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Old 07-14-2012, 06:03 PM   #1
Bally
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Default Any Advice on Lifting body off frame to install new lines? 1971 Coupe

Hi,

I thought we'd get away with installing new SS fuel lines without lifting the body off the frame, but quickly found out it's not really possible. Don't want to cut/splice the new SS lines, and because the frame is very good, and the original mounts/bolts look pretty good, we're going to Kroil soak them and remove them (hopefully), and lift the body to replace the lines and install new mounts.

Looking for suggestions on how to lift the body just enough to replace all the lines, fuel and brake.

There are 2 of us working on the car and space and equipment is quite limited.

The engine/steering column etc. etc. have been removed; car is already painted, so we need to be pretty careful.

Thanks!

Bally

Last edited by Bally; 07-17-2012 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:06 PM   #2
8valve
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A few weeks ago, I lifed the body off my 73. Its NOT easy, quick and its stress level is 150%. I dread setting the body back on when the resto is complete and aligning it all up. On top of this, you will continue to find things to replace or fix or modify. I would rather have a root canal than do this again. Doing body off's on my classic trucks is a snap and even fun......not so on the Vette

Good Luck
8Valve

Last edited by 8valve; 07-14-2012 at 09:08 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:37 AM   #3
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The rear has been rebuilt, including trailing arms, new rear spring, half shafts, spindles, bearings, gas tank/sending unit etc.

I have scraped, cleaned and painted the complete underside of the frame from front to back. The seats are out of the car as is the dash/steering column.

I have new wiring harnesses to be installed and all new stainless lines, fuel and brake, complete from front to back.

I had the frame checked professionally and it's straight with no rust (unless some is hiding under the mounts!).

The rebuilt 454 is sitting on a stand and I have a new DeWitt's rad in a box. Also have a rebuilt M21 waiting for installation.

If the old mounts/bolts don't give us too much trouble, and we can get the body lifted, I don't think there will be much else that'll need replacing, I already have so many new or rebuilt parts ready to install.
I will take the opportunity to clean/sand/paint the top of the frame if/when we get the body safely lifted.

What I am trying to find out is the safest (for the paint/fiberglass) way to lift the body, considering there are only 2 of us, and space/equipment is limited. I'd really prefer not to use straps and an engine hoist, as this would involve removing the t-tops and maybe doors. Hoping there is another way.

I expect it to be stressful, no matter what. But cutting the new SS fuel lines to try and install them without lifting the body, and then living with having a fitting or three on the lines (thereby increasing risk of a fuel leak/fire) just couldn't be justified.

Leaving the original fuel lines was an option, but I saw a post of a burnt '72 due to a fuel line rupture, and that was it!!!

Thanks for weighing in and good luck getting your '73 back together.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:35 AM   #4
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I'm not sure how much you’ll have to lift to get the lines in, but probably not too far.
I have the body off my '69 and it's on a dolly with pretty much everything off. I found myself needing to lift it a couple inches off the dolly to do a rocker channel repair, here's what I did...
Cut a piece of 3/4 plywood to fit up under both seat pan areas and used my floor jack to lift it the few inches I needed for clearance. I also had someone help support the front end and maintain balance until we could support the car all around. Most of the weight was on the floor jack with minimal effort in keeping it balanced and the front end up with 2X4s on end supporting from underneath. It wasn't as scary as it sounds; it might take I couple of tries with the floor jack to find the center of gravity though…

Last edited by MyRed69; 07-15-2012 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:31 PM   #5
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if a floor jack is used to lift the body by pushing on the floor pans, how is the body balanced? it seems as though there is a great chance of the body tipping.
your best bet(imo having done it three times) is to build an ladder frame from 2x6 lumber and plywood gussets at the corners. place several layers of blue masking tape on the upper area of the wheel wells and cover this with several layers of duct tape. get some of the 1" wide cargo straps from home depot and hook the ends under the wheel wells. use the outer seat belt bolts also for lifting points. use your engine hoist and the lift will be easy and stable. the center of gravity will be close to the top of the windshield frame, just to the left of the midline. wrap the straps around the rails of the ladder frame one time so the straps won't slide. lift the body just enough to cause one corner to rise, then lower it and slide the straps toward the 'heavy' end and try again. after two or three tries, you'll have the load centered and the body will lift evenly and with minimum of stress(to you-not the car)
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:27 PM   #6
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I replaced my fuel lines and brake lines with SS lines on my 70 convertible with the body on, so have other members on this site it can be done. I had my car up on a 2 post lift and it took about 2 hrs it helps to have another person. The hardest part is over the right rear wheel well I started where the frame goes up to the wheel well. You can snake both lines up over frame and back to the tank, you then take the rest of the lines hanging under the car and slowly bend them and feed them up to the fuel pump area. I installed the new straps and everything looks like it was done before the body was on. The line strap on top of the frame at the RR wheel took a lot of time to get the bolt out and the new one in I don't remember if I had to cut a wrench in half to get it loose cause I did this 8 years ago. I think I put some grease on the lines when I installed them if you take your time you can do it, it sure beats lifting the body.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8valve View Post
A few weeks ago, I lifed the body off my 73. Its NOT easy, quick and its stress level is 150%. I dread setting the body back on when the resto is complete and aligning it all up. On top of this, you will continue to find things to replace or fix or modify. I would rather have a root canal than do this again. Doing body off's on my classic trucks is a snap and even fun......not so on the Vette

Good Luck
8Valve
Open both doors and remove the sill plates on each side. You will notice small plastic plugs underneath. One hole on each side lines up precisely with holes drilled through the frame. Get a couple of pieces of 1/4" standard black pipe to use as guide pins, and push them through the frame and into the holes in the sill plates, to guide you when you drop the body back on the frame. Piece of cake.


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Old 07-16-2012, 09:29 PM   #8
8valve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcusmano74 View Post
Open both doors and remove the sill plates on each side. You will notice small plastic plugs underneath. One hole on each side lines up precisely with holes drilled through the frame. Get a couple of pieces of 1/4" standard black pipe to use as guide pins, and push them through the frame and into the holes in the sill plates, to guide you when you drop the body back on the frame. Piece of cake.


WOW, what a great tip !!!!!!! Thank You
8Valve
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:50 PM   #9
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I replaced the brake lines on my 73 w/o lifting the body. The only part that was a lot of no-fun was over the driver's side rear frame section. Of course, I had the vette on a lift and so I can't say how difficult it would be on the ground.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:57 PM   #10
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I was able to paint 95% of my frame and replace all brake/fuel lines using a jack to lift one side of the body at a time. The fuel lines are braided flexible, but should have the same effect. You can leave the body bolts screwed in a few threads the other side, and the frame started to come off the jack stands before the body ever started to "tip".

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Old 07-16-2012, 10:12 PM   #11
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Default Lifting the body

Hi learning curve, looks like your car is stripped (Motor, tranny...). Can this be done without stripping the car?

Thanks

Pigag2
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:43 PM   #12
Gale Banks 80'
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I also did the one side at a time way of replaceing Fuel Lines and body Bushings etc. I just loosened all the Bolts and then lifted wich ever side I was working on an Inch or more till I could do what ever I needed to do. I did the Wood under the Floor Pan way. My car is Rust Free and I didn't have any need to go any further. Keep track of those Body Shims they will fall out and try there hardest to get lost even doing it this way.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:55 PM   #13
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The car doesn't have to be stripped, but it sure helps.

Search for "replacing body mounts". There's a post that details everything that must be disconnected to jack up the body. I'm know the body mounts need to be loosened, and maybe the radiator support? You'll have to check as that part didn't apply to me.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:06 PM   #14
Bally
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gve View Post
I replaced my fuel lines and brake lines with SS lines on my 70 convertible with the body on, so have other members on this site it can be done. I had my car up on a 2 post lift and it took about 2 hrs it helps to have another person. The hardest part is over the right rear wheel well I started where the frame goes up to the wheel well. You can snake both lines up over frame and back to the tank, you then take the rest of the lines hanging under the car and slowly bend them and feed them up to the fuel pump area. I installed the new straps and everything looks like it was done before the body was on. The line strap on top of the frame at the RR wheel took a lot of time to get the bolt out and the new one in I don't remember if I had to cut a wrench in half to get it loose cause I did this 8 years ago. I think I put some grease on the lines when I installed them if you take your time you can do it, it sure beats lifting the body.

Thanks for the advice.

Did you install the pre-bent SS lines? And without having to cut the lines and use fittings?

Sorry, not sure what you mean by 'straps'?

Wow, if it can be done (not having to lift the body to install lines), It'd be great to hear from anyone else here who has done it. My searches haven't turned up much, maybe I'm using the wrong keywords.

Bally
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitville View Post
I replaced the brake lines on my 73 w/o lifting the body. The only part that was a lot of no-fun was over the driver's side rear frame section. Of course, I had the vette on a lift and so I can't say how difficult it would be on the ground.
Thanks.
Were yours pre-bent lines?
I have already invested in all new pre-bent SS fuel and brake lines.

Wish I'd have waited; maybe the braided-flexible would have been the way to go. Was trying to keep it original appearing...(even though I realize the factory didn't use stainless!)
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