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Discussion Starter #1
OK; so I got my car a while back and posted a few pictures. I have a couple friends ready to help me and some $. So now I'm ready to start. Uh-Oh. Don't know what I'm doing. Can you guys help me with this step by step? I am going to have to do a restomod because of what I am looking for and my personal limitations. I do want to do frame off to a point. So; what are the steps to getting the body off the frame? Pretend I know nothing. Cause I don't. This is where me and my friends will learn. I'm sorry it's on a 1969 GTO but it's what is in the garage. What do I take off first? Hood? Trunk lid? Seats? How much interior gets taken out? What do I do with doors and glass? Etc, etc, Etc?

I am sure I will have many more questions but I see on here and other sites that getting to the frame and fixing that is usually everyones first step but they do it so easily they don't even show how they did it.

Thank you everybody.
 

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It kind of depends. :)
This is not necessarily in order.
I stripped the interior completely out including steering column and dash, if it could be unbolted it was. Removed the doors. Removed all the glass. I even removed the quarter window mechanisms, both for weight now and that I won't be using them anyway. No back seat, so who needs opening back windows? :)
Removed all front sheet metal. Removed trunk lid. Unbolt all body mounts. And then unbolted the ones I didn't know about originally. :)
Emergency brake cable needs to come off from the firewall also. that was a slight oops I had forgot about. And the brake master cylinder and power booster if you have one.
Best way is to take everything that is attached to the body off. Make real sure you take lots of before and during pictures if you want to get it back together without losing your mind. :)

Left the drivetrain and suspension intact. Was much easier for me to remove it after the body was off.

It depends on what you are going to be doing and with what. I was doing this alone, so I needed to get every ounce off that I could from the body. Some people leave the windshield and rear glass on. Some might leave the dash in. I have to replace a lot of metal, so it all had to come off sooner or later anyway.

You can do this by yourself if you have a decent engine hoist. There are a few ways to do that, but if you have 3 or 4 friends who can help you after you get it stripped it is pretty easy to remove.

Plan on how and where you are going to store/work on the body before starting. Rotissorie? Jack stands? Etc. Have it ready to go when you lift the body off.

There are a bunch of posts floating around here about this. Check out the stickies for some of the rebuilding threads, if you haven't already.

hth some,
Russ
 

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Oh, start using PBblaster on all the bolts now. Keep respraying them every day or two for a week or more if you can.
And do not use air tools on the body mount bolts. I don't have the link handy, but on a Buick forum there is a great post about how to do it without having to cut into the body. Basically besides using the PBblaster above you just want to treat it like you are tapping a hole. A little in, a little out, more finesse than brute strength. Especially if you are wanting not to replace the pans. Personally I knew I was going to anyway, so I just used a sawzall for the most part. :)
Russ
 

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"It kind of depends. :)"
Hey! That's my trademark! :D

Seriously, what does the car need? What's rusted on the body and needs fixing? How's the paint? The mechanicals?

I'm reminded of the conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat:
"`Cheshire Puss,' Alice began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. `Come, it's pleased so far,' thought Alice, and she went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
`I don't much care where--' said Alice.
`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
`--so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.'"

"`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
`You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'

In other words, compare what the car is now to where you're going to take it, then we can help.
And... to do any of this stuff, it really helps to be crazy :D

Bear
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd like the car to become a driveable car. Not a show car. I need to put in an engine and transmission. I'd also like to redo the brakes and suspension. Those are the reasons I was going to take the body off the frame. I thought it might be easier for me to put in those things that way. If I am wrong, then please tell me. There is some body rust trunk and floor panel rust. Wanted to fix these up as cheaply as possible. This car will never be original; I don't have the time or money for that. Maybe some day when I have kids. For now I want it to be fun and look nice. Can anybody give advice?
 

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I did all that stuff and didn't need to remove the body. Don't make any more work for yourself then you need to. You can pull and install the engine and tranny with the body on, you can also replace the floors and trunk with the body on. Suspension work as well. If you are looking for doing it as cheap as possible, then I would reconsider removing the body, as you'll more then likely have issues (and expense) by doing so. Maybe just pull the front clip off as a 1 piece unit? JMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK; that's helpful. Um; not trying to embarrass myself, but what do you mean by the front clip? And I don't really need to pull the tranny - it's in the trunk. HaHa. Oh; this car is in sad condition right now. I don't know whether to laugh or cry
 

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Front clip = all body parts forward of the doors. If you remove the front bumper, the bolts at the back of the fenders and hood hinges, then remove the core support to frame bolts along with the wiring to the horns and lights, you can remove the entire front clip including the inner fender wells leaving plenty of room to work on the engine and suspension.
Here's a picture of my car durring the resto with the front clip removed...



 

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:agree ... and strongly, with the suggestion not to take anything apart that you don't absolutely have to. More of these projects die from being disassembled than from people making mistakes. What I thought was going to take me a couple of years on my 69 wound up taking more than 20, and had it not been for my sweet bride the Beast would probably still be sitting in pieces in the back of a storage unit somewhere.

Bear
 

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I'd leave everything intact if you just want a decent driver. Work within the confines of an assembled car. I have just started a frame off on mine. My plans involve a full restoration. I've had mine for almost a year now and I drove it once down the street. Probably won't drive it for a while to come being fully disassembled. Like Bear said a lot of projects are abandoned or delayed from frame off ambitions.


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Cool. And thanks for the picture so I know what to aim for. I am charging my cameras battery cause everybody tells me to take pictures as I do things. After that is charged and I get some pictures and some heat into the garage then I will get to work on it. I am sure I will be back with many more questions and soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Bag and tag. Got it.

The grille and headlights came off with the bumper. I hope that is OK. There were no wires attached to the lights anymore.
 

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bag and tag for sure- buy a ton of ziploc freezer bags( they're thicker and dont break ) and 4 boxes of sharpie markers- LABEL EVERYTHING. it is very easy to make a TON of progress disassembling things only to make a sh1t ton of work later trying to put stuff together after taking it apart and just dumping it in boxes- Take as many pictures as you can and then take 100 more when taking something apart and store it on the computer and label the pics - seems like a lot of work but when you are putting it back together you will be glad you have all those pics.
It takes a LONG time to build a car- even longer if this is your first one. My car took 4 YEARS ( 14 months at body shop+paint) I did 90% of it by myself (not the paint) and I am NOT a mechanic.Research,read, ask questions, find someone who has done this before and talk to them- learn from other peoples mistakes( or make your own- I did)
but after all the blood sweat and tears (and $$$$) every day you drive it is worth all the trouble you went through- some pics to show you where I started and you can see where I ended
 

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It takes a LONG time to build a car- even longer if this is your first one. My car took 4 YEARS ( 14 months at body shop+paint) I did 90% of it by myself (not the paint) and I am NOT a mechanic.Research,read, ask questions, find someone who has done this before and talk to them- learn from other peoples mistakes( or make your own- I did)
but after all the blood sweat and tears (and $$$$) every day you drive it is worth all the trouble you went through- some pics to show you where I started and you can see where I ended

:agree....100%, very well stated, i still have to pinch myself when i walk in the garage sometimes and see the car i have had in my head since i was 15 sitting in my garage. Not all of these cars need to be removed from the frame and every bolt replaced, build to suit your wants and needs. Tackle it in smaller, "finishable in a weekend" chunks. If possible get it on the road before you start body and paint that way you can enjoy it while you save for (or do like me and others) body work and paint which is by far the biggest single time and cost item of any build. And use the best resource available to you....this forum and its members.....:cheers
 
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