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Body's off!!!

298 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  cardo
I don't know if this will be of any help to anyone out there, but I thought I'd show how I got this thing off. It wasn't as simple as I had first envisioned, but it's done and this is the process I went to in order to get the job done. I had originally intended to lift it with my engine hoist. After all, I'd seen it done on You Tube and it worked for him, right? One of the potential issues with the engine hoist method is, when you get the body high enough, the ram comes in contact with the door, the body rests on the ram, and any further attempts at lifting gets the body all akilter. I wasn't worried about skinning up the door because I'm going to paint it again when all this is finished. However, the engine hoist couldn't get high enough to be able to roll the old chassis from under the suspended body, even with the wheels off and using a set of car dollies under the brake disks. An additional problem was, the rear of the body is quite a bit heavier than the front, causing it to tilt to the rear on the hoist, which also didn't help. So, I thought I'd slide some four by fours between the frame and body, lower the body onto them, and jack the thing up high enough to get the chassis out. It didn't take much of that before I chickened out. I had to raise it higher than my jack stands would go so I started putting them on blocks of wood. It soon occurred to me that, with this method, I was just begging for trouble. The body had to go up pretty far to clear the old suspension under the 4/4s and it has no engine. The new chassis has the engine in it and, by the time I got the thing high enough to clear that, it would be way too prone to tipping over. Then I came up with the idea of pulling it up from supports above it. I bolted 4/4s to the rafters on the four corners, tied them together, about six inches below the lights, with 4/4s front to back on the sides, hung heavy duty ratchet straps from them, attached the straps to the 4/4s I'd already put under the body, and began the process of systematically raising each corner. That worked. The wood, bolts, and ratchet straps weren't all that expensive. Here are some pictures in case my explanation is as clear as mud.
Vehicle Car Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire
Wood Floor Beam Plank Wood stain
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Hood Fender
Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive design Hood Wood
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Very ingenious Michal. Awesome use of limited height and space. The garage in my condo is only 20x20 and 8 ft high so I lifted with a floor lift and floor jacks only 6" off the frame. Wish I had something like your lift and gone higher. Had to really get physical to get the fuel lines in but that and body mounts was all I was replacing. Had I gone higher I could have done fuel lines also. I think the hardest part is taking the front end apart and then putting is all back together - but I did it. Kind'a surprised myself when finally done. Sorry I can't find the pix I had of it.

Nice effort and thx for sharing Michal.
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I'm just guessing here, but I would imagine your garage has sheet rock on the ceiling. When we bought this place my shop was nothing but a glorified car port with exposed rafters. We put in a concrete floor, a man door, and swing out barn style doors to make it a more respectable shop. However, with sheet rock on the ceiling, I'd have needed to either cut into it in order to secure the uprights at the top or use a lot more wood to build an actual frame sufficient to support the body without fear of the whole thing collapsing. It doesn't sound like it would have been worth it for you to go to all that extent, no higher than you needed to get it up. I do, however, feel your pain. These things are so low to the ground that working under them is a real pain. Unless you had the car high enough on jack stands to get under it, you had the added issue of working with your hands and arms between the frame and body, which would have made me SWEAT.
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Oh I was very careful when reaching between the frame and body. For those interested I use reach tools instead of my hands and blocks of wood (cut 2x4) when needed for safety. What was most difficult was the rear passenger side body mount bolts stripped or the nut lost its catch tabs. Had use a 3" drill hole saw blade to get enough access to get a tool on it. Fiberglassed the hole when done and feathered it all in. It was the only option I felt. I did have pictures but can't find them. Okay I found some execpt for the drilled hole for the body mount nut pic. Take a look.

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