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Old 04-01-2007, 07:41 PM   #1
4t64rd
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Default TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

I know it's April Fools day, but this is not a joke, I, 4t64rd, am actually posting some tech. Please wait until I get all 15 pics up before commenting.

Back before I moved my car to the barn I'm renting (and before I had a welder), I had the body off the frame, and sitting on some pretty flimsy "sawhorses" in my 1 car garage. I had cobbed together a cheap Home Depot metal sawhorse and some angle iron and some $8 landscape timbers to hold it up. As long as you didn't touch it, and there were no breezes in the garage, it held it up. It allowed me to roll the chassis out, work on it, and roll it back under.


You can't see it but this is what was holding the back of the body up.


I need to get the body back off the frame to run the rear brake lines, fuel lines, and to weld in all the brackets that are mockedup/bolted in.

When I saw the gasser body on a dolly in Rod and Custom, I posted asking if anybody knew how it was put together. I drew up a dolly that would work for me and added it to that post.

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=157152

This is it again.


I now have a welder and I've practiced a bit on a vice stand, I thought I'd actually build it. Cont'd in next post.
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Last edited by 4t64rd; 08-16-2013 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 04-01-2007, 08:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

I had the car sitting on 4 of those cheap Harbor Freight wheel dollies. I figured the weight of the body distributed over 16 wheels would make it fairly easy to roll. I also had to contend with the fact that I wanted to be able to store the chassis under the body, but I could only raise it up 33" before it would hit the light fixtures in the barn.

Here is the first part of the body dolly, resting on the HF dollies. I'm going to call this the "bridge". It's made from 1/8" wall 2"x3" tube, and it's slighter wider than 72". The legs are about 26" tall, enough to clear the roller tires I have on the chassis when on the HF dollies.


I forgot to bring the camera with me on day 2 but, I cut and welded the two 2"x3" legs that go back from the front bridge. It was then that I noticed that of the 3 sticks of 2"x3" I inheirited from my buddy Don, weren't all 2"x3" one was 2.5" x 3". So I decided to use that for the removable crosspiece. The reason I made it removeable was a) When I roll this thing around the front of the car, the two legs will straddle the car while I lift the front of the body off the frame with my hoist, After I get it loosely bolted to the two front risers, I'll wheel the hoise round back, lift it up from two eye-bolts I have through the trunk floor, then slide the crosspiece in, adjust it and the risers and set it back down on it. b) by drilling a few more holes, it can be used later for other size cars.

To make the angle piece, I took 2 - 8" chunks of the 2.5"x3", and slit it at opposite corners. the edges look thin, but it's the same 1/8" wall tube.


This is what I had by the end of the second day, a basic frame.


I added a few braces to the back legs, and put a bolt through each "foot", through the HF dollies. since the foot is captured between the lips on the HF dolly, I figured I'd be OK with these for now.


On to day 3 and the risers...
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Last edited by 4t64rd; 08-16-2013 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 04-01-2007, 08:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

The risers. I made the 2 risers that are going on the bridge, 12" tall, because the body mounts are 2" higher that the where I plan on holding up the rear with the crosspiece risers. The crosspieces ones are 10" tall. I decided to use the 2.5"x3" for the risers too. When I decided to use the 2.5"x3" for the crosspiece, I then had to cut the notches 2.5" wide in the crosspiece risers. Since I'm clever, and cheap, I used those 2.5" wide for the top pieces of the all the risers. Yes, I ground down that weld.

You may think that 3 days to get to this point is a long time. That may be true, but I'm slow and careful, I measure everthing twice and cut once, I made sure that every cut was ground flat. And this is what I got, perfectly level risers. APRIL FOOLS! It was dumb luck.


In the other post, I asked if anybody had any suggestions for the design for this thing, and Boones said it would be nice if the risers were adjustable. At first I figured I would just drill new holes when I wanted to move them. Then I remembered... I hate drilling holes!



I also remembered, I especially hate burning up hole saws to get a hole like I originally designed, so I adjusted the design a bit and eliminated the side access holes, and just weld the (grade 8) nut to the underside of the top pieces of the risers, and use a stud, or a bolt.


a $42 trip to the hardware store...


and on to day 4.
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Last edited by 4t64rd; 08-16-2013 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 04-01-2007, 08:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

In order to make the risers infinitely adjustable, like Boones said (thanks Boones, I think it was worth the extra work) I had to make it so the riser would clamp to the rails. So I made up these "U" shapes that attach to the risers and will have a bolt going through the bottom of the "U" and press agaist the bottom of the rail. Just as I was finishing the last miter cut, my Craftsman compound miter saw, decided it didn't want to live anymore if I continued to cut metal. It basically started to crumble as I tried to move it. Add $199 to how much this thing cost.

I carefully welded them by using some folded cardboard clamped between the "U's" sides and the riser. I also measured then so there would be an inch of space between the bottom of the "U" and the bottom of the rail.


Here's where I had a brain fart. The risers that were on the 2.5" wide crosspiece, left only about 1/4" between where the rail sits, and the sides of the risers where the "U" shape will bolt (not weld, I wanted to get them off eventually) to the risers. The bolts I bought were 1.75" long, Oops! too long. I also didn't figure out how I was going to get to the nuts once they were on the rail, Oops! I flipped them around to cut off the excess bolt. Then and I turned them around and welded the nuts to the inside of the riser on all 4 risers. I chamfered the ends of the bolts with a grinding wheel. I used stop nuts, and the nylon guts melted pretty good, but it still works.

The nut that the the bottom bolt goes through, was also welded on. The stack of washers was just there to keep it tight.


Here you can see the difference in rail size. Also the studs that will go through the body. to clamp these thing tight to the rail, all you do is tighten the bolt on the bottom, they slide anywhere on the rails.


I also added a couple of short braces to the back of the bridge and the legs, hopefully this will keep the legs from wanting to spread. The shrinking from the welding actually made the backs of the legs suck in about a half inch.

I also added a brace to the front of the bridge to a plate that I bolted to one of the bolts that hold the casters on the bottom.

I threw on a coat of 99 cent spray paint... I ran out before getting through.
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Last edited by 4t64rd; 08-16-2013 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

It was 5:30 Sunday night when I finished, so I didn't want to rush and try and get the body up on it and chance dropping it. Besides, I have some cleaning up to do (ya think?!?!). the last thing I did was drill a hole where the rear body bolt holes SHOULD be once it's on the dolly. I'll probably have to drill another set when I do get it on there (Wednesday night), to line up exactly.

I added a couple more braces, probably could use another 4 to match the drawing, but this thing is solid. This is the orientation it will be in when it goes under the 46 in in the background. The front group will be removed (Just cut the zip-strips holding it on).


There's the vise stand I made a few weeks ago... thats a piece of the original torque tube housing from the original rear end. I made a clock from the banjo.




I used about a stick and a half of 2"x3"x24' (or 2.5"x3"), and about 20 feet of 1"x1", ahout 4 feet of 3"x3" angle, 2 - 10" fiber metal blades, 3 - 4.5" cut-off wheels, almost a spool of mig wire, 40-something dollars worth of hardware, 4 HF dollies ($39 a pair) and used up my miter saw.

There ya go Glenn!
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Last edited by 4t64rd; 08-16-2013 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

Wow! Look at you....Nice work!
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

Nice job! Good tech piece! Now on to working on your car!
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

Holly-Bannana's-BatMan ! ......I guess you are 'fired-up'! Now that is a great idea and project,....now the rest of us 'Poor-Boys' will have something to use
Great Job Mike !
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Old 04-02-2007, 03:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

Great tech idea Mike! Thanks for posting it. When can I pick it up? The "other" Mike
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Old 04-02-2007, 06:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

great tech idea...looks like a killer shop tool...great job mike,when you think it will hit the road???....rooster
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

check the brushes in your saw might be a $10 fix instead of replace. great tech article.
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

Not the brushes, cracked the casting on the bottom that holds the indexing thing, then broke the plastic handle with the switches in it. Should bought the right tool for the job. I could probably patch it up, but a new HF one is only $70.
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:18 PM   #13
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

When You Do Something You Don`t Mess Around !!! Nice Job Mike
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:37 PM   #14
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

Nice job Mike.
Thats similar to the jigs we use, where I work, for the Corvette bodies. Only we use 8" pnuematic tires, with swivel casters on one end.
Keep up the good work and lets see that car on the road soon.
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

OK, to finish up, I put the body up on it. There are a few design flaws.

design flaw #1. When you roll the thing in front of the car and push it back. theres this big metal lump right in front of the firewall, you have to lift the dolly OVER the engine, then the bridge piece still wouldn't fit behind the engine. So I took the front wheels off and more or less put it on the ground. this puts the casters on the ground, even with the bridge sitting on the backs of the valve covers. good thing the dizzy is out. It would work fine if the engine were out and if it didn't have design flaw #2.


Design flaw #2. It's too narrow to clear the rear fenders. It needs to be about 8" wider. or 5" shorter. I think I'm going to widen it... someday. They don't call 'em "fat fenders" for nuthin'


In order to make this work, I had to get the whole body high enough to clear the dolly. If I had two cherry pickers, it would be easy (or if I removed the fenders). I don't, and I didn't wanna, so I had to get creative to get it up high enough to get the risers in position.

Ta Daaaa! My big honkin' sedan body up on the dolly, I feel safe under this thing, it's hard to even wiggle it. Now I can scrape and paint the bottom.
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Last edited by 4t64rd; 08-16-2013 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

WOW!
I'm impressed Mikey

You did it

Now the rest of us Poor Boys are gonna have to come over and slam it together with ya!

Congradulations!
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:27 AM   #17
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

It's nice when a plan comes together. Good Job Mike, that's gonna be nice to work on now.
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:02 AM   #18
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

Got to have the right tool for the job..Glad it worked out for ya Mike.
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:55 AM   #19
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

Nice tech there my man, very impressive!!

Do you need some titty pink single stage paint for it? It beats safety yellow and no-one will want to borrow it!
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:45 AM   #20
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Default Re: TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

Damn - nice work chief - Will that thing be available for rent in the future? I think that is the first time I have seen your car!
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