And now the scary bit…

As I write this, the body is now resting, propped on blocks, on its new chassis. The old chassis is sitting next to the vehicle, and the crane is chained up where it came to rest.

End of a long day…

But to get there has been a long slog!

Today has been exhausting. Having lifted the body a bit yesterday, we were able to then do some careful measurements of how high the body needed to go in order to clear the chassis. We’ve then finished building the A frames for the back end.

It’s worth pointing out at this point that in order for the chassis to be rolled out, the supports have to fall outside of the track of the vehicle, in order that the axles, wheels and tyres can pass freely through, leaving the body suspended!

To lift the back end high enough to insert the crossbar, we slotted a piece of 40mm box section between the body and chassis, and then very carefully lifted both ends with a pair of high lift farm jacks. We could then slot another piece of box through the crutch of the A frames and under the body, before removing the jacks and the other box section.

At the front end we ended up removing the turrets, and compressing the shocks, to reduce the height we had to lift the front to. The front end was lifted by means of a very solid A Tripod, (with a sleeper through the middle) holding one end of the box section, our previously used lifting strops attached in the middle, and the engine crane on the other end.

Some slight bowing of the box, but well within expectations. Chassis slowly withdrawing!

we were then able to slowly and carefully roll the old chassis, complete with engine and gearboxes, out from under the body.

It’s slightly un-nerving, seeing the body hanging!
“There’s nothing under here…”

As the vehicle is lifted, lowered, or moved, it’s vital to keep checking that nothing is catching, or fouling. At best, some components get damaged, at worst, the whole body gets dropped, with all the consequences that entails.

And just as we got beyond the point of no return, the heavens opened, and the rain set in…

But the old chassis is out, and “parked” out the way.
“what about the turrets?”

As we started to put the new chassis under, we realised we would need to remove the front turrets. However, by this point, we were soaking wet, chilly, and exhausted. So we propped the front end of the vehicle on the new chassis, shortened the lifting strop, and lifted, with fingers crossed. With the crane at maximum lift, and a slight tug on each wing in turn, the chassis scraped into place. We then propped the body to the chassis securely, and carried out the barest minimum of a tidy up, before heading to our respective homes, for a set of dry clothes, a brew, and a well earned sit down!

Well, it’s on…
… and straight-ish.

The body has been left lifted a certain amount to make the fitting of mounts, running fuel lines etc easier, and to allow for the changing of the body cross-member, which I found to be completely rusted through.