How To Fabricate A Chassis – Building a Model A Hot Rod with Eastwood

everybody mad from eastwood here there isn’t much to building a
traditional hot rod you pick a nice body your drivetrain and your suspension and
you’re on your way to me the stance of a vehicle is equally as important as the
wheels and tires that you pick and the chassis is the foundation that gives a
hot rod that iconic profile that we all love behind me i have the chassis table
that we built in another video with some tubing on top that will become our frame
rails follow along as we build a simple hot rod chassis and we show you some
tips and tricks along the way so let’s get started first the front of each
frame rail was marked so that we could slide the original model a front
crossmember in place yeah the original frame horns narrow as the
slope down so we needed to relief cut the front of our frame rails to pinch
the height of the rails down to match with the front of the frame rails
modified we slid the original cross member in place and set the width of the
frame at the cow and clamp the rails in place next the front crossmember was clamped
in place and we checked our cross measurements in the frame rails and set
our desired caster we then welded the crossmember in place using the big 175 the frame horn sections were then
clamped in place and welded to the frame rails yeah yeah we then marked out lines to make a
series of relief cuts in the frame just in from the front cowl and cut
through the frame rails from the top leaving the bottom side intact using a floor jack we lift it up on the
front crossmember compressing the relief cuts and gradually sweeping the front
portion of the frame up to our desired angle yeah each seam was then prepped and slowly
welded shut letting them cool in between welds next a pie cut was taken out of the
bottom of the frame rails just behind the crossmember to bring it back to
level and we welded the same shot yeah yeah yeah alright so what we’ve been doing here is
sweeping the front of the chassis this essentially lowers the front end of
the vehicle and gives it a nice profile so we’ve already put a bunch of relief
cuts in the chassis here lift it up about five degrees and then
in the front here what we need to do is compensate for that five degrees to get
our alignment of our front axle correct so we’ve taken a pie cut out of the
chassis here just behind the front crossmember we’re going to press down on
this which will bring it back down to zero and will be level with the back
portion of the chassis then we can weld it up we’re ready to
test for suspension and start setting over your ride height the frame was then cut free from the
table and set on the ground so we could build up our front suspension yeah the Versa cut 60 was used to cut out the
original floor from the body so it could be channeled over the frame yeah with the body set on the frame we rolled
the rear axle under the body and cut notches in the wheel wells so we could
set the rear ride height the engine was temporarily mounted in
the frame to load the front suspension so we could take our final measurements height measurements were then taken from
the floor to the top of the rear crossmember and from the top of the
frame rails to the top of the crossmember to determine the size of the
rear frame step we also measure the distance from the center of the front
hub to the center of the back hub to determine our final wheel base for the
car the chassis was then locked back into
the table and a rear fixture was made to hold the rear crossmember at the desired
height we then dialed in the wheelbase and use
mechanics wire to cross measure and make sure the crossmember was straight and
aligned in the frame yeah all right guys let’s give you a little
update on where we’re at with the chassis build the last couple of shots
he’s already set the body on we test fit the drive train to get some weight into
the chassis so we can take measurements to figure out exactly how high our ears
he needed to be so what we’ve gone ahead and done at this point there’s a
built-in rear fixture here the sets the rear crossmember exactly at
the height that we need it to be we’ve also squared everything up on the
chassis table here so we noted straight and true it’s going to go down the road street so
now what we need to do is cut up some pieces here to finish off the rear z well everything up our perimeter frame
is done yeah yeah the beginning this video we started with
a pile of old Ford parts in a bunch of box tubing and now well look at it we’ve got a pretty killer rolling
chassis and it’s very strong all i have to do is dress up a couple of
the welds and a center crossmember we have a completed rolling chassis next we’re going to build a floor for
the body so that it sits down over the chassis and bolts on like factory if you
want to follow this build or any of our other builds make sure you subscribe to
our youtube channel and visit to get the tools you need
to do the job right yeah yeah yeah hmm yeah yeah

100 thoughts on “How To Fabricate A Chassis – Building a Model A Hot Rod with Eastwood

  1. as a welder I have to wonder how safe that chassis is, I didn't see any beveling before you welded, vertical down does not penetrate very well and not plating the top of the relief cuts is a bad idea since you ground all the weld off

  2. This is awesome! Great video and killer build! Congratz Eastwood guys… Question: where to find measure to build the chassis?

  3. I love what ya'll do. Love watching the vehicle projects. It's difficult to follow the builds because the videos are scattered all over. I wish you had a playlist per vehicle. Thanks for the videos!

  4. I must admit that despite that being the crudest chassis ever the size and thickness of tubes make it just passable from a technical point of view.

  5. Hey Eastwood Company. I am new to welding. I heard that tig welding is ideal for this type of job; however, I see that you are using a mig welder. Is your mig welder just as good as a tig welder? Am I getting wrong information? Thanks for your time.

  6. Eh, A bit of information, but a lot of misinformation. The front frame horns show a distinct lack of penetration, and the welds for the swoop you didn't bevel at all.  Also, not a single fish plate in that rear kick.  Build it, but build it safe!

  7. So awesome to see all this info, coming from a family that was not into hot rods, more just small mods to their 70's and 80's muscle cars, finally can see all the info I need to get on my way with this 1948 Dodge Panel Truck. Wicked info, thanks

  8. You know what would be awesome. a modern frame with a beast of an engine and exposed springs mached with a old bodey.

  9. Hi and thanks for your vids they are good question , if I wanted the body for a 32 convertible at high boy lines is the frame angles you show here right for this car I see you channeled this body low where's I want higher and hi boy lines thanks

  10. Am I the only engineer here, and the only person who feels like this whole thing would not last two rides over the speed bumps? These hot rods just seem very flimsy and badly put together, like back then who designed them had no common sense.

  11. That welder looks pretty good and is pretty cheap for what it is and the welds it makes and you have proof it is a welder capable of making a chassis.

    I have seen people try to repair a frame with a harbor freight 90 amp mig. The welds do not hold up to that kind of weight. I have seen tests where people have hit the welds with a HF machine with a hammer to prove it is strong or stand on it but when it comes to a chassis an HF welder can neither build or repair the frame of a car. For those who don't know. Notice the gas bottle behind the welder and then you automatically know he is running a 220v mig with gas and solid wire. Why is he doing it that way? Because the machine produces not only better welds but also strong welds and he is not producing any spatter so by using a good machine he is welding something he knows will hold up and is not subject to any scrutiny.

    HF welders are good for things like spot welding body panels and pretty much any 22 to 16 ga sheet steel, It can also produce a weld on lower caliber firearms and depending on the structure of how the gun is made could also be used for up to the .45 ACP or 9mm rounds as long as it is a submachine gun configuration comparable to the sten. HF welder is a light duty welder so do not ask it to do more than it can do. Oh and they are also excellent for if you mess up a hole placement when you are drilling it can weld the hole closed and allow you to relocate the hole. I would also go as far as to say the HF welder could also repair sections of a unibody car that does not have the traditional frame and that is simply because they us intelligently bend sheet metal to form rocker panels and so forth so the steel used in a unibody car is very much within the 22 to 16ga realm. I have actually never seen a rocker panel over 16ga thick (by that I mean the rocker support not the external panel).

    If its the only welder a person can afford and you simply cannot go out and buy a better machine or a new car or can't afford to have a shop do it for you then by all means attempt a fix with the HF welder even if it is on a car frame because logic tells you even a HF weld from a 90 amp mig is better than just letting it go and is also stronger than the void that rotted out.

  12. Good over all job but poor fit up too large of gaps shouldn't have filled so much work on that and you'll go far

  13. How does he know how long the frame needs to be? and how does he know how much of an angle he needs? was he looking at blueprint's? how do I get these blueprint's? 😮

  14. Slice cut the frame,compress,surface weld,then grind the welds flat and not fish frame it especially in front where it's subjected to flex ? To each His own.

  15. Matt, how thick is the metal you are using for the frame on the 1930 coupe? Would recommend using 1/8 inch thickness for a street rod frame? Thanks for your answer in advance.

  16. wish i was doing this 15 years ago when i had a full shop & equipment instead of wrapping lowrider frames 🙁

  17. I waited the whole video to see fish plates welded over those cut and welded chassis bends, and it never happened…

  18. This guy is no "fabricator". You could throw a cat through some of the gaps in his fit ups, and once it's welded it'll be as crooked as a dogs hind leg. I call bs

  19. little almost everyone dosent know besides me and car experts that i made a model t during sixth with my friend riley and probably the most popular for a month. we still do burnouts with that car today.

  20. 11:17… I don't know about that rear cross member brace, It has a few unbraced stress points and I don't see any triangulation to bare the load.

  21. I found the video informative. Just what I needed to make get up and start using all the old parts laying around. Time to rebuild Dad's roadster back to the way it was in 61. Thanks for doing this and other videos with the older cars.

  22. Ok. I have one question. How on Earth is he cutting so straight with a sawsall? I use those things and they walk around everywhere. I like to make the joke "a sawsall can cut anything, but a straight line."

  23. Great video! When offsetting the frame why didn't you pie cut the first joint instead of all the thin cuts and extra welding?

  24. If only he had red a welders handbook or a engineering text he would have learned that his weld joints are weak from a structural point of view. He is not a Journey man welder as best I can determine.

  25. Hi guys! Just found this topic from your channel.
    My question is. Will my chassis lose their regidness once it was welded and replace a part from a donor chassis?

  26. I have an 1919 model T frame and springs in mint condition can I use it the way it is ?I have a 327 SBC with a 4 speed or an auto trans for the power . And a covair steering box , 9 in rear end and front axel Thanks TANK

  27. you guys are stupid. no fish plates where the frame was relieved, really!!! Your teaching a bunch alot of inexperienced people to do things that are beyond there experiance and can mabe get them into alot of trouble when there frame breaks.

  28. Practice , practice, and practice. It can be done. My co workers sound like you. All i can say is steady hand and practice

  29. now the real question…whats the dmv gonna think? one of the reasons ive given up on doing something like this. my state doesnt have the SEMA laws….

  30. So a Model A frame flare out towards the rear. I see you didn't do this. I'm guessing that it's because you aren't going to use stock body mounting. I made relief cuts much like you did to accomplish the flare out. I drilled 1/8 holes at the front of the frame on each rail across from one another. I used these as my zero mark to properly position all body mount holes and crossmember locations. I worked for Freightliner and that's the way frames are built at our factories. I had a stock frame that was in bad shape, rust and cracks, but it was square. I also drilled 1/8 holes in it at the same location and used trammel a trammel bar to transfer locations.

  31. Hey I gotta know, if I were to purchase an already built chassis, with an engine mounted, could I get away with not welding? Reason being is that stuff is expensive and I’d rather avoid it if I can

  32. This is so helpful to me i like hot rod i injoy driveing my car i joyed takeing it from junk to driveable eveyone always ask me why did you buy it for and told them i am going to build me a hot rod

  33. no one gives a explanation on how to measure a frame in relation to the body, and i've seen loads of videos on you tube, and this is no exception

  34. Eastwood makes products and creates a larger market for itself through informational and instructional videos. Pretty smart business model.

  35. And everyone here made money doing absolutely nothing. Remaking a remake of a shitty car. Men are still spending their time away from their families for this shit. LOOK, IT'S LIKE AN OLD CAR, BUT LIKE A NEW CAR…. When it's really just a gigantic money pit that's taken you away from things that matter. In 2019 we still have adult men remaking remakes of someone elses remake and making MILLIONS…. Nice shop and originality,, it's only 200 years old.

  36. Is the mig 175 welder good for making a tube chassis? Im new to welding and dont really understand what machine I need

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