Chassis - Chapter 1: Page 5 (March 2001)


The front crossmember for the chassis that will sit under the '29 pickup is simpler than the one for the original-style chassis, because the centre does not slope back in relation to the tapered side pieces.

Less hacksawing . .The reason for this is that the chassis rails are going to slope up from just in front of the firewall, to make the middle of the chassis a few inches lower than the front. The angle of the rails will be about 6 or 7 degrees, so the spring mount, being parallel to them, will naturally slope back at the same angle. Also, to raise the spring relative to the chassis (to lower the truck more), the centre is only about 1-1/4" below the top of the chassis, instead of the two inches or so of the stock-type one.

A bit less welding . .It made sense to make this crossmember at the same time as the other one, to double up on some of the operations (Henry Ford would be proud of us!). One of these was in making the spring clamps, and their mounting bosses, as they are identical on the two chassis. The clamps are more pieces of the 3/8" thick bright steel flat used for the rear axle spring mounts, again sawn and filed to shape by hand.

Just as much grinding . .The rear flange was made from pieces of 3mm flat welded along the bottom edge of the crossmember. We hadn't originally planned to have this flange as many of the aftermarket ones don't have one, but decided that the extra strength of this reinforcement was a good idea. It also offers a flange for mounting things like the brake pipes. As with the other one, dressing the exposed welds and cleaning up all the faces with a sanding disk left us ready for installation. Of course, at the moment we don't have the chassis rails ready for this one.

(2004 Update: As we said on the previous page, we decided to beef up the front lower edge of the crossmember, just to be sure it can take a bit of abuse - we're not gonna do the Paris-Dakkar in the truck, but still plan on racking up a few miles in it)