Saturday, May 23, 2009

Talk About A Great Body

So we are back on the Brewster Park Drag restoration today. The second greatest challenge of any carriage restoration is removing the body. The biggest challenge? Putting it back on once it’s painted, upholstered and trimmed out. I would estimate the weight of this body at about 700 to 800 pounds so not huge but still a pretty substantial piece of lumber.

Before we remove any large portion of a vehicle such as this we create a large file of photos. Notes and diagrams of connections and construction details are compiled. That is the best reference when it comes to assembly which can be months later.

All fasteners between the body and the chassis are removed. In a case like this we prefer leaving all the springs on the chassis so we disconnect as much from the body as possible. Keep as much weight on the ground as we can and lighten the load up above. The body lifts off with ease and the chassis is rolled out.

We now have the body completely off as it rests partially on saw horses. From here the body needs to be mobile. The best way to make that happen is on a small four wheel dolly that will allow the body to be portable but easy to work on. Tomorrow we remove the doors and any remaining hardware and begin the process of paint removal.



Peter said...

I've been following the Park Drag posts with great interest. I find the part about the carriage being built to be light very interesting, especially the thinner than normal panels. Do you have a theory on why it was built this way?

Oh, and please don't forget some more posts on the skeleton cat


Toddersville said...

Hi Pete,

Brewster went to great lengths on this coach to reduce weight. It would appear that everything was analyzed. Every panel, piece of iron and even trim. It appears to me that controlling weight was the ultimate goal. The interesting thing about it is the coach body is in outstanding structural condition so even though it's lighter it has held up well.

We will be back on the skeleton Gig this week.