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Old 01-15-2012, 11:38 AM   #1
OldBlueOval
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Default How do you channel a body?

Too cold out to work in the garage! I did use the search but could not find what I want. Looking for ways to channel a body on my 1931 plymouth the floor in the car is not too bad looking for about a 4" drop. Just looking for ideas Thanks Joe
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:37 PM   #2
Rickybop
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

There might not be any threads specific to channeling...the info might be buried in some of the build threads. Keep in mind, that when you do a search for "channel", you might not even see that word in the title of the threads...so use the "Search this thread" function, using that search term for each thread. Hope this helps. Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Here is the way my Grandson and I did his 38 Chevy truck.I'm sure others on this site have a better way but this was our's.Please add to this Guy's
if you have some other ways. Our's was channeled 7 1/2" in the front and 3" in the back.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:57 PM   #4
Roger Walling
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Basicly a cars body is welded to the floor all along the sides ,front and back.
To channel it, you must cut the body off of the floor and lower it the amount you want and reweld it.
Not as easy as it sounds, lots of cutting and remanufacturing of new body mounts to the floor or frame.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

There is a thread on "floor subframes" that pops up from time to time that shows a bunch of good pictures of stuff guys have built to replace floors after channeling. Check the seach under that or "subframes, floor".
If you are asking how a car is channeled, you literally cut the floor out and drop the body over the frame rails. Putting structure back into the body and aligning the panels is a whole different deal though. If your floor is in good shape, I would think twice with that Plym... Those are damn good looking cars in their original form!
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Just got done building a 32 plymouth coupe with my father- one thing to keep in mind is with a paralell leaf front (if you are keeping it) it will be tough to get the front down enough to not look odd with a channeled body. My father put a 6" drop axle on his and it still is quite high in front.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:09 PM   #7
Don's Hot Rods
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Well, traditionally in the old days we put jackstands under the body and torched out the floor all around the perimeter of the body, then you and a couple of your buddies would let it drop down until it looked bitchin' and you would weld the body back to the floor. Thank God that part of tradition has been improved upon. We are a little neater than that today.

But the idea is basically the same. You separate the body from the floor and let it slide over the rails until you get the desired look you want. Now you have to buld some sort of subframe to support all of the weight of the body and keep it in alignment. After you build the subframe you can start installing something like 18 gauge sheet metal cut to shape to make a new floor. The subframe generally is made from something like 1 x 1 or 1 x 2 rectangular tubing, but there are lots of other ways to do it.

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Old 01-15-2012, 01:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Quote:
Originally Posted by need louvers ? View Post
. If your floor is in good shape, I would think twice with that Plym... Those are damn good looking cars in their original form!
It will look even better channeled, and because your floors are in good shape it will make it even easier............ but it will not be real easy.

you might also search using the term "body drop" its used mostly by younger guys specially the slammed and bagged truck guys. Not a term used by the traditional guys but its the same thing.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:18 PM   #9
Dakota.za
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Remember to cross-brace the body before you cut the floor out. This will stop the body distorting and keep things lined up while the floor is removed. Several pieces of tubing welded diagonally across the body will do the trick. All my doors (4) lined up after the new floor was in, so I highly recommend it. Its a pain in the ass welding the new floor framework in place while the cross bracing is in the way, but worth it.

Also, I tacked some square tubing under the chassis to lower the body edges onto, so that it would be level with the bottom of the chassis rail. It makes it so much easier to align the body on the chassis rails, left & right, fore & aft. These can be removed after the new floor is in place.
Hope this helps..
Steve
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

I used the words "body channel" and brought up some old information. I just looked at a small part of it.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianj View Post
Just got done building a 32 plymouth coupe with my father- one thing to keep in mind is with a paralell leaf front (if you are keeping it) it will be tough to get the front down enough to not look odd with a channeled body. My father put a 6" drop axle on his and it still is quite high in front.
Sounds like a cool ride!! do you have any pictures? I'm changing the front suspension to a dropped I beam. I was trying to figure out if you remove the complete floor or cut around it? A lot of channeling that I found had no floors to start with.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Find someone with a 31 Plymouth body that has the floor rotted out, and trade him for yours, then drop the roached out body over the frame and build a new floor. You save some work and a good body at the same time.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Here is a link to watch it explained in a somewhat smaller scale. Unfortunately the Spanish version is all that is up on Youtube right now. Start at the 1 minute, 40 sec mark.
Grab your cerveza and enjoy!
D.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FIkf..._order&list=UL
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a boner View Post
Find someone with a 31 Plymouth body that has the floor rotted out, and trade him for yours, then drop the roached out body over the frame and build a new floor. You save some work and a good body at the same time.

That is absolutely what I meant! A full fendered hot rod '31 Plymuoth coupe has been on my someday list for a long time. In my opinion, The off brand cars seldom look good in traditional fenderless hot rod mode. Just an opinion, though.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Here are some pictures of the 3" channel I did on my 48 F1. I removed the complete floor then rewelded to the cab.

Last edited by 46Steel; 03-05-2012 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don's Hot Rods View Post
Well, traditionally in the old days we put jackstands under the body and torched out the floor all around the perimeter of the body, then you and a couple of your buddies would let it drop down until it looked bitchin' and you would weld the body back to the floor. Thank God that part of tradition has been improved upon. We are a little neater than that today.

Don

Years ago I worked in a fab shop the working engineer there (life long hot rodder) described it exactly as you did. He had before and after pictures of what he and a few buddies accomplished in a weekend on his Jordan roadster. If I remember right they "torched" the floor out by cranking up a Lincoln arc welder. Was running just a few days later. Believe it was channeled in the 6-8 inch range.

Time frame for that was mid 50s and done in southeast portland.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

This one has some great stuff for inspiration..
Not really a "how to" on the basics but lots of great ideas that should help.

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...ight=sub+rails

That search is very picky, and if someone mis spelled it it won't come up. So play around and keep a log of what you tried. Some searches will bring up 47,000 threads.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

I'm gonna channel y T Sedan 4". The subrails are shot. So, I'll brace everything up and cut them out. Next, I'll set the body on the frame blocking it up to where I want it. Build new subrails, sheet it with bead rolled panels and I'll be done with that aspect of the build.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapato View Post
Years ago I worked in a fab shop the working engineer there (life long hot rodder) described it exactly as you did. He had before and after pictures of what he and a few buddies accomplished in a weekend on his Jordan roadster. If I remember right they "torched" the floor out by cranking up a Lincoln arc welder. Was running just a few days later. Believe it was channeled in the 6-8 inch range.

Time frame for that was mid 50s and done in southeast portland.
That wouldn't have been Harrison Miles, would it? I remember he wrote a short story about building a Jordan channeled over an "A" frame in high school.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:27 PM   #20
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Default Re: How do you channel a body?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldBlueOval View Post
Sounds like a cool ride!! do you have any pictures? I'm changing the front suspension to a dropped I beam. I was trying to figure out if you remove the complete floor or cut around it? A lot of channeling that I found had no floors to start with.

Don't have any pictures- can get some eventualy. We used a speedway paralell leaf front axle with a 6" drop tube axle. we wound up leaving the body unchanneled and unchopped, and re-mounting the fenders.we were going to run fenderless, but the car wound up looking kind of awkward without them- nose high. the paralell front leaf axle is great, though- very stable.
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