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Old 09-27-2011, 06:54 AM
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wanting to channel my 50 shoebox sdn.

My old ford has been waiting patiently in the barn, it time to plug in the sawzall. Im lookin for some tech. on channeling but havent had much luck. Can anybody point me in the right direction. I think I've got the top chop figured out but would really love to hear from somebody that has experienced a 4-6" channel on one of these old fords...thanks

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Old 09-27-2011, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kruze
My old ford has been waiting patiently in the barn, it time to plug in the sawzall. Im lookin for some tech. on channeling but havent had much luck. Can anybody point me in the right direction. I think I've got the top chop figured out but would really love to hear from somebody that has experienced a 4-6" channel on one of these old fords...thanks
Channeling the body over the frame to achieve a lower stance is accomplished by cutting out the floor from the body, lowering the body over the frame rails the amount you wish and then re-attaching the flooring to the body. Additional supports for the body are usually fabricated as well.

The '49-'51 Ford vehicles were usually lowered by front and rear suspension mods rather than channeling. Lowering blocks in the 2"-4" range were the most common method for lowering the rear. The rear frame rails were often modified (either C'd or Z'd) to allow clearance for the rear axle housing. In severe lowering the driveshaft tunnel was often raised for clearance. Lowering the front end was accomplished by heating the coils to allow them to collapse (NOT recommended), cutting the coils (also NOT recommended), Lowering blocks were sometimes used (these were placed between the lower 'A' arm and the support plate). The best way to lower the front using today's methods are with dropped spindles. These are safer than the above methods and the ride will be similar to the stock ride with the exception of less ground clearance.

Another often used more up to date method is to use airbags or hydraulics. Either system is somewhat complicated but are adjustable as to ride height and can radically alter the appearance.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:56 AM
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You'll need a lot more than a sawzall...first off ,its a lot of work dont get into it thinking "all I gotta do is.." your car might end up at the crushers. dropped spindles might be the easist way to get it lower but 2" is about the max..air bags only lower the car when its not moving ,to work properly they must operate at the same ride hight as the original springs. so if you want more than 2" of drop ,channeling is a good option plus lowering the center of gravity will make it handle better.channeling it will also make a drastic change to the overall look of the car (for the better IMO)
Heres a pic of two plymouths business coupes one is channeled one is original
and a few more of whats involved....Its hard work and not to be taken lightly but if your determined its not that complicated. I'm sure you can do it...
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:50 PM
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The sweetest channel job I have ever seen was a 50 Ford.

The builder fab'd a complete new perimeter frame.

The frame basically looked like a back half drag chassis, connected to a front clip with rectangular tubing running along the inside of the oem rockers.

I do not know if the trans tunnel was raised, if it was it was subtle as it didn't jump out as such.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:50 AM
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Actually, the tranny tunnel would remain the same since the floor stays in place the body drops past it.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:31 AM
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The best looking shoebox Fords that I've seen and in my opinion were sectioned - along with a top chop (or not). Don't think a channel over original frame rails will work well - but it is your car, tho I'd really hate to see any failure
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
Actually, the tranny tunnel would remain the same since the floor stays in place the body drops past it.
The floor in the 50 ford I saw was sunken, a step down threshold. ( somewhat like an 85 vette.) gives more headroom with the chopped top.
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
Actually, the tranny tunnel would remain the same since the floor stays in place the body drops past it.
This statement is correct for a channeled car.

If the car is just lowered in the rear by modifying the suspension (i.e. lowering blocks, spring eyes reversed, re-arched spring, etc.); the driveshaft will often interfere with the tunnel. This can be 'fixed' by raising the tunnel. The rear frame rails may also have to be modified (C'd or Z'd) to clear the axle housing with severe lowering on a vehicle that is not channeled.
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:34 AM
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IMO almost every car looks better a little lower,some a lot lower....some of these old cars have more ground clearance than todays 4wd's....One of the nice things about a channel job is the suspension remains unchanged from stock and still has full travel...Its deffinetely not the easist way to get a lower stance but it might be the best way if you want more than a couple inches.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:04 AM
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prep first.

Before you start cutting, make sure where the body can go down. Strip off the front end, gas tank, engine and trans out. .Weld in flat 12 Ga sheet strips about 1 1/2 inch wider than your channel verticle to the existing floor and to the inner body inner side of the door post back to the wheel house. add upright bracing where needed, inside the trunk opening . and in the front foot well sides area. plan where to cut the firewall so you have a lap joint and how to lower the steering column. Then lots of sissor jacks and wood blocks. add some cross bracing inside . Scribe some lines on the flat sheet the amount of the channel ..Then cut the floor as close as possible to the flat sheet, lower the body to the scribe lines then use some 1 x 1 angle between the floor and added side strips That gives you easier welding. You will probably need new seats or new brackets so you will still be able to get your legs under the inst panel. New bumper mounting brackets. don't give up half way thru, it's a lot of work. We have a gantry crane, backhoe, and rotisserie so it,s easier to finally get the body off and do some of the bottom welds standing up.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:21 AM
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Slammin my 50 ford

Many thanks to the input given by: Frisco, Deadbodyman, Oldfool, Irelands Child, and Timothale regarding my post.
I wonder if its possible to Z the stock frame ? I guess I will go with a clip and r.blocks. The problem with every clipped shoebox that ive seen is the wheels are out of the wells because the clip is too wide and bags and hydraulics just create other alignment headaches to deal with.
Does anyone know of any tech articles available on clippin a 50 ford.
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kruze
I wonder if its possible to Z the stock frame ? I guess I will go with a clip and r.blocks. The problem with every clipped shoebox that ive seen is the wheels are out of the wells because the clip is too wide and bags and hydraulics just create other alignment headaches to deal with.
Does anyone know of any tech articles available on clippin a 50 ford.
Yes, the stock frame can be Z'd. This would be the strongest method. To accomplish this without removing the body, the trunk flooring must be temporarily removed to gain access to the frame rails.

Often the frames only had a 'C' section welded into the frame rails directly above the axle housings to gain clearance. This is an easier method but does not offer the rear frame strength when running the stock rear spring setup. If you used coil springs or airbags in the rear, C'ing the frame shouldn't be a problem as to strength.

The main consideration as to Z'ing or C'ing the frame is how low you want to go. If 2"-3" lowering blocks will get you down where you want to be, you shouldn't need to modify the frame at all. Even that small of a drop will cause the rear bumper to drag on some driveway ramps.

I have never understood the reasoning behind swapping out (clipping) the front suspension on the '49 and up Fords. The suspension is fine as is although it may need to be rebuilt. It can be lowered using aftermarket dropped spindles. Updating to disc brakes shouldn't be much of a challenge. Swapping out the engine can be done with the original frame using just about any engine desired. Other than not having power steering on the earlier models (and even that can be added), I just do not see any advantage for the work involved.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:07 AM
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I subframed my car and I sure learned a lot about suspensions ,I 'm not sure if I would do another one. On one hand it was much cheaper and I learned a ton of stuff but on the other hand I still want tubeular control arms and it would be a whole lot faster, better looking and functioning if I went with a complete crossmember kit,But when I started this car it was my plan to build it with completely with easily available junk yard parts.(old school).Getting a subframe with the same track width is the important first step..
When I channeled my car I did not remove the body ,first I welded 1x1 to the door jambs then put legs on to hold the body up when I cut out the floor..after everything was cut out I cut a few inches out of the legs and lowered the body down and welded the legs back up,(see post 3 ,pics 2,3&4)
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:53 AM
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hamb tech

On the Hamb website there is a tech writeup and picts of someone c' and z' ing the frame on a shoe box. On a shoebox how much does the frame extend past the bottom of the frame ? Channeling usually is done on cars where the body sits on the top of the frame, like a model A or 32 ford. I saw a Shoe box "roadster " at Paseo a few years ago. It was kind of like the transformation Ford did to make a 55 thunderbird based on the full sized cars. The chassis and body were shortened and the body was channeled, The bottom sheetmetal ,quarters , doors, etc were trimmed off. A lot easier than cutting out a Section and rewelding in the middle of the doors, quarters, fenders etc. I also saw a 51 or 52 chevy " Roadster" at bonneville a few years ago, same thing. They all took lots of work.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:03 PM
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old hot rod builder

Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
You'll need a lot more than a sawzall...first off ,its a lot of work dont get into it thinking "all I gotta do is.." your car might end up at the crushers. dropped spindles might be the easist way to get it lower but 2" is about the max..air bags only lower the car when its not moving ,to work properly they must operate at the same ride hight as the original springs. so if you want more than 2" of drop ,channeling is a good option plus lowering the center of gravity will make it handle better.channeling it will also make a drastic change to the overall look of the car (for the better IMO)
Heres a pic of two plymouths business coupes one is channeled one is original
and a few more of whats involved....Its hard work and not to be taken lightly but if your determined its not that complicated. I'm sure you can do it...
this is great addvice and good photo's cant use to many brace's keep it square
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