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Need tips on under carriage

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  • #16
    Hi, Guys,

    I'm interested in the chatter about taking the body off the frame. I am an intermediate restorer doing his first frame-off, so maybe my experience can be helpful.

    I currently have my '63 Avanti off the frame and have just finished restoring the chassis. The car came from the dry part of Texas, so while there was surface rust, the structural integrity was not compromised. The only part that needed replacing was the rear crossmember that supports the trunk, which I got from Don Simmons at Silvertone Exhaust in Ontario (terrific fella -- highly recommended).

    I spent three weekends (a total of 40 hours)on this job, as follows: scraping off up to 1/4" of dirt, grease, oil, flaking paint and animal waste with a paint scraper and wire brush (I estimate about 5 pounds of debris); sanding rough spots and generally smoothing the surface; soaking the thing with degreaser and wiping off the remaining grease; painting it all with rust converter (Total Solutions and Eastwood brands -- these are either POR-15 or something similar); priming with a quick-dry automotive primer; and finally brushing on a coat of Eastwood Chassis Black. The cleaning and detailing took about 40 hours of sometimes grueling and usually tedious work -- Dick is right about how dirty it is, but I think his time estimate is on the high side -- and under $100. It looks great and is very satisfying.

    However, as JDP points out, there is the prospect of putting the friggin' thing back together again, which is absolutely intimidating. As it was my intention to embark on this journey to learn everything there is to learn, that's fine by me. Not everyone does this for the same reasons, though, and you have to ask yourself whether you would enjoy the mental and physical challenge of restoring a car to this degree.

    I'm now going to diverge from facts to my stupid, uninformed opinion. I don't see how anybody can get at all of the nooks and crannies of the chassis with the body still on there. The best you could do is get at the bottom half. But water and rust and gunk get in everywhere, not just on the bottom half. If you determine that the chassis should be redone, there's only one right way to do it -- stripped of everything else and sitting on blocks in your garage.

    Whatever you decide, good luck.



    • #17
      quote:Originally posted by tluz

      I spent three weekends (a total of 40 hours)on this job, -- Dick is right about how dirty it is, but I think his time estimate is on the high side -- and under $100. It looks great and is very satisfying.

      I never said I was fast OR efficient .

      Actually, does your 40 hours include taking the body off the frame, taking the chassis apart (front suspension, rear end, etc.), and also cleaning and painting the underside of the body? Also, my 100 hour estimate includes reassembly...although my estimate does not include taking the body of the frame and putting it back on.

      I totally agree that doing it like you are doing is satisfying...if you can block out of your mind the torture you go through to get it to that point.

      Any pictures?

      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA

      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA


      • #18
        Hi, Dick,

        No, my 40 is just on the chassis. Disassembling the car and building a rolling rack to hold the body while I redo it from scratch took much more than your 100. Subjecdtively, it felt like taking the tension off the front springs alone took over 100. Funny how fear makes time seem to move verrrryyy ssslllooowwwwllyyy.

        I have a bunch of pictures but I have to get a photobucket account before I can post them.




        • #19
          OK, I think I've got this photobucket thing figured out, although I feel like I need a Ph.D. to use it.

          Project on the day I got it

          Engine bay:

          Body on a rack I built:

          Grimy, rusty chassis:

          Chassis all nice and shiny:

          Working on rear axle, suspension and brakes at the moment.


          • #20
            That chassis looks good keep'em coming I'm not able to start my project! till May. Yeah it took me eight hours to figure out photobucket. Shane

            '65 Commander