Remember my Modified project? Good, because I’d all but forgotten about it. Locked away in storage since I boxed and Z’d the stock A chassis and installed the Dagel’s Street Rods crossmember kit last year, I recently got all fired up about it again after a house move meant I finally had all my cars and parts in one place. Figuring a rolling chassis would be easier to move around than the wheelbarrow-like chassis and rearend, I set about acquiring the parts to install a dropped I-beam on quarter-elliptic springs. With the rearend already pushed forward a good few inches, despite the front axle now being way ahead of the crossmember, and even the framehorns, in spite of appearance the wheelbase isn’t as long as that of a ’32.

With the exception of the hubs and wheels (and the drum brakes when I get to that point), all the parts used here are new, but the overall project should still have an “old” feel to it upon completion—at least that’s what I’m aiming for. One exception I’m going to have to live with are the steering arms. I wanted to use early Ford spindles with their built-in arms, but, as with the majority of I-beams, these arms hit the “dropped” section of the Vintage Parts axle and don’t offer enough turning radius to be used safely. However, the steering assembly will be the subject of another installment.

I want this car to ride low, albeit with nothing hanging below the scrub-line, and like the look of quarter-elliptic springs. I also wanted to mount these above the framehorns, rather than remove the horns as is commonplace. This meant heavily modifying the mounts supplied with the springs by Posies. I decided it’d be easier to simply fabricate new ones for my application. The dropped I-beam is a new product by Vintage Parts, and is supplied pre-drilled. Though Posies also offers bolt-on spring perches, these wouldn’t align with the holes in the axle, so again I made my own, though the ones shown here are temporary. Posies builds ride height adjusters into their mounts, which I unashamedly copied, but I’d like to get the height as close as possible to ideal before using the adjusters, so the perches shown here were quickly fabricated to provide a baseline. I deliberately used seamed tubing so I won’t be tempted to use them on final assembly, where I’ll make neater versions from seamless DOM (drawn over mandrel) tube.

I’m no different from you guys out there, and can’t afford everything at once, which is why you’ll notice no front tires on the early Ford 16x4 steel wheels. However, knowing I’ll be using 26-inch tires meant I could use wood blocks to set the wheels at ride height, to establish the height of the front axle. The caster angle then determined where the rear of the split Fatman Fabrications wishbone would mount, as I wanted to mount them through the side of the chassis ’rails. This then determined the height of the front of the chassis in relation to the floor, consequently determining where the springs would be mounted. Got that? You have to start somewhere, and the height of the axle is the single non-adjustable part of the equation once you know your tire diameter. So working within these self-imposed parameters, let’s get this chassis rolling …

SOURCE
HarborFreight
3491 Mission Oaks Blvd
Camarillo
CA  93011
800-444-3353
www.harborfreight.com
Posies
Hummelstown
PA
717-566-3340
http://www.posiesrodsandcustoms.
com/
Fatman Fabrications
8621-C Fairview Road, Highway 218
Charlotte
NC  28227
704-545-0369
http://www.fatmanfab.com
Vintage Reproduction Parts/Hoffman Group
201 SE Oak Street
Portland
OR  97214
800-651-1970
www.vintagereproductionparts.com
Speedway Motors
340 Victory Lane
Lincoln
ME  68528
800-979-0122
http://www.speedwaymotors.com
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