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Kinda OT ? 1958 VW Bug Chop ????

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by chad, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. chad
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    chad Member

    Anybody here ever chop a VW bug? I had a guy come over and ask me about choppin' his 58 VW...I have done a few 49-51 fords and a few trucks and a few modle A's but never a VW.....It looks like it could be a bitch of a job...Any tips or pointers before I commit to the deed? I know for sure, I DONT want to quarter the top....I would be greatfull for any help....TIA...
  2. Harrison
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    Harrison Member
    1. 1959-1960 El Camino Owners
    2. The Airbag Connection

    http://www.socalook.com/chopping.shtml

    You may not want to 1/4 it but it sure would make the chop easier & look better. It's hard to cut one & have it come out looking right without 1/4'ing it.

    One of the SoCal Speed Shop guys had a killer chopped black bug a few years ago.

    JH
  3. SinisterCustom
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    SinisterCustom Member

    Find another bug with a good roof, as your going to need it for extra filler when ya 1/4 it(which I think needs to be done to look right).....VW's may be the toughest to chop and look GOOD....
    Most dub chops have flat roofs and/or a bad transition at the back.....look like crap......
  4. chad
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    chad Member

    He already has 2 extra roofs LOL... So when I screw the first one up I can fix it LOL
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  5. james
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    james Member

    You want to 1/4 it, but really think about your cuts. most make the diagonally opposing peices bigger, then do the opposite with the extra top. If you really plan your cuts this way, you'll only need a small square filler in the center of the top, not strips in the middle and such. Of course, since you have 2 extra tops you can 1/4, then cut a big "skin" off the 3rd top. A LOT simpler having 2 extra tops...
  6. John_Kelly
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    John_Kelly Member

  7. JamesG
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    JamesG Member

    I here they are a ton of work.......?

    Ask here, you might get a better responce....

    www.thesamba.com
  8. metalshapes
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    metalshapes Tech Editor

    First off... As long as this Thread stays purely about the Metalwork involved with the Chop, its not Off Topic, as far as I'm concerned...

    Second, I alway try to avoid Quartering at all costs.
    What you do when you Quarter it is move the warp that you'll get (when you Weld it back together ) where the shallowest dome is on the Roof.
    Making it the hardest to smoothe out.
    Also, because its in the middle of the Roof, it will be the hardest to reach both sides off the Skin with a Hammer & Dolly.
  9. SinisterCustom
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    SinisterCustom Member

    That's why ya need a 2nd roof.....once quartered and braced.....cut along the outer edge of the roof....near the factory bead VW's have, then fill the roof with the 2nd roof center....similar to filling the roof on an "A"....will give you a better crown.....
  10. metalshapes
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    metalshapes Tech Editor

    Yep...

    Or filler pieces along the edges.


    There are many ways to Chop a Top.

    I'm just saying what I try to avoid...
  11. choprods
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    choprods Alliance Vendor

    The only ONE ....Beetle, I have ever chopped, was about 20 years ago...:D memory seving it was chopped 5"...
    I lengthened the top .....through the area above the doortops,by cutting straight UP at about the rear of door opening [about 4"] then forwards about a18" or so...THEN ACROSS...
    This allowed a sort of L shaped cut so it could be slid apart [in length] but also afforded a horizontal surface to "line back up"... if you will much easier than a straight across whack NEVER NEVER NEVER QUARTER ANY ROOF!...Especially one.... lookin' a lot like an EGG.:eek:

    I do :rolleyes: remember NOT ctting the roof longwise[as in a quartering method] at all.....
    I pulled everything in [and out] to match up and reshaped the widshield posts some to match up.......lots less work /time and FILLER.....
    I added a strip of fill metal across the splice....
    Of course I dont know much ,so I'd ask somebody with more experience....
  12. metalshapes
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    metalshapes Tech Editor

    Haha... Thats funny.

    I've done enough Chops that I lost count.

    But I do know you've done a couple of times as many...:D


    Listen to the man, he knows what he is talking about...
  13. SinisterCustom
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    SinisterCustom Member

    Quartering was not the right terminology I guess.......but it NEEDS lengthened......and using the 2nd roof would make it EASIER.....
    Would be ever better if the VW was a factory sliding ragtop........my .02
  14. metalshapes
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    metalshapes Tech Editor

    No...:)

    What I think off when I hear that term is a cut down the middle off the Roof, and another one from side to side. ( about at the B Pillar )
    Which then get filled with a couple strips of metal.
  15. chad
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    chad Member

    I have only quartered one roof and that was on a 68 chevy pick up and I swore I would never do that again it makes for 10X's the work...Thats why I said I dont want to quarter it.......Thanks for the help!
  16. customcory
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    customcory Member

    Here is how I chopped my 56 bug. I went in about a inch fom the ridges and took the whole middle of the roof out. I used another roof section cut big, and slid it around on the roof until it looked right. I had to put in another oval window section because mine was too rusty. I remember widening the roof a little in the front. You lengthen the sides of the roof a little ways back inbto the Quarter window, there is actually a little straightpart of the roof there. Move the door post back. Cut the back at a normal spot. Maybe You can tell something by the pics. I think I cut it 4 3/4 in front 4 1/2 in the back. You won't be able to get a drink at the drive thru. You can chop a bug to much and it will look bad and its harder to do, your donor roof won't quite be long enough etc. Cut your roof out , cut the sides and windshield down, slide a roof around till it looks right. You still got to do the insides. Good Luck.:D

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  17. customcory
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    customcory Member

    Let me try again......

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  18. Unkl Ian
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    Unkl Ian Member

  19. chad
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    chad Member

    I wanted to try to avoid widening the roof if at all possible,...Just put a slit in the front roof/posts and then tipping the doors in. Like the 49-50 fords....This is great info Guys ...Thanks!!!
  20. 26Tudor
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    26Tudor Member

    www.walts.info/index.htm

    or look for Walts Custom Services in Santa Rosa, CA... instead of doing the the most accpeted way, by using another roof to add (depending on the amount of chop, 6-8 inches across the top, and 3-4 inches from the windshield back to the rear window) he decided it would be easier just to narrow the body, so that is what he did, and unless you knew, you might not know...
    you can also find pages and pages on the build at www.volksrods.com under "The Rat Patrol"
    PS The guy who made it, Walt Letherman, is also the guy that has the bright yellow, original, Kent Fuller Volksrod, with a VW engine and a (R.I.P.) Dick Landy blower on it...
  21. pompadour
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    pompadour Member

    26tudor hit it on the head this is the only way i have ever heard of chopping a beetle
  22. Unkl Ian
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    Unkl Ian Member

    There is a guy in Windsor,with a chopped and sectioned Beetle.
    IIRC,the roof skin is stock,he slid it forward to match the A-pillars.
    Then leaned the tops of the doors in.

    It was in Hot VWs a couple months ago.
  23. JamesG
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    JamesG Member

  24. customcory
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    customcory Member

    I just remembered why I widened the front of the roof. A 58 has a small windshield like the 56, I had seen some drag cars that leaned the posts , and the windshield hole never looked right too me, too pinched in the corners. The posts look stock, but lower , kinda the same window hole, just lower. I think I widened it about a 1 1/2 , and only in the front. I thought that was easier than leaning four posts in. That shortened body car is neat , but still has a weld right in the middle of the roof. No bondo in the center of the roof my way. There is a bunch a ways to do it, and I bet somebody will blow all our minds with a better way.:D
  25. fflood
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    fflood Member

    I chopped my beetle the way that Walt did. It really worked well and it didn't require a donor roof. I think I took about 2 inches out of the cowl and back firewall to get the pillars to line back up with the roof. I did weld an oval rear window into the roof so I could get rid of the large 67 rear window.

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  26. JohnnyG.
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    JohnnyG. Member

    (hope this doesnt take this off topic. if it does, delete my post...)

    has anybody used a VW bug body as a hotrod with out a front clip? i mean no hood, fabbed new firewall, with a V8 or something infront of the body? making it a regular car but a bug body? ive got a 73 sitting at my house with a blown motor. thanks. if anyone wants to have sme fun with photoshopping this, PM please.
  27. kustombuilder
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    kustombuilder Member

    you guys are making me want to do one of the Beetle builds i've had bouncing around inside my melon for a long time now. i WANT to chop a Beetle in a bad way. well, good work but i want to---- you know what i mean!!
    i have a 61 roof with a sliding rag i'm saving for one of them. i realy want an oval, or better yet a split window to build. one of each would be great because i have 2 different cars i'd like to build. one with fenders (oval) and one without (split).
  28. kustombuilder
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    kustombuilder Member

    oh yeah. Hatch did a Beetle chop way back in the day. he even showed me pics. ask him about it.
  29. hatch
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    hatch Member

    I'll try and find the pics...I just sold my house and moved, so it might take me a while. It was the toughest chop I've ever done. I quartered it , and replaced the center section with a donor roof that had a tin sunroof in it.....never again!!!!....for ANY price!!!
  30. Little Wing
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    Little Wing Member

    Chopping a 58 is just a sin

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