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  #1  
Old 10-07-2012, 06:38 AM
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Help me chop my top please

So , I am wanting to chop my 48 f1's top . I am a little intimidated by this , as I have never chopped the top on anything . I very much want this to be done right . I only want to take out like 1 3/4" to 2" max . All the info I have found is for some extreme chops , like 5"+ .

With this small of a chop , am I better off keeping the roof intact and just moving my A pillars in ? Or is it gonna be cleaner if I quarter the top ?

I plan on cutting out the back window frame , and rewelding it in after the chop. Keeping the already too small imo back window the stock size .

I do have an extra rough donor cab , and one extra door that was banged up on the bottom . has a good window frame tho

If I have to quarter it , is there a preferred place to make the cuts ? or just down the center both ways ?

When welding it back together , I read a post from AXracer that said to do the welds outside in the sun , not in the cold or else it will all buckle in the summertime . Is this true ? So I would have to wait till next summer to chop it ?

Sorry if I am asking alot of noob questions , I just want to get this right the first time. Much easier to annoy the gurus with stupid questions , than to fix a rookie mistake imo . Thanks for any help .
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2012, 08:14 AM
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I took 2" out of my 48 F1 and did not quarter the top. I removed the rear window, took 1" from the bottom and top, see my gallery, then replaced the window keeping the original size. I also replaced the cab top before I chopped the cab. Click the image to open in full size.
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2012, 12:59 PM
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Things will line up much better if you 1/4 it..........but, that is a ton of welding that needs to be done correctly. Not 1/4 ing will require a bunch of pie cuts and metal manipulation. Depends on your welding/ metal working skills. Personally, I would not 1/4 it, but thats just me.

First thing you want to do is get the cab level, square and secured so it don't move around. Then you want to align all of the door gaps and body lines as perfect as you can. Then brace as needed so nothing moves around during and after cutting....

As for welding in the sun, that is a new one on me......I weld sheetmetal all year around with no problems....
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2012, 01:31 PM
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I have sections of the upper door halves (around the glass area - cut at the belt line) in case you need extra pieces to modify your doors.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:57 PM
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Not that it won't weld, but the roof panel will expand noticably in the sun which can cause oil canning. I think I was talking about a larger flatter roof than an F1. Wasn't my idea, recommendation was from Ron Covell.
A small chop like you want to do can be done without splitting the roof, just be sure to keep the windshield frame flat, glass cannot be warped or curved to fit.
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2012, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AXracer View Post
just be sure to keep the windshield frame flat, glass cannot be warped or curved to fit.

two important points that need to be emphasized...


1. GOOD welding skills are essential... if you are just a 'dauber" and can stick stuff together.... this isn't your project. ESPECIALLY if you 1/4 the top. Also some body working experience (hammer/dolly and hammer welding are probably going to be needed)

2. Make dang sure your window frames remain flat, aligned properly and true.. glass don't give as Ax noted...

I considered this for my '53 and nixed the idea...it takes a 'good' bodyman to make this work... and if it ain't done right it will never satisfy you.

later
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:50 PM
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I was a welder / fabricator by trade for about 7 years. I also took an auto body course. I am positive I havethe skills to do the job , I'm just not 100% on the technicalities of it.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:56 PM
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Get another 48-50 cab and start on the chop. If you like the chop when it's done, then just swap the cabs. If not, then work on the existing cab and learn from your past mistakes.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:53 PM
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going thru all the steps of doing a top chop is a bit too lengthy and involved for a forum post, if you would like me to walk you thru the process, PM me your email addy.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:17 AM
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Hey Ax , I would like that very much . I still have not unlocked the private message feature yet . I need another day I think , anyhow , my email address is i8acivic2000@yahoo.com you can send me an e-mail there . Thanks for taking the time to do this , I appreciate it .
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  #11  
Old 10-08-2012, 04:22 AM
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48steel , nice job . What all did you have to do to the doors to get them to line up afterwards ? Got any pictures of those ? Also , I am curious about the factory ribbing inside the cab that gos from b pillar to b pillar with the rear window inside it . do you remove that and then reattach it when you put the window back in ? Or do you just cut it and have it misalighned ? Got a pic of the inside of the cabs back wall / this brace ?

Thanks for all the help guys
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  #12  
Old 10-08-2012, 08:36 AM
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Ron Covell has an excellent video/DVD available where he chops the top on an early Studebaker truck...worth the watch for someone in your situation.
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2012, 08:58 AM
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I seen that mentioned before , so I looked it up . Seems a bit steep at $50
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leroy_J View Post
I seen that mentioned before , so I looked it up . Seems a bit steep at $50
Cheap at half the price... if you ruin a perfectly good cab you'll be looking 10x that easily
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:39 AM
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Retail price is $40 on Covell's website...maybe offered for less on Amazon or other sites. OR...you can rent it for $9.99 at SmartFlix, the Web's Biggest How-To DVD Rental Store
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:39 AM
 
 
 
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