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-   -   Build or Buy an X-member? (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/build-buy-x-member-146795.html)

SinistrV6 10-17-2008 05:31 PM

Build or Buy an X-member?
 
I'm trying to get back to work on my '36 Chevy sedan but I'm on a budget. I've only found one x-member specifically for my car but it's about $400 bucks www.progressiveautomotive.com . I have moderate fab skills and access to a first-class welder buddy if this is something I could tackle on my own. Doesn't look that tough but then, nothing ever does!

Any tips/pics? I've searched the net A LOT today. I probably could've built it in the time I've spent researching it!

OneMoreTime 10-17-2008 05:34 PM

For 400 I can buy a lot of steel...and it does not take all that much skill to me at least to make a simple cross member..just look at it as a learning experience..Just for the record I am building my ride from scratch and it has been a learning experience..

Sam

F&J 10-17-2008 06:07 PM

Some people build the X shaped centersection somewhat like the 30s & 40s Fords, but they don't hook the center together as good as Ford did. When building one, keep in mind what force is on the center when you try to twist the frame(like one rear wheel in a big ditch)

If you keep it simple and understand that twisting force, you can design something that will work fine. Some people might have the metal bent into a [ shape on a pressbrake, some might use channel iron, and some would use upper and lower X's made from square tubing. I am sure you must have seen different types on your search. I like the tubing deal because then there is room for exhaust pipes, etc.

Go for it ;)

staleg 10-18-2008 08:18 AM

The best way to connect the centre parts on an X member is with a kind of big diameter short pipe. A pipe will not twist, and that's what you don't want it to do.

Often it's not enough room to make it like a pipe. Then you must compromise. Like making only the upper part of the connection like a pipe, while the lower is more like a conventional one.

Her is how I did it on my '34:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._paa_plass.jpg

Deuce 10-18-2008 10:06 AM

:)

It is also a GOOD idea ... IMHO
to make the crossmember where the transmission support bolts in/out so you can remove the transmission without having to pull the engine .


http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos...1431423700.jpg

You can see here how further bracing was added to the crossmember after the first photo :D

http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos...1431429641.jpg

SinistrV6 10-18-2008 10:23 AM

Deuce and Staleg,

Thanks for the pics. Both of those are completely "doable" for a home fabricator IMO. That's exactly the kind of input I was looking for!

Youngster 10-18-2008 10:33 AM

build-buy-x-member
 
Here's the one I built in a '32 frame. I used 3/4x1-1/2 , 11g tubing. After the picture was taken I added an other tube to the top 'X' 12" behind the one running from one rail to the other.

http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/c...945/TKO003.jpg

Ron

staleg 10-18-2008 12:06 PM

When it comes to the transmission crossmember, I was adviced from other rodders that lifting the whole motor & trans forward and up, was the way most rodders do it when work on the transmission is needed.

Partly because it's not that much work to do it, but more important, most of us don't have a provate car lift (or a big hole in the garage floor under the car).
Then it's of no use to have a removable transmission crossmember. You won't get the transmission out that way anyway. And since this crossmember will be wery important in stiffen up the chassis, I choosed to weld it.

SinistrV6 10-27-2008 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deuce
:)

It is also a GOOD idea ... IMHO
to make the crossmember where the transmission support bolts in/out so you can remove the transmission without having to pull the engine .


http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos...1431423700.jpg

You can see here how further bracing was added to the crossmember after the first photo :D

http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos...1431429641.jpg

Do you remember what the specs were on that tubing? Or what you'd recommend? Don't want to fab it up from the wrong material!

Deuce 10-27-2008 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by staleg
Then it's of no use to have a removable transmission crossmember. You won't get the transmission out that way anyway. And since this crossmember will be wery important in stiffen up the chassis, I choosed to weld it.


Quote:

Originally Posted by SinistrV6
Do you remember what the specs were on that tubing? Or what you'd recommend? Don't want to fab it up from the wrong material!

It is 1 X 2 tubing. I believe it was 80 thousand thick stuff.

As for the transmission ... I have a transmission jack ... and have pulled the 400 Turbo from my 32 roadster a few times ... playing with different stall converters. EASIER than pulling the engine ... for me. The hood and the radiator has to come off ... and the front fenders ... and aligning all that without putting a scratch on it is difficult ... if not almost impossible. :D

yknot 10-27-2008 07:31 PM

I'm of the same opinion that some others here are of, and that's that I can do a very good job making my own cross-members. I didn't come to this conclusion for the sake of saving dollars, I came to it because I like to place the cross-members where I want them and at the height's I need, not like some cookie cut outfit thought I should.

We just finished our 1933 Ford Tudor sedan chassis, and we went whole hog on the thing. I started with a pair of stamped frame rails from ASG, and the rest was our own design. I boxed both sides of the frame completely, then made the rear spreader bar, along with a temporary front spreader to hold the frame rails at the right distance away. The mid section was all done in round tubing, why round, because it has the highest strength and look very nice when you do it right. Most mid-section kits use a top and lower section that is welded into the frame rails on each side then tied together in the middle. While this may be a good set-up, I had Way to many coolers, filters accumulators and so forth to waste all that room with mid-section bracing. We made all our own straight and bent center section pieces in house and while we did not double brace the center section, it is more then stiff enough. Truth is, those double stacked center section, just cause to much commotion when it comes time to run exhaust systems, oil, inter-cooler coolers and everything else that is needed for a modern day street car.
While this worked out for us, I would not recommend the average guy or garage to tackle such a feat. You need to have the proper tools and equipment like Tube benders, welders, frame table and so on. But the end result is a truly custom chassis that fits your needs. If you think you have what it takes to do just such a move, then by all means go for it, the results are worth all the time and trouble involved. Good Luck

SinistrV6 10-28-2008 05:53 AM

Yknot,

Got any pictures of your setup?
Sounds nice.

Deuce 10-28-2008 06:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yknot
You need to have the proper tools and equipment like Tube benders, welders, frame table and so on. But the end result is a truly custom chassis that fits your needs.

I agree on the use of round tubing ... if you can bend it ... and make it look nice. A quality bender is required ( like a Hossfield ) and I do not have one.

http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos...1772822711.jpg

Space is at a premium under a 32 chassis ... but I also have a extra transmission cooler, a extra transmission filter and a fuel filter on my 32 chassis.

http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos...1772822712.jpg

The vacant area on the right side of the chassis between the K members is for the battery ... it drops thru the floor under the seat ... :D

http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos...1913596510.jpg

http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos...1772828870.jpg

SinistrV6 10-28-2008 06:12 AM

Deuce, that looks REALLY good! I don't have a tubing bender or access to one, so I'll be using rectangular tubing as well.


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