Promo Video

We had Bean’s Book of Rod Shops stop by last week. These guys travel around the country and shoot video of different shops. Here is some footage they took.

LA Roadster Show 2016

It’s almost upon us. This June 18 and 19th, Father’s Day weekend, is the 52nd Anniversary Roadster Show and we will be inside building 4 for the first time!

In years past we were in the Swap Meet area but changes over the last few years has made it difficult for us to set up there. That and we were bringing out the used goodies you guys could use. Well this year, it’s all new stuff. We are bringing ’32 Ford stuff and working on a few new products. I will have two frames ready to go, full knock down at a Roadster Show special price.

 

Look for us in Building 4 spaces SAA 26 and 27

 

Putting up Customer Rides

I have a page dedicated to customers that have used our product. HERE

If you would like me to add you to the list, send me some pictures and a description of your build. Anything from K-member legs, brake kits or full chassis builds are welcome.

New product in the store!

As promised earlier, we have the 57-60 F100 and 55-59 GM truck Dakota IFS kits available in the store. These are for the stock arm Dakota suspension systems. If you want air bag systems, any of the kits that would fit any of the Dakota two wheel drive systems should work in our kit. However, we are getting hit pretty hard to do a dedicated IFS kit with tubular control arms and air bags. So we are going to do our best to get them drawn up and in production before Christmas!

Also in the works are engine mounts for the Dakota IFS kits. I think we have the Chevy engine mount systems ready to go and will be in the store in a few weeks. The Ford Windsor style mounts are still in need of some work to make them what we want. And if we can, the LIMA series (429-460) engine mounts also. These of course are going to require a rear sump oil pan to clear the rack and pinion like any other IFS kit on the market.

2015-11-13 13.38.32Keep an eye peeled for our new line of rear suspension kits too! There will be three kits ranging from near stock to work with your nearly stock Dakota IFS and a lowered kit as well as a hammered kit with a 5 plus inch C-notch built into the boxing system. These kits will be an un-parallel and unequal length four bar with a panhard rod. A moderately low roll center that works with pickups and all come with 100% anti-squat at ride height and minimal changes in pinion angle to curb any driveline vibration. Heavy duty construction with greasable polyurethane bushings and RideTECH shocks.

We are also working on the ’32 Ford chassis components, The front and rear bolt in crossmembers should be in production by mid-January. We are also considering a full bolt in X-member similar to our ’32 system for the 33-34 Ford frames. Let us know in the comment section what you think and what you would like to see in that kit.

LA Roadster Show 2015, We Were There!

What a show. The heat had to be a factor in the low turn out. That and the guys that go in first roped off over 90% of the spaces, leaving many swappers to turn around and go home. I spoke to two guys that demanded their $70.00 back because there were no available spaces. Even on Saturday a large percentage of the “saved” spaces were still empty with yellow tape and cones and maybe a lawn chair and a small pile of scrap metal to guard the space. I cannot see this happening for much longer before they the LA Roadster guys start having to do assigned spaces or at least check that the guys that paid for one spot only have one spot and so forth.

We set up with Hotrod Ron and had a good selection of stuff. The reception to our new fully bolt together ’32 frame was encouraging. The SBC engine saddle was the hit of the show! Now I’m going to have to put them into the store. Look for those items in the near future, but if you’re impatient you can always give me a call.

IMG_20150619_135942We talked with several satisfied customers and even saw Tim Thompson and his wonderful ’32 3W with the first mail ordered Full-X member installed. Of course Dr Marvelus and I had to take the opportunity for a shot of us all together. 2015-06-19 13.55.22

It’s summer time and we are still at it. More new products are on the way.

2015 LA Roadster Show, we will be there!

Next weekend is one of the coolest show/swaps in the country, held in Pomona California for Fathers day weekend. I have been attending this show since the 70’s as a kid and now as a vendor in the swap meet. We will be bringing out our Full-X members, Brake pedal assemblies, wish bone mounts and other goodies as well as some great stuff to swap. Stop on by, we will be in the swap area.

Headway on the new generation of kits. 65-66 F100

Right Frame rail A

After squaring and leveling the donor frame from Bill Wilson, I set a Datum at the original Axle centerline. Then Taking careful measurements I can construct a representation in Alibre’.

1965 F100 Right Side Rail B

Added the rear half of the frame from previous. Also changed the way the bumpout for the core support works. Not technically correct but works with my software.

1965 F100 Right Side Rail C

Locating all the critical holes needed for current and future projects.

65-66 Frame assembly A

Alibre’ 12 isn’t as sophisticated as it could have been. Doing a mirror of the Right frame rail wasn’t as easy as a command. I had to re-generate each sweep, boss, and cut the opposite way to generate the Left side rail.

65-66 Frame assembly B

Tried an approximation of the stock transmission crossmember. I may go back and re-draw it. Added the rear body mount crossmember and gussets as well as the forward crossmember for supporting the rear springs.

1030 6566 Crossmember B

Very similar to the 61-64 kits, this one requires a taller boxing plate and different locating holes. The longer boxing plates should solve the problem of the long and unsupported front frame section once the stock Twin-I-Beam crossmember has been removed.

1030 6566 Crossmember C1030 6566 Crossmember A

Full X-member for 32 Fords

Full bolt in, actually stiffens the frame and allows for a transmission change. Now includes front frame horn liners and “bolt-in” front split wishbone mounts.

Available now, hit the store! 

2013-10-22 11.55.42 2013-10-22 11.55.05 2013-10-22 11.55.14 2013-10-22 11.55.24

The Metro Truck: ’51 Chevy PU

As started by yet another shop in town and resultant failure to build a sound foundation, this 1951 Chevrolet 1ton was altered, shortened and modified into a mess of a chassis. Way past budget and nearly two years after it was commissioned the truck ended up on my doorstep. What showed up was powdercoated in a grey and black hammered finish. The weld porosity was clearly visible through the coating, the rails were not straight and every hole to attach the body, bed and running boards was welded up and boxed to prohibit future attachment.

As delivered by our client fresh from the other shop.

A keen eye will spot the bow in the rail and possibly the twist

this front end poorly installed, nothing lined up side for side. Notice the offset and non-level mounting of the rack?

This rail had a pretty severe twist to it.

Not only was the frame not square or true, the front end was un-alignable, no mounts for the coil overs on the lower control arms, the rack was offset to the passenger side over an inch. It took 5/8″ shim to get the left side to align and no shims in the right I still got over 1/2º positive Camber and only 1º positive Caster. Because of the offset of the rack and it’s misplacement, the front end had a pretty severe bumpsteer on the left side and a proper connection between the rack and the spindle on the right was not possible without inches of toe out.

The rear suspension was so poorly installed that the bars could not be installed without forcing things into place and the coil overs were in a serious bind if the rear was adjusted for proper pinion angle. The panhard rod was also too long and so far out of alignment that it couldn’t even be forced into place.  Even the rear axle housing was warped so bad that the axles didn’t fit properly and would have caused some premature wear issues.

The center tubular crossmember was insufficiently installed and triangulated. It provided no resistance for vertical support of itself nor for twist or beam resistance. Not even the forethought to support the transmission, it just took up space and added weight.

The decision was made to pretty much scrap the whole frame. We sent the frame over to our powdercoater to have them bake the coating off and sand blast back down to good metal. I don’t know if anyone has ever done it, but welding on anything with powdercoating is nasty stuff.  What we got back shocked us even  more, there were sections of boxing plate and front suspension crossmember that were not welded at all, others so poorly welded they were doomed to fail. No choice but to cut it apart.

Front crossmember already gone, much more ahead

Right rail getting the treatment in the dirty room.

There were a few areas like this with poor surface preparation, no weld penetration and no structural substance to hold the truck together.

Once down to bare rails Dr Marvelus and I commenced building some fixturing to hold the rails in place. This is where we spent far too much time on this build but we have some solid frame building gear to build the next one of these frames that come through the door. This also helped us get the frame rails straight and true, I believe the Dr spend nearly a week stripping and straightening to get to this point.

This was a 1Ton frame, so the shape is slightly different and the arch over the rear axle was much lower and didn’t allow for sufficient axle travel at the ride height we wanted. After a mockup of the body, bed, fenders and running boards we determined how much more arch over the axle we could use. We documented the important stuff and I drew up some new frame parts, cut and the good Dr MIG stitched them together and finished them to a stamped clean finish before grafting the new arches into the frame. Meanwhile I went about the front end, the stock front horns of the frame rails were absolute trash. Bent, welded and twisted out of working condition I decided to build new rails, but make them parallel from the firewall forward. I did similar on other trucks like the one we did for the Dynacorn Corporation, it gives you quite a bit more room for engine mounts and accessories as well as steering and so on.

New axle arches installed

New front frame horns and core support

I’m trying something a bit different with my boxing plates these days. Instead of the traditional plate or stepped-in boxing plates, these are C-shaped and thicken the frame rails to 3″ wide. The thicker frame rail will be much stronger and because of the lap joint, bowing after welding should be kept to a minimum, stronger weld and almost no finish grinding is necessary.

Boxing plates going in.

Boxing plates and front clip

Next up was getting the front suspension in place and the center tubular crossmember. The front end is late C4 Corvette, fully polished and has Global West Del-A-lum bushings installed otherwise stock. The rack is FOX platform stuff and I had to render everything in my software to determine the geometry. The goal wasn’t ultimate handling but a good compromise between good handling and ride comfort. I think I found a good mix that keeps the roll center near ground level, has reasonable camber change and of course near zero bumpsteer. I could not dial it all out because of the FOX tie rod ends. Then I could go about designing the crossmember to hold it all in place.

Late C4 Corvette parts in mockup

suspension crossmember details

Parts in mockup

Center tubular X-member

The tube center X-member and integrated transmission mount got bent up, coped and TIG welded together. Note the lower two tubes of the X-member are parallel. This makes transmission swaps possible without having to fabricate new mounts. The trans mount itself has an offset to it so that a slight tap and twist counter clockwise lets it drop right out of the structure. If it didn’t, it would be very difficult to remove it.

 

The rear is a triangulated four link, designed to be close to the 100% anti squat and adjustable somewhat for pinion angle and centering. Nothing too special, just repurposed TCI parallel four links in stainless. We used the lower bars as is but shortened the upper bars to 17″. I fabricated a new crossmember to transition the frame rails at the front attachment point of the four bars. additional crossmembering for the four link to attach and to stiffen the frame rails.

 

The old narrowed housing was out of alignment and was in sad condition that we were asked to retube it. The rear axle housing was completely TIG welded and I made custom brackets to hold the lower bars and coil overs. Dr Marvelus made the upper bar tabs. The last bits were fabricating motor mounts, upper control arm mounts and coil over mounts then we went in in a flurry of activity. Then two intense days of TIG welding to finalize everything as it came out of the frame fixutring and became a roller.

 

 

Welded and out of the fixture

Assembled and rolling

If you would like to see all the details I took photos of, click here

The rolling chassis complete, we are moving forward with the build. Right now we are adding exhaust, fuel tank and fitting the cab to the frame. Stay tuned for more updates!

So close you can taste it!

Here we are folks, #2 is installed and this is #3 and the first one to ship.

Installation is much easier than before and the frame stiffness is unmatched. I have been test fitting parts and making small corrections so that you get a high quality part you won’t have to fight to install and will enjoy for years to come.