Body Swap

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Body Swap

Post by Hawk03 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:10 am

I'm thinking about buying an extra body instead of replacing each individual panel and floor of my current shell. The donor shell was a column shifter and had bench seats and my car has bucket seats and a console. What all would I need to do to make the buckets seats and console fit in the new shell? Anything other than cutting a hole for the console shifter and using my seat brackets in the new car? Does this require welding?

I think I can handle the dash removal and rewiring but its the cutting and welding that I don't have much knowledge or access to a welder. I don't have my car with me to compare or look at. Any thoughts/help are much appreciated.



Last edited by Hawk03 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:21 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : misspelled)
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Re: Body Swap

Post by thatfnthing on Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:23 am

The seat braces are different between bucket/bench cars and are spot welded to the floor, so you will need a spot weld cutting drill bit and a welder to put the new ones in. Everything else should be a straight forward swap, I would think.
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Re: Body Swap

Post by Landonus on Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:17 am

If it has a console it will have two more braces also.
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Re: Body Swap

Post by Joe73 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:44 am

If you dont have a spot weld cutter just drill the center of each spot weld with an 1/8" bit and then redrill the hole with a 1/4" bit. Then use a flat chisel and hammer or I like an air chisel and separate the pieces. Make sure you get a clean title for the new body so you can register it. Cant change a VIN on a vehicle.
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Re: Body Swap

Post by Hawk03 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:24 pm

Thanks guys, doesn't seem too over whelming. Brainstain says he has the clean title too so that shouldn't be an issue.

I will have to take the body back to Iowa, set the new one in place and then bring it out to Indy to finish it up. Hopefully that won't take any longer than 5 years Sad

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Re: Body Swap

Post by Hawk03 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:17 am

What are the dimensions of the body? If I get the body I will need to get a trailer and U-haul only allows a 5x7 for interstate rentals.

Also is this correct:
"if your objective is to get the whole dash out, there is no need to take it apart- there are only like 6 bolts holding the whole damn thing in the car. this is how GM put the car together- the dash came as an assembly from an outside contractor, and a lineworker or two put the whole works in as the car slid by on the line.
just remember to reach up under the dash and unhook the speedo cable, vacuum lines and cables from the heater controls, and unscrew the fusebox from the firewall, and it all comes out in about 15 minutes."
http://www.g3gm.com/t53-dash-pad-and-dash-removal-for-1973-1977-chevelle-monte-carlo-and-most-others

Is it really that simple to get the whole dash out? Or is it best to take the dash apart to remove the it?
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Re: Body Swap

Post by Joe73 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:38 am

It could probably come out as a unit but there is a small screw on top of the column right next to where the speedo cable comes through the rear of the dash. I always find that screw to be a pain. I dont know if you'll be able to get at it from under the dash.
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Re: Body Swap

Post by Hawk03 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:08 pm

My parents came to visit me and went home with a new body. The body wouldn't fit in the trailer so we strapped it on with 4x4's across holding it on the trailer. It made it from Indiana to Iowa with no problem. My dad and my uncle were able to unload it as you can see in the pics. They laid the body on some telephone poles which are laid from the foundation to some stumps, allowing plenty of room to work on the underneath. I am hopeful that we will start swapping stuff in a month or two.






[img][/img]
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Re: Body Swap

Post by 77mali on Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:59 pm

Congrats- that looks like a nice clean body.

You might want to add some more support on the side of the boards that are resting on the concrete knee wall. Wouldn't want that to tip over on ya.
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Re: Body Swap

Post by pila on Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:46 pm

Looks like a worthy project car ! Now you can clean & paint the firewall easy !!

The seat brackets & other brackets can be re-installed with bolts. Spot welding is a fast production thing of course. You should be fine using bolts.

Keep us posted on your progress ! Very Happy

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Re: Body Swap

Post by Hawk03 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:42 am

Thanks guys! Its a lot easier for me to switch stuff from one car to the other than it would have been to weld new panels on since I have no welding skills.
The good thing is I have 3 weeks of vacation this year, bad thing is at least one of those is going to my wedding in August. I'll just have to try and work on it when I can. My plan is to try and sand blast the frame while the body is off, clean the underside of the body and either paint it or use the por-15 stuff. Also clean and paint the firewall.

Mali-good catch with the boards, I will have to ask my dad if they added anything.
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Re: Body Swap

Post by 77mali on Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:55 am

No problem- I don't ever wanna read about anyone getting hurt or worse.

"There's always time for safety" LOL
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Re: Body Swap

Post by pila on Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:23 pm

X2 on "there's always time for safety" ! Some cement blocks, or whatever you can find, under the boards where the firewall is etc, would be another thing you could do. When you start cleaning the bottom you may jiggle it around enough to make the whole set-up dangerous....take care...

Bill

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Re: Body Swap

Post by Brainstain on Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:38 pm

Shoulda just bought that nice frame it was on while you were here.. I sold it right after you left. Smile . Glad to hear your parents and the shell made it home safe.

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Re: Body Swap

Post by Hawk03 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:05 pm

Thanks dude. I'll be saying the same thing when I finally start working on it.... Oh well.

Theres more holding the body in place. I'll have them send me another pick of how it is sitting now but the body isn't going any where.
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Re: Body Swap

Post by Hawk03 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:08 pm

I was finally able to work on the car. My dad started taking things off and I finished it and then we lifted the body off the frame. Next will be cleaning the frame and tidying up the engine and transmission.





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Re: Body Swap

Post by Limey SE on Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:10 pm

Ok Maybe a stupid question are you re-using the front,rear and side Glass ?

And all the chrome related to it ??
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Re: Body Swap

Post by 77mali on Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:15 pm

Damn I wish I had a tractor Very Happy
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Re: Body Swap

Post by Hawk03 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:15 am

Anyone have ideas on how to remove the body bolts from the new body? The heads were cut off so they are just studs. There was a total of 3, I was able to remove one by heating it up and using vice grips. I wasn't so lucky on the next one, I don't know if my hands were tired from constantly tightening the vice grips on the first bolt or if its way too rusted.

My next thought is to go in the trunk and drill a hole to be able to spray some pb blaster or something to see if that helps. If it doesn't then the only other option is to cut the nut off from inside the trunk and deal with it.

Its the two closest to the wheel wells.
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Re: Body Swap

Post by thatfnthing on Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:36 am

Hawk03 wrote:Anyone have ideas on how to remove the body bolts from the new body? The heads were cut off so they are just studs. There was a total of 3, I was able to remove one by heating it up and using vice grips. I wasn't so lucky on the next one, I don't know if my hands were tired from constantly tightening the vice grips on the first bolt or if its way too rusted.

My next thought is to go in the trunk and drill a hole to be able to spray some pb blaster or something to see if that helps. If it doesn't then the only other option is to cut the nut off from inside the trunk and deal with it.
Get yourself a MAPP gas torch from HD or Lowes (propane is not hot enough) and heat the bolt. Then soak it with PB Blaster or WD-40 (I've actually had better luck with WD-40 than PBB), then try the vise grips again. You may have to do this cycle a bunch of times, but the combo of heat and lubricant will eventually break it loose.
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Re: Body Swap

Post by driveit on Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:05 pm

Awesome, keep up the work. Can't wait to see it back together.
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Re: Body Swap

Post by dynchel on Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:21 pm

thatfnthing wrote:
Hawk03 wrote:Anyone have ideas on how to remove the body bolts from the new body? The heads were cut off so they are just studs. There was a total of 3, I was able to remove one by heating it up and using vice grips. I wasn't so lucky on the next one, I don't know if my hands were tired from constantly tightening the vice grips on the first bolt or if its way too rusted.

My next thought is to go in the trunk and drill a hole to be able to spray some pb blaster or something to see if that helps. If it doesn't then the only other option is to cut the nut off from inside the trunk and deal with it.
Get yourself a MAPP gas torch from HD or Lowes (propane is not hot enough) and heat the bolt.  Then soak it with PB Blaster or WD-40 (I've actually had better luck with WD-40 than PBB), then try the vise grips again.  You may have to do this cycle a bunch of times, but the combo of heat and lubricant will eventually break it loose.
X2...Thats how we have to do all kinds of automotive repairs in the rust belt.  I usually heat it till it's glowing orange (oxy acedelene torch) and spray pb blaster on it (while still orange)  that way its still expanded and the lube gets where it needs to be.  It does make some smoke but no flames.  Also a stud remover may be helpful (instead of vice grips) good luck.  john m.
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Re: Body Swap

Post by 77mali on Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:16 pm

dynchel wrote:
thatfnthing wrote:
Hawk03 wrote:Anyone have ideas on how to remove the body bolts from the new body? The heads were cut off so they are just studs. There was a total of 3, I was able to remove one by heating it up and using vice grips. I wasn't so lucky on the next one, I don't know if my hands were tired from constantly tightening the vice grips on the first bolt or if its way too rusted.

My next thought is to go in the trunk and drill a hole to be able to spray some pb blaster or something to see if that helps. If it doesn't then the only other option is to cut the nut off from inside the trunk and deal with it.
Get yourself a MAPP gas torch from HD or Lowes (propane is not hot enough) and heat the bolt.  Then soak it with PB Blaster or WD-40 (I've actually had better luck with WD-40 than PBB), then try the vise grips again.  You may have to do this cycle a bunch of times, but the combo of heat and lubricant will eventually break it loose.
X2...Thats how we have to do all kinds of automotive repairs in the rust belt.  I usually heat it till it's glowing orange (oxy acedelene torch) and spray pb blaster on it (while still orange)  that way its still expanded and the lube gets where it needs to be.  It does make some smoke but no flames.  Also a stud remover may be helpful (instead of vice grips) good luck.  john m.
X3 You'll get A LOT of smoke with the PB Blaster & WD40 too I would assume.  I usually let the bolt get "purple" (seriously) it's after "red hot".  Just be ready to move quick with the vice grips as just 10 seconds might allow for enough cooling to make it tougher to get off.
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Re: Body Swap

Post by driveit on Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:29 am

Just curious, when glowing hot is it not more easy to just twist in two?
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Re: Body Swap

Post by dynchel on Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:37 am

They are threaded in..that would make it more difficult as they would then need to be drilled and tapped.
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Re: Body Swap

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