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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-29-03, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Category: Lifting body off frame

If youve done it- please share how, if you are doing it, please ask any questions you might have here
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-29-03, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Category: Lifting body off frame- hydraulic lifts

I had the joy of repairing a '65 4 door hardtop frame- being pillarless worried me about bending the body- with the doors off, thats a mighty big hole in the side of the car...looking at how the rocker tunnels mount only at ends(not true for wagons/convertibles) said a lot about strength here. cutting access in wheelhouses revealed a heavy gusset/reinforcement inside the full lenngth of the rockers, and as this area was galvanized/rustfree, figured safest place to lift.
Of course getting the body 'loose' took a bit of work- after the fact, found some info on a website: - lot of good info there, but showed pulling body off the floorpan- a bit lighter, much more flimsy. The 65 had just 4 bolts inside the trunk, easy to take out, and 4 nuts at base of the cowl- were a bitch...The clip nuts holding these all broke off and spun, I ended up using a sawzall and quite a few blades to cut these out. Once the front ones were cut, was amazed the bolts had worn/rusted inside the rubber, and were down to not much over 1/4 inch at the centers.
Also the gastank, brake/fuel line clamps, steering column, shift/throttle linkages, bumpers, front clip sheetmetal/wiring had to go first. Pulling doors and seats/carpet, trunklid finished lightening it up.
I took 6x2 heavywall channel the length of rocker, welded uprights to outer channel lip(channel facing down), then welded lift channels back across top of uprights, so that lift was centered above inside edge of lower channel- this edge sits right against the rocker bottom flange(kinda like a "G" shape if that helps to picture it). Got a nice pair of hydraulic scissor lift tables for nothing that were going to be scrapped at work, put cheap ryobi drills in place of the 3 phase motors, put a inverted angle down center of tables so lifttubing weight would be centered on tables. and would allow for one higher than the other without binding. used 2x2x1/4 wall lift tubes thru door openings, slid the cradles on, clamped with square u-bolts so they couldnt slide, pushed the buttons and up it came.
As I have young kids, and didnt want them climbing around while I was away at work, had to 'put it away' everynight, and got to where getting body on/off frame to park at night only took couple minutes time.
I think lifting from rockers still the safer way to go, but I did bust a rear window after bolting it back on to the frame- will tell that tale here soon...

Confidence: that feeling you have just before you realize the mess you've gotten yourself into...
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