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.
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.