View Full Version : Another name for a Tram Gauge?


Tom S
03-28-2007, 12:34 PM
I need to make measurements by myself when I relocate the the rear axle and frame rails on my car. I think that the tool I am looking for is called a tram gauge. A long rod with movable pointers that I can lock down. I searched ebay but could not find any used. Is this the correct name for the tool or is there another name to search? Also, what do these go for, I hate to send big bucks on a tool for one weekends use.

Tom S

03-28-2007, 02:00 PM
No other name for it that I know of. They are pricey, but much more accurate than a tape measure.

03-28-2007, 03:25 PM
In the pattern shop we call them trammel points, and we normally make the long part that the points clamp to ourselves.

I thinks ours are Starrett


I would think you could find something cheaper than those.

03-28-2007, 03:55 PM
that's a great idea!

Bob K
03-28-2007, 03:59 PM
I made one a few years back. Here is a description if you’re interested.

1ea 2x4-8’ (Cedar for light weight)
1 ea 2x4-1’
2ea 3”x12” pieces of Ό” Masonite
2ea 3/8” ready rod @ 6”
2ea 3/8” coupling nuts
6ea 3/8 ready rod pointed on one end, lengths as needed
10ea 1-1/4” sheetrock screws

Drill a 5/16”dia. hole an inch from the end of the long 2x4 on the wide side and pound a 6” ready rod into it. Do the same thing with the short 2x4. Then fasten the two pieces of Masonite to the sides of the short 2x4. That will be the moveable end of the tram. You may need to shave one edge of the short 2x4 before you mount the Masonite. Jam the short 2x4 onto the long 2x4 using the protruding Masonite as the grippers to hold it on. Slide this contraption on the floor under the truck and using the coupling nuts and various lengths of ready rod you can touch any part of the frame you want to measure. If the movable end is loose then clamp it to the long 2x4. Now tip it on its side and take it out from under the truck and measure the distance between points and record the number.

Bob K

Tom S
03-28-2007, 07:15 PM
Thanks Bob K and Hawkkenz. I will make one using 1inch square tubing and pointers similar to the wood working ones. I first thought I needed a 'store bought' one because of the measurments printed on it. In actuality I just need to transfer the same distance from one side to the other so that the rear crossmember and axle housing are square with the front axle centerline.

Will try to post a picture this weekend after I make it.


03-29-2007, 08:17 AM
I have a couple I made out of 1\2" and 3\4" conduit several years ago, made the pointers from
1\4" rod.

04-07-2007, 10:17 PM

04-08-2007, 09:12 AM
Yep, we have one at the shop (along with a few high dollar ones) made from conduit and 1/4" rod that was "the" tram of the shops for years. About $10.00 in materials TOPS, actually about $5 is all it would take. :)

A little off topic but this is one of the coolest tools ever for frame diagnosis and repair. Champ Center line guages.

I didn't know how inexpensive they were. I have seen these around shops for ever (I have been doing this stuff for 30 years) and never have appreciated them until an old timer (older than me :) ) Showed me how to use it properly.

What an amazing tool, you can repair any frame to perfection like you would with a friggin $30,000 computer/laser measuring system. Looking at these guages my co-worker said, "This point here is an 1/8" higher" and upon measuring it for confirmation, sure as hell it was three MM higher. He showed me how to read it and I could see it too, where previously I saw nothing. Very cool tool indeed.