By Del Sessions and Ralph E. Maines
Q: I have my transmission and rear drums out of my car and now I find I have to move it? Whats the best way to move around a 356 with only front wheels installed?
A: Moving a 356 without its transaxle is much easier with a "third-wheel dolly" supporting it, as seen in the picture below. I use this regularly at my shop to move disassembled cars for bodywork, painting or storage.
A single dolly wheel is attached to a flat steel plate centered beneath the hoop. The hoop is fitted into a slotted square tube or box, centered, and then through-bolted using holes of the hoop. Two angle iron arms are welded to the outer top of the tube ends - and when fastened to the trannie mount points--support the rear of the 356.
The front of each arm can be adapted to fit the trannie mounts. They can be drilled for a bolt--or the bolt may be welded on. A fixed bolt makes for easier attachment at the trannie mount. You can use your existing hoop, but it requires removing the transmission mounts from the hoop as the mounts will interfere with the cradle and/or bars. Consider getting an "extra" hoop from EASY, Parts Heaven or a dismantler near you (See the 356 registry vendors page for links). Or, you can adapt the dolly to make use of the hoop mounts and secure the hoop using the mounts.
Detail of left, showing bent ends and bolts for front trans mounts
Should you consider a design similar to this but created without welding, be sure to remember that it's your car's weight which will be held-up by this dolly, and that collapse could cause the rear clip to be significantly damaged. Be safe and use redundant support when constructing, applying or using this or any other method of supporting your car.
If you have any questions about assembly or use, contact Del Sessions by phone at (408) 295-7446 CA time.