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How to piece a body together?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by sgtlethargic, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. How would one piece a body together from different cars? To get started, let's say you want to put a Hudson Hornet roof on a round body Ford Falcon, for example.

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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  2. Veach
    Joined: Jun 1, 2012
    Posts: 1,081


    Hope you find something besides a Falcon Wagon to cut on
  3. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907


    Interesting idea....But I'd not be cutting up a Hudson, either.....


  4. I start with a measuring tape. But please don't do that. You're dealing with two unibody cars. If you don't understand what difference that makes then you REALLY shouldn't attempt this.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  5. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,454

    Rusty O'Toole

    Photoshop is the easiest. If you want to do it for realz you need some serious metal work skills.

    Start by serving a 4 year apprenticeship in a body shop to learn the basics and work up from there.

    Sorry I can't teach you how to do this in 2 minutes, it is about the hardest thing you can do in bodywork short of making a whole car from scratch.
  6. 36 Vette
    Joined: May 11, 2006
    Posts: 46

    36 Vette

    Tinbender, It was Nash that had the unibody not Hudson.

    From Bold Ride site: The major innovation of the Hudson line was the “step-down” design. While traditional body-on-frame cars forced their passengers to climb up to enter them, Hudson designers placed the passenger compartment down inside the chassis, and a sturdy perimeter frame encircled the passenger compartment.

  7. That was just to give an example. If I were to do something like this with old cars, I'd probably use a parts car(s).
  8. I believe I have some understanding, but not a complete understanding. Without doing any research, my understanding is:

    • Unibody is short for unit body construction which means
      • The body and frame are inseparable
      • For the Falcon example, the frame is made from thinner sheetmetal (versus extruded rectangular tubing) and the floor (for the most part) is the 4th side of the rectangle
    • A removable body is structurally stronger than a unibody body if both were separated from their frames, so a unibody is more susceptible to unwanted structural movement
  9. fleet-master
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,770


    take a look at my build thread on my F1 pickup...I used 48 chevy sedan doors. @ fronts and 2 rears. It's a lot of work even for me , and I've been doin metalwork for 23years.

    like mentioned above ...start with photoshop.Could save you a pile of grief.
  10. I used MS Paint- it's even easier! :D

    Here's what I've been thinking about. I want a more aerodynamically-shaped car. To get that I'm either going to have to make it more or less from scratch, or take something that's already formed and close to what I'm going for and make it work. It seems to me that already formed is the ____ (easier/better?) way.

    The more realistic start would be to add an aero-shaped camper shell or cap to the Ranchero project car I already have. I want it to be metal not composite. That could be done from scratch or from a rear roof section (or possibly a hood) that works for the shape I want. I don't know yet if the cap shape is going to be for the profile only, or if I also want taper.
  11. Sounds like you have a good understanding of the structure. The entire body deals with crash energy. You have to be careful when altering the top, and the pillars. Without the correct reinforcement you can severely change how the body responds to an impact. They also have to take more stress and vibration during normal driving. Not saying you can't, you just have to consider the design differences.

    36 vette, your right I was thinking Nash. Nonetheless, I think a Falcon wagon would be a poor choice for a project like this.
  12. the metalsurgeon
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,238

    the metalsurgeon
    from Denver

    sounds like you have vision.keeping exploring.
  13. 63comet
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 508


    Talking completely out of my arse here.... but I did get bored and watch some home hydro forming videos on YouTube last night....

    1" square tube frame built to line the top of bed, back of cab on the Ranchero. Temporarily Brace the ever loving jebus out of that.

    Weld up a triangular sheet metal box across that, including one to close off the cab/bed portion, that bit will be cut out later. Pump it up with a pressure washer to make it rounded.

    Cut off the unnecessary parts, use a ports power or such to push your frame back where it belongs, fix the flaws that have appeared in the skin.

    It might work? At the very least would be an awesome tech thread.
  14. Dexter The Dog
    Joined: Jun 27, 2009
    Posts: 195

    Dexter The Dog

    This stuff always works easy in photoshop because scale can be adjusted with the swipe of a mouse, not to mention the elimination of that pesky third dimension when it comes to compound curves. If you're going to mock this up in a computer make sure you've got a measuring tape extended to an even foot in all of your pics so you can at least get close on comparative size. Make sure the tape is sitting in a relative spot in the photos of both cars like the same corner of the bottom of the windshield etc.
    If you can get a couple of model kits or die casts all the better to dremel them into bits. OR if you want to just start cutting and welding think about boning up on your metal shaping skills.

    The world is much more critical now (probably including you) when it comes to custom body work.
    A look through any old van mag from the 70's will show some of the hideous looks that were celebrated just for the sake of being "custom". That usually wont fly now. A good custom will be the result of good vision and excellent execution skills and there's lots of people out there with both now.
  15. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,554

    from Missouri

    I would probably end up with 2 cars without tops.
  16. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    Sounds like a Dog Fight build. Good luck.
  17. Interestingly enough that you are thinking about modifying a Falcon with a completely different style top,others have thought outside this same box.

    Remember the Holman-Moody falcon? HRP

  18. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,702

    from Berry, AL

    Yep, I'd end up with two for the scrappers.
  19. Yes. That's the general idea except a Ranchero with a shell and not sectioned.
  20. Beau
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,883


    I'd really like to see more of this done. I love the idea.
  21. mixedupamx
    Joined: Dec 2, 2006
    Posts: 513


    save time and frustration and get an early AMC Marlin they look almost the same from the factory and lots out there for sale
  22. Beau
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,883


    Maybe post this in the Custom section.

    The minds are closed for today.
  23. Here's the rear of the Holman-Moody Falcon.

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