Originally published June 6, 2007 on our old website.
Where did this body come from? This project started out as a roadster! My Dad & Mom have been running around in a ’40 Ford Tudor since the mid-’80’s, when they had my brother and me to take with them. Now my brother lives in Knoxville, 14 hours from them. I’m married and Sarah and I have two daughters. We live a quarter mile from their business, where they keep the ’40. My Dad figured it made more sense to build a coupe (instead of a roadster) for him and Mom, and then Sarah & I can drive the ’40. What a guy!!
Remember the ’70s? Since the body comes with only the front and rear holes drilled (nice, because often the body and frame holes don’t line up anyway). Here we’re just getting an idea of approximately where the body mount holes are.
Body: B323, Bear Fiberglass
Center section: 13200, Horton
That’s better. Now we will raise the body up, and put tape under the floor along the inside of the rails. This will tell us the location of the rails relative to the body. Notice the Welder Series hiboy front 4-bar kit, which brings the bars all the way back to the cowl line. It’s a little detail, but it makes a huge visual difference.
Here we have the inside of the frame rails marked on the bottom of the body. We will lift the body up and put a few lines of tape outside of this line, so that we’ll be able to mark the holes with a pen.
While the body is up, we marked the inside of the frame rails with the location of the holes. Put a straight edge along the centerline, and use that to both measure the center-to-center dimension, and mark the location on the tape.
An action shot of marking the hole center on the inside of the frame. Also at this time, measure from the inside of the rail to the center of the hole. Mark this on the tape. It doesn’t matter how far apart the holes are side-to-side- we established that dimension by putting tape on the bottom of the body along the rails.
We put the body back on the frame, and clamped it in place so that it didn’t move.
We marked a line along the bottom of the body where the inside of the rail is, and marked the location of the hole. Now we can take the body off again and measure out the same distance as the center of the hole. Remember to mark this number on the bottom of the body to make it easier.
We put a chalkline from mark-to-mark. Now we will measure out 1-3/8″ (for this hole) which SHOULD be the center of the hole.
Another action shot! We are drilling pilot holes from the bottom, then we’ll drill the full-size holes from above.
With the body clamped in place once again, we can drill through the pilot holes. We will go all the way through the body, and try to mark the frame (hopefully right in the center of the hole!) with the drill bit. “Officer, I couldn’t have been doing 95! My gauge never moved!” Pay no attention to the paper instruments- something else is planned…
I think the Stones said it best: “You can’t always get what you want”. So we’re a little off. It could have been that we didn’t drill through the body at a perfect perpendicular. We’ll hang the excuse sheet on the window. The rainbow behind the clouds is the 3/8″ plates we welded behind the holes before we boxed the rails. That way, it doesn’t really matter if the hole in the body isn’t directly above the hole in the frame- I outlined about where the plate is.
Some filing had to be done after all the body holes were drilled, so the bolts would go in smoothly.