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Old 05-24-2008, 03:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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First Goal Reached !! And quick ...

Well boys and girls, the automatic Vibe has surpassed the 40mpg mark with an impressive 41.3 mpg at last fill. I really thought it would take longer to get there, but now the big 50 lays ahead, here come the body mods ... LOL

Whoo hoo ....

Oh BTW can one of you photoshop guys take this picture and tell me what the slope angle is of the window frame? Not the roof line the window frame.

Thank you ..

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Thx NoCO2; "The biggest FE mod you can make is to adjust the nut behind the wheel"

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Old 05-24-2008, 05:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Its not a flat angle, but here is a pretty good average.

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Old 05-24-2008, 05:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for that, it occured to me the other day that the angle of the windows would be the ideal angle to slope the roof for aero and basically you just seemed to confirm that.

So it looks like I can continue planning the chop top for the Vibe. Thanks ...
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Thx NoCO2; "The biggest FE mod you can make is to adjust the nut behind the wheel"

I am a precisional instrument of speed and aeromatics
If your knees bent in the opposite direction......what would a chair look like???





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Old 05-24-2008, 06:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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How exactly is a chop top done? I've never really understood...

Congrats on hitting the big 4-0!
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Old 05-24-2008, 07:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Congrats on hitting 41.3!
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Chop tops are complicated and vary based on the vehicle. I'll give you a general description as an FYI.

Once you gut the vehicle completely (and I mean everything), you weld bracing to the vehicle similar to a roll cage in order to avoid warping. It is important to brace both halves, the upper and lower so once they are seperated they do not warp. Once you are there you mark off the sections of the pillars that are going to be cut. They the hard part, cut the sections out.

Once you cut out the sections you'll notice that the roofline changes and your cuts do not match up. It is often required that you cut the top half of the roof and either stretch it or narrow it depending on the application to match up whats left with the car and you usually have to increase the angle of the A pillars in order to give it that truly chopped look. Along the way you have to brace the new roof in order to keep some rigidity. Then you tack all your pieces together to check for fitment and alignment and once all your tweeks are done, you do the bracing and welding, add your sheet metal where necessary, do some grinding, preping then comes the primer and paint. Now somewhere between primer and paint on a true chop top you have to have the new glass made or fitted. It's easier on antique cars because none of them had tempered glass windshields. Tempered glass cannot be custom cut and therefore is the biggest obstacle in chopping a modern car. Fortunately for me my alterations will not impact the front windshield.

In the case of the vibe though, once we cut the pillar behind the front doors, we will be applying heat and notching the roof pillar in order to get it to slope. Once we reach the optimal angle, we will re weld the sheet metal to the body, brace the pillars and fabricate new metal where the rear windows use to be. The hatch will be converted into a tail gate and metal will replace the rear glass with a small sunroof like window to see out the rear.

Oh and to have it look totally stock you will have to modify all the interior plastics to match your cuts. Fortunately plastic welders exist nowadays and it is easy to cut plastic and morph it to the shape you want.

It's a little more complicated than that, but its the best explanation I can give without busting out the plasma .... LOL

Definately not a mod for the faint of heart .. lol
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Thx NoCO2; "The biggest FE mod you can make is to adjust the nut behind the wheel"

I am a precisional instrument of speed and aeromatics
If your knees bent in the opposite direction......what would a chair look like???





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Old 05-25-2008, 05:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I just broke 41 myself with the Elantra. It feels really good hitting those numbers, especially since gas is over $5.2 a gallon up here.
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Old 05-26-2008, 03:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Grats, we have the same engine I think, the 1ZZ-FE? I was shocked when I achieved 43 MPG in my Corolla, mainly because the tires are so much bigger. I think it was a rare thing though because of my commute, now it's going to be mostly city driving so it's going to go down a lot.

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