BODY EXPERTS: Correcting New Rear Frame Rails Welded in Incorrectly

Discussion in 'Body Restoration' started by 80WA7113, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. 80WA7113

    80WA7113 Veteran Member

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    I am considering buying a 1968 RS convertible that has had extensive bodywork already completed. The work completed consists of a new full floor pan, rear 1/4's, rear wheel housings-both inner and outer, inner and outer tail panel, new doors, new front fenders. (All parts are Dynacorn). The body panels and doors on the car line up beautifully. Now here is the fun part: The current owner can not bolt the rear (with springs attached) back onto the car. He can attach the springs in the front just fine, but he can not attach the springs on either side to the rear frame rails...both are off enough to keep from being able to bolt the shackes into place.

    He did not discover this fiasco until he got the body home. The body shop he paid to do the work has ignored all of his attempts at establishing communication. In the meantime, he put the body back on the trailer and took it to another shop where the shop did an inspection. The body shop looked that the bodywork itself and commented that it appeared that had been done correctly, with the exception of the rear frame rails. They said that to correct the problem, the crooked frame rails would have to be removed, and new ones installed correctly.

    I have not replaced rear frame rails before and I am not afraid of tackling this job, but I am concerned about being able to obtain the proper "starting" points from which to begin measuring for correct placement of the frame rails. Since the car had new a new full pan installed, can I use the front spring mounting points as a starting point, cross measuring from side to side to get started? I know I would then have to cross measure to the front subframe mounting points to ensure I'm true front to rear to avoid running dog-legged down the road.

    I would really like to hear from those who have done this before to give me some guidance and share thoughts base on the info above.

    Thanks in advance.

    Dave
     
  2. jbloake

    jbloake Veteran Member

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    No expert here !
    Sounds like you need to find the center line . I would suggest level the car . Measure of front & rear pinch welds to find center,and transfer a line to the shop floor ! Then measure how far they are off & what direction. Offset shackles maybe enough. Or maybe use a 4 link style suspension that don’t use leaf springs
     
  3. 80WA7113

    80WA7113 Veteran Member

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    Looks like all the true "experts" have left the building.
     
  4. bodymanbill

    bodymanbill Veteran Member

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    It’s a really difficult question to answer without getting under the car and putting my eyes on it and taking some measurements. I’ve never put a full floor pan in a 1st gen but doesn’t the shape of the floor kinda dictate where the rails sit up by the spring mounts ( thinking they follow the shape of the floor) so they would be hard to get way out of alignment. Thinking myself the floor is in wrong. Either way it’s going to be a difficult fix. Have u tried to put the springs in without the axle then feed the axle in and measure the wheelbaseand see what u have.
     
  5. bodymanbill

    bodymanbill Veteran Member

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    Without knowing what’s original and what has been changed I think I would drop a plumbob straight down from the fender mounts on the firewall (should be original) than measuring back from there. U need a starting point that u know hasn’t been altered.
     
  6. ronzz572

    ronzz572 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I have a friend that builds 1st gen camaro and firebirds from the ground up. He uses a jig he made. I'm sure if he puts it on the jig he could get it right. If interested PM me your phone number? He is a little west of Cleveland Ohio near Norwalk ohio, Actually right down the street from summit raceway park.
     

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