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1956 Chevy Body Removal Advice Needed

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by J-Reg, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. J-Reg
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 5

    J-Reg
    Member

    I am preparing to remove the body from my 56 Chevy 210 4 door to begin the restoration. I am concerned about twisting and damaging the body. I have done this with truck cabs with no problems but this is obviously much longer and heavier. I am also looking for tips on building or buying a cheap but effective cart (adjustable?) with casters to move the body around on. Any advice?
     
  2. I pulled my body off with an engine hoist attached to the front firewall and a come-a-long attached to the reinforced rafters of my garage in the tailpan section.Then slid the frame out.My floors needed replacing but I had no flex in the body when I pulled it.It was stripped of all removable panels at the time.I don't think you will have a twisting problem if you have pretty good rockers and floor braces.
     
  3. 210sedan
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 168

    210sedan
    Member
    from upnorth,wi

    look for a 2-door
     
  4. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    Hey J-reg, take a look at the pictures in my profile. I have a 57 Pontiac that I have off the frame currently. Mines a 2 door but will be roughly the same size and weight of your 56. You can see the cart thingy my brother made to move it around and work on it. Measurements will be slightly different but you should have a fairly good idea on how to fab something up for yourself after you see what I have. Any questions pm me.
     

  5. tbill
    Joined: Oct 21, 2007
    Posts: 303

    tbill
    Member
    from central ny

    last one i did [o/t chevelle], i used a floor jack, 4 jack stands, and a couple 4x4's. just jacked the front untill i could slide the 4x4 between the frame and body, then went to the rear and did the same. just kept going a little at a time, and kept raising the stands accordingly [rested the ends of the 4x4's on the jackstands], only issue i ran into was having to use bare wheels to get the frame 'kick-up' to clear the floor of the car when rolling out the frame.
     
  6. Your real question depends on "4 door coupe vs. 4 door sedan"?

    I would not take a coupe body off without some temporary bracing in door area, especially if there is rust in the rockers/floors/structural areas.

    When I did my '56 2 door sedan, I built a body cart out of 2x4 steel (square tubing? channel?) and heavy duty casters. Lift at firewall body mounts and trunk body mounts (with a brace under the trunk floor to spread the weight). Get it up, on more 2x4 steel pieces between barrels/sawhorses, roll frame out, set body down on body cart.

    To do again I would buy a body cart from Eastwood. I spent the same or more buying things to build my cart. They also sell door braces.

    --steve
     
  7. jonzcustomshop
    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,927

    jonzcustomshop
    Member

    these f%#king people!

    if it is a 4 door hardtop there might be more chance of a sag if it is really rusty through the floor and rockers.
    4 door sedan, I wouldn't be as worried

    If it is really gone through the floor and rockers, you might throw a couple X braces in there to maintain front to back/side to side.
     
  8. 55chevr
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 956

    55chevr
    Member

    I have done body off on 57 2 door sedan Chevy, 78 Corvette, 40 Ford coupe. I didn't do anything extraordinary when removing the body. Installing is another matter. I had to jack the chassis using a floor jack to get line up. If the doors are on, leave them and use them for door gaps.
     
  9. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,643

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This comes up fairly often over on ChevyTalk.org, in the 55-57 forum. First, do ALL the floor repair work while the car is on the frame. Then, use the lifting points at the firewall and in the trunk. Set it on some HEAVY DUTY saw horses, unless you have an ungodly amount of $ and can afford to buy/build a rotisery. Unless this is a complete restoration, with attention to every little detail, why pull it off the frame? Is the frame bad? If not, you may want to reconscider your approach. Either way, have fun. Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  10. 55chevr
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 956

    55chevr
    Member

    56SD is correct. On the 57 I did the floors with the body on the frame. Then I lifted the body off to exchange the frame with a nice one off a low mileage 4 door. The corvette was actually 2 wrecks assembled on a 3rd frame and it came out perfectly. Front half including doors. Rear half cut through the shifter pocket. Splice it on the T-top rail. I still have this one.
     
  11. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,494

    Torkwrench
    Member

    If it is a 4 door hardtop, (sport sedan), it's a good idea to weld in alot of temporary bracing in the body. Tie the center posts together, and crisscross braces in all of the door openings. It's a good idea to tie these into the roof also. The 4 door hardtop bodies are very flexible, although not as bad as the converts. It's better to have too many braces, than not enough.
     
  12. Rick Sis
    Joined: Nov 2, 2007
    Posts: 710

    Rick Sis
    Member
    from Tulsa OK

    Remember that these bodies were plenty stout enough to be swung all over the factory during paint and such before being dropped on the frame. You just need to carefully assess any corrosion that may have compromised the integrity of the original structure. If you have any problems in the pillars and rockers, get that fixed before lifting it. If all you have is some rust in the bottom of the floor pan and trunk wells, not to worry. If you have serious problems in the underbody bracing that you can't get to with the body on the frame, that's when you need to brace things up.
     
  13. J-Reg
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 5

    J-Reg
    Member

    The body and floor are very solid so it sounds like I will be ok if I am careful. Thanks for all of your help. If I learn anything major I will post it.
     
  14. 210sedan
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 168

    210sedan
    Member
    from upnorth,wi

    I'm sorry! but the last thing J-Reg said in his thread "any advice" I don't care who you are or how much you like 4-doors The best advice you can give someone ready to start a "frame off"restoration on a 56 210 4-door sedan is Don't do it. ;)
     
  15. jonzcustomshop
    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,927

    jonzcustomshop
    Member

    lol that is true,4 doors are useful, but are not much for resale value!
    and yes I would not do a restoration of a 4 door and expect to do anything but use it.
     
  16. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,443

    40StudeDude
    Member

  17. Lumpster
    Joined: Apr 2, 2009
    Posts: 38

    Lumpster
    Member

    Well , some folks restore cars for the love and not for resale. Nothing pisses me off more then some asshole walking up to my car and saying "nice car, too bad its a four door".....
     
  18. jonzcustomshop
    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,927

    jonzcustomshop
    Member

    that was kind of my exasperation!
    It seems like every thread I open lately that mentions a 4 door, someone comes along and says they should buy some 2 door doors and convert it!!
     
  19. chevlimo
    Joined: Jun 18, 2009
    Posts: 10

    chevlimo
    Member

    Exactly! I love my '56 4 door and wouldn't have a 2 door if you paid me too. It's all about the car, not the money.
     
  20. J-Reg
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 5

    J-Reg
    Member

    This is rediciulous! I do this type of stuff because I enjoy it not to make a profit. I go to work every day to make money. I am going to go start a 4-door thread.
     
  21. One thing I can tell you is if you're going to be replacing floors or rockers, install some fresh body mounts & bolts and do the rust repair before you remove the body from the frame.
     

  22. I love 4 drs. Mine just happen to have a wagon attached to them. Build what YOU WANT not what these assholes want. Seems like if it's not their way it's wrong.Check out the photo album on my member page as i just got done doing a frame off on a 57 chevy convert. Should give you ideas on bracing. I brace every car i do, cheap insurance against a big OOPS.
     
  23. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,488

    325w
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Lifted the tri 5's both ways. One way is to use the front cowl bolt and use the shock holes in the trunk floor. You have to have some long eye bolts either way.
     
  24. harris73085
    Joined: Feb 4, 2009
    Posts: 160

    harris73085
    Member

    Simple... Loosen bolts... Buy a case of beer... Hand beer to friends.. see if the body comes off.
     

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