Frame Off?



What the heck are you doing…or why did you miss the April Fools Run Gary?

It is really a bit funny. During an inspection late last year I noticed the right hand side damper mount on my TR4 had sheared the welds off of the frame…. Ah….that’s the rattle I heard? My brother owns a shop in Springfield IL, and said he would weld it for me. He is an excellent mechanic, and very particular! After hauling the TR4 there and two weeks prior to the April Fools run, he looked it over and called me. He said to do it right we need to lift the body off the frame so he can get the Mig welder in there. Hey not a problem, there are only a few bolts and it would be nice to see how it all looks under there.

We took out about 24 bolts, give or take a few with not an ounce of trouble. They turned out like butter, because they all appeared to be bedded in some soft putty like compound. This "putty" would lead me to believe it was original or at least the putty was fresh! Anyway we removed a few things like the battery, steering column and a few other assorted items and lifted the body. Well I just couldn't stop cranking the lift at a foot off the frame; I cranked it up till I could stand under the body.

Yuk, look at all that grease on the frame! I wonder what lies under that grease? Well it won't cost me much time or money to clean it? Fade in one steam cleaner.... 3 hours later the frame looks beautiful! Wow! Look at all those new bushings in the suspension! Cool, saves me some time/money! Ouch, found another broken weld on the front cross member. No problem… Fade in Mig welder.... Heck paint wouldn't cost much, fade in one-gallon Rust O’leum high gloss black. Wow that frame looks good! Hey I can't sit that greasy lower body on that clean frame! Fade in 5 hours scraping 39 years of gunk off the lower floor pans, accomplished by my brother Dave w/cuts and scrapes to prove it!. Fade in one-half gallon Rust O’leum high gloss white.

Oh how did all that grease get on the frame and lower body? Hmmm… must need a rear main seal, sump gasket, diff gasket, oil dipstick felt seal, and valve cover gasket? Fade in the fore mentioned items.... We had to remove the engine and trans to weld the front cross member anyway, a good time to replace these items.... And put a few coats of gloss black on the engine....

I plan to have driven it home fairly soon, assuming I find nothing else that just needs a little more fixing! Honestly it was so easy, and happened so fast I figured why not? With the whole lower body and frame done, all I have to do this next winter is prepare the body panels and have completed an honest frame off restoration!