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Old 07-28-2004, 04:44 PM
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Chopped top 74 Superbeetle

Ok guys, (and girls) I need some help. My 12 year old son and I recently bought his first car with the plan of having him help build it and help PAY FOR IT, in the hopes that he respects it more when its done (my dad did this with me and it WORKS!!) Anyway, I've built some tough stuff in my years ('66 corvette convert-427/4speed - that was my FIRST car!! '71 Pro street nova 402 BB, '54 Chevy Pickup-348 dual quad) But I've never chopped a top. I'm a certified Welder/fabricator, and now run a custom cycle painting shop (MaxxMuscle Custom Cycle Painting!!) so I know my way around pretty well. What we bought is a 74 VW Superbeetle, don't freak cuz were gonna cut it, its had a rough life!! The floors are rusted and the body has its share of dents, and the motor is gone. I want to do a 3-4" chop on it, but am a little aprehensive due to the shear curvasousness of the thing!! We already have the drivetrain, GM 4.3 V-6 W/4BBL Intake(of course being mounted upfront!!), 700R-4 OD Trans, Ford 8.8 Indy rear, Custom frontend setup, 15" & 17" MHT Splitz wheels, and I'm fabbing a full frame for it! Not to be concerned with the "cut glass" issue, as Lexan works great and lasts a LONG time!! Back to the top, I need someone who has actually done this preferably, but welcome all suggestions and comments! Thanks in advance!!

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Old 07-28-2004, 06:10 PM
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i've never attempted a chop, so i can't give you any advice.

however, in the June an July issue of Rod & Custom there is a 2-part article on chopping a '51 chevy. it has a pretty bulbous roof. the July issue really shows the cutting at the back of the roof and how it was pieced back together. they chopped 5" in front and 7" in back.

hope this helps.

JB
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Old 07-29-2004, 09:20 AM
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I have to tell you, chopping the bug with a normal chop is VERY difficult. It is MUCH harder than a 50 Chevy, MUCH harder. It is like shortening an icecream cone in the middle.

I don't have any tricks, nothing to save you on it. I have done them, a number of them. If I had a particular thing to tell you I would but they are just tough and you have to think and rethink every inch.

I do however have a little write up on "slant chopping" the bug stored in my MSWORD maybe it is something you could use. The hard thing about the late Super Beetle is the darn windshield, that curved windshield is going to give you a whole different challange. I don't think you will want to use plastic there, the wipers will scratch it. Anyway, here is the slant chop info.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Chopping the Bug
I have did one of these and it went amazingly smooth. It was a 1972 and the fact that the windows were larger leaving the metal around the windows thinner helped make it easier than an older Bug. I am not sure if it is even possible on the earlier Bug to chop it this way. The chop was done in eight hours in primer ready for paint, so it really is as easy as it sounds. First thing is to cut the window frame off the door. I did this pretty low on the frame right where the radious of the lower corner ends as it starts to straighten out going up the posts. This is done to get it out of the way at this point. I then cut the whole "b" piller (center post) out the same way, and the windshield post as well. Now, I did NOT cut the rear posts AT ALL. I thought you would have to and experimented, but found that they do NOT need to be cut. It will give all that is needed. At that point I simply pushed the roof down at the front until it was at the point I wanted. The roof will "spring" back up a little so you have to go further down than you want to allow for this spring. I have to say that the quarters will bow out a little bit at the rear of the quarter windows. It is very slight and really not a big deal. I then made some quick supports out of 1/2" flat stock and tacked it into the quarter windows to keep the top in place. I cut the "B" pillers (center roof posts) to length and butt welded them in. I then heated up the bottom of the "stub" of the "A" piller (front windshield post) and bent it back, massaging it to keep the shape. I did the same to the upper "stub" bending it forward. You need to eyeball the stub of the post while you are bending it until it makes a straight line up to the roof. I cut the "A" pillers to length and welded them in. The doors were a little harder. I took a rose bud tip and heated about six inches of the frame right at the curve over the wind wing pretty good. Then with welding gloves on I took much of the bend out of the frame to match the new roof line. This took a while and much dolly work was needed to keep the edge straight over the top of where the door rubber fits. Of course, where the window channel fits also wanted to fold up and change shape. It simply takes time to keep it in shape, it can be done. The frame was cut to length and welded on the door. A little plastic filler work on the seams and that was it. One afternoon and your Bug is chopped.
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Old 07-29-2004, 11:31 AM
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Check this site out

http://www.socalook.com/socalook.shtml

This is how they chopped it

http://www.socalook.com/chopping.shtml

Mike
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Old 05-10-2005, 12:58 AM
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the good thing is, if you screw up....there's another five million more to get ahold of.
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Old 05-10-2005, 01:46 AM
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MARTINSR you make it sound easy, I know where I can get a beetle for nothin and now i'm tempted to get it lol
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Old 05-10-2005, 09:15 AM
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Go for it, at the very least you will gain some experiance.
Brian
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:06 AM
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Why not??

If you take some pics..side and front view..then just use old fashioned scissors you can do a photo chop and see just how where things move..that can help with the thought process..

OMT
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:25 AM
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A word of caution. Lexan is a safety issue when used as a windshield. It is illegal to use in this application.
Don
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:11 PM
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Does it have a flat front windsheld or a curved windshield? Flat windshield is much easier to cut down the glass.

Lots of info here http://volksrods.com/

We wont hate you for chopping it up or even because your using a V6 watercooled engine. Go there and say howdy and tell them what you are going to do. They may rib you about using a superbeetle but make a point that you are not using the factory strut front end...

Lexan sucks for street use. It scratches easy, and most states require DOT approved front glass at the very least.

Richard.
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:50 PM
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Stupid DMV laws....

Here's an interesting fact.... some states DON'T require a windshield (you must wear eye protection, like on a motorcycle) but DO require windshield wipers... even if you have no windshield.
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:31 AM
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Its intresting i came across this post because ive been thinking about this for awile now...The other day i got my new copy of speedways catolog and they make a front end conversion kit that makes it into a straight axel.... in other words makes it look like an old school duce..looked pretty darn good to.Ill look for a link and post it up on here asap..
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:52 AM
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There was a "rat rod" VW beetle at a big car show a while ago near me with a straight axle. Not just a straight axle but a drilled Deuce. It looked like a lot of fun, very low well laid out car.

Brian
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Old 05-17-2005, 01:23 PM
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they aint got a pic of it on the site i can find but ...has anyone ever given serious thought to this VW bug thing....they have nice shapes remnisent of fifties cars...there all dirt cheap and easy to find parts for.....i know there foreine but still...IMO alot better the this rice burner junk....Just a thought
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Old 05-17-2005, 06:36 PM
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Here is the socallook site that has partnered up with Speedway.

http://www.socalook.com/socalook.shtml

Be sure to check out volksrods.com for this kinds of cars. It is "THE" site for these cars.

Richard.
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