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Rob W

Crucial stage - body or chassis

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Hi all, so I've finally got my car stripped down to a rolling shell.  It's a very solid ex Californian car,  the only panels that need replacing are a the front valance, front section on the nearside sill and bottom of the nearside wing.    I was just going to paint underneath but am now thinking it might be worth seperating the body and chassis as all the work is done really to paint it and overhaul the suspension, brakes and replace all the lines etc.  So a few questions

1.  Should I do the body repairs before seperating the two?

2.  The doors are still on albeit without fittings.   The tub is solid.  Do I need to brace the shell before lifting.

3.  I don't have a block and tackle etc.  I'm thinking of using bottle jack's to lift it off the chassis and supporting the body with blocks and wooden beams to roll the chassis in and out.     Any other advice on how to do this without a hoist or block and tackle

Thanks all

Bob

Edited by Rob W

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Personally I'd do the body repairs first if you're able to. Bracing - yes definitely even if the tub is solid it will still flex a lot if not braced.

Once stripped the tub isn't too bad to move - an extra pair of hands makes it easier, a couple of people should be able to lift the tub clear of the rolling chassis. Last time I did it I used the engine crane to lift it off but I can't see why your proposed method wouldn't work if you took it up in stages..

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Seeing as the only panels that need replacing are  "the front valance, front section on the nearside sill and bottom of the nearside wing". I'd personally do those repairs with the body on the chassis and then, with wings, bonnet, doors off - I'd roll the lot onto its side (resting on old tyres).  Then paint it underneath. Roll it the other way and paint that side.   Then get the car jacked up in the air to work on the suspension and underneath mechanically sorted.  Finally drop it down, refit the engine / drive-train and panels  ..and enjoy it.! 

I did it this way on the TR4 I did back in the 90's and it's hopefully (depending on corrosion issues) what I'll do with the 4A  I've yet to get from the States.  Once the car is well sorted (..and enjoyed) then the body can be lifted (if still thought necessary) in a few years time. 

ha'penny please  B)

Pete.

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Think of the chassis as your body jig - if it's straight and mostly sound, then fix the body first. If the chassis needs large sections replacing then do that first.

Pete

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Hi Bob, I'm not an expert but it's exactly what I've had to do over the last 12 months. I ended up taking the body off the chassis because there was some damage to the NS fr suspension (common) and I wanted to do the chassis strengthening work with the CTM kit, I think whatever you do, you will end up taking the body off and back on again a number of times over the rebuild. But as everyone says, as long as your chassis is sound and straight it's the best jig to work from.

Good luck and if you need any pics let me know

Regards

David

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On 4/1/2020 at 3:04 PM, Bfg said:

ha'penny please  B)

Here’s my tuppence worth Rob,.... Why do it if you really do not need to?

 

Bit biased perhaps but, my (car 3A) body has never been off the chassis...... and t still remains the best one ever built!

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^ with it being four times as valuable advice as I offered..   you really ought to heed Tony's advice :D

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Is the chassis really as good as you think. I had my 4A 40 years and thought the chassis was good. When we took the body off - what a can of worms! The chassis often rust on top and while this is an ex Californian car are you certain it it is straight?

Mine had never been in a prang but the chassis was still a bit twisted as I found out when it went to TRGB for checking. Had I rebuilt the body on a twisted chassis I would have ended up with a twisted car. For piece of mind at least take the body off. Then you can be certain. If nothing else it allows you to paint the chassis to protect it against the English climate. It will also be easier to inject. I was recommended 'Bilt Hammer' wax protection. You will need 3 aerosols and they come with really long wands that make it easy to get inside all the chassis.

It took four of us to easily lift the body off the chassis, you could probably do it with one less but might be a bit heavy for two.

Rebuilding on a chassis you KNOW is straight will surely be easier.

Sorry, I am increasing the workload but you only want to do it once.

Allan

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All,  thanks for very much for your responses.  It's literally at the stage where all I need to do is undo the chassis mounting bolts to lift it once braced.    So not arduous either way.  I think I have a plan going forwards.   Thanks for your comments

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The "rust" repairs will probably be more extensive than you anticipate, especially the sills.

I would remove the "braced body" from the chassis and go from there.

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