October 20, 2013

Project 47, Chapter 2: Off The Frame!

There are various levels of vehicle restoration one could decide on depending on budget, time, and resources. One route is to go stock and restore the vehicle to its original look and function. Another is to put your own touch and create a Kustom, Lowrider, Hot Rod, or Rat Rod. Personally, as much as I appreciate the Aerosedan design by GM, I believe it is too high. Perhaps I am afraid of heights but the bomb needed to come down closer to the floor to give it that attitude. Whatever the case may be, I had decided to remove the body off the frame to complete a thorough restoration of each bracket, sheet metal, nut, and bolt.

The Fleetline has 22 body-to-frame mounting locations. Some are easy to locate while others are hidden like under the car seats. Use a product like Kroil to saturate nuts and bolts to help aid in bolt removal. Stubborn bolts can also be heated with a torch but I haven’t used that technique yet. The Chevy manual has a great illustration on where to locate these bolts. After removing the seats and removing all of the 22 bolts, it was time to pop off the body off the frame. The one issue I had was the location I had the car at – on a hill. I suggest you work on flat leveled location. It’s what I had to work with at the time. I used a series of floor jacks to help lift the body up. Also, a bunch of 4×4 wood beams helped lift it evenly.

I set the Aerosedan body on a makeshift wooden body stand and rolled the chassis down the hill a bit. I took a bunch of images of how the stock chassis looked for reference. I began removing the undercoating which was a real drag. A metal paint scraper helps remove the easy stuff and a propane torch helps remove the stubborn gunk along with the paint scraper.

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