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Old 02-14-2005, 02:35 PM
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Body work - where to start

Hello all -

I've been lurking around on this board for a while, taking in the great info that can be found here !!

Anyways, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in building my shop (finishing drywall next week ) and should be ready to bring the '64 Impala convertable in from storage. Once I get started (hopefully full blown in April) you'all are gonna see me in here A LOT!!!

I'm planning on doing a frame-off restoration and have seen from different sources that it is best to do the sheet metal work while the car is still on the frame. The idea being when the body is lifted off the frame all the panels have been set according to how the car sits on the frame. I realize that a convertable is going to require some additional bracing/cross members welded into the "cab" to prevent sag and twist.

I would like to do a chemical dip on the body. It seems to me that the chem dip would come before any bodywork, which would require the body to come off the frame. Hence, there is kind of a chicken and an egg scenerio. What comes first?

Any help is appreciated... Thanks!!

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Old 02-14-2005, 03:16 PM
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Before you get to far in, check out your rocker panels real good. The 58-64s have extra bracing in there, as do most ragtops, I would imagine.

Also, The "X" frames were known for getting soft over the years.

The body mounts by the gas tank were known to rust out.

Scared yet?

My 62 had all of these problems, but not to a great degree. I fixed it all 15 years ago, and has been fine since. I did not however take it off the frame.
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:00 PM
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I am helping my brother in law do his Chevelle SS rag top and the first order of business for us was to replace the trunk floor, which by the end of the week should be done. the next thing we do is the quarter panels and then he can take the body off the frame. He wanted to take the body off and put it on a rotisserie and then do the body work, that would have been a big no no. I don't know how much body work you have but if you are replacing any panels replace them before you take the body off the frame. To tell you the truth I'm not sure if we should even put the convertible on a rotisserie, has anyone done it?
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