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Looking for opinions on frame choice...


New Member
I've heard that most of the kits Total, and Spirit make are based off the model a or 32 frame.

I can get a original 28' model A frame for next to nothing through family.

couldn't i just grab that up, box it myself, and get a body from total or spirit or something? Hell i could probably get a model a truck bed and cut that to whatever size i need for a larger gas tank...

so boxed in 1928 frame? whats everyones thoughts?

I've talked to both Pete at Total and Josh at Spirit and believe me they would be more then willing to give you any information you would need regarding that frame. I'm sure they would be more than willing to sell you a body for any frame you have providing it would work. Can't hurt to ask.

Thomas is one up on me, as I've not talked to anyone at Spirit, but I would second his comment about the guys at Total. They're a knowledgeable bunch of fellows that want you to get your car built the way you want it. I wouldn't hesitate to ring them up, if I were you.
hehe, well i kindof answered my own question. Theres someone over on the H.A.M.B. that did a build like this by chopping and channeling a model a frame. it'll be more work, but thats ok, my projects are meant to push me to learn. and i would have to get a body without the mounts drilled and do that myself too.

already found a company that makes the boxing plates, but they're crossmember replacement is at a steep price, so even going this way i don't know how much i'll really be saving, or if i'll be saving anything. i'll just have to get the rest of my suspension figured out and make the frame fit it.

another boost is i found a build on a model A that shows how to fab up the motor mounts, this was a little bit of a worry for me, LOL
You're on the right track when it comes to getting all the information you can. Now, if you have the skills and equipment, there is nothing wrong with doing it yourself. If you buy a frame from a good company, it will be square and ready to go. So, I guess it depends on your skill, equipment and time.

As far as bodies go, check the width of the body and compare it to the width of the model A frame. I know the '27s are wide enough at the cowl, I'm not sure about the '23. Totals '23 body is 27 1/4" at the cowl.
Another thought

Like most other companies, the Total '23 frame is based off the Ford model T. It's basicly two rails. Total differs in their design because the frame widens as it goes towards the rear, while others have the rails run parallel. This offers a little more support for the body. The Total frame goes from 24" in the front to 29" in the rear.

There are lots of options for the front suspension. Me, I prefer the tube axle and springs. I guess I just like the traditional look. Plus, it is cheaper than going with an independent front suspension. You can add shocks and a four link setup to get a good ride. Those IFS's are $3,000 and up. I bet a four bar and tube axle with a spring are half that. The plus for the IFS is ride quality. That may or may not be a consideration for you.
I'll swing over and get the measurements tommarow, thanks for the numbers.

and I absoloutly agree on the front tube axle, A IFS looks out of place and bulky on the front, saving money is just icing on the cake.

As a side note i ran across a 1960 hat rod annual mag, and it had a T on a 31 frame(slight difference from early model A) but they started with a complete 31 roadster pickup, and changed the main body for the T bucket, and kept the pickup bed. Now why they would ditch the roadster pickup body and go to a T specificly is a little bit of a mystery to me, they are pretty close, But this was what got me on this kick to begin with. I'm just rehashing old ideas to make myself something i'll enjoy. Hell i found a dealer in parts for the switch pitch trannys and his website had a pit of a T with a nailhead running a ST-400.
No i would want to go with a fube axle front, My own opinion of IFS's is that they are nice in something full fendered, But if uncovered look bulky and out of place.

Thanks for the numbers on the body BTW i'll take some measurements on the frame tommarow probably.
July 2007 issue of street rodder has a wonderful 23T Built on a 30' frame...

Not quite my style, but i LOVE the stance. Only frame modification he claims to have done was box it and shorten it 18 inches... I wouldn't want to shorten it though as i want to run a model A pickup bed...

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