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Old 01-02-2021, 04:31 PM   #1
kundun
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Default Frame - is it straight?

I inherited a 29 Phaeton which originated from Brazil.


Looking at the car, I assume it had a harsh live and little care.



One of the big things, that bother me is the frame. The car must have had at least one accident as the crossmembers in the front have been reinforced and welded as ugly as possible...


Then, to transport the car in a container away from Brazil the frame was cut in halve and welded together again.



So you might understand that my trust in my frame isnt the best.



I've now found a guy who has frames at sale.

But I need a way to check that the frame that I will buy is as straight as possible. I dont have the tools nor the time to straighten it myself.





Can anybody give a advice or a manual on how to check a frame on its straightness?





And, have there been differences in the frames? Have all models the same frame? Must I only look for a 28/29 frame for me?
thanks a lot,
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Old 01-02-2021, 04:51 PM   #2
Synchro909
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

I'm sure someone will post a plan of the chassis with dimensions for you. As for the m all being the same, no they are not. The difference is most obvious at the front cross member. The "pad" on which the radiator sits is lower on the 30/31 chassis than the earlier ones. If you have one of each side by side, you will see what I mean or maybe someone will post a picture of that too.
The most likely place for the chassis to bend is a sag at the rear engine mounts. I clamp a 1/2" thick piece of wood to the rail at the front X member and the other end near the middle X member and stretch a string between them. If there is any sag, it will show as a smaller gap under the string at the engine mounts.
FWIW, The chassis under my Phaeton is bent there and I'm hoping to straighten it without taking everything apart.
With all of that said, I wouldn't trust your welded chassis - replace it. At least a "new" chassis is possible over there.
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Old 01-02-2021, 04:52 PM   #3
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

Clamp a string onto the front and the back of each frame rail and pull the string taunt. You will see really quickly if it is bent. Also check the measurements diagonally to verify that the measurement is the same in an 'X' pattern.

Plenty of information how to heat shrink a frame back to being straight here in the archives.
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Old 01-02-2021, 04:56 PM   #4
bbrocksr
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kundun View Post
I inherited a 29 Phaeton which originated from Brazil.


Looking at the car, I assume it had a harsh live and little care.



One of the big things, that bother me is the frame. The car must have had at least one accident as the crossmembers in the front have been reinforced and welded as ugly as possible...


Then, to transport the car in a container away from Brazil the frame was cut in halve and welded together again.



So you might understand that my trust in my frame isnt the best.



I've now found a guy who has frames at sale.

But I need a way to check that the frame that I will buy is as straight as possible. I dont have the tools nor the time to straighten it myself.





Can anybody give a advice or a manual on how to check a frame on its straightness?





And, have there been differences in the frames? Have all models the same frame? Must I only look for a 28/29 frame for me?
thanks a lot,
28/29 is different than 30/31 You can check for straightness with a tape measure and a long straight edge or long level [ 8']or a string line.

Bill
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Old 01-02-2021, 05:22 PM   #5
Bob Johnson
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

Here are a couple of pictures of a bent frame with a string used to show how bent the frame was. The upper picture is the driver side and there is a slight sag around the rear motor mount. The second picture is the passenger side which has a very large bend from the rear motor mount to the front of the car. The frame should be perfectly flat from the back all the way to the front where the front fender support attaches to the frame.


Bob


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Old 01-02-2021, 06:00 PM   #6
kundun
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

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so all 28/29 Modal As have the same frame? no matter of their body style?


Do I understand correct, that the red stings will show me if it is straight on the length (like in Bobs pics) but also not tilting to the left or right.


Brent, how do you do diagonal check? I assume it's hard to check if the left and right is twisted


ps, hope you dont mind me using your pic Brent, was one of the first which popped in the search.
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:12 PM   #7
hudson32700
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

This may be helpful.
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:33 PM   #8
Russ/40
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

Although it's implied, it's not specifically stated. The frame needs to be perfectly flat from the front crossmember all the way to the rear crossmember., the full length of the red line on the photo above in post 6.
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:41 PM   #9
Jack Shaft
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

Endeavor to purchase a perfect frame,however its not entirely critical to driveability and in some cases body alignment can correct issues.
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Old 01-02-2021, 07:01 PM   #10
David R.
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

I made some wood blocks and ‘strung’ my AA frame. The rails were level, no sag but about an eight of an inch off side to side. I talked to the owner at a local frame/body shop and he chuckled, said that’s as close as they try to get one they straighten.
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:32 AM   #11
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hudson32700 View Post
This may be helpful.
...or it may not. Compared to some factory prints, there are some measurement discrepancies.
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Old 01-03-2021, 01:31 PM   #12
macdonge
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

Hudson32700... That's a useful drawing. You wouldn't happen to have a similar one for the 30/31 frame, would you?
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Old 01-03-2021, 06:52 PM   #13
hudson32700
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

MACDONGE
Go to plucks329s.org for info about mode A frames.
See frame dimensions at: www.wescottauto.com
and click on "tech information".
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Old 01-03-2021, 08:05 PM   #14
mike657894
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
Clamp a string onto the front and the back of each frame rail and pull the string taunt. You will see really quickly if it is bent. Also check the measurements diagonally to verify that the measurement is the same in an 'X' pattern.

Plenty of information how to heat shrink a frame back to being straight here in the archives.
too add on the string idea.
I use a string tied to two 1 gallon jugs to do my alignments. its a good way to put a straight line in the air next to something

also when im picking out boards. i look down them the long way it becomes easy to see a wow in there.
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:49 PM   #15
Tim Ayers
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Default Re: Frame - is it straight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
Clamp a string onto the front and the back of each frame rail and pull the string taunt. You will see really quickly if it is bent. Also check the measurements diagonally to verify that the measurement is the same in an 'X' pattern.

Plenty of information how to heat shrink a frame back to being straight here in the archives.

Agreed. Quick and dirty way to tell
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