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Alt Bantam


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I planned to start this post earlier... I am building Altered/Gasser Bantam with a 60's look. This means a reversed rake. Engine is a 67' Buick 430 I have had for a while. Trans is a 'Dearborn' 3 speed from a 66' GTO. 9" rear end. I am using a Speedway body I bought years ago. Will be a two seater. I plan to add opening doors.

Frame was started a few weeks ago. Below is a photo of the frame. The dimensions are wider than a t bucket since the Bantam body is wider. I hoped to be further along but I had to make some minor changes to the rear suspension. I order different axle mounts. Photo below of 9" with mounts. Started mounting front suspension. I need to trim some off the top hairpins due to too much thread showing the lower clevis with the caster set at 7 degrees. Photo below of current process. My detached garage is not climate controlled, so I only get a few hours to work in the morning. By afternoon, it is about 10 degrees hotter inside the garage than outside. I hope to trim the hairpins in the morning, mount the front brakes and wheels. One chassis mount mount for the rear suspension is welded together. I hope to get the other mount welded and both mounted tomorrow too. I will post more photos when available.


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The frame as a whole is wider than the standard t bucket frame. Here are some dimensions. Rear frame width is 39.25". Front frame width is 32". Wheelbase will be 103". The body at the outer edge of the fenders centered over the rearend is 50". The firewall width is 36". I am running American Racing Torq Thrust D front and rear. The rear offset is 3.76". The rearend is 58.25". Even with the tires, there is nearly 3" clearance per side between the frame and outside of the tire. If I feel I need more clearance, I could use a spacer between the rear disc hub and wheel. Originally, I planned to use a standard adjustable 4 link rear suspension welded to the vertical kickups. That is one reason for the rear frame width. The plan was to place the 4 link as far apart as possible. Also the frame's width is partly determined by the width of the Bantam's firewall. The frame width at the firewall (36") is 34.5". This is to help support the wider Bantam body.
Ok. Looks like you have the numbers. It would be awful if you got it all welded up and found out the rear end is to narrow for the tires to clear the frame.
I have been slowly working on the chassis. Still waiting for a few more parts, like coilover mounts for the rearend. I need to cut and tap the panhard bar to the correct length. I also need to mod the front spindles so the tires don't possibly rub the front hairpins when turning. I have read this can be a problem. I plan to install a longer bolt on the lower back Wilwood mount so it makes contract with the straight axle before the wheel rubs the hairpin. If anyone has another idea, I would be happy to hear it. I hope to post photos once the chassis is rolling but before I mount the engine and transmission.
Here is where I am at currently... Finally got to the rolling chassis stage. Part 1 is completed. Last week I needed two tie rod ends to get to this stage, a rolling chassis. I did not want to wait over a week for Speedway to ship so I ordered 3 Moog ends from Amazon, two to use and one spare. The first screwed in fine. The others would only thread in about an inch. So I had to order from Speedway and wait anyway... The frame is built with a 3 degree reverse rake. I plan to set the engine and transmission in next week. I know the front will drop, but I can add up to an inch and half of spacer if needed to reset the front with the u bolts I am using. I can also add two leaves from the spring assembly I removed a while back if needed. The rear suspension is an adjustable 4 link with the front mounted outside the frame like a ladder bar setup. I am using urethane rod ends instead of heims to give the car a little better ride. There are two photos with the body shell seating atop the frame. The rear image shows the tire sticking out beyond the body. The clearance looks good but I can add spacers off the rear axles if I need more space. The body will sit lower on the frame once the floor is glassed in, dropping it about an inch and half. If I need to, I can also adjust the lower bars on the rear 4 link to center the axle with the wheel well. It looks pretty close as is. I do plan to extend the front of the body instead of cutting into the rear fiberglass to create a few more inches of room. Width is fine. I set one of the bucket seats inside the body and tried it. No photos since I was alone. I will post again with the engine and transmission mounted.


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To me it would look better with a straight tube round axle, Gasser style as I think that is the look you are after.
JMTCW. Opinions ??? are like that.:)
T-Test. I have seen photos ran both ways, straight axle and curved. I had the 33' straight axle in the garage so I went with it. Also, hairpins and tube axles are fine for the quarter mile, but can fail on the street due to stress. That's not a problem with the original Ford straight axle. Thanks for the comment.
I’m not here to pick apart anyone’s design but, it looks like the panhard rod will hit the pumpkin on a bounce. And if the rectangular frame is to prevent sway, it looks too flimsy! Just my opinion. I have my own problems. Not looking to piss off anyone!
Neshkoro. Yeah, it looks like it will would hit, but it's an allusion due to the angle the photo was taken. The bar is actually in front of the 3rd member. I tacked the mount to the frame before I jacked up the center of the rearend 4"or so, an 1.5" higher than the rear can travel, to make sure nothing make contact.

As for the other bar, it's an anti-roll bar. I added it to help keep both tires planted during acceleration. I will also be able to adjust the 4 link upper passenger bar to help. I ran out of tubing while constructing the frame. I plan to add a little more to the rear of the frame and add another cross bar supporting the anti-roll bar mount on both sides. I need to set the body on first so I can make the right measurements to cut the tubing. The anti-roll bar is from Speedway. It's small but the car will be light so... If it doesn't work like I want it to, I can simply unbolt it. It is easy to remove it than to have to try to add it later.

Thanks for the comment. If anyone every sees something which appears odd, let me know. I don't mind reexamining something I have done. I might miss something or forgot something. I am often trying to look two or three steps ahead on what's next.
Thanks for the clarification. Photos can be deceiving! Good luck, it’s coming along nicely!
It's been a few weeks since my last post. Between running out of gas for my mig welder and the cold front which dropped temps into the low 30's in the morning, I have not had the chance to make much progress. That said, I did get the engine and transmission mounted over the last week. I plan to overhaul the engine over the winter, since it will be too cold to drive an open air roadster. The engine is a Buick 430 out for a 67' Riviera. And while a 455 might be better, (more cubic inches) I have had the 430 for a while, buy it when the cost was cheaper than today. The transmission is a Dearborn (Ford) toploader 3 speed out of a Pontiac GTO. Yes, it would have been easier to put a 350 or 400 auto, but where's the fun in that? Plus, in the mid 60's, you would see more manual transmissions on the track. 3 speeds, while not as popular on the street as a 4 speed, worked good on the 1/4 mile. I am using a hydraulic throw-out bearing so no clumsy linkage. Check out the photos below. I plan to add bracing to the transmission crossmember. The bracing will also help support the floor. A few more things to weld onto the frame, then fun really begins... doing the floor, doors and extension on the fiberglass body.


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DonnyRay. I have seen the Class Glass Performance body before. If I hadn't already had the Speedway body, I might have bought the other. The cowl extension is 15". There was a car for sale in England a while back using what looks like the Class Glass body. Photo below. The stock Bantam firewall extends into the engine bay. Can't remember the length off hand, 12" to 15", something like that. Photo below. There is another photo below of a 32' Bantam sporting a flathead Ford V8. The firewall was chopped enough the fit the flathead. Maybe there is 5"- 6" left. I am looking at about 10". It won't be as long as the Class Glass firewall but my 6' frame should fit it. If I can shorten it a little more, of course I will. As for building the extension, I am currently thinking plywood covered with several layers of fiberglass. The plywood will be glued to the inside of the body to create the correct contour. Afterwards, it will all be glassed over.


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