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Old 06-24-2015, 10:08 PM
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1932 Ford TCI Frame

I had an opportunity to go to my favorite car show, as I do each year, and found this time a dozen '32 Fords (full fendered) of all types; sedans, fordors, coupes, roadsters. They were taking their yearly jaunt and this time it was to this show. They were all from California and they were spectacular. Upon talking to a few of the owners, I found that they all had TCI frames and all of them had problems in one way or the other. I mentioned that I had to cut my fender braces to get clearance for the IFS and they had to do this as well. However, when I asked what they did for clearance (my 195x65x15 tire hits the top of the fender brace when bounced), some remarked that they solved the problem by cutting the fender brace at the head light bar bolts and then welding a strap of metal to it to catch the outer fender bolt. This gave an additional 1 1/2" clearance. I've never heard of anyone doing that (and liking it) and wonder if anyone has done this procedure? Some even used a 14" wheel, for additional clearance, but that is not what I'm looking for.

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Old 06-25-2015, 07:38 AM
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I doubt very much that the 'problem' is just with a TCI frame. If they are using a dropped solid front axle, that wheel and tire will sit higher in the wheel well by whatever that drop is built into that new axle. If they are using an IFS, some sort of dropped front suspension is --- you guessed it, built into the assembly. Like it or not, you will need to modify the fender brackets, especially for the IFS front suspension. You can either change the mounting point on the frame or you can 'C' notch it to clear. And quite frankly, in the building of the car, really not a big deal, it just takes some time to think your mods through and do them.

Mine is a '30-'31, but for all intents, the fender brackets are about the same - and this is part of my mods. I also had to cut a small section out, rearch and reweld to raise it higher and reshape the outer attachment point - of which I have no photos of those other 'fixes'.



My car has a TCI IFS 'A' chassis but with someone elses fender braces, probably Vintique

Dave W
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:13 AM
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The IFS to fender brace clearance problem has nothing to do with the chassis being TCI. The interference comes with the IFS, full fendered, and the low stance. Some builders do make their own fender braces out of flat stock, rather than use Henry's original brace. I also notched mine like Dave's photo shows and I do have a 14" wheel size up front.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:58 AM
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Just as a note, my front tires are 15's --- 205-60x15 Yokohama AVS on 3.5" back space wheels and on my '31, so far not a sign of a rub:



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27Tall T (06-28-2015)
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:43 AM
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I had to cut my brackets as shown for the '31. But now the problem is to have the wheel clear the brace at the top, which may necessitate cutting the bracket again, only in a different place. Had I known this before hand I might have chosen a different manufacturer....and then maybe not. Thanks for the insight.
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:48 AM
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Here's a my TCI '32 chassis, same deal on the IFS clearance mod. As said it's not the TCI chassis but the way the fender bracket is set in the stock location. Can you gain some room by adjusting your coil overs?
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27Tall T (06-28-2015)
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:38 PM
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My coil overs cannot be adjusted anymore as the A-arms are now slightly down of being parallel to the ground. I had changed the coil overs from the original TCI (200#) to those of 350#. Presently they are now set up at being about 1/2 way up the threaded shock.

Just recently I had spoken about this to one of my friends, who also has coil overs in his '32, and he has 450# on his. Mind you he has a Ford engine, fuel injected and air conditioning. I think that this is going beyond the required rate (overkill), but he claims that it is just right for him.

If I go to the next coil which is 50# higher (400#), would this be enough? Adjusting the coil over would make it come not as far up the shock, making the A-arm parallel to the ground. As it is now the car rides beautifully, but when I go around a corner (hard) I can hear the tire hit (rub) the inner brace. My wheels have a 4" backspace and anything different there wouldn't make a difference. And so what is the easiest and cheapest solution, cutting brackets or buying another set of coils?
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:32 PM
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I wouldn't be as concerned with the control arms being level as I would how much shock travel is left on compression and rebound. At ride height you should have 60 percent of the total shock travel for suspension to compress before bottoming out, and 40 percent for suspension to drop. If you have a shock with 3.5" of total travel, you should have 2 1/8" of shock shaft showing at ride height. It would help to know how much of the shock travel is being used when the car weight is resting on the suspension at ride height. This will tell you if you can go to the 400# spring. One inch of shock travel to support the car weight is usually considered as ideal. Less would indicate too heavy of a spring, and much more would show spring to be too soft.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:06 PM
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Now you have me going.....As it sits, I measured what I had left for the shock to travel (compression) and I have approximately 1 1/2"left, which I feel is not enough , although I've never really felt it bottoming when driving. The coil ring is midway on the shock and as I said the A-arms are pointing slightly down. If what you say is true, then I have to go to the 400# in order to increase the shock (compression) distance and at the same time keep the A-arms parallel to the ground. In so doing the coil ring will then be lower down rather than midway. Am I right in the hypothesis?
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:52 AM
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The coil ring location on the threads is getting you confused. The threaded area of the shock is there to allow for different length and rate springs to be used. Where the ring is located on the threads means nothing. The 1 1/2" of shock travel will be 2 1/4" to 2 1/2" travel at the tire/wheel. If your tire is hitting the fender on hard cornering you need to raise the front of the car, which will increase the 1 1/2" to 1 3/4" or more, or you must increase the spring rate. Street rods are limited in suspension travel by design. The coilovers used on them just don't have much travel. This is especially true on a full fendered car as you have found on your car. Keeping the lower control arm approximately level is done to keep the camber change during suspension travel to a minimum. It has less camber change if the lower ball joint is 1/2" lower than or level with the inner bushings at ride height. If the lower ball joint is higher than bushings at ride height, then the camber changes quicker on compression. Remove the spring from coilover and block the car up at ride height, then jack the suspension with wheel/tire mounted through the shock travel to see all this firsthand.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:27 PM
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hotrod4dad ..... that was a great explanation.
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:55 PM
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I hate to do this now, especially when summer time is here!
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