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Newbie Getting Started


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Hello. I have years of mechanical experience but this is my first ground up build. I am looking for links to some required reading for someone who is totally new to this. I have a Model A frame (I think) to get started with but nothing else. My father in law owns one so I have something to compare to. His has some issues that I want to resolve in mine, hard steering, random drift when you let off of the gas after hard acceleration.

Any information to know what I have and what is useable and how to get started is appreciated. Thanks.
First off, welcome to the forum. I can't think of a certain link, but there are some members here with awesome builds under their belts and I'm sure that they can either get a link for you or give you advice from their builds. One thing you might do is spend the $25 for Total Performances instruction manual. I'm not trying to push you their way, but their instruction manual has plans, wiring schematics and other things that a beginner would need, to get an idea of what it is he is getting ready to get into.

I'm enjoying my first build and not only was it not as hard as I thought it would be, I learned a lot. While T Buckets are considered the stepping stone into the hot rod hobby, they still require that you pay attention to what you are doing and ASK QUESTIONS if you are not sure about something. That is where this site can benefit you. There is a wealth of info here, all ya gotta do is ask. So, stick around and I'm sure you will be pleased. We are all about getting T Buckets on the road and if that's what you have in your future, you made it to the right place. Welcome.
You're going to have a lot a fun doing this and like Fred said, this forum has a lot of really talented, knowledgeable, and skilled fabricators. Then there are a couple guys like me that just proceed forward without those assets and do the best we can...:eek:

As for the random drift when you let off of the gas after hard acceleration... suspension and alignment will have a large impact on it, but keep in mind, shorter wheelbase cars with big-time horsepower are more prone to stability issues that those with longer wheelbases...

This is an example...

He ran this several times, but one time is went out of control bad... He was banged up pretty bad, but survived and is building a new one... but with a stretched wheelbase!


Welcome to the site. Like the rest of the guys already said, "You're gonna love it here." Read and study everything you can find on building a T bucket. This site is a great place to start. Let us know what questions you have. I assure you, you will get answers.

Here's a thought...Sell that A frame and buy some tubing for your frame. You will spend so much time and energy trying to make something usefull out of it. When you're done you will still have an 80 year old frame. Check out the pdf on building a T frame,(what a pitch,huh) in the tag cloud. That will give you an idea of what you want for a chassis.

:lol: from Amarillo TX

check yer PM's

Welcome OzCoMo :ciao: there is wealth of info here. Check out Freds build thread, he did a great first build. Then there are quite a few other builds here also. And don't forget to ask if you have any questions, someone always knows the answer. :)
The drift as a result of backing off of the throttle is probably a result of bump steer. It is probably doing it when you hit the loud pedal too, but you might not notice it due to the boot that you are getting in the seat of your pants. :ciao:

It's due to the rise of the frame in relation to the suspension. The front axle assembly is pivoting on the rear attachment points of the radius rods and the drag link is pivoting on the end of the steering arm. If those two points are not coincidental, the arcs will be different and you have bump steer. The farther apart these two points are, the worse the bump steer will be.

I'm assuming that the car is a bucket with a pretty traditional setup...axle, hairpins, parallel steering, etc. If not disregard this info.
Thanks for the welcome. I realize that a T bucket is anything that you want it to be, any engine, suspension setup, etc. but what were the original T buckets back in the 50's? Engines, suspension, steering, etc.?

This is a project that will take years as my funds are limited. I have the frame for next to nothing. I just need to know what to do next. I'm sure that there are alot more what next questions to follow.
I believe that Ron, aka "Youngster", has already given you the best advice as to, "what to do next", when he said to sell the Model A frame and get some tubing and build a proper frame. In the long run you will have about the same money involved but you will have a safe and strong foundation for the rest of your build.

There are plenty of good plans available to allow you to build a frame. Not only that, but there are plenty of guys here to help you along the way. All you have to do is ask and you will get all the help that you will need.
No offense taken, and none intended, but what is wrong with the A frame? I can see where it would be a detriment if a fire breathing V8 was to reside there. The one my inlaws have uses a stock 283 and A frame. The power output of the 283 isn't as big of a kick as I thought it would be. i fail to see where the problem lies. This is one of those "I'm dumb on the subject, educate me" things.
With a mild V8 you can use a stock A-frame, however I HIGHLY recommend that you box it in and do some reinforcements... now this is Younger's point, by the time you go to all that effort, you might as well build one... However, nothing wrong in an A frame and some sweat equity to box it in and such... Reminds of of an episode on American Hot Rod where one of his guys wouldn't box the frame in and Boyd insisted for safety reasons that he at least box it in... he refused and Boyd felt so strongly about it, he fired him...:eek:
Let's try this, OzCoMo, go look at your Model A frame. Count the number of holes in the drivers side rail. Now think of how much time and sweat it's going to take to fill and grind each and every one of them. Next you'll have to straighten the top and bottom sides and cut boxing plates for it. The fit up of the boxing plates needs to be almost perfect so you don't warp the rail when you are running those 100 or so inches long welds, make that 200", top and bottom. Not done yet, you need to grind those 2 welds. Sounds easy? Well you're only half through, You still have the other side to do yet.

Your best option is to buy 24' of tubing, cut the joints for the front rails, kick, rear rails and rear crossmember,and a piece of 2-1/4" od. tubing for the front cross member. Weld 'er up and you are ready to go to the suspension.

Don't forget, when you go to paint the frame, you have to fill and sand all the pits so it looks like the frame you see made out of tubing.

I'm not trying to be negative here, and as anyone who has done this will tell you, I didn't stretch anything. I'm just trying to paint a picture for you. This is what is involved to use a stock frame.


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