Body-off or frame-off restore? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jan 7, 2004
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Santa Rosa Valley, CA
I'm just about ready to take the tub off my 40. It was in pretty good shape to start out. Not a lot of rust... at least a lot less rust than some of the projects we see posted on this board. The frame is in good shape with just some surface rust. The engine runs well. Compression tests out at around 145 PSI on the high end and around 138 PSI on the low.

I'm a noob at this stuff and I need some advice. The body needs to come off to fix some of the rust and get it ready to repaint, but should I do a frame-off too? If the engine works well should I go through the hassle? It seems like I could clean up the frame and engine quite a bit with the drive train sill in tact.

What do you think? Thanks!
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2004
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Bozeman, MT
Extra time and extra money maybe some seals and things. Its all in what you want to do with it man. If I had a pretty sweet cruiser and had the chance to do it full out I would. I have a trail rig and I am cool with all that comes with it. Just ask yourself how perfect does it need to be for what you want to do with it, and keep in mind the fact that once you pull the body are you going to want to do it again in x number of yrs. My indecisive .02
 

Poser

Oh...Durka Durka Durka.
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This is something that is completely dependent on your timeframe and your pocket book. If I were taking the time to remove the body to fix rust, I would also take the time to clean up the frame and go through the many other items/systems, but like I have said, and will be repeated to you by many people out here, it is completely up to your timeframe and budget.


Good luck!


-Steve
 
Joined
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Santa Rosa Valley, CA
No timeframe as long as my wife puts up with it. It's a side project that will eventually give me the truck I've always wanted for driving on the weekends in nice weather. Money isn't much of a problem given my timeframe. I'd like to be done in a couple more years. It's been over 6 months since I've started and I'm just nearing the body-off part. My biggest challenge is a complete lack of free time.

The main reason I want to take the body off is so I can easily get at the bottom of the tub. I need to strip off some really old under coating, clean off some surface rust, and cut out a couple small spots where rust is trying to come through. Once it's off, however, it seems like it'd be pretty easy to get at the frame to clean it up, seal it, and paint it. Same for the engine. I'd rather forgo the trouble and expense of a rebuild since the engine seems strong and only has 130K miles on it. I may be wrong, but it seems like the main reason I'd want to pull the engine out is for a rebuild. Other than that it seems like wasted effort.

So let me clarify... Other than powder coating the frame, what potential regrets am I looking at years down the road by not taking the frame off? I live in SoCal and the way I plan on using the truck I'm not overly paranoid of rust.

Thanks man :)
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
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Louisville, Kentucky
If you're going to do 75% you might as well do the other 25% IMOP. If you're there and you have the time, I'd go the full mile and then you will know you have gone through everything.
 

DSRTRDR

I can mangle anything ...
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Baton Rouge, LA and Fountain Hills, AZ
unless you want a show quality vehile or do it just for the sake of it (which is an o.k. reason by me), what exactly is the point of a 100% restore ? If you don't aim for car shows, and neither have the perfectionism and committment in you to spend $$$ just for the fun of it, you will not find the time ever....other things will eventually take over.......

I am just going through this whole discussion on a completely different vehicle, but it rings the same buttons...........
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
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PNW
I agree with DSRTRDR completely.

Ask yourself how long you want to wait to drive the thing. Time never stops; life elelments change throughout. How can you know what your attitude toward the truck will be two years from today?

Even a cruiser can become a burden. You may come to a point that even the thought of going out to do some small part of the overall project pains you, and at that point each of the other things that are backlogged to do will make good excuses not to go work on the truck.

People who don't follow through on their beginning goals don't post the fact in here very often, but I'd bet that there's quite a few of them.

Get it on the road. When you're driving it taking care of it is a pleasure and individual improving projects don't take too long.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
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Santa Rosa Valley, CA
I wonder what percentage of people never complete their restore projects? That's a scary thought and one that has crossed my mind. It's worth a poll.

Though I would like a show truck I don't have the time or patience needed to go that far. I want to drive this thing. I'm shooting for "nice".
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2004
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The Rockies or the Andes
I just made this decision myself a few months ago, about 7-8 months after starting to repair the body of my 40. My body was rusted out in the usual spots and as I replaced more and more metal I found more stuff to fix. The frame needed repair, the wiring was fubar, the engine mounts were shot, etc etc etc. The decision was not that difficult for me as I really love to work on the cruiser, maybe more than I like to wheel it. I also had no specific timeframe, I don't care how long it takes. Since there is no time limit there is no budget limit really as long as I am patient. I am just starting reassembly on the sandblasted and painted frame now, about 10 months after I started.

As for not completing your project just be honest with yourself, have you completed long term goals in the past? If your garage/house/life are full of uncompleted projects then I would not attempt a frame off. If you are the type that gets things done, no matter how difficult they are or how long they take, then go for it.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
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high desert, ca
So this is all matter of opinion. If your frame is in good shape and you don't have anywhere decent to store the entire drivetrain for a year or so, leave it in the cruiser. But you might as well clean and paint the frame and the drivetrain while you can access it so easy. Make it all black and don't worry about overspray.

Now for the official hijack question.:grinpimp: When doing a body off, do most people just put the body on stands, or do they flip it or put it on its side for doing undercarriage work? Just curious.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2003
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Eagle, ID
cabron said:
If you're going to do 75% you might as well do the other 25% IMOP. If you're there and you have the time, I'd go the full mile and then you will know you have gone through everything.

ABSOLUTELY!! Not knowing your situation, I still echo cabron's comments. As long as you've got the body off, might as well POR 15 the frame, might as well do this, might as well do that. You're not gonna want to take the body off again in 10 years to POR 15 the frame. Good luck!:cheers:
 

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