Confusion of Chassis and Frame

You must have heard car technicians using the term Chasis or vehicle Frame many times but for a common car driver or a non-car guy, it is difficult to make difference between both. This confusion has arisen due to a large change in the built of cars coming up in the market in a very short period of time.

Chasis is basically everything in a car body. A chassis in a car includes all main components like engine, clutch, exhaust system, steering system, gearbox etc. It also includes the frame of the vehicle. So, vehicle frame is a subpart of chassis of a car. Now let’s know about types of frame and chassis and some of the history behind this.

Types of Chassis:

There are various ways to classify different types of chassis but below are main of its classifications.

Classification based on the type of control – This type of classification is basically the alignment of driver seat and engine which affect the centre of mass distribution in the whole vehicle hence, affecting the stability. Let’s know about this in detail

  1. Conventional: Conventional Chassis is the one which is having its engine placed in front of the driver seat. A different cabinet is made in the front of the vehicle to place engine and driver’s seat is behind the cabinet. 
  2. Semi-Forward: In Semi-Forward, the engine is half placed under the driver/inside driver’s cabin and the remaining half is placed on the outside of the cabinet in front.            
  3. Full-Forward: In Full-Forward, the whole engine is placed inside the driver’s cabinet or under it and none of the parts is outside.                                                                                      

Classification based on Engine Fitting – In this type of classification, there are mainly 4 categories based on the location of the engine on the frame of the vehicle. The location of the engine on the frame makes a very big difference in the vehicle because of its power being divided to different wheels in different ways.

  1. Engine in Front – In this type of classification, the engine is placed in the forward part of frame/chassis. The power can be given to both front or both rear wheels. If made a front wheel drive, space is saved as no specific driveshaft is required to connect front and back. If made a rear wheel drive, a specific drive shaft is required t transmit power from the front engine to rear wheels.
  2. Front Crosswise – In the crosswise fitting of the engine, the engine is fitted in front but in a horizontal way which is not very common in every type of vehicle. The drive in these vehicles is given to front wheels.
  3. At Centre – In centre fitting, the engine is placed in the centre of the chassis and the power is given to rear wheels. Because of this most part of the chassis is free and very appreciable amount of floor is available.
  4. At back – In this, the engine is fitted at the back of the chassis and the drive is also given to rear wheels thereby eliminating the need for

Classification based on Wheel Configuration: Different wheel configurations define a completely different vehicle. A 4-wheel drive configuration vehicle is completely different from a 2-wheel drive configuration. This different configuration also decides the size of the vehicle.

  1. 4 x 2 – This configuration is 4 wheels and 2 wheels given power drive. These vehicles are used most commonly used by general public. 
  2. 4 x 4 – This means the power is given to all the four tires of the vehicle. Since power is given to all four tires, this helps in off-road driving. 
  3. 6 x 2 – These are basically trucks having 6 tires but power being given to only two wheels. In this, the carrier wheels are not counted. 
  4. 6 x 4 – In these trucks, power is given to 4 wheels. 


There are other wheel configurations too but those are not much common as these are. These are different types of chassis in various vehicles. We’ll know more about different types of frames in next post.