Dodge Pickup - Top

08/26/11

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THE TOP CHOP-

The only problem with it, is that the cab is too damn tall.  Out came the sawzall again, and the truck was instantly improved.  I decided to lower the front 1 inch more than the back to get rid of the peak at the front of the cab.  This made the truck look too Neanderthal. I took lots of measurements and tried to find the best spot to remove material.  The front pillars were cut on the straightest section to make reassembly easier.  The back was cut below the rear window, so I could keep the stock size for the 3 back windows.  I tried to cut across where the width of the cab was the closest on each cut line. 

 

Reattaching the top takes some finesse

I started by getting all the edges clean and by making sure that the section I cut out was an even cut with the base section that was on the truck.  I have seen way too many tops where the angles were way off and little triangles had to be cut to make the whole chop work.

I used a series of ropes attached to the rafters until the top was centered perfectly.  I then clamped everything and started with some strong spotwelds to hold everything.

In the photo below you will notice that I had to split the cab on both sides of the rear window and spread the cab to get the proper fit.  Even though I was very careful with the cut lines, I could not find a spot that was perfectly straight for the amount that I cut out.

To keep the windshield pillars at the stock angle I had to cut across the top from door to door and lengthen the roof.  Keeping with the low buck old skool work truck theme, I reused the steel that was removed from the back of the cab under the rear window to fill the top.  This is a nice move when steel cost keep going up.

Getting closer

I love it when it seems that I am making progress.  She is starting to look like a truck again and I am starting to scrounge for parts and dig in my storage units to get some stuff to finish up.  I managed to get all the weather-stripping and rubber so I can start putting windows back in as soon as I finish the body work and get some paint on her.

04/05/2010

I have started on the Dodge (not full time, but I will be putting a few hours a week in). One interesting thing I have found out is the front clip was sold to me as a 77 Camaro, but the steering on it does not match any 77 Camaro parts, so I guess I need to figure out what suspension I have put into my truck.

04/18/2010

Apart she comes again. The wiring is messed. She will not start. Have a fuse that keeps popping. Need to do some circuit tracing.

I pulled the bed, so I could have better access to run brake lines, Finish the rear sub harness, and figure out how to get the emergency brakes hooked up. I think I might go with a Lokar E-brake handle mounted to the trans case. Still undecided.

And my 3 minute steering wheel to help get her around the garage.

 

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