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Old 09-17-2009, 10:22 AM
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-Changing to a Modle T or A front axle

Hi, I have a '74 Ford Courier that I am converting into a stylized '27 T coupe. I want to know if it is possible to put a T or A front axle on the frame, so it will have a wheel base closer ( in looks) to a 20's T or A.
Any help is MUCH appreciated!!

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Old 09-23-2009, 04:13 PM
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I guess it all comes down to the question of aesthetics and whether or not you want to present pleasing "eyeball" to the whole structure.

The Courier frame from the firewall forward will not present well with a straight axle cobbled onto it. It has provisions for coil springs and control arms and a rather "clunky" look that will detract from the vision you have for the truck. The truck will need a nice, clean, smooth, gently curving frame that tapers down at the front edge to look right and achieve the look you're after in my opinion.

I'm cheap in the way I go about things and normally end up fabricating most of what I change on a vehicle. Billet, chrome and powder coat and such mean nothing to me, so all my time and efforts are spent engineering something that will work well and present well just for the way it is put together. In other words, if you don't like it, just keep moving, 'cause I like it and your opinion is moot....

So, if I were after what you are contemplating, I would please myself. Personally, I'd be out looking for the front section of a frame that I could get cheaply from an otherwise derelict vehicle. I'd be looking for the front section, firewall forward of a '40 to '48 Ford or Mercury frame, axle, spindles and brakes. Ford had mechanical brakes until '40, so the years before '40 would be undesirable to me. Also, there are inexpensive kits available to convert '40-'48 spindles to disc brakes if I decided the drums were inadequate for stopping the vehicle. It would all depend on the final weight of the vehicle.

I'd block the truck up at ride height, cut off the Courier frame stubs just ahead of the firewall and weld on the early frame members, using a method of re-inforcement that appealed to my eye. All of this work will take very careful measuring and calculating in order to end up with a system that steers and handles well. What I do is to drop a plumb-bob from certain points of the frame and body down to the shop floor and make marks on the floor that I can measure between to get everything lined up properly. Begin with marking the rear axle assembly so that you get the front axle exactly parallel.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:47 AM
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Sounds like you and I are on the same track! Thanks for the tips! It looks like quiet the project . Is a MIG welder good enough for frame work like this??
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:48 AM
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I used a 200A Lincoln MIG for the last 30 years or so, through engine swaps, frame swaps, trailer building and other stuff that I have forgotten now. I had no trouble welding anything from 20 ga to 3/8" plate with the same welder. Sorry I sold it now, but I retired and had no further use for it.
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:12 AM
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Sounds good!! Now, what about the front end width, does the new one ( from a 40's ford), have to be the same width as the rear end, that is on my ride now??
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:38 AM
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t bucket plans

for most of the T buckets I have built my frame from new material. using as many donor parts as possible. Check out the Tbucketeers site for free plans . There is a 30's pickup running around on an older mini truck chassis that looks presentable... stock A arm suspension and coil springs. He has boat trailer fenders mounted to the frame so they don't turn with the wheels on the front and wider ones mounted to the rear to the chopped pickup box.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett J.
Sounds good!! Now, what about the front end width, does the new one ( from a 40's ford), have to be the same width as the rear end, that is on my ride now??
In the times of the Romans, chariots were built with track width according to the width of two horses. Turns out this was 56 1/2". When railroads began being built in this country, the tracks were placed....you guessed it....56 1/2" apart. When Henry Ford began building cars, he, according to tradition, built them with a 56 1/2" track width, front and rear.

You can use any track width you want on either end of the car. They don't have to match, just so long as the centerlines of each axle coincide with the centerline of the car and the axles are parallel with each other. I believe the track on a '74 Courier is 51.2" front and rear.
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timothale
for most of the T buckets I have built my frame from new material
Although I initially answered your question using stock components to keep costs down, I also have used new materials in constructing the frame. Normally, a guy would use somewhere between 1 1/2" x 3" and 2" x 4" for such a one-off custom frame or frame clip, 11 ga or somewhere close. Here's a link to a frame build that may be of interest to you....
http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=87556
Speedway Motors sells axle/spring assemblies in many different configurations so that you could fabricate the entire front end from aftermarket pieces and tubing stock if you want....
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/street-rod-front-axles-and-spindles.html?category|category_root|225=Street+Ro d&category|cat_225|310=Axle%2c+Chassis%2c+Suspensi on&category%7ccat_310%7c320=Front+Axles
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