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Projects Model A Body Dolly/Cart Ideas

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by lake_harley, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 534

    lake_harley
    Member

    I'm pulling the body off frame on my '31 Ford Coupe. Although I've seen photos here on the HAMB of any number of body dollies to enable storing, working on, and easily moving a body around the shop I've not paid attention to any details of construction.

    In my particular case the inner wheel wells need work (poorly done previous patch job), subrail repairs at the rear body mount bolt areas or replacement of them from "B" pillar back, possibly quarter panel work, and repairs to the rear corners of the body and the panel under the trunk lid. So, I'm looking for ideas to build a dolly that would enable work to be done without having the dolly structure in the way as repairs are made.

    I figure it's simpler to ask for photos and ideas of how others have done things rather than re-inventing a useable dolly and learning through trial an error......and probably wasting a lot of time in the process. I'd like the dolly to be mobile so it could be loaded on a trailer with the body on it to take it to a body professional in the likely (read that "almost certain") event that I'd decide to have the work done instead of getting in over my head with body work.

    Thanks, in advance for photos and suggestions.

    Lynn
     
  2. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,476

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    It never hurts to overbuild (slightly) as you never know what the future will bring.
    I know it's ? cost effective ? to purchase those casters at HF but take my word for it, some of them have JUNK ball bearing pivots, I have some that are so cheaply made that the balls would not stay captured in place when brand new.
     
  3. I built the stand seen in the following series of photos which are in chronological order. I used it with the frame and without the frame. The car went together and was blown apart a hundred times on the stand. The build took six years and the stand was essential. ...even at the painter’s shop.

    Hope the photos help.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
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  4. brsturges
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Posts: 644

    brsturges
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Miami, FL

    Here's the dolly I built when I painted my roadster pickup body. The H.A.M.B. tag was one of the first things I put back on after the paint dried :cool:

    IMG_8308.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  5. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,022

    Model A Gomez
    Member

    I built a cart out of 4 x 4 and 2 x 4 risers, used it on my 30 pickup in 1999, bolted together so it will break down. Stored it under my 29 stocker with the risers off it and used it on my Sport Coupe this spring and is stored under the Sport Coupe while I'm putting it together. I bolted the body to it and rolled it out onto the driveway to do body work, two wheels swivel and two are fixed. Made it high enough to work on without bending over all the time.
     

    Attached Files:

    Ron Funkhouser, 32Dan and mgtstumpy like this.
  6. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 534

    lake_harley
    Member

    Thanks for the photos and suggestions! One of my main questions is what to use for contact points to allow work to be done on the lower edges of the body and also for the repair of the rear part of the subframe? I'm thinking to make the dolly narrow enough so that the longitudinal members of the dolly run just inside the side subrails and use the cross channels of the subframe as the contact points. With it built more narrow like that it would permit access to the subrail areas to get repaired and also not be in the way for work on quarter panels or the rear corners of the body. Does that make sense or seem like a reasonable plan?

    Model A Gomez....apparently you were typing at the same time as I was. Do you happen to know the O.D. length and width of your top and bottom frames? The photos of your dolly seems to accomplish what I was describing in terms of pickup points. Adding additional 2X4 crossmembers allows it to make contact at different points as needed.

    Lynn
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  7. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 14,622

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    here is the one i use. heavy with really good wheels. has four up rights with a piece of metal on top of each leg to screw/clamp to. the first picture is with a frame clamped to it, the second is with a couple 4x4 screwed to the top to lag the body down to. DSCF0002.JPG DSCF0007.JPG
     
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  8. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,268

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Here's one I borrowed for storage of my old Olds engine and hydro.
    All it consisted of was a HD steel cart with wheels that a buddy welded 2x1 RHS steel strips to with some bracing. He did a couple of Model As on this. Body simply bolted down in 4 x places, allowing it to be moved around and trailered. Damn solid and rigid platform. That engine and tranny weigh a ton!
    Olds Eng1.jpg
     
  9. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 534

    lake_harley
    Member

    Russ B.....I've been mulling over the design of your dolly and went back to the photos for a more careful look. None of the photos really show what the fore and aft diagonal braces attach to for a "top rail". In some photos the end frames appear to be farther apart than in other photos. Did you build it to telescope in length, perhaps have a couple different lengths of top tubes that could be changed depending on what you were doing, or ?? Looks to be a very simple dolly, and relatively easy and inexpensive to build. I'm a whole lot more comfortable and competent building with metal rather than wood. I also like the "legs" that can be extended so the cart doesn't roll around when you don't want it to.

    Lynn
     
  10. In the first shots front and rear wheeled assemblies are bolted directly to the frame with diagonal braces, using existing holes on the frame’s bottom. ...and it has no wood on top. The last four photos have the wood planks and mortised cross rails as the platform, bolted on top of the wheel assemblies. Platform size was fixed. It was mostly built from stuff I had around, so was cheap. I added a couple wood pieces on top of the platform to keep the body centered. I was able to slide the body around a bit to get better access for awkward bottom panel work. It was flexible for many uses.

    Many more photos of the build: http://public.fotki.com/RussB/my_cars/1929-ford-cabriolet/body-build/
    ...most are not that relevant to your needs, but feel free to browse.
     
  11. I found an old steel -framed table, took the top off, welded a couple of axles on and fitted some pneumatic wheels, and supported the body on a couple of timber supports.
     
  12. ydopen
    Joined: Mar 14, 2010
    Posts: 183

    ydopen
    Member

    15FE68A1-6F54-4B94-B678-CDEF81FEBFF1.jpeg Here is mine that has cross tubes that fit in 2 body hat chanels. You can work underneath and on edges
    Which I really liked when I had to add a small tunnel for clearance after body was painted. It has 2 heights.
    John
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  13. Fomoco998
    Joined: Feb 12, 2018
    Posts: 13

    Fomoco998

    Mine with 2x3 wood and HF pneumatic casters make life easy .Poor phone pic . DSC00799.JPG
     
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  14. Redrodguy
    Joined: Nov 18, 2016
    Posts: 65

    Redrodguy
    Member

    I don't remember if I took pictures of it, but I built a plywood platform with casters to bolt on the bottom of the cab of my 48 chevy truck. The trick part of the platform was to allow another platform with casters to be bolted to it and to the firewall, which made an "L" shape. I could flip between working on the firewall to the bottom of the cab by tilting 90 degrees and removing the platform of the area I wanted to work on. One way would allow work on the bottom and top of the cab, the other way would allow work on the firewall and back of cab. Work could be done on the sides of the cab with either platform mount. Sounds complicated when I try to explain, but it was very versatile in use.
     
  15. I picked up an old pool table trolley and I've used it for moving various bodies around. You've now made me wonder where I've left it...
     
  16. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 534

    lake_harley
    Member

    Redrodguy....I thought too how nice it might be to stand the body on the firewall to work on the bottom. For now though, I'm just going to be glad to be able to have something to put the body on when it comes off the frame. Rolling it around and being able to work on it too, to any degree, will just be icing on the cake.

    Lynn
     
  17. wackdaddy
    Joined: Nov 11, 2015
    Posts: 143

    wackdaddy
    Member

  18. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,575

    NashRodMan
    Member

    I sure would like to see a picture of this. Sounds great!
     
  19. Redrodguy
    Joined: Nov 18, 2016
    Posts: 65

    Redrodguy
    Member

    Sorry - don't guess I took any pics - I looked for them. Please excuse my crude drawing. lol
    Here's the basic idea. A 2 x 4 frame sheathed with 3/4" plywood on top and gussets on the bottom to fasten the swivel casters to. The two platforms are lag bolted together and the body is lag bolted to the platforms at the firewall and body mounts at the floor. Make the platform smaller so that the body overhangs it by an inch or two all around. I have a model A that I'll be making the same type for - just not ready for it yet. I'll be watching this thread to see what the OP comes up with. Platform.jpg
     
  20. Dave Mc
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,764

    Dave Mc
    Member

    This is what I use for 33-34 Bodies
    IMG_1080.JPG
     
  21. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,476

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Now there's somebody using their head!
     
  22. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 534

    lake_harley
    Member

    Thanks to everyone who posted photos of their body dollies and offered ideas. After considering the various designs I settled on building one like Model A Gomez posted. He even sent more photos and dimensions via a PM. Thanks, Gomez!!

    I settled on his design mostly because I happened to have a few 10' 4 X 4's, a couple 12' 2 X 4's, and some left over drop material from a fabrication job I did which I used for the plates and to bend the angle corner braces. The casters were given to me a couple years ago by my Brother-In-Law and the body dolly was a great use for them. All I bought was about $15 worth of lag bolts and screws.

    Now I can REALLY get to work on my A. Since it's all blown apart now, almost everything I do from here out is what I would call progress. Since the photos were taken the chassis was rolled out from under the body, the body is now on the dolly, and the frame is now just a bare roller without the fenders, splash aprons and running boards. :D

    Lynn

    !cid_de86eb1f-479a-4561-81c1-218a5e3abf94.jpg !cid_7419cbaa-0122-4d30-8d59-7df4467f2905.jpg
     
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  23. I like to hang my bodies...I hold off on rolling it around until it's done.
    IMG_1586.JPG
     
  24. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 4,693

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Best advice is, what ever trolley you decide on, don't skim of wheel size and be able to apply some sort of brake method.
     
  25. chev34ute
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 668

    chev34ute
    Member

    That’s an efficient way of putting a stand together. I have a cut down frame outside that I should do the same thing with, for my Model A bodies.
     
    Dave Mc likes this.
  26. chop job
    Joined: Feb 16, 2013
    Posts: 440

    chop job
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    One more idea for ya. 20180723_094441.jpg
     

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