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Technical BODY, stovebolt chevy chop.w/pics

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Tony, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    I say attemp because i'm no writer, and my '53 is the first chop i've done. So what i hope i can do with this is maybe give the guy's that are thinking of doing one some inside pics of how i did mine..
    here go's [​IMG]

    First off, strip the car of glass, trim and interior. Also, the wires that run to the rear of the car are in the driver side pillar, and another in the pass pillar for the dome light. These must be cut and pulled out.
    Once you've done that, assuming you know about how much you want out, mark for the chop. I used masking tape as a guide. I marked my car for 2 different hight's. One for 4 " and another for 5". I wanted the 5, but rather that cutting it that much at first, i figured i'd see what 4" looked like. If i didn't like it, i'd cut the extra inch.
    It's much easier to take it off, that putting it back on [​IMG].I also marked the centerline of the car as a reference point when putting the top back on.
    When i taped it, i made sure my tape was the same distance apart all the way around the pillar's. This way as i followed the line, i knew it was a parallel cut.
    A pillar tape line.

    Now, before you take the saw to anything, you MUST brace the body. I used threaded rod a friend gave me. 1" and 3/4" bars were used. The 1" was used to tie the quarters together, right below the quarter window at the door. I then took the 3/4 rod and from the same spot on the quarter, i ran them to the center hump on the floor. This stabilized the quarters once the roof was cut off. You must also brace between the doors. When you cut the top off, the integrity between the front and rear halfs of the car is basically gone. Putting a bar in the opening will keep that where it should be.
    here you can see the rear bars.

    First thing i did was to cut the top's of the doors off and the rear window frame. I used a sawzall for the doors, and a cut off wheel for the rear window. Take your time on the back window, there's 2 panels to it so it's gonna take a little while. I also used the cut off wheel to remove the rear curve of the quarter window. I'll show you what i did with it later.
    Once those were cut free, it's on to the top itself. I used a porta-band to cut the post's. It's a lot more accurate than a sawzall in my opp, and easier to see where your cutting. Remember to cut the top mark's first! If you make the mistake of whacking the bottom's first, your going to have to cut the "meat" off the top itself and there's not a lot of regidity to it off the car.
    After cutting off 4", and setting the top back on i decided on my first thought, 5".
    Once it was cut 5,i set the top back on. I had relief slices in the roof on the inside of the A pillars in order to "Pull" the pillars out to meet the posts on the car. it wasn't much, a total of about 5/16".
    With the A pillars lined up, and the center lined up, i tacked the A's in place. I set the profile of the roof where it was going to 'flow' right for me. Once i had the hight of the rear set, i measured (something you should do a lot during this process) the opening in the quarter window's.I cut 2 rod's and tacked them in the quarter windows, holding the roof so that the windows were the same. I then tied those rods to the 1" cross brace i installed in the car.
    see pic.

    With the roof in place, and the A's tacked, i started on the rear.
    The first thing i did was take those corner peices i cut out earlier, and tack them in place.The whole roof was slid about 5" to 6" forward, so this piece was actually right behind where it is now.

    Next,because of the amount of chop, the rear window was not gonna work unless it was sunk in the package tray. i don't like that look, and plexi wasn't an option.
    I used a shoebox ford backlite as a "new" window. The center of the ford window was found, and it was laid in place. i used scrap metal to tack it in place as we made filler pieces. I didn't have equiptment to fab the filler peices, so we used what we had....our hands.
    layin it in...

    In these pics, you can see the filler panels made and welded in. you can also see the cut i had to make in the roof above the quarter window in order to make the stock roof flow into the ford window. I pie cut the roof roughly 22" long,2" above the drip rail, then pulled the rear section together and tacked it together. This created a pretty good buckle in the roof at the front of that cut, so that area at the front of the cut had to be shrunk in order to make the tin meet up again. Once shrunk, it mated up pretty good.

    On my B pillars, i chose to go with the canted look. It was actually easier to go this route because the roof was slid forward. By sliding forward, you automatically have the the angle of the B's in place. I pie cut the post's and leaned them towards each other. Once i had them lined up, i used peices of the discarded pillars to fill the gap and tacked them in place. I used a straight edge on every point of the B's in order to make sure they were dead on.

    The larger gaps on the opposite side's created by angling the B's were filled using small pieces of the same 19 ga sheet metal i used on the backlite.
    These shot's are of the stock window frame, sitting exactly where it was in stock form. You can see my tack welds on the cut above the quarter window, and i had already ground down the lower section. I havn't gotten to the top yet.

    Here's the rear window with the welds fully ground. (note: i kept the glass in as i did this, i layered the hell out of it with duct tape to keep weld spatter and sparks from the grinder from destroying it)

    Here's the pass A pillar done..these reqiured no filler.

    this pic is basically done without high build primer..

    these are after the high build primer. There still is some minor block sanding that needs to be done, but the hard stuff is done.

    A few more things.. I plated all the pillars on the inside with 19 ga steel. This adds some strength to the joints, above the initial welds. You can also sleeve them by adding just that, a sleeve inside the pillar as added strenght.
    These welds don't have to be pretty, they have to be STRONG! Making sure you have good penatration is key.
    You don't want to be out cruising along, feeling all proud of your ride, then hit a good bump and lose your lid! [​IMG]
    The local shop basically quoted between 35-4500 bux to do it, and this was without any finish work. I probably have around 500 in all the supplies and the rear window. You can save a lot, and gain a lot if you do it yourself.

    don't get me wrong, i know it's a little more involved than that, but my two fingers are starting to hurt from pushing these buttons.
    I hope my attemp at tech didn't confuse too many of you.
    Sorry if it did.. [​IMG]

    Thanks to my club members, Dat Dirty Rat and Johnny boy for all your idea's, help and support!!

  2. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,791

    Staff Member

    Fucking Awesome... and I love that car...
  3. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    Ryan, thanks.
    for the compliment and 'tech week'
    lot's of kool stuff to be learned!
  4. dondanno
    Joined: Mar 20, 2003
    Posts: 679


    Pak that looks great I like the line it take back...Danny

  5. Great job. On the chop, and on the post.
  6. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,418


    That's the way Chevy shoulda done it in the first place!
  7. Dat Dirty Rat
    Joined: Jan 15, 2003
    Posts: 3,504

    Dat Dirty Rat

    2:33 AM?..Wow, hope your not late for work in the morning [​IMG]..Nice job on the post holmes!. Dirty
  8. PFF
    Joined: Oct 28, 2002
    Posts: 186

    from UK

    Sweet..... some nice metal work going on there

  9. Bitchen post. Ever since I saw that "photoshop my buddy's 54 chevy post", it's got me thinking....

    Good job!

  10. Josh
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 41

    from So. IL

  11. Sam F.
    Joined: Mar 28, 2002
    Posts: 4,225

    Sam F.

    awesome work man!
  12. Spike!
    Joined: Nov 22, 2001
    Posts: 2,733


    Way to go Pac Man! You sure picked a Hell of a car to do your first chop! Trial by FIRE! Its obvious you passed. Now get to work on that '53.. [​IMG]. That '54 was just practice!!

  13. CruZer
    Joined: Jan 24, 2003
    Posts: 1,913


    Now THAT's a tech post. Great job and great job on the chop.The car looks awesome. I hope it'll be a Syracuse next year.
  14. That was a cool post. I actually understude everything you said which is cool because I am a dumbass when it comes to this type of stuff.I'm going to have to hang out with Kustombuilder more so I can pick up on this stuff.Great pics too.
  15. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,161


    An awesome job! You've got a lot of natural talent - really frustrates the hell out of the rest of us mortals !!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  16. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    from Detroit

    WOW!!!....That car came out PERFECT!!! [​IMG]

    Hard to believe it's your FIRST chop job...I've seen many people screw up 49-54 Chevys by chopping them poorly...but you smacked the nail right on the head!!

    Great write-up and pics, too!!

    Amazing...truly amazing.... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

  17. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    Guy's, thanks a lot!
    I'm hoping it will be in Syracuse this coming year..i want to have it in color by then, but i'm not sure.
    It may just be in primer the first year.

    i was worried that i wasn't gonna be able to put my thoughts into words on this, i'm really glad to see that i didn't seem to confuse anyone!

    Dirty, i made it to work on time today!! [​IMG] I didn't think i was going to though.....
  18. InPrimer
    Joined: Mar 10, 2003
    Posts: 778


    the only reason you "always" make it on time for work is, it helps to know the "boss' lol
  19. Very nice write-up and a well-executed chop. Especially for your first one! Great job, it looks really nice. Thanks for taking the time for pictures and typing up the descriptions.
  20. magnet
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 853


    nice job.. thats a great chop!
  21. Skate Fink
    Joined: Jul 31, 2001
    Posts: 3,472

    Skate Fink
    Member Emeritus

    [ QUOTE ]

    Next,because of the amount of chop, the rear window was not gonna work unless it was sunk in the package tray. i don't like that look, and plexi wasn't an option.
    I used a shoebox ford backlite as a "new" window.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That is one SWEET chop! The shoebox backlite is a natural for a smooth flowing look......

  22. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,196

    from Chicago

    My only complaint is that you made it look easy and have given me the confidence to fuck up a perfectly good car... [​IMG]
  23. spudz
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 531


    man thats awesome!!!!! if only my 53 looked that great. What year of what did that window u use come out of again?? Mine 53 is gettin chopped thats just all there is to it....
  24. 41sled
    Joined: Oct 28, 2003
    Posts: 199

    from Orange, CA

    Eh , you know i love it [​IMG]

  25. delaware george
    Joined: Dec 5, 2002
    Posts: 1,246

    delaware george
    from camden, de

    and i thought(still do) your other car was the shit....WOW!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  26. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    In primer, ya have a point there man..He live's just up the street too. [​IMG]

    Skate Fink..way kool stude!

    Django, if i did it, you sure as hell can! get to choppin!! [​IMG]

    spuds, the window was from a 49-51 ford.
    Again, thanks to all...

  27. wes
    Joined: Mar 23, 2002
    Posts: 717

    from san diego

    excellent post, that car rules.. now i can take the pickup off your hands [​IMG]
  28. bottle
    Joined: Aug 26, 2003
    Posts: 63


    Pakrat32 I chopptop and it look BITCHIN Grate job,
  29. quickrod
    Joined: Nov 5, 2003
    Posts: 394


    pakrat32,killer post!very explanatory,felt like i was standin right's stuff like this that inspires people[LIKE ME}to have the confidence to attemt things like this on our own i look at stuff like this and it helps me say"fuck it, i can do it"way kool,thanks....quickrod [​IMG]
  30. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    Thats great man!! It made my day to read that. Confidence can be a hard thing to muster up when your thinking of taking on something like this.
    You'd be suprised what can be done once you shake the "jitters" and get to it.
    Rock on!!

    Wes, thanks!
    I must say man, your a consistant sum biatch... [​IMG] [​IMG]


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