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Aerostar springs...AGAIN

Posted By stlroken 8 Years Ago
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miker
Posted 8 Years Ago
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I didn't have to pull the seat, I was able to get everything loose with it just raised and shifted fore and aft. I was lucky to have a 4 post lift, and with the weight on the wheels, and a lot of wood dunnage, I lifted the body mid door, and center trunk, and moved it sideways with a bottle jack and more 2x4's. There's more rust than I really want to know about, so I was real careful (and worried), but it moved real easy. 4 big friends would have been my first choice, but I only had one buddy available.

miker
55 bird, 32 cabrio F code
Kent, WA
Tucson, AZ
dbird
Posted 8 Years Ago
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Seems like this thread has officially been hijacked, so I'm adding to it. Like Alan, I need to move my 55 Thunderbird body about 1/4 inch at the rear bumper. I've been planning on using several jacks, lifting the body just enough to clear the mounts, using a port-a-power to push the frame hoping the sidewalls (205-70) will flex that much, dropping and tightening. Is there anything besides the the body to frame bolts that needs to be loosened? I'm thinking this might be a good time to replace the rubber bushings, but that might bring a host of other problems. Any advice from those who have done it would help.



Thanks,

Don
bird55
Posted 8 Years Ago
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dbird from what little I've learned from the one guy I know has done this (Tom McCartney, a local tbird guy), A port-a-power doesn't seem necessary. Seems to me like miker has said it too, if the frame and axles are jacked up and stationary then loosen the body and move it. Tom said he did not remove the body bolts, just removed the nuts and slid it over.



I also thought about replacing the body insulators but haven't decided on that.



I am going to do this on my own so that makes it a pretty slow process. I've used up most of my friends when it comes to projects like this this and they can't be found. Tongue



I was thinking of using wooden shims to break the body tension from the frame and then maybe some lube in between things to relieve more tension. Then hopefully just shoving on the back fender will do it. (fingers crossed) but probably have to use some kind of leverage from underneath, or bottle jacks, don't know just have to try it.



I am also well aware of weak or rusted areas that may be lurking under there so I am keeping that in mind.


Alan Frakes ~ Tulsa, OK


miker
Posted 8 Years Ago
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Well, I'll take some of the blame for hijacking it, too. The plates the body bolts go into are made to "slip" a bit in the mount, and all I did was loosen the bolts, not remove them. One bolt in the trunk was an exception, that plate was stuck. I pulled the bolt, and with a punch and hammer, I broke it loose, end of problem. The right rear quarter on my car has been replaced (its got a 56 door jamb), and is not lined up quite right. I had enough room to move that the fuel and brake lines were not a problem for the 3/16" I needed. Once I remembered to loosen those two bolts, which I had marked and forgotten, it was a non event. Using the bottle jack sideways between the frame and 2x4 under the door was more a matter of going easy, slow and watching than necessity. If I was younger and had a good back, I could probably done it by just pushing or using a small lever. But after 50+ years, many of these cars are modified or poorly repaired, rusted, who knows. In the late 80's, mine went from a drug dealer to his attorney as a retainer, so you can imagine some of the repair work I've found.

miker
55 bird, 32 cabrio F code
Kent, WA
Tucson, AZ
bird55
Posted 8 Years Ago
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that make sense to me now how you used the bottle jack, easier on my back too! thanks.



I've wondered about the steering column and shift linkage but I guess those are non issues. Time to stop thinking about it and get it done.





Alan Frakes ~ Tulsa, OK


Vic Correnti
Posted 8 Years Ago
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I would keep a close eye on the fit at the doors while forcing things around birds do not have the support of a roof to keep things where they belong.

  Vic Correnti

bird55
Posted 7 Years Ago
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Over the Christmas and new year break I was able to accomplish moving the body over and lowering it. Smile

I went ahead and removed the seat to have easy access to all the body bolts. I have a spec diagram if anyone wants it although it's pretty obvious where they are located.

I opted to completely remove all the bolts from the firewall back. I loosed the ones in front of the firewall.

I made some coat hanger gismos to stick in the holes so to not knock out the washers or body shims.

I used 2 large floor jacks with 4 x 4's between the rockers and frame rails. Then I lifted everything carefully to make sure it was loose and had broken the tension, then found it best to set it back down.

I also discovered I had to remove the rear bumper. The exhaust I have is 2 1/4 diam. , so there was not any give in that area. I also had to remove one ex. bracket near the axle.

I was able to move the body over by bouncing it over but it seemed like it wanted to spring back. That's when I took it off the Jacks. We also had begun to move the whole car over! so had the jimmy a rig to keep it from sliding. Just another contraption between the concrete block wall and the brake drum. It worked. I did have to ream out the bolt holes farthest back to get the bolts back in them.

A lot of stuff to do but it lined up finally. Then I was able to use some 1" aluminum lowering blocks I made to drop the rear. I could probably drop another 1" with room but I would need to get longer U bolts. I'll see how this works out.

Sorry for the long post but I hope it helps out someone else. I'll try to get some pictures up soon.



Almost forgot, I did use a bottle jack between the driver side rocker/dogleg and frame also. Be careful doing this I did it more to keep it from sliding back than trying to move. It just kept pressure on it.



BTW the doors and seams fit just as crummy as they always did so no worse. w00t



Alan Frakes ~ Tulsa, OK


dbird
Posted 7 Years Ago
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Alan, thanks for the update, gets me a little more motivated. Let me see if I get it right, cut 4x4s to the length of the rockers, unbolt obviously, jack up until the mounts separate then lower again, then bump over? Did you lubricate between the cushions an whatever they separated from, I guessing some stuck to the body and some to the frame? I don't think I have to worry about the bumper, my exhaust looks pretty weak, but I really like to se what 2.25 exhaust looks like coming through the bumper.



Thanks again,

Don
bird55
Posted 7 Years Ago
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Yep, you have it right. Be patient with all of it. go slow. 4x4 might be overkill but I already had them. I have one area in the drivers side floor that is "soft". It's in the actual floor brace to body mount area. Not too worried about it I've been keeping an eye on it for about 40 years.w00thasn't seemed to get much worse and this is no show car.

The 2.25 exhaust requires modding the ex. fittings within the bumperettes, no big deal but very tight.

Yes, I did use lube on all the body bolts and cage nuts underneath, can't hurt.


Alan Frakes ~ Tulsa, OK


bird55
Posted 7 Years Ago
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I rechecked the exhaust and was wrong about the size. They are 2". tailpipe. original was 1 7/8" i think. still very tight.


Alan Frakes ~ Tulsa, OK




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