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Old 12-04-2005, 02:08 PM
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Sheetmetal work for a choptop?

How much NEW sheetmetal work is needed for a choptop? Im sure the amount that the vehicle is being chopped matters, but let's talk generally.
Lets say the DIY'er was going to chop his own car, would he be able to purchase the fabbed metal or maybe take it to a sheetmetal shop and have them do it?

Some insite would be nice... I NEED A CHOPTOP!

If the amount of the chop matter: I'm very tall so the front would only have a 1-2 inch chop, depending on how big the back of the car is Im going as low as possable without my head touching the roof. For our example let's say 3" which is not much at all

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Old 12-04-2005, 06:21 PM
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Riot, I remember talking about chopping a top with you a while ago don't I?

You are asking some super wildly general questions.

There is NO answer other than "some, sort of, $100.00, $2.00, yes, no, and could be" for your questions.


There is VERY little possibility of any "fabbing" that could be done "off site" for your top chop no matter what car we are talking about. A top chop is done on each car in a unique manner every time.

As far as chopping only an inch or two. That can have a very striking "why the heck does that car look so good" kind of effect. But to spend so much work on a mod that most people won't notice has to be thought about long and hard.

Depending on the car, you can lower the roof a lot and along with lowering the seat or even floor you can still have a lot of head room.

If you are Shaq, tops chops are just not for you, that is a fact. But only you can make that decision.

Ok, what car are we talking about here?

Brian
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:08 AM
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I need some new chop top info.
Id like to buy some videos and books for top chops, sectioning and maybe some lowering.

one Important aspect to myself is for the vehicle to be a 49-54 chevrolet 2 dr, pontiac chieftain 2 dr, ford 2dr, or oldsmobile 2 dr.
I am looking to chop a chevrolet, i think its best for me to see the work done on a similar car.

I am trying to find what kind of sheet metal work is need for the chop tops. I know there are several video's out there but, what are some of the better ones. Have you seen any specific videos?

thanks,
BIGman

Last edited by Riot Racing; 03-09-2007 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:29 AM
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Chopping ,sectioning is heavy duty work,more than just cutting and lowering it.Body has to be braced corner to corner,side to side etc,sometimes donor car is needed.Depends,some sheet metal can be formed ,,, 1 or 2 inches wouldn't be worth it IMO Then there the glass to contend with recut,repositioning of channels in doors,,,,,some glass cant be cut.
If you want a book look for Tex Smith on chopping,very good one w/pics n how to.Martin has good points,if your that tall I might reconsider cause you'll curse at it later.Like I mentioned before glad I'm short lots o room for me,just have to quit using wooden blocks on brake pedal

I'm wondering what they charge nowdays for chopping,used to be $1000. an inch,so for 1 or 2 inches,I'd really have to like the car.my2cents........

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Old 03-09-2007, 07:44 AM
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Here's something that might give some insight.


http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...ight=Hamb+chop
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:06 AM
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Good stuff there 38, that will get him started.

Brian
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Old 03-09-2007, 07:13 PM
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choptop info

I've read several articles & even purchased several books & videos on this subject, as I am nearing the chopping on my 33 ford. I would have to say that one of my favorite books is Tim Remus' How to Chop Tops in 301 Photos. He covers several different models of cars, new & old, & I think he does a pretty good job. You should be able to preview this @ Barnes & Noble or any other major book outlet.

As far as videos, I think the Ron Covell Chopping & Sectioning is excellent. They take the time & do a thorough job - not the usual " well, we didn't have time to show you that, but we did remove 2 inches as you can see" type of articles so prevalent in magazines.

Good Luck !
Mike.
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Old 03-11-2007, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Rod Mike
I've read several articles & even purchased several books & videos on this subject, as I am nearing the chopping on my 33 ford. I would have to say that one of my favorite books is Tim Remus' How to Chop Tops in 301 Photos. He covers several different models of cars, new & old, & I think he does a pretty good job. You should be able to preview this @ Barnes & Noble or any other major book outlet.

As far as videos, I think the Ron Covell Chopping & Sectioning is excellent. They take the time & do a thorough job - not the usual " well, we didn't have time to show you that, but we did remove 2 inches as you can see" type of articles so prevalent in magazines.

Good Luck !
Mike.
I have tex smiths book coming to my home this week. I emailed covell about ordering a dvd and if he still have his workshop tutorials. Im willing to kill a summer in his shop to learn good welding, sheetmetal work and become an all around GO-TO guy.

I have found a few videos on the internet about chopping tops, the problem i see is. All the videos show the cutting and welding. I WANT TO SEE the sheetmetal fab work and what do they do for glass work.
Im willing to spend the money to get the glass made, but i want to do a neat clean cut so that the glass work is easy.
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:33 PM
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Has anyone ever used a sheetmetal roller to build the new piece of metal for the chop?
I know each chop is unique in its own way but for those that cut the roof and slide it forward, most use an English wheel, would i sheetmetal roller work?
its easier and i have access to them all the time for FREE

By the way, i purchased Tex smith's book and ron Covell's chopping and sectioning. I don't think it wil be too difficult to chop a car.
The video kind of makes me want to buy a Studebaker though.
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:44 AM
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I'm nearing the end of my Chop (I will Post pictures in my Journal in a few weeks or so ), and I can tell you it has been a Journey! It's taken a lot longer and been more work than I thought it would be after reading everything I could get my hands on.

You WILL learn how to pie-cut. You need to pay close attention to how the Glass will fit, and keep Window Channels in line so the Glass will go up and down properly and seal. You will have to make allowances for Weatherstrips.

It's not a insurmountable job, but take your time. I know there are guys here who will tell you it can be done in a Weekend, but I couldn't do it (unless I had Foose and his Crew). All of the Pictures I looked at in Books and Magazines show a simple cut and re-Weld, and I'm here to tell you it's not!

Different Cars take a differnt amount of work for a Chop. A '40 Mercury would be a BIG job, a Model A a lot less.

I'm getting ready to make my Top Insert with my English Wheel (if that's what you are asking). Otherwise, an English Wheel generally won't help you much on a Tolp Chop.
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:56 AM
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Not that I am into chopping a top. Most rods the guys manage to mess up the proportions and the car just does not look right.

But if you must than I suggest that you make a detour and head over to technical video rental. There you can rent some videos on metalwork for $9.

Smart flix

You really need to learn how metal behaves. How and when to shrink the metal and to understand that every weld is a shrink point. Start doing the lower metal and when you can make up a complex curve with one piece of metal and butt weld it in and hardly need filler than you know you are ready for the top.

In the process of learning do not be surprised if you find a huge desire for a TIG welder.

Remember, any idiot can slap a hot rod together. There are many crappy unsafe rods out there. An artisan can engineer a car that drives well and looks pleasing to the eye.

Good luck.
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Old 03-27-2007, 01:52 PM
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I chopped the top on my 89 Mustang GT back in 1990 I think there have been a few other attempts on a fox mustang but it is not something that should be attempted on a good car unless you have have reasonable skills, knowledge of complex physical geometry, sheetmetal working and welding ability, proper tools, equipment, dedication, determination, Patience, willingness to see it through, ect. and on some cars once you change the angles the qrt panels need change as well, so on my Mustang I hand built the qrts out of sheetmetal then hand built the frt fenders to, you can see the car at www.autokraftnebraska.com (because i don't know how to pull it and post it here) you'll also see my short wheelbase Thunderbird Super Coupes (I built 5 of them 8 inches shorter, and 1 Lincoln Mark VIII) having 30 some years of resto and collision experience helps.
older cars like 49 - 50 Mercs are fairly straight forward, but the one thing that a lot of guys do is cut the roof in 4 section and expand the surface area by filling in the voids in the roof this sometimes makes the roof panel look a bit large, I prefer in most cases to keep the roof skin intact and slant the A pillars and qrt sail panels to meet the new angles being introduced, this will get complicated and can only be done in process on each job for example if you bring the roof straight down 3 inches at the B pillar now you have to make relief cuts and pie cut sections in the sail panel area(C-pillar) and A pillar areas at there lowest points of change, (and you have to travel that line of change all the way back to the area of cross over attachment) plus to keep structural integrity you'll want to stager the inner from the outer seams that you will be welding, make sure to V taper the edges as well to get proper penatration of your weld! A
As you can tell once you've done this a time or two you develop a different way of seeing and speaking , but if you cut those Pillars 3 inches as well you'll be to short! changing angels changes length as well, then you have door frame windows ect. gets a bit confusing unless you have been there and done that a time or two, then you need to have full concentration, and make sure both side are done the same way! It is fun and gratifying when you finish though, maybe best to practice on a scrap body first like a mid 80s 4 door or such, there's my 2 cents worth. I'll try to post my Mustang up here.
Auto Doug
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:09 AM
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I saw the mustang on your website.

I have taken advice from everyone on these boards. I am going to practice my sheetmetal work and welding before i buy the car. I was actually thinking of chopping the car a year or two after i have done all the suspension and patch panel work.

Welding on the body to fix any rust spots will be a good practice for me and then maybe i will chop it. But a lowered and clean 53-54 chevrolet coupe is a sweet car even without the chop
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