If I do another one its the way I am going to do it. Pro is you can easier clean up once body is fitted (I fitted and did bodywok on my mostly fitted chasis. Con is storing it while you build chasis so it does not get damaged and working on bugs over finished paint. Dan
I did some of the body work before it ever got mounted. Waiting on back ordered parts I did the seams and fender tops. The rest needs to be done after body fit to make right. Panel alignment,panel trimming need to be done body on car.
While I have not build one, I have absorbed a lot of information from being on the forum for over 2 yrs. Hindsight makes great points. The bodies have to be finished to fit the frame. I have read a number of posts were the body did not fit well because they had not trimmed some of the alum panels yet.
It seems the majority of people (my feel from reading other's posts) wait till the car is a gokart before they start the body. I know I will be doing something similar to what Hindsight said. Working on the body while waiting for backordered parts or just to take a break from the mechanical work.
With the body separated you can:
-Grind, fill & smooth all the seams
-Roll the cockpit edges
-Trim & roll the fender lips
-Coarse sand the gel coat to find & fill low spots
-Find & fill pin holes
-Spray some 'preservative' Feather Fill at least where you've worked.
This, by the way is my pre-winter goal. See, here in New England it gets... never mind. Anyway, even stopping at this point I feel like I've gotten a lot of time consuming, tedious steps out of the way.
To trim & finish the doors, hood & trunk, the body should be mounted with all the 'peripherals' like the roll bar(s) & windshield attached. Which means the trunk aluminum has to be in place. Which means you'll want the fuel lines & rear wiring harness run before hand. Plus, if you're doing an under trunk battery or dropped trunk mod, they should be done.
All of this is a good idea because mounting the body changes it's shape. But, the power train, functional brakes & major wiring could wait. The only problem there would be the exact exhaust cutout locations, especially if you're not using j-pipes.
As Dan said, storing a finished body without damaging it may be a trick. My 2c is Featherfill unsanded is a good stopping point. You could go to primer/sealer, but that way there's more risk of fisheyes or poor base adhesion.
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