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T frame plans

Many Thanks, Ron!

I've downloaded and look forward to spending some quality time with your plans this weekend. Nice job.:lol:
If you have any questions, post 'em here.

I d/loaded your plans but they seem to stop at # 23 page. Am I dreaming or what,LOL!
Yes, they stop at 23 . . . for now.

Read the first page, Ron wanted to help you create a good solid foundation for your project but didn't want to dictate every aspect of your project so he hasn't detailed building the entire car.

As time goes on and people have questions, take pictures of their builds, etc. we can easily update the plans.

I'm thinking Ron's posts on building a steering column would make a good addition.


Good post Steve. And Ron has also provided good info on glassing the floor, body wooding, etc. I'm sure he'll eventually do something on basic wiring too. It takes a lot of time to put it all together properly in a complete package.
Gosh guys...:eek:...Thanks!

As Steve said, I don't want to build your car for you. If you're here, you're creative enough to do that on your own. I just want to give you a good running start on your project. There may be a suppliment some where down the road, but as of now nothing is in the works.

Craig...Was that a hint?

Hi Youngster, Great set of plans if I'd had them 6 months ago I could have saved loads of time lol.
There is an update in the works. My brother, little_youngster, surprised me with cad drawings a couple of weeks ago. Steve Robertson, SLR_65, has them now, and we will be leaving a post when it's ready to go. This is turning into an ongoing project and that's fine with me. I'll be adding information and how to's from time to time. if you are using all or any part of the packet and have questions, please post them here. Pictures of your progress would also be welcome.

Thanks to all of those who are helping and giving freely of thier time.

I downloaded the plans at work, real nice and clear. On the part about making the tie rod there seems to be a error. It said to take a piece of 7/8" dom and tap it with a 1-1/16" tap. Should that be an 11/16" tap? Also, should that be tapped right and left thread?
Again, love the plans. Lots of little tips that are priceless.

Yeah.. there's a couple of those in there. It's a test to see who's paying attention. Todd, you just got a double lunch recess.

There's anew version in the works with cad drawing by my brother. It should be done soon. I'll post here when it's ready.

I like to use right hand threads on both end. It's easy to mess up the paint or chrome on the tie rod when you are tightening the jam nuts if you use a right and left thread. Using a right hand thread on both ends allows you to tighten one end against the other.


Oh yeah... It's pretty hard to TAP a 7/8" tube with a 1-1/16" TAP.
this is my first post here,

I saw your frame plans and am drawing a simple version in Solid Works

thanks for the starting point!!

Richard D.
UW Stout

PS. I'm from Rochester and a few years ago i meet a man at Back to the Fifties the went by the name Fish Foot, is he on here? he drove a hand built t bucket and the body was made by him self too.
I'm glad you found something usable in the plans. If you have any questions, post them here.

Are you plannig a build? If you are, I'd be happy to help anyway I can.

some day I will, I have a boat project that I'm working on right now, when that is done and sold I'll turn my attention to a t-bucket Isky style or a bobbed track style :)

oh the boat is a 12'6" Wood run-about two seater with a jet ski motor and jet pump. Mostly mahogany with a fiberglass wrap.
now for frame questions.

Can bent front hair pins be used rather than setting the batwing at an angle? not for any other reason than for a different look?

the spring to front shackle to batwing is drawn all on the same plain... level with the world. is this only while the spring has no load?

have you ever widened the frame (only under the body) to match the body diameter? would this allow for more seating room, getting our buts level with he lowest point of the car or would it get in the way?

Richard Donovan
The front bat wings are welded on the axel at a right angle. You need to heat and bring the ears on the bat wing in toward the frame. I wouldn't recomend bending the hair pins. They are made from 7/8" DOM. I would be concerned about the loss of tensil stength from heating. This works as it is designed. Change for the sake of change isn't always good.

The drawing of the spring main leaf, shackle and spring pivot is just to get the distance between the bat wings on the axle. The reason for this is because springs vary some in length. Once the spring is assembled on the car and has a full load on it, the shackles should be some where between 45 and 60 degrees.

I haven't tried a dropped floor in a T but i have a '29 roadster p/u with one in it. The problem I ran into there is the trans hump gets wider as you lower the floor. At that point there isn't enough room around the pedals. It's kinda like puttin' your feet in a funnel. Another problem that arises is space under a T body in at a premeim. Building a seat pan really limits space for master cylinders, batterys, etc. Your set cushions also get very narrow. You would be better off to just build up a cushion on the floor. The sides of the body are around 20" tall with a 3" channel. For most people, sitting on the floor would put the top of the side panel in their arm pit.

One thing I have seen done was to have the rail made with a roll to the bottom edge. This was then shaped to match the contour of the body. The car was being built as a track roadster, so it gave the illusion of a belly pan. Pretty cool lookin'. I know the guy that owned Main Street Rods offered a perimiter frame at one time. The frame had a independent front suspension and was pretty costly.

Thanks for the questions. I like people that think outside the box.

thanks for the plans. i have a couple questions:
1. it looks like in the pictures that the frame shown is setup for the corvair type direct steering system. is it possible to use a vega/crossteer setup? i am asking because i want to have more angle on the steering column, and it looks like the vega gear being more out front will help achieve this.
2. the rear kickup is 6". what are the advantages/disadvantages of going with more? say 8" to 10".
The frame in the plans is set up for a Corvair box. I have found it to be a natural for T buckets. That's not to say other steering boxes can't be used. This frame sits 6" to 7" off the ground at the front crossmember. Because of this, ground clearance could be a problem. I haven't set up a Vega box in this frame. Speedway uses one on their frame so it seems this would be a possiblity.

As far as gainning more angle on your column, It would depend on the type of headers you use. Running a straight shaft to the box probably wouldn't be doable unless you are using a 4 cylinder engine. However, a shaft with a u-joint could work. I would suggest a pillow block of some sort to support a shaft that long though. If a cross steer such as a Vega is used, another possiblity might be a stock Corvair box.

This frame is set up so the bottom of the rear housing is in line with the bottom of the front rails. Ground clearance should be between 11" to 13" depending on the tires you use. Going to a taller kick will lower the rear of the frame in turn lowering the rear of the car. Just a guess here but a 10" kick on a car with a pickup box and 29" tires could put the top of the 2 about even with each other.

Hope this is what you are looking for for answers. This frame has been designed to give a starting point for your build. Nothing says you have to follow it to the letter. As hot rodders, we tend to modify components to suit our own tastes. If that's the route you choose, more power to you. Do so with my blessing. Just remember, safety should be your number 1 concern.

Ron, here's another question on the chassis plans. You are going with the double hairpin frame mounts that are joined with the piece of 7/8" dom., very classy but way out of my league for welding. If I was to go with a single frame mount for each hairpin, would you go with the short piece butt welded to the bottom of the rail or the longer piece lap welded to the side rail?
Should a single mount be welded at the same angle as hairpin?

I took a night course at the local community college called Hot Rod Welding and all we did every evening was continually weld rectangular plates together, nothing small and intricate.

I'll be starting on those 25" long wedge cuts in 2 weeks when my wife is on night shift.:eek:
....thanks man.
Craig, If you were to weld the side plate first all the way around, then fit the DOM through it, you will have the angle for the inside plate. tack the inside plate to the frame and the DOM to both plates. Now weld the inside plate to the rail. This can be welded toward the inside only. The purpose of this plate is just to take some of the stress off of the weld on the DOM and the outside plate. Now weld the DOM to both plates. If you weld the DOM in two welds, Start the second weld where the first weld stops.

The 3 things that make a good welder are practice, practice, practice. When you think your welds are good, walk away for 5 minutes and then try again. I have found people have a better focus this way.

I just spent the last couple of days cutting the tapers on chuckt's rails. It just takes patience. You are going to have it easier than I did. This was 3/16" wall tube. The hardest part of this is getting started and the best part is finishing.


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