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Old 10-31-2009, 06:21 PM
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working on 49 chevy shortbox

I'm starting with just a frame leaf springs mounted "no axles" how can i find the wheelbase and the center of the wheels so that I can sub it and place my rearend any help?

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Old 11-03-2009, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by anyting but original
I'm starting with just a frame leaf springs mounted "no axles" how can i find the wheelbase and the center of the wheels so that I can sub it and place my rearend any help?
All OEM frames have holes punched or drilled to mount various components that will be the same distance front to rear, spring mounts, shock bracket mounts, engine mounts, etc. On the passenger side, measure from the center of one of the spring mount rivet heads to any punched hole on the front of the frame. Write it down. Now, measure the same point to point on the driver's side. Write it down. If they're close to the same, within a sixteenth inch, you have found the proper front holes that match each other side to side. Now, string your tape from the LR point to the RF point, diagonally. Write it down. Now, string your tape from the RR point to the LF point, diagonally. Write it down. If your diagonal measurements are within 1/8 inch, you're ok to go ahead with this frame. If the measurements are off more than that, the frame has been tweaked. It will need to be put on a frame machine and squared or you will need to find a valid frame to start your project with.

If the diagonal measurements check out, set the frame up on jackstands on a LEVEL surface, with a long level placed across the rear rails so that they are level. Place a third jackstand under the front crossmember and level the frame front to rear by placing a level in the driver/passenger area on top of the framerail. Now, measure from the floor to the bottom of the framerail on each side at the front. This will tell you if the frame is tweaked in the other dimension, sort of like an airplane propeller is twisted. If there is no more than 1/8 inch of twist in the frame front to rear, you have indeed found a valid frame to begin your project. If there's more twist than that, it's back to the frame machine to bend the twist out of it or start with another frame.

Insuring yourself that the frame is valid to begin with will sidestep a ton of problems down the road.

If you will tell us EXACTLY what you are starting with and EXACTLY what your plans for it are, there are lots and lots of guys on this forum who can simplify the process for you. Many of us have "been there, done that" and can save you effort, heartache and money on your project if you will cooperate. What frame? What body? Is this the '49 Chevy pickup that was in the title of your thread? What suspension? Clip(s) from what? Built high with lots of road clearance? Built low to hang up on speed bumps? Onroad use? Offroad use? What motor? What transmission? Street car? Street/strip car? Road race car? Mud bogs? Sand drags? Will you expect the car/truck to handle well on twisty roads? Back and forth to bingo for grandma? Silver State Classic? Bonneville? Dry Lakes? Parking lot Gymkhana? Roadster with the top cut off? Chopped top? Channelled? Sectioned? Front or rear engine? Cooling system? Fuel system? Exhaust system? What wheelbase?(on a clipped truck, place the tires/wheels into the wheelwells with the body on jackstands. Stand back and "eyeball" the front to rear placement of the tires so that it looks right. Measure center to center of the wheels. That will establish your wheelbase). Track width?(Don't choose a clip until you figure out the stock track and the clip track). Tires/wheels? Rat rod? Car show entrant? Fenders or no fenders? Pickup bed or no bed? Emissions?

Last edited by techinspector1; 11-03-2009 at 12:14 PM.
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