With the body now free of the frame and safely on the dolly I had a whole new set of options for what to work on. The frame was in very good condition and had survived much better than the body. I found no significant rust, just surface rust and no significant damage.
The pinion seal in the rear axle looked like the original leather seal and it had completely disintegrated so jacking up the rear just drained the diff out through the front. I'll cover that project in a separate post. I was also pleased that the front spring bolt, you know, THAT bolt, just slid out with no drama. A big relief after all the horror stories that I had read. It just took a couple of days to strip the chassis of anything that could be removed and drop it off for blasting. My truck only has a 5 foot bed so I rented a Uhaul van. I was able to move the frame around and load it into the truck on my own.
A few days later the chassis came home and was spotless.
I took this opportunity to make a couple of mods that Stuart had recommended. The first was to reinforce the rear spring hanger by inserting a length of pipe into the original hanger and seam welding the end. The local hardware store provided the gas pipe that was a perfect fit into the original mount. Here's how it looked just prior to welding.
I also welded nuts to the shock absorber brackets so that the shock absorbers could be attached using Allen head bolts.
After these mods I then applied a couple of coats of Eastwood primer and three coats of Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black.
With the frame painted I could then refurb all of the brake and suspension parts and replace the seals in the rear axle.