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Old 08-05-2005, 09:34 PM
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Panel alignment ?'s 1950 Chev convertible

A good friend of mine purchased a clean 50 chev convertible a little while back and asked me to align the sheetmetal better for him. The other day I did a quick walk around the car and she's way out of alignment. The doors are just about touching the quarter at the top and also the fenders at the top, the hood is way out as well. Although the frame and floors are rustfree it seems maybe the body and frame have a sag in the middle causing the door opening to close up. I realize I can shift the front sheetmetal around quite a bit but the door opening has me wondering if I may need to do some shimming at the body mounts to open the distance between the a pillar and quarter top. Does anyone have any experience with this body design? Is it a sag condition that's causing this? I've worked on a few mid and late 50's GM convertibles but never ran into this on them. Some of the older 30's coupes and sedans I've worked on responded well to shimming at the bodymounts causing the cowl to roll and also changing the door opening shape. If this is a sag condition I guess I could load it on a frame rack and make a simple height adjustment in the center of the frame and body. Suggestions appreciated, Bob

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Old 08-06-2005, 03:40 PM
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I can't help you bob, thats out of my league, but it sure does sound like a condition of sag to me. I've never dealt with a car older then a late 60's.I remember convertables needing more reinforcements but thinks thats for mostly unibody cars. I was thinking you could measure the frame to see if it was indeed sagged or not, but I googled and couldn't find anything that gave good dimensions. I didn't take the courses for frame pulling, but do remember seeing a little for sag, where they hung guages under the cars to check for it. I did find an online service manual in this link, but looked through it some and it was pretty vague. Maybe if no one here has any specifics or trouble areas on this car to look for, one of the guys on the forum in the link can help you.
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Old 08-06-2005, 09:52 PM
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Yeah, it's a pretty fair bet that the poor old girl is sagging in the middle like a horse that's been put out to pasture. Aside from a good tweaking on a frame machine, you could try fabricating some shims for the body mounts under the affected sections, starting with under the cowl and under the front of the quarter. Depending on the amount of misalignment, about 1/4" might suffice. Another consideration would be that the old body mounts have crushed enough to cause misalignment, but I'm not familiar enough with that year of car to say.
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Old 08-07-2005, 07:40 AM
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Thanks for the link, and thanks for the seach attempts. I just figured I'd ask here first before I start pulling or shimming. I'm sure I can figure it out but if somebody here has been down this road before please feel free to give some advise. I'll have to check out all the bodymounts and try and find some frame dimension manuals. It's been quite a few years since I've hung centerline guages, should be interesting. Bob
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Old 08-07-2005, 07:53 AM
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Bob it does sound to me like it is a may wish to consider doing some boxing on that chassis..tho that sounds simple it is a lot of and work to do..I think I would just for education place a floor jack under each frame rail and lift the car a bit and see if things come back into alignment..that may help tell the tale..Like the other guys said..the body mounts may be compressed as well..I am about the age of that car and I can tell you that things do sag..

I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..
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