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Old 04-13-2017, 02:35 AM   #1
DBF 30
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Default 1940 Frame Interchangeability

I have read that 1935 -1940 passenger car frames are all identical. My question is, will a 1940 convertible car frame be interchangeable with a 1940 truck frame?

My 1940 convertible frame will require quite a lot of rust repair and I need to know what the full range of frames that I could use as a direct swap that would be a complete match with the original. I am aware that the truck does not have body mount brackets but don't know if the rest of the frame is the same as a car frame.

Thank you for your help!
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Old 04-13-2017, 02:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

The frames are similar in general, but there are differences. There are diagrams of the frames.
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

Convertible has braces at the cowl area . You will need them offf your rusty frame. I heard this along time ago and not sure if its true but the frames on a convertible and a 1/2 ton truck were made of heavier gauge sheet metal.
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

I used a '40 pick up frame under my '39 convertible. The side rails are indeed thicker than a passenger car frame.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

I'd be very skeptical about Ford Motors taking extra energy to make different frame rail gauge thicknesses between the passenger and commercial vehicle lines. Due to the need for different dies and possibly larger presses, this practice would increase the manufacturing needs/costs and bottom line, it would make the vehicles a bit more expensive to produce. From all the information out there so far, convention points to the rails being the same gauge thickness. Replacement frames maybe. Larger trucks would be different size & shape but may still have the same gauge steel in some cases. I'm not from Missouri but my Grandmother was and I'd say "Show Me" on this subject.

Frame rails manufactured between the 1935 and 1940 plus early 1941 for commercial pickups all had their own subtle differences in the location of punched holes and brackets and such due to multiple configuration changes in that time frame.

Another factor is the ID numbers stamped in frames makes each one individual. When I hear folks mentioning replacing frames with another year model frame, I always wonder what the difficulties they are going to have in maintaining legal identification documentation for the vehicle. Especially when it comes time to sell it and the identification becomes very important part of the transaction.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBF 30 View Post
I have read that 1935 -1940 passenger car frames are all identical. My question is, will a 1940 convertible car frame be interchangeable with a 1940 truck frame?

My 1940 convertible frame will require quite a lot of rust repair and I need to know what the full range of frames that I could use as a direct swap that would be a complete match with the original. I am aware that the truck does not have body mount brackets but don't know if the rest of the frame is the same as a car frame.

Thank you for your help!
You will need to add the four body mounts (two each side) to the side rails of the pickup truck frame. You will also need to add the two cowl braces (one each side) as well. The braces are bolted in and were there to offer more support at the cowl section for the more flexible convertible body.
The convertible frame does not look identical to the truck frame but if I am reading your post "between the lines" it doesn't appear that you care.
Other than the aforementioned differences, the frame will be a clean swap.

By the way, like you, I have read claims that all '35 - '40 frames are identical. Each time I read this I am left to wonder who made this poop up? Probably the same folks that believe in "alternative facts" continue to claim all these frames are identical. They are not. Most noticeably are the front cross members between the years and even at times, the models within the same year.
There are also NUMEROUS subtle differences between years that while perhaps arguably minute, make a difference to a serious restorer.
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Last edited by Kube; 04-13-2017 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

"Show Me",

I can't speak to commercial frames or those after the 1937, but the frame rails under my '37 cabriolet are thicker than those on '37 closed car frames. That's stamped into the side rails and confirmed with calipers.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

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"Show Me",

I can't speak to commercial frames or those after the 1937, but the frame rails under my '37 cabriolet are thicker than those on '37 closed car frames. That's stamped into the side rails and confirmed with calipers.
Dave, As usual, you are correct.
I can only attest with confidence in regard to the '39 - '40 cars.
Both the '39 and '40 convertible frames had thicker outer frame rails than their closed car "cousins". They were a nominal .010" thicker.
I doubt the associated costs to make these rails was very substantial. I am fairly certain distinct forming dies were required for the respective rails (closed or open car) but no doubt the same stamping dies were utilized for both.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:58 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

Mike,

Thanks, but not always. Look no further than my recent mix up between '32 and '33-'34 hood corner rubber bumpers.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

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Mike,

Thanks, but not always. Look no further than my recent mix up between '32 and '33-'34 hood corner rubber bumpers.
ARRGGHH! My entire opinion of you blown!

Not really of course. You remain one of a few guys I know I can trust and respect.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:24 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

41 pickups and sedan deliverys have a unique front cross member to accomadate the inline 6.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:30 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

Hi; also the '39 dlx/'40 cars had the crank fan and so a front cross member with higher engine mount positions. I just had a '40 woody frame saved by a shop with a frame jig, it was worth it. Newc
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

Still learning about these old Fords. Ford Motor Co had one hell of a big Complex for making, rolling, and forming steel parts so I am not too surprised that they might have different thickness frame rails. It must have been even more complex than I had originally thought. I imagine the guys building up the vehicles on the line had to pay attention pretty close as to what was coming down to them. They must have had travel papers or some significant way of knowing what part was meant for what build for the next pile of parts coming down the assembly line. If commercials had their own assembly line then that would make things easier for them. If they mixed & matched it would certainly keep folks jumping to check stuff out.

The 1941 commercial pickup started out with the same frame as the 1940 but quickly changed over to the universal type frame when the G model 6 came down the line. The later frames make the pickups set higher than the first batch did but will fit either motor.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

Somewhere in the distant past, I remember seeing these figures for the difference in thickness of the steel between OPEN car vs. CLOSED car. CLOSED car was 10 gauge, where-as the OPEN car rails were 11 gauge material. DD
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

once again go to westcotts auto site, there you will find info what year frames will interchange
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

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Originally Posted by V8COOPMAN View Post
Somewhere in the distant past, I remember seeing these figures for the difference in thickness of the steel between OPEN car vs. CLOSED car. CLOSED car was 10 gauge, where-as the OPEN car rails were 11 gauge material. DD
I am confused.
10 guage is .1345
11 Guage is .1196

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Old 04-14-2017, 01:17 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

I got a closed car frame in for some work and in the x center were it shows no signs of rust measures out to 14 gauge
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Old 04-14-2017, 02:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

You have to be careful when using gauges of steel thickness and specify the standard you are referencing. Ford used The US Standard Revised Gauge. In that standard 14 gauge is 0.0747" thick (basically .075") and that doesn't sound like the thickness of any old Ford I have ever worked on.

American Stamping Uses 10 gauge for their 1932 & 33/34 Ford rails. In US Revised Standard that is .1345" thick. A little is lost in the draw but not a great amount.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 04-14-2017 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

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Originally Posted by cmbrucew View Post
I am confused.
10 guage is .1345
11 Guage is .1196

Bruce
Sorry I managed to confuse you, Bruce. I blew it.......got 'em back-asswards. I'm sure that I'll do the same AGAIN! DD
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1940 Frame Interchangeability

This thread seems to have turned in to a discussion of gauge steel.
I have to wonder, with Ford owning his own steel mills, perhaps he did not "order" the steel by gauge but rather a tighter tolerance than "gauge" acquisition would otherwise allow.
While employed as a tool maker, I knew that much of the work we did was for the military and as such, "gauge" was not good enough and steel was ordered and subsequently supplied to a much tighter tolerance. The cost of course increased dramatically "up front" but paid off in later processes.

By the way, as I recall, the 1939 & 1940 open car frame rails were a nominal .110" thick while the closed car frames were a nominal .100".

Perhaps DavidG can weigh in here in regard to what Ford may have demanded of their own mills.
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