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body squaring?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by shane85, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. shane85
    Joined: Nov 30, 2005
    Posts: 257


    So let me start by saying i have been searching for body squaring information. I want to square my 31 coupe what is the best method you guys use? body on a table body or the frame i just dont know? someone chopped my body tacked but did not weld it and never braced it.
  2. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,443

    from Michigan

    Take measurements from duplicate points...front-right to left-rear, and front-left to right-rear. Tweak until both measurements match, and you're square. How you support or persuade the body is up to you, but basically, on a nice flat surface, and a come-along should probably be enough to pull the longer of the two diagagonal measurements in to match the shorter. Keep in mind, that the shorter measurement will get longer as the longer measurement gets shorter. This is basic info'll want to scribe marks on your support-surface, to ensure symetry from left to right. A longitudinal center-line will help. Also don't over-do it with the don't want to damage or tweak any localized areas.
  3. dawford
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 498


    I have not had to do that, however in the building trade (houses not cars) the way to make sure that pre-engineered panels fit was to measure from corner to corner to make sure that it set right and that the panels fit as they should.

    I would square it up on the frame that you are going to use and cross measure the frame from multiple bolt holes and brackets to make sure it is square.

    Use shims on jack stands to level it both ways using a good level before you start and check it for level frequently.

    With your Model A you will want to install the doors and make sure that they gap right and open and close well.

    It is a lot harder to make a car right after it is cut without bracing and you could make it worse if you don't measure everything every direction.

    You might also find a stock 31 with the same body and measure it at the bottom and at the belt line.

    I am not sure that all of the coupe bodies were made my the same supplier or if Ford made them all so check that angle if you measure someone elses car.

    If you are going to use a hood, fenders and running boards you might want to install all of it on a good square frame and shim all of the parts before you finish welding the top.

    I am sure that someone who has had the same problem will have some better information on how to do it but these ideas are how I would do it not knowing any better.

    Dick :) :) :)
  4. shane85
    Joined: Nov 30, 2005
    Posts: 257


  5. Noland
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,237


    lots of measuring and fitting. I usually do mine on the frame Im going to use and bolted down. This way when you go to assemble it nothing should change. good luck they arent too bad being such a simple body. once you get it where you want it be sure to use x braces to hold it and spot.
  6. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    I've trued up bigger cars by setting the body on multiple car jacks (scissor jacks or screw jacks, hydraulics can lose pressure). Adjust until the body is true, and the doors fit perfect. Then brace it and start welding in rockers, floors etc.

    On a body it is more important to have good panel fits than have the body dead square. When it goes on the frame you can shim it up as necessary.
  7. The place to start, especially on a stock frame, is to take the frame to a frame shop and have it trued to the factory specs. I just had my 53 Skylark trued and it really helps lining up the body seams.
  8. designs that work
    Joined: Aug 29, 2005
    Posts: 411

    designs that work

    You should use the frame and the frame should be supported by the axles and tires. Reason being that the frame will have a bit of sag or bowing. You still level everything before starting, shim under the tires as needed. Save and mark any shims that you make that go between body and frame. Make sure the frame is square, measure diaginly, shoot for 1/16 th of inch. Good luck

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