Toyota Frame, Meet Integra Body
Fitting the body to the frame
I was eager to see the Acura Integra body on to the Toyota frame and to check what kind of fitment issues I would have. I had made some photo chops on my computer but I wanted to see the real thing. With everything removed from the car, it was light enough to be picked up with my engine hoist and rolled around. It still took two people in order to keep the car balanced, but no maunal lifting needed to be done. It moved easier then I would have thought. The key here is to have clean smooth cement for the hoist to roll over. Once the body was set down I could quickly see where I would need to start cutting.
There were a couple of places where it was getting hung up. The biggest was the unibody frame hitting the frame rails. Other things included the rear suspension brackets, exhaust brackets, centre cross member, and steering gear box. The transmission was touching the body in a couple of places because it was being held higher then normal.
I marked every thing that needed cutting or moving with a felt marker or chalk as best as I could. I didn't want to have to put the body on the frame more times then needed. Back on the jack stands is was easy to get under the car and cut off all the pieces that were getting in the way. For the transmission I didn't need to do much cutting, most of the offending areas could be persuaded to move out of the way with a ball peen hammer.
At this time I also removed other parts that I didn't need. One of the first to go was the spare tire well. I'm planning on running tires that will be at least 32" tall. The Integra spare well was made for a doughnut and would have to go. The front strut mounts were taking up a lot of engine bay space. Because the front suspension was now provided by the Toyota I could remove the mounts to free up this space. Because of my fuel tank design I plan on running the exhaust along the outside of the passenger frame rail. To make room for this exhaust pipe I cut away some of the body near the passenger foot well.
Now that everything that was in the way had been cut off or moved it was time to see how well the body fit. It was a definite improvement. The cross member still needed more room, and the rear frame rails were touching, but that would get fixed by the leaf spring conversion coming.