In the hotrodding world there is a common term I hear called "Z" frame.

  • What does it mean?
  • How do you carry out this modification?
  • Is doing so restricted to certain vehicles?

1 Answer 1


A "Z" frame refers to a modification done to what would otherwise be a straight framed vehicle. Here is an image of two frames (done via 3D printing) of what the difference would be:

enter image description here

the idea is to take the straight frame (top) and make the zig-zag in it. This in effect, lowers the body closer to the road without having to drastically alter the suspension.

Here is a before and after using a model to show what it would look like with the body on the frame.

enter image description here

You can see the differences in the front end and where the rear axle sits with regards to the tires on the back end.

And just like in the Chopped and Channeled question, you have to have a frame before you can do this modification. If a car has a unibody, it wouldn't work for it. You'll usually see this type of modification on vehicles with straight frames where the owner would want others to see that the frame was "Z'd". It is used to promote a certain stance and look for the vehicle.

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