11. Next, Richard Marter uses a cut-off wheel to slice through the upper portion of the roof. Be careful not to get too close to the bracing around the rear window as roof material will be removed later and you will be doing hammer and dolly work in this area.
12. With the rear roof portion cut we move up front to the A-pillar. Once again the Sawzall makes quick work of cutting the pillar and once again work carefully to make a square cut.
13. Now is a good time to buy a pizza and have a bunch of friends over to the house, lifting the roof off is a four-man job. If Editor Brennan is one of the guys doing the lifting better order an extra pizza. (OK that was mean, but true! -Editor Brennan)
14. At this point you are experiencing pride and fear at the same instance. Sure you're a real man who just cut the roof off a perfectly good car, now are you man enough to put it back on?
15. The door tops, rear roof section, and posts sure look strange sticking up in the air.
16. The original rear window is curved glass and for that reason it will remain uncut. While that big window looks huge now, when it is laid forward it will appear dramatically smaller.
17. Now all of the pillars can be cut. Always cut the roof free first, then make the secondary cuts on the pillar stubs as that is much easier than trying to hold the roof and cut the posts.
18. The front A-pillars had minimal misalignment. Since the cuts were made in the straightest area of the posts it will be a simple job of pulling the lower posts inward for alignment.
19. As the top moves forward to meet the new, lower A-pillar the B-pillar will also misalign. This misalignment is pretty minimal as top chops go and will be simple to remedy.
20. The top is lifted off and the Sawzall makes an angle cut at the bottom radius of the A-pillar. Required cut was just 1/8-inch.
21. After cutting both A-pillars a cargo strap was used to pull the two posts together to align them with the top, if the posts don't align more material may need to be removed from the A-pillar cut.
22. After pulling the bottom posts together with the cargo strap the angle cuts in the A-pillar are perfectly closed when the lower posts and roof posts are aligned.
23. Satisfied with the post alignment we gave them several good tack welds using our Millermatic MIG welder.
24. Since the B-pillar is actually holding the top in place a brace was fabricated from box tubing to hold the top in position while we align the two posts.
25. We carefully marked out the cut on the roof. Basically we are cutting the B-pillar free from the roof and moving it rearward. The small box marked at the rear of the cut lines is the amount that the post must be moved to the rear.
26. Once again the Sawzall is used to cut through any areas where there are multi layers and again work slowly to keep your cuts perfectly straight on the line.
27. The cut-off wheel makes a clean cut through the roof skin to free the B-pillar from the roof.
28. With the B-pillar free from the roof we will remove a section off the back of the piece we cut out so it can move to the rear. The piece we cut off the back will be used to fill the void in the front.
29. After cutting the proper amount of the rear of the upper B-pillar piece we clamped the shortened piece in place to align it with the lower B-pillar stub.
30. Satisfied with the B-pillar alignment we tack-welded the pillars together and tack-welded the roof skin back together, too.
31. After tack welding the piece in place Delton Scott used the Eastwood hammer and dolly to massage the metal into perfect alignment.
32. The B-pillars are aligned, now we must fill the void in front of the relocated piece. The piece that was removed from the rear of the upper B-pillar will fill the void perfectly.
33. Here we can see the piece that was removed from the rear of the upper pillar is now tack-welded in place on the roof. Notice the driprails are also tack-welded and aligned at this time.
34. Check your work as you go and check it from all angles to be certain all the sheetmetal is flowing smoothly and is devoid of any unwanted bumps, lumps, or waves.
35. Now for the scary part, aligning the rear window area with the roof. While this looks pretty daunting, laying the window down and moving it forward will close the gap, but due to space limitations you'll have to wait until next month see how perfectly it all goes together.
To see videos covering the build of the 2013 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour car, click here.