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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All summer I have been working on rebuilding a '37 Plymouth frame, setting it up w/ all new suspension and drive train, power brakes, etc. Now I have the daunting task of lifting an 800 pound sedan body back onto the frame. Lifting it off was not such a big deal but putting it back on is more tricky because there are four guide pins that have to line up w/ receiving holes on the body. I'm looking for ideas on how to lift the body w/o twisting it and getting it to slowly drop on the frame so we have time to make adjustments in position before it comes to rest. I have considered an overhead lift, but my garage roof structure may not be capable of carrying the load and headroom is very tight. Doing the work out on the driveway is better because of the overhead clearance but I'd have to hire a crane to lift it. I cannot lift from the underside of the body because the lifts will be in the way of setting the body on the frame. Any ideas? Sure could use some good advice here.
 

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A good friend of mine is doing a 38 Plymouth 2drsedan. Also low buck. He had everybody over to remove the body and we set the body up on concrete blocks with 4x4's across them. Later he then rolled the completed chassis under the body and gradually let the body down using a couple of $8.00 hydraulic bottle jacks and some short 2x4 shims. Place jack, remove block, let down one corner of body. Repeat, till she's down on the chassis. Time consuming but LOW BUCK.

His 38 has a 318 engine 904 tflite trans and a Dakota front sub and rear end. We torment him about his "School bus" (car is an ugly yellow).
 

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Do you have an engine hoist? You could take the cherry picker and place the boom inside the body and lift from the center of the floor. Adjust it so the body is level when lifted and you can easily guide it onto the frame.
 

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camper jacks are the drill for that just place a couple of square steel tubes under the car to pickup the jacks..once the body is very close and lined up then use a jack to support the body and pull the tubes out..i use 4 hyd jacks so I can let the body down a little at a time so the mounts line up right on..Be sure you have catch blocks so as to prevent someone getting trapped if things go bad on you..


Sam
 

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I rigged a lift once using three poles and some chain. I made a tripod of the poles, wrapping it at the top with some good rope, chain would work also. In the middle of the tripod, I hung a chain hoist to the rope so the weight was pulling down at the center. Stand the tripod up, loose gravel works best where the poles can dig in a bit. the weight pulling down makes the structure stronger as long as it's tied tightly. Take a 4x4 that will exit out of the window a foot or so for lifting making SURE the chain won't bind on the metal on the roof. Lifting won't be terribly hard, a few friends to balance, roll the chassis underneath and lower the body. Clear as mud?
 

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If the firewall, floor and all the structure behind the rear seat is intact, you will not have to worry about twisting /warping the body unless you drop it. One engine hoist would do it but you still need at least one other person to help you maneuver it into position and lower to the frame. I have done a pickup up cab sever times by myself as well as 30s coupes. Your talking 300-450 pounds, not the 800 you are stating. Basically, engage brain and not brawn.

Trees
 

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boatbob2
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Re-installing body

Hi,i removed the body on my 48 ford coupe,and re-installed it using a 2 ton cherry picker. (engine hoist) i removed all the front end sheetmetal,as well as doors,trunk lid,and rear fenders.(glass was already removed) did it by myself,very easy to do. have fun !!! :) :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the advice. I have an engine lift. I will engage the brain cells and design a lifting cradle. The floor pan will not handle the load. I'll design something that lifts from the roof edges. The six guys method was good for lifting the body off, but the guide pins permantly mounted on the frame are the reason for not using the six-guy method again. We need more time to get the right alignment going back on. All the excess weight was removed before the body was removed. I really think the body weighs more than 450 lbs. six young strong guys lifted it off and they really struggled with it then.
 

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On mine, 36 Buick, I put a 2x4 on edge under the firewall and under the support bar at the rear of the body and used bottle jacks to lift. Once the body is over the frame, to get it to sit down on the frame, use shorter 2x4 that will go between the frame rails and put you jacks inbetween the frame rails. I would be very leery about lifting from the roof.
 

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Movin the body

I used the engine hoist method on my 37 Pontiac. I took a 4X4 post and placed in under the forward most body mounting holes and used Lag bolts to mount the body to the 4x4. I then tied off a tow strap to each side of the post just outside of the bolts and used the hoist to lift. Once I had it lifted, I placed steel saw horses under each side of the post. For the back, I took another post and ran it under the wheel well and used the body mounting points there to secure the post. I used the strap again and lifted the back on to 2 more steel saw horses and rolled the frame out and the body dolly in. To get the posts in place, I used a standard floor jack with a piece of 2x10 to spread the load on the floor pans.
 

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Ya Gotta Drive Them!
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deadbodyman said:
Dont forget the SIX pac,funny howthat works out...
Only after the job is done!
A friend of mine got a keg for the guys that helped him put the walls up on his shop... unfortunately they hit the keg before the did the walls. It didnt turn out too square. Everytime I am in it I worry that it might rack over and fall down. But its been standing for 20 years.

Back on topic, I use my two post hoist. I place 2x4s on edge through the front and rear windows and pick them up with the hoist arms. I the push the chassis under the body and lower it.

It doesnt work too well with roadsters though.
 

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NEW INTERIORS said:
Be very careful lifting off the roof,, It can turn very bad really fast... :pain: :pain:
Any way you do it,
You can get some electrical conduit to reinforce the jambs just squash the ends and use a 10mm drill screw ...heres how i kept my trunk from racking and the jambs too there on the inside so I can close the doors and deck and check for any movement...conduit is cheap ,a bent car isnt, dont take chances. ...reinforce
 

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Had the same issue when removing/replacing our 33 Olds coupe body. I quickly realized that it could not be done by hand. You have to go the hydraulic jack or chain hoist route. I banged together some 8 foot 2 x 4s to form 2 A frames and connected them with a 2 x 6 8 footer. This formed a structure like a kids swing set. Make sure you brace it properly. Once done, you can then hang a come along from it. Ropes or straps can easily be threaded under the body. This method gave me full control so I could take my time. You could even mount 4 casters. Good luck!
 

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It work's very easy with the six guys... Add two more guys to line it up as you come down..Easy as it get's..When you start hanging it from this are that, Is where it get's tricky... Just be very careful.. :pain: I like to put little block's of wood on the frame, Then set it on the little block's, Then if you want, you can jack it into place one side at a time.. :D

jpd37 said:
I really think the body weighs more than 450 lbs. six young strong guys lifted it off and they really struggled with it then.
sorry..But if it's 450 lbs are more, and six guys had a hard time,, You have the wrong six guys.. :D Even at 1000 lbs that's only 166.6 lbs per guy...That don't add up to me. Two good guys can handle 450 lbs.. :D Each guy should be able to handle ''at lease'' 150 lbs on a bad day... :drunk:

DON'T GIVE THEM THE BEER BEFORE THE LIFT !!!!! LOL :D Man I'm just messing with you.. ;)
But it's your car, and you have to do it the way you feel safe.. Good luck.. :D
 

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Those HF wheel dollies are great and under 100.00 for two pair...Insted of manipulating the body to line up the pins to the frame ...Just hang the body over the frame and manipulate the frame and lift it to the body ....All by yourself....Drink your own beer... :thumbup: They'll be used all the time later I love them...
 
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