The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Mopar Tony, Jun 12, 2019.
Good luck with your project
Love those flat head 6’s get lots of looks and she runs great
That is a gorgeous wagon!
Here are a couple renditions that were done for me on here by ahoover as well. Very cool ideas. I really am digging the purple color on it. I will try and get some pictures up soon of the motor and transmission going together. I am going with 360 magnum and I have been cleaning it up and freshening it. I changed my mind on the transmission I believe. Originally I wanted to go with the 5 speed but after talking to my wife I am going to go automatic so that way as we drive across the country in it we can take turns driving. After all we are building this car to run the length of route 66.
Still collecting parts for the motor swap. Still looking for finned valve covers for a small block mopar. I'm going to put it on the engine stand tomorrow and clean it up and freshen it a little. Can't wait to put the new cam in.
Well some things are being accelerated with this build. The original plan was gather parts and do all the mechanical things first and then move on to the custom stuff like a sensible adult. Well.... that plan has changed. I was introduced to a guy through a friend that has been chopping tops since the 60s and after talking to him he volunteered to help me chop my Plymouth. He is going to help me tape it off and mark it and I will do the work with a little help from a friend. So I have pulled the car in the shop to pull the glass and get ready for the chop. I'll post pictures shortly.
GO FOR IT!!! And by all means, keep the progress shots coming!
As others on here have mentioned these were never the sweetheart of the custom community. They take a good amount of tweaking to look proper. Especially the roof. I have a '51 Desoto project going right now and had the roofline and quarter windows reshaped which makes a world of difference. I love these early 50s Mopars and psyched people are giving them their moment in the sun.
Attached a few photos. The one in bare metal is mine. The green one with the stock roof shape was at GNRS this year.
Thanks for the support guys. I think it is going to be a long and eventful road ahead. It will be a slow build as I work full time and am raising 3 kiddos but I am super excited. So far I have just pulled trim and windows out. Found the original paint under the trim. Kind of a seafoam green. The guy will be over tomorrow to help me start marking it off and get it ready for the chop. Sorry for the lame pics so far but this is what I have. I'll take more pics tomorrow with the glass out and marked off.
PS- don't mind the filthy shop, I am cleaning as I can lol
I like your project but I also favor Mopars. I'm in the process of building a 39 Plymouth with a 392 HEMI and a 5 speed manual from a Dakota. It's been 4 years gathering parts so I hope to start putting this together this year.
Mines a 49 Dodge but pretty much the same roof line.
Took out 3 inches at the A pillar and maybe 4 from the rear. I just lowered the back until I liked it.LOL
I made my quarter window as long as possible to reduce the sail panel area and improve the flow.IMHO.
This entailed cutting up into the roof and cutting the entire length of the roof down the curve of the quarter window and moving the upper part of the B pillar and roof back to line up with the lower Part.
You can see the cuts in the pic.
I also moved the rear window forward and extended the cat walk area rather then just laying the rear window forward. I didn't want a "Fast back" look.
And the rear window is not cut through. Still stock glass.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Another Pic. I also sectioned the body 3 inches. But ignore that part.LOL
Ignoring a 3" section is a skill I've yet to acquire... Obvious improvement!
That is pretty awesome but definitely beyond my skill level lol. This measuring and taping is taking quite a while. Still a long way to go but a couple pictures showing what we are going to do. We are chopping 3.5 inches up front and 4.5 in back. The blue tape shows where top of window will be once cut. Torchie I like the idea of bringing the whole window back some to think the bulky C pillar.
Plus my favorite part is my little man helping me out. I love having him with me working on stuff.
Nice to see your son out in the shop with you. My kids are all grown now so it's mostly just me and maybe one of the dogs out there.LOL
Not to encourage you...If you can do the chop you can certainly do a section. Your markings look good.
Just remember what Cat Stevens said. "The first cut is the deepest."
I appreciate it man, worst case scenario I will have a convertable lol.
This is a ruff idea of custom taillights. I want to French them in but I dig the look.
I'm also back and forth on 4 inches or 3 inches. The guy helping me says 3, and I kinda like 4. I taped it both ways. The solid one is 4 inches. I need to make up my mind and start cutting already but I think I'll chop it 3 first then see if I like it. Worst case cut another inch out.
Good plan... That one inch can make a big difference. My approach is; "Let the car tell you what it wants". I think many cars are cut too much. It should not be about the chop, it should be about improving the style. Take time to think about it... stare at it a lot from different angles of view and different distances. You'll get it.
Well I know it looks boring and it is going slow but I'm measuring meticulously and double checking my work. I have one side pretty much completely marked. I am going slow being my first chop and I don't want to F it up. I also got interior out today and driver's compartment looks huge now lol. Sadly found some old patch panels under the carpet that aren't bad but not done well so will need redone.
Do you plan to do any interior bracing? The roof removal takes a lot of strength out of the body.
You MUST brace the body before you do any cutting! Failing to do so will "F-it up"!!
Absolutely plan on bracing it before I cut it. I have some angle iron I am going to weld side to side and front to back. I will most likely make a x as well. I am also looking at maybe taking a couple pieces of round bar and going from the roof to the firewall so that when I cut it I will have a reference point of center.
Also an old Mopar fan... my first car was a 52 Plymouth $50 beater that I hope to get back to some day. Good luck with your build. Ditto on the body bracing... things will move around when you start cutting.
Almost done tapping and measuring and measuring and taping
Just a couple of comments.
If you plan on using that visor I would suggest you mock it up in place first and then sit in the car and try to see out the windshield. I know you already have the front seat out but it's worth the effort. Nothing worse then a custom that you can't really drive safely or comfortably. JMHO.
The second thing.
You may want to consider leaving a bit more metal around the rear window opening. I usually leave a 3 inch band and sometimes more. Depending of the roof line.
I weld a piece of steel rod at the cowl that goes up to the roof line center in front to aid in keeping things legit. It just takes the place of the windshield center trim And since this is a V style windshield it's not hard to find the center.
I do this type of work by myself so I either use adjustable uprights or a sling hanging from my rafters to hold up the roof. Once you start to cut. Things will get loosey-goosey and that roof is big, bulky and heavier then you may think.
Good luck. We are with you.
I don't know what you are cutting with but be prepared for that old Mopar steel to be hard.
Thanks for the help. I was thinking the same with the metal by the back window but was told by the guy helping to go this way. I think I will re do that and make that wider. It is currently about 2 1/4 in away from back window. How did you cut by back window on the bottom? I want to be able to put the trim back on and am not sure what the best way to cut around the bottom of the back window is.
As for the front bracing I was thinking that as well but wasn't sure how to execute it exactly but now that you said that it makes sense. I was thinking two spots with black pipe from cowl to roof measured out so that I can line up the pipe when I put roof back on.
We mocked up the visor a couple days ago and i think it'll be difficult to see, worse case I'll keep it off.
As far as cutting tools I am planning on using my cut off wheels but I have a plasma (which I don't plan on using, jig saw, and saw all to use.
Good call on the rear window. Also, if you're leaving the glass in the opening, be sure to securely cover the glass with something that can protect it from welding sparks. I always remove the glass & cross brace the window frame. Either way works, but it sucks to have to replace a window. I also like the stainless trim around the base of the windows... keeping it will present it's own challenge and lend a touch of class to the project. I'd suggest removing it before the cutting commences.
The back window on the Mopars make it interesting. Not sure how the Plymouth is but the Dodge rear window was pretty much part of the rear package tray. As are the trunk hinges. On Gm's that I have chopped I was able to cut around the rear window and leave most of the bottom of the window attached to the cat walk. Sort of like a "Smile" outline.LOL Then just lay the window forward. If you do that with the Dodge it will not want to lay forward.
I removed my trunk hinge brackets from under the cat walk. Cut away the entire package tray and then cut the rear window area of at the belt line. I then moved it forward a laid the top of the window down a bit.
The Dodge roof looked to have been stamped as a totaly seperate piece with a lip around the bottom of the back area. That sits on top of a lip that's on the body shell in that same area. So you have two layer lip.
Before you cut (If you haven't already) Get in the trunk and look up under the cat walk at the trunk hinge system. Hopefully you will get a better idea of what I'm talking about. If it's the same as the Dodge.
Here's some pics I dug up. Is this what your package tray area looks like?
Here's a few more to show what I'm talking about with the trunk lid hinges. In the first 2 you can see the cut where I separated the top from the body under the rear window. AS was mentioned earlier. I left my window in and protected it with masking tap then Duct tape.
Hope this all helps.
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