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High Speed T Front end


New Member
I know this may sound like a dumb question to all you guys riding buckets for a while, but I've been told there is no dumb questions, only dumb answers. I've built a lot of fast street cars in the past, done some dirt track racing and spent a lot of cash on the 1/4 mile. I've been wanting to build a Bucket since the first one I saw at about age 8! I've been doing my research, looked at hundreds of pictures, and researched lots of frame/chasis plans. What guys I have been able to talk to with t-buckets, have been honest by telling me they bought em, now they just drive em, so I'm not getting much input from people who actually drive what they built like I want to. I know what I like/don't like, but what I don't like is hearing from the buckt heads I've talked to, is how unstable the obviosly suicidle "suicide" front end can be at hight speed. I would love to have a bucket I can cruise on the street, and turn some ET's at my local strip (roll cage included of course). Can anyone point me in the right direction for a front end that won't kill me at over 100? From what I see a lot of people have used the A model type front end with A model crossmember and coil overs, mounted on the basic T model front end. All my friends are laughing at my 2x4 wooden t-bucket in my shop I'm using for a wooden mockup, so maybe I can swap it out for the steel I have collected once I know what I'm building. My welder and I need to bond again, so PLEASE help...................thanks....

This guy, runs his down the 1/4. I believe he is also a member. From the looks of his front end, it looks pretty much standard. There are a couple of other vids on youtube that show the car better.
I think he is Andy Flangin (?). *Edit* Andy Fadster I thnk. I apologize for mispelling your name Andy....
[ame="[media=youtube]RdHpAIZt00k[/media]"]YouTube - 10 second T[/ame]

Years ago I had an Austin Bantam altered drag car that essentially had a T bucket type front end under it. The car ran in the 140 MPH range. Now I look back and wonder how that all held together. If I get on my current T hard I always wonder if the dreaded Death Wobble will hasn't since I replaced my shocks and realigned everything, but you never lose the fear once it happens.

That being said, I drove my '27 roadster HARD........I had no working speedometer, but one night we were trying to beat a rainstorm and the rest of the car club I was in told me they were going 90 in the rain and they couldn't keep up with me. I thought I might be going 80. :welcome:

In fact, I am planning another drag altered in my head, powered by a 460 Ford that I have sitting on a stand, ready to go, and I am going to use a T style front end on that one. But I am going to run drag radials instead of my usual bias plys, and I am going to add a steering damper or two to keep any possibility of death wobble down. I just saw a dragster go into death wobble at the recent Antique Nationals, and it looked pretty scarey.

Do a Google search for "altered Roadster". You will find a lot listed and a lot of them have the suicide fronts. You can also Google "Winged Express" or "Nanook". I think they had suicide steering. I had a Vega box and cross steering on my street T and it was real stable on the highway. I know I had it up around 100 a few times with no problems. If I ever got any wobble it was at lower speeds and then it was on a very rare occasion when that happened.
Can't believe how quick the 10 second t came out of the hole without pulling the front wheels up. I've got 2 20' 2x4 3/16 steel for my frame, and I have been advised that bolt on bat wings on an I-beam axel, 4-link and coil overs would work best. I know I know, everybody says shocks up front are ugly, maybe so, but I'm an ol' boy that believes in driving it like you stole it, but I don't want to die anytime soon.....I've got some pics of a few buckets with nice looking roll cages built in under a nice looking top. What I'm saying is I'm willing to sacrifice "pretty" for bullet proof. Youngsters frame drawings have helped quite a bit too, and I'm perfectly willing for people on here to treat me like a FNG, cause I am. Luckily I have a good friend with a lot of frame/welding experience to help, I just need to be pointed in the right direction by you guys with the experience. Thanks....
One more thing.....If anybody knows any good builders or just t-owners who know what they are talking about in the middle Georgia area (Macon), please send them my way. As I said, I would like to lay my eyes on what people have built themselves and chat with them, than just looking at what someone bought. Not knocking you guys with deep pockets that bought big $ cars, nothing wrong with that, I'm just an ol' gearhead needing to keep a project on-going, and usually uncompleted....:cool:
First off welcome to this site. I may have missed your intro. One thing about this site is they don't treat the FNG any different than anybody else! I would look at lots of pictures of Ts and then build. The suicide front end that most all of the guys use works very well at high speeds no need to worry about that. Build it safe and you will have lots of fun.
Ask all the questions you like, someone will have some answers for ya.

baddawg said:
Not knocking you guys with deep pockets that bought big $ cars, nothing wrong with that, I'm just an ol' gearhead needing to keep a project on-going, and usually uncompleted....:cool:

There aren't too many of us here with big $. We're all gearheads too who build with what we can find. If we can't buy it we make it. And sometimes if we can buy it we make it anyway because that makes our cars unique and ours.
der Spieler said:
Do a Google search for "altered Roadster". You will find a lot listed and a lot of them have the suicide fronts. You can also Google "Winged Express" or "Nanook". I think they had suicide steering.

You mean like this???????? :welcome::):)

[ame="[media=youtube]2b_Sz7tqpFc[/media]"]YouTube - Winged Express and Bradfords Fuel Altereds at Night[/ame]

or this???????????

[ame="[media=youtube]Zo00KvjdikE[/media]"]YouTube - Fuel Altered - From a driver's view[/ame]

Gotta love them fuel altereds. :):)

Back in 72 and 73 my brother-in-law and I raced a 1969 AMX at the old dragstrip in Poteet, TX, south of San Antonio. From time to time they would have an altered show. The Lozano brothers in SA had one. It was worth twice the admission to see these guys run. I looked into the cockpit of one of them once and I think I saw a hole in the seat. They had to have it to fit their big cajones. You had to have big ones to drive one of these things. Drive? Maybe they just tried to point them in the right direction and held on.
First off...


I had responded to this once... I think I hit review instead of submit reply then just moved on... but anyway, check out Andy's photo gallery... lots of info...

I love this shot of Andy... I have it saved as one of my screen savers :) ... All four off the ground!

If you are worrried about the suicide axle, use a dropped beam A axle with spring over and sweep the frame up.
der Spieler said:
I had forgotten about that one. That guy is from England isn't he?

Yep... his last run in April of 2008 Andy set a class record of the national street car championship at the last meet of the year at Santa Pod with a 9.103 @ 148... That's a whole lot faster that I'd ever go in my T, but he's shooting for more... believe he said they are shooting for 900 HP! And keep in mind, this is a street legal car...
I've been looking into the A model setup. It just seems to me that with the spring up in the crossmember, it would have to be a stronger setup. I would love to see some pics/drawings of The A model setup on a bucket frame. I'm not sure of the width of the frame on an A model at the spring crossmember. Still looking for that info.
Way to much hp for my spine....and budget....I'm putting in an almost stock BBC with good enough stuff to stay together with just a little touch of funny gas....(That empty bottle in the corner of my shop is looking like it wants to go racing.
welcome to the site baddawg. the suicide front end will work just fine for what you want to do. as with anything the design is what will make or break it, hope not. there have been tube axles on very fast and very abused drag cars since day one.

the model a cross member is hard to pull off and have it look good too. you almost have to mount the radiator over the cross member to hide it. then you have to address the heigth issue. a dropped axle is one way or mounting the spring between the bones is another. bye the way, the A crossmember is 26" at the center of the spring from outside to outside on the frame.

imo, RPM's front end will give you everything you are looking for. ron dose excellent work. you won't be disappointed.

your choice of tubing for the rails is a little over kill IMHO. 2 x 3 3/16 would look better and have enought strength to support your cage.

getting a rule book would be a good idea so there are no supprises come inspection time.

your project is a vey interesting one and one that will definately put that t bucket smile on your face and others too. good luck with it and please keep us posted on the build.

if you have questions, post them here. you will get an answer! oh and about the such thing on this site! always hated that abrev!!!!

Youngster said:
oh and about the such thing on this site! always hated that abrev!!!!

Then we'll just change the meaning, Fantastic New Guy
That does have a nice ring to it. Just hope my bucket turns out fantasic. I would never have actually started this thing if it were not for this forum. I found out more in one night on here (up till the sun was about to come up), than in two years of doing research on my own. I just hope santa brings me a digital camera so I can post some pics of my wooden t-bucket in the shop. You ought to see the looks on peoples faces when they see my mock-up in the shop, complete with engine, tranny, and rear, and some actually ask "are you really gonna build a wood frame car?"

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