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Newbie to the forum, and I guess I'm now the proud grandpa of an '85 ElCamino. It is a solid car/truck, but my son has some grand plans for her. We have done a few pretty deep on frame as well as engine projects on other vehicles, but this is our first ElCamino! We have the engine/trany pulled and the front all all ready off and have decided we just as well go the whole way now and separate the body from the frame to give her all a good going over! Any advice from those that have gone here before would be appreciated! How much support is needed when lifting her off!

Also he plans to replace the tired 305 with a rebuilt 305 TPI out of a '87 TransAM. We know the harness and computer is all different as well as needing a new fuel pump. Has anyone out there done this one before??

Thanks
 

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I didn't have a body lift when I removed the body from the from on my 80. I did have an overhead crain in the shop. So once we were ready we used a 2" pipe through the cab, doors were off, put the hook through the SunRoof hole and lifted her up that way. No added support. 8O It worked fine. We set it on a home-made roll around stand where the bulk of the body work was accomplished.

I used that same pipe (about 7' long) to lift it again onto its side and hang there while I cleaned the bottom and did the work on the underside and finally painted it while it was hanging in the air sidways :cool: . I did use a "come-a-long" to help balance the body while it was on its side.


Necessity is the mother of invention. Nay sayers may laugh at my technique but the end results is what counts. I'd do it again it was so easy.
 

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i gotta take the bodies off my elkys soon so i'll have to remember that! my uncle has a truck with a crane so i can probably pull it off. maybe i can cut a hole in the roof and install a sunroof afterwards!
 

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My 80 came to me with a Sun Roof. Had it not been there I am sure we'd have figured out something else. You could jack it up and put the corners on stands, push the frame out from under it. Use a Shop Lift (2 Post) that is what Goodmark did on the Goodmark Chevelle. They had a picture of them doing that in Super Chevy several months ago. GM uses a body crain. I saw a person recently that used 2 engine hoists (cherry pickers).

Hey what ever works! :D

Check out this it came from the G3 Forum at CT http://www.chevytalk.org/threads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB53&Number=472736&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1 it is a good illustration and a really nice job I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the posts, my biggest concern was about how heavy this body with bed would be? And if we would be doing any damage if it was only supported in like 4 places for a while. Sure don't want to screw anything up! Last night we removed all the A/C stuff from the firewall and most of the dash (the dash is going to get a good over-haul and fresh color). We have been very happy to find basically no rust to date in the body and fenders! Very minor spots on the floor board, which we should be able to take care of now without much trouble.

They sure put a lot of seem sealer and undercoating stuff all over the firewall on these! No wonder there wasn't much color on the firewall. I guess from what I've been reading the '85 on where assembled in Mexico? We haven't found a build sheet yet, unless that was what the mice had built their nest out of in the dash!!! We still haven't taken off the door card on the passenger side or seen the top of the fuel tank, we still hope to find one somewhere. So far this seems to be a good solid car, and we are having a good time taking her all apart. Our last project was for my other son, '77 Thunderbird (Boat) it was his first car and we spent 6 months giving it a good going over. Just two weeks after getting it on the road (and his 17th b-day) another guy ran a light and t-boned the t-bird!! We should know more today how that will shake out. Looks like my garage will have two inside torn apart at once! Hope we can keep those Chevy and Ford parts apart!!
 

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I find it a good practice to separate the parts into buckets. I mark the cans as to the assembly portion it came from that way going back together I don't have to guess or hunt or just go buy more stuff. The first one was a bear. Didn't do that and man I didn't know what went where. Something's got lost completely. :x

That, I have read, is where a lot of people get frustrated with Body Off restos. They get them all apart and then it looks like a real daunting challenge looking at all the different parts and assemblies and not remembering exactly where they all go. And lots of people just give up and sell them at the swap meets with all the parts in one big pile or box, etc... :cry:

Once you've done it it is not really a big deal to do another. :) To me the hardest part is getting off the old finish, undercoating and other garbage that comes from the factory. My 5th gen was made about 20 miles from my house in (Arlington) Texas. My 76 was manufactured in CA I think. I'd have to look again at the build sheet. I have no idea where, yet, the 72 Elky was built. I will probably start on it this winter possibly at the latest in the spring of next year. It all depends on when I get the 80 finished.

Hey good luck and have fun.
 
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When I took my 75's off the frame I made up some cables that used "O" hooks that went in the hood hinge, and tailgate boltholes. I lifted the body off with everything still in place including the complete interior.
After I had the car sitting on jack stands and sawhorses I striped everything out of it. If you feel more comfortable take everything out first. But I didn't have any problems with the weight the way I did it. Hope this helps.

Regards Garry

Here's a pic of it after I gutted it out...you can see the cables I made up.


 
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