There are rods and braces that hold the front end of the car to the frame. The core support was so rotted that all we needed to do was cut the plumbing strap that held the radiator in place, remove the panel under the nose, and pull the bolts from the front of the frame horns to prepare the nose for removal.
When removing the frame-mount bolts, you might want to soak them in penetrating fluid before you attempt to loosen them. Doing so will lessen the chance of stripping the head or twisting the captured nut inside.
If they wont come out, grind off the head and use pliers to remove them once the body is out of the way.
There are two mounts in the rear wheelwell opening. The front mount is behind the access cover where the trailing arm connects to the frame, and the rear is out in the open in the back of the wheelwell.
You can see that the body-mount rubber is totally disintegrated, and definitely needs replacing.
We had to remove the battery ground and the antenna ground strap to separate the body from the frame.
Also, the brake lines and steering had to be disconnected, along with the shift cable and speedometer.
Once we made sure everything necessary was disconnected, we lifted the body with the help of a lift. Go slowly, and make sure that nothing is pulling because, when using a lift like this, you wont notice it pulling until its dangling about four feet off the ground. These lifts are made for lifting a whole car, so stretching a cable or wire another 4 feet is nothing for them.
The 73 and 74 bumper mounts are different from other shark bumper mounts.
The 73 front, and both front and rear on the 74, were cast with a sliding peg that acted as an absorber.
There was a clip that would slide down the pin as it absorbed the impact. This is how you can assess crash damage on a 73 or a 74. If the pin has scrape marks, the car was hit hard enough to compress the absorber.
We removed the driveshaft, engine, and transmission. These parts will be rebuilt or replaced before they go back in the frame.
This car was from Georgia and had a substantial coating of mud and clay mixed in with the grease. Ron pressure-washed the entire frame to get it as clean as possible. We even found some loose change buried in grease on the transmission crossmember.
This is a sure sign of a rear suspension that needs rebuilding! The last time this car was aligned, they couldnt get enough adjustment so they just BENT THE TRAILING ARMS! If you see this on a car you plan to buy, run awayor plan on sinking a lot of money and time into the rear end.
Consumable parts like the shocks can be thrown away.
However, many others, such as the brake calipers, should be kept and used as a core-return for the new ones.
Well be running all new brake lines and fuel lines. It would be wise to keep all of the old lines until you get the new ones installed so you know how they were routed. At least take pictures for reference.
Ron removed the entire steering assembly. Hell rebuild it with new joints and ends, along with rebuilding the steering box, before installing it in the new frame.
Removing the control arms and spindles takes a bit of care. Even though the body is removed from the frame, the springs still have significant pressure on them. Ron uses a chain as insurance in case the spring comes out unexpectedly.
Another good reason for doing a frame-off restoration is to catch other peoples fixes. This wad of silicone was under the fuel tank to repair a leak. This is one extra part we wont reinstall.
The spring will be replaced with a fiberglass one. The owner wants to drive this car, so why not get the best ride possible?
Next, Ron removed the driveshafts...
The trailing arms were the last things to be removed.
These werent too rusted, so well rebuild them. There are several Corvette Fever advertisers who can supply you with new trailing arms if yours are not repairable.
With the frame totally stripped, we could check for rust. Surprisingly, the frame was very solid. Well be sending it to Revivation in Wauchula, Florida, to get dipped, so if there is any rust on the frame at all it will be removed. When we get the frame back, there will be only metal. All rust and scale is removed. Well also send the control arms, crossmember, and any other metal pieces we want cleaned of rust.