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Old 10-02-2004, 01:28 AM
FiddyFour Customline's Avatar
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Frame off body support

OK

i have a 54 ford tudor sedan which is rotted out pretty bad in the passenger floor/ toe board area.

the outter and inner rockers are bad as well, i had wanted to do a frame off floor/body resto, but i just think i am asking for trouble with a typical rotisserie considering how bad the floor and rockers are.

my question is, whats the smartest way to go about repairing the body. should i leave it on the frame untill i have all the repairs made, then pull it off to do the putzy "detail"?

can i safely support the body using a sling type lift using the front two body mounts on the firewall, two in the trunk area, and a large wooden cradle supporting the roof and mid section of the car through the door openings?

if its to be done "on frame" then detailed later, is there an easy way to overcome the clearance troubles around the frame/body braces that extend from the frame to the inner rockers?

OK, 20 questions done with!

TIA
T.

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Old 10-02-2004, 02:24 AM
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frame off resto.

After you have taken everthing apart, triangulat the door, trunk openings with tack welded thin wall tubing so things don't move. your going to measure everthing not twice but many times to make sure your square. Use commen sense and document every inch. Have fun.
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Old 10-02-2004, 11:01 PM
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I just did the same thing to my 49 Chev Fleetline in the last 2 months or so. I blasted the floor and inner sections first, then I cut away the old and welded new inner rockers, the floor pans and then the outer rockers last while it was on the frame. I then removed glass, rubber, doors etc and stripped the entire body to metal and replaced the lower half of the outer body with new sections, cleaned blasted detailed etc. Worked great and looks as nice or better than many I see at the MSRA Back to the Fifties car show. I was thinking of doing what you are talking about and what was mentioned with the tubing. I helped a friend that went that way once. I am happy with how I did it and I think I would go this way again. My frame and suspension has new body mounts and pads and is painted with SPI epoxy and black gloss enamel with hardener. Looks VERY nice. I epoxied the new sheet metal and floor and painted body color MTK urethane. 2003 Chrysler blaze red pearl. Looks unreal! The color is dark in the shade and really pops in the sun. Anyway, everything looks better than any new car I have ever owned, and I am confident that the rot is gone and the car will last longer than I can take care of it. Good luck on your project and I hope you enjoy yours as much as I am mine.

A last thought or two here. Like I said, I have done that sling arrangment some years back, and it worries me personally. No matter which way you go, only replace either the inner rocker or outer rocker at a time. Do NOT cut out both at the same time. LEAVE doors on and latched while replacing the inner rockers. To be really safe, temporarily tack some thin tubing between the door opening while you are doing this as an additional measure. Make sure the car is supported evenly and level preferably. Even though you have a full frame, you would be surprised at how much things can move when you cut rotted metal out that has been settling for 50 years. I do not mean to scare you, it is not that bad, just think ahead like you are doing. If you heed the inner rocker warning mentioned above, you should be fine.

Last edited by Ron M; 10-02-2004 at 11:01 PM.
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