Rat Rod Build Part 12 -The Roof Chop

LAZY’s RAT ROD BUILD Forums LAZY’S RAT ROD BUILD Rat Rod Build Part 12 -The Roof Chop

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August 16, 2015 at 4:02 pm #832

The Roof Chop is the part of the build I was looking forward to the most,the main reason is I am not very good at body work, always seem to shy away from body mods.The roof is now chopped and doesn’t look bad at all, if I say so myself.

Building a Rat is, in my opinion, is the best way to try and master new skills. If you mess it up on the way it isn’t the end of the world, it’s a Rat, doesn’t have to be perfect. A welder-fabricator friend of mine gave me some good advise before I started the chop “Cut your way out,weld your way back in”

Well let’s get started, the first thing that I had to consider was how much to chop the roof, after spending many hours sitting on make shift seats in the cab 6″ seemed to be the magic number. I didn’t want a chop that may have looked cool, but was uncomfortable to drive, so a sensible chop was in order.

The first step was to cut off the front of the cab, removing the front doors, the rear doors became the front,and a bonus of now being suicide doors.



Cutting the front seemed to take forever, the bulk head was a night mare to get out. All the cutting was done with a disc cutter, didn’t have my plasma at the time

Body plan

  • Chop 6″ of the height of the roof
  • Slice 10″ off the width of the Cab, this will allow the wheels to sit on the outside.
  • Move the cab forward
  • fit a bulk head and windscreen
  • Shorten the chassis and step it over the axle.

Now for the fun bit, marking it out for the cutting. I decided to use masking tape and black tape over to highlight the cutting lines.The A and B posts were easy to mark out as they were vertical , the rear corners were a bit of a guessing game, wasn’t to sure how to mark them for cutting. I watched youtube for any ideas, but every one seemed to have different ideas, so I went with mine.


With it marked out I pondered for a while and decided to brace the interior with lengths of angle to stop the body moving when the roof was cut off.In addition the doors were tacked closed.


Out with the trusty disc cutter all the cuts were made. To stop the roof jamming the cutter, I clamped a small length of 20mm angle across the cut line, not sure if this makes sense?.Any way with all the cuts made it was time to lift of the roof, always the way when you need some one to give you a lift there is no one about. Had to come up with a cunning plan, use my engine hoist and plenty of rope, it worked ok but it took about an hour to tie it before lifting off.




Well that’s the roof off then.

Tip of the day……Don’t throw any metal you cut off away, all these bits came in very handy for filling in gaps etc.

You can see the rest of the chop in photos at Youtube.


Just to finish off this part, have added a few more pictures showing the problems I came across chopping the roof.

trial fitting of the chopped roof big gap in the A piller roof chop, piller gaps


Had to wedge a piece of wood in to support the roof while I filed the post and made it fit better.

roof being fitted almost a perfect fit on the a post  Almost a perfect fit, just a couple of relief cuts and weld it.


roof chop big gap welded  strip strip welded in place roof moved back Had to cut the roof and move it back, to align the back quarter.

The photos below show the rest of the chop.

rear corner cut out  corner welded in fitting the quarter  rust in corner the other side of roof chop finished corner roof chopped strip fully welded


Roof is now fully welded, next job is to cut a hole for my sunroof.


See you next time…Lazy


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August 29, 2015 at 11:02 am #922

Hi lazy just a quick question was wondering what your plan was in regards to painting the taxi obviously being a rat rod a shining new paint job would be totally un Ratrod like but how do you intend to cover up the the roof chop patches, loving the build mate it’s coming along nicely

September 4, 2015 at 6:47 pm #1048

Not sure how or if to paint the Rat, keep changing my mind between.
1….leaving it as it is and just spray it with some laquer from a rattle can … or
2. Paint it red then yellow then blue with a final coat of green, then rub it back to the red in a few places, around door handles etc, to make it look weathered, then a clear coat of matt laquer.
3. Or just paint the whole thing matt black

Jury is still out……..Lazy

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