Have never done one myself but have seen many done. It is a matter of doing just what it sounds like you would do; cut the floor out of the body, lower the body over the chassis/floor, then weld in sheet metal spacers between the floor and new, lower body location.
Willy's36 is correct as usual, that is the basic idea. The word is self exsplnatory, you actually make Channels for your frame to fit into to lower the body over the frame to get a lower profile without sacraficing rideability with alot of lowering methods.
Thanks guys, HK, are you saying that the floor-pan would look like it was vacuum-formed over the frame? I guess I had imagined a few inverted "L" shaped brackets welded to the body whose base would rest on the frame, and a flat floor pan would be welded to these which would stiffen the body and cover them from side to side and the firewall back, creating a sorta monocoque unit. I thought I'd place these "L"'s at the original body mount sites and through-bolt the floor-pan, and "L"'s to the frame useing a rubber/nylon insulater at each mount. whaddya think? Would you weld a piece of small round stock along the lower inside edge of the body to stiffen it or is that over-kill?
Slomotion: I am the proud owner of a 1950 F-1 Ford P/U which, like the song "she is chopped and channeled and stroked and bored" but not a Little Deuce Coupe.
I think the term Channeling is a bit more generic than to suggest that there was any one specific way to get the body lower on the frame. You can also get a similar effect by modifying the frame itself. In the back of my truck, I raised the shackle attachment points and flattened the spring leaves to get the body lower over the frame. I lowered it about 9" in total this way. As a result, I had to weld in a "C" notch in the frame to allow the axle to clear the frame. Additionally, you can "z" the frame, meaning that a part of the frame is lowered under the body of the car so that the body sits lower relative to the ground. Think of it as though you cut the frame in half and weld the top of one section to what was the bottom before. This is pretty easy to do for the back part of the frame because the "Z" is done in the fender well area where there is room to raise the level of the frame and any channeling is restricted to the trunk or in my case the truck bed area. I compensated by raising the floor of the truck inside of the box. The box sits relative to the cab where is should but the bottom of the truck box is higher inside the box than is standard. In front, it is most common to lower the graft point of the frame to a front clip. For instance, in my truck, I welded in a Gen1 Camaro clip and got it lowered about 6" just in the welding and another 3" in wheel and tire size. I still have stock suspension height at the bottom of the suspension and the springs are uncut at stock height and a very good ride with a front sway bar. In fact, I have less than a pack of cigarettes clearance under the back of the front fenders but have almost no body roll in the corners. I drive it like it was a sports car. If you plan this out carefully, you can get a lot of lowereing done without disturbing the interior of the body. I think the techniques I described above would pass for channeling.
If you are really interested in the history of Channeling, I suggest you go over to the Jalopy Journal website and get onto the HAMB (Hokey *** Message Board) section and ask a question about Channeling. The board is frequented by a crowd of guys who invented the term hot rodding and built the first rods. They know a tremendous amount about the craft. Their help was invaluable to me when I did my project.
[ December 12, 2002: Message edited by: F-1Rodder ]</p>
slo I would think a little about what F-1 was talking about to get the look your after. if your working on your little pickup.
channeling it 4-6 inches looks cool but you don't lose that much head room. you lose that much foot room. if you Z the frame front and rear you can achieve the look and keep the room.and if you want to get radical you can do both but I would suggest you Z first and sit in it.try adding 4 inch blocks to the seat and floor and see how you like the fit!
I'm working on a much larger car, a 48 ford business coupe and space is not a problem. I've got the chassis as low as I can and still drive but not as low as I want so I'm in progress on channeling and that means building an entire new floor from the cowl to the trunk and raising all the body mounts. new door sills relocating the steering column,brake,clutch and gas pedals lowering the seat stands and I'm sure to run into some other things as I go. but I need the look!
Thanks for all the in-put! The "Jalopy Journal" (Bench Rodding) is a site I'm going to explore
some more...looks pretty good!
Oldcarglassguy, I'm not going to cut up my '33, it's body is bone-stock. The only thing I've done is juice brakes, 12V system and a late flatmotor as far as mods go.
Truth be known, a friend of mine has a '31 coupe that is going "the route" chop, channel, boxed frame etc.. The channeling was the only thing that I didn't have a clear picture of and I needed a little back-ground so I wouldn't feel quite as numb! Thanks again...