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stealthbob

Body weight only

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..for a 1954 Buick Roadmaster.

Its stripped down, nothing left on it.

Best guess for weight?

500-800lbs?

I'm looking into many different ways that I will lift/store the body and want to know I am using proper estimates for body weight.

Also for a 2dr hardtop should I be welding in braces for the doors..other areas? What would be the angles and weld points I should use. Just to note this will be on a rotisserie at some point.

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If the doors are being removed, then you should weld some decent braces to keep the door opennings accurate. I've seen them from upper hinge to the lower 1/3 of the lock pillar, for example, but there might be better "angles" to use. You might look around at some of the vendor websites which sell the rotisserie items and see what the vehicles on them have in the door frames. Usually, they have pictures with a car on the unit. Might not hurt to make a "X" situation with two braces per door frame, maybe even adding one straight across the top for good measure?

BUT I suspect you'd need to do that welding operation BEFORE you take the body off of the frame. Might also be a good idea to take some diagonal measurements of the body itself, before taking it off of the frame. With these measurements, you could compare them to what's in the service manual AND have something to compare to later on. They can also give an indication of there's been some "tweaking" done somewhere in the vehicle's earlier life. Doing similar diagonal measurements from the various frame reference points might be a good idea, too.

Just some thoughts,

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)

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Bob,

Here are three pics of my body braces. I know that six people can pick up one of these cars so it can't be more than around 800 pounds. (guess!)

I have seen many ways of bracing. Many rotisserie companies also sell adjustable door spreaders that bolt on to the hinge location and go across to the striker. This seems like a cool idea if your welding skill aren't that great or you don't have metal pieces laying around. Mine were made of 2" square tubing, but Willie used angle iron for his braces illustrated thusly:

http://www.buickrestorer.com/66cResto0018.JPG

post-32260-143138489132_thumb.jpg

post-32260-143138489137_thumb.jpg

post-32260-143138489142_thumb.jpg

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What Mike shows is fine. I would go a little higher on the front opening both for more support to the front cowl and to allow easier acess to the interior. You most likely will be needing to crawl into the interior and the easier you make it the better. Cross bracing is not a good idea because it's unnecessary and makes entry almost impossible. Actually for a hard top minimal bracing, if any, is necessary................Bob

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I think in the range of 800lb should be pretty close. Did you happen to see the wood support stand system used by a couple others here? I copied that system and its very effective, sturdy and the material can be bought for about $60. This is good as long as the car body is stationary.

I also picked up a like new rolling body cart off craigslist for $300 (identical to what Eastwood sells for $600). I am modifying it so the body can be bolted to it using selective mounts to help distribute the weight. The rolling cart will allow me to load/unload and transport the body safely to the blaster and body shop. I'm using the front firewall mounts and the ones at the top of the wheel arch.

I haven't installed door area supports on my 66 Riv because looking at the design, the body seems very rigid........but bracing is a good idea no matter what. Particularly should the body be subjected to an accidental shock of some kind during restoration. I've seen many hardtop restos without bracing. I may still add it to mine before transporting.

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Also on mine, the lateral bracing is because it is a convertible. Hardtops definitely wouldn't need that.

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FWIW, I used a homemade "Letter H" lift, which was shamelessly copied from a design sold by Accessible Systems. Using a standard engine hoist, you can lift the body straight up and off the frame. Granted, I have removed all doors, glass, interior -- so that significantly lightened up the lifting load.

Although not necessary, I also made adjustable door braces by cutting tractor top links in half and welding extensions in. This allows for them to twist one way to tighten, the other way to loosen, and had the necessary heim joints on the ends to allow for the angles. Lastly, I built the adjustable rotisserie based off of a composite of design ideas from various sources and the body is attached to that currently. You can rotate the car with very little effort once properly balanced.

P0006639-1.JPG

DSC05728.JPG

P0007071.JPG

P0007072.JPG

P0007073.JPG

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Great info lads..thank you! good.gif

You see so many variations on how this is done, I like to be safe and careful but also don't want to have too much crap in the way when I'm working on the interior side.

I plan on using this gantry of mine to do the initial lift..it was taken out of service at a plant due to the fact that it is metal for the same reasons why we don't use metal ladders. Anyways, I offered to "store" it at my place....here it is taking the newly rebuilt engine off my truck:

5212045347_226e3de142.jpg

I'm going to start with a guess that the CG is right at the door jam from front to back and about 8-10 inches vertically off the car floor. I will also assume that the bottom rocker area (the ridge weld is the best lifting points?), using 2 points on each side.

This is just the lift, I will then mount to a rotisserie and roll it out.

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Also on mine, the lateral bracing is because it is a convertible. Hardtops definitely wouldn't need that.

Maybe yes, maybe no. All hardtops are not created equally and some have virtually no strength in their "C" pillars or top turret, even "A" pillars may be of question. Once separated from the frame, the center of the door opening is weak, weak, weak and the precise point any uncoordinated unequal lifting from the firewall area or rear bumper attachment area can potentially put a bow right across the floor or twist the body in spite of the drive shaft tunnel. Keep in mind there isn't much in that location to support anything. Just how hard is it to bend outer and inner rocker panels? That's basically all the support of any significance there may be. Yes, people have been putting bodies on rotisseries for more than a day or two, but you can bet your boots that braces are being sold/used because too many people more or less ruined a body by putting a crease or bow in it.

Some unibody cars actually find a way to bow in that area without being put on a rotisserie. Hard to get past even a minor bow in the body once it takes place. Basically nothing taken off will fit back in place without a lot of work.

Jim

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I would absolutely agree that door jams should be braced (front / back) even on a hardtop when only mounted at the front and back body mounts (as on a rotisserie). I still doubt I would have installed the lateral bracing in a hardtop. Of course, it can't hurt.

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I would absolutely agree that door jams should be braced (front / back) even on a hardtop when only mounted at the front and back body mounts (as on a rotisserie). I still doubt I would have installed the lateral bracing in a hardtop. Of course, it can't hurt.

Mike,

Definitely on a convertible, the lateral bracing "HAS" to occur!:eek: Glad that was the old "rusted away" body. I think that I've figured a way to Strengthen the bottom of the door jams while putting it on a rotisserie or prolonged off the frame time. A 4 x 4 with wood lag screws could be put in place under where the frame would have mounted or to the outside where the body mounts are under the rockers. I think that I will try to put those under the newer body until I am ready to install it back on the frame.

Matt

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