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Any one succesfully removed and reinstalled a full top body in one peice.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by primerk5, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. primerk5

    primerk5 1/2 ton status

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    I'm going to kinda restore my 75. This was the first vehicle I ever bought on my own when I was 17 and I wheeled the crap out of it. The last time the tailgate popped open with the window up due to flex became its last time wheeling. I really like this truck. It had new quarters on it when I got it and the body was in fairly good condition. I did floor patch work and some structural support work and reassembed it. I want to remove the body so I can work on the frame and get it cleaned up and painted. The tops off right now but I'm planning to put it back so I can weld in bracing to hold everything in place. I'm going to take the top back off for the lift and then start to remove the body. I have access to a pair of Air jacks to lift the body off. But I'm not sure how to do this with out destroying my truck. Planning on lifting it off and setting it on my trailor not sure how well this will work or not.

    Suggestions and success storys would be great. full top or half top alike. Just wanted full top information due to its structure/support. Oh ya don't have a rotisoree or the money to buy one either so thats out of the question.

    Thanks
     
  2. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    A member here did that, using 2x4's in an a-frame, with casters on the bottom, to roll the body around ... so it's doable, for a frame-off.

    I think 2x4's or 4x4's, and maybe some oil drums or other tall stout stands to put them on.

    -- A
     
  3. spearchucker

    spearchucker 1/2 ton status

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    I'd use a couple of 4x4s running the length of the body for support. You can use the body mount holes to secure it to the wood and also use them for lifting too if you want.
     
  4. primerk5

    primerk5 1/2 ton status

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    I was thinking about taking 4x4 and bolting them to the cabmounts and then taking this long lamboard I can get from a friend and running it acrossed underneith to lift it. then set it down on my trailor. Its got to be high enough so that I can get under the truck and sandblast the floor pans. This thing dosen't have to be perfect but I would like it to get the rough spots out of it.
     
  5. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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  6. spearchucker

    spearchucker 1/2 ton status

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    I wouldn't run them across the body, you might buckle the body when you lift it, that's why I suggested lengthwise.:wink1:
     
  7. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

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    Since it's ass old as it is and lots of work has been done over time I would think welding some supports across the doors to keep it from buckling. I did it on my 78 without having to brace the door openings but it is a half top.
     
  8. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    That was me. PM me and I can send you some good pics. Basically what I did was to use a floor jack and a motorcycle jack to lift the body off of the frame and slide a long 2x6 in between the frame and the body. I did this in the back across the rear wheel well area and in the front just behind the windshield area. Keep in mind that I had already dismantled the front clip completely with the fenders, radiator support, grill, etc. all off. After sliding in one board, I slowly lifted up the front and back just enough to turn the board upright. After the two boards were in, I slid another board next to them and screwed them together to make a 4x6. I then was able to very carefully lift the front and rear boards up high enough to build an A brace under each end of the boards. Once the A brace was done, it was high enough to put small tires on the lower running gear and pull out the frame to work on it. I ended up sandblasting one of the frames after welding in a brace and then I POR-15'ed the frame. There are more pics here: http://community.webshots.com/user/douglasgrant As DrEmu said, later I put casters on them so I could push the body around the backyard. Here is a pic and if you want more, I can send you other pics and more info if you want. I did a complete body off on two 74's. Later I bought a cherry picker and that would have been invaluable when I pulled the bodies off. I've used that cherry picker now enough times to have paid for rental ten times over. It has been well worth the cost to buy one. Making the A frame out of wood wasn't that expensive and I used screws so I was able to dismantle it later easily. If you are going to do a full resto, then gut the interior first. Then pull all the front sheet metal off as I did. If you try and lift the body off with the interior and front clip intact, you are in for some fun. That is a lot of weight.

    Here is the first 74 I did:

    [​IMG]

    Here is the second 74 I did. You can see the casters I put on to push it around. The missus was rather bent as I had two 74's going at once and then I bought my 76 too.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2006
  9. primerk5

    primerk5 1/2 ton status

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    Wow, Thats a Great Idea. I started to rip this thing down two years ago and got sidetracked. Right now it is filled will almost all its parts. But, The front clip is off Except Rad-support (needs to still be mobile) all interior is out of it except steering column. This is going to be a semi full restoration. I only have so much money and tools. plus Im doing it myself. Now do you suggest that I keep the top on?? or is my bracing it then removing the top a good idea? More pictures would be great if you have time. Its no hurry I'm just trying to get everything organized. The lower picture gose under the rocker. Is it sitting on the rocker or is it sitting on something bolted to the cabmounts. The more and more I think About it This might work better than my plan The Aframe supports just need to be about 8 1/2 feet wide so that I can get my trailer between them to set my body on.
     
  10. BigBen

    BigBen 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Great idea!
    I've been working on ideas for doing my '74 in the near future and this is much better than what I have come up with so far!

    I don't have the hard-top anymore, so I'll need to make it work without.

    -Ben
     
  11. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    I would lighten it up as much as possible. If you have the space, take the top off and take everything out of it. I didn't take the top off on the second Blazer and got away with it but it is much lighter without the top. The first time I took the top off and then used it to store lots of parts under to keep them out of the way and dry. You also need to make sure you face the Blazer the right way in order to get the lower half out if your work area is narrow. I made the mistake of putting the Blazer nose in and so I had to pull the whole lower setup out the back. this meant that I couldn't get the engine past the front brace. I had to remove the front tires, lower the front down onto a floor jack, and then pull it out the rear. It would've been much easier had I backed the Blazer in and then I could have just rolled the lower frame/engine/axles out. When it came time to put the body back on, I simply unscrewed the cross brace from the A frame, lifted up the body with a floor jack with extensions (stacked 4x4's), pulled the A frames out, and lowered the body onto the frame. With a cherry picker it would be much easier to hook the hoist to the body and then lift and lower it that way. You let the body down onto the frame with the cross brace betwwen the body and frame so it doesn't slide off. Then you very carefully lift the body slightly, slide the cross brace out, and settle it down on the new body mounts that you just bought while you were at it. I did it all by myself several times and it was slow and nerve racking. If you have friends to help, so much the better.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. primerk5

    primerk5 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds good like a plan. If you weren't in Cali Id invite you over since your a professional at it and all. I've got the room I'm just trying to keep everything mobile. All my work areas are gravel which would make it difficult to move on unless it is on tires. Luckly The body can be stored inside on my trailor, and I'll drag my frame up to my house and clean it while I have time. Then do the body. I also have the tailgate off and am planning on replacing the windshield. We are going to do all of the major body work to the rear quarters and interior while it is still on the truck and get it near ready for paint. Then pull the body and redo the frame. Then put the body back on and get body lines right and paint it. Hopfully all works out as planned. Thanks for the info and images/ideas.
     
  13. juanblzer

    juanblzer 1/2 ton status

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    i used some homemade camperjacks to lift my tub and roll out my chassis. I must say however :doah: that lining up the body mount bolts to lay the new tub down is a major PITA if done alone.
     
  14. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    It certainly was. There was one time when I almost lost the second Blazer to a tip over. Foolishly, I jumped in front of it and kept it from going, but just barely. For PrimerK5, I'd think about pulling the body, then doing the body work and paint prep. A couple of reasons why are that the body is so much easier to work on when it is off the truck. It will be higher in the air and more accessible. Also, if you do all that work, and somehow botch up the removal, you could set yourself back a ways in the project. I didn't end up keeping either of the Blazers I did the body off on. However, if I were to take the body off of my 76, I know what I would do with it while off.

    When you have the body up on a frame setup, the underside is completely accessible, as are the wheel wells. I would seriously think about taking a good wire brush on a drill to the entire underside, clean it, and then throw either some POR-15 on it, or better yet, Herculiner or similar. At least a few coats of a good rattlecan paint. I would do the same for the rear wheel wells. Getting to the bottom of the tub while the rig is intact is a huge problem. Once you remove it and put it on stands, it is a piece of cake. If I were to do it again, I'd do the bottom, the wheel wells, and then do the upper body work. Then I'd finish up whatever you were doing on the frame etc. , roll it back under, drop the body, and you are ready to go. If you are thinking of Herculining or painting the interior, I'd do it with the tub off as well. If you go to my Webshots albums, you will see I did one of the 74's interior like that. I patched any holes with POR-15 fiberglass sheets and POR-15 sealer, gave it a good couple of coats of POR-15 and it came out great. I also sandblasted my frame and POR-15'ed it after welding up the steering box frame area with an ORD brace. That is also on my webshots. I am a big fan of POR-15. If you prep it right, that stuff is stronger than just about anything. I over painted the area around my steering box and needed to take some off to do the welding. There wasn't a chemical I tried that effected it. MEK, Acetone, etc. didn't faze it. I tried a wire brush with no success. I finally had to ruin a grinding wheel on my die grinder to get the paint off. It is like an ultra-strong powder coat. You have to prep it right though.
     
  15. BigBen

    BigBen 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    The frontwards/backwards consideration is one of those classic situations that is painfully obvious once it's too late!

    Thanks for the tip.

    -Ben
     
  16. primerk5

    primerk5 1/2 ton status

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    When I said about doing the body work I was talking about the topside of the body. I plan on doing the underneath while Its off. Course if we spend all that time doing the top body work and it falls and gets screwed up I'll surely have waisted money. On that note I'm taking the body off setting it on my trailor and working on it there. I may wait untill its back on the frame to do the top side work.
     
  17. loonatic72

    loonatic72 Registered Member

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    I'm doing the same thing to my 79' and I didn't need my body mobile so I stripped the truck of the whole front clip, engine & tranny. And I picked the front of the truck up with my engine hoist and with friends picked up the back and pulled the body back. Then set the front cab mounts on tall jack stands with a 4x4 running across. Then moved the engine hoist to the back lifted it and rolled the frame out from under it and set the body back down on just jack stands so there was nothing under it to get in my way of cleaning. I did all of this without the top on or doors.
     
  18. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    That took some cajones. I've never had anything fall off of jack stands, but I've come close a couple of times. I really wish I had some land to put up a shop with a lift..........
     

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