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Technical tips on taking a body off the frame

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by spillaneswillys, Jan 2, 2022.

  1. I want to pull the body off the frame on y 39 Plymouth coupe. I am going to make some sort of rigging on the side of my garage to pull the body off. I need some tips on how you guys have done it without a crane and also should I go between the doors or pull the doors and put my posts on the body or is it all right to raise it through the doors? Thanks Joe
  2. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,483


    I simply jacked up the body and rolled the frame out from under it. I don't know about a 39 Plymouth specifically.
    WB69 and 49ratfink like this.
  3. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,538

    blue 49
    from Iowa

    I did this, also, on my Henry J. I jacked up everything, Made some "sawhorses" to set the rocker panels on, lowered the frame onto a wooden dolly and rolled it out. On my '36 Ford truck cab, I made a cradle to go on top of the boom of my cherry picker that went into the cab and lifted it. I don't think it would work too good on a car body, tho.

    49ratfink likes this.
  4. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,504

    from Ok

    I once removed a 40 Ford coupe body with two mechanical camper jacks and sat the body on two 4x4’s across for barrels.
    49ratfink likes this.

  5. I guess I should add I am doing it myself and I am 67. I can't just pick it off. I do know how to work with leverage and have alot of different tools and jacks. I wasn't thinking about jacking the body up and blocking but I believe that will work better for me than trying to use a post and beam. Thanks Joe
    WB69, Budget36 and wvenfield like this.
  6. Do you have access to a welder? You can build a gantry and use a come along to lift it. Build one out of 4X4 wooden posts and use a come along. I pulled many engines that way with both a wooden and steel one. Two engine cranes with a 4X4 through the doors will lift it also. Think out of the box and use some ingenuity just run it by people here first so they can point out safety issues you may not see.
  7. Do you have a motor puller or two ? Maybe you can borrow an extra one from a friend ? I used one at the hood hinges and one back at the trunk area to lift my 1956 Fury off the frame and slip the frame out to put it on jack stands with bars across. Maybe I can get a picture tomorrow.
  8. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,261


    watch your fingers and toes....
    clem likes this.
  9. I couldn't find anyone around the day I decided to pull the body of the wagon off the frame, I used the 4 jack stands and a couple of 2 X 6, I used the floor jack and several pieces of 4 x 4's under thfront of the body when it up then used the 6' 2'x 6' under the front of the car.

    I then did the same thing to the rear.


    I then was able to remove the tires and dropped the frame on a couple of creepers and pulled the frame out. HRP

    ffr1222k, impala4speed, clem and 3 others like this.
  10. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,856


    Remove bolts first then lift. Seriously I have used a engine hoist and lifted each end one at a time then set it on barrels with 4x4 across.
  11. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,856


    Saw horses also work. A lift works the best. 528405_528233370534287_92693426_n.jpg 13002516_1188083264549291_2986645699996569208_o.jpg
  12. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 16,149

    from oregon

    When I did my 66 Suburban the front sheetmetal was removed as well as the front suspension, all the main body bolts were then removed.
    The engine/trans had also been previously removed.
    I then used a pair of wheeled boat trailer tongue jacks bolted to the cowl sides to raise and support the front of the body.
    The rear of the body was slowly jacked up in steps using a floor jack and LOTS of large wood blocks and jackstands then supported with a pair of rollable supports that I had fabricated.
    When everything was raised high enough the frame was lowered to the ground and dragged out from under the body.
    I did everything by myself..............and I survived to tell about it.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
  13. razoo lew
    Joined: Apr 11, 2017
    Posts: 512

    razoo lew
    from Calgary

    I lifted my ‘46 ford essentially by myself and I was older than you are now.
    -remove doors, deck lid, interior
    -remove ALL body mounts
    -run a 4x4 across body at rear of door opening
    -place engine lift beam under 4x4, chain in place and lift body clear of frame.
    -Block up body, remove hoist and rolling chassis.
    Actual lifting/ blocking was a non-event, took a half hour max.
  14. hepme
    Joined: Feb 1, 2021
    Posts: 205


    On my 55 chevy 2 door sedan, i tied the doors shut to the b pillars and ran a 4x4 through the front windows. Used a hoist in the garage rafters (supported of course) and ran 2 tow straps, one on each side to the hook on the hoist. One man operation. Some will say it should have been braced inside, etc. but i had no problems after remount. --and all the glass was in it.
  15. I did mine in the garage. I mounted a come-along to a reinforced rafter beam and lifted the rear of the body with that and used an engine hoist that was mounted to the firewall for the front. After I got it high enough, I put some 55 gallon steel barrels with some 2x4s under the rockers and slid the frame out from under it.
  16. Rick & Jan
    Joined: Apr 9, 2008
    Posts: 486

    Rick & Jan

    Pick Up Camper jacks work great for lifting the body!
    -Brent- likes this.
  17. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,303


    The first car I ever pulled the body off the frame, I was 16 and had few tools. I used a small bottle jack and wood blocks. I later learned I was using cribbing. I jacked up a corner and slid in blocks, one corner at a time.
    I built a gantry for the next time I did it. That with an engine crane made it so much easier and quicker.
  18. I really appreciate all the tips and stories. Besides giving me ideas it makes for interesting stories. I believe I am going to use a modified version of oldolds 16 years of age system. I am doing this on a gravel drive way so I think the less moving parts the better. I will get a thread going once I get started. Thanks again!
    clem likes this.
  19. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 1,342

    from Michigan

    My main lifting do-wacky is a 50s boatlift that's basically two huge upside down horseshoes with large height adjustable feet and a hookup for a chain fall, cumalong, etc. I forget the weight rating but I've had some big boats hanging off those things to flip over or crib up, so a car body would be nothing. And if you see a set you can usually get them very cheap. Mine were actually free, dude just wanted them out of his yard. They're really handy for lifting all kinds of stuff.
  20. Thomas K.
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 52

    Thomas K.

    I have had my 32 body off and on the frame twice myself using a floor jack and lots of wood blocks. I got the frame as low as possible by installing bare wheels in the rear. That way I did not have to jack the body as high to clear the tires. Tires were 31" tall versus 17" bare wheels. Set body on 2 4X4's on 4 cribbing blocks.
  21. bantam
    Joined: Oct 16, 2006
    Posts: 334


    Removed the body by myself too (at least at the beginning). Used the four jacks in the pic, two on each side of the car, with 2x4’s running through the window openings.

    DO NOT RECOMMEND this method. Jacks get wobbly when a 2x4 is tying two of them together. Fortunately my wife heard me pounding on the garage ceiling and came down to help stabilize it and lower it back down a bit. Scary shit when you are thinking of damaging the sheet metal, which I frankly cared about more than my own skin. C869FA25-4A77-4A44-822D-9081E9AA85DE.jpeg
    -Brent- likes this.
  22. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,586


    Make sure you find all the bolts. On my Plymouth, there were two that came off the top into the frame that were not visible from under the car.
    loudbang likes this.
  23. millersgarage
    Joined: Jun 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,141


    4x4x8's and jackstands, roll the chassis out from under it.
    I just used a floor jack, and some scraps to list it up high enough
  24. The hood hinges had a nice flat bottom I could use the square piping set up. The bottom square pipe was connected to the upper with some all thread with the eye bolt in the middle for the hoist. Working the frame out I put some stands with the square pipe to hold it up on my tennis court. Fury whole pic.jpg Fury close up of hinges.jpg Fury all thread.jpg Fury eye bolt.jpg Fury stands underneath .jpg
    vtx1800 likes this.
  25. On the rear I used basically the same set up with the square pipe. Like most have done you can just use some good wood 4x4's. You could start in the rear as you can after getting the body nuts loose and out - you should be able to jack the rear //trunk up enough with a jack at an strong area upenough to get a good board betweeen the body and frame - and your on your way ! This is the second time the Fury has been off the frame - I did it at my mom's house to do the floors after she passed and then brought it home so we could sell the house. Funny the Fury was one of only two she ever told me to put a cover over ! Fury back close up.jpg Fury trunk attachment .jpg Fury attachment under.jpg Fury back close up.jpg Fury trunk attachment .jpg Fury attachment under.jpg Fury rear under support.jpg
  26. Butler 32
    Joined: Jun 9, 2019
    Posts: 8

    Butler 32

    my 32 vicky 4.jpg my 32 vicky 2.jpg This is how I did it ,I made a rack to go through the windows then lift with the hoist. the hoist is holding the motor in the first picture.
  27. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,043


    I pulled my A coupe body off the frame with an engine hoist, one bottle jack, some 2x4s and a couple of sketchy folding metal sawhorses. I was on my driveway (a fairly steep hill) and nearly died several times. I was eventually able to lift it up into my truck bed. I was intoxicated and a bit surly…
    stillrunners likes this.
  28. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,554

    from Berry, AL

    Pulled a VW Bug body off with 4 straps, one on each corner, leading up to a come a long and an oak tree limb. Sat it down on wooden sawhorses after I rolled the frame out from under it. Put it back on the same way, by myself both times.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
  29. Did the same thing back in the 70's with an International 706 diesel tractor.:cool: Sent the body to the crusher and abruptly bent the pan driving through the pasture at speed.:eek: Yes, shine was involved.:confused:
    Butler 32 likes this.
  30. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,582


    I’ll be pulling a ‘32 5W and eventually the body of my ‘56 Meteor Victoria. I thought about using my engine hoist but the space is narrow and I couldn’t figure out how I could roll the chassis out with the hoist in place. However, as luck would have it I came across a screaming deal on a return electric hoist, 400/800 lbs., at Princess Auto. Same type as HF and a multitude of other retailers. A couple of weeks later during a “family and friends” night I scored again but this time it was a 660/1320 lbs one. I checked out the load capacity of my trusses and I’m good for lifting the two bodies (I hope!).

    Still need to figure out how to keep them up in the air while I play with the chassis work. I think with climate change and acquiring my shop has shrunk from 28’ x30’ to basically a single car shop!
    warhorseracing likes this.

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