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I Would Appreciate Ideas On The Best Procedure To Replace The Body To Frame Shims, 56 Hawk

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  • Body / Glass: I Would Appreciate Ideas On The Best Procedure To Replace The Body To Frame Shims, 56 Hawk

    I am preparing to replace the body to frame shims on my 56 Power Hawk. I have found procedures for aligning doors, fenders, etc., but nothing on how to approach the body shims. I assume that someone has found a sequence that would get me started in the right direction and save time and frustration. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

  • #2
    I am not familiar with that particular body/frame set up, but are we talking "shims" or "bushings" like the rubber insulator pads on most cars at the body frame connections?

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    • #3
      Not sure on a "procedure" but if it were me, I'd start in the middle, and get the doors lined up first. Then build the rest of the car to the doors. shimming as needed to keep the doors aligned. But, that's me. <G>

      Jim
      "We can't all be Heroes, Some us just need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by" Will Rogers

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kmac530 View Post
        I am not familiar with that particular body/frame set up, but are we talking "shims" or "bushings" like the rubber insulator pads on most cars at the body frame connections?
        That is correct. I'm calling them shims. It is the rubber pads between the body and frame.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 52 Ragtop View Post
          Not sure on a "procedure" but if it were me, I'd start in the middle, and get the doors lined up first. Then build the rest of the car to the doors. shimming as needed to keep the doors aligned. But, that's me. <G>

          Jim
          Maybe I should have mentioned that right now everything fits and works fine but the original shims/bushings are rotted and a couple are gone so I am replacing them in preparation for more improvements. I thought there should be a change out process that would minimize alignment issues.

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          • #6
            Another question...what prompted you to think they all need to be replaced?
            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975

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            • #7
              OK, you were apparently posting while I was typing. I would replace them one at a time. Start with the one that is missing first, then work to the others. I doubt that these were used as alignment shims, but rather as insulators to keep noise down. Take measurements, and I suspect you'll find most of them the same thickness. That was the way it was on my '48.
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Baker54 View Post
                That is correct. I'm calling them shims. It is the rubber pads between the body and frame.
                When I finished my 54K body I had replaced almost all the metal in the floors, hog troughs and sills. I had braced the body before I removed it from the frame so the doors et. al. were still aligned but the original pads and shims had no relation to their original positions.

                I cut new pads from an old conveyor belt and made steel shims from a lot of various metal bits I had laying around. I lowered the body on the frame with both level until I found the contact point/points that hit the frame first. I put one pad at the lowest point and then put one pad plus the amount of steel shims to build the height required at each bolt position. I never used more than one pad at any point but as many shims as necessary to fill the gap. I also put the body bolt in the frame as I finished a position. Just in place not tight.

                When all were in place I tightened the body bolts and the door gaps were fine because the body was braced.

                You can use about any method that gets you the proper door gaps as Jim has mentioned but just one rubber pad per position.

                Pads = rubber conveyor belt could be tire sidewalls

                Shims = steel plates

                Bob
                Last edited by sweetolbob; 03-09-2012, 07:40 PM.

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                • #9
                  I have done insulator pads of a few trucks and other cars, not a Stude car. When I did them on other brands, I left one side of the car/truck alone, I loosened all of them on one side of the frame rail. I had to cut a couple of the bolts a few times. Then using a floor jack with a piece of 4"x4" about 5' long I lifted the body up on the one side just high enough to slip out the insulators. If the bottomof the car is very oddly shaped, you could cut small blocks to spread out the load a bit more evenly. Most insulators I have seen are just rubber/poly donuts that have a washer on each side and maybe a sleeve in the middle. Some drop over a center sleeve, just raise the body enough get the dount easily out. You do not want to have to pry on it and wrench the body around too much. Then I replace each one with the new donuts and gently lower the body back in place, making sure that any centering sleeves or pins align back up. Then tighten up the bolts a bit..not too tight and torqued. Then switch to the other side of the car and repeat the process. Once all settled down into place, make sure none of the donuts seem to be loose or sloppy while others are being smashed. That woould indicate something is mis-aligned. Once it is all settled in and looks even, torque them down {if there is a spec, if not then use your best guess based on bolt size and the amount of compression of the rubber groumet} and recheck your door alignment.
                  Not rocket science really, just use caution and methotic actions and you should be fine. Know that I again I am speaking in general automotive experience, not your car specific.

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                  • #10
                    I happened to be reading turning wheels December 2006 page 20 and it talks about rubber insulators ( 53 commander) are to minimize noise and metal washers are to distribute the weight evenly, perhaps this is on line for you to read.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by K-Hawk View Post
                      I happened to be reading turning wheels December 2006 page 20 and it talks about rubber insulators ( 53 commander) are to minimize noise and metal washers are to distribute the weight evenly, perhaps this is on line for you to read.
                      Does anyone know where I can access this article on-line?

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                      • #12
                        I'd replace them one side at a time, loosening all on the other side so as to be able to get enough lift off the frame. I'd keep it simple by replacing each one with one the same thickness. They are likely gonna vary from 1/8" to about 5/8". Use old tire sidewalls, or some other source for good shims that have nylon material woven thru. Many of the repros are only rubber, that clearly will not hold up long.

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                        • #13
                          I appreciate these comments. In an effort to be as precise as possible I bought shims from Phil Harris at Fairborn Studebaker and they appear to be of excellent quality.

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