I had entertained the thought of using a '97-up dakota frame as it has the wider track which the Studebaker has. I decided against it mainly for the damn 6 bolt wheels. Ford hubs don't fit and I lost my access to a mill so I can't re-drill them. The frame is some huge hydroformed monster that''s got to weigh a ton. It's also 6" deep.
The difference between the upper and lower mount on the T-bird rear is 6" so that kind of dictated the size. I thought of making a tube space frame as that would look very cool but by the time I had it all fabricated, I'd have about as much metal as the 6x3.
The crown vic was chosen because it's R&P and 12' disc brakes. It's also a complete unit so I don't have to fight with some Mc pherson monkey motion. It just happens to be aluminum. There's an extensive article on ford truck enthusiasts website about a conversion and it looks pretty trick. Actually not an advantage because now I have galvanic issues to deal with.
I don't mean to sound insulting to those rodders with beer can frames.
My first project was stuffing a 390 in the Stude. It had worn mechanical drum brakes & armstrong steering and what are shocks? It was scary fast but only by the grace of God am I here to tell you about it. Now I want something that is predictable and responds to my commands. Most importantly, I want to show that old iron can smoke some fancy new looser cruiser.
What I really,really want to know is what is the normal weight range of a 1/2 ton truck frame? Bigger is better (size not weight ) but if the difference is substantial, I will adjust accordingly.