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Old 02-01-2011, 07:36 PM   #1
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Shell on? Shell off?

Alright I'm debating weather or not to go the FULL MONTY on our 68 TW as I was originally planning. I expect lots of feed back on this so let me hear from anyone who's done either or both. First my thinking was I need to replace and repair the Aframe and I'm putting on new axle assy's. Ive seen though that lots of resto's have been done removing the belly skins and floors and calling in a welder to do the necessary repairs on site and I have a couple local guys who can do this. I have, for anyone who has followed my threads, moved into a hangar and have 6 months to a year in the space. I don't have a hoist though so I'd be jacking it up and saw horsing it, which I don't like the thought of. Also I won't be able to sand blast the frame in my hangar space as I intended, so lots of die grinding with scotch brite pads to remove corrosion. Also I'll be replacing the street and curb side lower exterior panels to repair the cuts caused by the outriggers. So let's hear it.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:48 PM   #2
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I did mine semi-on. meaning I raised the rear enough off the frame to insert the new floor and then the front. So while the entire shell was not off the frame at the same time I did lift the shell off in increments.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
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Althea68 I did the full monte on mine. I too was very aprehensive about taking the shell off. It was surprisingly easy to lift the shell with a couple of bottle jacks and put it on sawhorses. Once it was high enough the chassis just rolled right out. It made replacing/repairing the frame much easier and the floor installation was also easier to do with the shell off. I was extremely worried about putting the shell back on but it dropped right into place and fit like a glove. I have never done anything quite so involved before and if I ever do it again i wouldn't hesitate about it at all.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:04 PM   #4
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Shell off. It's not nearly as hard as you might think. That way you get to see everything and you won't have any regrets.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:16 PM   #5
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Althea68,
I know taking the shell off seems like a lot of extra work, in the long run it will save a lot of time and aggrivation. You will be able to do the frame and axles from above. On the inside the inner skins will be off and that will help with the electrical work and floor bolt removal. Take your time and do it right the first time!
Tim
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:17 PM   #6
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Oh, forgot to say that if I were to do it again...probably shell off. Would make a lot of things easier.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:43 PM   #7
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I have a question, I've seen a lot of pictures of people doing a shell off in their driveway. what do you do about bad weather? Like a storm with high wind, I live in Oklahoma. I would like to back up and start over, shell off, but I dont have a large building.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:50 PM   #8
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I've seen some that stake them down with ropes, cables, wires, etc. Like you would a tent.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:06 PM   #9
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Ok, dumb question: Is it possible to lift shell and remove frame without completely gutting interior?
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walter1
Ok, dumb question: Is it possible to lift shell and remove frame without completely gutting interior?
No. It is not possible.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:04 PM   #11
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Okay so next question did everyone who has done shell off build all of the extavagant trussing and stabilizers in the shell before lift off. How do you really need.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:36 PM   #12
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No.
If on the interior you just remove the bottom panels, I think that the diagonal bracing is entirely unnecessary.

I'd say 2x6s one every other 'stud'. So that will be maybe 5 or 6 of those. 2 bolts on each end into the stud so they don't twist.

I have a 31' sitting up on blocks out in the yard and it is doing just fine.

If I were going to do it again, I'd be collecting cinder blocks and scrap pieces of 2x6 to use to support the thing all around while I was jacking it up.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:37 PM   #13
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I would vote for the Shell off. I just took mine off 2 weeks ago. I only used a 3 - 3/4 plywood cut into 3 inch strips and fastened to the ribs. I would add a few more and some 2x4's to tie them together before jacking it up. The whole shell is only about 500lbs.

I used the steel rafters in my barn to lift the shell off. I did it alone and it was surprisingly easy. It did take a bit to get all the hidden rivets and sealant lose.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:21 AM   #14
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Definitely Shell Off

Quote:
Originally Posted by Althea68 View Post
Okay so next question did everyone who has done shell off build all of the extavagant trussing and stabilizers in the shell before lift off. How do you really need.
The one thing I would do differently, knowing what I know now, would be to build a new frame for the '78...not that the '78 frame is bad - it isn't - it's just that now, in hindsight, I would build a frame that is hell-for-stout and incorporate as much water capacity in it that would fit. Also, build in more storage bins into the floor (down into the frame area), and possibly install a couple of hangers for a pair of Honda 2000's.

As far as taking the shell off in the hangar, below are a few pics of a '66 Safari currently hanging from some scaffolding. Note that we built the scaffolding 3 sections (15') high - two sections (10') would have been sufficient. We could have added a cinder block or two under each scaffold leg and had more than enough height with just two sections on each side. You should have more than enough head room in the hangar to utilize a similar set up.

That's me on the left, and the dapper young man with the South-of-the-Border Safety Shoes on the right is the owner.



Below is a shot of the interior upper lift assembly and bracing. We used a pair of come-a-longs mounted in the interior to lift the shell. We used the forward and aft vents to pass the come-a-long cables through to the beams mounted on the scaffolding.



Below is a shot of the lower bracing and how we landed the shell on saw horses.



Not shown is are the 2X6's about 10' long mounted on the bottom curb and street side just above the "C" channels. We tied into each rib with a single screw to increase the stability of the bottom shell. THe shell was strapped down front and aft and has weathered a couple of fairly strong storms with no movement or damage.

We probably went overboard on constructing the scaffolding spanning beams - two 2X12's sandwiched together with a 1/4" steel plate between the wood bolted together every foot or so.

Wish I would have taken some pics while dragging the old frame to the welder's place (about 10 miles in a VERY rural area). Several stops to pick up parts that were fallling off. The frame was actually broken in half on either side by the time we delivered it - the right side was fractured behind the axle and the left side separated in front of the axle - the only thing holding it together was the very rotten flooring.

New frame has been constructed, powder coated, and ready for new tanks to be installed.
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