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  1. #1

    Default Where are you guys getting your metal and what size for frame rails?

    I'm designing my rod in 3D software while I accumulate the bigger partss first (cab, bed, drive train, etc).

    Are you guys using hot rolled or hold rolled rails?

    I'm using a 6BT Cummins so thinking about 3x4 tube 3/16 thickness. 1) Because of engine weight (1,000-1,150 lbs) and the torque the engine produces.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Westlock Alberta


    I worked at a he repair shop and scrounged lots of metal from the scrap bin.... but most city's have bulk steel suppliers and will usually sell small amounts.... I used an original frame from a 50s gm 2.5 ton which is 3/16 C channel and I boxed it all up with 1/4. Where the I Z'd the frame used 1/4 for guests all around... also using a Cummins in mine. See 20's cars, "new project, what is it?"

  3. #3


    2x4x3/16 is what i use. I had a 1000 lb engine in my last car and that fram held up just fine. Some guys will say 1/4, but i think the 3/16 will hold up fine.
    Clutter is the evidence of life!

  4. #4


    Are you guys using cold rolled or hot rolled tubing?

  5. #5


    For what its worth, I have an 03 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab 2 wd pickup here. It was a V8 truck, not a Cummings, V8s are considerably lighter then a Cummings. The frame on it is 6" x 3" tube with 1/8" wall thickness.

    You will want hot roll steel for the tubing (and everything else) for your frame. I'm not sure you can get cold roll tubing in the sizes you will need. Gene

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    superior montana on 1.25 acres out of town


    In regards to 3x2 rectangle tube steel in a 20 foot stick, there is about 24 lbs weight difference between 3/16 and 1/4 wall. I personally overdo when it comes to steel. I will take the extra weight and cost anytime.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Zephyrhills, Florida, USA


    Quote Originally Posted by lowbudget50 View Post
    2" x 4" x 3/16" is what i use. I had a 1000 lb engine in my last car and that frame held up just fine. Some guys will say 1/4", but i think the 3/16" will hold up fine.
    I agree, 2" x 4" x 0.1875" is a God's plenty. If you want the car to look beefier, use 2" x 6" x 0.1875".

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    sacramento ca


    Excellent inquiry.

    I have to believe that an auto frame program exists that permits a simulated application with the possibility of substituting various engines and channel or tube gauges and sizes. This simulation of actual road use would respond to inputs or changes in various bracing or other changes to a design input.

    A convertible loses the anti-twist capability of a closed body and something called scuttle shake raises it's ugly head. A roll cage can add anti-twist into a configuration. Off-road use is another animal in this discussion. Drag racing and the associated torque is yet another .

    Bottom line: Give me a contact who will take my proposed design ( Frame size, thickness, engine , etc.) and subject it to a simulated test and recommend changes to achieve the objective. I do not expect it to be free but it will be invaluable when I show up to an inspection or meet a road condition that my frame was designed for. This beats the hell out of saying " but my friend said*......." Welding is an issue that can be addressed by certification and inspection.

    I can blow an engine and maybe nobody gets hurt but if I have a frame failure especially at speed others can easily be involved. This isn't rocket science but it is science and engineering and computers love this sort of thing.


    * My favorite disasters have occurred when a client told me they have a good friend who can do an excellent job on an item so I should deduct that from the contract pricing. i.e. what could possibly go wrong?
    Last edited by alangilstrap; 04-25-2017 at 05:44 AM.



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