Jump to content

Body removal from frame


rqb3083
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have an 80 II. I have gone through most of the steps in preparation to remove the body from the frame. I am working out of a garage and there is no lift. As such, I am going to get an A frame hoist to lift the body vertically up off the frame. I have read multiple methods of the actual lifting of the body and would like some opinions/tips/recommendations on this subject. The two most common ways I have read was to lift the body with supports that extend from the driver through to the passenger windows. The other was to attach straps at all wheel wells and lift that way. Thinking some about this, here are my questions:

- For the lift through the drivers/passengers windows, what material would be used? Wood like a 4x4? Metal like angle iron? Straps?

- For the lift using all 4 fenders, what type of strap material would you use?

- Could you combine both the lift using straps(?) through the windows AND ones attached the fenders?

Of note, both the windshield and rear glass are out of this car. Could the lifting be done through these two windows running the length of the car instead of the driver/passenger windows? Do a combination of both?

Thanks,

Gene

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting question that I haven't pondered nor can I recall seeing any "how-to" articles. Perhaps its been covered in Avanti Magazine.

Don't forget to drain the fuel tank.

I think you can purchase heavy truckers load straps at Harbor Freight.

  https://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?dir=asc&order=EAScore%2Cf%2CEAFeatured+Weight%2Cf%2CSale+Rank%2Cf&q=lift+strap

I faced that dilemma when I did a body lift in the mid 1980's on a Corvette, all alone without a lift; the recommended method on a Corvette is to invite 8 strong friends do the lifting, but I was new in town and didn't have 8 strong friends available to me, nor a tall garage. Here's my best recollection of how I did it...

1) removed the engine/transmission and bumpers/brackets and freed all frame mounts, steering column, brake lines, electrical wires, and other attachments.

2) lifted the body rear a few inches with floor jacks (using a 2x8 across/beneath the floor pan in front of the rear wheel frame kick-up to cushion the body from the jacks) to clear the frame enough to slide a long 4x4 across the frame rails beneath the raised body (sticking out about 2 feet on each side), then lowered the body onto the 4x4

3) moved the jack and repeated that procedure at the front firewall, using a second 4x4 (would've been smart to use long bolts to bolt the 4x4's to the body mounts, but I wasn't smart)

4) thereafter I lifted/jacked the body up incrementally by jacking up the 4x4's... I cannot recall whether I jacked at the center of the 4x4's or at the ends (probably the center)

5) using scrap pieces of 2x12's as shims between the jack and the floor, I repeated the procedure numerous times, each time adding a layer of scrap 2x12's or other suitable lumber scraps beneath the jack (and beneath the ends of the 4x4's), removed the jack and did the other end, alternating raising the front & then the rear of the body just a few inches each time.

    I thought about bolting-on 4 trailer-leveling jacks (1 at each end of two 4x4's), but didn't go that route because the jacks didn't seem to have enough adjustment height

6) when the body was high enough, I bolted metal legs for a set of "horses" (kits purchased at a lumber store) near the outer ends of the 4x4's (one 4x4 at a time), removed all the scrap shims, and let the front and rear "horses" down to just rest on the floor, added cross-braces to the horse legs so they couldn't do a split

7) rolled the chassis out from under the rear of the raised body, and refurbished the chassis

You might be able to do something similar except perhaps just lift the body enough with jacks to be able to build a wooden "pallet" frame in place with beams at the firewall and in front of the rear wheelwells, then box those beams with beams outside the body and possibly another "box" frame above the roof to hold connecting straps away from the body, with the lift pulling up on the upper box frame and separate straps connecting the upper frame to the lower frame.

One thing to keep in mind... you can buy stuff on Craiglist or other places, use it, then re-sell it after the project

Edited by WayneC
add link
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Depends on what you want to do to the body.  I did mine in a garage by initially  building pylons under the trough corners, raised the car enough to unbolt the chassis and lowered it to the floor.  Next was to insert a couple 4x4 posts between pylons under the firewall and another at the rear, then continued to raise the pylons till the chassis could be rolled out from underneath.  Was a bit labor intensive jumping around shimming the pylons little by little, but method was safe and secure.  The car was fully intact body-wise when this was done.  If you need to work on the troughs, this would not be the way to do it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It has been decades since I was involved in frame changes on Avantis.  My memory says that we just put padded (to distribute the load & protect the surface) beams through the door/window openings and lifted the body with a hoist from the ceiling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, studegary said:

It has been decades since I was involved in frame changes on Avantis.  My memory says that we just put padded (to distribute the load & protect the surface) beams through the door/window openings and lifted the body with a hoist from the ceiling.

I agree with Gary but I'd go farther before I lifted the body. Remove everything you can to reduce weight - radiator and parts, doors, hood/trunk lid, glass front and rear, and the interior parts like the dash etc. I don't like straps through the window openings as they add a force component to the lifting area you don't get with padded beams of some type. Lastly, I'd support the front of the car by adding a strap/cable/etc from the radiator support area to the lift apparatus.

I've always built a wood stand with wheels to support the body and be able to roll it around before I lift them. That way you minimize the time the body hangs in the air and you can just roll the chassis out and get the body supported again.

Lastly, read the chassis manual to be sure you have all the body bolts out. There are a some that are well hidden if you don't have the manual.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I replaced a frame of a '63 Avanti several years ago......basically, the method I used was to lift the body a few inches off the original frame at the front of the 'hog troughs, and at the rear corners near where the rearmost body-to-frame bolts are located. (I removed the steering column, all frame bolts, etc)

Then I removed all four tires from the chassis and lowered the chassis onto the floor with small jacks.

After that I come-alonged the chassis out from under the car on its 'belly'. (pulling it forwards)

I reversed this procedure to install the replacement frame, and, taking my time, did the entire job without any assistance.....Be careful though!!:o

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did it once by lifting through the door opening with an engine hoist. I didn't have enough help to lift with muscle so I had help balancing it while one person worked the jack.  The car was completely stripped of doors interior, and all glass. I placed a 2x12 lengthwise through the front and rear windshield openings. I placed a padded towel around the rear, and spaced the wood above the roll bar area, so it would take most of the force. Then I placed the lift arm of the engine hoist under the wood under the roll bar area, and jacked it up from underneath with the arm reaching in from the side door opening. As the body lifted, and it was determined I had the balance point ok, another person steadied the body from swinging while It was lifted clear of the frame, and pulled back sideways off the frame. A rolling body dolly was imeadiately then placed under it, and lowered back down onto it.  It worked, but barely/ The best way is to find a two post lift with arms supporting the hog troughs at the front and rear of each trough. Lift the body off the frame that way, and roll the frame out from under.

Edited by brad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to all. Good input. I should have pointed out in my original message that I have had a few phone conversations with Myer's Studebaker and verified their high level steps documented on their web site (steps are about 1/2 way down on that page):

http://www.myersstudebaker.com/faq.htm

I like Brad's suggestion of using the roll bar as a lifting point. I also like the feedback about not leaving the body hanging on the hoist very long. I was thinking the same thing. I appreciate Wayne's link to the straps from Harbor Freight. I'm contemplating using a combination of the wood as the lifting structure along with straps connected to them in some fashion.

Good stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it were me I would build/borrow a lifting beam or spreader bar pulling from a set hook such as the A frame. Similar to the picture and lift from the bottom.  This would prevent lateral stress to the body.  We would use this method to lift generator sets in the marine industry.

Bill Hanlon

image.png.b21d1bce29878bca735e4836c052a4b2.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...