David Heacock's 1985 Avanti EV Conversion (In Process)

Frame and Body Reunion
Updated 9/13/09.

After the completed rolling frame was returned from the shop and the body repairs were finished it was time to rejoin the two. Below are a number of pictures of the completed rolling frame before it was painted.

In getting the body ready for reunion with the frame I finally completed the torque boxes that support the center section of the body. The picture below shows the right side completed torque box before it was painted.

Several sections of the fiberglass body needed to be repaired before it could be placed back on the frame. Having never really worked much with fiberglass this became another process I needed to learn. In the case of the right side body support located at the firewall I simply removed the fiberglass piece and replaced it with a new purchased piece. I used both rivets and adhesive to get the support section back in place. I found out the hard way that the outside temperature on warm days could really change the set up time of the adhesive and ended up scrambling to get the major portion of the rivets in place before the adhesive became hard. The following picture shows the support piece temporarily in place. Notice on the lower left you can see the plastic hose, which is used to divert water from the sunroof channels and keep it out of the torque box, a major cause of these boxes rusting out.

At the front of the car just under where the radiator use to be the fiberglass was showing some major cracks and even holes as can be seen in the following picture of one section. I figured that before I replaced the body on the frame I would at least do the initial repair work and then wait until the Avanti was running before I completed the damaged sections. The second picture shows the initial repair with new fiberglass and resin in place.

Now that the body repairs were made and the rolling frame was painted we had to raise the body up so the frame could be rolled under the body. We needed to support the body on four corners and then slowly lower it over the modified rolling frame. Measurements were made before hand so that a major hole was cut in the body where the newly mounted motor and transmission would fit. However, in order to complete the process the body had to be raised and lowered many times to make all the necessary cuts in the body so it would fit on the frame correctly. It would have been much easier and less time consuming if we had had a way to raise and lower the body with a hoist but that probably would have involved a much more complicated and costly set up to complete a one time event. The following pictures show the initial cut out of the body and positioning of the body over the frame.

Getting the motor and transmission section into the body was the easy part. The more difficult and time consuming part was cutting and fitting the body for sections of the frame as the body was raised and lower numerous times. The following pictures show the interior once the body was finally reattached to the frame and the cut outs necessary for the frame all the way back to the trunk.

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