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Chopping a '36 Chevy Sedan

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Woob, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. LowerthanLife
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 284

    LowerthanLife
    Member

    nice job on the car and the video.
     
  2. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,862

    chaddilac
    Member

    Nice progress!!!
     
  3. chopd top
    Joined: Jun 25, 2008
    Posts: 472

    chopd top
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Florida
    1. HAMB Relays

    You're doing a fine job! This thread brings back a few memories! I resurrected a '36 just like this one. I didn't chop it like I planned because I didn't own it long enough to, but I put almost as much work into it. The wood was all but gone in it and the remnants of the floor were nothing more than a sieve. The bottom 4" of the car got replaced, metal replaced the former wood pieces, fenders straightened, firewall holes filled, frame blasted and painted along with the body getting blasted and primed. It was at that point someone stopped and asked how much I'd sell it for. A deal was struck and I was off to find another project. :D
     
  4. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    It's coming along a little at a time. Glad I could bring back some memories.

    With the major body modifications out of the way, I started to make one sweep from front to rear - hitting all the little things that weren'’t a priority at the time. There were a couple of small mounting holes left in the firewall that have now been welded shut. There was also some rust damage that needed repair where the front fenders used to bolt to the body. I had considered filling the area below the curve with some sheet and simply welding the holes shut, but I took the little extra time to repair the curve and fix the holes. This way I can replace the bolts to keep with the effect of having just torn the fenders off the car.

    [​IMG]


    Working my way back, I wanted to deal with Chevrolet’s lack of provisions for windshield defrosting in 1936. I marked the location for holes in the dash directly in front of both the driver and passenger & far enough forward that they’ll be under the windshield trim. A few well-placed dremel slots in the trim will direct warm air flow to the glass.
    [​IMG]


    Later I’ll adapt a 12V heater box under the dash to deflect heat either up or down and fab up some ducts to mount underneath the new slots.
    [​IMG]


    Staying with the "front-to-rear" discipline led me to tightening up the kick panel supports and welding the original door hinge mounting pockets & bolt holes shut in the ‘A’ pillars. Then I blocked-off the original latch pocket and a bunch of other holes in the passenger side ‘B’ pillar. You can still see the gap between the outer body skin and the ‘B’ pillar in this pic.
    [​IMG]


    The gap exists because that skin was previously the rear door and there would’ve been a weather seal between them when the door was closed. It was a simple matter of cutting some curved strips and welding them in place… but between bending the blank pieces, patching the old holes, and filling in the gap between body and pillar I was on this one piece for the better part of the day.
    [​IMG]



    At the end of the day I hung the door in place to check the alignment & rear gap. It swings easily through its full range of motion and even though there are no latches yet, it closes nicely. Although many people will still have the habit just because “it’s an old car”, slamming the door will not be necessary. A slight push and the simple click of a properly adjusted latch should do.
    [​IMG]


    With this much done I can jump back around to the driver’s side and repeat the same on the ‘B’ pillar for that side before continuing with the rest. Thanks for following along on this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015
  5. 32Tudor396
    Joined: Sep 14, 2010
    Posts: 181

    32Tudor396
    Member

    A friend of mine recently chopped a 36 cdan 5 inches and had to put a fair sized strip in roof.I was given a 35 deluxe 4door and donated it to his cause....The 4 door roof turned out to be 4+ inches longer and fit length of chopped tudor perfectly.
    Made for a really nice chop.I hope this helps someone,It sure made his work alot easier!
     
  6. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    ...
     

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  7. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    I had always pictured a set of '50 Pontiac taillights in the trunk lid but the idea of having the lights go up whenever the lid was raised got the best of me.

    I'm sectioning the lid just a little more than the channel to increase the height of panel below. Now I'm thinking of a pair of the same lights on each side, just below the trunk.
     

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  8. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    And with a false bottom over the pan in the trunk behind the panel, I'll have easy - but hidden - access to the backs of the tail lights, room for jack stowage, tools, etc.
     

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  9. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    Fitting the sectioned lid.
    [The tape arrow is my reminder to self to raise the gas filler hole to make up for the drop from the channel.]
     

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  10. LowerthanLife
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 284

    LowerthanLife
    Member

    me again.
    glad to see youre still at it,.
    this car is gonna be really special.
    i like your style.
     
  11. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,438

    raidmagic
    Member

    Fantastic work. I just found this thread and read the whole thing. **subscribed**
     
  12. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    The first steps towards working on the drivetrain
     

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  13. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,728

    choptop40
    Member

    amazing job...you are a skilled and tenacious person...love the thread
     
  14. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    ^^^ Thank you for the kind words. They are greatly appreciated.

    I've started removing the torque tube drivetrain and clutter of brackets that will no longer be necessary:
     

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    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  15. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    With that done, I can make a lower, front cross-member that will allow the top of the grill shell to align with the channeled body.

    The box tube between the front rails was welded in place to hold the width before cutting the crossmember loose. The plate behind it is 1/4" with some 1-1/2" box tube behind that. The piece in the very rear is 3/8".

    I took some of the 1/4" x 8-1/2" x 48", heated it at measured distances from the center and bent it to match the original. Then I tacked a "T" to it with some soapstone marks indicating the inside width of the frame rails. This allowed me to make my next set of bends for the drop at equal angles and end-up with something that fit and was centered. All that's needed it to cut the excess to length.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  16. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    But before I weld anything solid, I want to make sure:
    • the front of the frame is level
    • the rear of the frame is also level
    • the frame is level front to rear
    • the crossmember is level - side-to-side & front-to-rear

    Then I welded it in along with a piece of the 1-1/2" square box to mimic the original grill shell/radiator mount that allows for the lower radiator hose connection. Then I cut a hole in it to allow for drainage and minimize any accumulations.

    I'm now to the point where I've got the whole thing flipped-over and can solidify the cross-piece with a little more box tube.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  17. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,007

    koolkemp
    Member

    Nice to see some progress pics!
     
  18. Moosejuice
    Joined: Jan 12, 2012
    Posts: 7

    Moosejuice
    Member

    Man you are talented, I hope some day to have the time and patience to do a chop top.
     
  19. 1970malibu
    Joined: Feb 1, 2011
    Posts: 140

    1970malibu
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Dude awesome work! That thing is bad ass!
     
  20. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    I reinforced the underside of the crossmember today with some of the 1-1/2" square box.
    [​IMG]


    I ran the box tube along the sides, but used a strip of 1/4" for the
    very bottom. With the box tube on the top side already, there was no
    need to make hang down it any lower.
    [​IMG]


    And I flipped it back over and mocked-up the front suspension.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  21. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    Yeah, no kidding. It's nice to be making some progress.


    The time is there. I just get out and do it between everything else. If a period
    goes by that I don't get to it because of other priorities, it's still there when I go back.


    Thanks. So far, I'm liking it too. :D
     
  22. Mickey One
    Joined: Feb 5, 2012
    Posts: 55

    Mickey One
    Member

    Nice job,and great pics!Thanks.
     
  23. frmula505
    Joined: Oct 18, 2009
    Posts: 73

    frmula505
    Member

    Awesome job. I have a 36 standard in the wings waiting it's turn. Your craftsmanship is going to help tremendously.
     
  24. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    With the frame upside-down, I cut some of the unnecessary bulk from the front and back of the crossmember. I made a template from some card stock so the curve would be the same on both sides and set after it with the torch and grinder.
     

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  25. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    Cutting the curve in the front not only eliminates some of the bulkiness but since the axle also has that rearward curvature to it, it allowed me to set it back just that little bit more to get the wheel center inline with the grill as viewed from the profile.

    Once I flipped the frame back over and got everything where I wanted it, I placed the mounting bracket I made earlier on top of the spring so I could start taking some measurements.
     

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  26. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    I know I could’ve welded a piece of square-box tube between the rails and called it good, but what would be the fun in that?

    Instead, I cut a piece of 1/4″ to shape with the right amount of drop to meet the mounting bracket and poked a few holes in it for good measure.
     

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  27. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    Then, by alternating heat from the torch with welding, I was able to bend that face-piece to match the curve of the 1/4" I cut for a top.
     

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  28. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    Granted that all of this would have been much easier had I owned a drill press or still had a band saw, but I was raised on the old axiom that “It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools.”

    It may have taken me longer – much longer – to do it this way, but it got done. :cool:
     

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  29. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    Try as I might to weld as close to the leaf-spring pin centering hole without messing it up, I noticed a small booger in the hole between 3 & 4 o’clock when I was done.

    Sure enough, it prevented the spring from seating fully on its mount when I tried to test fit everything. I have a small chainsaw sharpening file that would fit, but if you’ve ever tried to hand file a weld with the smallest of hand tools, you’ll know why I say, “Thank God for Albert J. Dremel"




     

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  30. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    Woob
    Member
    from Falcon, CO

    From there it was just a matter of sitting down and finalizing it all.

    [​IMG]
     

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