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Old 03-08-2018, 09:38 PM
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MetalShaper of the Month March 2018, August 2021
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Hector, MN
Posts: 278
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The first task was to "gut" the vehicle of all the upholstery (was trashed from sitting out in the farm grove for many many years) glass, trim, etc.

So the thing that will make this custom Mercury different than most....or all of the others?!? We tossed around the idea that since we are taking a 4 door and turning it into a 2 door, lets make it different and not turn it directly into what we'd end up with if we had started with a 2 door.

The difference......we are doing a 3 window Merc! After the idea, I started doing some rough photoshop work as well as googling custom Mercurys online. I did stumble across a few other 3 window Mercs.....as far as I could tell all of them except one ended at the photoshop stage. The one that appeared to have been finished was a fairly nice looking car, but I felt I could certainly improve the roofline, and overall look of the car.

As I mentioned, initially I had done some photoshop work in order to get an idea of the general proportions and modifications necessary to achieve the look we (the customer and I) were after. In all honesty, this first stage of cutting and moving metal around was all very ROUGH and quick. All we were after was to see if the changes would look good in person as sometimes a photoshop or idea in your head doesn't exactly work in "the real world"

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After gutting all the interior, glass, trim, etc. I was left with a shell of the car to start rough cutting on. Normally at the start of a project I would strip or blast everything to clean bare metal.

However, in all honestly, we weren't even sure this drastic modification from a 4 door to a 2 door "3 window" would even look good in person, so we didn't want to put forth a bunch of extra labor in this early stage.

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Surprisingly the interior floors seemed to be in very good condition once the interior was removed (there was some rust in the floor boards under the driver's feet)

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The trunk......well that was completely shot!! No worries, this would have to be completely removed and rebuilt later with the modifications we had ahead.

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As you can see here, both rockers were completely rusted away also. You could see right through them in most areas. Again this is totally fine as I knew I'd have to rebuild and modify them in the 2 door conversion process.

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I told you this was a "quick and dirty" mockup. In order to get it to sit low to get a feel for the proportions eventually I just took the wheels off, cut out some suspension parts and set it on the shop floor!

Here the common.....cut a door top off and see how it's going to look chopped part has started as well!ha

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After that it was finally time to take the big leap and cut the entire roof off.

I had braced the rear window opening so it would retain it's original shape. Using the photoshop proportions I came up with that that customer and I both liked best, I started moving the rear window into it's correct position. As you can see I moved it forward a lot! The problem with a "3 window" was finding a nice roofline without having a very large flat sail panel behind the side door glass. To minimize the "flatness" of large sail panel, the rear window is further ahead than a regular 2 door.

While I'll share the work I've done. I'd prefer not to share actual dimensions of modifications like chop height, how far the rear window was moved forward, and other modifications I'll get to later....hopefully you can understand my reasons for that decision.

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Here I set the roof back on in it's very rough location. I've cut and moved the rear door roof jamb away from the roof and slid it forward to see what proportions looked good for the conversion to a 2 door.

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Once I had an upper door opening that possibly would look alright I trimmed the back off the roof off and set the rear window back into position.

To help visualize everything a bit better, I covered all the large missing areas with masking paper. (realize here the rear half of the door top is missing from the opening as well, so It'll close up a bit more eventually.)

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A view from the rear.

I knew I'd have to change proportions of the front edge of the trunk and the tulip panel behind the rear window in order to make things visually better.

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Straight from the back. At this point I unfortunately came to the conclusion that the stock width of the rear window would not work. The shape of the car widens towards the center of the vehicle obviously. Since I had to slide the rear window so far forward, it was just too narrow for a nice transition with a sail panel to the door and also to the top of the quarter panel.

Eventually when the time arrives in the build a lexan glass will be shaped up (it's a fairly flat glass for the most part) a custom glass window will be made (for money reasons, this may be unlikely) or possibly a donor glass with the correct shape could be used and cut to fit.
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