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Tips on Lifting a Avanti Body Off the Frame.

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  • Tips on Lifting a Avanti Body Off the Frame.

    I've been doing a torque box replacement on both sides of my 63' Avanti. Both boxes are completely removed, and the rear bumper is off. I've read that you can lift the body up off the frame a bit. I'm a little nervous about doing this though. How much should I expect? Any advice out there to help with this procedure? Should the bolts accessible though the firewall be removed? I would like as much access to the rear of the frame as possible. The frame has some issues that I would like to patch. Also I need to replace the rear crossmember mounts.
    I know the easy answer is to pull the body off completely or replace the frame. I am really trying to avoid this however. I don't ever plan on selling this car, I just love driving it and would love to get it back on the road as soon as possible.


    Thanks
    Shaun

  • #2
    I had mine off a couple times. It wasn't that difficult and I was able to store the body above the frame and just roll the frame around to work on it. It really made it a lot easier to access everything. You will have most everything disconnected anyway just to lift it a little. The bolts you are talking about must be the ones under the front carpet. To lift it any they will need ot come out.
    rob

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    • #3
      I would think you need to remove the bolts. Tilting or just lifting the back up might push the firewall into the motor or crack the front fenders( depending on how much room you need). Probably best to lift the whole lot up the amount you need for good access.
      If the hog troughs aren't in yet do them first so that the body remains rigid, everything lines up and you have somewhere solid to lift from.
      To lift mine I slid timber between the body and chassis and used a jack each end to slowly raise the body up.

      I have seen the rear crossmember replaced with the body on the chassis but I think in your situation you need more access to the chassis for your repairs.
      pb

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      • #4
        What other things should be disconnected before lifting the body?

        Thanks
        Shaun

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        • #5
          steering column, brake line to master cyl., fuel line at tank over rear end, automatic shift rod, speedometer cable, accelerator pedal(the rod will pull through the boot), PS hose clips, starter cable, bumper brackets, engine wiring, radiator hoses and AT cooler lines, Clutch linkage if it is manual trans, Mine doesn't have AC but that would all have to be disconnected, Radiator shroud, fan. ...I probably forgot something.

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          • #6
            If you're just lifting it a little some of those things can be left attached but watch for them closely. If you don't disconnect the steering column you will probably break the bushing at the bottom. I did even after I disconnected it. The rubber fuel line could be brittle and would just dump fuel if broken. There is a fuel drain under the drivers door on mine.
            rob

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            • #7
              OK, so put the torque boxes in first. That looks like at least a day's worth of work. The only thing I have installed so far in the inner rail's. Speaking of the steering column, I have disconnected it from under the dash, should I do more? Thank's for the list, it's going to help. No A/C in mine either. I remember the last body I took off the frame (1930 durant), big pain to remove and document everything before the body could be pulled. How much does the body alone weigh?


              Thanks
              Shaun


              Comment


              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by jenovi

                OK, so put the torque boxes in first. That looks like at least a day's worth of work.
                Perhaps a little more than that.

                1963 Studebaker Avanti: LS1 motor and T-56 transmission have been moved rearward, set up as a two seat coupe with independent rear suspension.
                sigpic 1963 Studebaker Avanti: LS1 motor and T-56 transmission have been moved rearward, set up as a two seat coupe with independent rear suspension. Complex solutions for nonexistant problems.

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                • #9
                  Hi, Shaun,

                  I did this with an Avanti and we have been discussing it here:

                  http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...TOPIC_ID=37451

                  You should disconnect anything that goes through the firewall unless you want to be replacing bent rods, torn grommets, and snapped wires, not to mention stress cracks in the fiberglass. You should disconnect the gas lines that go through the rear quarter and are attached to the frame. You should also undo the body bolts. The shop manual has a diagram showing where all the bolts are. There are 20 or 21 of them. Once you do all that the body should come up easily.

                  It will take a couple of days to do all that by yourself. If you can recruit adept helpers you can do it much more quickly.

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                  • #10
                    If you haven't pulled it apart yet disconnect the column at the wobble joint and pull it up some into the car for clearance. The bushing is at the base of the column and is plastic. Mine was pretty worn out before I cracked it and they are avilable.
                    Also disconnect the oil line. If the flexible rubber line is hard you will want to replace it anyway.
                    I lifted the body off mine with a strap through the quarter windows and an engine hoist. It was slightly front heavy. Protect or remove the drip rails if you do it this way.
                    The nice thing about these cars is all the wiring is inside the body shell and doesn't have to be unhooked.
                    Rob

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                    • #11
                      Ok, so my estimation on time was much like the typical estimation of cost, way short of reality. I have all the bolts undone now, bumpers are off, steering column is out, most of the lines are disconnected. I figured I would have at least one side finished by now ( torque box wise), but have barley moved past my install point of yesterday. Things are going slow, mainly because i'm scared to death of cracking the body.
                      The main goal at this point is to finish the box installation so I can fully remove the body. In order to install the box though the body needs to come up off the frame a bit. I have separated the complete drivers side body from the frame by a couple of inches using the jack under the roll bar bracket. I've read to block between the frame and body at this point so the jack can be removed and the body/frame still has separation. Again, this makes me nervous. It seems to me that the blocks could cause stress to the fiber glass. Am I being unreasonable?

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                      • #12
                        No, you are not unreasonable. But you will be blaming yourself for every little stress crack that pops up.

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                        • #13
                          my understanding is that when you do this you want to support it consistantly at the mounting points to avoid distortion when attatching the torque boxes. I have not done this though. The fibre glass is pretty tough but you could crack the paint and the doors might not fit right if it got too much distortion.
                          Sounds like you're coming along pretty good. Have you got any photos?
                          Rob

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                          • #14
                            It's good to be cautious with the body, but they are pretty robust. Just make sure you spread the load over a greater surface area as you can.
                            When I replace the HT on my car I pushed the body sideway to get room and when finished pushed it over the other side to replace that. I did not , however, have any engine etc to worry about.
                            pb

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