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Old 04-04-2017, 01:08 PM   #1
cooperhw
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Calling all slicers and dicers

That's all. Anybody who faints, gets nauseous, or throws up a little in their mouth anytime someone cuts into a frame rail please skip right on past this thread. I am wanting to share my idea and plan with those who have no problem cutting, welding, shortening, etc. on a frame as long as it is strong when you get done.
My last build (documented on the 67-72 project build) Meet Homer, I shortened a really long frame a total of 60 inches and turned that old motorhome into a short bed step side 1 ton dually. Had to do a ton of fabrication work to widen the step side bed to fit over the dual wheels but it was worth it. Anyhow, I mention that build just so you know this is not my first rodeo by any means. I am not a pro either, by any stretch of the imagination.
Current build just started is a 78 C-10 short bed fleet side pickup. I am planning to drop it a "little" closer to the deck. I have been thinking about this process and reading a ton of other peoples builds and how the Z notched their frames to gain about 2 inches or so here and sectioned the crossmember to gain another inch or so, before drop spindles ect come into play. I really don't particularly care for my middle chassis to be hanging off the front section of chassis by a couple of inches and a bunch of plating. (Just me)
My plan is a bit different in that I plan to cut out the entire section of the frame where the cab sits (and covers) after I install another section of frame (from a donor frames I have laying around). Sounds a little crazy at first (said the same thing to Newton about gravity), but think about it this way.
My "new" section of frame will be installed, welded, plated, etc., including any gussets or crossmembers needed, before my existing frame is cut in any way except maybe one cut on the bottom frame rail where the tow touch as I would not want to take the chance of cutting into the top of the new donor section. Old school hot rodders did stuff like this on their bombers except they usually cut the old frame and then laid it on top thereby lowering the section the body sits on.
Maybe these pics will help you understand what I am talking about?
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Old 04-04-2017, 01:16 PM   #2
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

My thinking is as such.
1.Once the cab is lowered about 8 inches the front and rear suspension have not been altered in any way. "They don't know".
2. Raising the bed floor is simple compared to widening a bed and installing a new metal bed floor, so "no biggie".
3. The short section of frame in the front that the core support sits on will also undergo a similar addition of donor frame. Once welded together and plated, then the old section can be removed.
4. I know that the steering currently installed will need to be modified. I am planning to install a rack and pinion setup and toying with the idea of an "electric power steering" setup off like a 2010 Toyota Corolla. Check it out on You Tube. Really slick if you are wanting to run a rack and pinion.
Anyhow, that's where my mind has travelled. Let me know what you think?
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Old 04-04-2017, 01:42 PM   #3
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

Interesting idea. Looks like you are doing a Z but a bit further back. I don't see why it wouldn't work but seems like you are doing more work than a more traditional Z (3 cuts instead of 2).

How low are you going?
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Old 04-04-2017, 01:46 PM   #4
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

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Originally Posted by tinydb84 View Post
Interesting idea. Looks like you are doing a Z but a bit further back. I don't see why it wouldn't work but seems like you are doing more work than a more traditional Z (3 cuts instead of 2).

How low are you going?
Yeah, a little more work but you will gain a ton more strength.
As to how low, ???? Probably pretty low.
I figure it would be easy to get a 3 inch drop spindle and add that to a 6 or 8 inch body drop????
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Old 04-04-2017, 01:53 PM   #5
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

Extra strength at the joints or overall? I don't think I understand.

Bags or static? If you are doing a traditional body drop why not just do the 6 inches and call it a day?

Take a look at "Parked Indefinitely" when you get the chance. He does a 2 inch channel.

You could do a 2 inch Z, 2 inch channel, 3 inch spindles, 2 inch springs and in theory have as much ground clearance as a usual static drop as well as room in the cab.

I think the turning radius might become an issue if you are static unless you shorten your arms.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-04-2017, 01:58 PM   #6
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

By "extra strength" I mean about 6 inches of one frame on top of another frame welded and plated as opposed to a traditional Z which starts out with a vertical cut butt welded with only a couple inches of each section touching/welded, before plating begins. not to mention that my frame would remain perfectly straight, level, etc as no section of frame is removed until after the new is in place.
Here's another thought.
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Old 04-04-2017, 02:06 PM   #7
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

Ah got it. Sorry harder to see and read on my phone. I would do it the way you just posted to save some work.
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Old 04-04-2017, 03:32 PM   #8
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

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Ah got it. Sorry harder to see and read on my phone. I would do it the way you just posted to save some work.
I agree. I never even thought about why and I kicking it back up after the cab? Just so I can lower it back down.
If I do it like the last drawing then the bed will still sit just like it did if reference to the cab. Basically I would in effect be Raising the section where the front crossmember and steering are located, instead of lowering anything.
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Old 04-04-2017, 03:56 PM   #9
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

I did something sorta kinda similar on the back half of my truck when I shortened it. I wanted to Z my rear frame 2.5" to gain a few extra inches of drop, so when I cut my 12" section out I left two 3" sections that created extra bracing when I put the two parts of the chassis back together. For added strength, I boxed the frame around the joint. There are much more details in my build thread. My truck has not folded in half, yet.

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Old 04-04-2017, 04:08 PM   #10
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

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I did something sorta kinda similar on the back half of my truck when I shortened it. I wanted to Z my rear frame 2.5" to gain a few extra inches of drop, so when I cut my 12" section out I left two 3" sections that created extra bracing when I put the two parts of the chassis back together. For added strength, I boxed the frame around the joint. There are much more details in my build thread. My truck has not folded in half, yet.

Right on. Same type concept. I have been going over & over this in my mind and looking at my stripped chassis and see no downside to it.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:33 PM   #11
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

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Right on. Same type concept. I have been going over & over this in my mind and looking at my stripped chassis and see no downside to it.
I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work and be plenty strong enough. My only two questions from looking at your schematic are:

Will the frame contour on bottom lay out close enough to the top contour on the frame section to make the connections you need front and rear?

How will you accomodate everything under the hood? 6" is a lot of space to lose.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:40 PM   #12
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

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I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work and be plenty strong enough. My only two questions from looking at your schematic are:

Will the frame contour on bottom lay out close enough to the top contour on the frame section to make the connections you need front and rear?

How will you accomodate everything under the hood? 6" is a lot of space to lose.
Noted. Both good/valid points.
1. I think the frame top & bottom will be close enough, but I will verify before touching my original frame.
2. 6 " is a lot (that's what she said) of vertical space but I don't see a problem other than a new aftermarket radiator may need to go through the panel that holds the factory radiator in place. I figured I can make something fit. I am pretty handy at making it work.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:12 PM   #13
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

Haha. I'm wondering too, you'll probably have to do a custom tunnel if the engine moves up the full 6" as well. I'm sure there will be many other things you need to work around as well, but based off your last build, you got this!
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:59 PM   #14
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

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Haha. I'm wondering too, you'll probably have to do a custom tunnel if the engine moves up the full 6" as well. I'm sure there will be many other things you need to work around as well, but based off your last build, you got this!
I agree. A little tunnel surgery for sure but no big deal there.
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:25 AM   #15
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

The 6 inches will cause problems.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=232213
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:35 AM   #16
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

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How? Believe me when I say I welcome the feedback. If you have knowledge of how these problems will take place I would love to hear them.
Otherwise, I will be starting this mod. This coming weekend.
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:41 AM   #17
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

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How? Believe me when I say I welcome the feedback. If you have knowledge of how these problems will take place I would love to hear them.
Otherwise, I will be starting this mod. This coming weekend.
I glanced through that thread tinydb84 posted and it did make me wonder again about clearance for the engine. I didn't think there was 6" above the motor and it does appear you will run into issues if the motor moves up that much. If it physically does not fit between the crossmember and hood then something has to move. Also, someone mentioned steering in there and that was a good point. I suppose if all the components move up with the frame, the only real thing that needs to be sorted out is the steering shaft.
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:43 AM   #18
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

you're gonna need to move the radiator support and bed mounts the same amount in order for body lines to match
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:54 AM   #19
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

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I glanced through that thread tinydb84 posted and it did make me wonder again about clearance for the engine. I didn't think there was 6" above the motor and it does appear you will run into issues if the motor moves up that much. If it physically does not fit between the crossmember and hood then something has to move. Also, someone mentioned steering in there and that was a good point. I suppose if all the components move up with the frame, the only real thing that needs to be sorted out is the steering shaft.
I agree with the point that the distance between the top of the air cleaner and the hood may come into play. My solution (if needed) would be a cowl hood. (only if needed)
Steering could become an issue if you had to use the stock steering column because it goes so far down before you can hook to it. I don't feel this would be such an issue if a new column from flaming river was used that was shorter so you can start angling towards the box (or rack and pinion) as soon as the shaft is on the engine side of the firewall.
Both of these issues in my mind are easily solved compared to the 6 inches you gain (lower).
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:09 AM   #20
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

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you're gonna need to move the radiator support and bed mounts the same amount in order for body lines to match
Good catch. I had omitted to move that section ahead of the crossmember in my haste yesterday. Here is the updated (crude) profile sketch.

Think about the frame as being only two components. 1. Crossmember with A-Arms attached.
2. The frame that the core support, cab, and bed sit on.

I think this might make it easier to see my vision (in my head). The 3 feet section of the frame with the crossmember with A-Arms has not moved whatsoever. Exactly the same as it was on Friday morning last week with tires on it. Can bolt tires back on it and the alignment should be exactly perfect like it was.
Sorry I posted two pictures of the same thing.

Now, forget about that 3 feet section of frame and think only of the frame before and after that (3 feet) area. They have not moved whatsoever in relation to each other. The core support, cab, and bed will bolt back on exactly like they were last Friday. The only difference (in my minds eye) is that the "body & bed" are now 6 inches closer to the ground.

I already know I will need to hang a rear end in there, but I am not even sweating that.

If you look at the profile picture of "before and after", in my mind each of these two components will not know anything has changed from where it is currently once the "lower crossmember section" has been removed.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:15 AM   #21
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

Anybody have any idea of exactly how much clearance you have from the top of your air cleaner to the bottom side of the hood? Maybe somebody could place an empty can (beverage of your choice) on top of your air cleaner and then shut the hood. I think there is more clearance then we think. ??
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:28 AM   #22
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

As to getting the frame closer to the ground, in my mind I am seeing this frame getting down there much easier with the crossmember and a-arms raised. No slicing of the a-arms needed or sectioning of the crossmember. Throw some bags on this dude and up she goes. I will also trim off that little 1.5" or so of belly below the cab and get the rockers even closer.

"You know, they told Oliver and Wilber" that thing will never fly. You two are crazy".
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:30 AM   #23
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

I think that revised front section plan is looking much better now. If someone else hasn't chimed in by this evening, I can go out and measure the air cleaner to hood clearance. I have an all stock '68 with the original 307, so that will be a good representation of the space that's available. As for the bed floor, I assume you plan on raising it 6" to effectively drop your bed down 6" to account for the rear frame section? Do you have a wood or steel floor? I have steel on mine and just moved the mounting flange up on the sides and they bolted right back on where they were, just 2.5" lower.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:33 AM   #24
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

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As to getting the frame closer to the ground, in my mind I am seeing this frame getting down there much easier with the crossmember and a-arms raised. No slicing of the a-arms needed or sectioning of the crossmember. Throw some bags on this dude and up she goes. I will also trim off that little 1.5" or so of belly below the cab and get the rockers even closer.

"You know, they told Oliver and Wilber" that thing will never fly. You two are crazy".
Are you talking about the pinch weld? I've seen trucks with that section trimmed up so it's level with the fender and bed rockers so they will lay flat. To me it looks funny, but that's just me. I do know, however, that to even lay pinch weld on the cab, you have to do a .75" body drop because the frame hits the ground before the pinch. If you trim that off, you will have to drop the body even further.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:40 AM   #25
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Re: Calling all slicers and dicers

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Are you talking about the pinch weld? I've seen trucks with that section trimmed up so it's level with the fender and bed rockers so they will lay flat. To me it looks funny, but that's just me. I do know, however, that to even lay pinch weld on the cab, you have to do a .75" body drop because the frame hits the ground before the pinch. If you trim that off, you will have to drop the body even further.
To be perfectly honest with you "I am not all caught up in that lay pinch, lay frame, etc. jazz". I am simply trying to get my truck down, on a somewhat reasonable budget, to where it looks good. I do plan to trim off that little 1.5 inch or so of belly under the cab, maybe, if needed.
As to the bed, it will bolt right back onto the same bed mounts just like the cab and core support. The frame has not changed, other than moving the 3 foot section that carries the front crossmember and A-arms.

I am just seeing this as a cheap way to lower the truck by utilizing my spare frame.
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