CORVETTE TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

CORVETTE BODY DOLLY


In another article at RARECorvettes.com I described a method of lifting the body from a Corvette chassis. This method is a good one for several reasons, which are mentioned in the article, but it leaves the body hanging in the air with no place to set it down but back on the chassis. I decided to use an old hospital bed frame and wheels to make a dolly for the body. As with the design of the lifting cradle, shown in my earlier article, I used the general methods, which were used in the factory where these cars were built. My method was to use the bed frame and several pieces of UniStrut (a trade name), or the equivalent, to make a body dolly which could hold the Corvette body, or other automobile bodies if need be. The pictures show the dolly with the attachment points arranged for use on a 1962 Corvette. 


The long steel box beam down the center is used for the Corvette body only. It gives support to the front and rear, which would not be necessary with most conventional steel bodies. I have designed the device so that the long steel box tube can be easily removed for transportation, storage, or for use with another type of body. This dolly holds the Corvette body at its normal attachment points so that the body can be worked upon and even painted easily. It can then be placed back on the finished chassis without the overspray, sanding dust, or sanding water fouling up the restored chassis. This method is especially useful in completing the black out procedures on the Corvette, as the frame and engine are not in the way.














      Complete body dolly assembly                         Rubber pads are used to cushion the body


















Cross support near seat belt anchor points                      Adjustable mounting points

                                                                                   nuts and washer fasten dolly to body


It is very easy for one person to move the body around the shop due to the large casters on the hospital bed frame. It will roll sideways, and even turn in its own length. I was able to move the body, with the dolly bolted to it, to another town for some body work by lifting the whole assembly into the air with the lifting cradle and then lowering it onto my open car trailer. I fastened it with straps and moved it easily to its destination where we lifted it back off the trailer the same way.















Dolly support for body at radiator support            Body and dolly ready for transportation


It takes time and effort to design this type of device, but it makes the restoration work much easier, so I think it is worth it in the long run. By the way, UniStrut is a material, which is used in the construction business to hold pipes or conduit to walls or other structures. It is fully adjustable as the threaded nuts slide in the channel, allowing for an infinite number of attachment points.





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Dolly.pdf