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Wheeler
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK so here goes. I figured I would post up as there has been considerable interest on the tree thread & via PM.
*First let me thank Scott McBirney for showing me that a Disco could be chopped clean. Scott, feel free to jump on the thread or pm with with any words of wisdom if you are on this board.

So I had been considering a chop for some time,,,but it was more of an "if I roll" type of thing. Then I saw the pic. That was that. So I've broken down the chop into 4 general stages:
Stage 1: The strip. Need to strip out most of the interior from behind the front seats. This will be done over the weekend to correspond with the end of the E-Bay auction. As such I have many parts, panels, electrical, carpet, etc listed on EBay, as well as this site, and am having a blow-out sale. (obviously if I sell via DWeb I will contribute accordingly) Eventually, the stripped interior will be Rhino-lined.

Stage 2: The chop. I anticipate starting the actual chop some time in the next week or two & will take plenty of pics. Most of the work will be done at JC's Rover & 4x4 in Denver, CO, by Jeff Corwin, a true Roverhead, a great mechanic, a friend, and an active member of the CO LR community. Basically, I plan on retaining about 2-4" of the roof up front to maintain the integrity of the windshield. I'm retaining the B pillar and will chop along the lines of the 2nd row door on back to the end. As this is a DII (perhaps the 1st DII chop?) I need to see if the rear corner panels (and tail light housing) are interchangable between a DI & a DII, at least with minor modification. They look like they could be. If not, I'll have to modify a new housing for tail lights and probably go with a non-LR tail light. The plan is to also sell the rear bench seat and install a removable fold-down bench. I had originally planned on retaining the rear tailgate, chopping it along the same lines, and keeping it as a pick-up-style tailgate but have since decided to sell it to further finance the project and store the spare in the rear, a la Mr. McBirney's DI.

Stage 3: The cage. Cage will be fab'd locally and measured out in conjunction w/ the chop. Cage will look very similar to Scott's picture, with brackets attaching it to rear corner panels and B pillars. I am retaining the doors for the time being but will probably tube across the door-ways on both sets of doors in the event I want to remove them later.

Stage 4: The top. I've found a custom shop that specializes in boats that has some experience making soft-tops for trucks/jeeps that can help me out. I'm looking at making a one-piece top with either roll-down windows or zip-out panels in the rear.

So that's the rough outline. As things progress I'll add pics & let you know what issues I run into. Your thoughts & suggestions on the matter are very much welcome. I'm looking forward to getting started.

-S
 

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Wheeler
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Stage one began last night, in a friends driveway. I'll add pics later.

Stripped out the rear from behind the front seats and on to the back. The interior carpeting is fairly well insulated so I hear a bit more road noise that should get back to near-normal once it's Rhino-lined. Carefully removed the lower-rear interior body panels & set them aside as they are for sale. Removed the 2nd & 3rd row seat belts, the headphone jacks & wiring, etc. I also swapped out my leather seats with a buddy for his vinyl seats as they will be more weather-resistant. I will most likely retain the OEM vinyl front seats, at least for the time being, as I often lean out the drivers side window when rock crawling to better manage tire placement and harnesses restrict my abilit to do so without "unharnessing" ever time.

All of the interior pieces are for sale on EBay. The only large piece that doesn't have a bid or watcher is the rear tailgate assembly so may be hanging on to that, or breaking it down into parts: wiper/washer assembly, tire carrier, interior panel, speaker, tailgate itself, glass, etc. If anyone's interested, go to EBay, identify yourself as an LRO member, and I'll donate to the site if you are the buyer.

I'll complete the interior strip over the weekend and more than likely move to state two next week. Will continue to keep you posted.
 

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Premium Member
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It has started.....(Evil Laugh)MMMUUUUUUUUUAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
 

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This is going to be awesome!!! I suspect it might be the first DII chop, and Im excited to see it!!!

Ive also had a chop in mind if I ever rolled my rover, and I loved that pic of the red chopped DI.

Steve, how are you going to deal with air flow and what not? Is it going to be an open cabin? Or have the ability to be fully enclosed? (wondering for heating/air con/windows)
 

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Wheeler
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm going to have a soft top custom made. I'm pondering a few ideas but it will probably involve either roll-up panels on the sides & rear, or zip-outs. It'll be fully removable for summer, but will have to seal adequately for winter. It's rarely if ever parked outside so I'm too worried about the winters. Plus I have a short commute since I moved closer to work. I'll retain the front windows but remove the rear windows & cargo-bay glass. I would imagine it will seal much like any other 4x4 soft-top, which is to say enough so you don't freeze, but not enough so you don't need a jacket.
 

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Wheeler
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, the rear strip is now 100% complete. For those who ever want to strip a DII down the the metal, note that the front seats take reverse-torx,,, the rear seats take regular torx,,, the 3rd row seats have regular bolts,,, as do the seat belt assemblies. The interior body panels have push-pins, except in the random places where they have screws. The interior carpets do make a big difference in absorbing road noise so I can hear every movement of suspension components, etc.

So the rig goes in on Monday. Looking to complete it by next Saturday. Cage will be made by Deranged Rover here in Denver. Work will be done at JC Rover 4x4, also here in Denver. We will take ample pics. :drive:
 

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I'd love to be in the Rat Patrol
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Check out some of the ...dare i say it... j33p's soft tops.
I'd look at them and see that mine was made with some of those ideas incorporated. I think I would look for fabric with a little substance too.

I'm telling you, you should keep the heated seats if your gonna drive that bad boy in the winter.
 

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Damn, I dont remember opening a show in Denver??? :confused LOL

There appears to be lots of rover enthusiasts with the initials JC..lol...there's another shop near Tampa, here in Florida that goes by JC Rovers or something like that...just thought I'd point that out.

Anyway, I TOTALLY cant wait to see that disco. Hey Steven, what does the wifey think about the idea??? Just curious. I'd eventually like to strip the carpet out but leave ruber mats in place and Rhino Line the interior in Tan so that it matches the seats and the upper interior scheme.
 

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Wheeler
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
01001010 said:
Anyway, I TOTALLY cant wait to see that disco. Hey Steven, what does the wifey think about the idea??? Just curious. I'd eventually like to strip the carpet out but leave ruber mats in place and Rhino Line the interior in Tan so that it matches the seats and the upper interior scheme.
The wife is so far very supportive. I've taken her around in a 90 before and she loved it. I don't think she'll be driving with me until Spring though,,,
I'm with you on the strip & Rhino-line...the strip is already done,,it's down to the metal. And the plan is to Rhino-line it. I hadn't thought about tan though, that's not a bad idea.
 

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SCSL. Did you decide how much you wanted for ALL the rear interior pieces to make my 1999 D2 a 7 passenger?
 

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94 Defender 90
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Hey. Lookin' good! I can't wait until this is finished.

I was wondering if you had considered Badger Coachworks for your soft top creation? I think they're more Series/Defender specialists, but I'd talk to them about it regardless. It might be tough since they're located in Massachusetts, but they do great work!
 

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Aww man thats so good to hear...gotta love it when you have support. I hate doing something to my truck with my dad on my back while I do the mod, but he always comes around to agreeing with me when I prove the advantages of the mod, wether it be off road or on road. You know, I said tan Rhino Liner because I could SWEAR I saw it on Red Rhino, but when I went back to check the list of colors it wasnt on there. Now I'm wondering if there even is such thing as a Tan liner...lol
 

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01001010 said:
. Now I'm wondering if there even is such thing as a Tan liner...lol

There is .......If you rhino line they can get any color you want...Just a matter of $$$$...For us DIY people i'd imagin a piant shop may be able to assist you
 
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