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Old 05-30-2019, 08:28 AM   #31 (permalink)
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--------------Project Reset, ignore the above ----------------------
I am resetting this project, and now would like to get some fresh perspective on my revised plans. (Thanks to all who previously provided me advice.)

I have another vehicle to drive now, so I want to take the time to do this project justice. For those not following my other thread I have completely rebuilt this vehicle basically from scratch. 1994 GMC Suburban K2500, 25MPG highway at an assumed CD 0.45. The project runs and functions fine, but I still need to redo the interior and complete any aero mods I want to do to it.

I want to cut the vehicle in half.

This is not a joke or a pipe dream. In terms of time investment I already have an inordinate of hours in this build so this is large undertaking is not unheard of. It is the only way this project will be anywhere near what I envisioned when I started. I have been slowly collecting metalworking tools and doing some metalwork to build my skills. My current plans (up for your comments) would have me cutting out the bodywork surrounding the cargo area (roof and sides) and grafting in new pieces along with repositioning existing pieces to hit the templates. Front and mid doors remain untouched. Frame and floors remain untouched (except narrowing the rear cargo floor if needed).

This will be a great learning project for me (trial by fire). There is no residual intrinsic value in this vehicle’s body/frame at this point (worth far more in powertrain parts) so I am not destroying any sort of value. I come to the people of this forum for advice to help guide this project to success.

Edit: Timeframe wise I will be starting in the fall/winter if all goes well so I have a few months to plan and purchase parts.

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Old 05-30-2019, 08:29 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Above I posted the what, my current thinking of how to accomplish this is:

Convert barn doors to factory stepside tailgate, move over the factory bodywork from windows down starting just over the wheel wells back to the lights accomplishing a taper on the sides of about 9-10” per side over 6’, mirroring AST.

Chop top around the back of the middle row doors. Find a reasonably tapered large hatchback (suggestions?) and surrounding frame and transplant it on the very back of the vehicle to hit AST-II. Build/modify filler panels from the point of chop to where the hatch starts (I don’t know of any 6’+ hatches right off). This will have a taper down of about 15-16 inches.

Figure out about how much space exists between the new sides and new roof. Find and transplant window glass and make filler panels as appropriate.
Then I will do way more bondo work than I should have to…

All of this is up for debate and suggestions, so let them rip. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:25 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Is the plan to keep this a 4-door, or to convert it to a 2-door?

The reason I ask is that it seems like you can get more body taper if you start more forward, but you lose much utility.

https://jalopnik.com/for-10-000-is-t...d-s-1789661546

https://www.carscoops.com/2019/01/ol...ans-gladiator/

https://www.reddit.com/r/****ty_Car_...erokee_pickup/

I view this project as much in the spirit as the SUV to Pickup truck conversions links above.

And in that sense, making this a pickup truck with an removable or hinged aero-cap may allow better access to the aft spaces.

Just food for thought, I still think this is a solution to the question never asked but cheer you on in your resourcefulness.
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:33 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Kach22i,

The plan is to keep it a four door, I need the middle doors. I can cheat forward a bit on the roof but don't want to mess with tapering the sides near the middle row doors. I have looked at many SUV to Pickup conversions, this is definitely similar. I want the vehicle to look like an Avalanche that someone put a sloped topper on. (There are no GMT-400 factory Avalanches.) Hence the stepside bed. Maybe even a few Avalanche badges...

The big difference would be I am not planning on adding a rear bulkhead at the end of the "passenger" compartment, which are typically added on the SUV to pickup conversions. I would be maintaining the open cargo area, which adds the complication that the "aeroshell" needs to be 100% water and air tight. The reason I suggested a hatchback graft was to try to maintain this usability you referenced but rely on a factory setup for the difficult to manufacture hatch hinge/seals. I would love to custom fab a 100% hinged cover, but am afraid it may not turn out as needed. But when has that stopped me...
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:21 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I've always liked the solution VW used on their GTI-w12-650-16.

If you graft a hatchback onto it could you add to the overall length or is there some constraint?
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:39 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Freebeard,

I could add to the length but probably wouldn't want to go more than 6-8" for a fixed piece past the tailgate/doors, coming out about to the bumper. Vehicle is already fairly long. I would definitely want some overhang past the tailgate. Hinged extension is a possibility, but probably not as part of an initial build.
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Old 05-30-2019, 03:05 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I'm thinking of something that would look like a rear-end collision, with internal ducting like the newest race cars.
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Old 05-30-2019, 04:27 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aardvarcus View Post
Kach22i,

The plan is to keep it a four door, I need the middle doors. I can cheat forward a bit on the roof but don't want to mess with tapering the sides near the middle row doors. I have looked at many SUV to Pickup conversions, this is definitely similar. I want the vehicle to look like an Avalanche that someone put a sloped topper on. (There are no GMT-400 factory Avalanches.) Hence the stepside bed. Maybe even a few Avalanche badges...

The big difference would be I am not planning on adding a rear bulkhead at the end of the "passenger" compartment, which are typically added on the SUV to pickup conversions. I would be maintaining the open cargo area, which adds the complication that the "aeroshell" needs to be 100% water and air tight. The reason I suggested a hatchback graft was to try to maintain this usability you referenced but rely on a factory setup for the difficult to manufacture hatch hinge/seals. I would love to custom fab a 100% hinged cover, but am afraid it may not turn out as needed. But when has that stopped me...
The company I work for sells a tri-folding aluminum hard-cover that is water tight. If you sent me the dimensions you're looking to have the back frame to be I could maybe give you an idea of what models we have that would be pretty close to that, and you might just have to adjust your sizing slightly.

Full disclosure: they're a thousand bucks a crack, and I don't know how they would feel about warrantying one on your project, but our field failures are very rare and are usually due to improper install.

Anyways, here's a link to the sales page if you want to check them out:https://www.agricover.com/hard-tonneau-covers/

If you do buy one, don't buy it direct from us though, just google Lomax tonneau cover and find the cheapest seller. They prefer to just sell to our dealers and let them make individual sales, so the price on our website is always higher than you can find them elsewhere.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:41 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Hmmm, grafting in a hatchback from another car..... What about something from a station wagon? 90's B-body wagon? Dodge Magnum RT? Taurus/Sable? Maybe too far from the template to be worth it?

Magnum RT on a Camaro as food for thought below.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:04 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Hmmm, grafting in a hatchback from another car...
I can’t believe I’m suggesting it, but Pontiac Aztek. Guessing the angle of the top and overall size aren’t perfect, but might be in the ballpark. Should be cheap, wouldn’t be surprised if they’re getting lined up to be crushed

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