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Old 03-13-2012, 06:31 AM
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aftermarket model a frame

I went and looked at a project 31 ford two door sedan yesterday. The current owner said the frame is a TOTAL PERFORMANCE. I assume it is several years old and is definitely aftermarket. Here is my question:1) He said the font of frame is a little narrower than original and you can see it slightly where the headlight bar mounts to fenders, is this because it has a 32 front crossmember? The car does have a 32 grill shell.
2) The rear section of the frame just comes back straight over the rearend and is "C" notched with coil overs mounted. The tires on car are very small so I cant tell if this will give me a nice stance or not. My 31 coupe hiboy is z'd over rear so I am a little confused/ concerned that I would have to go back and redo an already clean looking and complete part of the project.
He also has a 32 gas tank kit for car (still in boxes) will that mount up to a setup like this? I know anything can be done but I am sort of looking for an answer with experience here. Thanks in advance for any help or info. Rick
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:31 AM
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Not sure where your seller is coming from as a TCI chassis is identical as far as dimensions to the original until it gets to the rear cross member. The last body mount bracket is then welded to the outside of that narrowed part. TCI have two designs for the rear of ths chassis - the older version goes over the differential, the later, behind. A standard replacement or stock '32 grill shell will NOT fit a narrower '31 chassis. If the headlight bar is wrong, the seller possibly used a homemade or an off brand.

Fitting a '32 style gas tank is not a job for an inexperienced fabricator. It's not necessarily difficult, but does require pretty fair welding skills once you get the pieces mocked up and fitted correctly. If you are using the frame covers - that to will require some fitting and fabbing - these are pretty rough pieces and need some repairs.

Attached are some photos of my later TCI chassis. It does have the IFS, but is identical dimensionally to an original and the early version. It was originally under a fordor, now the roadster.

Upside down, welding the gas tank frame in - and my design, not a Dagle:


Ready for the body:


Chassis after powder coat and ready for assembly:


Final assembly before paint:


Completed and now being driven:


All done with a TCI chassis - and the body - a Brookville that bolted right to it with no problem.

This is the sedan which bolted directly to the TCI chassis as well:
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:21 PM
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thanks Irelands Child for reply and pics. Although the frame I am looking at is a total performance not TCI, I agree that something else is a little off. Everything up front looks good and straight so I am thinking the headlight bar is not correct since the gent selling has the BIG headlights etc. he may have bought an oddball setup. Again though it all looks straight and clean. Actually I didn't notice it, he pointed it out to me. Your pics of rear gas tank frame setup are real helpful, I have welding and fabricating skills and will use your pics to do a little "reverse engineering"
I did buy the car this afternoon and won't be able to do any thing much to it for some time. But again your pics gave me the understanding of what is entailed. Your car looks awesome!!! Thanks, Rick
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:02 PM
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Here is a Total Performance Model A frame. I suspect they haven't changed their design much over the years so it should look a lot like the one you've been looking at, and yes they do have a '32 front crossmember. Not sure how much help this might be but it should be a good reference point.



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Old 03-14-2012, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choirboy
thanks Irelands Child for reply and pics. Although the frame I am looking at is a total performance not TCI, Thanks, Rick
Whoops - I read Total Perf as Total Cost Involved(TCI). Sorry

I do hope the photos will help you some - and I PROMISE to read posts better and turn my brain on first. If I can help more with 'A' items, let me know.

Dave W
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:35 AM
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There are a number of good sources for Model A frame measurements that you can use to check your frame to make sure if it is the correct dimensions and go from there. One that a lot of guys use is on Wescott's website. Just click on the right link. http://wescottsauto.com/Tech/Techindex.html. A few minutes with a tape measure will let you know if the frame is other than stock dimensions.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:49 AM
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Stock Model A frame dimension, inside to inside of a BOXED frame, where the front cross member mounts is 22 3/8". It might be a smidge wider if measured to frames inside edges (top or bottom plate) without boxing. I just measured mine. I also have a stock front A cross member. My guess is the PO mixed up a little info. These frames are narrow to begin with. Making the front narrower would open up a can of worms. Is this frame set up for front a solid axle? Pretty typical of after market frames, they give you a 4" kick up in the rear (by way of how the rear cross member is designed) to go with a anticipated 4" drop axle up front.
I'm a TCI dealer. If you have any questions (wheel base etc.) just shoot me a note.
Dave
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