A crossmember adds both style and strength to the body of your car. Strength is especially important for the front and rear of the vehicle, because these zones affect the overall handling while driving. When you add a crossmember to the body of your vehicle, you place it transverse to the main structure, adding overall structural support. This helps maintain good wheel alignment and prevents shaking or rattling that will damage your car or truck over the long haul. Through a careful method of crossmember die cutting, you can create a curved edge that gives extra strength to resist pulling and warping.
Project C10 Tech Tip – Constructing a Crossmember
As part of our Project C10 restoration project, the team constructs a 1-½ inch crossmember for the rear of our Chevy C10 truck. To fabricate a crossmember, you’ll need the metal piece for the crossmember itself, a dimple die and punch and flare/hole flair tools. The dimple die comes with corresponding holes you’ll need to drill. Use the tool to pump the lever and press the metal through with the corresponding dimple die. The result is a concave edge that curls toward the edge of the back of the round hole. The metal now has a stylish look and the punched hole adds strength to the metal crossmember. See the construction of more C10 parts by watching Episode 7 of Project C10 – Fabricating C10 Parts from Scratch.
Concave Edges for Crossmembers
The concave edge of a hole-punched crossmember adds strength because it resists the physical forces that try to warp the face of the metal. When force from the vehicle body is exerted on the crossmember, it hits the concave edge of the holes and the load is distributed across the face of the crossmember rather than allowing it to twist in one direction. This adds significant strength to the frame of your vehicle, so it will always be able to cope with the forces of the road: carrying passengers, driving in various environments, hitting bumps and rough spots and resisting any collisions or other impacts during its lifetime.
Ask a Classic Truck Restoration Mentor
The experts at Project C10 welcome questions about fabricating crossmembers, doing all kinds of transmission and engine repairs, tackling body work and taking on projects big and small to maintain your car. With metal fabrication in particular, it helps to have advice from experienced techs. Before starting your next project, reach out to our Project C10 crew or the mentors in the Project C10 community to ensure you’re always headed in the right direction.
Join the Project C10 Truck Community
Project C10, powered by American Modern, an original video series from Classic Auto Insurance that chronicles the restoration of a 1965 Chevy C10 truck to a beautiful restomod worthy of car show display. Stay up-to-date with Project C10 by subscribing to Classic Auto’s YouTube Channel, following us on Instagram and visiting our C10 Restoration page on ClassicIns.com, where you’ll enjoy step-by-step episodes, project-specific Tech Tips and behind-the-scenes articles that give you an inside look into what it takes to restore a classic collectible like a Chevy C10 truck.