How to remove body from frame - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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How to remove body from frame

Hi guys, now that I am nearly done sanding car down to bare metal and then priming it (to protect it); and I have the front and rear suspension off car, I am looking to start cleaning and maybe painting frame and underneath side of body.

Here is what I have available to me:
1) Two guys (me and my adult son)
2) a 2 ton engine hoist
3) a large floor jack with 2 small floor jacks, and 1 small hydraulic jack
4) 10 adjustable jackstands
5) a 3-car garage (currently car is in center stall)
6) a 4-ton portable winch
7) an assortment of hand tools (wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, etc)
8) few power tools (drills, impact hammer, and some saws)
9) a set of 4 wheel dollies (adjustable)
10) an engine stand (not likely relevant here).
11) a '68 GTO convertible (currently with no engine, tranny, front suspension, rear end, front clip, or interior).

I know there are approx. 10 bolts (body bushings) that need to be removed (I think they are accessible from underneath car). I am looking into getting a set of door braces. But with the tools. manpower and space I have, how do I physically separate the body from frame?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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So short of spending a few hundred a few thousand dollars on either a portable lift or an actual lift, does anyone have any advice oh how I can take the body of my car off the frame and do it in my own garage with the tools, manpower and space available to me?
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 05:16 PM
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When I did mine (hardtop mind you) I had open rafters in my 2 car garage. Across the top of those I placed two 1 1/4 pipes about 8 ft long. I then used two two inch wide heavy duty ratchet straps under the body of the car. With the use of floor jacks, two by fours and man power we gradually lifted the body off the frame and it was supported under the rockers by the ratchet straps. When it was sufficiently off the frame and clear we rolled the frame out and placed the body down on some sawhorses I had made from two by's and reinforced so they wouldn't flex or sway.

Hope this helps.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunately my garage does not have open rafters.

Is it possible to jack up one end of body just a few inches, put jackstand in place, then jack up other end of body to level body? When jacking up body, if I use a 4x4 to distribute the weight of body can I safely jack up body without body folding on me?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 06:38 PM
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On a convertible, you MUST weld/bolt in support beams across the door openings, or you will bend your car. I know, it's a PITA, but there is no way around it. Ragtops are too flexible without the frame. We took a '67 off the frame the same way you described. You can also use an engine hoist, and anchor the chain to the front seat belt bolt holes to help ease the load while positioning stands and beams, etc. It is a lot of work. I would not pull the body off the frame unless absolutely necessary (rust repair). If you can clean it up and do what you need to do 'on frame' it's a lot safer and easier on the car.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 12:00 AM
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What the man said, in spades.

On a convertible, you've only got two choices for lifting the body:

1) Weld in all the recommended braces before you start.
2) Don't do it.

It's that simple.

Bear

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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I figured on the door brace support. In fact I just found a set to buy. I am just not 100% sure how to physically lift body off frame. I am hoping after bracing car that my plan of lifting it one end at a time will work.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 03:00 AM
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In addition to bracing across the tops of the door frames you should really also go from side to side - making a large 'X' - triangles are your friend. Remember you also don't have a roof to help keep it from twisting.

Once you've got it nice and rigid, you have lots of options for lifting it - a corner at a time, one end at a time, whatever you have the equipment and man-power to do. The exact process isn't all that important. Just be safe.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearGFR View Post
In addition to bracing across the tops of the door frames you should really also go from side to side - making a large 'X' - triangles are your friend. Remember you also don't have a roof to help keep it from twisting.

Once you've got it nice and rigid, you have lots of options for lifting it - a corner at a time, one end at a time, whatever you have the equipment and man-power to do. The exact process isn't all that important. Just be safe.

Bear
The door braces I found include the "X" going from side to side as well. Glad to hear I can lifet it end by end or even corner by corner. Do I need to lift body off from.to replace body bushings? From what I can see, they are shot.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 12:24 PM
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Bear makes an Excellent point on the cross braces. I would not do it without. Yes, once you have it braced, you can do it pretty much whatever is easier. We jacked up the front cowl, slid an I beam across the car, and put that jackstands. Then we jacked up the rear of the car, and put another I beam across the rear section and put that I beam on stands. We then rolled the chassis out from under. BE CAREFUL when supporting the cowl. It curves upward at the edge, and it can slip off of a beam or jack very, very easily. If you want to muscle a body off the frame, you will need 6 men to do it safely. Or 4 really strong guys. With 4, if one guy gets a cramp, the body is going to come crashing down, as One man can't hold up a side of the body. Good luck.
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