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Customs First-Ever Chop - NEED TIPS

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Pacsh, May 30, 2010.

  1. Pacsh
    Joined: Apr 11, 2010
    Posts: 113

    Pacsh
    Member
    from Venice, FL

    Hey Everybody. I'm finally going to get around to "Choppin' & Droppin'" my 50' Shoebox Ford.

    I have some BIG goals and plenty of time to achieve them!:D
    This is, however, my first project so I'm going to need some help.

    This is where YOU come in: Below (in red) I will post my ideas, and how I plan on doing them. Read the headings below, and if you have had ANY experience in these fields, please share any hints and tips that you may have (i.e. Problems I may come across, and good places to order the parts from).

    Here we go:


    Chopping The Top

    I'm thinking either a 4" or 5" chop. I have the basic Idea of how to go about doing this, and have read just about every article The H.A.M.B. has to offer on the subject.

    I need to know:

    1.) Any of the unique problems that may come about, and how you solved/fixed them.

    2.) Where I can get a hold of the new glass I will need in the future of this build.


    Frenching Headlights & Tail Lights

    For the headlights, I plan on doing them the traditional "52-54 Merc bezel, move-the-assembly-to-the-back" way. I've read most of the threads on this subject, and it seems pretty starightforward. I only need to know how any of you out there have mounted the headlight into the back of the "mounting area".

    I am absoloutely CLUELESS on how to french the tail lights. Any help would be great.


    Baggin' TheRear

    Yep. Only the rear. I want it to drag ass like a dog that has worms.
    (This is where you refer your favorite manufacturers, sellers, and systems.)

    I plan on using a Triangulated 4-link setup, and running 3/8" lines.
    Another problem brings itself to light, though: What compressor package should I purchase? I just want to keep it Plain, Simple, and most importantly CHEAP! No fancy controllers or anything.

    I also need to know a little about tower notching. I want it to lay frame, so what would be the proper dimensions of the notch to achive the desired effect?


    In case you are curious as to what the rest of my ideas are:

    I plan on re-routing the "3-on-the-tree" to "3-on-the-floor," sewing up an interior, thorwing on some spun aluminum "racing hubcaps," and hopefully getting it into some sort of paint.


    Once I get started, I will make a build thread and add the link to this thread. Pics of the car currently will go up upon request.

    Thanks for reading!
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  2. 6berry
    Joined: Apr 12, 2009
    Posts: 352

    6berry
    Member

    never done a chop but i pretty much know most of the stuff. for the glass u can cut the stuff that you have with a special blade or have a glass place cut it. frenching the taillights is essentially recessing the mounting point into the body. its much easier than frenching the headlights. for the airbags i would definitely recommend newmaticsinc.com. the hub caps that i believe you are talking about are called moon discs.
     
  3. How tall are you? You might want to put some tape across the windshield to see if 5 inches may be too much.
     
  4. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,723

    Royalshifter
    Moderator
    from California

    4" max and don't lay the back window to flat let the roof have a crown.
     

  5. FatDaddy53
    Joined: Apr 14, 2008
    Posts: 467

    FatDaddy53
    Member

    mark alot off ...photo shop ur chop befor you cut it , it will help you.... glass on that car will be easy its all flat glass dont go too crazy cutting..... meaure out thing alot... the hardest part of the chop is making one side look like the other lol dont buy into the sail pannels are the hardest thing.... and NEVER fully weld intul your sure its where you want it.... your bag set up 4 lnk with a knotch will lay u out good... i run dual viarr 480's on mostly everything
     
  6. FatDaddy53
    Joined: Apr 14, 2008
    Posts: 467

    FatDaddy53
    Member

    oh yea and TAKE YOUR TIME its not race lol.... personally i would do a 3/4 chop but thats me
     
  7. temper_mental
    Joined: Oct 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,718

    temper_mental
    Member
    from Texas

    4 TO 5 sounds cool, but that's alot. Really think about it before you go that low. I just chopped my wife's Mercury 3 off the top. I really like the way it turned out. I used Bill Hines for insperation. Google Chopping 1951 Mercury Bill Hines
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  8. resqd37Zep
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,217

    resqd37Zep
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    Taking your time is good advice. The old measure twice and cut once has saved my ass a few times. Plan it out ahead and then begin. It's a lot easier if you have a clear understanding of what the car is going to look like when it's done. My friend use to say"Begin with the end in mind". Now get Busy!
     
  9. choppwatchagot
    Joined: Apr 18, 2010
    Posts: 166

    choppwatchagot
    Member

    lets get a few pics of chopps so he can get an idea of how low 5" is
     
  10. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,332

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'll add one thing from my experience and that is to get the doors to fit right and have the door gaps perfect before you ever start to cut the roof. That and brace the body well so things don't move around on you.

    Personally I think I'd go with three inches on that car. I don't like them overchopped and I don't care for that rockasilly slant chop that shows up all too often. I've always felt that a perfectly chopped car should make a stock unchopped car sitting next to it look like it has something wrong with it but shouldn't be so radical as to look silly or detract from the total car. You don't want it chopped so much that it looks like an elephant sat on it.
     
  11. resqd37Zep
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,217

    resqd37Zep
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    5 inch chop on my 1949 Cadillac Sedanette plus a 4 inch pie cut section next to a stock height 57 Ford. Thats right at about ride height and once on the frame it will go down another 4 inch's. 5 inch's is pretty extreme. Me being 6'1 the only way to get in or out is with suicide doors.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  12. sik_kreations
    Joined: Jul 14, 2008
    Posts: 436

    sik_kreations
    Member

    every chop is diff. 5 inches on one, can be too much on another. 5 inches is your average kustom chop on a shoebox. 3-4 is milder, and 6-9 is a wilder chop.
     
  13. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    For the bag stuff PM Kustombuilder here on the HAMB.
     
  14. Can you weld as well as cut? There are a lot of sorry-ass cars chopped to pieces because someone got excited about their first chop without having a real clue what they were doing.

    Assuming you can weld, check out Mad Fabricators III to see how to chop a shoebox sedan.

    Why not just put lowering blocks in the rear? $30 and 1/2 hour of work as opposed to the time and expense of bags.
     
  15. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,532

    panhead_pete
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I did a lot of research lately on just this, well the chop bit. I suggest you use the advanced search function and put in chopping+shoebox and then after a few days reading chop+shoebox. This will be time well spent. I have no intention of doing my own as I dont have the skills but now I have an appreciation of whats involved. Is your car a sedan or coupe?

    If you want to see what can go wrong and how much it takes to fix it read this

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=476591&goto=newpost

    If you start by using lowering blocks as suggested
    Then do the tailights
    Then the headlights
    Then any rust

    You'll still be driving it at this stage and probably increased your fab skills.

    Then time to do the top...
    Then the chop

    Now armed with this info go forth young man. Plan, do, review :)
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  16. Pacsh
    Joined: Apr 11, 2010
    Posts: 113

    Pacsh
    Member
    from Venice, FL

    I'm going to try and kill two birds with one stone here and reply with just one post.

    5" looks great (especially on your Sedanette), but I did tape it off and 4" seems to be pretty good

    I can neither weld nor cut, but I have a skilled father who knows both very well, and will be passing those skills down to me. Obviously, due to MY lack of skill, I will not be doing most of the chopping/welding. But for some of the small stuff, I will be trying my hand at it.

    Funny thing about the lowering blocks. I have TWO 2.5" blocks on the rear (for a total of 5" drop), and a two inch setup on the front. The rear block are the main reason I am switching to bags. Every little bump I go over gives me a crashing sound to remember. The drive to Billetproof was one to remember! (Especially in the cold, rainy winter, with no heater or windshield wipers.)

    Its a Tudor Sedan.

    I just scoured every inch of that thread. Good stuff! I'm digging the flipped rear window!:cool: Going to keep that one in mind!

    I planned on doing it in that exact order from the start. The bags are going to be the most expensive part, so I can save up my $$$ while doing the other stuff. As for rust, the body is in great shape....Aside from some shoddy bodywork that the previous owner did himself. I will be going over that, however, and doing it the right way.



    In other news, I have another "Problem"

    DOOR ALIGNMENT. My passenger door sits like a "lightly closed" door, but it is secure. I"m sure my father knows how, but he is away for the weekend and I have nothing to do but gather info. In this case, for personal gain.



    Also, does anyone know of an in-depth guide to frenching Shoebox tail lights? I have heard it is easier than the headlights, but still have yet to see some pics of the process.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  17. Pacsh
    Joined: Apr 11, 2010
    Posts: 113

    Pacsh
    Member
    from Venice, FL

    Here are some pics of 2 Sedan chops that I came across on the HAMB. The first, albeit a 4-door, is my favorite. The roof isn't too crazy. Just plain and simple.

    I'm pretty sure it is a 4" chop too. The second is jus t another inspirational pic.

    Take note of the "hump" in the roof around the rear windows. I think this looks 110% better than having a "sloping" rear roof section, and is how I plan on doing mine.



    unreal.jpg IMG_1157-2.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  18. DAMN! That fordor ^^^ looks GOOD!!! I own a 49 2 door sedan. Post some pics of your car as it is now. What color is it in your avatar? I really dig it, kinda dark blue/gray?? thanks!

    josh
     
  19. AAFD
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 585

    AAFD
    Member
    from US of A

    Mad Fabricators Vol. 3 DVD. Bob Bleed has a good section on how he chops a shoebox. Very informative and he gives you some good tips. I highly recommend you watch it before you make your first cut.
     
  20. Only thing I can add is don't fuck it up.:D
     
  21. Pacsh
    Joined: Apr 11, 2010
    Posts: 113

    Pacsh
    Member
    from Venice, FL

    I'll post some pics later today (after I figure out how to re-size images), so stay tuned.

    The color is "Epoxy Primer [Gray]." I'ts been sitting like that for 20 or so years. Its in rough shape and starting to chip, so I'm going to have to strip all that off and re-prime it. I'm probably going to paint it something simple like flat black.

    Thanks. I'll Check it out!
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  22. Stefan T
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 2,166

    Stefan T
    Member
    from Sweden

  23. Pacsh
    Joined: Apr 11, 2010
    Posts: 113

    Pacsh
    Member
    from Venice, FL

    Here are a couple shots. The first is the day I gought it, and the second is as it sits right now. I still have the skirts and baby moons. I'm torn between which look I like better.


    Sorry about the pic size/quality. My computer isn't uploading any of my other pics for some reason. I'll Have some fresh ones up tomorrow when I actually have a camera that isn't part of my phone.
    0219101707a.jpg side.jpg
     
  24. '52mildkustom
    Joined: Feb 26, 2010
    Posts: 21

    '52mildkustom
    Member
    from Forney Tx.

    mmmm just my two sense but I dig the skirts and moons. Maybe try a pop of color on your wheels like a red or blue candy. With or without the moons it should look cool. Good luck with the chop. Can't wait to see the build thread.
     
  25. really cool, just imported a 50 club coupe from texas to australia, really looking forward to starting the chop on mine, looking forward to the build thread. might have to do one my self too. keep it up. and good luck buddy.
     

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