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Crackers
Crackers New Reader
10/6/16 6:25 p.m.

So I'm starting to reconsider where I want to work on this thing. The space I was originally going to do this looks like it won't be open until sometime in November. 2017.

If I can't find somewhere to do this indoors soon I may just do the body swap in my driveway. That's not too ghetto is it?

petegossett
petegossett UltimaDork
10/6/16 6:34 p.m.
Crackers wrote: That's not too ghetto is it?

That's GRM.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 PowerDork
10/6/16 6:37 p.m.

In spades.

I'M not that grm any more, but I give massive props to you.

bentwrench
bentwrench Dork
10/6/16 6:51 p.m.
Crackers wrote: So I'm starting to reconsider where I want to work on this thing. The space I was originally going to do this looks like it won't be open until sometime in November. 2017. If I can't find somewhere to do this indoors soon I may just do the body swap in my driveway. That's not too ghetto is it?

Only if you use a swing set or a tree to hoist the body....

Crackers
Crackers New Reader
10/6/16 8:19 p.m.
bentwrench wrote: Only if you use a swing set or a tree to hoist the body....

Well E36 M3... There goes that idea...

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
10/7/16 6:57 a.m.

I built my swingset with the location and idea that I might need to pull a motor with it someday. I never have, but you need to plan for these things.

This is a pretty epic undertaking. We're all pulling for you.

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
10/7/16 7:48 a.m.

When I did my body swap I built a platform so that I could have a level surface to work from. I would expect that working outside would make such a platform even more critical since both the body and the chassis end up kind of twisty until they are mated together.

As a bonus, the platform then became a rotisserie so that I could do a lot of the detail work without crawling under the car.

Crackers
Crackers HalfDork
3/26/17 12:22 a.m.

So I have a small update on Uncle Ben, although I haven't done anything to it since my last update. The tailgate window handle is broken. You can see here, someone stuck a machine screw in it and called it done.

 NOS AMC parts are pretty hard to find, especially for wagon specific stuff. However I finally managed to find a NOS crank on eBay!

It does have a couple dings, but it's not like you have a ton of options. I'm just glad I found one.

Crackers
Crackers HalfDork
3/26/17 12:41 a.m.

I guess the whole "haven't done anything to it" was a lie. I did pull the front seat so I could remove the rest of the carpet to do some measuring. Apparently the drivers front seat mount wasn't doing a whole lot.

 \ 

Of note however is the battery terminal the PO was using as a handle for the parking brake. I love those style parking brakes, and want it functional in the finished car. I will probably try to find a replacement handle or fabricate something. That will depend on what I do with the dash/center console.

ClemSparks
ClemSparks PowerDork
3/26/17 8:16 a.m.
Crackers wrote: Of note however is the battery terminal the PO was using as a handle for the parking brake.

This was the first thing that jumped out at me when I saw the photo. Funny!

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
3/26/17 8:24 a.m.
Crackers wrote: Of note however is the battery terminal the PO was using as a handle for the parking brake. I love those style parking brakes, and want it functional in the finished car. I will probably try to find a replacement handle or fabricate something. That will depend on what I do with the dash/center console.

Retrofitting the Rambler handbrake is going to be a lot of work and kinda goes against the whole point of doing a chassis swap; handbrakes are a "late in the game" PITA. My bet is that by the time you get that far, you will decide that rather than build a Rube Goldberg brake mechanism, the well designed and ergonomically located Lexus handbrake will do just fine.

When do you start cutting?

Crackers
Crackers Reader
3/26/17 11:32 a.m.
NOHOME wrote: Retrofitting the Rambler handbrake is going to be a lot of work and kinda goes against the whole point of doing a chassis swap

How does it compare to stretching the chassis and using a tubular k-member?

I haven't even looked under the dash, but if I can do it I want to try. I do have an idea that involves the use of the Lexus handbrake understand the dash, but it's a long way off still.

When do you start cutting?

Not soon enough! I'm going nuts with all these delays.

Crackers
Crackers Reader
4/8/17 9:36 p.m.

So IF everything goes well Uncle Ben will finally get to come home tomorrow. I've been busting my ass the last couple weeks trying to finish up a project for SWMBO so I could get Uncle Ben home by my birthday.

Well, I'm still not done with her project, but she has taken pity on me due to some major setbacks (like having to start over) so I get to bring it home tomorrow anyway.

Granted, this really just means it gets to sit around here untouched instead of at my parents place until I finish my other obligations, but it's still big for me.

Just having the ability to walk around it while drinking my coffee in the morning will feel like an accomplishment at this point. But at least I'll be able to do the little stuff like cleaning the moss off it.

Crackers
Crackers HalfDork
4/9/17 7:40 p.m.

It's home!

 Literal moss...

 Much better!

 So I probably can't get away with doing any more than washing it until next weekend. If I don't unbury my riding mower tomorrow I may end up in the hospital.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
4/9/17 7:47 p.m.

TWO amc updates in one day??

The forum may have a new answer.....

Crackers
Crackers Reader
4/9/17 9:50 p.m.

May be a new answer, but probably a different question. lol

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
4/10/17 5:38 a.m.

I don't see the other guest of honor. Is there room for the Lexus tub?

I will admit to having been under-prepared for how much room a chassis swap takes. Pretty much used all the space in my 4 car shop. Looking forward to seeing the bottom drop out of the wagon.

Not that any battle plan survives first contact with the enemy, but do you have a broad plan of attack for how this is going to proceed?

Crackers
Crackers Reader
4/10/17 8:17 a.m.

Including the wagon, we currently have 4 cars and 2 trailers battling for what limited space we have, so no real room without triple stacking in our driveway. Plus, the Lexus tub is still completely stripped and needs the subframes/struts reinstalled so it can roll. That likely won't start until I'm ready to drop out the wagon floor. At that point, I'm hoping to at least go from complete shell to multi-racial metal sandwich within 48 hrs.

I have a lot of organization that has to take place before any of that happens. You'll notice I'm deliberately avoiding taking any pictures that show the end of my driveway. One of the aforementioned trailers is presently 80-90% of the way through being rebuilt (SWMBO's project) and the side of my house looks like a scrapyard since I can't haul off the scrap until I get a rear main back into my truck.

I won't be able to start the swap in earnest until Uncle Ben is sitting where "her" trailer is. Which means I need to get her trailer rolling ASAP.

I will get some pictures today to try to show my plan of attack.

coexist
coexist New Reader
4/10/17 10:54 a.m.

A little three dimensional chess...

Crackers
Crackers Reader
4/10/17 2:23 p.m.

Fortunately for me the rusted out floors look to be due to standing water in the cab. All the holes were under the remaining spray insulation-stuff.

The plan is to cut the forward bulkhead and floor out in one piece just inside the sill and along the inside of this seam.

 photo 20170410_124433_zpsriulv6gx.jpg

Then just below the seam under the strut brace.

 photo 20170410_124351_zps5nfmlbpw.jpg

Amazingly, the SC300 was built in the same fashion and these flanges on the two cars are within a couple inches of each other and with the SC300 being a larger floor pan, I should be able to make flanges on it then fit and finish it with a fairly OEM appearance.

There is a possibility I may section the body to drop it down over the SC300 chassis. The wagon is 5" taller, so I have some wiggle room I will take advantage of if I have the space in the engine bay. That would of course make fitting it together a little harder, so I expect it to go that way.

First on the list though is fixing the drivers fender and stripping the hood for primer to address the rust.

 photo 20170410_142753_zpsijk7nkbi.jpg

 photo 20170410_142744_zps9qhjyzp2.jpg

I'll probably do both fenders and the hood actually.

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
4/10/17 2:25 p.m.

Maybe a Lemons into Lemon Drop martini opportunity here.

It is good to have a level working surface when matting two vehicles. And what is a trailer but a big flat surface to put a car on? With some carefully located screw-jacks and some leveling, it would make a great chassis table. You could even rig up a gantry over the top to raise and lower Uncle Ben on to his sexy new Japanese girlfriend.

I see where you want to join the two over a very short time period. In my case, that took an entire 8 months before I struck the first arc to join the Molvo in unholy matrimony. During that time I went over every inch of where the two cars had to meet, and made sure that there was a workable solution to the interface. I did not want to find out that I had to fab something that should have been fabbed with the body off. I would say that the body was raised on and off at least 50 times before it was welded. Self drilling sheet metal screws are your friend in this task.

Crackers
Crackers Reader
4/10/17 2:51 p.m.

LOL, I'm just talking about setting the body down on it within 48hrs of rolling the old stuff from underneath to conserve space. I know it won't be that easy and I'll probably have to separate​ the two 100 times (conservatively speaking). But I'm fairly confident in my ability to get the body dry humping the floor pan in two days.

I'll be ripping the guts out of the sills with the body in the air and adding the appropriate size 1/8" wall rectangular tube to fill the void​. Then the floor and cross bracing will get welded to that tube. So it's going to have to stay apart for a while.

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
4/10/17 5:20 p.m.

Be careful with the damn thing hanging in the air, mine tried to bite me once, and it could have been ugly.

Crackers
Crackers Reader
4/14/17 8:13 p.m.

The idea I have for supporting the body should be pretty safe.

After I have the body crudely resting on the Lexus pan I'm going to use RV type screw stands under the front/rear subframes to get the floor pan level then I'll actually use the cross bracing in the body as jacking points to move the body into place.

So I was going to work on the truck Wednesday but we had a lot of rain Tuesday and I didn't feel like rolling around in my nasty driveway pulling the trans. So I spent some time knocking around on the fender.

Sadly, the driver side fender is actually a lot worse than I thought. Looking closer at this picture you can see the top of the fender was actually bent all the way across, then someone crudely bashed it back out.

 photo 20170410_142753_zpsijk7nkbi.jpg

There's an obvious kink at the outermost body line, but there's also a subtle bend in the middle body line that's actually the bigger concern. Partly because it's a likely sign that this is more involved than just the insult to the side of the fender.

But I bashed on it a little anyway.

 photo 20170412_153202_zpswq0xh2d1.jpg

It was about here I ran out of layout rust and hit it with some layout fluid and spent an embarrassing amount of time to get here.

 photo 20170414_185628_zpsmls3qfjm.jpg

I'm going to have to pull the fender to really get it right, but I want to get the car moved into its surgical suite before I start dissecting it.

Something I hadn't noticed with this car until I got it home and was able to just stare at it at length is he's had a slow speed front end hit too. That bent the front bumper ever so slightly. It doesn't photograph well, but you can sorta see it here, along with the bent grill.

 photo 20170414_193008_zpslnyhesef.jpg

There's also gap issues between the fender and the valence, and fender/hood.

 photo 20170414_193129_zpsfsmbb1mn.jpg

 photo 20170414_193111_zpssdu5tret.jpg

There's also two dings in the hood that are spaced suspiciously similar to old style tow truck straps. So there's likely 3-4 different insults to the front end on this that could be causing some misalignment, not including the fact the passenger fender isn't original. (And also bent)

I'm going to take the time to sort this out and make everything fit right before I take it apart. (Or rather tear it down fix stuff and reassemble, take notes and repeat until it's right) This is going to be hard enough to get right with pristine parts and I really don't want to have to mock up a bent front end on a different chassis.

Then, I'm going to delete the bumpers and remake the front/rear valences with a nod to the GT500.

Crackers
Crackers Reader
4/15/17 6:04 p.m.

No updates, since I'm pretty much on bed rest for the next few days until I can move my neck unsupported without crying. So I've been doing some Google image searches looking for bumper delete ideas.

After several hours of searching this is all I found.

 photo ebay97704_zpsyqfenwj4.jpg

That bend below the vents is actually were the factory valence ends. The whole panel below was all fabricated and blended into the fender. That bumper shaped wing on the side is part of the factory fender stamping.

I will most likely enlarge the 3 vents and go straight down ignoring the second roll and also shave off the bumper wing on the fender. Then add some ducts below the headlights.

Or lop off the whole front end below the grill and do something completely different.

I've also been looking for some little touches to subtly hint at it's bastard status, like some Corolla fender mirrors?

 photo m33-ae3--DoHD6v4TllFi3w_zps0tm538ik.jpg

They're only $160 for the set, but I'm​ afraid they might be crossing over into Bosozoku style.

And, I think​ I want to use these Hilux side markers and recess them so they're flush with the body.

 photo s-l225_zpsbbedoqxr.jpg

They're available in amber too so I can use them front and rear.

Am I getting in too deep?

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