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Frame Dimensions

Shawn F.

New Member
I have not been around much lately due to trying to finish a 63 Chevy II wagon I am making into my daily driver so have not really had time to put into a T bucket or even have the money to look for a body yet but have been slowly collecting parts and got a motor and tranny for it. Even though my original plan was to steer away from the usual boring chevy 350/350 combo, I have a new engine and tranny that is a 327 and a TH350 tranny so I might as well use it instead of having to rebuild the 302 I have and look for a C4. Anyways with that out of the way, I have always known the stance I wanted with my T when I start it but never knew how to achieve or or found one online exactly how I wanted it. While searching the web the other night I did find this:
1927 Ford Roadster Lowboy - Rod And Custom Magazine
Click on the picture for a more blown up pic of it.
I read the details in it and it seems that it was Z'd pretty high in the rear and front with a suicide front end. Any idea how much I would need to Z the frame to get this stance and where to find the front dropped axle, etc? I understand that some of the front suspension the guy got from Speedway Motors which I hear are decent quality.
I want to build almost exactly that but more of a 40's style wheel like spoked, bomber seats but not flat black, probably gloss black or maybe go with a old bomber look and paint it silver with fake looking rivits, etc but not too much of a theme vehicle. Anyways, the paint scheme is up in the air and for my first T I am wanting that stance.
Thanks for any info guys!
The front ride height with a suicide spring is mostly determined by the amount of drop in the axle. Last two I have used 4" drop Mr Roadsters, all OK.
Rear depends on your spring height. Sort out the diff you are going to use and the rear spring(s) and you will know from the loaded height of the springs where the top of the Z needs to be. When you know that you will also know the driveshaft centreline to position the mounts. This will avoid having the engine and trans at an unsuitable angle.
Tack up a 3"X2" wood frame and position everything on and around it, take lots of measurements and photographs, and draw up the frame dimensions.
Then the good bit starts. Happy Building!!!!!
Thanks for the information! I have an S-10 rear end with Auburn gear with 3.42 I believe ratio, Moser axles, etc. Some say the S-10 rear end is way too weak but I believe it will suit me just fine. This will be my weekend cruise around town car that I want to haul butt and local drag strip but nothing crazy. I would say 400-420 horse power tops (at least that is what I am hoping for but with such a small and light vehicle it may not be needed, we will see what happens). Now I plan to go with the old style arc type rear leaf setup (I cannot think of the name at the moment I'm too tired haha). I think the best thing for me to do is get the 3x4 lumber and build a mockup frame with the dimensions that I'd like and get it to sit how I want, that way I can always cut out and add more in or take away what I dont need if I go too much.
I ran an S-10 rear end behind my 500+ hp 6-71 blown 350 SBC for a couple of years. No signs of undo wear or breakage. Mine had the 7.625" ring gear (older ones are 7.5"). I read somewhere the 7.625 rings are considerably stronger than the 7.5s. That rear end is now in T-odd's bucket and he's been drivin' the snot out of it for a couple of years now.
Light cars like buckets are fairly kind to rear end components.
400HP in a 1500lb thing like a bucket will result in a rocket ship. Instant motion, just hang your leg in it and hang on.
Yep, the wood chassis mock up is never a waste of time.
that car looks like it has a superbell/chassis engineering type 4" dropped I beam axle and lowered spring with reversed eyes. the spring also sits on top of the reversed suicide mount. the front of the frame was z'd 4 inches.

the rear probably has something in the area of a 15" z. thats what mine worked out to with that stance because it about all you could fit under the deck lid. of course all of that depends on the type of spring and the way its mounted.
alteredpilot, thanks for the information on this! I don't know exactly what all the parts you mentioned are (I am still learning about 20's and 30's style frames) so I will need to do some research. You say Superbell/chassis engineering 4" drop beam and the other parts... Where can I get these parts? I am guessing maybe Speedway Motors doesn't carry this brand or amount of drop? Do you have any pictures of yours or any dimensions that you can throw at me? I am pretty close to just getting a body and get started on building my own chassis since I have gathered quite a ton of parts for this thing but want to get the entire picture or what I want in my head and then have all the information and dimensions together as well.
You can get all of that from Speedway.

Sounds good, thanks Youngster. I will have to ask questions on it more in depth once I get ready to purchase them! I also need to figure out why I am not getting email notifications from this site either and that is why I don't respond right away. I need to just come on here everyday to check my posts. As for the T goes, I am a long ways away from it being built but I plan this week and weekend to get the rear end I have for it stripped of all the old 50 layers of paint that is flaking off, all the grease, and replace the gasket and pumpkin cover with a nice billet one and paint the thing nice gloss black. Now as far as the driveshaft goes, should I use the stock S-10 one with the huge round weight looking thing at the pumpkin or no? Also, as far as transmission goes, I have not decided on what to do here. I have 3 choices, either some kind of manual tranny, a TH350 or Powerglide. Right now temporarily the TH350 will be going into my 63 Chevy II wagon until I get a 200-4R for the wagon. But later that will be available or I could just throw this Powerglide that seems to still work just fine in the wagon and put that in the 27 track T. What would you guys recommend here? Remember, the T is going to be a weekend driver and when I say weekend I mean EVERY weekend and all over the place.
As for the engine I will probably pull the 327 out of the wagon, and use it. The PO said the 327 has VERY low miles and I believe it since it's very clean and looks like all the parts are brand new on it.
Once I get the engine, tranny and rear end cleaned up, painted and together what do you guys recommend I purchase next?
First yes clean and tend to your rear end but dont paint it yet as you will be welding brackets on to it for coil over shocks and radius rods.
Haha, you are correct! I keep forgetting this. I have pulled it out twice before to start stripping it and to paint it and then I start thinking about it and am like "duh, I can't paint it until the brackets are welded, etc!". :) And here I am talking about doing it again. The smallest and stupidest things I forget. What would you recommend I look for next? I guess from what everyone told me in the past, buy 2X3 square tubing for the frame rails but any idea the thickness I need? So far the local metal shops are VERY high even when buying in bulk. I looked at buying 50 feet of 1/2 O/D hollow tubing (carbon steel) and they wanted almost $8.00 a foot when I could get 3 feet sections at Lowes home improvement stores for $7.68 or so for all 3 feet! Not sure why that was...
Anyways, any info would be appreciated on this. Pretty much I want the same stance and length as the T in the link I posted.
Thanks again for the info you guys are a great help!
First go back to Lowes and get some 2x3 boards and build your frame as you want it.Or you can get ahold of Ron at RPM Motor Sports he's a good guy and a sponser of this site.He can build you a frame.But mock up what you want first.The tubing if you build it your self should be 2x3 x3/16 wall.
Ok so 3/16" wall thickness, great! I appreciate it! I will get some 2X3 boards then and see what I can make up... I do not have a body yet. This is going to be a big purchase for me and I guess it's something I really need before doing anything on building the frame and getting the stance I want? Any idea the length of the frame in that T link I posted or what you think it looks like?
Guess it's time to find the suspension parts I need, price them up, keep looking for a T body which I might just go with a Speedway Motors body or Ron's body I don't know yet.
As you discribe your build i would suggest buying the body next. Then you can build your frame to the body's specs.

ya, what youngster said:rolleyes:

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