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Discussion Starter #1
I am currently in the process of restoring a 1963 chevy impala its a 2 door hard top and was wondering how hard it is to get the body off the frame and back on. And if anybody has done this where would be the best place to support the body to prevent twisting.
 

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I can tell you that have a A frame with hoist to hold the body up off the frame and roll the frame from under the body and you will need about 8 sender blocks to set the body down try to put them as close as you can to where the body mounts are you will not get any body roll or twist.
You will also most likely need new body mount and bolts as I did when I done this the main thing is keeping your body shims tape together and mark them so you know where they went take out all the interior so you lighten the weight of the body it would not hurt to take the doors off to.
Also be very careful when taking the bolts off the body as they may be rusted and easy to break off in the body.
Any more questions I will try to answer.
 

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So you don't think that I should weld some rods across the inside of the body to keep things from getting out of wack. Also I thought the doors would help keep everything together. I do have a hoist so it will make things easier. I plan on replacing the body mounts. I was just leary about it because a couple people told me I would run into problems taking the body off the frame. And I'm not much of a body guy doing the mechanical work is no problem.
 

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Body off steps

If I'm not toooo late, I'd recommend taking measurements across 2 or 3 sections of each door opening (assuming you have the doors removed) and then either welding or bolting a bar across this section before removing the body. The measurements will give you the starting point, the bar will give you reinforcement. Take those measurements again when placing the body back on the completed frame. They should be the same.

The suggestion of taping together and marking your shims is a good one. This will help when you reconnect the body to the frame. For me, these things come apart for months, and it is easy to lose track of parts and where they go!

Good luck with your project!

Tom Kochtanek
 

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Body off

Hi.
It's really not very hard to lift the body off, and with a hard top you don't need to worry about bending it. The roof makes the car very stiff and you'll be lifting it evenly. Convertibles are more bendy, because you only have the floor connecting the front with the back.
Remove the front fenders and sheet metal leaving just the body from the firewall back. Remove all the bolts, wires, linkage etc. You can raise the car high and lower the chassis to the floor, then roll it out using floor jacks. Or use a couple of engine hoists to raise the body up and roll out the chassis. You can use chains with hooks under the rocker panels, or heavy rope under the car, evenly spaced of course.
Then just lower the body onto jack stands, or better is to make a frame with wheels to roll it around.
I've done it both ways and lifting the body with hoists is easier. It doesn't need to go very high either, remove the tires to lower the chassis onto floor jacks or moving dollies, you just need enough clearance to get it out.
Take your time, and you will be fine.

Hope this helps,
John
 

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Hi.
It's really not very hard to lift the body off, and with a hard top you don't need to worry about bending it. The roof makes the car very stiff and you'll be lifting it evenly. Convertibles are more bendy, because you only have the floor connecting the front with the back.
Remove the front fenders and sheet metal leaving just the body from the firewall back. Remove all the bolts, wires, linkage etc. You can raise the car high and lower the chassis to the floor, then roll it out using floor jacks. Or use a couple of engine hoists to raise the body up and roll out the chassis. You can use chains with hooks under the rocker panels, or heavy rope under the car, evenly spaced of course.
Then just lower the body onto jack stands, or better is to make a frame with wheels to roll it around.
I've done it both ways and lifting the body with hoists is easier. It doesn't need to go very high either, remove the tires to lower the chassis onto floor jacks or moving dollies, you just need enough clearance to get it out.
Take your time, and you will be fine.

Hope this helps,
John
Hi John, thanks for your post - i will start this same project in a few weeks. Do you you sill have your 63? Manny
 
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