Hey mate, i remember seeing this thread a while back and im sure you had pictures with the write up, but now i cant see any pictures. would it be possible for you to send me the pictures along with the documented write up to my email? [email protected] itd be much appreciated if you could mate as this was the best chop i have seen using the round tube!So about 12 months ago I decided that I wanted to chop my wagon into a dual cab. I live in Cairns so RWV is right around the corner but they are fairly expensive (10k no tray) and I enjoy a challenge so I decided to do it myself. I work in IT so my previous metal working experience is essentially zero.
First step was to work out the line. The neighbor is a draftsman and was able to loan me a fancy laser level. It shoots out 3 laser lines, one line is a 200 degree arc from front to back, one is left to right and one is 360 degrees around the unit. I jacked the car up on all 4 corners and then used a spirit level I got the car as level as possible. I then positioned the laser roughly where I wanted the cut and bingo, I had a line all the way around the car. Here is the line I came up with.
You can see in this closeup that I basically took the line as close as I could to the seat belt mounts without actually chopping them up. This was for my engineer, he said that while you could move the seat belt mounts it was more trouble that it was worth.
If you do decide to chop your patrol I highly reccomend buying a profile gauge, I got mine from ebay and it was a very handy gadget.
So once I had a line I stripped everything out of back of the car and chopped it off. I thought I would need a 9" angle grinder but I ended up only using a 5". I actually liked the 5" a bit better cause it gave me some more control
Once it was cut up the first thing I did was make up some supports for the seat belt mounts. As I quickly discovered the seat belt mounts are tissue thin (less than a millimeter) and without the added reinforcement of the rear plate they just flop around all over the place. One of these plates was made for each side and then welded up both sides.
Next job was to re-cut the outer skin (and only the outer skin) to allow the tube I was going to use to fit in. I suppose if you just wanted to have a flat back you could skip this but I wanted to have rounded edges so I needed to cut the outer skin further back toward the front of the car by a little bit more than 1/2 the diameter of the tube. I was using 2" exhaust tube and Im pretty sure I needed to cut it back by 34mm (dont quote me on that). You can see the extra cut below with the tube in place to show what I mean.