Spent a couple hours making a plan and working on the frame today. Before I cut anything I took a couple measurements that will allow me to put the body mounts back in the same place. Center eyelet to center eyelet. Remember, I am not a professional and I am in no way saying how you should or should not approach body dropping a Hardbody. Im just tell you all how I did it.
My plan is to leave the body mounts on the left side until the right side is done. Only then will I start cutting the left side. This gives me a safe fixed point to measure from.
I have read build threads where guys cut everything off and then have there buddy CNC them some amazing body mounts. You know the stuff the rest of the world dreams of. Yah, well… I don’t have any friends with a CNC machine and I am not going to take the or spend the money to find some shop some where in America that may or may not make them correctly. I am simply going to use the ones Nissan made. They look fine to me and they have been holding trucks together for over 30 years.
This issue with using the factory ones is you cannot take a torch and blow them off. I carefully ground the welds down until I could get a air hammer to tear them off. In other places I used a sawzall with the blade bent so as to keep the cut as close as possible to the frame leaving as much material as possible.
After I removed the right body mounts I removed the torsion bars and cut out the cross member. I am not cutting out the next cross member. Not at this time. I do not feel the frame has enough bracing to guarantee it not to move or shift. Before cutting out the second cross member I will weld in a temporary cross brace.
I did not worry about clean cuts here as these are going in the trash. I really don’t like cleaning the frame or grinding down the cut off sections. Thus, I am choosing to clean my cuts as I go. I know I would hate spending days just grinding the frame clean. Best to split it up some.