Chopt Taxi
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Thread: Chopt Taxi

  1. #1
    Official RnS Addict Taxirod's Avatar
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    Chopt Taxi

    Just in case anyone is interested heres the story of my Chopt cab. Its mostly a historical thread but when Ive got it up to date I will show any work I'm currently doing on it.

    Be warned, its an honest look back, some of is not pretty!

    I guess the story started in 1986 when I got my green badge and became a London cabbie. Many hours looking at Fx4's (the only style of cab in London at the time) gave me plenty of opportunity to think about modifying one. To me, it was a 1950's design which was in plentiful supply, so why not do some hot rod type stuff to it? About 1995 ish I even wrote a letter to "The Gasser" mag giving my ideas and suggesting that the cab would make a good hot rod. Unsurprisingly, the following issue carried a letter telling me "to get a grip, we're into Hot Rods, not taxis". Well, I cant find that old magazine now, but I would love to thank whoever wrote that letter 'cos he made me even more determined to bring my ideas to fruition.
    First of all though I was building my first rod, 32 roadster on taxi chassis. The idea of the chopped cab never went away though and I did that roof chop many times in my mind whilst working.

    Eventually I bought a 1/24 scale plastic model of a taxi and did the chop. I still didnt think I would ever make a real version... back then I could hardly believe that I had finally got a rod of my own and had lots of fun with my 32.

    But, in 2006 I went and bought this







    I had already done the roof chop with scissors and selotape



    The plan was to get the chop out of my system and simply use it with standard mechanicals as a cheap daily driver.
    Last edited by Taxirod; 15-01-2014 at 00:51.
    I may live in East London, I may have a number plate that reads "Chopt", but I do NOT use 6" wheel spacers!

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  3. #2
    Official RnS Addict Taxirod's Avatar
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    After buying the cab in sept 2006 I converted it to manual (still with Nissan 2.7 diesel) then about Dec 2006 I took it to a back garden in Romford where I stacked attacking it




    I didnt bother to brace the body! as its on a seperate chassis and there is a lot of metal framework behind the drivers seat where the partition was. (doesnt really show in this photo)




    I began by realigning the B and C pillars as they are both vertical.



    Here you can see with the main part of the roof back on how the original rear window surround is left behind




    These 2 pics show the problem of the misallignment of the rear pillar and how I cut the section out and moved it forward to realign it.



    Finally its coming together. See what happens to a cheap gazebo on a windy day.



    About march 2007 I think, back on the road again.
    Last edited by Taxirod; 14-01-2014 at 23:52.
    I may live in East London, I may have a number plate that reads "Chopt", but I do NOT use 6" wheel spacers!

  4. #3
    Official RnS Addict Taxirod's Avatar
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    So now I had a cab with a roof chop, but no-one seemed to notice! I wanted it to sit lower but I'm surrounded by speed humps here so I decided to put airbags on. Spoke to Ray at Rayvern, he supplied me with 2 bags for front, and other bits which I fitted. WOW! front can now sink almost to the ground (at the time had original steels with low profile tyres which also helped)
    BUT I only drove about 5 miles before there was an almighty BANG!! followed by a very slow and scraping drive home. My mistake: I had mounted the bags so that the weight of the vehicle pushed the centre out of the bag. More helpful conversations with Ray, bought another 2 bags, remade the mounts, back on the road, 3 miles and another loud BANG!! This time it was a bolt on the kingpin rubbing the bag and puncturing it. Looked ok static, but under driving conditions it came into contact. At this point I decided to give up and booked it in to Ray who fitted the fronts and also bags on the back. I was well pleased, Ray had done the work on my cab for a fixed price and said he wouldnt do another one, he had worked so hard to get it working ok.




    The original exhaust system hung below the chassis, I got Paul Dickens to build a new exhaust which tucked right up into chassis. And its still there today.
    Last edited by Taxirod; 15-01-2014 at 00:28.
    I may live in East London, I may have a number plate that reads "Chopt", but I do NOT use 6" wheel spacers!

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  6. #4
    Official RnS Addict Taxirod's Avatar
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    The plan originally was to keep the standard diesel engine, it was reliable and did 28 MPG, but one day coming down the M6 I blew up the gearbox. The thought of taking that box out, getting it repaired and putting it back in to just have the same old combo didnt appeal and I had a 3.5 Rover V8 in my back garden, so, with the cab parked on the street outside my house I pulled the old engine and box.

    You can see here that I cut the footwell away to give clearance for the new engine


    pics in wrong order heres the old lump coming out


    ...and here the old engine goes for a ride in my working cab (Metrocab) to someone whos buying it



    footwell cut away


    The main problem with fitting the V8 was a lack of room for exhaust manifolds. Nothing would fit, so I made up these unlikely looking things from box section. Worked ok though, and got me on the road, later I got Paul Dickens to make up new manifolds for me to replace my hideous attempts.


    Here you can see that I kept the original taxi mounts, and spaced the Rover engine mounts away from the engine with a bit of box.

    I used a LT77 5 speed box and had those guys at Barnehurst modify the prop.

    So at this point I've digressed from the original plan but the V8 sound suited the vehicle and I loved it, and I guess I still do.
    Last edited by Taxirod; 15-01-2014 at 00:56.
    I may live in East London, I may have a number plate that reads "Chopt", but I do NOT use 6" wheel spacers!

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    Official RnS Addict Taxirod's Avatar
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    Not shown in the previous pics of the roof chop, the area where there had been a sunroof had been filled with steel but the roof had lost the correct profile, so to cure this, a good suggestion from Paul Burnham was to put another roof skin over the top. Heres how I brought it home from South Norwood...




    To modify the boot lid I cut out the part where the number plate light used to be and shortened the recess to suit the plate I had bought from an ad in the back of Custom Car, C11DPT.

    I may live in East London, I may have a number plate that reads "Chopt", but I do NOT use 6" wheel spacers!

  8. #6
    Official RnS Addict Taxirod's Avatar
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    FX4 Taxis had nice chrome bumpers up to about 1983 when they went to horrible black plastic things. I Had an ok condition one for the front so I fitted it about 2" lower than stock to add to the low look. I then had to extend the bottom of the bonnet down to fill the gap.



    The old chrome bumpers are now difficult to get hold of and go for big money so I tried to fit some random old yank bumper (after a very hasty narrowing job)

    This was horrible as you can see so I eventually got a rear bumper which was straight but rusty




    ...and after having it rechromed i fitted it, again lower than stock and filled the gaps in.
    Last edited by Taxirod; 15-01-2014 at 00:47.
    I may live in East London, I may have a number plate that reads "Chopt", but I do NOT use 6" wheel spacers!

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    Reneanglia is offline
    Like this,more please.............

  10. #8
    I'm a grown up member now !
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    Daddy is offline
    Taxi looks great.

    Sure I saw your 32 roadster on another thread, was it purple with a young lad behind the wheel with a big smile on his face? thats what its all about.

    Do a thread for that one too

  11. #9
    I'm a grown up member now ! Holtie's Avatar
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    Great thread! very cool taxi!

  12. #10
    Official RnS Addict Taxirod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy View Post
    Taxi looks great.

    Sure I saw your 32 roadster on another thread, was it purple with a young lad behind the wheel with a big smile on his face? thats what its all about.

    Do a thread for that one too
    Thanks Daddy, but to do a thread for my 32 i would have to scan lots of old pics, maybe I'll get round to it one day.

    Thanks Reneanglia and Holtie, wasnt too sure whether to put this on.
    I may live in East London, I may have a number plate that reads "Chopt", but I do NOT use 6" wheel spacers!

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