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TECH: Make a 4 door into a 2 door

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Squablow, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 10,477

    Squablow
    Member

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 10,477

    Squablow
    Member

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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?
     
  3. touchdowntodd
    Joined: Jan 15, 2005
    Posts: 4,034

    touchdowntodd
    Member

    looks good squaw..... buy my bike!!
     
  4. PrimerDust318
    Joined: Mar 6, 2004
    Posts: 88

    PrimerDust318
    Member
    from NOR*CAL

    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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  5. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 10,477

    Squablow
    Member

    A shameless plug. I really do like that bike, just not flushed with cash right now. That's why I wanted to trade.

    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.
     
  6. 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
     
  7. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 10,477

    Squablow
    Member

    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.

    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.
     
  8. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 8,875

    40StudeDude
    Member

    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?

    [​IMG]

    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!!

    R-


    ....
     
  9. Brandy
    Joined: Dec 23, 2004
    Posts: 5,288

    Brandy
    Member
    from Texas

    You are SO my new hero!

    Brandy
     
  10. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 8,281

    AHotRod
    Member

  11. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 10,477

    Squablow
    Member

    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?
     
  12. Interesting...... Now I wont shy away from buying those moredoor models. All the nice originals seem to be fordoors cause they survive better......
     
  13. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 3,667

    Automotive Stud
    Member

    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.
     
  14. DesignIt
    Joined: Sep 15, 2002
    Posts: 35

    DesignIt
    Member

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

    John
     
  15. Flathead Youngin'
    Joined: Jan 10, 2005
    Posts: 3,531

    Flathead Youngin'
    Member

    WOW! Some of you guys on here aren't afraid of nuttin'!!!! I'm blown away...
     
  16. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 10,477

    Squablow
    Member

    You guys are all too kind.


    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.
     
  17. bluebrian
    Joined: Dec 7, 2004
    Posts: 576

    bluebrian
    Member
    from dallas

    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.
     
  18. JasonK
    Joined: Apr 16, 2004
    Posts: 753

    JasonK
    Member

    Looks great!
     
  19. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 8,875

    40StudeDude
    Member

    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-
     
  20. rebstew187
    Joined: Jan 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,457

    rebstew187
    Member

    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.
     
  21. buds56
    Joined: Dec 9, 2004
    Posts: 148

    buds56
    Member

    my 55 4 door project with 56 pontiac donor
     

    Attached Files:

  22. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 10,477

    Squablow
    Member

    Hey Buds56, if you got any more pics or info on this, I'd love to hear/see them. Did you run into any trouble areas? Hard to see in the pic but looks real good.
     
  23. Hey Squablow - Nice Job! You are a man with "vision". By the way, had any Leininkugels lately....Almost forgot - before you wrap it up, how would you feel about making it a convert? It might kind of look like a Batmobile...Once again though I like your work!....:D :D Gary 4T950 Chevy Guy
     
  24. 390kid
    Joined: Dec 29, 2004
    Posts: 642

    390kid
    Member

    nice work. cant wait to see it all done.
     
  25. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 10,477

    Squablow
    Member

    Leininkugels are good for a couple, but they're kinda syrupy, after awhile they give me a tummy ache.

    I did do a two door hardtop to convertible converson already, but on an OT car ('72 GTO) turned out really good. Only regret is not taking more pictures of the buildup on that one. I think BobK did something similar with his car.
     
  26. 5foot2
    Joined: Apr 28, 2005
    Posts: 285

    5foot2
    Member
    from Maine

    So are the front doors on the 4 door 55-57 chevys smaller than the 2 door doors?
     
  27. buds56
    Joined: Dec 9, 2004
    Posts: 148

    buds56
    Member

    i just got a dig camera so i'll try to take more pics,basicaly it looks just like the way you did your plymouth which looks great. I still need to put in the inners that hold the regulators. if i did it again i would use the whole roof off the donor car to save welding. the inside is a pain around where the tack strips are for the headliner and i just lack patience sometimes and just have to let it sit for awhile. i'll try to get some pics next weekend when i get out to the garage. bud
     
  28. unclescooby
    Joined: Jul 5, 2004
    Posts: 4,628

    unclescooby
    Member
    from indy

    I love it but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do those front and rear skirts that you photoshopped a few weeks ago. That was awesome. I loved not seeing any wheels on that car.
     
  29. STIFF
    Joined: Aug 17, 2005
    Posts: 397

    STIFF
    Member
    from Rat Town

    Squablow, awesome tech!! I've been hoping someone would do a post on this particular mod, as I plan to do the same thing to my '52 chevy but have lacked the gonads until now...you've given me the courage to fuck up my car!!
    So, are you familiar with the chevy mod as well? If so,what kinds of things do I need to look out for? Advice would be appreciated...
     
  30. unclescooby
    Joined: Jul 5, 2004
    Posts: 4,628

    unclescooby
    Member
    from indy

    pretty please?
     

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