Putting the body back on the subframes…?

General Chat with an emphasis on BMC Minis & Other iconic cars of the 1960's. Includes information on MK1 Action days.
gs.davies
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Putting the body back on the subframes…?

Post by gs.davies »

I’m now very close to being able to mount the body back into the subframes.

The engine is installed in the front subframe, complete with radiator but I am wondering if there are any tips and tricks to getting the body back on.

Which end should I start? Rear on first? Front on first?

What methods have others employed to get the front down over the engine? On its wheels? On a pallet lower down?

Any advice, as ever, gratefully received.

Gary
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Peter Laidler
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Re: Putting the body back on the subframes…?

Post by Peter Laidler »

I did it but didn't fit the wheels to the rear sub frame. This was so that I could rotate the body, (rear end on a rubber tyre) down and over the engine and sub frame in an arc. That way the body cleared everything on its way down and onto the front sub frame that had a set of knackered slave wheels fitted to make it sort-of manageable
Polarsilver
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Re: Putting the body back on the subframes…?

Post by Polarsilver »

My next Solo job is to carry out this task on the Pickup .. years ago i made my engine mover using 3/4 inch shuttering board fitted with 4 caster wheels so i can sit the Engine & Box on top = easy task to move the Engine & Gearbox about in the garage.. I raise up on blocks the body shell just high enough that the Engine & F/Subfame already fully built up with Radiator etc .. so it will pass under the front valence into its position within engine bay & then lower the body down ( in my case body shell is also supported by a chain block so i can have fine control also keep the body shell supported by wood blocks.. then with the Tolley Jack positioned under the shuttering board .. i will then lift the Subframe +Engine & Gearbox upward into its final position & secure the subframe to the body... not to forget to guide in the brake pipes ..then fit steering arms + the road wheels & drop the front end onto its Tyres.
My experiences are the fully built up Rear Subframe is very heavy & a sod of a job if you are working Solo .. my solution is fit the bare rear subframe & then build the Radius arms etc on afterwards.
each to their own ;)
Just a thought when installing the early type f/subframe i fit over long guide studs into the subframe towers this helps alignment as the subframe gets lifted.
gs.davies
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Re: Putting the body back on the subframes…?

Post by gs.davies »

Polarsilver wrote: Fri Jan 20, 2023 10:03 pm My next Solo job is to carry out this task on the Pickup .. years ago i made my engine mover using 3/4 inch shuttering board fitted with 4 caster wheels so i can sit the Engine & Box on top = easy task to move the Engine & Gearbox about in the garage.. I raise up on blocks the body shell just high enough that the Engine & F/Subfame already fully built up with Radiator etc .. so it will pass under the front valence into its position within engine bay & then lower the body down ( in my case body shell is also supported by a chain block so i can have fine control also keep the body shell supported by wood blocks.. then with the Tolley Jack positioned under the shuttering board .. i will then lift the Subframe +Engine & Gearbox upward into its final position & secure the subframe to the body... not to forget to guide in the brake pipes ..then fit steering arms + the road wheels & drop the front end onto its Tyres.
My experiences are the fully built up Rear Subframe is very heavy & a sod of a job if you are working Solo .. my solution is fit the bare rear subframe & then build the Radius arms etc on afterwards.
each to their own ;)
Just a thought when installing the early type f/subframe i fit over long guide studs into the subframe towers this helps alignment as the subframe gets lifted.
My front subframe is on a similar structure. I think I have to lift the front of the car just over three feet for the front valence to clear the engine assembly.

Are you saying that you support the shell higher than this and then raise the subframe into the shell? On a single trolley jack? Or do you use the lifting block to lower the body down over the frame?
Polarsilver
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Re: Putting the body back on the subframes…?

Post by Polarsilver »

Bit of both.. once F/Subframe is in the engine bay.. i drop the shell down low enough that the Trolly Jack can have sensible lift height to then raise the Engine upward enough to align the f/subframe fixing points.
I take my time & keep aware so if anything should slip .. i know there are wood blocks in position to save the day .. As its Bloody Cold and at my age i may need a toilet break so nothing needs to change while i am off site :roll:
Can never have enough wood packing blocks ;)
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Costafortune
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Re: Putting the body back on the subframes…?

Post by Costafortune »

Screw some long studs into the front subframe towers so that as the frame goes in, you can line it up perfectly first go. Front and rear bolts in, then the tower bolts replace the studs one at a time.
gs.davies
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Re: Putting the body back on the subframes…?

Post by gs.davies »

So, if I have the rear of the car on its wheels, will the front lift sufficiently to clear the engine in the subframe without scraping the rear valence? I’m thinking that two people could lift it by the front arches and wheel isn’t forward, lowering the front down over the subframe, and using some protruding studs in the subframe to assist with aligning.

Does that seem possible?
Polarsilver
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Re: Putting the body back on the subframes…?

Post by Polarsilver »

yes anything is possible .. even the possibility you will inflict injury to someones back when they drop the shell because its cutting into their fingers .. better is to plan a method where there is no potential of injury or damage to the car,
gs.davies
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Re: Putting the body back on the subframes…?

Post by gs.davies »

Yes, good point. Maybe a block and tackle to lift the front and a few strategically placed axle stands might also help.
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Peter Laidler
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Re: Putting the body back on the subframes…?

Post by Peter Laidler »

Interesting thrread for me. Like Norman, been there, done that. got the blistered hands. Xxxxing good idea fron Costa re long studs to align the sub frame towers. Wish I'd done that too!!!

I left anything that was protruding off the engine to make the way clearer and wrapped an old blanket around it just to try to save any damage to the newly painted engine bay.

I don't remember the engineless body being heavy. I could stand in the empty engine bay and lift the front of the shell up and wheel it around like a wheel-barrow to get it into line with the sub frame and engine. Great thread
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