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Old 04-13-2010, 08:40 AM
sauterindy
 
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Model A Frame Diagonal tolerance

Picked up a project with stock model A frame already with Corvette rear end attached. Put straight axle on front and in measuring diagonal across the frame I am getting 1/8 to 3/16 inches difference. Should I start over on the frame? Going to be investing lot of time and money but not sure ordering new one from TCI in CA (bare bones with only front and back cross members in place, although already set up for the C2 rear) is worth it (plus $500 crating and shipping on top of price). I think i should but just having trouble pulling the trigger.
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:58 AM
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out of sq frame...

why don't u just take it to a frame shop and have it sq'd up??
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sauterindy
in measuring diagonal across the frame I am getting 1/8 to 3/16 inches difference.
That should be an acceptable tolerance. It can be tweaked even closer since only the front and rear cross-members are installed.

Be sure to 'box' the frame for later model engine/trans usage.

The advantage to using an aftermarket frame is somewhat obvious. New steel, rectangular tubing, welded in cross-members (rather than riveted), no extra holes to be filled in. Tolerances will probably be in the same range you have found with the Model 'A' frame you have.

Disadvantage is the new frame will either have no numbers stamped on it or will have MSO numbers stamped on it. Stock frame will have original Ford Serial numbers stamped on it. This will make a major difference when getting a new title for the vehicle if you want it to be registered as a Ford Model 'A'. Check with your state as they all are different regarding this. Stamping the Ford Serial numbers on a custom built or aftermarket frame is illegal in all states.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:10 AM
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frame tolerances

Honestly, those small tolerances are well within expectations for an original frame AND has been stated here a couple of posts ago...even a new frame might not be much closer. Small discrepencies like these are certainly overcome in doing alignments.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:11 AM
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The original Model A frame is 78 to 82 years old and no one has any idea of how many miles it was driven over the primitive roads of the 1930's and '40s. While these frames were built to be flexible, most have cross member cracks at a minimum. Then sometime in their past, they were possibly tweaked in an accident. Many also have cracks at some of the holes along the frame. Then to make it worse, many are heavily pitted from either laying out in the elements or being driven in the rust belt. A frame from TCI is made up of all new tubular steel or other new steel stock - not something that's now old that may have many unseen flaws in the steel molecular structure - then, what's your time worth to box and repair your existing frame

I have a TCI frame - it is diagonally within less then .062, has new cross members and no corrosion or pitting nor any hidden cracking. As far as shipping, my local supplier "helped" on the delivery charges, i.e. $200

Of course, you might just be lucky and have a really good frame!!!



Oh yeah, I AM using the old VIN and stamped it into the frame

Dave W
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:44 AM
sauterindy
 
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Frame

Good feedback, kind of thought was probably within tolerance from original. Unfortunately someone already welded the crossmembers in place and the center one there as well or else might try to tweak (will be cutting it out). I do have to box it in yet and does appear to be in really good condition, just not totally happy with the bracketing used for adding the C2 rear end. I'm still debating on the TCI and I have original title so no issue there. I'll look for more feedback before deciding but fundamentally know it is "within tolerance" now.
thanks
js
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
Oh yeah, I AM using the old VIN and stamped it into the frame

Dave W
This has been a very common practice in the past with formerly no problems.

Since the Boyd Coddington fiasco a few years back, many states (including my state of North Carolina) are really cracking down on this practice. I recently had to have an out of state purchase of an older (1972) motorcycle inspected before a title would be issued. When I inquired to the NC State inspector (an LEO in the State Highway Trooper division) about this new (about 2 years now) procedure, he said they (inspectors) had to take a crash course because of the 'KIT' cars being brought into the state and being registered as 'old' vehicles. As a result, all vehicles more than 35 years old are now exempt from the state safety (smog and equipment) inspections, but are considered to be antique vehicles and will need to be inspected as to the originality of the serial (VIN) numbers as to there location and style of stamps used. Vehicles currently registered and titled in the state do not have this (extra) inspection when being transferred to a new owner in the same state.

Another separate note.

When I sold my Model 'A' coupe to a fellow in Ohio about 18 months ago, he told me that he had to have a 'plate' made with the serial numbers stamped on it and then riveted to the firewall to get it titled in his state. The original Ford Model 'A' serial numbers were stamped on the aftermarket frame in very near the 'original' location with factory correct stamps. Unfortunately they are not visible unless the body is removed. I also received a form to be filled out and notarized from the state of Ohio with regards to the selling price of the vehicle. This was so that he could not claim a lower selling price to pay less use tax. If I didn't return the form to the state he would not be able to get a title.

Bottom line:

It's all about money! The state(s) feel they are being cheated, so new laws, new rules, additional training and additional manpower are needed. Thus more money. Vicious circle folks.
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