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Discussion Starter #181
Did you ever figure out if the datum line/reference line is parallel to the rockers?
For me, not quite. If I bring the rockers to parallel, the front frame rails would have to go up to maintain the heights referenced in the shop manual, which would throw the whole fender/cowl/hood alignment way out. I went through every iteration I could think of, disassembling and reassembling multiple times, and just could not come up with a way for the rockers to be perfectly parallel. Even though the car has been in an accident at some point, both rockers are straight and level with each other.

Based on measurements and my AutoCAD drawing, it’s tilted upwards in the front by 0.615 degrees. My digital angle finder shows 0.60 degrees as I have it now, bolted to my garage floor. The alignment of the front sheet metal is decent, but the gap between hood and cowl is bigger than I would like (it’s around 1/4”). Right now, all the holes in the cowl panels and firewall where the export brace mounts are all aligned.

I will probably try to force it a little more to try and get the rockers a little more parallel to the datum line, which would close the hood/cowl gap a little. Most of my problem is having started with a car that has been in an accident and not knowing exactly what heights all the parts are supposed to be as referenced from the datum line.

I have a feeling that they should be, but if the body is tweaked out of shape a little, I have no measurements nor ability to straighten it out.


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40 year's ago I took an autobody class and the local college. I purposely bought a 1966 Fastback that got hit pretty hard in the front end just for class project. I had to put it up on jack stands, above an in-ground Blackhawk frame machine. Then you hung several tram gauges (I think that's what they were called) that hung down in several spots along the center line of the body. These gauges each had a round circle and a manual told you where to hang the gauge from and how far down to set the circle. Then you went to the back of the car and looked down through those circles and you could see the ones that did not line up. You clamped the car down with chains. Clamped chains to the body, hooked them to hydraulic cylinders and pulled the body back into alignment until all the circles all lined up. You could literally tear the car in half if you wanted to. The instructor positioned the cylinders to pull from where he wanted to and he did the actual pull. There is a lot of skill involved, your pulling upwards and sideways at the same time Placing the chains and cylinders in the correct positions came from years of experience. according to the gauges and measurements the body was straight when he got done. but the fender to door gap was a mess, That took a lot of shims to make it look decent. The car was never going to be right but it was great project to learn body and paint work on. After the class I sold it. I didn't want that piece of junk, I new what was living under that paint. I could buy a nice straight fastback for $500.00 more.
 

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Thanks for the info! I have my car set level, I can pull the dimension from the manual for the front bolt hole to of the rear leaf spring to datum and it is correct. When I measure the rear leaf spring hole I am off by 3/16” which would mean the front needs to come up.

My car has never been in and accident to my knowledge.


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1968 Coupe, bought in 1987, stored in barn until 2017
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Beamish & Elcam, we've been working on the front rail assy's and wondered if either of you had issues with the "crush sleeves" inside the rails. Our D/S was 8mm (5/16") shy from the rail itself. Only concerned as this is where the steering box attaches. It would have allowed the steering box to be twisted. (And nasty dents). We took ours out and added a 3/16" piece of plate on one side and a washer on the other. Pics above... IMG_5280.JPG IMG_5281.JPG
 

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Yes those spacers are too short. You can either shim like you did or leave them out and use a actual piece of pipe in it's place. On an assembled rail you can drill out one side pry the existing spacer out of the way and slide in a pipe and weld it to the rail on the big hole side.
 

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Discussion Starter #186
I did notice the same thing. Mine are assembled rails; I already have some 3/16” x 1 1/2” discs that I will fit into the frame rail. I’ll cut an 1 1/2” hole in the rail and grind down the spacers so the discs will sit flush, and then weld them in. It seemed like an easier option than taking the frame rail apart.


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