Before making any cuts, review the pre-cut preparations. Always wear suitable eye, hand, and ear protection.

There are several approaches to cutting the Beetle roof. The procedure outlined below is more complicated than simply chopping off the entire roof three inches past the door edge, but this method allows for more precise fitment of the fiberglass cab back with stronger fiberglass-to-metal roof bonding. In addition, for sunroof models, we achieve another inch or so of sunroof movement.

1. Substructure roof cut

Cutting along the substructure line with a jigsaw

Stop roof cut 4 inches from gutter edge

Using a rotary cutoff tool, make a small “incision” in the roof at the midpoint along the substructure cut line.

Next insert a jigsaw blade (or other power cutting tool) and moving from the center out to the edge, carefully cut along the substructure line, stopping about 4 inches from the outer gutter edge.

After every few inches of cutting, inspect the inside of the roof to make sure the cut keeps following the correct line. Go back to the center and cut the other side the same way.

Use the rotary cutoff wheel to make a 90-degree cut about 1.5″ long towards the rear along the edge of the sunroof rail brace (if there is one). Then make a 90-degree cut towards the outside edge of the body.

This cut should be about 1.5″ past the extension of the substructure cut line (which is 1.5″ beyond the trailing B pillar vertical edge and passes close to the torx screw mount of the inside grid filler).

Substructure line close to torx mount screw

Substructure line 1.5″ past the B pillar edge

This preliminary roof cut will trimmed to fit later.

Sunroof rail and gutter molding will be trimmed later

DO NOT CUT the sunroof rails at this point.

2. Quarter window frame D pillar cut

Next cut through the sheet metal from the rear corner of the quarter window frame, keeping several inches above the top of the fender arch, and exit through the D pillar hatch opening (the exact cut lines don’t matter but stay well clear of the fender arch).

Side view of D pillar cut

View of D pillar cut from rear corner of quarter window to hatch opening

At this point, the trailing part of the roof along with the the D pillar hatch opening can be removed.

Roof section removed

The chopped metal roof section can be cut up in smaller pieces for disposal.

3. Sunroof drain hose adapter

Sunroof drain hose adapter

Remove the two sunroof white plastic drain hose adapters at the end of the sunroof rail (if there is one). These will be modified to fit a new drain line later on.

This completes the largest part of Beetle Ute chopping. The remaining tasks involve trimming the fender area, cutting out the back end, and removing the sheet metal quarter panel skin below the quarter fixed window frame.