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Old 03-06-2006, 05:51 PM
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chopping top on truck

how do i go about chopping the top on a 1963 ford pickup

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Old 03-06-2006, 09:19 PM
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Well, you start by reading and reading and reading articles in magazines, and books. You can check out a good DVD by Ron Covell that I have, it is very good.

Brian
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:44 PM
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Start hunting for a donor roof for the filler pieces you'll need. Usually the roof skin gets cut out leaving a few inches around the perimeter like a super huge sunroof, then a verticle cut is made centered above the door glass, the windshield pillars get shortened, the cab corners get shortened, a filler piece gets installed where the verticle cut was made above the door glass, the door frames get chopped, then the donor roof skin gets trimmed and installed. That's the basics in short form, there's a lot of fitting and planning in a job like this. If I remember correctly this model also has an inner roof panel that will need to be drilled out and removed then modified and reinstalled after the chop. Bob
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Well, you start by reading and reading and reading articles in magazines, and books. You can check out a good DVD by Ron Covell that I have, it is very good.Brian
Also, do a search of this site, there's quite a bit of info available and things to consider before you get started.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:53 AM
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There must be a thousand different ways,buy the book by tex smith,it covers most types of chops,find a donor roof before you start,have a mig welder ready.

With mine,had to gut the interior,cut roof in four equal peices,lower and line up each piece and temporary weld them together with steel rods,overlay with roof panel from donor truck,weld in place,ad in filler pieces above doors and front and rear glass,add re-enforcments to inside roof panel.

Then comes cutting all glass to fit,new headliner,fitting all interior pieces,as well as adjusting the side vent windows.

Then a ton of finishing work,paint and primer.
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:53 PM
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chop a truck

Can I make a sugestion to all those looking to do a chop [on any vehicle]???
Most non professionals do all the cutting and welding, and then cut the glass. I've seem many windshields broken while being cut to fit the new opening. I like to do the opposite for the windshield. I have the windshield glass cut first, and then use it as a template to shape the opening. I guess the pro's would laugh at this, but it works for me.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:41 AM
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Here's how I done mine (see pics). One thing to consider when doing it the way I did is that the window and door posts should be cut in an area that the pillars are the same size when putting back together ( some pillars are wider at the bottom than at the top). I cut out 5 1/2" where the pillar didn't change in diameter, then when I put it back together it still fit. I found a donor cab just like mine to use for donor pieces (don't forget you need donor parts for the doors also). I think it took me around 80 hours to do mine but I spent as much time looking, thinking, measuring, cyphering and practice fitting as I did the initial chopping and welding. Take your time, if you mess in the wrong way, you start over on another cab. Incidentally,,, I practiced the chop on my donor cab before I even made a cut on MY cab When I did the doors, I removed the door vent windows and I'm just going to make it one piece of glass for the door
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmwillys
Can I make a sugestion to all those looking to do a chop [on any vehicle]???
Most non professionals do all the cutting and welding, and then cut the glass. I've seem many windshields broken while being cut to fit the new opening. I like to do the opposite for the windshield. I have the windshield glass cut first, and then use it as a template to shape the opening. I guess the pro's would laugh at this, but it works for me.
Can we all say an AMEN...AMEN You are absolutely right. You can modify the shape of the top, you CAN'T modify the shape of the glass!

Probably the best way is to chop the top but just tack it into place, then cut the glass and finish the top using the glass as a template.

This little lesson was a BIG one for me.
The curved windshield is the biggest obstacle to overcome on a top chop project. This was the hardest lesson I ever learned about chopping, it was a 1956 Chevy truck and some jerk wasted $900.00 of my money trying to cut three new windshields of mine before he gave up! So, this is how you fix the problem.....

Get a new windshield. Using that glass, make a fiberglass "windshield". Go to TAP Plastics (they are all over the country, if not there may be another fiberglass/plastic specialty place near you) and get info on doing this. In a nut shell you need to turn the glass up side down, supporting it as good as you can so it doesn't flex. It is very heavy and it WILL flex. I used rolled up towels and things so it wouldn't get scratched. Now you wax the glass, and start laying fiberglass mat soaked with resin on the waxed glass. Be sure to press or "roll" out the air so you have a nice tight sheet of fiberglass when you are done. After you have covered the glass with about 1/4" of mat and it has cured thoroughly Take a card board tube and glass it in on top of this layer of fiberglass you have made.
Trim the out side to this "fiberglass windshield" to the EXACT size as the glass (well, you do realize that you don't need to go all the way up on the top of the glass with the fiberglass because you will be cutting it off anyway) then you need to cut the fiberglass down to approx. the height of the glass you will need to make your windshield. DON'T CUT TO MUCH, plan on putting it in and out of the "hole" ten or twenty times till you have it right. Now, when you have it cut down to the correct size you need to thin the edge, because you have made this "fiberglass windshield" on the INSIDE of the glass so it is not going to represent the glass but the rubber that the glass sits in. So the edge has to be about 1/8" thick, that way if you make your top fit this perfectly, your glass will go right where this "fiberglass windshield" has gone.

Do you understand where I am going with this? You make a "fiberglass windshield" to make a pattern for the glass cutter but more than that, you now need to modify the roof to fit the glass. Using this "fiberglass windshield" you can add the metal you need or remove the metal you need till the roof fits the glass, then using your "fiberglass windshield" as a pattern the glass man can cut your new glass and it will go right in.

When you just dropped the top down, you changed the shape of the "hole" the glass sets in, glass can't be modified, but the metal can. So you use this "fiberglass windshield" as a pattern to modify the metal to fit the glass. Down in the corners at the bottom of the posts will have to be extended, because when the glass is laid back (even that little bit) the corners of the glass will go inside the body now being to narrow for the opening.

The next step is to find a guy (or gal) who can cut the glass.

Brian
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Old 03-11-2006, 09:25 AM
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Good job Martin...I was wondering about that myself. Wasn't going to do f'glass. Planned on using a sheet of uhmw plastic 1/4" thick. Mine is a 54 and that slight curve has me thinking it through pretty good. I also have ideas about flush fitting the glass vs using the rubber. That's why I been pondering this deal with the plastic. I know I may be opening a can o worms with the flush fit idea, but I don't scare easy. I envision a thin chrome "christmas tree" style edge moulding around the flush windshield. Using the side window trim bright, and using the same W/S stuff around the rear. It looks kool in my mind, anyways.
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Old 03-11-2006, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theHIGHLANDER
Good job Martin...I was wondering about that myself. Wasn't going to do f'glass. Planned on using a sheet of uhmw plastic 1/4" thick. Mine is a 54 and that slight curve has me thinking it through pretty good. I also have ideas about flush fitting the glass vs using the rubber. That's why I been pondering this deal with the plastic. I know I may be opening a can o worms with the flush fit idea, but I don't scare easy. I envision a thin chrome "christmas tree" style edge moulding around the flush windshield. Using the side window trim bright, and using the same W/S stuff around the rear. It looks kool in my mind, anyways.
Your talking about a 54 Chevy truck, right? The only problem with the flush mount is the fact that you need "frit" (the blackout that runs around the edge of a late model cars windows) around the edge or you will see the urethane setting thru the glass! Few chrome mouldings as you describe are wide enough to hide it. There are plenty of people doing it, I havn't taken a good look at how they pull it off but as I sit here right now, that "Frit" is a problem. You can't just paint the inside of the glass because that adhesion is what will be holding the glass to the car if you apply the urethane over it!

The slight curve of something like a 54 Chevy (truck or car) isn't enough to worry too much about with making a template as I describe. That is more for something with a wrap around glass like a 55 Chevy. On a 54 the "hole" doesn't change shape. Must measure off the height after chopping the top down and tack welding. Transfer the shape of the corners down to the new height on the glass and cut it. Then use the glass to be SURE that the top is correct. But it really shouldn't be an issue unless you do some freaky thing with the top as you chop it.

Brian
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Old 03-11-2006, 07:05 PM
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[quote]I havn't taken a good look at how they pull it off but as I sit here right now, that "Frit" is a problem. You can't just paint the inside of the glass because that adhesion is what will be holding the glass to the car if you apply the urethane over it! [quote]

Yes, a 54 Chevy 1/2 ton.

I had 2 ideas on that. 1st one was to tape the glass real well and use enough setting mat'l and pressure to provide a "bubble free" seal, let it set some and then trim/peel the taped edge. That seems like a major pain in the *** but it might work. The other idea was to find what type of etching mat'l they use to frit the glass and apply it. I work for an OEM prototype shop and I'm thinkin it won't be too hard to come up with. Lots of glass plants still here in Motown. Good "lookin out" dude The mldg is what we call "christmas tree because of the shape of the tangs that hold it in place. I'll be looking for something as close as possible to the width of the door mldgs around the windows. This will by no means be a walk in the park to flush fit it. For the look I'm goin for the big rubber gasket is just gonna bug the schitt outta me.
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Old 03-11-2006, 09:25 PM
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I did a flush windshield install on a 36 Ford and just urethaned the glass in then masked the interior around the perimeter and spray bombed the fritz look with some SEM bumper and trim satin black. The headliner, dash, and A-piller interior mouldings cover the urethane. The job has held up fine since 1989. I used a universal Xmas tree 1/2" wide moulding.

Another option (maybe) would be to mask the windshield glass then scuff up the glass and shoot some black epoxy, the epoxy will bond to the glass just fine and we all know the urethane will stick to the epoxy as recomended. The only question is would the epoxy fade/chalk from the sun or would the glass offer any protection from UV rays?
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Old 03-11-2006, 09:33 PM
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Very interesting Bob, maybe Barry could tell us if it would hold up. If the uv broke it down, that would be ugly, the darn glass would push right out!

Brian
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Old 03-11-2006, 11:50 PM
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Highlander, I would really be interested in what exactly Frit is. I have to assume it is some how applied DURING the manfacturing process, not after. That stuff is T-O-U-G-H, you can't scrape it off with a razor.

Brian
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:16 AM
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When i get info I'll post it. I'm on the case as of Mon am. They put me back in the paint shop last month But then again it aint all bad...I'm the boss now
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