RESTO COR­NER WITH AMD: A-BODY REAR FRAMERAIL AND CROSSMEMBER RE­PLACE­MENT

NO BUILD CAN BE SUC­CESS­FUL WITH­OUT A SOLID FOUN­DA­TION. GET­TING THE PARTS THAT EVERY­THING ELSE DE­PENDS ON IN­STALLED STRAIGHT AND SQUARE IS AB­SO­LUTELY ESSEN­TIAL.

Mopar Muscle - - Contents - BY MARK EHLEN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY MARK EHLEN AND MCR STAFF

No build can be suc­cess­ful with­out a solid foun­da­tion.

If you’ve ever seen a house be­ing moved, you’ve wit­nessed ex­ten­sive ef­forts be­ing made to make sure that the home’s foun­da­tion is re­placed with mas­sive beams de­signed to en­sure the struc­ture can be lifted with­out any dis­tor­tion of the home’s frame­work. Even dis­tor­tion of just a few inches could cause sub­struc­tures within the home to no longer fit prop­erly.

Walls could crack. Doors wouldn’t open and close cor­rectly. Cab­i­nets might pull away from the walls and ceil­ing. It prob­a­bly would still be liv­able but the details just wouldn’t be right any­more.

A ’72 De­mon might not be as com­plex as an en­tire home but the same prin­ci­pals ap­ply. As Mus­cle Car Restora­tions of Chippewa Falls, Wis­con­sin, pre­pared to re­place the rear fram­erails and rear cross­mem­bers, they first built sup­port braces, welded to the frame ta­ble, to solidly sup­port the rest of the uni­body struc­ture, both front and rear. Jig posts were also fit­ted to both lo­cate and sup­port the front and rear frames from un­der­neath.

While it might be pos­si­ble to re­place the fram­erails with­out go­ing to this ex­tra ef­fort, the details might not be right any­more. The doors might not close cleanly, the trunk lid could fit un­evenly, and the whole car might not track straight down the road. You could drive it but it just wouldn’t be or feel quite right.

As we’ve said be­fore, it’s crit­i­cally im­por­tant to install what­ever ex­tra brac­ing is nec­es­sary to en­sure that no mat­ter what part is re­moved, the oth­ers around it stay put. In this case, since the en­tire bot­tom of the car must be re­moved, that sup­port must come from above as well as be­low.

This job might look es­pe­cially in­tim­i­dat­ing if you walked in right in the middle of it but, if you get all the prep work right, it’s not re­ally as scary as it seems.

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