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Back by popular demand! 55 chevy 2-door CONVERSION MANUAL!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CSU55Chevy, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    Its a little longer than a typical shorty but not as long as it actually started, thats why I referred to it as a shorty "version"

    I guess it could be called a long shorty:D
     
  2. As popular as these conversions are, I still have the stuff to do a 49-51 Merc and a '55-56 Chevy hardtop (if you want to change the roof) and I kind of expect I may die with them the way things are going. I'm not that old...
     
  3. benchseat4speed
    Joined: Feb 11, 2008
    Posts: 383

    benchseat4speed
    Member
    from Golden, CO

    Here's my '55. I got the idea of splicing doors from CSU55CHEVY a few years ago, I think he did it on a '57 more door he had. It's tedious, but $7-800 cheaper than a pair of nice 2-door doors. The doors on my car close with a click after HOURS and HOURS of cutting/re-welding. It was worth it tho, they seal pretty good to the body also.
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    Old wolf, Tall t 26, lewk and 10 others like this.
  4. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,815

    Squablow
    Member

    ^^ Damn Kevin, that looks nice!

    I know the 2 door sedan doors are expensive to find in good shape, I grafted the bottoms of 2 pairs of 4 door sedan doors into the shitty 2 door sedan doors that we used on my dad's '56 Chevy conversion. Turned out good but was a ton of work. It might have been easier to do what you did, and just cut the inner sheet metal out of the 2 door sedan doors where the regulators mount to weld into the spliced ones. $1200 for a pair of reproduction shells would have killed the budget.

    Here's a link to my '56 2 door conversion thread if I haven't posted it already.

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=753008
     
    Stogy and benchseat4speed like this.
  5. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,274

    AHotRod
    Member

    Well done Kevin!
    Would you do it again?




     
    Kevs56 likes this.
  6. benchseat4speed
    Joined: Feb 11, 2008
    Posts: 383

    benchseat4speed
    Member
    from Golden, CO

    Wow, I bet! Goes to show how many ways there are to do this. Checked out your '56 looks good dude. Thanks for the words on mine:cool:


    Hell no!:D Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated:)
     
  7. malibumonte78
    Joined: Nov 17, 2011
    Posts: 254

    malibumonte78
    Member

    Kev,

    I love your finished project. Seeing pictures of your project is giving me a wild hair to do this, as if I don't have enough projects allready. I have a 55 210 four door sedan shell and a really rough 56 Belair 2 door sedan body and frame. These were both bought to be parts cars, but I am thinking now that those two cars together and the leftover parts from my old man's 55 H/T build I could build a down and dirty mean 55 150 two sedan street machine. :cool:
     
  8. Well done and great pics.
     
    Kevs56 likes this.
  9. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    Wow that's killer work on making that graft!


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    Kevs56 likes this.
  10. benchseat4speed
    Joined: Feb 11, 2008
    Posts: 383

    benchseat4speed
    Member
    from Golden, CO

    Go to it Malibu! It's a helluva lot of work but it's either time or money take your pick. Cost me about 10k to build mine including the 2k I paid for it as a complete, running, driving, almost rust free 4-door. Just couldn't justify 4-5k for a 2-door body that still needed EVERYTHING. Thanks for the words man.

    Thanks Ron!

    Ray, didn't you have a 55 bel air 4-door for sale in the classifieds? Very cool car dude I'd love to buy it but timing was always off. Do you still have it? Thanks btw. Kevin


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  11. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    Kev I did but it has since moved to a new home, I regret letting it go tho! The kid who got it traded me his 54 Pontiac chop top, I got the short end of the stick on it because of all the parts that were supposed to come with it that have yet to materialize. Oh well I guess you live and learn, I found another one here on Craigslist for cheap that I'm gonna try to pick up.


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    Kevs56 likes this.
  12. This looks like fun.
     
  13. AviationFukr
    Joined: Oct 2, 2011
    Posts: 2

    AviationFukr
    Member

    Hey guys im stuck! Anyone have the quarter window install part to this? Any direction would be great thanks.
     
  14. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,397

    manyolcars

    55dooron.jpg What parts do you need? I got some parts at the Pate swap meet and bought new window channels when I started my conversion.
     
  15. Joe Tx
    Joined: Jan 25, 2008
    Posts: 252

    Joe Tx
    Member

    Is that your conversion, or is the door for sale? You from Tx.?
     
  16. CSU55Chevy
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 78

    CSU55Chevy
    Member
    from Olathe, CO

    Wow! Logged into this site for the first time in, shit, 5 to 6 years, and what do I see? Glad to see y'all are still interested in this conversion. I cooked up this half brained idea ten years ago when I was in college. Man, I really had no problems cutting up a car back then, Yeesh. Well, said 55 has since been sold, my 56 is gone, the 55 short step-side is somewhere in Texas, my 64 short step-side is probably Chinese pop cans at this point, and my 57 still sits in the same place it has since 2004. Life has a way of getting in the way eh? Details are fuzzy but I'll help if I can. Biggest pointer; cut until it fits, weld til it stays...
     
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  17. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,397

    manyolcars

    CSU, your great idea led the way. Thanks
     
  18. JOECOOL
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,759

    JOECOOL
    Member

    I'm in the process of doing a 57 ,time ,money and skill are all I lack.
     
  19. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,636

    belair
    Member

    ^^^^Lol. Me too.
     
  20. Terry-The-Toad
    Joined: May 2, 2016
    Posts: 4

    Terry-The-Toad
    Member

    Hi everyone, I've been on this forum a while but I've never posted before.

    Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse here with my question but I'm currently looking at a '57 4-door hardtop.

    My question is if not having a post will stop me from making it into a 2-door? I assume there has to be some sort of half-post between the front and back doors that I could move??

    Thanks
     
  21. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,815

    Squablow
    Member

    I think you'd be the first to do this to a 4 door hardtop, it's something I've always wanted to see done but haven't yet. The 4 door hardtop roof is quite a bit different than the 2 door hardtop roof, so your finished product is going to look a lot different than stock. Not necessarily a bad thing, just different.

    The steps are going to be mostly the same (I've done several of these conversions) You'll need a pair of doors from a 2 door hardtop, you'll have to move the center pillar back although having a chunk of a 2 door hardtop quarter with the door post on it would make your life a ton easier. A same year Pontiac section would work just as well.

    The pillar in the 4 door hardtop is very integrated into the floor and is important to the strength of the body, so don't cut corners moving and welding it back in, reinforcements will be necessary where the post moved, and any rust repair the car may need should be done first to avoid the body losing it's shape.

    The hard part will be the rear quarter windows, 2 door hardtop quarter windows aren't going to fit, but you should be able to rework the rear door window frames into quarter windows to fit the 4 door hardtop roofline. Making them roll up and down might be difficult, would be a good start to cut the inner skin out of the 4 door sedan back doors and weld them into the new 2 door hardtop inner areas, to see if the regulators could be reused. Unfortunately, fixed glass isn't a very good option on a hardtop, so some engineering of the quarter window regulators would be needed.

    But once it's done, it would be a one-of-a-kind custom, with 2 door proportions but the 4 door hardtop roof, which is quite pretty in it's own right. The 2 door hardtop side moldings should fit fine so that wouldn't be too tough.

    Probably not a job for a beginner but it's absolutely do-able and I'd love to see it.
     
  22. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,815

    Squablow
    Member

    Here's a rough photoshop of what a 2 door converted 4 door hardtop would look like. As you can see, it's different than a standard 2 door hardtop, but not in a bad way.

    Doing something different and unique with a '57 Chevy without being ugly is a tough job, but this car would do it.

    That said, having done several 4 door to 2 door conversions on a few different body styles, I would say the difficulty of this one vs. a post sedan is probably double, figure on twice as many hours and some engineering of the windows.

    4dhtchop.JPG
     
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  23. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,290

    town sedan
    Member

    Four door hardtops are a different animal looks wise. Far better looking than any four door sedan could ever hope to be without major surgery. If it's not in too bad of shape buy the hardtop and enjoy it for what it is. Or, keep looking till you can find what you really want. Just my worthless opinion.
    -Dave
     
  24. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,641

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    In my high school (66-69), there was a guy that had a 57, 4 door hardtop he made into a "2 door hardtop"; very similar to the red/white one above. However, he kept the stock front doors, and used 2 door hardtop/4 door hardtop side trim combined over the welded and bondo-ed in rear doors; the rear side windows no longer rolled down. But, the interior was the most unusual thing about the entire car; the rear seat was a circular, wrap around affair similar to a restaurant dining booth; the front seat was a 2 door hardtop seat with the split back. It too was red, including the roof. There's a member over on ChevyTalk.Org, from somewhere in South America (Argentina maybe?) who is making a "2 door convertible" from a 4 door hardtop, adding his own boxed tubing frame "X" member, some other tubular crossmembers that support his rack-pinion steering, huge disc brakes, Ford rear end, and BBC engine. Very high quality work. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
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  25. Terry-The-Toad
    Joined: May 2, 2016
    Posts: 4

    Terry-The-Toad
    Member

    Thanks for your reply! I'm still learning the ropes of HAMB so I didn't know anyone replied to me, or how to find it. I did some more research and realized (as you pointed out) it's definitely no job for a beginner. It also sold very quickly before I could research it fully. Nonetheless I will continue the search.

    However, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post this here. (please tell me if it's not acceptable and I will delete it). I was also wondering if there was any difference in body dimensions between a tri-5 Chevy and a Pontiac? Besides the slightly longer wheelbase (front wheels moved farther forward) I have found a couple nice 55-56 Pontiac's around for much cheaper than any 210 or Bel Air. And I was hoping to put a fibreglass tilt front on it, Two-Lane Blacktop style.

    Any help at all would be great.

    Thanks!
     
  26. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,815

    Squablow
    Member

    The Pontiac shares the doors and firewall dimensions with the Chevy, so the Chevy fiberglass front clip would fit onto the Pontiac body, but the wheelbase would be too long, so you'd have to shorten the frame up some. Then you'd have to decide if you want to keep the Pontiac dash and tail lights/rear quarters or graft on some Chevy pieces there.

    It could be made to work, but I don't think it'd be super easy. If you're planning on a different front suspension and the project doesn't come with an engine or trans, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. But if you're starting with a running, driving car, you'll be undoing a lot of that to get the fiberglass Chevy nose onto it.
     
  27. Terry-The-Toad
    Joined: May 2, 2016
    Posts: 4

    Terry-The-Toad
    Member

    You're very right on that, and I don't think a franken-Pontiac would be very well received. I certainly don't want to jump at something unless it's what I want and can do realistically.

    Thanks a lot for your input and help on this, definitely a lot to consider before diving in!
     
  28. So-cal Tex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 1,373

    So-cal Tex
    Member

    Nice work Kevin, looks like my old blue doors went to a good home and you made magic out of them...........I am so proud of you because the car looks great!

    20160207_174013.jpg
     
    Tall t 26, Stogy and benchseat4speed like this.
  29. mine was done the "easy" way! i bought a nicely restored quad cab and a beater two door sedan. 248.JPG 237.JPG 295.JPG 065.JPG
     
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  30. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,665

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    scotty t likes this.

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