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Old 11-06-2005, 06:07 PM   #1
Squablow
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Default TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Here's my entry for tech week: making a four door sedan into a two door post.

I started with this car, a nice driver 1960 Plymouth Fury four door sedan. It has original paint on it and drives real nice, but it's ready for a repaint and needs some rust repair also.



I figured as long as I have to paint it, I may as well make it into a two door sedan. To do the conversion, I bought this '60 Savoy club sedan on eBay for $60. I had to drive all the way to Mississippi to get it (last year when gas was cheap) but it was worth every penny. The donor car had no floors, drivetrain, suspension, or hood left, but both doors were plenty solid for me and the sections of the rear quarters that I needed were intact as well. Here's what it looked like when I dragged it home.





So the conversion starts by unbolting both doors on one side. I'm doing this one side at a time.



Then I used a sawzall to cut the old door pillar out.



When I cut the center door pillar out, I was expecting the pillar to be an important structural piece of the body. I figured it would be very solid and tied into the rockers and upper roof rails. It wasn't. In fact, I made my cut on the top side, then I pulled out on the pillar and it snapped right off of it's spot welds. In these pics, you can see that the pillar was not tied into the rocker structure beyond a couple of spot welds, and the cut through the roof pillar was only sheetmetal, no tie-in into the structure of the roof.



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Old 11-06-2005, 06:07 PM   #2
Squablow
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Next, I hung the longer two door sedan door on the car. The two door sedan door hinges are the same as the ones from the front door of the four door, I think I'm using one four door hinge and one two door hinge, because that's what was easiest to bolt up.



Then I cut the forward half of the rear quarter panel off of the donor car, complete with window regulator and upper window frame, and inner structure. (I actually had the donor car cut apart ahead of time to save space) I cut the quarter off with lots of overhang in every direction to make sure I didn't short myself.



A little trimming gets it closer to fitting the hole. I also took the stainless rocker trim off at this point, revealing a good amount of rust repair that I'll need to do.



And a little more trimming, and a little more trimming, and cut that corner off, and shorten that up. I trimmed a little away and refitted this piece it seems like 50 times. At this point, I had it in it's place, but the door wouldn't quite close yet.



And a little more trimming, blah, blah, blah. Eventually I got the door to close with nice door gaps and everything looks as it should. Now all that's left is to weld it up solid and do the bodywork.

This is now the world's only 1960 Plymouth Fury Club Sedan, as Plymouth only produced the two door post in the cheaper models. Luckily, the two door hardtop stainless trim is the same length as the two door sedans, so I'll be able to use hardtop beltline trim to fill in the gaps. In this pic, you can see one of the rear quarter stainless mouldings mocked-up on the car.



The rear quarter glass from the parts car fits right in the new car, so there is no need for custom glass or garnish mouldings. Once I get this side all welded up and put the glass back in, I'm going to turn it around and do the other side.

Other than the constant trimming trying my patience, this wasn't all that hard to do. If you're good enough to hang rear quarter panels and inner wheelhouses at the same time, you could do this. It's just a matter of making everything fit.

I've got a '57 Chevy four door that has a date with the sawzall next, and Caseyscustoms is hooking me up with the perfect donor car (thanks, man!) That conversion will be a little more involved, but now that I've gotten this far on this car, I'm not really nervous about it.

What do you guys think?
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:11 PM   #3
touchdowntodd
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

looks good squaw..... buy my bike!!
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squablow

What do you guys think?
I think it's an AWESOME use of a nice original 4 door and a rusty 2 door. I wanted to do something like this with my Dart Wagon when I had it.

I'd be tempted to leave it a 3 door.
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:16 PM   #5
Squablow
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Quote:
Originally Posted by 51ratt
looks good squaw..... buy my bike!!
A shameless plug. I really do like that bike, just not flushed with cash right now. That's why I wanted to trade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimerDust318
I think it's an AWESOME use of a nice original 4 door and a rusty 2 door. I wanted to do something like this with my Dart Wagon when I had it.
Thanks man. I think a wagon would be a great cantidate to do something like this with. If I had a '60 Plymouth Suburban wagon, I would have done this to it in a second.

I just fell in love with this '60 Fury and wanted to do something more to it beyond just a quick repaint.
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

i think its great, a somewhat easy way to get a 2door if u cant find what u want. shouldnt be a problem changing the title either, WOULD it?? ..joe
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:27 PM   #7
Squablow
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimerDust318
I'd be tempted to leave it a 3 door.
A three door wagon would be really cool, a 3 door sedan would certainly get looks, but not quite what i'm going for. Trust me, I thought about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TooMany2count
i think its great, a somewhat easy way to get a 2door if u cant find what u want. shouldnt be a problem changing the title either, WOULD it?? ..joe
I don't know about the title, I don't think that'd be a problem, but then again, I really don't give a shit what a piece of paper says. I'd bet if I went into the DMV and showed them that the title matches the car but the car is a two door and not a four door, they'd figure it was a typo and reprint it.

With the price of two doors versus four doors, this seems (to me, at least) to be a logical way to get a cheap two door, and make good use of a wasted parts car in the process.

Not to mention, this could also be used to build phantom cars, body styles that never existed, like some two door wagons and such.
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:30 PM   #8
40StudeDude
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Uhmmmm, Squabbie, those rockers I sold you won't fit on the Plym...

That 4-door '57 you've got...is that the white one in the background in the one pic? Looks to be in good shape...gonna make her a two-door eh?

Ever see the last '57 I built?



At one time I owned thirty at once...yeah you read that right, thirty at one time...and enuff parts stashed to build at least three more...course, that was a few years ago, when you could pick up a '57 Chevy for only a few hundred dollars...and they weren't 1-800-call-for-new-parts '57's!!

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Old 11-06-2005, 06:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

You are SO my new hero!

Brandy
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Excellant !
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:34 PM   #11
Squablow
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Quote:
Originally Posted by 40StudeDude
Uhmmmm, Squabbie, those rockers I sold you won't fit on the Plym...

That 4-door '57 you've got...is that the white one in the background in the one pic? Looks to be in good shape...gonna make her a two-door eh?

....
Those rockers WILL fit on the '57 I'm planning to cut up. It is the white one in the background, picked it up for $300 at an auction a couple months ago. It's really solid (in Wisconsin terms), the perfect cantidate to cut up into a two door sedan.

You wouldn't happen to have an extra '57 two door sedan driver's door laying around, would you?
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Interesting...... Now I wont shy away from buying those moredoor models. All the nice originals seem to be fordoors cause they survive better......
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Nice! This is a 5 star if I ever saw one! Can't wait to see it all done with shiney paint again!

I think that 57 has a different roof, and might not be as easy, you got lucky with that pillar not being tied in too tight. Maybe it was a friday afternoon car.
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Fantastic!! All Fo-does should be treated to this!

John
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

WOW! Some of you guys on here aren't afraid of nuttin'!!!! I'm blown away...
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:51 PM   #16
Squablow
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

You guys are all too kind.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Automotive Stud
Nice! This is a 5 star if I ever saw one! Can't wait to see it all done with shiney paint again!

I think that 57 has a different roof, and might not be as easy, you got lucky with that pillar not being tied in too tight. Maybe it was a friday afternoon car.
The '57 has the same length roof, but to do the conversion on that one, it's gonna require cutting the rear window pillars out of the car to eliminate the extra pillar behind the doors. So it indeed will be more work, but still very do-able, I'm not scared. I'll do a tech on that one too when I get to it (prob. next summer)

As far as the pillar goes, 1960 was the first year for uni-body construction on full size Plymouth cars, so I think they designed the body structure to accept either amount of doors. If any strength was lost, it'll be right back with the new quarters welded in.
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:56 PM   #17
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

that looks to easy. I know some 2 and 4 doors differ alot. That one seems to work just fine. I wonder what other cars are also plug and play.

I kind of like the 3 door idea too. The drivers side is the cool side and the other side is the family side. You can just tell people it is a rare prototype savoy that was made in limited numbers.
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Old 11-06-2005, 07:04 PM   #18
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Looks great!
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Old 11-06-2005, 07:11 PM   #19
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Quote:
You wouldn't happen to have an extra '57 two door sedan driver's door laying around, would you?
Nope...really don't have much '57 stuff left anymore...lot of small stuff only...altho I do retain one complete front clip in case something happens to the rad '57...and I have a good '57 radiator if you need one.

I do know of a yard near here that has several '57's in it...and I'd think there mite be a good door there if you're willing to pay shipping...

R-
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Old 11-06-2005, 07:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

at first when I seen the 4 door it looked to nice to take it apart.man was I wrong.I've heard of this but first one I seen done.well worth the time.you do killer work.
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