remove body from frame
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  • 1 Post By Aron9000
RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, remove body from frame in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hi, I am more and more contemplating the idea of removing the body from my 1987 Brougham so I could ...
  1. #1
    shrike77 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    remove body from frame

    Hi,
    I am more and more contemplating the idea of removing the body from my 1987 Brougham so I could stiffen up the frame. I have a garage but not much space and no lift.
    My question is can you lift the body with the interior and doors( I prefere with the doors on so the body won`t buckle?
    Otherwise I was planning to remove the seats but still would like to keep the doors. Of course I will remove front fenders and front clip.
    What would be the best points to lift it? I am trying to see how big of the job it is and if I really want to do it
    Thanks

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  3. #2
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: remove body from frame

    I have seen it done with two engine hoists. One one the firewall, and one in the trunk. Engine out, front end sheetmetal off. It will be real heavy with the interior/doors/glass in.

    What exactly do you plan to stiffen? The frame is pretty stiff already.

  4. #3
    Jeff R's Avatar
    Jeff R is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: remove body from frame

    I am certainly not an expert but I would be concerned about the body flexing and breaking the fixed glass. I would think it would at least break the seal on the glass and it would leak.

  5. #4
    brougham is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: remove body from frame

    The body should be strong enough to lift it off the frame without the glass popping. You could probably make up some sort of brace to bolt on where the doors go if you are really worried. What are you doing to the car that you need to reinforce the frame? It should be plenty strong the way it is, but people add reinforcements all the time when they are needed without removing the body. Just usually not on Cadillacs.

  6. #5
    1980coupe's Avatar
    1980coupe is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: remove body from frame

    I have seen an 80s 2 door lincoln body, with the whole front clip still on, lifted off of the frame. Maybe you can lift yours in the same manner as the one I saw.
    But, you can remove the entire front clip. Now, you don't have to remove engine. Remove rear bumber assembly with outer ends and use an engine joist to raise up from trunk area. Raise up high enough and block it thru with an 8 foot 4x4. It'll be time consuming, but you can then raise front underside with jack and a 4x4 piece of wood to seperate, then with that part raised each side under the front doors you'll put 2 4x4 on either side and you can slide thru an 8 foot 4x4 across. Then jack up one side, then the other side and back to other side etc till it is high enough to clear frame out. You can use wheel platform dollies on each wheel to help roll out or let air out of tires just enough to clear, if having issues.
    Post up pictures once you decide which route you go. I want to do this to mine but to swap frames.

  7. #6
    shrike77 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: remove body from frame

    Thanks for your input guys.
    I was thinking of removing the body so I could weld in the middle where there is an open channel and also at the rear and at the front. Make some kind of a brace. The reason why I'd like to do this is because I read on the Impala SS forums about the cracking of some frames. I know it was on cars that were seeing the track and I think they were a little bit rusted too. The other reason is that if I plan on using much stiffer springs and shocks I am afraid it would amplify the flex of the chassis. And as I said in my other post about springs it is also the roads which seem to get worse every year. I am afraid this will take its toll on the frame.
    Of course I am not planning on using it at the track or even towing but I`d like to have some fun when turning.
    But if you say the frame is stiff enough to take some beating I won`t do it. I also don`t have any rust problems, frame is clean and I don`t even drive it in the rain.

    I didn`t even think about the glass possibly breaking without some bracing in the door openings. I was hoping I would only have to remove the interior and not even the doors.
    I know it can be reinforced a certain points without removing the body. I`ll think more about it.
    Oh yes, I forgot. I was thinking it would be a good idea to powder coat it so it won`t rust. But I think I`ll just add touch ups with the undercoating when needed.

    Thanks!

  8. #7
    csbuckn is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: remove body from frame

    I dont think you will have any problem lifting the body with full interior, that what I did. Nothing happened and its actually pretty light but I will say that I used a lift under the pinch weld. Not sure about how it would turn out with using the firewall/trunk lifting points. I think if you weld in a piece to make it a c-channel frame you will be okay. Probably wont need to take off the body for that.



  9. #8
    shrike77 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: remove body from frame

    I wish I had both a lift and a Coupe. As you say I am also pretty sure that if I wanted to only weld the open portion in the middle of the frame, I won't need to remove the body. I'll think about it!
    Thanks

  10. #9
    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: remove body from frame

    I wish I had a lift, too! I would love to pull the body off my 87 and clean up the frame and seal it real good. Living up here in Maine (and the car coming from even further up north in Canada) the frame has a lot of scale on it. Those pics are great.

  11. #10
    Aron9000's Avatar
    Aron9000 is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: remove body from frame

    Unless you are going to be turning the car into a hard core drag car(ie under 10 second et's, tubbed, roll cage, etc) the frame will be fine for whatever you want to throw at it.

    I thought maybe you had a rusty frame, but if its clean, leave it alone.
    csbuckn likes this.

  12. #11
    mg-3's Avatar
    mg-3 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Yea, I have a seriously rusty frame on my Canadian 86' Fleetwood Brougham and thinking of taking the frame et all off and giving her a nice rub down and clean on the belly.

    Maybe an acid bath but I've heard if the body isn't properly coated after the bath, its more susceptible to rust. Plus, hoisting a car and rolling the frame from underneath just sounds like a one in a life time thing for a non mechanic but hobby type guy.

    When pieces need to be welded on to cover holes large enough for a hand to cover the back seats under the wheel well, yea...it's bad!

  13. #12
    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: remove body from frame

    Yeah, I just had to patch the back floors on my 95...but I didn't do a very good job because it's all rusting out. Just want it to pass one more year inspection. I just pop-rivetted in some sheet metal and then fiberglassed that in and called it good...it's solid enough for now.

    After this winter I want to start tearing it apart and rebuild the LT1, then swap it into my 87

  14. #13
    shrike77 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: remove body from frame

    Quote Originally Posted by 1980coupe View Post
    You can use wheel platform dollies on each wheel to help roll out or let air out of tires just enough to clear, if having issues.
    Post up pictures once you decide which route you go. I want to do this to mine but to swap frames.
    I like the idea f lettimg air out of the tires to gain a bit of clearance. If I do it I will post pics but from what is being said I think I will leave it like that. If I do anything maybe it would just be welding whatever places are accessible without removing the frame.
    But there is a bigger chance that I only do suspension mods and a front end rebuild and leave it like that. It took me 2.5 years to finish my engine swap so I don't want to have it parked for another 2 years.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Aron9000 View Post
    Unless you are going to be turning the car into a hard core drag car(ie under 10 second et's, tubbed, roll cage, etc) the frame will be fine for whatever you want to throw at it.

    I thought maybe you had a rusty frame, but if its clean, leave it alone.
    That's what I am thinking. I will start with suspension upgrades and see how it behaves.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mg-3 View Post
    Plus, hoisting a car and rolling the frame from underneath just sounds like a one in a life time thing for a non mechanic but hobby type guy.
    Exactly my thoughts. I was thinking of doing it this year, before family plans change too much. I am also thinking that I would only do that once in my lifetime unless I win the lottery and buy a garage with a lift

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by outsider View Post
    Yeah, I just had to patch the back floors on my 95...but I didn't do a very good job because it's all rusting out.
    I hate rust...I wish my car was made of gold just for that

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