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Author Topic: Hows hard to turn a challenger hardtop into a convertible  (Read 4832 times)
THE CHARGER PUNK
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« on: February 14, 2006, 12:55:59 PM »

hwo hard would it be to convert a challenger hardtop into a convertible?-MATT, where could i purchase a convertible top and all the skeleton of it? do they reproduce it?-MATT
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andy74
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2006, 01:02:33 PM »

wow Matt, you sure are busy, a challenger convert and a charger wagon?which one is the diesel?


just busting on ya, but in all sincerity,if you are looking for a convertible,by time you find or manufacturer all the nessecary bracing,top frame etc, you will be better off finding a real one-Andy
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THE CHARGER PUNK
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2006, 02:11:38 PM »

probably dude, after i get these cars done ill have to open a museum Grin-MATT
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d72hemi
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2006, 09:49:09 PM »

serch the web. I know there is a Co. out there that makes e-body vert kits, I seen in in one of my mopar mags. I will look for it when I have some time.

Ian
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bull
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2006, 09:36:29 AM »

The inherent problem you're going to find is keeping the car from caving in on itself without properly supporting the framework underneath. Hard top cars are called hard top because the roof holds the car together, ie., there are no posts for bracing and a relatively weak unibody so the roof structure effectively maintains the integrity of the car's shape. So you either pay through the nose for someone who knows what they're doing to go under it and professionally shore everything up, or you buy an original convertible or you go the redneck route with a plasma cutter or torch and then see how long it takes before the bottom of the car cracks and starts throwing sparks as you slide it down the road.
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Charger4404spd
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2006, 07:04:58 PM »

How hard? About 15 minutes and one of these..............

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purple70rt
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WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2006, 02:32:01 AM »

 icon_smile_big


* Clipboard01cxvcv.jpg (40.71 KB, 640x480 - viewed 1111 times.)
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sharpspike
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2006, 03:44:09 PM »

How hard? About 15 minutes and one of these..............



dont forget this


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Mike DC (formerly miked)
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2006, 04:19:22 PM »

On B-bodies, the converts just got the Hemi cars' torque boxes added.  (Or rather, the Hemi cars got the convertibles' torque boxes.)  No black magic there.  You can buy the torque boxes repro'd.

None of it probably does as much good as a decent set of frame connectors anyway.  Even factory-built converts are usually pretty loose.

.
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hotrod98
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2006, 07:52:34 PM »

I've never owned a b-body convert. Do they not have the thick rocker panels and the thick wheelhouses like the e-bodies? I always assumed that they did. I know if you cut the roof off of an e-body even with torque boxes and subframe connectors, they will tweak big time.  I've seen it. They really need some type of full underbody frame to be real safe.
My real Challenger convertible even with the big subframe connectors tends to twist a little more than it should. They just weren't well engineered. Ask Greg Garner of Real Time Engineering (the modern tach guy) and he'll tell you his horror story about getting hit last summer in his chal convert. Wasn't pretty.
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Charles Addams
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2006, 06:45:01 PM »

How hard? About 15 minutes and one of these..............


   Hey thats my favorite tool!!!!!!!
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Ghoste
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2006, 08:15:42 PM »

d72hemi is right.  There is a company that makes a kit to do this.  They had a display set up at the Mopar Nationals a couple of years ago.  I don't recall the price or how complete the kit was (did it include the interior parts and top for example) but it did allow you to chop off the roof and put the mechanism on there.
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THE CHARGER PUNK
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2006, 10:29:42 AM »

anyone have a name for that company-MATT
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Ghoste
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2006, 11:02:21 AM »

A little research turned up that the kits have not been perfected yet.  They were supposed to retail for around 10 grand but here is a link to the site of the folks that had taken this project on.

http://www.convertible-conversions.com/
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moparguy01
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2006, 04:49:21 PM »



+



+




=

convertible. devil
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Mike DC (formerly miked)
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2006, 07:43:59 PM »

The unibody of an E-body is fine in the front & rear subframe areas, but the center cab of the car is just not stiff enough to lose the roof and remain very solid.  It needs more meat (steel) under it.

I think the raw principle of using the rocker panels as a load-bearing area is theoretically fine.  But the factory made the rockers too thin to begin with, and 35 years of driving/rust/patchwork will cost a lot more strength depending on the particular car you build.  (A lot of home bodyworkers seem to operate with the idea that if the framerails are solid then everything else is just along for the ride.  Not true.) 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

I think a person could build a nice E-body convert without resorting to a tube-chassis, but it would take some significant cutting & fabricating of the unibody in the cab area to make it stiff.

The factory's "torque box" design could probably be improved with some more vertical area.

The trans tunnel is another often-overlooked area that will stiffen up a unibody if it gets beefed up correctly.

.
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THE CHARGER PUNK
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2006, 08:40:14 PM »

thnx dude
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41husk
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2006, 10:37:49 AM »

I know my convertible has the spring mounts boxed in and my hard top did not I assume this was foe extra structural support, but they are different.
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chargervert
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« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2006, 02:34:32 PM »

On B-bodies, the converts just got the Hemi cars' torque boxes added.  (Or rather, the Hemi cars got the convertibles' torque boxes.)  No black magic there.  You can buy the torque boxes repro'd.

None of it probably does as much good as a decent set of frame connectors anyway.  Even factory-built converts are usually pretty loose.

.
There is a little more to it than just the Hemi torque boxes,on converts,there is an extra support brace that runs the length of the rocker panel to help keep the body from flexing. I would consider using frame connectors,unless you feel like cutting off the rocker panels,installing the braces,and reinstalling the rocker skins!
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Mike DC (formerly miked)
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2006, 04:55:01 AM »

Quote
There is a little more to it than just the Hemi torque boxes,on converts,there is an extra support brace that runs the length of the rocker panel to help keep the body from flexing. I would consider using frame connectors,unless you feel like cutting off the rocker panels,installing the braces,and reinstalling the rocker skins!

Interesting.  I didn't realize it was more than the torque boxes.  That would be difficult to add later.

But then again, when most restos these days already involve re-skinning the outer sides of the rocker boxes just for rust repairs . . .

         
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