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TECH: Build an Adjustable Body Dolly

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 4t64rd, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. 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.
    [​IMG]

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

    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/showthread.php?t=157152

    This is it again.
    [​IMG]

    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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  2. 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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

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

    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.
    [​IMG]

    On to day 3 and the risers...
     

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  3. 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.
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]

    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!

    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    a $42 trip to the hardware store...
    [​IMG]

    and on to day 4.
     

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  4. 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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]
     

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  5. 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).
    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]


    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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  6. dv8
    Joined: Apr 15, 2001
    Posts: 1,097

    dv8
    Member

    Wow! Look at you....Nice work!
     
  7. AlbuqF-1
    Joined: Mar 2, 2006
    Posts: 909

    AlbuqF-1
    Member
    from NM

    Nice job! Good tech piece! Now on to working on your car!
     
  8. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 8,281

    AHotRod
    Member

    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 !
     
  9. hotrod mike
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,606

    hotrod mike
    Member

    Great tech idea Mike! Thanks for posting it. When can I pick it up? :D The "other" Mike
     
  10. roosters hot rods
    Joined: Oct 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,769

    roosters hot rods
    Member

    great tech idea...looks like a killer shop tool...great job mike,when you think it will hit the road???....rooster
     
  11. check the brushes in your saw might be a $10 fix instead of replace. great tech article.
     
  12. 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.
     
  13. tunram2quad
    Joined: Mar 16, 2007
    Posts: 169

    tunram2quad
    Member

    When You Do Something You Don`t Mess Around !!! Nice Job Mike
     
  14. Skip-o-Matic
    Joined: Jan 26, 2007
    Posts: 137

    Skip-o-Matic
    Member

    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.
     
  15. 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.
    [​IMG]

    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'
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]
     

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  16. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 8,281

    AHotRod
    Member

    WOW!
    I'm impressed Mikey :)

    You did it :D

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

    Congradulations!
     
  17. Wyle E Coyote
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 442

    Wyle E Coyote
    Member

    It's nice when a plan comes together. Good Job Mike, that's gonna be nice to work on now.
     
  18. tunram2quad
    Joined: Mar 16, 2007
    Posts: 169

    tunram2quad
    Member

    Got to have the right tool for the job..Glad it worked out for ya Mike.
     
  19. dixiedog
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,203

    dixiedog
    Member

    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!
     
  20. Tudor
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 6,217

    Tudor
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from GA
    1. Sock Fuckers Car Club
    2. S.F.C.C.

    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!
     
  21. Probably, I've been embarassed to post pics, because they would all been EXACTLY the same as they were 3 years ago.:( Now I'm on it.:D

    I haven't thought about renting... loaning. Viva La HAMB! If I make it wider, I'll make it break down into smaller, trailerable, storable pieces. Anybody got about 3 feet of tube that will slide inside 2x3 and 2.5x3?

    I don't think I want to know why you have that paint in your possesion. Know anybody that can use for a Cub Cadet 1811 Hydro? It's in my way.
     
  22. im still trying to figure out how the body got in the air and you seperated the two not trying to be stupid or anything. I am trying to get all my ducks lined up to prepare to do this myself with minimal man power
     
  23. You put the car on the frame inside it, then lift the front of the body off the frame with the cherry picker... Then your bolt it to the risers, then go around back and lift the back up with the cherry picker, stick the adjustable bar where it needs to be under the body, bolt it down... I did it by myself, both off, then back on.
     
  24. treetopflyer
    Joined: Feb 3, 2012
    Posts: 3

    treetopflyer
    Member
    from Yuma, AZ

    Mike, I'm reviving this post...I need to build a dolly for my upcoming project...any link to the photos?
    Doug in Yuma
     
  25. Too bad you aren't closer, I'll probably never use it again, you could have one done. I've looked on my computer (it was built 2 computers ago), I can search my camera memory sticks to see if it's they are on one of them.
     
  26. Re-attached the pictures so Ryan can host these pics for evah and evah.

    These pics are like... 2007, so if you ask me anything, it is possible that I killed the brain cell that housed answer, so be kind.
     

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