For decades, a ground-up Chevrolet pickup restoration has left us very few options when it came time to work on our frames. Other than extremely expensive one-off frames, most of us have had to mediablast and then box the frames, but now TCI offers a multitude of solutions.

TCI (Total Cost Involved) is now proud to offer a complete chassis for the popular 1947-1954 Chevrolet pickups. Their frames feature main rails with an extended height from 6 to 8 inches for increased rigidity (and clearance between upper and lower X-members), while still retaining the original profile. In addition, they also offer a variety of chassis configurations that are configured for cruising, autocrossing, drag racing, and of course their fully polished show-stopping frame series. In addition, TCI also takes custom orders and specs while offering a wide variety of options that allow each customer to tailor a chassis to their specific needs.

Available options include, but are not limited to, custom IFS, coil spring IFS, four-links, leaf spring, narrowed rails, billet single and dual adjustable coilovers, Wilwood brake kits, air springs, wide five-lug bolt patterns, six-lug bolt patterns, C-notched frames, Kugel’s IRS, fabricated 9-inch housings, 35-spline axles, platinum and Tru-Trac posi, and the list goes on and on.

For those of you looking to stance your vehicles out, TCI’s stepped rail option is a great addition to an airbag-equipped chassis. This option moves the four-link brackets up, the shock crossmember up, the framerails up, and allows an extra 4 inches of travel so the running boards can nearly lay on the ground when aired down.

All complete chassis come standard with:

– 9-inch Currie Hot Rod housing with your choice of gear set (3.00-4.56)
– 31-spline axles and 11-inch drum brakes
– Small-block engine and automatic transmission mounts
– Pedal assembly with master cylinder and booster
– Wilwood proportioning and check valves
– Complete frame with center section
– Custom steel brake lines
– Complete front suspension
– Complete rear suspension
– Running board brackets
– Core support mount

For more information on its frames, please visit TCI online or give them a call to discuss your specific needs.

Now join us on the shop tour that takes you through most of the engineering and manufacturing process of building the right performance chassis for your classic truck. Since 1974, Total Cost Involved Engineering began to set the standard for quality when they built one of the first Model A reproduction frames. It took the classic car restoration market by storm. Today, this visit takes us through a 32,000-square foot manufacturing facility where the proud employees deliver a broad mix of products serving street rods, trucks, classic and muscle car enthusiasts nationwide.

1. The popular 1947-1954 Chevy redeveloped framerails are welded together on a jig for the proper designed specs to stay intact as they are secured in a position for precision and accuracy during fabrication.

2. The laser-cut side of the frame plate wall is then fitted into place to enclose the entire boxed inside of the frame itself.

3. TIG welding is performed on the frame’s X-member for strength, structuring, and support.

4. View of the truck frame upside down as the crossmembers are continuously welded all the way around.

5. TCI employees install a mockup engine and transmission to get the proper specs for the engine and trans mounts to be fabricated onto the frame.

6-7. Hardline brake and air lines are measured, bent, and installed properly for the right fitment along the side of the frame.

8. Running board angle brackets are bolted onto the side of the frame and then the frame is set up and stationed on the floor to get the exact ground clearance measurements when the truck is lowered down from the air suspension equipment.

9. The differential/rearend’s axle is straightened and trued for placement.

10. The axle tubes are welded to the center gear housing of the rearend.

11. The rearend is located into its proper mounting position to get the right measurements and angles for the four-link support arms.

12. Rear angle view of the frame with the rearend brackets tack welded into place and the rearend in laid-out position for the precise measurement to install the suspension arm’s shocks and air suspension components.

13. The rear air spring and brackets are set in their proper location for mounting specs.

14. Fully assembled view of the mounted crossmember and top of air spring bag bolted in place.

15. Located to the inner front side of the frame is the CPP brake booster and master cylinder unit.

16. The front A-arm assembly, including shocks, air spring, and brackets are ready for installation to complete the front portion of the frame.

17. Top view front air spring and mounting cup bracket.

18. The polished stainless lower A-arm complete with universal-fit airbag bracket are lined up for the air spring bottom mounting.

19. The front air spring bag is deflated or compressed in position to get the right measurement for the front shock mount’s and bumpstop location.

20. The front air spring is also inflated to its maximum height in order to get the right stroke out of the front shock when it is extended. The upper and lower shock mounts are held in place to make sure they are in the right position before they are welded.

21. Upper shock mounts are fitted and welded into place.

22. Front A-arm suspension fully assembled with disc brakes and rotors included!

23. This completed ’47-’54 Chevy truck frame is an example of the 40 years of American-made products engineered with quality, safety, performance, and a guaranteed warranty that waits for your truck body to fall right into place.

Axalta Paint Tip of the Month
Your PaintJob color can be Identified

In today’s advanced optic technology, Axalta Coating Systems look deep into any paintjob to identify the flake and color characteristics that determine the best color match available. The Acquire Plus EFX is a portable, computerized color-matching system that views and reads the actual car paint color and transmits the reading into an existing Standox color retrieval system. This unbeatable combination helps make color identification more efficient, reliable, and time saving. The accurate, fast, and easy handheld spectrophotometer acts like a camera as shown here by Axalta Paint Technicion Steve Chaparro who places the Acquire Plus EFX on a custom color paintjob to get the right read, or the secret recipe out from this candy pearled paintjob. He simply places the Acquire EFX directly on a polished section of the car body, and the integrated measuring head reads the color shade from three different angles, which ensures highly accurate results even on metallic and pearlescent finishes. Featuring advanced fiber optics, the Acquire looks right into the color characteristics of the paint, ensuring that it’s not tricked by different lighting, the way the human eye can be.

The reading taken from the car body is then compared against the formula in the color retrieval system and the exact formula needed to create a blendable match is calculated. For more information on this product or any Axalta Coating Systems product or technical advice, please feel free to contact Steven Chaparro at