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Build Your Own Body Cart/Dolly For Frame Off Restoration

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Aeroman, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

    How many of you have limited garage space to do a full on frame-off restoration? I see many hands flying in the air! Well, with me being one of them, I don't have the luxury of having two separate car garage bays to place the body on a body cart in one garage bay and the frame in another. So, after scratching my head, I thought, "Why not have the body roll over the car frame so I can easily place the body on the driveway while I work my magic on the frame"? The current body carts out in the market are great but they do not allow the body to be rolled over the frame of the car.
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    Design:
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    I sketched a design on lined paper then drew a rough design over to (SolidWorks) CAD (see Figures 1-6). I’m the type of person who likes to see it on paper (or screen for this matter) before I begin a cut or weld.

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  2. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

    As you can see, I wanted to make this cart adjustable. What I first did was take measurements of the minimum/maximum height, width, and length of the car chassis and the garage ceiling height. Basically, make sure your car’s body can make it over the car chassis and still exit the garage without any obstructions. By making the cart adjustable, one can tweak to make it suitable for their application. One can always drill a new hole on the body cart to adjust length, etc.
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    Materials:
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    After getting the dimensions squared away, I worked on what materials to get. I originally was going to make a simple body cart out of 4x4 wood, which could have worked perfectly, but I wanted this particular body cart to be taken apart and stored in a plastic tub when not in use. Also, I knew in my mind, this particular project (1947 Chevrolet Fleetline) was not going to be my last and wanted a cart to be used on any type of car. I simply obtained mild steel square tubing. My thought was using 2 and 2.5 in2 tubing so one can slide into the other. To save some $$$, I got remnant steel from the metal supply. Unfortunately, the 2.5 in2 had a galvanized coating which needed to be grinded away. Also, the 2 in2 tubing had a thicker wall versus the 2.5 in2 but it was still going to work for me (see Figures 7-10). For 40-feet of 2 in2 tubing and 20-feet of 2.5 in2, the total cost was $100.

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  3. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

    Casters
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    I did not want to skimp on the casters. I did my homework and looked around the tool supply areas and Internet for the best possible caster for my application. After talking to one of my good friends, he showed me reliable casters he used on a body cart he built. The casters were sold at Cal Aero Supply in the city of <st1:city w:st="on"><st1>Paramount</st1></st1:city>, CA. I made the 45-min drive and boy was it worth it! I decided on a set of 2x8 in casters with zerk grease fittings for the wheel and swivel portion. In addition, all of the four casters had brakes (see Figure 11). Each was a hefty $23 a piece but I was happy with the purchase. Total cost of purchase was about $100 after tax.
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    Figure 11
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  4. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member


    Construction:

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    I began cutting, grinding, and welding the components using a Millermatic 175 220V welder. After all of the pieces were welded, I then proceeded to drill ½” holes (See figures below).
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  5. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

    [​IMG]
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    I used Grade 8 and Grade 5 hardware. I wanted to have the peace of mind that I had tough heavy duty hardware. Here are some more images which tell the story better:
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  6. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

    [​IMG]
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    gonzo likes this.
  7. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,293

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    WOW! That thing is very substantially built! You should be able to put a tank on that and roll it around!
     
  8. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

    [​IMG]

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    So, for under $300, I had a heavy duty cart that fit my application of rolling over the chassis and storing it in the garage. I plan to either paint it or powder coat it. Hope this helps many of you. Take care.
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    Juan
     
  9. GrantH
    Joined: Aug 10, 2006
    Posts: 523

    GrantH
    Member

    very nice work.
     
  10. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

  11. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,293

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ya' know.... just want to add another comment. I personally really appreciate you taking the time to post all the pics and "step by step" progress dictation. I wish more people would go to that level of detail when they're building something. Hats off to you and I hope more people learn from your posting.

    Cheers!
     
  12. I should have made the width on mine adjustable, and that front bar removable like yours, mine is only adjustable in length and the body mounting points. I ran into problems because of it.

    Oops!
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    That and the front bar on mine wants to occupy the same space as the SBC dizzy.

    More here:
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=172793&showall=1

    I did finally get the frame out from under it recently, and another problem is those bolts that clamp the risers to the rails, stick down, right about the same position as the kick-ups in the rear of the frame. I took the rear wheels off and rolled the frame forward on the floor jack and put them back on, but a design like yours would've saved the bother.

    Mine rolls on 4 car dollys (16 steel wheels), I can push it around on relatively lumpy concrete floor with very little effort.
     
  13. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

    Thanks Scooter. Never hurts to see what others are trying out. Take care...
     
  14. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

    I was going through your article man and I wish I had found it sooner. The reason I posted mine up was because I had trouble finding something on the Net that could of helped me. Glad you got yours going.
     
  15. deuceguy
    Joined: Nov 10, 2002
    Posts: 432

    deuceguy
    Member

    Really good idea.
     
  16. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

    Thanks. It has some tweaks that need to be made but you get the overall idea. I used both set bolts and through hole bolts to make adjustments.
     
  17. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,557

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    Thanks for the tech... nice job...
     
  18. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

    Never hurts to paint it either:

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  19. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

  20. jack_pine
    Joined: Jan 20, 2007
    Posts: 343

    jack_pine
    Member
    from Motor City

    I know this is old...but we like old cars, too! Just checking in to say I am headed off to the metal guy to buy materials to make this thing, probably without one single change vs. your design. Thank you very much for taking the time to post this.
     
  21. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,447

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Love the idea. Can't see one image. Could you possibly load them directly here instead of photofucket? Gary

    Never mind... turns out my computer was working half arsed a little yesterday. GN
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  22. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

    You're welcome

    Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
     
  23. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,870

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    I did something similar to roll my 66 Suburban body over the frame. It was not connected front to back as yours is though. I had previously removed the front sheetmetal, doors, engine/trans, and front and rear suspension so it was substantially lighter. Most of the materials were whatever was laying around, including a pair of trailer tongue jacks that neeed repair. The jacks were mounted at each cowl side, they could have been more HD and longer but by dropping the frame to the ground first, they got the job done.
    The only real purchase were the pair of wheelbarrow tire/wheel assemblies from Harbor Freight that were mounted on each rear corner and connected together with a one inch axle that increased the rigidity substantially.
    With lots of wood blocks, jackstands and patience I was able to do the job myself.
    I ultimately repurposed most of these components to build a roll around/rotisserie for my roadster body with the only purchase being two one inch square bent hoops that I cut in half and welded together making (two) one by two inch arches (photo should help make sense), these are used to build the front framework on enclosed trailers.
    BTW, I repurposed the two front stands that had been used for my Novas' rebuild.
    20160315_095823.jpg 20160315_100342.jpg






     
  24. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 673

    Aeroman
    Member

    The design intent of the body cart I made was for universal use of all makes and models. And to fit over frame.

    Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
     
  25. jack_pine
    Joined: Jan 20, 2007
    Posts: 343

    jack_pine
    Member
    from Motor City

    Just to confirm Aeroman's status as not only a creator of credible designs...but also as a smart shopper, my cost for steel and beefy casters was more than double what you reported, many years ago. I bought new, didn't have time to scrounge around to find what was needed.

    I was tempted to use 1/4 thick for both the 2" and the 2 1/2" thick sections to see if I could get a tighter fit. Rely less on the bolts to keep the steel at vertical. The fit was super tight and would have prevented me from keeping any paint on the pieces. Probably always require a mallet to move pieces around.

    So, I went with 1/4 thick in the 2" pieces for strength but 1/8" thick in the 2 1/2 sleeves.
     
    Aeroman likes this.

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