Custom Chassis


The Custom Chassis

Author:       Clinkster
Vehicles Needed:     Casting of Builders Choice

Special Tools:     Cardboard – discarded blisters work well, Pencil/pen, Small straight edge/ruler, Scissors/X-acto knife, Saw, Files, Thick plastic – I found that those “No Parking” signs work well, are cheap, and easy to find – and Super glue.

Rating:       Beginner/Novice
Before I begin let me say that this process will work for any casting, any size. However, no two castings will be exactly the same. Whether your goal is to lower a casting onto the ground or just get rid of some “extra” plastic that detracts from your creation you have come to the right “how to”. That being said, sometimes your creativity will have to overcome those pesky small obstacles. Now that I know how to make my own bases I don’t look at castings quite the same way. I can fix any stance! Oh, and sorry for some of the fuzzy pics but I think you will get the idea. Hang onto your hat here we go…………….

Prep – Choose the victim of your choice. I chose the T-bolt since it is one of my favorite castings and I have yet to do one.


Now drill apart the casting. Keep the parts that aren’t going to be modified in a ziploc bag to keep them from damage.


Step 1 – To begin the process get a strong piece of cardboard. I found that the blister pack cardboard works great for this as seen in the pic. This will be your template that you can use over and over again.

Step 2 –Place the “factory” base down on the cardboard and trace the outline. I prefer using a drafting pencil cause I can move the led out far and get a tighter trace, thus preventing a lot of trimming later. In any event, this will be fixed later, no sweat.


Step 3 – I use a straight edge to finish off the “ends” because I plan on using the front and rear bumpers, etc.


Step 4 – Now you are ready to cut out your template of your base.


Step 5 – Now examine your base and determine the best place to join the bumper assembly to the new base you are about to create.


Step 6 – I usually try to cut behind the rivet holes because this will add to the strength of the base. I was able to do that with this casting. It is not necessary but does help. Once the cut lines have be determined, cut away.


Step 7 – Now take the cardboard template and the bumper assemblies and test fit them together to see if it is close. Doesn’t have to be perfect, fine tuning will come later.


Step 8 – Get out that thick piece of plastic.


Step 9 – Trace the stencil onto your plastic.


Step 10 – Once the outline has been done, cut away. Believe it or not, these scissors work well for this.


Step 11 – Now to cut out those wheel wells. If you are using smaller or larger wheels this would be a good point to tailor the wells to fit the wheels of your choice. I chose to use the stock well because I opted to reinstall the original set of tires. I use a jewelers saw for this but an X-acto knife works as well. First cut down the sides. Then cut from the center down to the side. I made this cut on the upper left wheel well. I hope you can see this in the pic.


Step 12 – Now that piece is removed, cut the rest off. Repeat steps 11 and 12 for the others.


Step 13 – Now take the front/rear bumper assemblies and file down so they are flat. This makes it easy for glue to adhere to and will help keep the whole assembly flat.


Step 14 – While the file is handy go ahead and file down the wheel wells.


Step15 – To be sure the wells are true, this is where I use the ruler (with the depth gauge) to be sure they are the same on both sides.


Step16 – Now test fit the new plastic base onto the car with the front/rear bumper assemblies to check for fit. This is where any fine tuning (by means of some filing or sanding) can be done before gluing everything together.


Step 17 – Now that the fine tuning is complete glue down the front/rear assemblies. After the glue has dried you can make the decision as to glue down the base or screw it down. I personally have done both ways and it just depends on the situation. For this I will screw it down with some 2/56 screws. Since the front/rear assemblies have been attached to the new base it makes it easy to find the stock placement for the holes and drilled them out. Then I figure out how low I want it and insert the “lowering blocks” (this is another whole “how to”). Once all the fine tuning and holes are completed I test fit again to make sure it is right then paint the base


Step 18 – Once the base is completed it may be necessary to file down the rivet post and interior. Remember, the whole base has shifted up and adjustments are necessary and every casting is different. I don’t sweat that and usually find a way that it will fit. You may choose to tackle these problems before hand if you wish. Here is a preview of what it’ll look like.



Completed – Well here it is complete. My first T-bolt done! Now, more on the way. I did learn with this one that I put the rear too low for that hot rod look. It would have probably looked better with Dubs with this stance. Well good luck to you all and hopefully this “how to” was clear enough. If any of you have questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to email me.

—Thanks, Clinkster



Afterthought – When I create my own base if the base was originally plastic I create a new base made of plastic. If the base was metal I use the thin sheets of aluminum (.016 – .024 of an inch thick depending on how heavy the casting was) to create the base. The bases made of aluminum are done the exact same way. It is just easier to adhere plastic to plastic (via superglue) and metal to metal (via JB quick). By the way here are just a few others I have done recently.




Leave a Reply