Firebird: Chassis Dolly

With limited space, NOT being able to move the car around easily has been challenging since I took off the front subframe. I’ve seen a bunch of cars on pro-touring.com with supports that mount to the firewall subframe mounts and allow the car body to be rolled around. I would call these a “chassis dolly” although I’m not sure of the right term. This weekend, my 12 year-old (Adam) and I set out for the steel supplier, ready to make one.

Turns out the local steel supplier, L&C Metals, is not only open on Saturday mornings, but one of the owners, Jeff, is an awesome guy.

We picked through his drop wall, selected a 49″ piece of 3″ x 1.5″ x 1/8th” and a 34″ piece of 2″ x 1/8″ tube. He let Adam program the cuts on this monster bandsaw, and showed us all the different metalworking equipment, their machine shop, etc. They have a break there that will bend a 12 FOOT long piece of 1/2″ steel!

“IT’S A METAL WONDERLAND!”

We brought the steel home and started fabricating. This type of build may be simple for others, but it is not routine for us. We did it in about 4 hours with all the cleaning, drilling, plasma cutting (the caster mounts), and the welding.

Here’s the finished product, then a bunch of progress pics…

Attaching one side of the 44″ wide main tube…

Cleaning off LOTS of surface rust for weld prep…

I beveled the edges of the riser tubes…

Plasma cut some 1/8″ plate for the caster mounting flanges

Test fit…

Melting metal…

Finished welding…

Mounting casters…

Done!

Notes:

– Main tube = 44″
– Risers = 12″
– Casters = 6″ swivel (no brakes…but back wheels are blocked)
– Risers are 10″ (outside edge) in from end of main tube – this lets the subframe sit directly below the body, the risers are not in the way
– Used the body bushing bolts, worked great with that size tube…

About Ian Cole