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I have a 66 coupe that needs frone and rear frame rails replaced. I have a donor coupe that I would like to use the frame rails from.

Is there a clean way to remove the frame rails. What tool is best to do this with?

The rails are very bad where the springs attach. Could I just cust off that section and weld in the new piece? Seems that it would be easier that removing the complete rail. I have an air cut-off wheel and an air chisel. Wish I had a plasma cutter......


todd
 

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Before you go chiseling away go out and buy a book on how to do this. They make special bits to remove spot welds. The book will tell you everything you need to know, or close to. Hands on is the best learning experience but you don't want to do something wrong and be sorry.
Brent
 

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I have a spot weld removal tool from Eastwood so that part is covered. What book outlines frame rail removal??

Todd
 
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I don't know about a book about frame rail repair.

My feeling is that you should only remove as much as necessary. Cut into you existing rail looking for rust. When you find no rust, thats where you should cut it off. I would use aftermarket parts. The fit isn't perfect, but its half the work to just remove one old frame rail.

Save the donor for other things. The donor probably also has rusty frame rails.
 

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The donor has great frame rails. I got it for just this as I knew I was going to be needing the rails and trunk parts. It does look like a lot of work removing the ones from the donor car so that I do not mess them up....
 

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Here's an excerpt from someone who posted about replacing their rear frame rails on the old forum back in 2000. If you want the whole thing, let me know.

"Well, here goes my frame rail experience. I've heard a lot of comments from guys who did this and I think some even made a jig and took a million measurements. When I scoped mine out, I just didn't see why all that was necessary. When it was all said and done, there were only two measurement that I really needed. I used to build fishing boats and some builders in the shop just made everything look so difficult. This one guy had the transom on his boat so marked up, it looked like he was drawing plans for a house on the thing. Anyway, I'll try to keep it simple because really it is.
Most of the real 'work' is wrestling the old rails out. Anyway, here goes. First, you'll want to start by loosening up the fuel tank and removing it. It's easier get it out when the care is still on the ground. Then jack the car up and remove the rear tires. I jacked it up from the center of the axle housing and put my jack stands on the frame rails around where the front leaf spring connection. Get it as high as you possibly can. The more crawling room you have the better. Also block your front wheels so when you let it down onto the stands, the car won't creep forward and kick them out. Really make sure the car is solidly supported before you go crawling under it. Get everything that you think you should out of your way, ie: exhaust pipes, wiring, etc. Then I removed the old shackles and let the springs hang down. Don't worry about the rear end dropping, the shocks are still connected to the body and will prevent that. Now that everything is out of the way, take a few measurements. Measure where each existing rail is in relation to the fuel tank flange. You really only need to measure where the rail is at the rear most corner of the flange. The front side will be determined by the existing frame. Then measure the new rail and mark where you want the new rail to meet with the existing frame. The new rail is reduced where it meets the old, so you have quite a bit of lee way here. Give or take a quarter inch and you're fine. Double check all your measurements. It's so much easier to correct a mistake on paper than on steel. I used a sawzall to make the cut on the frame. I did have to cut a little into the inner wheel well lip to get a good cut across the whole rail.
Maybe you have a better way, I just didn't care much about that. Then I proceeded to find all the spot welds from inside the trunk. It's easier to see them here than on the rusty rail, and I'd rather drill from above if I can. I found that a small one and a half inch scraper worked well to scrape the paint off so I could find the exact center of the weld. The more accurately you can do this the better. Then I center punched all the holes and drilled 1/8" holes first, then 3/8. Drill all the way through. You'll fill them up with metal when you plug weld them. I'm guessing there were about thirty or so spot welds to drill out on each side. There are also four welds on the very back of the rail and two on the bottom where it connects to the back end of the car. From here it's just a battle of will power. Do whatever you need to yank, pry or beat the old rail out.
Once you get it out, you may find you need to patch a little metal in the trunk floor due to rust you didn't know about. Now's a good time to do this. Also, it's a good time to prep the rails and trunk floor. I used a die grinder to rough up and expose bare metal where the welds would be."

Hope this gives you an idea of what to do. Though it doesn't say how to get the donor rails out nicely.

Good Luck!
 
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