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Username Post: Lifting body off of frame question        (Topic#362588)
50ChevyNate 
"8th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 10
50ChevyNate
Loc: Central Illinois
Reg: 04-04-09
09-15-20 04:51 PM - Post#2803536    

Need to lift the body of a 1970 Impala Convertible off the frame, as I'm sliding a "new" rust free frame under it. This car previously had a frame-on restoration by a "professional" shop; fenders and lower quarter panels were replaced with rust free Arizona scrap parts and interior was replaced/updated. But, the frame was covered with undercoating hiding extensive rusting (yeah, unfortunately I bought a pig with lipstick, but a new frame will finish the rebuild.) I have two post lift, so I plan on lifting body the body under the rockers up off the frame. My question is should I remove the front clip, or can I leave it attached after removing extraneous weight such as the radiator and condenser and other accessories? I'm concerned as to body integrity since this is a convertible and lacks the reinforcement of a roof and it seems to me those fenders add a lot of weight. This is one of the few things I've never done with a car and I don't want to screw it up. Would appreciate any suggestions!

50 Chevy 2 Door Styleline Deluxe
50 Chevy 3/4 Ton pickup
70 Impala 454 Convertible

VCCA


 


BigDogSS 
"12th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4833
BigDogSS
Loc: SoCal
Reg: 12-21-01
09-15-20 06:40 PM - Post#2803542    
    In response to 50ChevyNate

Yes, remove the front clip.
As long as you are going through all of that work, I'd recommend you fully rebuild the frame, suspension, axle and have everything powder coated.

    1967 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible 327 - Ermine White C1 - VCCA Senior Award
    1967 Chevrolet Impala SS Sport Coupe 396 - Marina Blue FF - personal "barn-find" lol



Edited by BigDogSS on 09-15-20 06:41 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
62BillT 
"19th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 5884
62BillT
Loc: Moneta, VA
Reg: 09-24-01
09-16-20 05:24 AM - Post#2803556    
    In response to BigDogSS

Agree, remove the Front Clip first. You can take it off as a complete unit after taking off the Hood and dropping the Bumper.

Member:
-National Impala Association
-Vintage Chevrolet Club of America


 
Mark Ostebrink 
Member
Posts: 28

Loc: Motorcity
Reg: 01-16-06
09-16-20 05:28 AM - Post#2803557    
    In response to BigDogSS

I think I would remove front clip also, I imagine it is similar to older models, which means it is attached to the main body with 6 bolts, then the rest of it is supported under the radiator support. Once you lift the radiator support off the frame, that’s a lot of leverage on those bolts.
Mark everything before you disassemble (assuming the gaps between the doors and fenders are good), and bag the spacers at each fastener.
I would lift the body as close to existing mounts as possible, as far apart as you can. I would also minimize the weight in the body as much as you feel comfortable. Run it out of gas, remove the spare tire & tools, try to get rid of weight outside your lift points.



 
50ChevyNate 
"8th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 10
50ChevyNate
Loc: Central Illinois
Reg: 04-04-09
09-16-20 06:08 AM - Post#2803561    
    In response to Mark Ostebrink

You pretty much confirmed what I thought would be the best option as I was afraid of the leverage that front clip would place on the mounting bolts. The body is in great shape and everything lines up good, door gaps, hood, etc., and I certainly don't want to screw that up. I had planned on stripping everything out of the interior and trunk to lighten the load. As to the suggestion of coating the new frame, that is my intention, along with replacing all body mounting bolts/bushings and all suspension bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends, etc. Other than the frame, it's a nice car and I suspect one of not too many remaining 70 Impala convertibles with a 454, as most were equipped with either a 350 or 400 skinny block.
Thanks again to all for the advice.

50 Chevy 2 Door Styleline Deluxe
50 Chevy 3/4 Ton pickup
70 Impala 454 Convertible

VCCA


 
sz0k30 
"12th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 491
sz0k30
Loc: Oakland Co., Michigan
Reg: 10-12-08
09-16-20 07:24 AM - Post#2803568    
    In response to 50ChevyNate

  • 50ChevyNate Said:
I had planned on stripping everything out of the interior and trunk to lighten the load.



WHY? If a 2 post lift can easily raise a complete car, it should have no trouble lifting only a body with the interior.




 
Mark Ostebrink 
Member
Posts: 28

Loc: Motorcity
Reg: 01-16-06
09-16-20 09:17 AM - Post#2803577    
    In response to sz0k30

It’s not for the lift, it’s to make the body as stable as possible and reduce the stress on the rockers. All the stuff in the trunk is well behind the furthest back point of the rockers, that’s what I would be most concerned with.



 
jktucker92 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 398
jktucker92
Loc: West Richland, WA
Reg: 02-05-17
09-16-20 12:05 PM - Post#2803592    
    In response to Mark Ostebrink

Agreed on removing the front clip. That extra weight could pull the firewall down and cause the door alignment to be off when you put it back down. In reality, the door alignment may be off when you put it back down anyway, since the new frame will be slightly different, and the new bushings will be a different height. You'll want the fenders off to re-adjust the doors anyway.
As you're probably aware be very careful when you start lifting. Your rear lift point is going to be in front of the rear wheel well, and there's a lot of mass behind that point. I just installed my '66 convertible body on the frame by lifting it from the hard points for the top mechanism. With no doors or trunk on it, the center of mass is very close to the top mechanism mounts. Be careful that when you lift it, it doesn't tip backwards.
The convertible does have some extra bushings compared to the others.



 
BigDogSS 
"12th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4833
BigDogSS
Loc: SoCal
Reg: 12-21-01
09-16-20 03:47 PM - Post#2803605    
    In response to 50ChevyNate

Are the floors good? Double-check. If the frame is rusty, for sure the floors will be rusty.

    1967 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible 327 - Ermine White C1 - VCCA Senior Award
    1967 Chevrolet Impala SS Sport Coupe 396 - Marina Blue FF - personal "barn-find" lol



 
BigDogSS 
"12th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4833
BigDogSS
Loc: SoCal
Reg: 12-21-01
09-16-20 04:02 PM - Post#2803608    
    In response to 50ChevyNate

Here is what I would do if it was my car, as long as there are NO ISSUES with any of the floors or rocker panels:
Drain the fuel tank, remove the front seat, leave the rest of the interior in the car. Leave all of the glass on the car. Put the top up. Once the body is off of the frame, DO NOT open the doors!!! Label them DO NOT OPEN!!! You should be good. Of course, use common sense. Do this at your own risk.



    1967 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible 327 - Ermine White C1 - VCCA Senior Award
    1967 Chevrolet Impala SS Sport Coupe 396 - Marina Blue FF - personal "barn-find" lol



 
bigbowtielover 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2598
bigbowtielover
Loc: Surrey British Columbia
Reg: 09-01-13
09-18-20 09:24 AM - Post#2803743    
    In response to BigDogSS

No no no do not remove front seat. That is needed for ballast. The body is back heavy. Leave the top up but don't latch it as any flex can break the latches. Have everything ready to go. New frame should be rolling for best results. Don't leave body hanging on hoist any longer than needed. Basically lift body, roll out old frame, roll in new frame, line it up and drop body down. The whole operation should take about 15 minutes once everything is ready to go. Remove front clip. On some cars you have to remove front clip to access the nuts for body mount bolts at firewall.



 
50ChevyNate 
"8th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 10
50ChevyNate
Loc: Central Illinois
Reg: 04-04-09
09-18-20 05:45 PM - Post#2803770    
    In response to bigbowtielover

I hadn't thought about the extra weight from the rear end. My reason for stripping the interior is I need to replace the left and right floor pans. I planned to do that prior to the frame swap. I'll put the seats back in for the ballast.

Thanks to all for the additional info.

50 Chevy 2 Door Styleline Deluxe
50 Chevy 3/4 Ton pickup
70 Impala 454 Convertible

VCCA


 
59fins 
Member #212 "20th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2377
59fins
Age: 60
Loc: Surprise Az USA
Reg: 04-07-00
09-22-20 06:18 AM - Post#2804038    
    In response to 50ChevyNate

“But, the frame was covered with undercoating hiding extensive rusting (yeah, unfortunately I bought a pig with lipstick, but a new frame will finish the rebuild.) “

There are so many variables here, first post, “Professional shop”, and “Pig with Lipstick”. For some reason, they don’t go together in my mind.
I have seen some pretty .... lets say interesting ways that a “professional” does work to make the “lipstick shine”. My saying has always been when I see what your talking about, “if they did not fix it right the first time, What else was fixed so well? “.
They undercoated the floor instead of replacing them, what is attached to the floor, the rockers, what usually rusts, inner rockers (depending on where the car came from) but it sounds like the pig is in disguise? So who knows what you are up against, so you need to be proactive vs reactive! GULP!
I have lived in the Desert (Arizona) for 16 years, before that Eastern Iowa close to the Mississippi, 2 completely different worlds when it comes to sheet metal, when I found southwest sheet metal, it was like unbelievable, walking up to a 70 Nova in a salvage yard, and thinking WoW, where’s the rust? Took a key out of my pocket, and scratched the sheet metal behind the rear on the Quarters wheel and it was metal, HUH its should be plastic, as in bonds plastic!
So that was a Hugh awakening, after years of welding cars back together vs. having rust free or even semi rust free parts. Since the pig’s (as you call it) lipstick could be made of anything, I’d gut the the car if you have the room for weight, take front off, and complete interior ( not only to to fix rust, but to see what else the farmer didn’t fix) if you think them body bolts are just going to walk out, you probably have another thing coming, if the salvage quarters were put on as skins or as assembly’s where they used the floor mounts you may get lucky.
Putting the body up in the air on a 2 post lift by the rockers which could of been put on with salvage quarters or covered in aluminum foil with a slick coat of bonds, then there is the inner rocker, and most likely the rocker between the rockers, you need to study the car really close, they put quarters on it, so they had to know it needed a frame? So it goes back to what else did they NOT do, don’t mean to be a bad note here, but if your saying it needs floors, that car could crumble right before your eyes!
Being from the Midwest when I did most of the restorations I did, before internet, I would gut the interior, do as much welding as I could before anything was taken off the frame body shell wise, but in my case if it needed a frame from rust, I didn’t do it, cause in this case body lines were fit to a body that needed a frame, foundation is the frame. Unless you can get that body on The newer or better frame without damaging the body shell, you have a chance assuming the mounts are in the same place, kind of like the tinatic at the sea bottom, rust crumbling under it’s own weight. Again, I like to save cars, get the interior out, or crawl underneath and get the undercoating off and look at the inner rockers, they usually tell most of the story, right under the A pillars, poke with ice pick, see what falls out, hard nice metal or Again just be careful and everyone has a way of doing work, some good, some not so. Pics???


Bill H.
67 SS




 
brickwhite 
Contributor
Posts: 144
brickwhite
Loc: Missouri
Reg: 09-05-19
09-23-20 07:03 AM - Post#2804136    
    In response to 59fins

I went through this last winter with my 66,but mine was a coupe.


https://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showtopic.php?t...

I didn't take the front clip off. Just unbolted it and lifted the body with a 2 post lift and some 2x4s screwed to the lift arms.Post#2785522

Inner fender liners had to come out to get the the firewall frame bolts. Removed the radiator and bumpers.

Ted


Edited by brickwhite on 09-23-20 07:19 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
59fins 
Member #212 "20th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2377
59fins
Age: 60
Loc: Surprise Az USA
Reg: 04-07-00
09-23-20 07:34 PM - Post#2804184    
    In response to brickwhite

Coupe = Night
Convertible = Day

Bill H.
67 SS




 


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