Archive for November, 2010

Truck Parts

I’ve realized from talking to friends and family that I may be getting too technical in my explanations of what’s going on so I’m going to take this post and describe the different parts of the truck that I’m working on.

What I’m building right now is a new chassis for the truck. The chassis is made up of several major parts.

F100 Chassis

The frame is the steel framework that everything is attached to. In the case of the ‘56 Ford it looks like a large ladder and is comprised of two parallel frame rails. These frame rails are connected to one another through cross-members at various locations along the length of the frame.

The frame sits on a front and rear suspension. The original frame had a solid front axle and a live rear axle. A live rear axle contains the differential that turns engine power delivered via the driveshaft into rotating the rear wheels.

In the picture above the front suspension has been replaced on this frame with an Independent Front Suspension or IFS. Most modern cars and trucks have an IFS and it means that each side of the suspension moves independently of one another.

I’m taking it a bit further by placing both an Independent Front Suspension and an Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) under the new frame I’m building.

1984 Corvette front suspension1984 Corvette rear suspension

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Breaking apart the original frame

The next step I needed to take care of was to break apart the original frame to give me one frame rail to work with.


I’m planning on building a new chassis but didn’t want to use the original frame, but I needed to get measurements from the original frame rail. So I began the process of cutting a cross-cut across the rivet heads and using a cold chisel to hammer off the rivet heads. Then once that was complete I’d knock out the rivets using a hammer and punch. At the time I had loaned out my shop compressor to a friend so I didn’t have use of my air tools and had to do this by hand. Man was this a back-breaking chore. It must have taken close to 30 hours to punch out all the rivets and get the frame to a state where I could separate the two frame rails.


I then dragged the frame into the shop where I tried some creative solutions to try to separate the frame rails. In hindsight I probably should have spent more time punching out the rivets as this would have made the job easier. As you can see in the pictures I used the engine hoist to raise one side of the frame while the other side of the frame was kept under the engine hoist. While I stood on the engine hoist’s legs and jacked up the engine hoist, this provided the necessary leverage to allow the parts to break apart. I didn’t want to put too much stress on the frame, joist and myself so I took my time making sure I was working the frame to release any tension.

After a bit of work i was able to separate one frame rail from the frame.


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