Without exception, building a customized classic truck from the ground up is always a challenge, but when it's all said and done the rewards are well worth the energy expended. It doesn't matter which make of truck a person chooses to construct, the process always begins with the chassis and progresses until it's time to turn the key and hit the road smiling.

Careful planning is essential because each decision made during the early stages of chassis setup, if wrong, is subject to snowball into runaway hours with additional expense. The difference thorough planning provides will make the experience more enjoyable, with better results. Whether it's the owner/builder, or the guy charged with construction, someone is going to have to research and find the right answers to ensure the truck will handle as desired and live up to the owner's expectations.

We have compiled CCT's 2009 Rolling Chassis Guide for the builder with a sufficient budget to be able to incorporate all of the latest technologies available, and complete the construction of his truck within a minimum amount of time. We mention this because the average timespan to build a customized classic truck, from the ground up, is around 5 years, and a lot of it is spent modifying and preparing the stock chassis. It's a simple matter of how old do you want to be when you can drive your truck and how much can you spend to make it happen? The next decision one has to make before they start the build is to set the stance. Ride height dictates the difference between being cool and looking dorky. It means how high, or low, do you want your truck to sit, and how will the profile look. The standard for determining lowness is measured in how many inches the frame is dropped from stock height, for example 4 inches in the front and 6 inches in the rear is a typical drop. After stance there are additional matters to consider, such as the type of suspension, steering, and brakes to be specified. The different types of suspension range from airbags, which provide adjustable ride height, and non-adjustable static setups such as coil, coilover, and leaf springs. Power steering or manual is available in both kinds of steering, recirculating ball, or rack-and-pinion. For braking one can specify power or non-boosted, and disc or drum.

Before buying a rolling chassis, all of these options need to be considered-and decided upon-but don't be shy if you have any questions, because any one of the following manufacturers will be glad to help you set your chassis up. Just give them a call and tell them what your needs are and they will help you to make the right choices.

Renowned chassis leader, Total Cost Involved, is one business that has its hand in all popular American applications, including classis trucks. For years, Total Cost Involved has been building direct replacement rolling chassis for both Chevy ('55-59) and Ford ('53-56) trucks. Total Cost Involved's frames are designed around 8-inch fully boxed framerails. They also feature a 1 1/2x1 1/2-inch fully boxed square crossmember. For strength and look, each chassis is TIG welded together. Although chassis are designed after factory setups, Total Cost Involved does offer step-up rails on their chassis for those looking to drop their truck. Besides building a quality replacement piece, Total Cost Involved also offers customers various options to suit specific needs and wants. For instance, when it comes to suspension options Total Cost Involved offers air-ride suspension (front and rear), custom IFS, Mustang II IFS, rear four-link with coilovers, and leaf-spring rear suspension. Also available are front and rear disc brake options.

Total Cost Involved Engineering
(800) 984-6250
www.totalcostinvolved.com