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I am still trying to put my 34 Ford truck together. I have picked up the cab off of an old farm truck, and have found a bed also. I am trying to start a rat rod, but can not find a used frame. What I need, is ideas of different ideas for frames that I can use a straight axle front end. I am working on a serious budget, so there is really no money right now to buy or build a frame. I just need your help with ideas.


Thanks!
Mike
 

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You might try Total Performance in Wallingford, Ct. Their number is 203 265 5667, ask for Dan, he is very helpful and knows what he is talking about. They sell Kits for the older cars, I don't know about the trucks, but it might be worth a try. autopro2297
 

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Street Rodder Magazine has been running a series of articles the last couple of months on building a low buck but safe rat rod. They built the frame from scratch. Article had all the how tos. IIRC, they built the bare frame for less than what it would probably cost you to modify one from the junk yard. I think the articles started in the September issue (can you tell that I can't find my copy at this moment? It's around here somewhere.). The October issue covered the front suspension. The November issue covered the motor mounts. The December covered the rear end. They also had articles on fabbing a firewall and bobbing a bed.
 

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Also look at early 50s pickup frames. Real simple, strong and most are straight, well actually dropped, axle front ends. I am eyeing one from a 50s chevy that I can bring home for $30 and it's a roller with a steering box.
 

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Rectangular 2X3 or 2X4 .180 wall box tubing is your best bet.

Building a lightweight little car on any flavor of later frame is asking for poor ride and a major case of UGLY too.
The axles of many later pickups with dual springs suspension up front do have upward bends at the ends but are not dropped axles. The term dropped axle means dropped "X" inches OVER STOCK. Thus an aftermarket axle that is dropped is dropped "X" inches over the stock dimensions of the axle application it is replacing.
Placement of the spring and spring mounts in relation to the axles and frame can make a stock straight axle work just fine on a low car.
 

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its rectangle box tubing , that you "taper", by cutting a wedge out of the sides of the tubing then weld em back up.

tapering your rails adds strength to them..a triangle is stronger than a square!

also makes it look better. IMO

i took my rails, cut a wedge on each side, 60" back from the front of the rail.
the rear of the taper measuring 4 inches in heighth, and the front is 2.5" with both still being 2" wide.

ill get some pics for you later on in the day.
 

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h0trod389 said:
..a triangle is stronger than a square...
I believe this is only true of "open sided" squares, for example the stud wall of a house. The way you keep such an open sided square from flopping sideways is to add triangulation...in the form of a metal bar or 2x4 placed at an angle across the studs or by hanging a 4x8 sheet of plywood on each corner of the house.

But when you are talking about a "closed sided" square, such as a length of square tubing (or a 4x8 sheet of plywood), the triangulation is already built in. A solid square (or rectangle for that matter) is simple two triangles, one on top of the other. So cutting a wedge shaped piece out of the sides of a length of tubing does not add any strength. In fact, I think it could be argued that is reduces the strength.

But then maybe I am misunderstanding what you are talking about doing here.
 

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cboy said:
I believe this is only true of "open sided" squares, for example the stud wall of a house. The way you keep such an open sided square from flopping sideways is to add triangulation...in the form of a metal bar or 2x4 placed at an angle across the studs or by hanging a 4x8 sheet of plywood on each corner of the house.

But when you are talking about a "closed sided" square, such as a length of square tubing (or a 4x8 sheet of plywood), the triangulation is already built in. A solid square (or rectangle for that matter) is simple two triangles, one on top of the other. So cutting a wedge shaped piece out of the sides of a length of tubing does not add any strength. In fact, I think it could be argued that is reduces the strength.

But then maybe I am misunderstanding what you are talking about doing here.
Exactly what I was thinking Cboy. Triangulation does provide structural intergrity over all right angles in open construction but on a frame it wouldn't. However I agree about the tapering in that it is worth it just for asthetics.
I used the rear sections of a couple old Model A frame rails, then added frame horns and boxed them. These end just under the toe boards and go to square tubing where it is out of sight. If I had it to do over again I would taper some 2x4 and buy a new set of frame horns to add to the front. I am kind of a nut about some details but I think the 2x4 tubing all the way to the front looks clunky and awkward.
 
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