After lots and lots of nudging, fiddling and triple checking our measurements we had the body positioned over the frame. We made sure that our wheels were centered in their openings and that we had the same wheel gaps and distance from the fender to the center of the wheel on both sides.
We also made sure that we had space between the floor and the body to ensure that at full suspension drop we didn’t have the body hitting the floor.
Another tricky part was figuring out where our floor pans needed to be to ensure enough head room while sitting in the seats. At the end of playing around I ended up having 3 to 3.5 inches of head room in the cabin. This also meant that the bottom of my floor pan sits just a shade higher than the engine cross member.
While you may think “well that sounds simple, what’s the tricky part?”, it’s the fact that your seat position also determines what your view will be like looking through the narrow front windows. You end up finding a happy medium between sitting position, head room and driving visibility.
Next we built the ladder bars down both sides of the chassis. These were welded straight down onto the new 4 x 4 box tubing that were inserted to make the frame longer. The top pieces were positioned so that the body was resting on the 2 x 2 box tubing used for the cage.
Once these were in place we added “L-brackets” out of 90 degree angled steel that were welded to the cage and pushed against the flat sections of the body where it rested on the cage. These brackets were pre-drilled so that we could drill up through the body and insert bolts with lock washers.
Why you ask?? This is because the body shell will have to eventually come back off for the final media blasting and painting of the frame. Then the car will have to be re-assembled. These bolt holes provide guides so that we can position the body exactly back where we originally placed it.
I’ll be able to remove these bolts and fill these holes after we seal the body to the cage using fiberglass.