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Hot Rods Body swap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. At our monthly club meeting last night Frank ask me had I ever swapped a body for the same year but a different style,he has a finished chopped '32 3 window glass BeBob coupe and after a few years he has decided he would be more comfortable & happier with a unchopped 2 door sedan.

    I told him I have never done it but I'm sure there has been many sedans, Model A's on up swapped for coupes and roadsters, have any of you tackled a finished car and done this kind of swap, were there any major problems. HRP

    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021
  2. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,308

    from Ok

    Swapped a 40 coupe body from my running driving car for a 40 tudor sedan body since my family had grown. Only problems were it took me much longer than planned because I got carried away updating the chassis.
  3. chopped
    Joined: Dec 9, 2004
    Posts: 2,063


    Sorry, I thought you found a way to swap my tired old body for a younger version.
  4. Since there is only One 32 chassis for all 32 body styles I wouldn't expect any issues. There could be something special done for the First build to work with an aftermarket Body but you would think that would be obvious.
    loudbang, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.

  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,618


    I've never done it myself. I knew a couple of guys years ago who traded bodies on a pair of stock bodied same year Model A's The bodies including interiors were in real close to the same shape and they just unbolted both bodies and swapped them and bolted them back on. Both wanted to keep their own chassis rather than swap cars. if memory serves right the guy who had the coupe was looking for a sedan for his growing family and the guy with the sedan had always wanted a coupe.
    I'd say that there are a lot of Deuce Roadsters or coupes that have a chassis that left the factor with a sedan body on it though.
  6. chop&drop
    Joined: Oct 11, 2006
    Posts: 454


    ‘32 frames are all the same, as are general body dimensions. It should be simple enough. Body, steering column, throttle linkage and wiring (A/C and heat if he has them), will need to be disassembled. Everything should pretty much just go back in the way it came out once the body is swapped.
    loudbang, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  7. harpo1313
    Joined: Jan 4, 2008
    Posts: 2,262

    from wareham,ma

    Selling would be another option. Then start from there.
    loudbang, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  8. Thomas K.
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 26

    Thomas K.

    I have had my BeBop 5-window on and off the chassis 3 times by myself. Put bare 17" wheels on the rear to keep from having to raise the body over the 31" tires. Jacked and blocked front and rear a little at a time until I could get 8' 4X4's under the body. Raised and blocked the 4X4's til I could roll the chassis out. Just took my time.
  9. Yeah, he ask me if I would post the car for sale here and I broke the news to him and that his car is not hamb friendly, big wheels ( not when the photo was taken), independent front suspension & engine.

    That's when we started talking about swapping bodys.

    I believe he could sell the body. HRP
  10. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,403

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    In 1960,my buddy Steve Reep,got a 4door 30A. He never really wanted a 4 door,but it was only afordible A,to build a hot rod at the time he got. In 1961 we found out there was 2 door sedan body in a old junkyard. Steve made a deal,and got the 30A 2 door sedan body. Took a few weeks to get the 2 door body in shape. Then we made the swap,an repainted it red. I added the pinstrips an name for Steve. Our next big thing was adding a Ford Y-block V8.
    This pic is Steve an I just finished off V8 add. You like our open air garage car port,Steve Mom had a fit about the oil spots though. Steve seated an I'm on fender. SteveReep n DanaBarlowYblockpoweredA.JPG
    Murphy32, WalkerMD, Hnstray and 11 others like this.
  11. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,022


    A 32 coupe body has a deeper wheelwell than a sedan, so be sure his rear tires aren't real close in there. HRP you can compare to your sedan's body to see the difference.
    bchctybob, 32SEDAN, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  12. well, kinda ... I plopped a 34 five window body on a 33, 5 window frame...same-same
    loudbang, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  13. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 812


    Not sure what they were thinking, but my uncle told me the story of him and his brothers swapping a deuce roadster body onto a model A Chassis sometime around WWll .

    Never found out what happened to the 32 Chassis, or the body for that matter, and the uncles hav long since passed.
    loudbang, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  14. 1. Any chance it would not match what’s on his title. “coupe” changed to “sedan”, or does it just say “2 door” on it?

    2. Is his aftermarket frame boxed and drilled for the BeBop body, or are both drilled stock?
    bchctybob, H380, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  15. redo32
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,832


    Everything should fit except the rear fenders, but they could be trimmed to fit. Then it's time to study. What can he sell his body for? Can he find a suitable sedan body? I've seen a couple of 4drs lately but not 2 dr unless a complete project. Weigh all the options and decide if maybe better to go with his first decision to sell his glass car & buy a Henry.
    loudbang, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  16. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,496

    from red oak

    Read an article in Lowrider that mentions a guy swapped 3 frames in 10 years due to 3 - wheel`in and wearing out the frames. It was a 64 Chevy. Talk about a lot of work.
    loudbang, HOTRODPRIMER and 3W JOHN like this.
  17. RockyMtnWay
    Joined: Jan 6, 2015
    Posts: 109


    Easy peasie (as long as the frame was stock or built to stock dimensions).
    I’ve only done it twice, but the second time was easier. ;)
    I’m actually in process (#3) of putting a Tudor body on a chassis that was under a roadster body. Rear fenders need to be trimmed, but rest is going smoothly.

    One of my buddies says I play with 32s like some kids play with lego. o_O
    loudbang, HOTRODPRIMER and 3W JOHN like this.
  18. 3W JOHN
    Joined: Oct 8, 2015
    Posts: 952

    3W JOHN

    I helped with a model A years ago, 3 guys started on Saturday morning, finished it on Sunday and drove it to school on Monday.
    mario711, loudbang and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  19. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,415


    Dad used to tell me about an old farmer in Nebraska that had a coupe body and a roadster body. Fella swapped it every year. Roadster for the warm weather, coupe for the winter. I believe it was a Model A but not sure.

  20. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,839


    A rodder down here many years ago removed his steel 32 roadster body and dropped on a 32 closed cab PU, it was more practical for him plus he had the additional benefit of a PU bed as well as being a closed and not open body.
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  21. 24riverview
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 934


    My 39 Chevy coupe is on my 2 dr sedan's original frame. I was in the middle of redoing the sedan (dropped axle, one piece cut down hood) in 1979 when I found the coupe. Built a different coil spring frame for the sedan then, still have both.
    HOTRODPRIMER and 3W JOHN like this.
  22. 24riverview
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 934


    Since you guys love pictures :D
    sedan in progress before coupe was found
    "new" sedan frame
    final result (1980 photo)
  23. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,001

    from Brooks Ky

    If he decides that he wants to sell the coupe body, PM me with what he has and what he wants for it. I think dealing with the interior details about what he wants to remove/keep and sell may be the hardest part of switching.
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  24. I don't know the current status but you used to be able to change bodies in California by filling out a "Statement of Facts" at the DMV. Ask them.

    Charlie Stephens
    wfo guy, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  25. On the 30s era Fords it is fairly simple, they sedan, coupe, roadster and even pickup all used the same chassis. it is just a matter of removing one body and installing the other. Sometimes a hole or two needs to be relocated.

    In the '70s I knew a guy that had a '30/'31 sedan that he raced and drove in the winter, in the summer he had a roadster that he cruised. he had swapped the body back and forth so many times that he could do it in an evening.
    HOTRODPRIMER and 3W JOHN like this.
  26. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,707


    Since it’s a glass body with what I assume an aftermarket chassis, it’s not as simple as if swapping original bodies on a stock chassis. I would expect all of the body mounting holes aren’t correct for a stock body. Expect some time for fitting the body and drilling new body holes and access holes.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    bchctybob, HOTRODPRIMER and 3W JOHN like this.
  27. 3W JOHN
    Joined: Oct 8, 2015
    Posts: 952

    3W JOHN

    That might me a problem in South Carolina.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  28. I had a friend who swapped a 40 Ford from pickup to sedan. That was easy. On a 32, if you have the original firewall or any firewall, it's not bad. If the firewall stays with the body and the components locations are different, it will get interesting. In Kansas, you can't swap bodies without re-titleing the vehicle.
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  29. yeah, in this cars the car is glass and the firewall is made to the body, a real steel Henry '32 you could leave the firewall in place with all the fuse panel/heat & air intact. HRP
    3W JOHN likes this.
  30. FalconMan
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,354

    from Minnesota

    I swapped the bodies on my 40 2dr with my 36 3W..... and sold the 40...

    Sent from my SM-G965U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.

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