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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I’m new to the forum. I’ve been reading some of the posts from this and other forums and thought I better join and get started.

I have a 1966 Custom 500 2 door. Wimbledon White with blue interior. 240 6 cylinder with C4 Cruise-O-Matic transmission. Currently it has about 85,000 miles on it.

I will be getting access to a hoist, chain fall, engine hoist, etc. and thought that I could maybe remove the body from the frame. Main reason to do this is the brake lines are beginning to leak due to rust thru. I thought it would be easier to replace the brake lines, fuel lines, and all the suspension bushing and springs while it was apart. I found a local sandblasting company that quoted me $250-300 to sandblast the frame. For additional $300-350; they would 2 part epoxy prime and topcoat it.

I’m concerned that I’ll have major trouble removing the body mount bolts. I’ve located the two radiator core support bolts and the double body mounts bolts at the bottom of the cowl/fire wall and I have started spraying them with PB blaster. Hopefully this will help. But some of the posts suggest that I should be prepared to break or strip at least half the body mount bolts. Does anyone have suggestions to make this step easier! Can I just cut the body bolts with a sawzall and just plan on replacing them all one I get the cut off nubs out of the nuts?

Should I reconsider the frame off step and just remove the front clip so I can detail the engine bay and front end?
 

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I wouldn't even consider removing a body unless I had new hardware and insulators.
 

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Once the body is off get ready to dig deep in those pockets. There is ALWAYS something you didn't know about or expect to spend money on.
But once the body is off it would be to your best interest to fix everything that you can get to.

I just got my 63 Chevy frame blasted and powder coated for $350.00.
That was JUST the frame and nothing else. Nothing else cost me another $550.00 but worth every dollar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would love to replace all the hardware, if you mean, the body mounts and bolts. I haven't yet had it on the hoist yet so I am not certain of the condition of the frame. My intent is to really just stabilize the frame so that I can get some more time out of it.

I am not trying to make a show car or a race car. I just would like soemthing that I could cruise in and not have the O.L. bitch about it!

I know this will be a long process and I have broken it down into segments or chunks. BUT I think I should start with the frame, be it a complete removal or only removal of the front clip and work over the front of the car this season.
 

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It's not that hard to replace the brake lines with the body on, of course it would be easier with the body off. My opinion, and only my opinion, is to just pull the front clip and clean it all up and put it back together and drive it. I have not pulled a body before, but all I read is all the problems you will have getting the body bolts off.

If you do get it off, you should consider whether or not you really want to soak extra money into blasting and coating the frame. If it is in good shape I wouldn't spend the money on that when you will find plenty of other things that will use the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Don.

I will probably only be able to do just the front clip. I'm only able to work on the vehicle a couple days a week and I must have it driveable again by April/May 2013, perhaps sooner depending on the garage space owner.

Until I get up on the hoist to inspect the frame, I'm only speculating on what the plan will be regarding where to start when it comes to saving this car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well its been a couple of months since I started working on the “White Wonder” a.k.a. my 66 Custom 500. The engine and cylinder head are at the machine shop, hopefully getting the full business. It will probably be back in my hands by the end of the month, barring any problems. The number 1 cylinder had a pretty good ridge and the machinist was guardedly optimist about it cleaning up at .040 over bore.
The big challenge at this point is deciding if I can lift the body off the frame. The frame appears to be surprisingly solid. During the removal of the front clip and engine, I only broke two bolts. I feel the condition of the frame and in general, the body, has convinced me to at least to attempt to remove the frame, blast it and paint it.

I have been reading the posts by mike240zt, ford4v429 and RRice is truly inspirational! I hope you were able to finish what your brother had started!
My first issue is regarding the front 4 body/frame mounts. Mike240zt cut the torque boxes open to access the frame mounted. Ford4v429 cut these bolts with a sawzall right? What did you use for new fasteners here when you went back together? Did you go with new body mounts (rubbers pieces) from Autokrafters or someone else or make your own? I’m not sure I’m mentally prepared to cut open the frame to get to the underside of the bolts, but maybe there is no other option!
Next is my question about how many mounts there are? There are the 4 up frontat the bottom of the cowl. Then there appears to be the ones inside the trunk area (two either side up by the spare tire mount). Then the ones more toward the back of the trunk, (an additional 4, two down each side) inside of the trunk. Are there others?
There looks like there is one just forward of the rear axle, right where the park brake cable/forward end of the trailing arm mount are. I can see what looks like a squashed rubber mount in there. Am I mistaken about this mount?
19galaxie68XL; your photo of the rear torque boxes looks like there is a hole for the mount, but is there really on there?

I’ll have many more questions to ask, soon, but right now just trying to separate the body and frame!
 

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I'll look for more info, but think theres only 6 front, 6 rear...theres three more on each side that are just 'cushions'.

rear are on each side- at extreme rear, by taillights, then before rise in the trunk- outboard toward the dropoffs, then one over the axle.

the fronts are on each side, one at the core support, then 2 on the cowl base- those are the buggers to get off. mine were rusted like a hourglass, coulda probably broke off by bending, but after cutting, knuckle busting, found the bottoms of the cowl mount holes were rotted same diameter as the rubber- here I coulda just lifted them off...but you saw the pics of how rusty it was... the sawzall worked, but it really sucked- broke a few blades, some smoke/fire from friction...


'justclips.com' (i think) has the 'j-nuts, u-nuts' that clip into the frame, that would be easiest way to replace... I cheated with low grade carriage bolts- filed the holes square, fished bolts up from the bottom, pressed a 'pushnut' over to hold them in, had to very gently lower the body down as not to push them out. carriage bolts are 'junk' strengthwise, but like I said the mounts were gone and the bolts were rusted to 1/8~3/16 remaining anyway- certainly (4) full 7/16 low grade bolts would hold better than what it had before(almost nothing)

back in 03 I couldnt find any mounting hardware, now they sell the rubber only- good luck salvaging the steel washer/bushing/post thingys that go in the rubber- most of mine were badly rusted, hopefully yours are in decent shape, just buy the rubbers from Macs or autocrafters.

what I had to do was get a energy suspension body mount kit for a chevelle, put the urethane donuts in the freezer, turned them as needed to match the old rubber- but I POR15'd the frame and the urethane squeaks like a old door on the slick paint, car really creaks on driveway approaches, etc... tried indicating the frame/body, only get a few thou movement when jacking a corner, but it creaks... If I ever get ambitious, might jack one side at a time enough to shoot some seam sealer or something between the paint/urethane to quiet it down... the creaky ones seem to be the 3 on each side that arent bolted thru- they are only attached on one side for whatever reason, just the old rubber was dead soft compared to the hard urethane. If I ever got REAL ambitious, would put rubber back in, but that would require finding or fabbing the washer/bushing/post things...

good luck tearing into it- just dont get too worried if you find more than expected to deal with...it could always be worse :)
 

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Garage space is pretty important for a project like that. If you can repeatedly squirt the threads and let them soak you might get lucky and not have to cut.
The factory shop manual shows the bolt locations.
4 at the cowl. 8 more farther back.
 

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here is the service manual page for the standard cars...verts/wagons bolt at the pads and elsewhere different than the regular cars...
front bolts at -40, cowl at 0, above rear wheels at 110, by taillights at 150, all the rest are pads on standard car, the pads just kinda plug into the frame holes and the body sitting on them holds them in
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The 7/16" bolts you used are probably OK. It might have been a nice idea to use stainless steel bolts so that the wont rust thru as quickly (46 years is quick?)! I'm not sure stainless 7/16" bolts in the necessary lengths are readily available, but I may need to hunt them down!

I have the 1966 Ford manual for reference; maybe I'm misinterpretting it!

The "F" mount was a snap at the rad core support!

Mounts at position #1 are easily accessible at the bottom of the cowl. I have tried removing the nuts, but the bolts just spin. These are the ones I'm concerned about! I have probably broken the nuts loose from whatever mechanism was there to hold them in place. I can use the gorilla method that you used with the sawzall; just wasn't sure how you replaced the fasteners! The coss-section B-B in my book kind of hints that the nuts in the frame are a "J-Nut" type fastener. I don't see how you were able to get a carriage bolt to work. How did you "feed" it in from the bottom? The frame "torque box" appear to be fully enclosed on my frame since it isn't all rusted. I'd like to avoid cutting a hole in the torque boxes like mike240zt did!

Is the body mount at #3 just a cushion?

Mounts at #4, #5 and #6 appear easily accessilble although I have not yet tried to loosen them. Depending on the condition of the fasteners here, I could see using standard nts and bolts since the oe retainers probably won't survive the disassembly.

LARSOFVT: garage space is sometimes a issue for me, although yard/lot space is not. I am doing this work at a palce called "techshop" look them up at techshop.com. I'm using the Allen Park/Detroit facilities. I have use to most any tools I need. As far as you mount count I see 4 in the front, but not 8 further back; just the #4, #5 and #6 mounts at the axle riser and further back into the trunk UNLESS you are referencing the mysterious #3.

Mike240zt; since you cut open the torque boxes were your able to save the fasteners? If your fasteners were all rusted; what did you use to reinstall? Did you also reuse the mount rubbers or did you use one of the mount kits available?

Sorry for beating this topic to death!!
 

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just thinking aloud here...'what-if'you just took a holesaw and drilled up under the mounts- I wouldnt *think* a couple holes in the bottom would weaken it too much, but then again, when done, the gap/centerhole would make migging the cutouts back in pretty easy, just gotta figre how to get some paint up in there after...

hate to say it, but I think most torque boxes if driled into are going to be a little ugly inside. the junkyard donor that gave me a beautiful set of control arms out in colorado looked super clean under(wrecked rear-frame bent into trunk), but I tapped on the frame and poked a screwdriver thru by hand... if youve got a rustfree frame, youre a lucky guy :)

if renting space, be careful...I had a 3 car garage with a 8' workshop on the side, still had doors in brother in laws garage, interior/hood/trunk at brothers place, was still crowded...theres a ton of parts to remove(literally) that are so easily scratched/dented that moving/storing them out of the way takes a lot of room... with all the dirty work, grinding, painting, interior and stuff needs protected, all that sheetmetal is easily skinned up...lots of old blankets to cover/cushion everything, the room was probably one of the biggest difficulties I had...with my little kids, couldnt leave stuff out(like a chassis), so I rolled it out daily to work on it, put the body on, rolled it in every night so if the kids were out in the yard they woudnt get hurt climbing on stuff...If I had the frame beside the car, would not have had enough room to work very easily.
 

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Good morning everyone. As my brother was the one who removed the frame from our 68 here and has the memory of a siv, I've had to piece together what was there for mounts with what pieces I could find and the help of ford4v429's frame charts. There is 2 mounts each side on the front torque boxes. Looks like the studs just wound out of the j-clips/nuts as all 4 clips were still there when i got to it and in reasonable condition. It appears the the next mounts back are at the rear torque boxes but to the outside on the actual frame rail. For these I can only guess that there were j-clips/nuts with a bolt comming down from each side under the rear seat. Next mount back is at the top of the wheel arches beside the shock mounts or the upper deck in the trunk. And from there mounts at the far rear of the trunk. Push in mounts that aren't bolted but more like pads between. For the rear 4 mounts it looks like it had bolts through the trunk floor and threaded into the rubber mount hardware. There is evidence of both a grinder and sawz-all being used. I have a mounting kit from autokrafters here but haven't opened it yet. For the most part the plan is to replicate what was there the best I can. J-clip/nuts are easy enough to make as i had to make a couple for re-assembling the front suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For the frame/body mounts at the cowl panel, I was thinking of a cage nut similar to this that might be used. This would fit inside the frame, the I could maybe drop a bolt down from above with the body mount rubbers and washers appropriately stacked. The bolt threads into the cage nut and viola!





The largest I found so far is 1/2 diameter at McMaster and Fastenal sites.

The concept of a well nut is what I am also considering, but the kind available probably do not have the strength to use as a body mount fastener.





Cutting open the frame is looking more like the course I will need to follow. I could imagine using a long bolt inserted from below, held in place with a speed nut or even a rubber washer. This would keep the bolt in an upright orientation so the body could be dropped down back over them.

Cutting open the frame would also allow me to see what is hold the existing body mount bolt/stud in place. This also allows me to use some type of tool to hold the spinning bolt/stud so I could maybe remove the mount rubbers and sleeves without total carnage!

The techshop offers a class on mig welding. I have to take their class so I can use their equipment, at their location. I think they have a plasma cutter that I could use to cut the torque box open. The piece I cut out could maybe be the same piece I weld back in to close the torque box back up!

What is the consensus (if any). Cut open the bottom or cut thru the front?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Mike240zt,
I think you hit on viable option; making my own J-nuts or flag-nuts. After learning how to mig, maybe I'll be able to make my own. Custom made J-nuts and "Ready Rod" for the stud. I could make the stud any length I want/need!

The mid frame mounts, the one located forward of the rear axle in the rear torque boxes; I think I will have to remove the rear seat body trim panels to find them. If these don't come loose easily, it could be back to cutting open the torque box. Attacking from the bottom here appears to be the easier direction. Again I think I could use the plasma cutter and then reweld the cut out section when I'm finished.

Maybe if I plan and cut the holes the right size, I could use a plastic/rubber body plugs to reseal the boxes. This would give the next restorer easier access! NEXT restorer! Sounds pretty optimistic!!
 

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you can save cutting into the frame till later. You should be able to cut the front mount studs. If the bolts at the rear torque boxes don't come out you could just drill the heads off the bolts. (under rear seat under rubber plug) And same for the rear bolts in trunk. Might possibly have access to just cut these between body and frame. At least this will get the body off without cutting into the frame. Once the body is off then you can decide whether or not to cut into the frame. For the mounts at the rear torque boxes I haven't decided if i'll drill up from underneath or drill 2 holes up top for home-made j-clips. I used 3/16 2x4 rails so not worried about strength there no matter what i do. Will probably do the j-clip trick.
 

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the front torquebox clip nuts look kinda like these:
1965 66 Ford Front Bumper Outer Arm to Frame Cage Nut Assembly Size 1 2 13x2 7 8 | eBay

I'm pretty sure the rear torque box mounts are just pads...just 4 bolts in the trunk, 6 under the hood- but cutting those 4 front torque box bolts off is not easy- they are in a sheetmetal box at the base of the cowl, really awkward to get at even with the front clip off...removing the engine would help for sure. I used a sawzall with a blade like 8" long, cutting (from outboard side) thru crushed rubber and rusty steel turned the blades smoking hot in seconds, lots of smoke/fire/broken blades...sawing wedges out of the rubber helped, as did soapy water, but dont want to get shocked either...no fun at all for sure.
 
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