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Old 03-24-2003, 08:20 PM
rov,nmechanic's Avatar
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Post lowering a top on a 31 ford coupe

Hi all, i am looking for some quick pointers on how to keep my top level and true when welding it back on. i thought of using shims, but maybe there is a better way. I am inexperienced when it comes to this, and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thanks

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Old 03-26-2003, 06:16 PM
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I have always used wood blocks and paint sticks for shims. duct tape will hold them in the window sills till you tack everything up, remember that even tho they look rather "square" the cab has a slite taper to it that gets bigger as you lower the lid, start at both sides of the rear window and make up for the material difference gradually as you work to the door frame,equally on each side, last one i redid for a guy, they started at the drivers door and by the time they got to the other side they had about 5/8" extra material that they didn't have the smarts to figure out.so they "folded" the metal over and resculptured the pass side with Quarter panel in a can (Bondo) looked real strange!!!
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Old 04-01-2003, 09:21 AM
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When I chopped my 1931 A Coupe back in 1999, I started by disassembling the rear turret of the body, removing the "T" strips and shortening them the desired measurement of the the chop, In my case I did a 2" chop....I used 2" masking tape to lay out the cut, and then put a piece of masking tape on each side of the 2" tape, removed the 2" strip, and I used a thin abraisive disc in a die grinder to cut the strip...I put the two sections back together with my MIG welder, finished the welds off, and then spot weled the "T " strip back into place....

I should add that I had no wood in the body whatsoever....

I cut the tops off of the doors for clearance in dropping the top......(and did this part last....)

I then did the same thing to the front posts, I removed 2" at the bottom of the posts at the cowl, and as the posts are tapered, I adjusted the width with a couple of short vertical cuts, and then reattached the posts....I used a piece of steel and clamped it to keep it straight up and down...

Now it was easy to lay out the cuts for the sides of the body turret with tape again...I removed the wood in the upper part of the "B" pillar and made the cuts....I welded the "B" pillars separate from the body skin, disced the welds down, and then reattached the sheet metal using the same tape trick....

The doors were now the last parts to chop and reweld...

My top chop turned out very nice....As I'm sort of tall (5'11") I debated on a 2" or a 3" chop...and settled on 2", figuring that I could always lower it another half inch or inch if it didn't suit me.....I used the stock seat and it's a fairly tight fit for me... From all of the research I've done, a 3" chop is a pretty good one on a 30/31 coupe, but a 30/31 Tudor body can be chopped 4", as the doors are an inch taller than the coupe doors....the windshields are the same height though...keep in mind any legal minimums as to windshield height....

For the past 26 years I pondered chopping a Model A, but being raised as a restorer first, I was very hesitant to do so...but I built my chopped coupe's body out of parts from 16 different Model A's...out of parts that all the restorers dismissed as "too rough"...

My first car show caught a lot of them at a surprise, as the body was in primer and freshly chopped with no glass other than the windshield....it took them a while to figure out that I not only had pieced together the entire body with a mig welder, but had chopped it also...

They judged my car, but they were pretty upset, but the statement I made was that they could have gotten the body for the same price I paid for it (free!)..but it was too rough and they passed it up....They thought my Wescott fenders, painted in gloss Black enamel, were originals...
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.....when finished it will have new patch panels all around and a nice coat of John Deere Blitz Black...a satin paint that looks like primer....probably applied by the brush method...

A-Bone's Rule!
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