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Old 05-07-2010, 10:24 PM   #1
thechondro
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Default Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

Im ridiculous when it comes to making decisions sometime. Should I paint this this way? Should I take this doohickey off? All that crap. Im trying to make my mind on if I should take my 59 off its frame to paint the frame and the undercarriage. Heres the catch.... Ive never done it before and have minimal help if at all sometimes. Im ready to jump right into doing this but I was wondering peoples opinions on this. Would it be easy to take it off the frame? its a huuuuuge car. I think Im ready to give it a shot. and Im ready to do the work. I just dont know if it will be worth it for me. (by the way, the car is half stripped already, interiors gutted, and the only thing in front is linkage, tires and frame.) Any tips would help to get an idea of what this would take. Horror stories r great 2.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

The biggest thing you have to look at......what are you trying to do with the car when your done. As soon as you take the body off the frame it becomes well i should replace this to make it right..... then what about this bolt....turns into wonder what the factory marking are. First I would decide if your going to be building a driver, or a show car. what I mean by that is a driver is a car where you changed the necessary parts to make it safe(the worn or broken) by show car i mean the correct dated bolt and washer for the brake line mount.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

But at the end of the day its your car and what you decide to do is what counts. I would check into a nice body cart that is sturdy and strong since your mainly by yourself. Safety first.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:38 PM   #4
Steves32
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

I've taken all my cars off the frame but wouldn't recommend to everyone. It's a huge commitment of both time & money.
For me- it's the only way I'd do it. For many others- they want to build on budget & drive it. Your car, your decision.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:43 PM   #5
56don
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

If you intend to keep the car and you love it,you probably won't regret doing a frame off.It will come out so much nicer.
I did a 56 with minimal help.I used a come-a-long attached to the rafters in my garage to lift one end and an engine hoist to lift the other end.Got it high enough and rolled the frame out.Also did a 64 by using a home made A frame made of steel tubing.That came in really handy.
If you are the kind of guy that starts something and gets distracted then you might just want to leave it on the frame.Once its in too many pieces, they look intimidating and you might loose interest.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:43 PM   #6
thechondro
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

Whats a body cart....LOL, Im so amateur. But this is how u learn right? I just want a nice safe cruiser. In no way a show car. Just safe and look like everythings been cleaned up a bit. Necessary things only. And I am not bringing it back to original. So this bolt can be blue and this fender can be pink. Just tryin to get as much rust off the car and make it look like its been takin care of. Tryin to make the car straight and a little safer. Body, paint all that stuff. So when u look at it from any angle its pretty much cleaned up. I dont expect a show car, cuz I cant build one yet!
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

Lots of good deals on cars that have been taken off the frame. Thats when the magnitude of the torn apart car hits. Daily drivers are to be left on the frame. Thats another opinion.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

How much extra did it cost steves? rough idea.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

Body cart, www.eastwood.com item #50051. or you could build something similar,that's what I did..
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

i had my 50 Merc blasted with the body on the frame. It was torn down just like yours . I must say that it turned out great and looks brand new on the under side. I have built cars both ways and plan on driving the Merc rain or shine so I thought I'd give this a try and could not be happier. The blaster lifted one side at a time and blasted each side when it was in the air. Just another idea that could turn out nice but not break the bank. Good luck.

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Old 05-07-2010, 11:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

I've done several frame offs. But I've never done a car that big, that could be a problem if you don't have at least some help. Why do you want to do it? Just to clean it up or do you plan some modifications? Are you going to drive the car in a normal way? If your leaving the car as it is underneath and you plan to drive it regularly I wouldn't do it. The clean up gets pretty crudy in very little time. SoCal is not as bad as the other areas, because the weather is usually pretty good. If you are going to lower the car and drive it often I'd forget it. Street/hot rods are a little different but they normally have frame mods so body offs are needed. Then as someone mentioned if you lose interest (very possible with a big project) it isn't worth nearly as much sitting in the garage all torn apart when you try to sell it.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

Prefer the body off...have used chain falls (chain hoists) hooked to a chain on a large pipe over rafters. Have also used an engine hoist...raise one end at a time, support with a couple 2x4's across a couple barrels or saw horses...then roll the chassis out. The easiest method...pull the car under the lift, strap it to the lift, then push the magic button!

The body cart would be nice if you're doing a LOT of body off cars, but if you're aiming to do just this one, build a ladder frame out of 2x6's, and get 4 heavy casters - cheap and can be recycled when you're done with it. I recently got a 4' x 6' push cart with 10" casters from work they weren't using...with a couple of outriggers it's been perfect for putting bodies on and moving easily..we had our '47 Merc on it, now a friend has his '57 Chevy on it.

As others have said, taking the body off is a major commitment and does involve extra $...chances are the body mounts will fall to dust, you'll find more "problem" areas to finesse, etc. But, if you want it clean it certainly beats lying under it with a wire brush. It all depends on your budget and goal for the final result.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

A body off project can add years and dollars to your project. Some never return to their glory days. If it's a daily driver and just a get around town car I wouldn't do it. If it's a car you swear you'll never part with and don't mind not having it on the road for awhile then maybe consider it but it's a huge undertaking if you're not prepared for it. I know a lot of guys who have fallen out of love over a body off project.

I'm doing one now that is barely starting to see some life after 2 years and I can't tell how many $$$$$. In the end it'll be worth it but it's not a daily driver and at this rate it may see a trailer or two.

Good luck to ya man!
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

Pulling a '59 Ford off of the frame is a much bigger job than pulling a '32 of the frame. As I see it, the primary reason to pull the body is to accomplish some major chassis work otherwise leave it on. If you really want to pull the body, start with something more manageable for your first attempt. Just my opinion.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

You'll know when your ready for a frame off. Keep it simple for now and drive it. The further you go down the tunnel the less chance you will finish it.
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Old 05-08-2010, 01:44 AM   #16
thechondro
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

Ok, Im hearing some things that I wasnt really expecting but I TOTALLY respect that. Im gonna go with all the great advise that most people r telling me. Seeing how its such a huge fuckin car. and the fact that Im a little low on the friend department. Let alone friends that would help with a restoration. I think Ill take it slow and just clean it up till Im really ready. Its my only classic at the moment so maybe ill just clean it, work it and paint it. Why cant my dad be a hot rod guy to leed me in the right direction instead of being a fire extinguisher salesman. :P
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Old 05-08-2010, 01:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

I`d love to do a full frame off myself, but like others said - the stars must align, in a sense. lol

In my opinion its not something i`d do in a drive way. A decent shop, and plenty of time to complete the whole thing would be best.
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Old 05-08-2010, 01:57 AM   #18
thechondro
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

The time I dont think is the real problem. I would be willing to wait but I thought to myself.....maybe best to have a nice shop at the least. Yeah.
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Old 05-08-2010, 01:59 AM   #19
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

After you take the body off the car takes up twice as much room. Unless it's a truly rust free car, plan on all new body bolts and bushings. And if it's that rust free and you're not making major alterations, I'm not sure there would be a reason to take it apart.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:05 AM   #20
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Default Re: Taking the car off the frame. Worth it?

I pulled my 62 off the frame. It wasn't that bad. I removed 16 bolts and slowly jacked it up. I used simple floor jacks. We jacked up one end far enough to get a support under it and then moved to the other end. It took some time, but it was easy. I cleaned and painted my frame and the underside of the body while it was apart. I do have one suggestion. If you pull it off the frame you should replace the fuel line and brake line that runs from front to rear. I didn't do this and regretted it later. I actually pulled the body off a second time.
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