36-39 Chevy Sedan frames - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:17 PM
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36-39 Chevy Sedan frames

I am looking at acquiring a 34 - 39 Chevy Master within the next year. I am having to wait until I get into a garage big enough for me to build. In my quest for knowledge I have read disturbing things about 36 - 39 Chevy frames. I have read that the Top Hat frame introduced in 36 on the Chevy Masters can be hard to work with and welding on it is not recommended. I know that 34 - 35 Chevy Masters had a C channel frame that makes great rodding material. If I can find a 34-35 Master when the time comes to buy, I'll go for it. However, like their Ford counterparts those aren't the easiest cars to find. Does anyone know if the 36 - 39 Chevy sedans come with a frame other than the Top Hat or should I go with a new frame. I planned to strengthen the frame boxing and adding an X member. Any suggestions?

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Old 09-01-2004, 03:05 PM
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In 36 the Master also used a C-channel frame, but after that I do not think so. I now several people who have welded on the top hat frame without a problem. Gm used this frame up until in the 1950 with no problems. By adding the the cross member you are taking care of the biggest problem that I know of with them and that is they will twist a little. The frame for a 36 is slightly different than the the ones for 37 to 39, I found that out from chassis engineering from West Branch Iowa.
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Old 09-01-2004, 07:34 PM
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I have a 37 sedan, top hat frame and that terrible front suspension. Knee action?
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Old 09-01-2004, 07:40 PM
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Bob, I can agree with you on the knee action front the Pontiac had it too, like to wallow down the road. Still the top hat frame is fine with a MII front in it and an x member added to give a little strength.
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Old 09-02-2004, 12:29 PM
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I have a 38 chevy sedan it had the knee action. I am taking the front off and going with a Mustang II unit. I have a stock crossmember but I haven't decide if I am going to use it or go aftermarket yet. You can weld on these frames just fine. I will beef up the center section with a crossmember. Also, these frames are relatively strong and do not require boxing at all, which is nice. I am ammassing pictures as I go and will post a journal here when I get it further along. I have stopped the project to clean the garage and put in an epoxy floor (U-Coat-It) I love it, very cool. Any way the 37-38 frames are interchangeable, I think you can get a way with using a 39 frame also if you go with a aftermarket front (i.e. MII). The only gripe I have with the frame is the rivets I ground and drilled over 50 rivets to strip the frame down, gotta like grinding As for chosing a 34-39 Sedan from Chevrolet, just beware that pre-36 there's lots of wood in the bodies.
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Old 09-02-2004, 12:52 PM
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I put a stock MII X-member in my '36 Pontiac sedan frame and it went in great. Can't imagine why you couldn't weld on a Chevy frame - probably got the sheet steel from the same pile at the factory that Pontiac did!

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