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Taymar

Bodyshell disassembly - when is bracing needed?

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I have a rolling shell; subframes, steering, and suspension are still in it but that's about it.

Soon I will need to remove the doors and the nose panel. I believe if you're replacing the sills/rockers or a quarter panel, it's good practice to brace the shell with temporary diagonal bars to avoid distortion.

I'd guess the doors are safe to remove (?) but should I brace the strut towers or frame rails before removing the nose panel? Should I have the new nose panel fitted before I add the weight of the engine?

Thanks for any tips, I'm not having a lot of luck finding answers online.

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I had a temporary brace when I replaced the nose but I've seen many projects done without. Doors can be removed off course and I wouldn't be too worried about engine weight either. Subframe supports the engine and braces the body nicely.

Tommy

t_p4100003_120.jpg

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If you're planning to use braces (a good idea), I'd do it before removing sub-frames and nose.

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If you're planning to use braces (a good idea), I'd do it before removing sub-frames and nose.

I'll be replacing both subframes with new/reconditioned ones. Does this make any difference in the order of bracing/removal, and should I still brace the cabin for removing the nose/subframes?

thanks for the help guys.

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On one hand, if the body flexes after removing subframes, you've got more serious issues on your hands in terms of structural integrity. In theory, removing the subframes should make no difference to a sound body shell. On the other hand, if you're going to put in braces, why not do it while the maximum rigidity is in the structure? Things only get dicey when you start removing rocker panels, pieces of floor, etc.

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It's possible, the car's had accident damage which has been repaired before.

I'm hoping the subframes & their mounting points will still be accurate; if they're tweaked and the replacement subframes don't line up nicely that could get interesting.

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Its unlikely the shell will turn into a pretzel the second you remove front cross-member. It has two guide pins - I'd unbolt it and then see if it will go back on cleanly. Rear unlikely to be problem - pretty strong back there - assuming accident didn't affect area. Blue Shop Manual has measurements for shell.

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One thing that's sometimes overlooked-

support the shell evenly and appropriately.

For the nose, it shouldn't matter much, but even so,

make sure the weight's evenly distributed on whatever you

use to support it.

t

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When I changed the front clip and boot floor and rear panel I had the car on a jig and then I braced everything before chopping bits off the car.

I needed the jig because the car was bent, but if yours is straight then cross bracing should be all you need. It only takes 5 minutes to weld bracing in and quite frankly I think it's madness to even attempt replacing large structural portions of the body without bracing.

post-611-13667669079401_thumb.jpg

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Wow. I wish I could find somewhere with a proper jig, so far I've turned up nothing within a reasonable distance.

I think I've got some good ideas for the nose panel brace now, thanks.

If I'm bracing the interior, any suggestions on where I should run the braces to and from? Cross brace the shell or A pillars to B pillar floor etc?

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