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Fear Commitment? Chop a Top!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scottybaccus, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    scottybaccus
    Member

    I have to say, It's real easy to be jazzed up while you are marking cut lines and planning all the details. All it takes is a few hours and a handful of cut-off wheels to bring everything into perspective. The pucker factor is never higher than the first time you set the top back on to see how the A pillars line up. Oh well, what's that saying? Anyone can put a car together but it takes a real man to cut one up? I guess I'm commited now.

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    Now the real work begins.... :eek:
     
  2. skyrodder
    Joined: May 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,924

    skyrodder
    Member

    Looks real good man.... it's not as hard as alot of people say it is...
     
  3. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    scottybaccus
    Member

    Thanks.
    I have to say, there was this moment when reality caught up with me right after I set the top back on to see what I had to work with. I'm not worried at al by the rear corners, but there was more twist in the A-pillars than I realized. They actually sprang in the wrong direction as I made the cuts as if under tension. As usual, I would do a couple of things differently, but this is the hand I've drawn.
     
  4. blue_oval23
    Joined: Jun 25, 2006
    Posts: 69

    blue_oval23
    Member

    thanks for the post, i am planning on chopping my 40 chevy truck in a couple of months and your post really gives me an idea what im up against. thankx!! Blue_oval23
     

  5. joeycarpunk
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 4,445

    joeycarpunk
    Member
    from MN,USA

    What kind of bracing did you have or not have? Hang in there, looks good so far.
     
  6. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    scottybaccus
    Member

    I skipped the bracing because I have more sinister intentions. In the front and rear photos you can see lines down the middle. In phase two, I will narrow the cab 4" before I put the top back on.
    Why? Two things. I have a target weight of 2400 lbs, so every little bit helps, but mainly to make a better fit to the model A frame, again a choice for light weight and broad choice in available components.
    I also removed the rear window, cowl vent and firewall recess so that I can put them back in with their original width. I will shorten the rear window 2 inches, but wanted to keep it wide to help make the cab look smaller. I expect to end up with something roomier than a Model A, but smaller and lighter than a '38 chevy truck.
     
  7. abonecoupe31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2005
    Posts: 696

    abonecoupe31
    Member
    from Michigan

    Chopping is one thing...narrowing it is another....I hope you did a "dry run" withthe photo copier to make sure that the proportions are right on enough....

    Model A frames really aren't much to begin with. I know, I have 7 Model A's in the collection. I'm wondering why didn't you use a "later=better" chassis to begin with?....

    I'm thinking something along the lines of a later GM or Ford chassis...S10 or Ranger maybe?

    Just my 2 cent's worth...
     
  8. 37chevPU
    Joined: Jun 2, 2005
    Posts: 24

    37chevPU
    Member
    from Denton, TX

    How did everything line up after it was done? The front pillars look pretty good from what I can see.
     
  9. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    scottybaccus
    Member

    As far as narrowing, I have a nice collection of photos of the same truck chopped 5" (my target). It looks nice, but a little wide. I stared at that for a while and looked at the width of the cab mounts and OEM channeling. Narrowing 4 inches should bring both into proportion and give me a nice look on the scale of a Model A.
    I bought an aftermarket perimeter frame that is fully boxed and work in a chassis shop, so strength is not an issue. I didn't want the weight of a real truck frame. I don't have any plans to put a roll cage in it, but will make up trestle style K member and crossmembers for it. If it is too flimsy for a small block then, I may reconsider a roll cage. I just want to do it light, and the perimiter frame is one step shy of a tube chassis.
    The rear corners will line up great, The usual splitting of the roof will be necessary to make up the distance to the A-pillars, but only about 1.5 inches. The Windshield post will be the toughest because they twist as they go up. I probably should have taken the chop out as low as possible. Anyways, I will have to do a little metal shaping to get what I want there. The windshield alignment is right on, but the door jambs will need work.
    Thanks for the feedback guys. I know the narrowing is ambitious, but I think it will set it apart. If things go well, I will have it mocked up by this time next week.
     
  10. Crankhole
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 2,620

    Crankhole
    Member

    Sounds interesting. Can't wait to see the finished project.
     
  11. Blownolds
    Joined: Mar 31, 2001
    Posts: 2,335

    Blownolds
    Member
    from So Cal

    I'm guessing from the white lines on the back, that you are going to have some difficulty getting the crown of the top to make a smooth transition to the flat of the back. Reason I say that is because the top horizontal cut on the sides was not made in a flat area. You removed some of the crown! Always remove sections from the flattest areas possible, or you will possibly have great trouble getting the crowns to blend together nicely. Are you finding this out?
     
  12. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    scottybaccus
    Member

    I did the cuts out back on a vertical surface. I don't think I will need more than one or two reliefs in the corners, if any. The lines up the back are where I plan to narrow the whole cab. Stay tuned...
     
  13. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    scottybaccus
    Member

    Well, Here's this weekend's progress. I cut 4 inches out of the middle and slid both sides together. I think the proportions will be right on. I have a good deal of fitting and welding to do before I start fitting the top back on. If I'm lucky, That won't take more than a week or so to get to.

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  14. rebstew187
    Joined: Jan 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,476

    rebstew187
    Member

    lookin' good!!!keep us posted on the progress
     
  15. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    scottybaccus
    Member

    Happy Labor Day All! I'm already having a blast. Many thanks to Redbeard for introducing me to those trick sheetmetal clamps and Manyolcars for showing me how to make them in the tech archives. I did find that Eastwood carries a 4 pack for $30, but made 20 of them for about $8. They not only made life easy, but also raised the quality of my work a good deal over the old tack and tweak methods.
    Here are pics of what I've done the last two days. The worst of it was final trim of the panels so they fit closely and then learning to weld sheet metal again after many months working heavy materials. I got the cab narrowed 4" and tacked back together, and narrowed the firewall and reinstalled it. I did mess up and leave a little gap in part of the floor that I will need to fill but may put a tunnel through there anyway. The dash, cowl, firewall and back all fit very well. Tomorrow I get to zip everything shut and maybe split the top so I can narrow it to fit.
    Two lessons, make that three lessons learned: never underestimate the value of a zip tie, never try to man handle a cab alone and keep the cutoff wheel away from the ratchet straps. Trust me on that last one.

    Here's the pics. A little washed out. My camera was flaking out.

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  16. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    scottybaccus
    Member

    OK, another lesson learned....

    T-shirt and shorts are not adequate UV protection. I forgot what flash burn feel like. They are particularly nasty on the inside of your arms and knees. Alway cover everything, even if you are "only tacking parts". :(
     
  17. spicoli
    Joined: Apr 29, 2006
    Posts: 261

    spicoli
    BANNED
    from in a house

    you have given me ambition to tackle my once abandoned pakard chop top. it still needs the rear window, the center strip, and door frames welded on. scotty thanks you gave me ambiton and motivation. i am getting off my rear end and getting outside.
     
  18. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    scottybaccus
    Member

    Glad to help! I did get the cab pretty much welded out today. I'll do what I can with the top this week and hope to be ready to weld it next weekend. Then I can get back to the chassis.
     
  19. That's no way to get a suntan!!! But the truck's lookin' good.
     
  20. Evilfordcoupe™
    Joined: May 22, 2001
    Posts: 1,817

    Evilfordcoupe™
    Member

    Thats sure going to look nice when its finished!!!

    -Jason
     
  21. kustombuilder
    Joined: Sep 18, 2002
    Posts: 7,754

    kustombuilder
    Member
    from Novi, MI

    what??? you don't like shoulder room OR head room??? :D LOL ...lookin good. can't wait to see what you have in store here.
     
  22. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    scottybaccus
    Member

    :) I did check the leg room. I can barely touch the toe board with legs straight. I also made sure a pair of buckets would work ok. No sweat there. My wife says I'm petite. Yes, petite. I'm 5'10 and 195. Should I be flattered or offended? Oh well. I told here that this is the only way I can get her to sit beside me in a truck. For some reason, she won't ride bitch. That's a whole other conversation....
     
  23. rebstew187
    Joined: Jan 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,476

    rebstew187
    Member

    ha ha ha .sitting here reading this rubbing the inside of my arm where I was welding last week.had on a wife beater t shirt and got it good.hurts huh.mine is peeling already..lol.. cab is bitchin' keep it up.
     
  24. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    scottybaccus
    Member

  25. Old Roadster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 611

    Old Roadster
    Member

    Keep us posted, Your giving me ideas for my 38. What front end are you going to use?
     
  26. bscc50
    Joined: Nov 17, 2013
    Posts: 100

    bscc50
    Member
    from n.e.

    this thread is 11 years old.
     
  27. Great detective work.
    Hoping the OP sees this and has time to fix the pics.
     

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