Starting the Frame Build

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Okay, it feels like this has been forever coming, but it really feels like a milestone step in the build of the car. I’ve gathered all of the parts I need to make a rolling chassis for inspection so it was finally time to start on the actual build of the frame itself.

The first step was to bend the out tubes of the base frame. I bought a Pro-Tools 105 bender a few years ago and finally put it to good use bending the 2″ tubes for the outer rails. Definitely took some muscle to bend the tube but the most important part was to keep all of the bends in plane to make sure the piece was as flat as possible when it had all 5 bends in it.

 

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I had drawn out my frame plan on the table to make sure all of my bends were at the right angle and the right distance apart. There’s a bit of slip before the bender actually starts bending, which is fine as long as you know how much it is, you can account for it when you’re setting up the next bend. The biggest bend I did was 40 degrees. I spent a lot of time getting the table set up properly and it really paid off. I ended up with 2 almost perfectly flat, symmetrical tubes to start with.

 

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The next step was to start notching tubes for the cross members. I started with the one at the front and the rear as they were simple 90 degree notches and that would define the width of the rest of the tubes inside the frame. I’ve said it before but the Baileigh tube notcher is absolutely awesome – the radial clamp works great and it makes very clean notches with a good hole saw.

 

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The only trick to these notches is getting them indexed properly. I used a digital angle finder that I zeroed once I had cut the first notch and then released it from the clamp, spun the tube around and then turned the tube until it read 0.0 again and made the second notch. Nice and easy when you’re working in two dimensions, I’m thinking it’ll be a little more difficult once I start on the rest of the frame.

 

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A nice shot of the finished notch.

 

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I’ve carried on filling in the rest of the tubes inside the frame rails – these are the tubes that will mount the pedal box. I’m planning on having a few mounting points here to allow the pedal box to be moved to fine tune the driving position.

 

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And where I’m currently at. This is all of the tubes that I can position currently before getting the welding shop to finish weld all of the joints. I’ve drilled all of the tube joints for ventilation and have started cleaning up all of the tube ends so that I can tack them in place before taking them over to the guys at A&A Performance Chassis.

 

 

About Martin Aveyard