-13-2006, 09:09 PM
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Cboy, I've spent quite a bit of time reading your project journal and truly admire your work. The F-150 does look like a good option, however I think the stance might be a little wide for a stock 29 body. That is why I was leaning toward the IFS off a Ranger. But realistically I think installing an IFS from scratch might be over my head. I may just go with a good prebuilt frame and front suspension. The rear should be easy, there are lots of 4 links I could use. However, if I do this, the F-150 would be the better donor because I would get a better engine and rear.

Keep the suggestions coming.
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Old 01-13-2006, 09:46 PM
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29 sedan

Rick, if you are unsure of your capabilities a prebuilt frame and front suspension is a very good way to go. Check out the various frame manufacturers for advertisements for Model A or 32 ford frames. Now you will have a choice of independent or solid axle front suspensions as well as steering box mounting and brake master cylinder mountings as well as motor, transmission and rear end brackets. Are you going to build a fendered or nonfendered rod? If non fendered will it be a highboy or channeled?
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Old 01-13-2006, 09:57 PM
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Actually, if you use the stock 9" rear (not narrowed) and you keep the front end width matched to the rear end width, then the I-beams would work. Although I've never done it, I also can't see any reason you couldn't narrow the front stance of the I-beams at least a few inches by moving the pivot points of the I-beams outward. You don't have infinite narrowing capabilities because you must always attach the pivot ends to some point on the frame, but my guess is with optimally spaced frame rails you could get a front tire spread fairly close to the model A spread. I'd like to try this myself on a future project just to see how narrow you could go and still maintain good handling.

But you are right that it might be easier to use a traditional straight axle front end and just go with the F-150 for the rest of your donor parts. I like the I-beams because, assuming you are using an F-150 donor, you can not only get by on the cheap for a front suspension, but you end up with the improved ride of an independent front suspension to boot. But they ARE a bit more challenging to engineer - especially your first one.
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Old 01-15-2006, 11:16 AM
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Cboy, I'm with you on the front I beams, I really like the idea, and it looks kind of original too. I'll have to go to the junk yard and do some measuring to see just how wide these are compared to an original Model A.
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