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I would like to know if someone has any pictures and/or instructions or suggestions to properly rig slings or what ever method was used to mount the body of an Avanti back to the chassis. I would like to know how they do/did it in the factory.

I have the doors and windows removed and all interior parts and am doing a frame up restoration. The chassis is complete and I was thinking of cleaning the body thoroughly on the underside, then remounting the body back to the chassis, mount the doors and get proper fit, then get the body painted.

I heard there was a video out about how Studebaker built the Avanti and would like to know where I can get a copy. Please reply to Mike @ mbreaz@yahoo.com. Your reply is appreciated.

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I would like to know if someone has any pictures and/or instructions or suggestions to properly rig slings or what ever method was used to mount the body of an Avanti back to the chassis. I would like to know how they do/did it in the factory.

<snip>

I heard there was a video out about how Studebaker built the Avanti and would like to know where I can get a copy. Please reply to Mike @ mbreaz@yahoo.com. Your reply is appreciated.

Maybe I misunderstand your question, but here goes....

I can't recall ever seeing photos or a video of the Avanti bodylift process, but I've worked in auto assembly plants and I'm also familiar with the process used for Corvettes.... they are generally the same: a set of large "L" shaped padded frames are used to lift the body from beneath the rocker panels (2 per side, with a runner on the bottom connecting the 2 frames together and supporting the rocker panel), and with the vertical portion of the "L" bowed out and padded to avoid damaging paint, and the top of the "L" attached to a lifting device above the frame (generally an electric winch with a hand-held control).

Home restorers may have to be more inventive:

Corvette owners usually take the easy way out: they invite 8 or 10 strong friends to a body lift party; 3 or 4 per side lift the (bare) body while someone slides the chassis under it and verbally directs the lifters while they lower/position the body onto the frame. The same method is used to remove the body, and place it on a special rolling frame made in advance (of wood or metal) to fit/support the body.

Other methods include using 4 nylon straps connected together (at the top) to a lifting device such as a very sturdy portable engine hoist or ceiling-mounted chainfall/hoist, or even a home garage drive-on automobile lift, with the lower ends of the straps fastened with seat-belt type brackets to either of a.) bolts in the fore (firewall) & aft (in front of the rear wheels) body mount bolt positions, or b.) brackets they fabricated to attach to the door latch attchment bolt holes on the rear of the door frames and to hood latch attachment holes on the firewall. Padding, such as towels, are used to avoid damaging fiberglass panels. I've also heard of forklifts, backhoes, small cranes, or similar machines being used to do the lifting.

Lastly, there's a rudimentary method: having first removed the engine, tranny, and radiator, and having first disconnected anything connecting the body to the chassis... the body is lifted off the frame with a jack on a 2x6 or larger piece of board (just 4" aft of the firewall) for a cushion to spread the load (centered between the frame rails) and then a long 4x4 timber is inserted crosswise between the body and the frame so that the ends stick out several feet; the body is rested on the 4x4 and then the rear end is likewise lifted and another 4x4 timber inserted. Then a laborious process of lifting first one end (by jacking under the 4x4), then the other, shoring up beneath the outer ends of the 4x4's with some sort of shims (like 2x6x12 boards, or cement blocks, etc) each time, until the body is finally elevated high enough to roll the chassis out from under it so that the chassis can be disassembled, sandblasted, and restored; if the body is left off the chassis for an extended period, the front end should be similarly supported under the radiator support frame. Reverse the process to lower the body back onto the restored chassis.

Edited by WayneC
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  • 1 month later...

The video that people refer to in this thread might be the "Avanti Video" available in DVD from the Studebaker National Museum for $13.95 plus S&H ($4.00 cheaper in VHS). Might also be "Five Weeks in the Desert: The Birth of the Avanti Video," for $24.95 plus S&H ($5.00 cheaper in VHS). I can't be sure because I don't have these...yet.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I would like to know if someone has any pictures and/or instructions or suggestions to properly rig slings or what ever method was used to mount the body of an Avanti back to the chassis. I would like to know how they do/did it in the factory.

I have the doors and windows removed and all interior parts and am doing a frame up restoration. The chassis is complete and I was thinking of cleaning the body thoroughly on the underside, then remounting the body back to the chassis, mount the doors and get proper fit, then get the body painted.

I heard there was a video out about how Studebaker built the Avanti and would like to know where I can get a copy. Please reply to Mike @ mbreaz@yahoo.com. Your reply is appreciated.

I have successfully removed and installed two Avanti bodies using the following method: With doors removed (and everything else also removed to reduce weight), a 2" pipe is placed under the bottom of the top door hinges and wired into place, a second pipe is inserted throught the rear wheel openings and under the fuel tank steel reinforcements and wired to prevent the pipe from moving rearward. Four cable pullers are used to raise the body. This works only if you have a strong ceiling or upper floor to pull from. This setup will work with a lower ceiling than if you lift from the roof. I also used this method with a '53 C body, but with the front pipe through the side vent openings (with the front fenders off). Hope this gives you some ideas.

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