Body Off

Since the body was so far gone I didn’t think bracing it was a good idea because any misalignment in the body would be fixed in place when I come to rebuild it so I left it. Also I decided that leaving the passenger door in place was my best bet in keeping the body in one piece when I do come to lift it. So the door was strapped shut and not removed.

The body came off over a couple of nights but before I could start the lift I needed something to put it on. So with the help of my oldest ( 5 at the time) we built a couple of wide wooden trestles using some wood I had lying around the garden, some bolts I had and a couple of long bits of 2×4 I had to buy from the DIY store. The trestles had to be wider than the wheel base and taller than the wheels. This was so I could push the chassis in and out of the garage without disturbing the body above.

The trestles took an afternoon at the weekend and I stored them on top of the car until I was ready. As usual my time was limited so I had another three evenings to get the body off the car and up on the trestles. The first task was to soak all the bolts in WD40 which I did in passing on my way home from work.

The first evening I found none of the bolts holding the heater channels were doing their job so I left them in position and started to focus on removing the others. The rest of the bolts came out straight forward except the four bolts at the rear of the chassis, these had to be drilled out with a long cobalt drill. Just drilling off the heads of the bolts was enough and I’ll deal with the rest of the bolt later when I have better access.

There was a little bit of a substandard repair to cut through, on the drivers side, to finish releasing the body but this was done with a pair of tin snips. But I was ready to lift the body. Well I thought I was ready but I forgotten the speedo cable, brake lines and the steering but this was quickly rectified. Lifting the body on my own was emotional and require a bit of thought but I managed it in the end with lifting the front with an engine crane and sweating the back myself, this left me with no hands to actually manoeuvre the trestles in place so balancing on one leg and lifting the back of the car with my hands I managed to toe in the trestle in a good position under what’s left of the rear of the heater channel. The front was easiler and I had the chassis free for the next stage.


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