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Old 11-27-2008, 04:00 AM
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Chassis plans etc

G-day all
I am looking for chassis plans. i have noticed some threads about people looking for specific models but nothing this broad. Basically i am after readable plans for any model. i can change a few dimensions as needed. I am not bothered what type of plan, ie space frame etc as long as reasonably correct and readable. I am also not looking for plans on replicating ford rails etc, just something i can mount running gear to and drop a body on tow. Here in Australia we dont have donour cars like the Corvettes etc

FIXED LINKS

Even something as remotely different as this:
http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/d...MikesV8021.jpg
from this thread:
http://carmensbugs.proboards102.com/...splay&thread=9
Basically a V8 chassis to sit under a VW beetle.....

There seems to be allot of people fabricating such items but not putting anything down in writing unfortunately. i guess when i do my build ill have to document it all

Regards
Jonesy

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Last edited by Jonesy_sa; 11-27-2008 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:45 AM
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Jonesy,

Just so you know, your two links are not working. The Photobucket link goes to the P-bucket "join" page and the other URL "can not be found"...at least that's the message I get.

This may not be the answer you are hoping for, but chassis dimensions and configuration will be depended on a wide variety of factors including body, front suspension, rear end and rear suspension, wheelbase, ride height, spring types, etc. etc.

If you are just building something simple (like a t-bucket for example) a basic ladder type frame, is all you need. Don't know if it will help but here is how I design my frames...using photoshop and plain old graph paper.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:47 AM
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here is a link to Youngsters chassis plans. They are for a T Bucket you might could use them.

http://www.savefile.com/files/1403255
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:52 AM
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Thanks for the replies guys and i fixed the links and tested them. I must admit i am a sucker for complexity, handling and looks and the T-Bucket never fit any of those equations for me. However looking over those drawings and seeing a VW beattle parked out the front gave me a few ideas of a build based on simplicity, cheap parts etc.... ie i cant really afford a T-Bucket shell but a VW mid section with roof front and rear chopped off etc could nearly pass as a nice tub.

I will have to read through those build logs, great ideas thats for sure. I am perfectly happy with a ladder chassis and it is more towards what im looking at. I can cut, weld etc but am lost with chassis/suspension/steering geometry so really have procrastinated in this area. We do have a few donour cars which can donate full irs front cross members and Jag's have a nice irs rear, but when i spoke to a guy down a chassis shop he said even to build a frame to hold those two subsections it would require allot of engineering.
Yet i see people all the time on the net create ladder chassis from scratch without mention to and handling geometry and thats utilising custom tube a-arms etc.

I was advised to use a single donour vehicle and just replicate the chassis rails but stonger useing all the same pick up points and locations then it will be as good as the factory intended.

Heres a general question. Lets say i have sourced a IRS or solid axle rear and IFS front cross member, and i was to build a simply ladder chassis to hold them both. The front of the chassis will have to run upwards so the cross member can bolt in and the rear will as well. Obviously once the vehicle is finished assembled etc it needs to sit even, ie the chassis should be pretty much parallel with the ground. How do you figure out high to bring up the ends of the chassis to mount the suspension under. i assume if you have two cross members with Independent suspension you would want both of the rear mounts for the lower A-arms to be at the same height from the ground? or whats the proper procedure. What about a solid axel?

As you can see, im looking for finished complete plans for a reason... im completely lost

Last edited by Jonesy_sa; 11-27-2008 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy_sa
How do you figure out high to bring up the ends of the chassis to mount the suspension under.
I had to kick up the frame in the back AND front for my roadster build (see chassis section of build here). My basic solution to getting the ride height correct (and level) was to make my spring mounts adjustable.

Here's the basic frame:



Here's the adjustable mount for the front coil over springs:





Here's the adjustable mount for the rear coil springs (top cup):





Another alternative is to use adjustable coil overs or air bags to get the final ride height dialed in. Keep in mind however, that when you change inflate the bags or compress your coil overs, it will change the softness of the ride.

Here's a shot of how the air bags work on my '32 pickup suspension:

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Old 11-27-2008, 03:22 PM
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Let's go again on this please and I'll try to help. Here's what's confusing:

"Lets say i have sources a IRS/solid axle rear and IRS front crossmember, and i was to build a simply ladder chassis to hold them both."

IRS = independent rear suspension
solid axle rear = not independent rear suspension
IRS front crossmember = independent rear suspension front crossmember

Are you wanting to put a motor in the front of a bug with IFS and a solid rear diff or are you wanting to put a motor in the rear of a bug with IFS and IRS??

Making the frame is the easy part. I just need to know exactly what it is you want to do.

Us hotrodders are a strange lot. We want to cobble up a frame and then try to make it work and find a place to hang everything. That is not the way it works when the works cars are built. They lay out everything that needs to go on the car and then connect it all together with frame sections and crossmembers. I'll help you do that as soon as I find out what configuration you want.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:16 PM
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Lesson learnt, do not reply to forums at 2am
I am referring to IFS and either IRS or a Solid axle. Engine will be mounted upfront and i will just use what ever body i can get, ie VW, Morris, Austin are all cheap. I was not sure how one achieves the correct measurements etc
I have seen a complete independt suspension chassis and it appeared that the front and rear lower A-arms mounting points on the chassis were at the same hight if measured from the ground up. Thus i assumed that if i used IRS and IFS (in the from of a front cross member from donor vehicle and possibly jag rear) then it would simply be a be a case of drawing up a chassis that allowed both sub sections to be bolted on with the lower mounting piunts for A-arms the same distance from the ground????? Any truth in that?
What about solid axles? ie is there a rule like, if you draw a line parallel to level ground from centre of the front spindle to rear of vehicle, where on this line should the rear axle sit?

The reference to the bug was simply stating that i would like to build a rod in the traditional sense of using what's cheap. ie instead or useing a ford body which are dear, use a modified VW body removing front and rear sheet metal (refer images) Hot Rod parts are stupidly expensive in Australia!!



http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Im...E_VOLKSROD.jpg

Hope this clears up some confusion for everone.
cheers
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:10 PM
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There is so much more to IFS geometry than the lower a-arms being at the same attitude that it is impossible to address it here. If you really want to understand suspension geometry with all its nuances, I suggest you secure the book Tune To Win by Carroll Smith. You'll be amazed when the whole shebang comes together for you.

Aside from the furthering of your in-depth education, I'll lay out how I would accomplish what you want to do.

Determine the IFS you want to use. Look in the want ads and find that car for sale. Take an inclinometer and a 2-3 ft. length of flat, straight board with you (2 x 4 or whatever you have there) and go see the car. Take a tire pressure reading on the front tires to make sure they are both at the same pressure. It doesn't matter the pressure, so long as both are the same. Check to make sure they are both the same size and brand of tire. Scoot under the front and lay the board on the ground between the two front tires. Place the inclinometer on the board and take a reading. If the ground where the car is parked is not level (zero on the inclinometer), make arrangements with the owner to move or drive the car to a location where the ground is level. (witnessed by taking an inclinometer reading on the board). Now place the inclinometer up against the bottom of one of the lower a-arms and take a reading. Record the reading and where on the arm you took the reading. You will use it later to set up the front end. You will also want to take a reading on some part of the frame rail front to rear so that you can set up the front clip at the same attitude and it will be neither tipped forward nor backward from the original OEM design. Greasing up the owner of the car with a hot lunch and a pint should allow this process to go fairly smoothly.

The following will be my version of a down and dirty, low-buck frame/suspension build jig.
Find a fairly level and flat place to do the fabrication. Set up four elevated points made from wood so that you will have enough room to slide under the car to fabricate. I'm talking about 4 wooden stands where the tires will sit atop the stands. A height of 12-16 inches off the ground will work ok for what we have to do here, but of course the height is up to you and should be determined by how much room you think you will need to move around under the car. They should be as wide as the tires (with the centers of the stands being equal to the track width of your donor suspensions and the wheelbase of the body, 94 1/2" for a standard beetle I think) and maybe 8-12 inches long front to rear with chock boards nailed to the front and rear of the stands to prevent roll-off when you get farther along. Some guys will remove the wheels and tires and secure the clip by attaching to the spindles and that's ok too, if that's what you want to do. I would rather have the wheels and tires in place so I can eyeball the tire position in turns and make provision to miss the frame and other components and even turn the tires lock to lock to make sure. Sometimes you have to let a little air out of the tires to compensate for king pin angle when you do this, but it only takes one mess-up without tires and wheels on it for you to do it differently next time. You can start your stand-build by using a length of twine to establish your center of car position, nailing the twine to the ground, then measure out from each side of the twine half the track width on each side of the twine to establish the width placement of the stands in the event the track is different front to rear. Build the front stands first, then span a length of twine side to side across the center of the front stands. Measure back from the twine the length of the wheelbase you will use to establish placement of the rear stands. Use a long piece of straight, flat timber to span between the tops of the stands and use a level to make sure you are starting from a level and flat surface on all four stand points, front to rear, side to side and diagonally. Depending on the surface of the ground (dirt/asphalt/concrete), secure the stands so that they cannot move. You can drive large spikes or lengths of rebar into the dirt or asphalt, but will probably have to drill concrete to facilitate driving in a spike or piece of rebar on all four sides of each stand. The best plan of course, is to drill down through the center of the whole stack and fit a piece of threaded rod set in grout. Then counter-bore the top piece to make room for a washer and nut.

Another way to do it would be to rescue a couple of old driveshafts from the local boneyard. Dig a posthole. Cut the driveshaft to length and drop it in, leaving about 30" above the ground. Pour in mixed grout and level the post. Measure the distance from the outside of one of the front clip rails to the outside of the other one at some point front to rear of the clip that would represent a reasonable balance point, but staying clear of the steering in full strokes either way. Cut a piece of steel rectangular tubing to that length. Weld it to the driveshaft at a front to back angle that will agree with the angle of the clip rails at the point where the tubing will be welded to the clip rails. Use your level to level the tubing. Hoist the clip up onto the tubing and weld the rails to the tubing, using your inclinometer to insure that the front/rear tilt of the clip is exactly as it was on the actual car you checked. Don't worry about the weld. It can be ground off later if it shows after you cut the tubing away from the clip rails on completion of the project. Center the spindles and measure back the distance of the wheelbase you are going to build to. Dig another posthole and drop another "T". I'm sure you get the idea by now.

Now you have the front clip in your posession, complete with a-arms, springs, spindles, steering, brakes, wheels and tires. Making sure you have the same tires left to right, inflate both tires to 35 psi if you're going to sit the tires on stands. If you're using the "T" post method, remove the wheels and tires. You can mount them later when the whole mess is up on a jig in order to check for interference through the range of steering left to right. Using a spring compressor, compress the springs and disassemble the suspension to remove the springs on each side. Now, fabricate a fixture to replace the springs. This can be as simple as a length of threaded rod, nuts and some steel plates or large, thick steel washers. You will sandwich the upper spring perches and the lower a-arms with steel plate/washers on each side and the threaded rod through them with nuts on each side of the perches and a-arms. This threaded rod will take the place of the shock absorber. This will allow you to adjust the lower a-arm in relation the the frame and put it in the exact position it will be when the car is completed. Re-assemble the front clip with spindles.

Once you have the clip mounted, use your inclinometer to adjust the nuts to bring the a-arms to the same angle you registered when you took a reading on the actual car at ride height and then lock the nuts down. Also, use the inclimometer to set the front to back angle of the frame that you recorded on the actual car. (you will already have done that if you built "T" stands). I realize the previous sentences are easy to type and it will not be as simple as it sounds. You will have to fabricate some sort of contrivence to hold the front clip in position, but remember, this is the down and dirty, cheap way to do this. Using strap steel and anchoring the frame to the stands will aid in keeping everything in place while you work on it, although all components will retain better relationships with the clip frame rails welded to the T post method.

Repeat this process for the rear clip, measuring from some known hole or other appurtenance on the frame that is the same side to side on each clip will allow exact parallelism of the clips one to the other. Again, measure front to rear on each side and diagonally both ways. If it's within 2.0 mm, it's good to go.

Making a trolley arrangement (like the frame configuration on the kids swing set at the local park) with wheels on it will allow the body to be swung over the clips and lowered into position with a come-along (winch) so that you can determine the frame rails necessary to marry the clips together. You can get a leg up on this by emulating the body mounting holes on the VW floorpan and make up most of it before you actually get under and finalize the length and angles. If you want to use part of the original VW pan as your floor, trim it up so it misses the clips and attach to the body before swinging the body into place, then weld your frame rails to the pan and clips. Leave holes in your frame rails large enough to get a socket through so you can get to the bolts that secure the body to the pan in case you need to remove the body later. This is also where you set the attitude of the body. If you want a forward rake, then you mount the body on a rake and attach the frame rails to make it so. You don't mount the body level and then fart around with dropped spindles or other such nonsense later on. You have the clips at ride height where everything works like the OEM's intended, so use that to your advantage and like I said, set the body attitude where you want it before you strike an arc to weld the framerails into the clips. You can mount the body higher for runnin' over speed bumps, curbs and such or you can slam it to the ground. Now's the time to figure that out. I might add, leave the trolley, straps and winch in place with the body weight on them while fabricating the frame rails and anytime you're going to be under the car until the point where you drop the car off the stands.

Remove the doors before you start to mount the body. Make a length of square or rectangular steel tubing two feet wider than the body at the sills. Glue an inexpensive 6" level to the end of the tubing on each end. Lay the tubing across the sills with the levels on the bottom and attach the tubing to the sills with sheet metal screws. You'll be glad the levels are on the bottom when you're underneath the car trying to square it up.

If you're like me and not so good at overhead welding, then just attach the frame rails to the clips with several good strong tack welds, then complete welding with the body off where you can get to the weld points on top, then flip the whole chassis over and finish welding. The whole clip may move a little from the heat of welding, but if you use the same heat and penetration side to side, they'll move evenly.

Upon final assembly, you may discover that the total weight on either the front or rear is insufficient to compress the springs to the point they were in the original OEM setup. You have choices here. Remove the springs and cut them to drop the body to the proper place or research and find weaker springs. Cutting the springs will increase the spring rate and the car will ride rougher than it would have with the original uncut springs, but hey, this is a hot rod and we're doin' it down and dirty and cheap. Upon reassembly after cutting the springs, re-check the lower a-arms with your inclinometer with the car on the ground and weigh on the tires/wheels. You want the lower a-arms to be at the exact same attitude as OEM. Go easy on this cutting the springs business. Better to do a little at a time than to end up with the springs too short and screw up the suspension geometry.

There, pretty easy huh?

Last edited by techinspector1; 11-29-2008 at 01:22 AM.
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