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Dan Brobst

Speedster Frame

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Am new to this forum but not new to AACA. Have a 1929 Ford frame and drive-train and am interested in building a Speedster. I am considering lowering the frame about 5 inches and extending the wheelbase about 7 inches. I will copy a Laurel Model T frame but making it longer instead of shorter. I am interested in hearing from folks that have built frames and what pitfalls that I might run into. Some issues are; front caster, brakes, steering, rear pinion angle, etc. Thanks for any information.

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I guess you scared them with the technical stuff. I'm not really qualified to answer your questions, but I think the potential pitfalls involved with changing suspension geometry is one of the reasons that most people like to start with a basically stock chassis. That being said the hotrodders have been messing with those old car suspensions for decades and generally getting away with it. You may want to search out some of those geometry discussions on places like the HAMB or The Dogfight Forum to get a better idea of what you could be in for. Unless you are dropping the front axle, the caster shouldn't change unless you change the pivot points for the braces used for your particular axle.

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The stretch that you are planning would likely be about the amount necessary for accommodating an overdrive. You should check out those companies. Are you going to retain the torque tube? If so your pinion angle will be locked in and you only have to worry about the "u" joint at the torque ball. Early Ford brakes are only a wish when trying to stop anything hotter than the stock engine. In the "old" days folks used Essex frames because they had a nice kick up over the rear axle, or you could cut the frame off ahead of the rear end and hang the spring off of a perch. This was done to many sprint cars. First you need to decide what you want it to look like.

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I guess you scared them with the technical stuff. I'm not really qualified to answer your questions, but I think the potential pitfalls involved with changing suspension geometry is one of the reasons that most people like to start with a basically stock chassis. That being said the hotrodders have been messing with those old car suspensions for decades and generally getting away with it. You may want to search out some of those geometry discussions on places like the HAMB or The Dogfight Forum to get a better idea of what you could be in for. Unless you are dropping the front axle, the caster shouldn't change unless you change the pivot points for the braces used for your particular axle.

Thanks for the feedback. I will check out the websites you suggested. I am an old hotrodder so I have built z'd frames and suicide front axles; which I plan to do with my stock frame. I also plan to split the radius rods (front and rear) but have concerns about the stock brake rods and steering pitman arm. Thanks again.

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The stretch that you are planning would likely be about the amount necessary for accommodating an overdrive. You should check out those companies. Are you going to retain the torque tube? If so your pinion angle will be locked in and you only have to worry about the "u" joint at the torque ball. Early Ford brakes are only a wish when trying to stop anything hotter than the stock engine. In the "old" days folks used Essex frames because they had a nice kick up over the rear axle, or you could cut the frame off ahead of the rear end and hang the spring off of a perch. This was done to many sprint cars. First you need to decide what you want it to look like.

Thanks for the reply. I do have a good idea of what body style I want which will require a 4 or 5 inch drop in the frame. This will be a low budget project so I plan to use the stock Model A engine ( I will dress it up with headers and dual carbs), boxed frame, stock brakes, etc.. I would also like to make my own friction shocks and would like any help you might have. Thanks.

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Dan, the speedster body I have for sale is for a Model A frame but I also have a custom frame made for it that is kicked up in the rear. If you want to see it some time it is in Omaha. tim

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Dan, the speedster body I have for sale is for a Model A frame but I also have a custom frame made for it that is kicked up in the rear. If you want to see it some time it is in Omaha. tim

Tim,

I have a son that lives in Pappilion (sp) and would like to see what you have the next time I visit. I live in Hudson, IA., about four hours away, and will be planning a visit soon.

Dan Brobst

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Tim,

I have a son that lives in Pappilion (sp) and would like to see what you have the next time I visit. I live in Hudson, IA., about four hours away, and will be planning a visit soon.

Dan Brobst

I stayed in Hudson for a year when I was working on the Illinois Central RR, very nice lady ran a motel there in 1987 and rented me a room for $125 a month. Give me a call at 402-680-8565 when you come to visit. tim

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If you guys ever get together u'll have to post some pics of the 2 of you drooling over the frame. It's funny how the internet brings complete strangers together from a common interest.

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Most folks build a "Speedster" by using a stock frame rather than build. If you build your frame and Z it, would it be a Speedster or a Hot Rod, actually there is a fine line between the two. I used a Model A Frame, lowered the suspension by recurving spring eyes and removing leafs, and using smaller diameter tires. I then fabricated a shorter cowl, lowered the steering column, and lowered the radiator shroud by moving it forward of the cross member and buiding a new cross member to hold a shorter radiator. This lowered and lengthened the Hood line. That gave me about a 8 inch drop over all to the body lines and 3 inch drop in the rear with about 5 inch drop in the front. All done with stock parts.

I have the illusion of longer by going lower, stretching the hood, and able to retain the stock brake parts and radius rods.

Edited by QGolden (see edit history)

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The factories also built speedsters. I don't think it is ours to narrow the definition.

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Isn't this Stutz in San Diego? That place looks very familiar....

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Don't know if these will help...some stock dimensions I found on the WEB to start you off...post-47067-143142267668_thumb.jpg

post-47067-143142267665_thumb.jpg

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