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Discussion Starter #1
It has been a while since I have made any progress on my 85 El Camino I had acquired at age 14. Me and a couple buddies have decided it might be worth taking the body off the frame to fix things such as floor pans, bed floor and go ahead and slap some rust bullet (if you recommend a different brand or have any tips on coating the frame I'm all ears.) the frame real good since the rust belt can be pretty brutal. I'm just looking for some info on what I'm getting into seeing as how I've never taken a car off it's frame before and common problems I might be getting into the the 5th gen El Caminos. Anything from body mount locations to what all I have to make sure is disconnected to what all I may expect taking the body off or even putting it back on. All help and opinions are appreciated. Note all interior is already out and I have been told to PB blast all body mounts more than once. Thanks everyone :You_Rock:
 

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If you have the means and the tools and help from friends I say go for it. I'm doing my 80' frame off by myself. Well, I did have a little help from my 18 year old son when heavy lifting was involved. He's just not interested in cars all that much.

I started mine with no knowledge of taking a body off the frame. I did not know what I was going to find when I got it off the frame or how to do the repairs required when I got it off the frame. What I can tell you is if you have mechanical ability and tools, you can do it.

Here is my build thread if you haven't seen it. You will most likely encounter many of the same issues and can see my take on fixing them.
http://www.elcaminocentral.com/showthread.php?t=202449

There can be a lot of difference in rust damage in various regions and it depends on how much the car was driven. I just brought an 87' home yesterday that looks very good on the underside, front clip is clean, body mounts appear okay, and the frame is not as bad as my 80'. The car lived in Indiana until 2002 when it moved to southern PA. Not sure how much it was driven in last 15 years but it has 150k total miles on it.

Good luck and make your build thread!
 

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One piece of advice I can offer, is on the body mounting bolts. The best way to get them out is with an air impact wrench, set at a low torque & rattle the bolts good, then increasing a bit at a time, on the torque on the bolt. If you use a breaker bar, it's highly likely that you will snap a bolt off. Patience in taking them out can save a lot of work you don't want or need, from a snapped off bolt !! Getting at the caged plate nuts in the body can be a lot of work if you have to remove /replace them...
 

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I just took the body off my 79 by myself. A little mechanical ability and it's easy to do. Biggest thing I had to deal with was where to store the body and frame while I am working one of them. The body I put on an old trailer I have around so that I can move it around until I get the frame done.
 

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I just took the body off my 79 by myself. A little mechanical ability and it's easy to do. Biggest thing I had to deal with was where to store the body and frame while I am working one of them. The body I put on an old trailer I have around so that I can move it around until I get the frame done.
I've had this problem as well. My garage is 30'x48'. 16' of that was lost when I build my wood shop. So my usable car space is down to 30'x32'. Subtract 8' for boat storage over winter, another 4' on both sides for work benches, and you're left with very little walk around room. Fortunately, my ceiling are not completely covered yet. So I managed to store a lot of the front end parts in the rafters. I also build high shelving for other parts that are boxed up from interior. Engine block is on stand that moves around. Trans and suspension are under shelves. Glass and hood in attic. Frame is leaning up on side against bench. Body on rotisserie. A disassembled car takes up a lot of space. If organized it can be managed though.

I just brought a parts car home. I'm not going to touch that until temps rise a bit. It was 10 here this morning. My wood shop is heated but not the car shop. Not much El Camino work being done now. C'mon spring!
 

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I pulled my 84's body off the frame in my 2 car garage. the body mount bolts where really rusted but came out ok with time and patience ( I snapped 1 off and had to drill it out). And then replaced the mounts with the Energy Suspension kit ones. I Used concrete blocks and 3-4 x 4's @ about 9' in length spaced behind the front fender wells, center under the door and in front of the rear fender wells using a 3 ton jack for lifting the 4 x 4's (about 6 inches at a time). There's a little more details involved but it can be done...I did this all by myself. My frame had only surface rust in some places and it still had that thin coat of rust prevention goo on it. Mine was very easy to get it down to the metal and then I shot it with 2 part epoxy gray primer from NAPA. If you would like some pics of the process I can post them. I think mine was easy, but then again I had no engine/tranny, no fuel tank, no interior. some of the things to remember to disconnect is fuel lines, E-brake cable, wiring harness @ drivers side rear on the frame @ the fender well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wanna thank you all for your input. I believe I will be starting my venture next week. As of today until then I will be spraying PB blaster on all the bolts to help make it a little easier.
 

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Don't forget the brace below the driveshaft!

Ask me how I know!:cussing:
 
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