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Fred Zwicker

Body Off or Frame Off?

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I hear it both ways. I always refer to a "Body Off" when we remove the body from the frame, based on the theory that we are lifting the body off the frame. Others call it "Frame Off". What is your preference?

Pictures (before and after) show our recent "Body Off" restoration of my 1954 Buick Riviera 2dr HT, which scored a perfect 400 score (out of 400 points) at the recent Buick Nationals in Charlotte this year. We didn't take the frame off the body, but we did take the body off the frame - this is the way that I always word this. I often hear auction companies and others use the term "Frame Off" and cannot figure out why.

Fred

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Edited by Fred Zwicker (see edit history)

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Many friends from the 1954 Buick Forum all contributed to this restoration. I got plenty of advice and help from many, but especially from Mr. Earl. Steve (i motors) even donated a parts car which really helped. Thanks everyone!

Fred

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"Frame off" makes sense when you're restoring a painting. I first heard "frame off," and that was the only term I heard for many years, so I continue to use the term, even though I know "off frame" or "body off" make more sense. Habit, I guess.

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Usually when you start to take a car apart to restore it, you remove the body from the frame as the frame rests on the wheels. Ever since I was a kid at 9 years old or so (back in '61) I have always heard the term as "body off" restoration. It has only been the last 15 or 20 years that I have heard the term "frame off" which perplexes me. Just another new way to say it was totally taken down to it's minimum parts.

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Once these misnomers have taken hold, it's nearly impossible to change them back.

The one that grates on my ears, the worst, is wheels being called rims. On this very forum, just last week, someone was looking for some wire "rims". I wanted to ask what the spokes were made from, but I bit my tongue.

Oh yeah, and every old car, from 1940 back, is a "Gangster Car". I often wonder what bankers, grocers, family men and the like, drove back then.

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How about "motor mounts" when we know that an engine is in our cars unless they are electric, then it's rightly a motor. Or "hub cap" meaning wheel covers, tho I let that one slide since it's been in use for so long.

This doesn't really happen among gearheads but I have so many friends who attempt to car talk with me and they use "wheels" to mean everything from the actual wheels, to tires, to the whole setup. When I was asked "Why did you need another alignment, were your wheels wearing down?" I wanted to reply, "No, but my patience is."

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I think a lot of this depends on the region you are from. Just like soda, pop, or coke.

I grew up hearing "frame off". For me the term "body off" is more recent.

Though, I agree body off is more correct.

Or "hub cap" meaning wheel covers, tho I let that one slide since it's been in use for so long."

But, they technically are different.

A hub cap just covers the hub area of the wheel.

A wheel cover covers the entire wheel.

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How about "motor mounts" when we know that an engine is in our cars unless they are electric, then it's rightly a motor.

Well, one of the most famous and high-volume engine builders called themselves Continental Motors, but never produced an electric motor, yet, in 1929 created the Continental Aircraft Engine Company.

Go figure.

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Fred,

You didn't do a frame off or a body off. You did a rotisserie restoration. Problem solved ! :P:p:p

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When I did my 41 Limited, I recall, I LIFTED THE BODY UP AND AWAY FROM THE FRAME. Then I was able to say, THE FRAME IS OFF. lol,

I don't know whether I will GO DOWNTOWN TONIGHT, OR UPTOWN, I know it won't make that much difference.

fun, FUN IS GOOD!

Dale in Indy I

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I actually took the frame off the body by putting the jack stands under the body and the two jacks on each end of the frame....removed all the bolts then lowered the frame.

Is that a frame off????

lol, I enjoyed marveling at your "Perfect" example of a 54 Fred. I also enjoyed meeting you. I will soon be posting the pics taken in our engine bay thread for future reference for others.

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How about "motor mounts" when we know that an engine is in our cars unless they are electric, then it's rightly a motor."
This motor/engine thing has been beat to death for ever. Here is what the Oxford dictionary has to say about the matter (emphasis mine).

Definition of motor

[h=3]noun[/h] 1a machine, especially one powered by electricity or internal combustion, that supplies motive power for a vehicle or for another device with moving parts:

American Motors, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, etc. might agree.

Now I must go down to the shop and work on my enginecycle

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When I did my 41 Limited, I recall, I LIFTED THE BODY UP AND AWAY FROM THE FRAME. Then I was able to say, THE BODY IS OFF THE FRAME. lol,

Fixed That For You (FTFY)

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Tomato.......Tomato...........Lets call the whole thing off. (With apologies to George Gershwin)..................Bob

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Thanks, but we are discussing, FRAME OFF, or BODY OFF. I was just saying once I lifted the body OFF, THEN I COULD SAY, FRAME OFF......

Fun time,

Dale in Indy

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They say the English language is the hardest to learn................:confused:

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Ok next debate....

If you keep on traveling east, when will you reach the east? And what will lie east of you then?

I tell ya, the depths we reach on debating inane topics on these forums baffles me, even worst I actively and happily participate.

Pie anyone?

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Years ago, "Frame Up" restoration was the term most oft used. "Body Off" restoration came somewhat later, then the two seemed to get tangled and confused sometime perhaps in the eighties.

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Years ago, "Frame Up" restoration was the term most oft used. "Body Off" restoration came somewhat later, then the two seemed to get tangled and confused sometime perhaps in the eighties.

I guess that since I had to dig my 1931 Dodge engine out of the ground, mine will be considered a "from the ground up" restoration?

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I love it when you hear a guy say; "I've just finished a body off on this car" apparently he didn't realize he has a uni-body car! Even worse is the auction TV experts with the same line.

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I think a lot of this depends on the region you are from. Just like soda, pop, or coke.

I grew up hearing "frame off". For me the term "body off" is more recent.

Though, I agree body off is more correct.

But, they technically are different.

A hub cap just covers the hub area of the wheel.

A wheel cover covers the entire wheel.

There are center caps, hub caps, Trim rings, wheel covers ( that leave leave a small portion of the rim part of the wheel exposed - like the one you posted of the Buick ), Full wheel covers ( that covers the entire wheel).

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