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T-top options? by railshot
Started on: 05-28-2016 09:10 AM
Replies: 18 (543 views)
Last post by: railshot on 06-10-2016 10:18 PM
railshot
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Report this Post05-28-2016 09:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for railshotClick Here to visit railshot's HomePageClick Here to Email railshotSend a Private Message to railshotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have been thinking about something and wondering if it has been done before.
I love having T-tops, but would like to have the option of a solid replacement panel when I don't want to have the glass in.

Has anyone seen or done this before?
The latching mechanism would be difficult / expensive to duplicate, but I have an idea for either an aluminum or fiberglass panel to use in place of the glass.

I have spoken to a few people, and it is possible with a little work and investment, and I already know of a spare set of T-tops I could buy to experiment with.

Anyone?
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Report this Post05-28-2016 10:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
How about shades that block the sun?
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railshot
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Report this Post05-28-2016 11:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for railshotClick Here to visit railshot's HomePageClick Here to Email railshotSend a Private Message to railshotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:

How about shades that block the sun?


I had thought about that, but with the increasing rarity of the glass T-tops, I am thinking this may be a better option so the glass could be safely stored away most of the time.
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Report this Post05-28-2016 06:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IMSA GTClick Here to Email IMSA GTSend a Private Message to IMSA GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you are that concerned about breaking, you can always email Prosource on here and see if they can make a set for you....or at least give you a quote.
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/093115.html


The other option you have although you may think it is a stupid one is to spray the outside of the glass with black Plastidip. Since it is semi-rubberized, it will act as a safety coating for rocks and chips plus block the sunlight and can simply be peeled off when you want them clear again. Just a thought.
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railshot
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Report this Post05-28-2016 09:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for railshotClick Here to visit railshot's HomePageClick Here to Email railshotSend a Private Message to railshotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by IMSA GT:

If you are that concerned about breaking, you can always email Prosource on here and see if they can make a set for you....or at least give you a quote.
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/093115.html


The other option you have although you may think it is a stupid one is to spray the outside of the glass with black Plastidip. Since it is semi-rubberized, it will act as a safety coating for rocks and chips plus block the sunlight and can simply be peeled off when you want them clear again. Just a thought.


I really am not that worried about breaking them, but that is an interesting idea I just may consider.
What I am thinking is it would be really nice to have the option quickly available to go either way.
Solid roof / glass roof within a few minutes.
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hyperv6
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Report this Post05-28-2016 09:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well at this point the glass is not impossible to find and and is not astronomical priced as the Seals are.

As for replacement glass odds are slim it will be made.

The options of metal and fiberglass are reasonable and most cost effective if needed but you would have to do the work yourself.

It would not be hard to use all the same hardware as it is all pretty self contained. A good fabricator could do it,


As for rocks etc odds are slim that that would break it. Better odds of dropping the top but most of use use the death grip on the tops.

I picked up a set of NOS tops a while ago as insurance and have them set back. I expect to never need them and may some day sell them for more than I paid for them if I never use them. To me they were insurance or an investment. Used tops can still be found and are all the same and easy to recondition if the glass is in good shape.

The problem here is that the T tops are not a rare thing on a Fiero. Between all the dealer installed kits and the Factory tops they made a lot of them. People today still find the cars in junk yards and yards for parts. The number of people with broken tops is very small and replacement tops could be hard to do and if you fabricated them they would be more of a need situation than than anything else.

Rare part fabrication is ok on expensive cars but on the Fiero to get tops made and if you do not do it yourself would cost as much as some of the cars are worth.

One Solution I though could be done if a car lacked tops is a canvas targa top that would be put on with hook and loop. You could use the side parts and make it work.

This is what Dodge did on the Viper and even Lotus and others have done on some of their cars.

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Fiero Thomas
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Report this Post05-28-2016 11:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero ThomasClick Here to visit Fiero Thomas's HomePageClick Here to Email Fiero ThomasSend a Private Message to Fiero ThomasEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Dave you can get the sunshade covers from Russ88TTop. He make a nice set that fit in there under the glass. I used to make them and they do fit very well. Its like having a hardtop. When are we getting together with the cars? there is a nice cruse in on the 25th that I am going to. Going to wagon train it with another member named Scott. Would be nice to get more fieros

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88FieroGT TTops
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Report this Post05-29-2016 12:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 88FieroGT TTopsClick Here to Email 88FieroGT TTopsSend a Private Message to 88FieroGT TTopsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
having a solid top over the T-tops probably is not possible because of the middle bar you slip the tops into unless you are making T-tops that are not glass?

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railshot
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Report this Post05-29-2016 12:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for railshotClick Here to visit railshot's HomePageClick Here to Email railshotSend a Private Message to railshotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 88FieroGT TTops:

having a solid top over the T-tops probably is not possible because of the middle bar you slip the tops into unless you are making T-tops that are not glass?



My thinking is to have a complete pair of T-tops that are made of aluminum that would replace the glass completely and fit in the same space, shape, and mount the same.
I am going to pick up a spare pair of tops to play with, and maybe have them 3d scanned to get the shape as close to the existing glass as I can.

Just thinking out of the box on this and I would be making them myself with the help of a tool maker friend.
We both like trying odd things, and it is really just a concept at this time, but we are getting closer to trying it.

Thanks to all for the ideas and suggestions!
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railshot
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Report this Post05-29-2016 12:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for railshotClick Here to visit railshot's HomePageClick Here to Email railshotSend a Private Message to railshotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

railshot

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quote
Originally posted by Fiero Thomas:

Dave you can get the sunshade covers from Russ88TTop. He make a nice set that fit in there under the glass. I used to make them and they do fit very well. Its like having a hardtop. When are we getting together with the cars? there is a nice cruse in on the 25th that I am going to. Going to wagon train it with another member named Scott. Would be nice to get more fieros



Hey Tom,
I probably will get the shades, but it is pretty low on my list..... only had the car for a week and 1/2, so many other things to tweak before I get creative.
If I can get my GT ready and I am comfortable with driving it long distances (everything, and I mean everything must work) it sounds like a good time.
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railshot
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Report this Post05-29-2016 12:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for railshotClick Here to visit railshot's HomePageClick Here to Email railshotSend a Private Message to railshotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

railshot

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quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:

Well at this point the glass is not impossible to find and and is not astronomical priced as the Seals are.

As for replacement glass odds are slim it will be made.

The options of metal and fiberglass are reasonable and most cost effective if needed but you would have to do the work yourself.

It would not be hard to use all the same hardware as it is all pretty self contained. A good fabricator could do it,


As for rocks etc odds are slim that that would break it. Better odds of dropping the top but most of use use the death grip on the tops.

I picked up a set of NOS tops a while ago as insurance and have them set back. I expect to never need them and may some day sell them for more than I paid for them if I never use them. To me they were insurance or an investment. Used tops can still be found and are all the same and easy to recondition if the glass is in good shape.

The problem here is that the T tops are not a rare thing on a Fiero. Between all the dealer installed kits and the Factory tops they made a lot of them. People today still find the cars in junk yards and yards for parts. The number of people with broken tops is very small and replacement tops could be hard to do and if you fabricated them they would be more of a need situation than than anything else.

Rare part fabrication is ok on expensive cars but on the Fiero to get tops made and if you do not do it yourself would cost as much as some of the cars are worth.

One Solution I though could be done if a car lacked tops is a canvas targa top that would be put on with hook and loop. You could use the side parts and make it work.

This is what Dodge did on the Viper and even Lotus and others have done on some of their cars.


I like the idea of the canvas also.... hmmm, I think I may look into that a bit.
Thanks for the ideas everyone.

Just so everyone knows, I am not planning on producing these to sell, it is just something I am interested in doing for myself.
If it turns out well, and there is a request here and there for them...... who knows, but for now it is just a fun thing to think about.

The "death grip" is actually what got me thinking about doing this.
The first time I pulled mine out to look at them I literally had the shakes. lol.

[This message has been edited by railshot (edited 05-29-2016).]

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Report this Post05-29-2016 12:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pcgoldSend a Private Message to pcgoldEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I too have a T-Top car and until very recently was somewhat concerned about breaking the glass. Lately I've been thinking, as said above, that the chances of them breaking are really sim.

Instead of aluminum, why don't you try to make some out of fiberglass? Seems to me that's the easiest and you could do it yourself. Couldn't you use your current tops to make a mold using foam, then glass a set from that?

[This message has been edited by pcgold (edited 05-29-2016).]

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Report this Post05-29-2016 07:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TM_FieroSend a Private Message to TM_FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just a thought but it might be easiest to find an old solid roof car and make use of the outer skin of the roof panel and simply cut them to the same size as the t-top glass panels. This way the panels will already have the proper curves and you wouldn't have to start from scratch. The biggest problem might be finding a donator fiero with a solid roof. I've considered this myself, not for concern about breaking my glass but to keep the sun from baking and warping the interior panels. I never pursued this project because I usually have the tops out when I take the Fiero out, making all the work for nothing.
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Report this Post05-30-2016 07:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I agree breakage is not a common issue as look at how many here have tops and never broke one. I have seen them even dropped and all they normally do is scratch. On the other hand safty glass is strange and can explode too on it's own.

To make a proper shaped part for the top you only need to make a mold of the original glass and then make it out of fiberglass. Then reinforce it and use the factory hardware.

But even this and or the canvas deal I would only worry about if it was a last resort. The odds of needing this is slim and if it ain't broke don't fix it.

The only reason I have an extra set is yes breakage but my primary reasons are by original ones has a couple small scratches and I show the car. Also the fact that i could sell them later for more than I have in them. Never pass up a NOS deal even if you don't need it. Parts are becoming harder to find and NOS parts are prime investments.

The gaskets will remain the gold in this issue for a good while unless someone can find a way to make them cheap. Who knows maybe they will be able to print rubber gaskets someday.
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Report this Post05-30-2016 08:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would be more worried about the original T tops being stolen than broken, those are high dollar tops as rare as they are. I am not sure but I think they only fit Fiero's and how many Fiero's were made with those and even less I am sure of replacement panels. T tops were real popular in the 80s and we put them on a lot of the olds 442s we built in my MA plant along with Buick Regal's.

They sold locks for them back then, not sure if those are still available but I would be looking for those. It is easy enough to brake a door glass and just pop those suckers out. one under each arm and walk away.

Good luck with your idea though and just a suggestion, get a set of locks for those t top panels you make as well, because those will be even rarer than the original t tops.

Steve

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Report this Post05-31-2016 12:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:
...
The gaskets will remain the gold in this issue for a good while unless someone can find a way to make them cheap. Who knows maybe they will be able to print rubber gaskets someday.


The gaskets are rare as hen's teeth, but every once in a while you will see a set in the junk yard and the yard considers the seals as useless rubber and you can get them almost free.
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Report this Post05-31-2016 11:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for LornesGTSend a Private Message to LornesGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have plans, well dreams, to do the same thing later. I will be changing my sunroof to a hard top T with a reverse Mohawk as the Chevy calls it on the Camaro but no T.
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Report this Post06-01-2016 06:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:

I would be more worried about the original T tops being stolen than broken, those are high dollar tops as rare as they are. I am not sure but I think they only fit Fiero's and how many Fiero's were made with those and even less I am sure of replacement panels. T tops were real popular in the 80s and we put them on a lot of the olds 442s we built in my MA plant along with Buick Regal's.

They sold locks for them back then, not sure if those are still available but I would be looking for those. It is easy enough to brake a door glass and just pop those suckers out. one under each arm and walk away.

Good luck with your idea though and just a suggestion, get a set of locks for those t top panels you make as well, because those will be even rarer than the original t tops.

Steve




The Fiero tops came with a lock built in that is not easy to defeat as well as latches that were like a bolt lock on each side. If they are locked you would have a difficult time stealing them.

I know some of the older style tops could be unlatched by just hitting them hard on top in some of the mid sized GM cars. By the 80's these issues were addressed in many of the cars. The same with the gaskets as they were on the car not the tops as some early models.
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Report this Post06-10-2016 10:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for railshotClick Here to visit railshot's HomePageClick Here to Email railshotSend a Private Message to railshotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:

I would be more worried about the original T tops being stolen than broken, those are high dollar tops as rare as they are. I am not sure but I think they only fit Fiero's and how many Fiero's were made with those and even less I am sure of replacement panels. T tops were real popular in the 80s and we put them on a lot of the olds 442s we built in my MA plant along with Buick Regal's.

They sold locks for them back then, not sure if those are still available but I would be looking for those. It is easy enough to brake a door glass and just pop those suckers out. one under each arm and walk away.

Good luck with your idea though and just a suggestion, get a set of locks for those t top panels you make as well, because those will be even rarer than the original t tops.


Steve




Mine have locks already, and there is someone local to me that has a set of glass tops I am going to buy just...... because..... if they fit right.
As a matter of fact, If I don't lock the tops (push the lock in) I crack my head on the locks when I get in.
Talk about a reminder to lock them!
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