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~~ T-Top Conversion Story ~~ by Mister ~~ by Mister
Started on: 06-12-2007 12:24 AM
Replies: 54
Last post by: Mister on 08-12-2008 02:46 PM
Mister
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Report this Post06-12-2007 12:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
Hi all, the following is a true story, the names have been changed to protect the participants...and why I call it a story? This is not an official "how to" manual, just my impressions and snapshots of chopping off my most prized possession...My Fiero



After 4 months of intensive searching, having to resort to the "Reward system" (which paid off big time) I've finally arrived at acquiring the extremely desired T-Top conversion kit.
I got it from a great Fiero enthusiast in Ohio. (His wife would not let him chop up a perfect 88 GT, so I was the lucky guy to get this kit and I thank both of them a lot)

Another person to bring into the story and thank (a million) is my Fiero buddy/mechanic/mentor who goes by PFF name spookything. He gave up a lot of his time and skills in the making of this project and many more.

As for the decision to buy another T-Top Fiero or the chop mine ?
Both options were considered, and after finding 'the kit' I decided the conversion should not be too hard to accomplish and I keep my good known Fiero, not having to deal with the unknown problems of another 20 year old Fiero.
Some good inspiration came from Houston, Texas where jscott1 and his brother did this conversion in one long weekend http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...040710-1-029407.html

We did the 10 hour round-trip from Toronto, Canada to pick up the goods. After a quick tour of the seller's Fieros collection and the exchange of funds we headed back home. Crossing the border after midnight has its benefits, we declared full purchase value of the parts we had in the trunk and got to cross without any questions or paying a cent in taxes ...

Some of the parts from the kit i got prepped after sand-blasting and paint





~Some of the materials used



The Precious seals been treated with some AC Delco silicon gel



~The non-suspecting victim...



A few notes for the enthusiastic T-Top searcher :

- Do your research! Run the Pennock's search engine and read anything that has the word T-Top in it. It will pay off.
- Some great info is here http://www.fierottop.com
- A complete kit can cost you anywhere between $300 to $1000 USD, it all depends on condition, how much you want it and when.
My friend bought a complete T-Top coupe for $300 and in my search I was offered a kit for $900 + Shipping (non negotiable) so be prepared to search high and low or pay up. These parts are rare, and people on PFF know it
- Make the best effort to find a complete kit with all good parts, every part you buy after would cost $50-$450, pay attention to the weather seals, as these are non-existing in the market and would make the kit you buy a deal or a mistake. (Some say that other weather seals can be used, but no one came up with the parts numbers to prove it yet)
- Learn the difference between CJB parts and non CJB.
- When examining a T-Top look for water leak signs on the headliner and car floor, might as well give it a rinse and see for yourself if
it leaks or not.
- If possible, get the entire roof section with the old roof attached, this way you've got everything and it's very helpful with mesurments
- READ THE MANUAL Download T-top_Manual.zip (click 3 times) or here http://www.mediafire.com/?9dltxwve3yz
- If you can, buy a complete T-Top Fiero This conversion project is not easy !!!

And on that note... Lets start chopping...

After a couple of prep days (sand-blasting and painting) reading the installation manual 7 times and running virtual mock ups we embarked on the project.

~Custom made frame spreader bars







~ Interior removed



~ Measure 5 times



~ Cut once









~ Rear section cuts





~ Sunroof section removed



~ Targa Top Fiero ...Sexy



~ Some light trimming on the back...



~ And some heavier trimming on the front



Windshield Header Reinf - glued and riveted







Roof Frame Asy Insert





~ Slight modification on the rivet gun to prevent injuries (bad design)







~ Frame glued and riveted... Frame spreader bars come off



~"B" Pillar Bracket



~ "A" Pillar Bracket



~ Front Roof Outer Molding



~ Rear Roof Outer Moldings RH



~ Center Frame



~ Weather seal retainer cut



~ Roof Weatherstrip Seal



~ Silicon on the seams



~ Interior trimming





~ Hard-Top Headliner



~ Fiberglass resin for reinforcement



~ Installed for measurements



~ Headliner fabric installed





~ Headliner Lock Molding



~ "B" Pillar Cap Trim



~ "A" Pillar Cap Trim



~ Glass Panels installed for the first time





~ The Fiero was now drivable again in it's new form



From CHOP to TOP the project took three work days including all steps required and overnight dry time of the glue and paint used.
Project time was over, it was time to head back home to Montreal, Quebec. But I already had in mind changing the roof section color to black. It just gives it a cleaner look...

~ Prep



~ paint





~ Recover



~ Voila



~ And... The maiden voyage in day time...T-Tops off...Cruising to a Fiero get together in Ontario...Can you see I'm loving it







T-Top driving impressions:
Cons:
- One thing I'm missing, is the Sunroof ability to just pop-open and enjoy some fresh air without having to take off the T-Tops (I will miss that in the winter)
- All open, there some whistling and flapping noises I have to track and eliminate (that comes with the territory)
- There is a bit of an hassle in removing the Tops and storing them in a safe place, and re-installing them when you fear it will start raining. I myself can't store them behind the seats due to my 6 feet (not complaining here ) and the audio gear behind the seats.
- Another issue I found, if the safety of the Fiero. T-Tops are known to attract more "simple" thieves to try and crack them open with a crowbar.
When I have to run some short errands, I find myself worried leaving my Fiero "open" like that (Tops off). but I guess one has to get used to that

Pros:
- Nothing like it (never driven a convertible)
- T-Tops off and windows down lots of wind going through the cabin, great for summer days, not so great for a conversation (when you're driving like that you just enjoy the Fiero )
- Even with the tops on the driving impression changes, the roof is visually 85% open on your left and right and the sky is the limit LOL...
- I drove my Fiero for three years and never before did I get so many looks and comments on the Fiero as now with the T-tops
- Buy a hat

Final note:
- T-Tops looks are a matter or taste, I think C&C could have made the open frame (T-Tops off) look better. But still, I think it makes the Fiero look more interesting and adds LOTS to the cool factor.
- Resale value should be $1000-1500 more then a non-T-Top Fiero (that is if you ever plan on getting your invested money back)
- If you think T-Top, I would say go for it ! But better off find a nice complete car.

End of story

Credits:
Spookything for everything, and making this happen
x-thumpr-x and family for their help
SBC for his help
jscott1 - For the inspiration
a PFF member - for the lead on the kit (rewarded as promised)
Miss T For having to deal with my "T-Top" mania

~~~~~

***Disclaimer: This is an amateur write-up. Information here is provided for explanation of the general idea, I will not be held responsible for any damage to your car, your garage going in a blaze or destruction of your marriage life Please use information at your owe risk - Thanks.***

------------------

[This message has been edited by Mister (edited 07-09-2007).]

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Report this Post06-12-2007 12:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroDirect Link to This Post
Well done. Looks like you did a good job.
And yes, there is nothing like driving a t-topped Fiero. All of a sudden everything seems so more open
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Report this Post06-12-2007 12:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dcfoxClick Here to Email dcfoxSend a Private Message to dcfoxDirect Link to This Post
Excellent story.
Beautiful car...both before...and after.

I'd love T-Tops...but for the cost involved...I can think of a bunch of other things I want more.
Maybe an option for once the car is 100% finished.
(hmmm...wonder what it would look like with both the t-tops...and a vertical door system?)

------------------
--David

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Report this Post06-12-2007 01:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CoryFieroSend a Private Message to CoryFieroDirect Link to This Post
NICE writeup. I love t-tops but I love the look of the targa even better! If only it wasn't so hard. We need the little bar in the center, so T-tops are really the only viable option. It looks great! I have yet to ride in a T-top Fiero, yours looks so good it makes me wanna!

Cory

Sidenote: Nice to see Aus on here again.
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Report this Post06-12-2007 01:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for brandon87gtClick Here to Email brandon87gtSend a Private Message to brandon87gtDirect Link to This Post
Very nice! I have had many t-top fbodys and would love to have a t-top fiero but the thought of paying hundreds or dollars for just a gasket or two scares me too much
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Report this Post06-12-2007 08:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SCCA FIEROSend a Private Message to SCCA FIERODirect Link to This Post
I'm wondering how you secured the top trim pieces at the back.

I bought a brand new t-top kit that was supposed to be 100% complete, but was missing those clips for the bottoms and a few other things. Did you have those clips?

Nice install too. I did my 88 and don't think I would ever do another one. I have 2 t-top Fieros... so far.
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Report this Post06-12-2007 08:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Direct Link to This Post
Gotta love T-tops.
The only thing I'd miss is the ability to open the sunroof w/o removing the glass for ventilation. Not a big deal, but I do like being able to do that.

If you ever get a chance to ride in a convertible Fiero - go for it. It's a world all it's own.
Be careful it doesn't start you wanting to do another upgrade, though.
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Report this Post06-12-2007 10:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroRumorClick Here to visit FieroRumor's HomePageClick Here to Email FieroRumorSend a Private Message to FieroRumorDirect Link to This Post
You did a great job on that install!

That's one sharp Fiero!

Thanks for sharing the pics

-FieroRumor
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Report this Post06-12-2007 10:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for x-thumpr-xClick Here to visit x-thumpr-x's HomePageClick Here to Email x-thumpr-xSend a Private Message to x-thumpr-xDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Mister:
***Disclaimer: This is an amateur write-up. Information here is provided for explanation of the general idea, I will not be held responsible for any damage to your car, your garage going in a blaze or destruction of your marriage life Please use information at your owe risk - Thanks.***


hahahahahahahaha

I like the disclaimer, glad to here your enjoying the car now. All the time and patience was worth it I hope Seeing yours in those pics, I feel like getting started on our T-top again. I've been geting the nudge..nugde.. from a couple of others and it's not the wife! Got some free time on my hands AGAIN!
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Report this Post06-12-2007 11:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
Thanks all for the great comments


 
quote
Originally posted by SCCA FIERO: I'm wondering how you secured the top trim pieces at the back. Did you have those clips?


Hi SCCA, If you open page 20 in the manual - there are 6 clips on the 'Rear Roof Outer Moldings' 3 on each side, they snap under the roof skin.
They are just a "U" shape clips that I think you can improvise something similar.




 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:The only thing I'd miss is the ability to open the sunroof w/o removing the glass for ventilation.
Be careful it doesn't start you wanting to do another upgrade, though.


I totally agree, I forgot to mention that, and will do an edit in the comments, I used to drive with the Sunroof open even in our Canadian winter

BTW - What other upgrade are you talking about ?

EDIT : changed the "T-Top driving impressions: " section to add Pros & Cons

------------------

[This message has been edited by Mister (edited 06-12-2007).]

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Report this Post06-12-2007 11:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Mister:
BTW - What other upgrade are you talking about ?


Deciding you have to have a convertible and starting on one of those.
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Report this Post06-12-2007 11:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88: Deciding you have to have a convertible and starting on one of those.


Oh, gotcha LOL... Trust me, while looking for T-Tops I was looking at 2 convertibles too but it's not in the budget for now.
Mind you, this is still my one car - daily driver, so a convertible would be just too much.
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Report this Post06-12-2007 11:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SourmugSend a Private Message to SourmugDirect Link to This Post
Nice write-up, I like stories! A + for you.

Nolan
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Report this Post06-12-2007 12:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for AcesurferClick Here to visit Acesurfer's HomePageClick Here to Email AcesurferSend a Private Message to AcesurferDirect Link to This Post
very very nice.
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Report this Post06-12-2007 12:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for doublec4Click Here to Email doublec4Send a Private Message to doublec4Direct Link to This Post
Holy crap buddy! When's the next show I'm going to see your car at! Remember when our cars used to look the same? hahha

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Mister
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Report this Post06-12-2007 12:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by doublec4: Holy crap buddy! When's the next show I'm going to see your car at! Remember when our cars used to look the same? hahha


Yeah, 2C4 I know ...

Next show for me would be http://www.autoshowaylmer.com/ Sunday August 12, 2007 or The London show... TBA... Depending on where I am LOL.
They are most likely on the same weekend and the Aylmer show is too good to miss.
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Report this Post06-12-2007 01:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fiero86_gtClick Here to Email fiero86_gtSend a Private Message to fiero86_gtDirect Link to This Post
Nice, I have always wanted a T-top car but, I think I would rather find a way to have an electric sunroof on my car cause taking it off manually is such a pain.

[This message has been edited by fiero86_gt (edited 06-12-2007).]

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Report this Post06-12-2007 06:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fierofreak00Click Here to Email Fierofreak00Send a Private Message to Fierofreak00Direct Link to This Post
I think your wind noise is coming from the lack of P-seals. I don't see where you put them in...I looked at your completer tops but don't see them. Did I miss that step. They make a big difference in wind noise level. Nice job by the way, I just ended up buying a t-top as I didn't want to cut up mine. -Jason


Your supposed to rivet the p-seal thru the front header panel and to the rear two panels. #6 is the p-seal in your pic here:


I just went thru and repbuilt mine last month, what a difference those seals make.

[This message has been edited by Fierofreak00 (edited 06-12-2007).]

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Report this Post06-12-2007 08:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Direct Link to This Post
Very Nice Write-up!

I wish I would have had a nice write up like this when I did mine... All I had to go on was the install manual, which is not as complete as I would like. Yours is the new Gold Standard for T-top installs.

The t-top is the best of both worlds between hardtop and convertible in my opinion.
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Report this Post06-13-2007 12:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Fierofreak00: I think your wind noise is coming from the lack of P-seals. I don't see where you put them in... -Jason


Thanks Jason, you are right, I'm still waiting on the P-Seals to arrive from fieroparts.com
The whistling noise I have is actually when the tops are off, and the flapping sound is the P/S seat belt.
BTW - I spoke to Skytime in Carlisle and he is running without the P-Seals for years with no problems


 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1: Very Nice Write-up! Yours is the new Gold Standard for T-top installs.


WOW, I am humbly honored J1, those are some very kind words
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Report this Post06-15-2007 10:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
Weekend bump
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Report this Post06-16-2007 12:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 3.8 SCSend a Private Message to 3.8 SCDirect Link to This Post
Nice work on the conversion!
Towards the end of summer, after my T-top install, I started to get some creaking sounds. Which is normal to hear from T-top Fieros. I was able to stop the noise with a lot of tack welds, along the front and rear, part of the main frame. As for the gaskets, Yep, I don't like the prices that people are charging for the gaskets or P-seals. I use the gaskets and P-seals for the 86 Ford Mustang T-tops. I would have to dig up the receipts, but I believe, I paid $180.00 for the two seals and the two gaskets, shipped to my house. C&C made the T-tops for those cars as well. I did have to rework the gasket at the B-pillar. But that was it. The reproduction P-seals for the Mustang, look better than the old Fiero P-seals, to me. They are solid black rubber with a felt like material glued on. I got my Mustang parts from CJ Pony Parts. http://www.cjponyparts.com/

[This message has been edited by 3.8 SC (edited 06-16-2007).]

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Report this Post06-16-2007 03:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 3.8 SC: As for the gaskets, Yep, I don't like the prices that people are charging for the gaskets or P-seals. I use the gaskets and P-seals for the 86 Ford Mustang T-tops. I would have to dig up the receipts, but I believe, I paid $180.00 for the two seals and the two gaskets, shipped to my house. C&C made the T-tops for those cars as well. I did have to rework the gasket at the B-pillar. But that was it. The reproduction P-seals for the Mustang, look better than the old Fiero P-seals, to me. They are solid black rubber with a felt like material glued on. I got my Mustang parts from CJ Pony Parts. http://www.cjponyparts.com/


Thanks for the comment and info 3.8SC, I found these on their website. let us know if these are the ones you reworked and what you did, pictures are always good.

T-TOP WEATHERSTRIP

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Report this Post06-16-2007 04:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Mister:


Thanks for the comment and info 3.8SC, I found these on their website. let us know if these are the ones you reworked and what you did, pictures are always good.

T-TOP WEATHERSTRIP






Is that price for both driver's and passenger's side? If so then it's not a bad deal if it only requires a little rework at the b-pillar.
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Report this Post06-16-2007 06:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1: Is that price for both driver's and passenger's side? If so then it's not a bad deal if it only requires a little rework at the b-pillar.


It is for the weather seals only, Left and right. We'll wait and see what 3.8SC comes up with
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Report this Post06-16-2007 06:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
Weekend camping...Some pics for your T-Top viewing pleasure









Some rare T-Top images (by Miss T)



------------------

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Report this Post06-16-2007 06:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Mister:





Heh heh, clever shot of the T-Top.

Excellent write-up of the process!

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Report this Post06-17-2007 09:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for doublec4Click Here to Email doublec4Send a Private Message to doublec4Direct Link to This Post
Those last pics are great! The t-tops make the car look so much more exotic and expensive
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Report this Post06-17-2007 11:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 3.8 SCSend a Private Message to 3.8 SCDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Mister:


It is for the weather seals only, Left and right. We'll wait and see what 3.8SC comes up with


Sorry for the delay, I have posted this before in other T-top gasket related threads without much feedback.
Here is the sales receipt, when I bought the gaskets. I did make one mistake on the price, now the I found the receipts.
I paid $148 for the gaskets and $95 for the P-seals. The P-seal came from the sunroof doctor. But CJ pony parts should have the P-seals as well.



I called the order in. I told them, that I needed a set of gaskets for an 86 Mustang.

[This message has been edited by 3.8 SC (edited 06-17-2007).]

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Report this Post06-17-2007 11:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 3.8 SC:


Sorry for the delay, I have posted this before in other T-top gasket related threads without much feedback.
Here is the sales receipt, when I bought the gaskets.


I must have missed all those other threads...I am very excited!!!
Can you explain what modifications you had to make at the B-pillar? Pics would be even better. Thanks.

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Report this Post06-17-2007 12:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 3.8 SCSend a Private Message to 3.8 SCDirect Link to This Post
Sure, I am going to the body shop next weekend. I have the drivers side, still to do. I, also after to write an article for my club newsletter. So I will do a write up on this and take pictures as well. I will do it in a different thread so I won't hijack this one.
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Mister
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Report this Post07-07-2007 11:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 3.8 SC:
Sure, I am going to the body shop next weekend. I have the drivers side, still to do. I, also after to write an article for my club newsletter. So I will do a write up on this and take pictures as well. I will do it in a different thread so I won't hijack this one.


Bump...Any updates on the install 3.8SC ?
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Report this Post08-27-2007 01:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
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blakeinspace
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Report this Post08-27-2007 02:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for blakeinspaceClick Here to Email blakeinspaceSend a Private Message to blakeinspaceDirect Link to This Post
huh... I missed this the first go 'round...

You get a WELL deserved plus... & I love the shifter pic... clever!
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FieroMaster88
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Report this Post09-09-2007 11:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroMaster88Click Here to Email FieroMaster88Send a Private Message to FieroMaster88Direct Link to This Post
Now I have to thank you for making me want to cut the roof off of my Fiero. I've wanted to install T-Tops on my car for years and have finally aquired the parts. I hope my car will look as good as yours does when it's all done. Nice work.

------------------
88 Coupe: Modded 4.9L V8 5 speed
87 Coupe: 4 Cyl 5 Speed
84 Coupe: 4 Cyl 4 speed
01 BMW 525i
www.geocities.com/fast88fiero

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Raydar
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Report this Post09-09-2007 03:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarDirect Link to This Post
Wow!
Very nice work.
Thanks for sharing.
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Fierofreak00
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Report this Post09-09-2007 06:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fierofreak00Click Here to Email Fierofreak00Send a Private Message to Fierofreak00Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Mister:


Bump...Any updates on the install 3.8SC ?


This was the closest thing I could find that he wrote about. It could use some more details, but it helps. -Jason
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...070315-1-062154.html

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Team Race-Tech
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Report this Post09-10-2007 07:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Team Race-TechSend a Private Message to Team Race-TechDirect Link to This Post
Tal, very nice job.... give Rick a pat on the back on a job well done.

Joe

------------------

Street Legal Tuning.

Specializing in Fiero performance:
3800 swaps, custom Aluminum flywheels, Brakes, Engine's, Aftermarket Bolt on performance parts, used Fiero parts,
www.iactech.com e-mail: joetrentadue@hotmail.com

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Mister
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Report this Post09-10-2007 10:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by blakeinspace:huh... I missed this the first go 'round...You get a WELL deserved plus... & I love the shifter pic... clever!


Thanks blakeinspace, I'll let Miss.T know about the pic comment

 
quote
Originally posted by FieroMaster88: Now I have to thank you for making me want to cut the roof off of my Fiero. I've wanted to install T-Tops on my car for years and have finally aquired the parts. I hope my car will look as good as yours does when it's all done. Nice work.


If you do it right you'll love it forever, if you make a mistake you'd never forgive yourself (or me)
Good luck man.

 
quote
Originally posted by Raydar:Wow! Very nice work. Thanks for sharing.


Thanks.

 
quote
Originally posted by Fierofreak00: This was the closest thing I could find that he wrote about. It could use some more details, but it helps. -Jason
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...070315-1-062154.html


Thanks for the link Fierofreak00

 
quote
Originally posted by Team Race-Tech: Tal, very nice job.... give Rick a pat on the back on a job well done. Joe


Sure thing Joe, it was a hek of a project good 2 C U around.

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tuner2m6t
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Report this Post09-10-2007 11:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tuner2m6tSend a Private Message to tuner2m6tDirect Link to This Post
Glad to be of service to you and I am glad everything worked out good for you. Loved the story and always look forward to seeing more of them from you.
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