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79 Frame off question




I'm in the process of pulling the body off on my 79 and I have a few concerns about the right way to do it.

Can I use a body lift harnesss that connects under the doors without having a problem with the front clip breaking. I heard not to use the harness due to it will probally damage something.

If anybody has any suggestions on the proper technic I would really appreciate the info.




Well-known member
Jul 3, 2001
Auburndale, Florida
1969 Killer Shark

I suggest getting a handful of fellows over to hand lift it. If you use a strap, you can't really get under the doors as the frame actually goes up into the rocker section and there is no clear way to just thread a strap across the bottom of the car.

The front clip will be aweful weak without the support of the frame under it. I would suggest you remove anything you can from it to keep it from being stressed and cracking where it bonds to the firewall/cowl area. This means yank the headlights (they are heavy) and any relays, canisters, resevoirs, etc. from the inner fenders.

I have seen them lifted using a creative set of support beams (2x4's) through the roof structure around the T-top area, and then hoisted from there. If you have any rust in the structure however, this will just pull the car to pieces.

I also suggest you build a dolly before pulling the frame. It is easy to make out of wood.

I would have to measure the one I built as I did not write down the specs, but it is a friends house as we speak holding his body up.

Basically make a square box frame from 2x4 the width of the car and as long as the wheel base of the car. Then, get a pair of 2x6" boards about 8' long. Run them the length of the car on top of the box frame the same as the side frame rails of the car. The on top of those, run a short pair of 2x4s on each side about 4' long to simulate the frame sitting in the door rocker channel.

In the front you can built a brace to support the nose, and in the rear a brace coming off the lower back of the box section to support the rear clip with a T support going up under the rear cargo area.

Now, get some high quality rollers from the hardware store and put those on the four corners of the box frame. Total investment will be under $100 and it will take you about an hour to build it with some good saws and deck screws.

Transfer the body straight to the dolly, now you can roll the dolly around and the body won't be in your way.

Good luck! I can tell you from experience, when that body comes off, there is no turning back until you do it all!


CraigRudd: I've been working on my body off resto for quite some time now. I used man power on the lift, 11 guys. I'm just building a lift sytem with rails which I'm going to use put the body back on.

When I lifted the body I had all the bumbers, support brackets, honeycomb, spoilers, gas tank, engine and tranny removed before the lift, thisway you don't need to lift the body that high and of course is not that heavy. But now I'm putting the body back on with bumbers, gas tank, engine and tranny in place and I need to be very careful not to mess up with all the new finished stuff.

Here should be a link to my temporary project album:

Big Fish

Craig, vette products of Michigan has a adjustable body strap for $59.00 that will pick the body using specially designed hooks in the rocker panels. I did something similar when I pulled mine. There are also 4 holes through the frame where you can place pins to hold the body up a bit to assist in alignment, etc. vetteproducts@voyager.net Hope this helps


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