Body Alignment...Please Help

MNwe4

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Alright, so here's where I'm at. Last night I replaced ALL of the the body mounts / body bushings. Have not put any bolts in yet. The body is just resting on the mounts and is still shifted too far to the driver's side, about 1" off. I will be going back to the shop to finish it up after work today. Right now it's up on a 4 pad lift and I've been using two pole jacks and 2x4s to lift the body at various points. My question is, how do you slide the body over? What has worked for people over the years? Should I get all of the bolts started and give the car a shove? What is the right way to do this?

After this process is complete, I will post a nice write up with photos of everything I went through. So far it's been pretty painless, just very time consuming and requiring patience.

Thanks, Dave
 
I'm very interested in your write-up of this. Body bushings,as well as the GNX bushing are on my to-do list this winter. This car has more rattles,squeaks and movement than any car I've owned since I started driving in '84. Oh,wait...my '79 440 powered RV has more noises. Even my '87 Century with 295,000mi is quieter.

Q: Would it have been easier to leave the bolts in one side,maybe loosening them,...then removing the other side?

I'll be doing mine on the floor of a carpeted,unheated garage.

What if you jacked either end up using 2 pieces of wood stacked....then pound the top piece over? ..maybe use some sort of lube between the 2?


Steve. '87 GN,t-tops. 82k. ( I wanted a hard-top,but the price was right!) Stock with PowerLogger. ...an 8 1/2 out of 10.
 
Yup

My question is, how do you slide the body over? What has worked for people over the years? Should I get all of the bolts started and give the car a shove? What is the right way to do this?

Thanks, Dave

That's what I did to mine. Also used a crowbar, 2x4, etc. to shift the body. It's really not that heavy when you use a lever. I took my bumpers off first to ease access and to keep form hurting the paint on the fillers.
I measured from the frame to the body pinch weld to get it lined up.

Gave me more tire clearance on the left front once I straightened the body out. :wink:

Be thankful all your bolts came out!
 
Ok, thanks. I had all of the bolts loose and with two guys just shoving the body did not work. No movement. Honestly it appears, based on the way the bolts went in, there isn't really any room to move the body over. It was tough just to get the holes lined up with the nut cage. However, the body still sits one inch more to the driver's side. Where on the body were you able to pry with a bar or 2x4 that didn't bend or dent things?
 
It's too late now, but for anyone considering this in the future, I would say do not remove all the bolts at once. Back them out on one side, remove them from the other. Jack up the side with the bolts removed (disconnect the e brake cable, ask me how I know..), replace the bushings, start all the bolts. Repeat for the other side. Others have done it successfully using your method, but I work alone without a lift so it was better for me to never disturb the alignment to begin with. With the bolts loose it's still possible to adjust the body left to right.
 
When I did mines on another car I had I just loosened the bolts on one side and replaced them one at a time. Heard it's a real pain to realign if the body shifts
 
It's too late now, but for anyone considering this in the future, I would say do not remove all the bolts at once. Back them out on one side, remove them from the other. Jack up the side with the bolts removed (disconnect the e brake cable, ask me how I know..), replace the bushings, start all the bolts. Repeat for the other side. Others have done it successfully using your method, but I work alone without a lift so it was better for me to never disturb the alignment to begin with. With the bolts loose it's still possible to adjust the body left to right.

X2. I have installed many body lifts on 4x4's and this method works good.
Also get yourself a rolling head pry bar from snap-on, matco, etc. They work great for aligning the holes.
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Where on the body were you able to pry with a bar or 2x4 that didn't bend or dent things?

Try putting a long board against the pinch weld then pry between the board and the frame. I had a bunch of pieces of scrap wood I used in different combinations to fill the space. I also used a large phillips screw driver to line up the hole and nuts for the bolts.
HTH
 
Well, I just ended up tightening everything back up last night, except the front two. The bolts are too short with the new mounts being in plus the frame is sagging, so I'll have to use another jack to get things in place.

With everything loose and two guys trying to rock the car over as hard as we could we just couldn't get it to move. With how difficult it was just to get the rear bolts in the nut cages I really don't see how the body could move more to the passenger side. There's not enough movement in the cages.

So, the car should ride and handle better, but is still going to be slightly off to the driver's side. Being mass produced in the 80's and having 147k on it maybe that's just the way it is without actually taking the entire car apart? So am I missing something here or is it just what it is?

The pry bar and board is a good idea, but I can barely fit my fingers vertically between the frame and pinch welds underneath the doors.
 
From where you at right now with all the bolts out and the body shifted I would use a jack and a 4x4 to jack up the body under the floor. Then take something like I mentioned earlier(rolling head pry bar) and use the pointed end to pry the body over. If you can get it through one of the body mount holes and into the bolt hole you can pry it over that way.
You might need to lower it off of the 4 pad lift and see if you can manipulate the chassis to slide over some. GL.
 
Mine was slightly off, but I was able to get all of the bolts in the holes. Torqued everything down, and sure enough after 100 miles, everything needed to be tightened up and the body had shifted to almost dead on perfect.

Im actually getting ready to do mine again because I wound up loosing TWO bolts and the bottom portion of the bushings. Once you do it once, it's easy and I want to make sure everything is 100% tied together, I've got some nice pillar cracks again in my 1yr old respray paint job :mad:
 
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