E3 Spark Plugs’ 1940 Dodge Truck By Cool Hand Customs – The Frame

Every hot rod needs a good foundation as a solid starting point for the rest of the build.

In this segment of E3 Sparkplug’s and Cool Hand Custom’s 1940 Dodge Truck SEMA truck build, aka “40-440,” we take a look at CHC owners Amy and EJ Fitzgerald’s skilled handiwork building a custom frame as well as integrating state of the art running gear. The result is a thoroughly modern platform for the old truck body to take up residence.

The idea was to keep the truck true to it’s Mopar roots. With that in mind, EJ got to work custom building a frame that would be the backbone for attaching a QA1 K-member torsion bar setup and a RideTech four-link setup in the rear.

Time is ticking away as the truck is slated to hold court at E3 Spark Plugs booth at the SEMA 2018 at the end of October.  The CHC gang is burning the midnight old to meet the deadline and we’ll have all phases of the build on Rod Authority.

No stinkin’ computers here, just, skilled old school fabrications skills. EJ transferred the hard points of old frame to graph paper and from there, the new frame started to take shape. The boxed 2×4 rails are stiff and stout, a far cry from the old flexible flyer original chassis. Body and suspension mounting points were all fabricated by CHC.

The QA1 E-Body Front Suspension kit is complete with K-member, tubular A-arms, motor mounts and torsion bars. The trick was fabricating OEM style tabs/attaching points for the sub-assembly to bolt to. The upper control arm mounts and torsion bar cross member are 1972 Challenger OEM replacement parts from Summit RacingEJ and Amy’s hard work made everything fit together perfectly.

In the rear, EJ and Amy used a RideTech 4-Link suspension with QA1 coilovers. The rear axle was a junkyard find combined with an Eaton True Track differential with 3:55 gears. They expertly notched frame to make sure there was lot’s of suspension travel. Again, all mounting points to locate the rear end to frame were fabricated by the CHC crew. Note dry run placement of cab as well.

Stopping power for this thoroughly modern truck will be provided by discs at all four corners featuring Classic Performance master cylinder, booster and pedal assembly. This fully modern running gear will roll on  Wheel Vintique Smoothies ( 17x7s up front and 17x8s in the rear,) and wide whitewall radial tires.

Body, frame and rear end are protected and rust proofed with KBS Coatings as well.

The steering rack is a highly modified Unisteer bolt-on rack. The steering column is a GM Classic Performance. 

Stay tuned for Rod Authority’s next segment covering the fabrication and tweaks to the body of CHC’s 40-440 truck.  We’ll be back soon as the SEMA 2018 deadline looms…

About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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