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Slider in Wa.
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Doing some preplanning,and have a few questions for ya. I would assume that chopping a top for the frist time is not an easy task. I was wondering what you think it would cost to chop the top on a 1953 Chey C.O.E.? I know we are talking quality and area(Location) . I under stand you get what you pay for.However i am after a ballpark figure.You know where it doesn`t cost more if i do help kinda thing? It`s not something i need right away, as i am still looking at a few. So thanks in advance.
Slider in Wa.
 

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wow, that's wierd.. I didn't see this here when i posted the exact same question :p oh well... i'll re-post mine here too to consolidate the two threads and kill mine i guess?

i wrote:

Hey all.. I'm planning out what i wish i could do to this project and one of the things I was thinking about looking into for it would be a chop. I am definately not capable of doing it myself (as much as i would love to) so i would need to find someone to do it should i decide to.

roughly what would it cost? what factors would make the price change? I immagine that a bigger chop would mean more work/materiels to strech the top, but other then that (and where you live), are there any other things that would vary the price?

i was also thinking that when i chopped it or had it chopped i might look into putting either a t-top in or, preferably, a targa top. at the very least i think i would want a sunroof. I immagine it would be easier to put them in while chopping and just fill the roof around them. is that true or would I just be complicating things more?

also, i assume i would need to get new glass cut for my car. is that true or can they just cut the glass that is in there now? I would want to lean the windshield back a bit, but the rear window can't get leaned much more so that would be the same angle.

thanks for helping out.
 

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I was going to do the chop on my 36 ford five window coupe until i started pricing, here on the west coast there are plenty places but they want a fortune to do it and you have to stand in line, I was surfing the net and i found this guy near springfield, missouri or Marshville , missouri that does nothing except chop tops he just does the chopping no finish work i belive he quoted me 1500.00 which is cheap he said it takes him about a week, he also claims he has done several hundred cars and if you don't want him to do it he has several patterns with complete instructions for the do it yourself guy for 200.00 i believe the name of the place is the Chop Shop (i think) but it is in the area i mentioned i decided to just fill in the roof on mine. Ron............. :D
 

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Chopping at top like you said has alot to do with area and the shop you go to, not many shops around here let customers help anymore do to insurance reasons, but if you find a good shop with a pretty cool owner and you two hit it off he might consider it an after hours prodject and work with you over some drinks and BSing, but its rare (around here anyway). Chopping prices fluctuate depending on how many doors you have, the curvature of the roof, the amount of chop and bodylines that will have to be reconstructed and if you want your rear window in a custom shape and or want your windows cut to shape at their shop. Other than those factors chops are usually around the same price from $1200-4800. When I was working at a lowerider/mini truck shop in GA I chopped a '95 Safari Van, big job, but only ran $2700 with trimmed glass, it was a big job, but pretty simple because it was basically a box and all that needed to really be consentrated on was the A piller and window frames, we also frenched in a LED tailight as well so that added about $250 to the price tag. Depending on the curvature of the roof doing a chop can be done at home, just work with some die cast models first of the same vehicle, recored all your measurments precisely them multiply those measurements by the scale size (1/24th etc) Use a micrometer for best measurement. If I would think it would look decent on my T/A I'd show you guys, but no dice :p ;)

HK
 

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Slider in Wa.
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks HK!!!!
Slider in Wa.
 

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No problem Slider.

Mistalkr, What kind of car are you wanting to chop and possibly add T's or a sunroof? Some cars like F bodies have kits you can buy to just basicall toss in, my T/A has one, its all aluminum so no rust :D Yes you are correct, adding your choice of top style while getting the top itself lowerd would be ideal so you can add the proper reinforcing. Like I said let me knbow what kind of car you would like to do this and I will do what I can to let you know what to exspect.

HK
 

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the car is a '78 Omega as seen here:


I pulled that pic off of someone's site because I don't have a digi-cam, but it's the same body and only a year older.

i have a good few inches of headroom that i can play with, but if i drop it too much i won't be able to see out the window so I'm still not sure if i will do it... and i know that "nobody" chops a muscle car, but i think it could look prety good.. still not sure.. what do you think?
 

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As an afterthought, i though maybe I should add a little more info on the plans so far and what I was asking for opinions on. i plan on painting either black and silver with a black and brushed aluminum interior or a black and burgandy inside and out. still not sure which.

if i went with the black/silver i am thinking a paint scheme similar to the old 442's with the two wide racing stripes that stopped on the hood and a pro-stock style "butterfly" scoop. I really like that idea, but not sure if it would look right with that car.

the burgandy would get a scoop too, but i don't think that would look right with that style soop so i think maybe a basic cowl induction because I just can't think of anything else that would look good.

either way, i have pulled the front and rear seats out and replaced the fronts with buckets and I am working on putting buckets in the rear as well and making a console and some way to cover the back trunk firewall. I have ideas, but nothing has been worked out yet. i am thinking the rear console would be a nice sopt to ount a few extra speakers to make up for the fact that there are no fronts in the car. i may throw some in the kick panels too, but i'm not sure yet. console could also cover/store any amps and/or crosovers whenever i get around to putting a high-end system in.

i am looking into trying to find out if it ever had a manual tranny and thinking maybe of trying to throw a 6 speed in there, but i dunno about that either.

if i were to get a targa top in i think i would cut it from the windshield to the post and leave it at that, but i'm not entirely sure how it would work. i have an idea of how i could make it work, but it would be a lot more work then i have seen on them so i will look for more info on them.

the interior will be all custom (hopefully done by myself if i can get the hang of it) so i can work around anything i end up doing (again, being optimistic)

what do you think? i know it isn't typical treatment for a "muscle car" (if a '78 can be called such) but i think it may just work out well if done right...
 

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Well in my opinion anything can look good. Making your car a t-top would be pretty easy because it has that post. Targa wouldn't be recomended due to frame flex, you will still need to reinforce for the T's, but not as much as for a full targa, plus it looks cooler ;) PM me if you would like some instructuon, maby a step by step for either weld in or drop in aluminum.

HK
 

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Slider: I'm an expert, I have done one chop!!! But actually, it was worse than I thought it would be but not as bad as it could have been. If I were to do the same job again, I would do it differently and it would have been easier. It takes a lot of planning because you can't re-do it, however, the work is not real technical and if you can use a mig welder and have some basic tools, you can do it at home. I think it took me about 2 days work to do the actual chop and realign and weld the top and door frames back in place. Smoothing everything back to shape and doing the body fill can be as long as you want it to be. I removed the drip rails which makes the project much more difficult.

Mine is a 1950 Ford F-1 Pickup. I took 4" out and I think it looks pretty good. If you are doing a job with curved glass this is much more diffficult than a flat glass project. I had to replace all the glass and the cost of the glass was about $300.

I don't know where Benton City is, but if you are near Seattle, I can show you how I did it and have a pretty complete set of in process pictures.
 

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chop top

hi there its eazy cut 4 corners what u take out of sides pot back in roof i did mine not to hard to do i took 3 1/2 inches out looks good i think
...e mail if u like ill send some pic of it for ya...
 
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