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Old 12-13-2019, 09:18 PM   #1
pastangnut
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Default Model A, body to subframe, to frame

Hi everyone, getting ready to purchase a running 1930 chassis with no body. I'm completely new to Model A's and would like to know how the body is attached to the subframe assy, and then how does the body/frame assy mount to the frame? I saw online where wooden blocks are used. I found some bodies for sale online, and most look like they need extensive work. In the past, I've restored older Mustangs, and currently, a 68 Bronco, but these old cars are new to me.
Thanks, Ivan
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Old 12-14-2019, 12:19 AM   #2
Steve Plucker
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Default Re: Model A, body to subframe, to frame

Ivan,

Different Model A Bodies mounted perty much the same except for some exceptions.

Your best bet is to get the Model A Ford Restoration Guidelines and Judging Standards...This wil help you understand the whole process of assembling the body to the frame.

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Old 12-14-2019, 09:28 AM   #3
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Model A, body to subframe, to frame

some bodys have wood framing and subframe, the tin is nailed on --fordors, cabriolet etc
tudors, coupes, roadsters have steel subframes,most body structure and the wood is mostly to nail the interior to
metal subframe bodys have wood blocks between the subframe and frame in most cases
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:07 AM   #4
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Model A, body to subframe, to frame

Get some vendor catalogs and the Red Book and start turning pages.
Read old posts on this site, very informative.
Paul in CT
MAKE SURE ENGINE NUMBER AND FRAME NUMBER MATCH BEFORE PURCHASE
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:25 PM   #5
Tinbasher
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Default Re: Model A, body to subframe, to frame

The A Body is usual spot welded to the cowl at the bottom to the sub-frame. Then the lower edge of the 1/4 panels are flanged over the edge of the sub-frame. This flange is usually about 1/2 to 3/4" wide. I never seen a good enough car to know for sure as this area is usually rotted away on the 1/4 panel and the sub-rail. The rear body panel I've seen with rivets in it or Sheet metal screws. That will make the body a unit and then this is bolted to the frame. The frame has webbing on it then the splash apron's, rubber pads, wooden blocks and then the body Hope this helps. JP
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:45 PM   #6
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Model A, body to subframe, to frame

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1931 flamingo View Post
Get some vendor catalogs and the Red Book and start turning pages.
Read old posts on this site, very informative.
Paul in CT
MAKE SURE ENGINE NUMBER AND FRAME NUMBER MATCH BEFORE PURCHASE
Be sure the frame number matches the title, it is nice if the engine also matches. If you are not getting a title with the package check with your DMV for the hoops you will need to jump through. Off topic but it is usually best to start with a complete vehicle, it is very expensive to piece one together even for someone that has been in the hobby for a long time.

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Old 12-14-2019, 08:18 PM   #7
pastangnut
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Default Re: Model A, body to subframe, to frame

Thanks everyone. I did put a deposit on it today. Looks like I'll be buying some manuals so I can figure out how to put it together. I wasn't sure if the body was spot welded to the subframe, or how any of it was put together. Thinking about making a pickup out of it, and I have found plenty of bodies and sheet metal on the internet,
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Model A, body to subframe, to frame

I was in the same boat because I wanted to replicate the construction style on my speedster build. Bought the bottom half of a A and am building the rest. Google image search is your friend as is the HAMB site and even evilBay.

It's been my understanding that from the doors forward was pretty consistent compared to the doors back. Of course the cowls were different between the 29 and 30.

Per books, there's no one repair manual as Henry wanted his customers to come back for repairs. The dealer service bulletins are OK
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Old 12-16-2019, 09:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: Model A, body to subframe, to frame

The sheet metal on the metal structured model As is both riveted and spot welded to the subrails or body sills. The outer vertical panels are crimped to the lower outer lip of the sub rails as was previously mentioned. The subframe assembly is mostly riveted together. Some floor panels were fastened with screws.

The Model A B Ford Garage has a lot of info. This is a link to a disassembled coupe and its reassembly. A person can see how it goes together and most of the steel structured cars are similar.
http://www.fordgarage.com/pages/bodyassembly.htm

Last edited by rotorwrench; 12-16-2019 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 12-16-2019, 10:38 AM   #10
Bob Bidonde
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Default Re: Model A, body to subframe, to frame

This may help give you some understanding of how a Model "A" body mounts to the frame. The Victoria body is spaced above the frame with 2x4 lumber so I could get the body to a ballpark alignment before dropping it onto the frame. The 2x4 lumber is temporary.

The frame rails get a webbing material along their top surfaces, and then the running board aprons are installed with bolts. There are rubber pads under the body rails at the mounting bolt holes. The pads cushion the body and keep it spaced about 1/4" above the running board aprons.

The Victoria is typical of Model "A's" having bodies with wood fore-aft rails. However, some bodies such as Coupes, Tudors & Pickups have steel body rails. Wood blocks with rubber pads are used with bodies having steel rails.

Bolts, washers and nuts attach the body to the frame frame rails. The bolt patterns vary between body styles, but most car frames are universally drilled.


Shimming with rubber pads at the body attachment bolt locations is necessary to twist the body, so that the doors, hood & radiator shell align. Shimming is the most difficult part of installing a body onto its frame.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2014-07(1).jpg (75.2 KB, 67 views)
File Type: jpg 190A Frame Assembly 791kb.jpg (98.4 KB, 68 views)
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:34 PM   #11
jcwilliamsj
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Default Re: Model A, body to subframe, to frame

do the wooden body blocks go between the body and the frame on a coupe spacing the body up the width of the mounting block
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Old 12-20-2019, 11:04 AM   #12
Bob Bidonde
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Default Re: Model A, body to subframe, to frame

On a Coupe, the body blocks go into body cross rails. When the body is on the frame, the thickness of the rubber pads establishes the clearance. As I mentioned above, the body sits atop of the running board aprons.
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