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Then came the fun. I had never chopped a top before and figured it could be rather serious if I messed up. I found no less than a dozen articles, half of which contradicted each other, and I spoke to professional body men that had done chops before.
I quartered the roof and dropped the profile 2 ¾" total, but cut low in the back to maintain a full sized rear window. Cutting the doors to match actually proved harder than the roof itself. Overall it was much scarier than it was difficult.
I decided to change the look of the hood and solicited the services of a local sheet metal shop with a louver press. I had a right and left patch panel made and butt-welded them into the sides of the hood for a clean look inside and out.
The bed was gone, nothing salvageable other than as templates. I decided the bed would dump so I made a subframe to mount the sides and floor on, stepped hard to allow room for the rear. Space was there so I built in a handy little storage space under the bed floor. Inner fender wells were necessary to allow room for the 31x16.5 M/T Sportsman tires.
The strengthening contours of the bed sides were replaced with hardwood panels so the fenders would fit properly. Not only did they match original profile, but they set the truck off wonderfully. The hardwood for that as well as throughout the truck is white oak with "Santeen" (a South American hardwood) accents.
The tailgate and roll pan were totally handmade from scratch. The "FORD" script is an aftermarket patch panel. The stainless hidden latches are integrated into the top tube of the gate.
The hydraulic system for the bed uses industrial pneumatic cylinders since the pressures needed are so low (under 250 psi) and runs in series off the power steering system. The 12 volt electric valve is mounted under the passenger seat but all lines are outside the vehicle.
Both front and rear fenders as well as running boards and grille are fiberglass. The whole mess was primed with epoxy primer and painted with a stock Ford production color, '94 Mustang GT Laser Red. All parts were fully painted before finally assembling the truck.