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Customs How Industrial Chassis Chops a Merc Four Door

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ELpolacko, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Never chopped one before. Done crazy things like section a 1939 Oldsmobile but not this. Wes and I spent some time trying to find good looking chops on these, but they are rare man. Most of them mutilate the rear door to make it work or end up with some odd transition and the owner wanted me to chop this one 4 inches!

    Armed with my confidence and stupidity Wes and I jumped in with both feet.

    First up was to remove paint in the areas where we planned on working and to pull the doors off. This car must have been restored in the 80's or so because of the Allen hardware on the door hinges, previous rust repair and gawd awful synthetic enamel paint that comes off like a plastic baggie stuck to your exhaust. Horrible!

    Once up in the air on stands and leveled out we braced everything we could think that might move on us. Then out come the paper and scissors, and tape measures. Amazing how different this car was side for side. But we formed a plan of attack and let the sawzall buzz!

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  2. First cuts were on the B-pillar post. Separating it from the roof rail was interesting and what was left of the roof rail was less than nice. So Wes formed a section to replace where the B was. Next was to slice out the section of roof rail above the rear door.

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  3. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 6,002

    daddio211
    Member

    Patiently waiting for more... :)
     
  4. Antsy to cut the crap out of this, I had to restrain Wes from going nuts on the windshield posts. We had to stop and pull the dash out.

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    While the camera was off, we supported the rear window structure and cut the crease from C-pillar to C-pillar. Then we made the slice on the windshield posts and the roof was on the floor.

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  5. elvi411
    Joined: May 29, 2008
    Posts: 131

    elvi411
    Member

    Lets see more!
     
  6. Not thrilled with the open car look, the roof had to go back on. The stubs of the windshield posts were trimmed and relieved. It took a bit of trial and error to find the right direction to cut the upper section of the post and we just couldn't get things to line up right with the lower. So our solution was to fixture the windshield opening with some angle to hold it in place and cut both the upper and lower post sections out by the root. Tacking the B-pillar to the roof helped hold things steady.

    I trimmed up the passenger side and welded it together, Wes was able to copy the procedure on the driver side.

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  7. scummy13
    Joined: Mar 18, 2009
    Posts: 80

    scummy13
    Member

  8. AnimalAin
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 3,417

    AnimalAin
    Member

    Wow. Please keep us updated.
     
  9. Wes spent some time finishing the fitment of all the inner structure on the A-pillars while I did some masking tape engineering to figure out how much we wanted to flatten the roof out.

    I really didn't want to cut the rear window from the roof, split the roof or otherwise cut it and cause me hours of welding and hammering in an area that are more suitable for the reach of an Orangutan. This meant the rear window would come forward and I was really concerned about shorting up the sail panel between the rear door opening and the rear window.

    Once satisfied with the look the camera battery died and we just kept on moving forward. Wes made up a panel to connect the rear section in front of the trunk opening to the rear window and a new support from the window structure to the package tray.

    Now that the roof was secured, the C-pillars needed to be relieved and laid in to match the new shape of the roof. Wes cut about 3/8" out of the post on the inside just below where the trim would attach, pulled the post in and tacked it in place. Once we were satisfied with the new shape and it matched the A and B pillars, Wes welded the cut back together. The stock window brace was shortened up a bit and Wes made some plates to fit in the corner behind the C-pillar and welded them in and attached the stock window brace.

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  10. 53ash
    Joined: Sep 9, 2005
    Posts: 176

    53ash
    Member
    from Plano, TX

    Very cool. Thanks for the pictures and info. Show us more when you get em!
     
  11. Looking real good. More please
     
  12. As you may have noticed Wes had shortened the roof rail section and was using it to guide the angle of the C-pillar. And it was short of making the distance to the B-pillar. The section removed from the lower part did not fit the shape at all, so We fabricated a new sheetmetal section with the same profile to join the B to the C.

    Then the new guy joined in the fun. Bob is one of the top fabricators in the country, disheartened with his previous employer I had the chance to bring him on board, and just in time to do some sheetmetal shaping. First up was the transition below the rear window. Such an odd shape, but I wanted to preserve the crease below the window. I think it's the character of these cars and helps delineate the roof curve from the trunk curve.

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    Made with my Overkill shrinker/stretcher stand!

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    We threw the rear window in just to make sure we were on the right track.

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    If you look at the picture above, notice the new sheetmetal has a gap around the window. We added about a 1/2" to the window channel, making it a bit deeper so we could pull off the radius from the door to the back of the window. It should just disappear under the rubber.
     
  13. Ok, for those of you with sharp eyes you noticed that the edges of the roof curled in when we flattened out the roof. From the B-pillar back the roof needed to be replaced. So Bob spent a few hours making some patterns and a nifty tool for the band saw, then beat on some sheetmetal for a few days until he had the new sections made. I'll let the pics do the talking...

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  14. Progress shots as the new sections get welded in.

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  15. I just let the man go. GO MAN GO!

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  16. lockwoodkustoms
    Joined: Dec 22, 2005
    Posts: 3,910

    lockwoodkustoms
    Member

    Fantastic metal work. I can not wait to see some good outside profile shots of this car.
     
  17. ooh wow, those are bit overexposed. Looked fine until they hit Photobucket

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    One of the issues with the Four door is the doors themselves. If you were to eliminate the spike between the doors and extend the edges until you had a nice gap, they would collide if both doors opened at the same time. The remnants of the top and bottom didn't work so this morning I made a stamp to form a new spike.

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    And that's all for today. In the next few weeks we are going to tackle the drip rail and window moldings and vent wings. Plus some more custom touches.
     
  18. Jethro
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,584

    Jethro
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    As always, Very nice!....You sure you don't want to work through the night so we have something to look at first thing in the morning?
    Keep the updates coming !
     
  19. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 6,002

    daddio211
    Member

    And we thought all you did was suspension...

    Sorry, just had to throw that out there, LMAO.
     
  20. Since I recently killed the manufacturing side of business I can push this sort of stuff to the front. The direction I am going is fabrication chassis, sheetmetal or what ever. If I can beat on it with a hammer, weld it, bend it or cut it, that is what we do best. I'm not going for a full service type of business. I just want to focus.
     
  21. rob lee
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,327

    rob lee
    Member
    from omaha,ne

  22. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Wow! It's amazing how fast that gets done on camera!!!
     
  23. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 6,002

    daddio211
    Member

    Yeah, it's like watching TLC or Discovery!
     
  24. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

    Great work - thanks for showing. I just dragged one of these back to my shop yesterday that a buddy bought for 50 bucks - needless to say it's not in the same shape as yours;)
    I'll be refering back to this thread in time for sure.
     
  25. Just don't open both doors at the same time.
     
  26. Nice work Steve. I knew there was more to Industrial Chassis than great Suspension, Engineering, Brakes, Metalworking
     
  27. punkabilly1306
    Joined: Aug 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,656

    punkabilly1306
    Member
    from ohio

    one question, I see you are using cliekos (sp?), does that mean you are using lap joints when making your panels? Lookin' good!
     
  28. You make it look so simple, I would still be measuring the first cut,,,,
     
  29. This is obvious.

    Pure art. Thanks for sharing.
     
  30. I know you're just being a smart ass, but this guy has three young daughters that are going with him. There is no chance that scheme would ever work. :)

    The Clecos are holding plates underneath. If you look Bob used sheetmetal screws on the OG roof section and Clecos on the new sheet metal section. It's all buttwelded and very clean and tight fitting. I will have to take some shots from the inside, it's just as nice as the outside.
     

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