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Old 05-12-2008, 07:49 PM
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Tips on hot rod frame building

I am going to start my scratch build pickup and I want to get some input on building a frame for it. I plan on using 2X4 steel tubing to use as my main two "rails" and using the same stuff to add members that run to each side so it should look like this
______________
___l____l___l___


How should I mount the rear axel?
Would it be easier to use airbags with shocks or leaf springs ?

Do you see and downfalls in my design keep in mind this is my first scratch build.

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Old 05-12-2008, 07:56 PM
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I think I would start with a chalk outline on the floor of the garage. I would use real wheels to see how it would fit in with my design. What kind of pickup is it?
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:06 PM
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If you are using 2X4 tubing, how will you run your brake lines and wiring? Channel would be easier to work with and provide you a place to run your lines. Crossmembers would be easier to to mount. 2x4 tubing is used more by production frame shops that have mandrell benders to work the metal, ie Chris Aston Chassis.

Does the pickup that you have require a kickup rear frame or a straight frame to carry the lines of the body?

Check out my gallery pictures on Pg 89 and see a picture there titled "LIFT CLEARANCE" to see the underside of my '40 Ford P/u and how the channel works for you. Also see Pg 75.

Last edited by alittle1; 05-12-2008 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:15 PM
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Take a look at Cboy's journal and look at mine to get some ideas of where to start and how to lay it out..I hope you have your rear and front axles on hand as well as the body you intend to use as you need them to take off measurements from// BTW I would up using 2x6 tube and am glad I did as it gave me some more room for things like mufflers and such..

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Last edited by OneMoreTime; 05-12-2008 at 08:16 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:43 PM
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I plan on a 34' ford pick up style.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:56 PM
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Also I am starting to second guess my straight frame made from scratch and just get a rolling S-10 chassie and build from there (body bed )
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:50 PM
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'34 sheet metal will require you to pinch the frame in front and the open flared front fenders will show a lot of the chassis and suspension, which can get really ugly. A straight frame will give you lots of height, if that what you are going for. The kick up at the rear will bring it back down to more realistic proportion.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:56 PM
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I would be building my own cab to so I could make the cab fit the frame.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chlsnk
I would be building my own cab to so I could make the cab fit the frame.
Valiant effort!! Good luck on your endeavours. You can always get some help on this site if you need it.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alittle1
Valiant effort!! Good luck on your endeavours. You can always get some help on this site if you need it.
There is no two ways about it but hot rodding has really gotten expensive to buy a body that dosen't need thousands of dollars of rust repair it pretty much unatainable for me but building one lets me make the car how I want to look and I won't be able to compain that there is something that I don't like about it because it was made by my own hand. But the last hold out on really cheap parts has been the swap meets. At the last one I got 2 350 blocks and one 400 for a grand total of $30 yeah $30 one 350 had a crank pistons cam oil pan timing chain and the other 350 I have a stock cam for already and it came with a crank that needs turned. Just shows that one mans trash that his wife said not to bring back home it another mans treasure. I also picked up a set of craigars mounted on slicks and the front wheels mounted on nothing for $20 and there was my 2 holly carbs for $5 a piece and I used one for spare parts and the other is working great.
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chlsnk
Also I am starting to second guess my straight frame made from scratch and just get a rolling S-10 chassie and build from there
A mini truck chassis may sound easy enough, but they create a whole separate set of issues...even when building your own body. Chief among the problems is looks. Here is basically what you will be contending with (this is a Mazda pickup...but not all that different from an S-10.)





Besides the clunky looks, just about everything on the mini pickup chassis will turn out to be in the wrong place including the steering box, steering arms and steering column as well as the front crossmember which is huge and will severely limit engine placement and radiator placement. In addition the frame width at the cowl will make any 20's or 30's body style you build look fat and awkward (the frame in the above pictures has already been narrowed about 18".)

Having build cars both ways (mini pickup chassis and simple ladder frames) I would have to say that the mini pickup option is MUCH more challenging and difficult to make look right. Obviously, if looks are not your concern, then a stock mini-chassis can be used and some sort of body built to sit on top of it. But think long and hard before investing your time and money into a car like that. I have yet to see one used in an open wheel car that looks really good...and I've seen dozens of attempts - including my own.

I don't want to discourage you from your plans, but from my limited experience, you will be much happier with the simple ladder type chassis you originally considered.
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:10 AM
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check out this site http://www.morbid-rodz.com/ I don't there bodies are the greatest, the roadster looks like a box and the Sedan looks kind of odd in the rear, the only 1 I would really consider is the truck cab... but the $1,500 for a roller frame isn't bad provided it is a sound frame.
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:36 AM
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Building your own frame is a little more complicated than you may think. So is modifying a frame. If you want to check out how I started when building my frame for my 34 pickup you can find it here..http://dons.zenfolio.com/p861300798/...7E88#902594184

There is a breif discription for each picture below the picture.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:00 AM
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Hot rod frame building

How stuck are you on the '34 body? In the last few years these cabs have become very popular and expensive. Wouuld you consider a Model A instead? Building a pickup cab from a cowl and 2 doors would be much more cost effective. I just bought the above pieces along with a frame and both front and rear ends for $250. The plan is to use 2 more doors for the quarter panels and fab a flat back panel for the cab.

The 2x4 tubing will work for the frame but to make it look 'right' you will want to taper the front of the rails about 27" back. You only need 2" at the front cross member.

I would suggest you build your body first, then have the pickup box, engine, front and rear suspensions before you design your frame.

Good luck with this project. It's a big one, but it will be really gradifing when it's done.

Ron
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:02 AM
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Hot rod frame building

Here's a link to a thread on tapering your rails;

http://www.tbucketeers.com/forum/f5/...ame-rails-952/

Ron
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