The Set Up Checklist

When preparing a vehicle for body work, it has to be thought of as it will be after the vehicle is completely finished.  This is in reference to everything from parts, to fasteners, to how it's sitting on it's suspension, etc.  The closer you can get to reality before body work, the better it will be, with far fewer surprises.    This is explained a little further in the next post, but here is a list of what needs to be done before any body work is even thought of.

  • Vehicle bolted to its chassis, using the correct body bushings (if applicable)
  • All body mount bolts evenly torqued, using a torque wrench
  • Engine drive line installed, for the purposes of weight
  • All suspension in place
  • Vehicle on its suspension, preferably using wheels and tires, or at least the weight as close to the hub surface the wheels bolt to.
  • Vehicle level, especially side to side.  Especially if square stock is being used in place of coil overs.
  • All body related panels assembled, using all hardware.  An example is don't just assemble the fenders and hood, also assemble the header panel and grill and front lower valance, etc.   Also make sure any engine bay panels or inner fenders are installed, these can all effect how exterior panels fit.
  • Use all hardware!  Do not leave a bolt out of any hinges, etc. 
  • Install all weatherstrip, seals, and rubber bumpers 
  • It's recommended to add some weight to the inside of the doors to simulate glass and all the window mechanism
  • Weight can be added to simulate a fuel tank, or interior.  The closer to the finished reality, the better.  It can all effect how things flex, which effects how things fit.