We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Build a Hot Rod Chassis?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

To build a hot rod chassis, you must first decide on the type of hot rod you wish to build. If building a pre-1940s car or truck, the chassis can usually be constructed using square tubing. On vehicles 1940 and newer, modifications to the original chassis must typically be made to create a hot rod chassis. Many aftermarket specialty companies manufacture and sell chassis components that will aid you in creating a hot rod chassis from scratch. With a plan laid out for the chassis, careful preparation and welding will ensure a straight and square chassis capable of supporting a high-horsepower drive line.

It is usually less expensive to buy an aftermarket frame kit than restoring an original frame. Once the type of hot rod has been decided upon, assembling the frame is the first step in the construction of a quality hot rod chassis. When the basic frame has been welded together, it is important to measure it to ensure it is straight and square. To accomplish this, take a measurement from a location on the right side of the frame at the front of the assembly and measure to a spot on the left rear. Record the measurement and then duplicate the measurement from the same locations on the other side of the frame.

The measurements should come out the same if the frame is square; if they do not, adjust the frame until they do. With a square frame constructed, the hot rod chassis can now be assembled. The front steering components are commonly assembled and fastened to the front axle first. There are many different types of front suspension to choose from when building a hot rod chassis. One of the most tried and true designs is a straight axle with leaf-type spring suspension; this suspension requires that the springs be affixed to the frame via spring shackles.

Once the springs are attached to the frame, the axle can be mounted to the springs with U-bolts. Next to be mounted are the steering components including the steering box. Most traditional style hot rods use a Vega or Corvair steering box due to their small size. Special mounting kits are available for either style. The shock absorbers are mounted next and connect to the axle and the frame to cushion the ride.

The next step in building a hot rod chassis is to install the rear axle. The rear axle also rides on leaf springs and installs in the same manner as the front axle. Once the rear shock absorbers are installed, the basic hot rod chassis is complete and ready for the drive line and body.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.