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T tops for Fiero by kgoodyear
Started on: 07-16-2018 11:12 AM
Replies: 25 (587 views)
Last post by: hyperv6 on 07-31-2018 04:07 PM
kgoodyear
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Report this Post07-16-2018 11:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for kgoodyearClick Here to Email kgoodyearSend a Private Message to kgoodyearEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Did Pontiac ever make factory T-tops for the Fiero?

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Report this Post07-16-2018 12:46 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
Simple answer is no, they did not make a "factory" T-top, but...….

In 1988 you were able to order a T-top thru the dealer that would then be installed by cars and concepts.
These are know as CJB code (RPO sticker on drivers side front inner fender under the hood will have the letters CJB) cars.

If you would like a copy of the Cars and Concepts installation manual, I have one.

I had a 1988 non CJB T-top last summer, so I became familiar with them.

Edit: here is a link to my posts when I first purchased it.
The 4th picture down shows the Cars and Concepts sticker in the rear decklid.

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/096727.html

Dave

Edit to add link.

[This message has been edited by railshot (edited 07-16-2018).]

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kgoodyear
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Report this Post07-16-2018 02:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kgoodyearClick Here to Email kgoodyearSend a Private Message to kgoodyearEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Was it necessary to shore up the framework to keep the car rigid? From what I understand, on a convertible you have to re-enforce the framework or it will sag in the middle in short order.
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Report this Post07-16-2018 02:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by kgoodyear:

Was it necessary to shore up the framework to keep the car rigid? From what I understand, on a convertible you have to re-enforce the framework or it will sag in the middle in short order.


The conversion requires adding the T-bar structure to the chassis. However, even with that installed the T-top cars end up with less torsional rigidity than a stock chassis Fiero.
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kgoodyear
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Report this Post07-16-2018 04:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kgoodyearClick Here to Email kgoodyearSend a Private Message to kgoodyearEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Very interesting. Thank you for your input guys.

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hyperv6
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Report this Post07-16-2018 07:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The tops were a dealer installed option 1984 to 87. They were approved by Pontiac to have Cars & Concepts installer shop to 8nstall them an not void the warranty.

The only difference is the seal for the roof and the trim for the headliner is one piece in the 88 and two parts in the earlier kits.

There were over 7,000 kits made most were installed but some were used for warranty work.

The t bar was fitted and riveted in with large rivets and a good number of them.

Yes the car does gain some cowl shake but it works.

I put the roofs new into my 85 and never regretted it.

I found that my install by a C&C installer was better than some as the got everything in place correctly trim wise. I have seen some not as aligned as well done at C&C.

Parts are getting difficult to find. Gaskets are very hard to finds. New glass is rare. Plastic bits have been reproduced from time to time. With printing I expect we may see more.
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kgoodyear
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Report this Post07-16-2018 07:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kgoodyearClick Here to Email kgoodyearSend a Private Message to kgoodyearEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So let me ask you this: I wonder how many cars are out there with these T tops and how many replacement tops would be needed. I've seen very few of them but they look so sharp. One of the reasons I was just thinking was in my 87 GTP I have racing seats and I have had to take the sliders off the new seats because my head hits the ceiling. I can imagine when I put a helmet on I'm going to be scrunched in there. I don't think taking off my sun roof is going to work.

All that being said, I wonder what kind of demand there would be for replacement parts for T tops and if it would be work exploring.

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Raydar
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Report this Post07-16-2018 08:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by kgoodyear:
...
All that being said, I wonder what kind of demand there would be for replacement parts for T tops and if it would be work exploring.



The most "unobtainium" pieces are the weatherstripping. Several people have looked at reproducing the individual pieces.
The general consensus is that there won't be enough demand to satisfy the initial investment. Not even a realistic "break even". (Where have you heard THAT before?)
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hyperv6
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Report this Post07-16-2018 08:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well there are still a decent number out there. I would estimate there are a couple thousand plus left.

Keep in mind some of the original cars often died but the roofs live on in other cars since top swaps are possible.

I would not recommend t tops for track time. The secret to good handling is first to have a stiff chassis. The t tops have enough flex that it would take away from handling at the edge. They are best for driving down the road enjoying the ride.

As for parts gaskets for sure but with so little demand the economics just do not add up.

Like the gaskets many people get the wild idea to have them reproduced but most of the cars do not need them. The few that do have a limit to what they will pay.

The glass would be very expensive to repo. There are some no’s out there but they are getting more expensive. I bought a pair just for insurance.

I coined the phrase the TTop death grip. You drop one and you are screwed. Most used tops are best up and NOS is rare.

The only hope I see is if the ttop cars gain some crazy value to where the high cost of low volume parts makes sense. But as it is now the cars are not worth enough for people to invest much in t top parts. Cheaper to just buy a complete car in the long run with lower miles.

We have seen nos gaskets go for up to $1500 just to give you an idea. Some folks get lucky and find parts on a junked car.
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Report this Post07-16-2018 09:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kgoodyearClick Here to Email kgoodyearSend a Private Message to kgoodyearEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:

......We have seen nos gaskets go for up to $1500 just to give you an idea. Some folks get lucky and find parts on a junked car.


This is what drives me NUTS ($1500!!!) but I also understand the value of a rare commodity.
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Report this Post07-16-2018 09:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for viperineClick Here to Email viperineSend a Private Message to viperineEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My girlfriend's two Fieros are both T-top cars. One CJB Formula, one non-CJB GT (railshot's link above).

The non-CJB GT rattles like a certain snake. The Formula is as peaceful as a hardtop fiero.

I would be a buyer if repro parts became available, because although "most cars" don't have an immediate need, they eventually will.

I am resourceful, however, and am not the kind to spend $1500 on lone pieces. My patience tells me that I can wait most things out for a better reward. On the other hand, I am later to the fiero scene than most, and am painfully aware of parts that once had supply or aftermarket availability that is no longer available and would have likely hoarded spares if I had been there for it.

I plan to keep my cars forever, they provide immense enjoyment that actually does topple some of the frustrations they also provide. I value them and treat them accordingly all while driving them daily.

Lexan tops might not be a bad idea if they can yield a removable, replaceable coating to reduce scratches.
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Report this Post07-16-2018 09:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroparts.comClick Here to visit fieroparts.com's HomePageClick Here to Email fieroparts.comSend a Private Message to fieroparts.comEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Most parts are still available.

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88FieroGT TTops
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Report this Post07-16-2018 10:09 PM 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
the end caps are a sore spot for most T-tops--there have been a couple of suppliers but I don't know if they are still in business. Also a maybe an explore item--a t-top that is solid--not see through--to block light, but that would require storing the glass ones from damage

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kgoodyear
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Report this Post07-16-2018 10:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kgoodyearClick Here to Email kgoodyearSend a Private Message to kgoodyearEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroparts.com:

Most parts are still available.

fieroparts.com


It looks like Fieroparts has stuff covered. Good deal for T toppers.
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Report this Post07-17-2018 08:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for qwikgtaClick Here to Email qwikgtaSend a Private Message to qwikgtaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
great post. if your looking for a good start, I have this for sale. http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum4/HTML/076118.html

Rob
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Report this Post07-17-2018 12:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for da.slyboyClick Here to Email da.slyboySend a Private Message to da.slyboyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by kgoodyear:


It looks like Fieroparts has stuff covered. Good deal for T toppers.


Good deal may be a relative term. Though I knew what I was getting into. I know I've already purchased more in parts/spares for t-tops that I actually bought the whole car for. As mentioned above, there was such a limited supply produced, that no manufacture is willing to invest because no profit can be had. I am currently allowing a weatherstrip manufacture have to look at my glass seals to see if current processes/tooling can be used to replicate new sets. But is still a small percentage that they will be able to.

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kgoodyear
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Report this Post07-17-2018 01:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kgoodyearClick Here to Email kgoodyearSend a Private Message to kgoodyearEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It would be a pretty spooky investment venture.
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Report this Post07-17-2018 07:02 PM 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 kgoodyear:


This is what drives me NUTS ($1500!!!) but I also understand the value of a rare commodity.


It is all supply and demand tempered by the value of the cars.

$1500 is ok if the car was worth $60k but the average Fiero sells for less than the collective TTop parts bought individually.

I have said this for a long time. If you plan to buy a Fiero go find the best low mile clean V6 you can with as many options and buy it. By the time you restore one to the same degree as a good low mike one you will have spent more than what you paid for the low mike one. Unless you can do all the work and or plan to do major mods.

The main pressing need is gaskets but I really do not see them coming do to lack of demand and cost.

Now if for some crazy reason the Fiero spikes in price people would spend more on gasket and making repos would be more viable at a higher price.

If you own take care of them if are buying buy the best you can afford.

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kgoodyear
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Report this Post07-17-2018 07:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kgoodyearClick Here to Email kgoodyearSend a Private Message to kgoodyearEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Most folk, like myself, have Fieros because they look cool. Some of us take it a step further and put big engines in them. But in the end, they are a hobby and you just have to keep that in mind. I don't think the Fiero will ever jump in value and the only once that will do that are ones that are professionally modified or low mileage garage queens. I think for the most part we Frugal Fiero Fans use them as toys or to impress the girls....I think......maybe....

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hyperv6
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Report this Post07-18-2018 12:20 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 kgoodyear:

Most folk, like myself, have Fieros because they look cool. Some of us take it a step further and put big engines in them. But in the end, they are a hobby and you just have to keep that in mind. I don't think the Fiero will ever jump in value and the only once that will do that are ones that are professionally modified or low mileage garage queens. I think for the most part we Frugal Fiero Fans use them as toys or to impress the girls....I think......maybe....



Odds are you may be correct but the market is hard to predict.

The Superbird was a car no one wanted. Today it is crazy priced. Cobras were used up race cars that were crude and hot.

Sunbeam Tigers were rust buckets people mocked.

I do not expect them to get crazy in price but we could easily see a tick up in the future more so than the average car.

But that still does not change the reality of buying a better car being cheaper in the long run if you want to complete it stock or modified in th3 best condition.

I hav3 seen too may Fieros people have dumped a ton of money in and see it only worth 1/3 of what they have in it. Start with a bette4 car and break even or make a few bucks.

This is true for many cars not just Fietos. To restore a Trans Am from 78 can run as much as a original Clean model or more than a already restored model.

The key is to find one that was done right.

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Report this Post07-18-2018 12:54 AM Click Here to See the Profile for viperineClick Here to Email viperineSend a Private Message to viperineEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Buying a beater, putting your blood, sweat, and tears into it (your wallet, too!) Is a rewarding experience. Those of us on this a$$ end tend to drive them more. Buy a low mile car, on the other hand, we seem afraid to drive them.

My aspect? Cars are meant to be driven. I admire the collectors with pristine cars, but fiero's offer driving excitement. If you're that scared, insure it as such..

My two GT's were lower mileage cars (roughly 60 to 70k each) but both were in need of work. My 86 sits on the back burner as a custom car, my 87 is my trusty beater that needs little other than paint. Neither of these are T-top, but they would receive the same treatment if they were.

I cringe at installing rare NOS parts, and the few pieces I have, collect dust. I get it. But eventually something needs done. At 30 years old, it's a fast approaching issue.

Every driver here knows the excitement these cars bring. Treat them right and the favor is returned.
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Report this Post07-18-2018 02:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mickey_MooseClick Here to visit Mickey_Moose's HomePageClick Here to Email Mickey_MooseSend a Private Message to Mickey_MooseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here is a copy of the C&C installation manual that covers the complete install: https://gafiero.akroncdnr.com/docs/T-Top.pdf

There is no extra bracing needed other than what the t-bar provides - granted not as stiff, but no different than some other t-top cars.

[This message has been edited by Mickey_Moose (edited 07-18-2018).]

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hyperv6
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Report this Post07-20-2018 11:10 PM 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 viperine:

Buying a beater, putting your blood, sweat, and tears into it (your wallet, too!) Is a rewarding experience. Those of us on this a$$ end tend to drive them more. Buy a low mile car, on the other hand, we seem afraid to drive them.

My aspect? Cars are meant to be driven. I admire the collectors with pristine cars, but fiero's offer driving excitement. If you're that scared, insure it as such..

My two GT's were lower mileage cars (roughly 60 to 70k each) but both were in need of work. My 86 sits on the back burner as a custom car, my 87 is my trusty beater that needs little other than paint. Neither of these are T-top, but they would receive the same treatment if they were.

I cringe at installing rare NOS parts, and the few pieces I have, collect dust. I get it. But eventually something needs done. At 30 years old, it's a fast approaching issue.

Every driver here knows the excitement these cars bring. Treat them right and the favor is returned.


I never said not to drive. My only point is often if someone is doing a complete restore they buy a low buck car but then put in a ton of money in it and end up spending more than if the buy a low mileage car.

Yes it is rewarding to fix a car up but when it cost you much more than you can buy a better car for $5k less then it just is a poor economic decision.

Trust me with a 30 year old car there is often things to do if you drive them.

Mine is not really high miles but it has been appart in about every area but the tranny and engine. Rebuilt from accident and making modifications over the years has given me a good amount of work.

I have just seen too many take a junk car dump untold dollars into it and still have a junk car with a lot of money in it and still not reliable.

You want real experience drive a low mile car and just see what Pontiac offered when they were new.
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Report this Post07-25-2018 06:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for blackramsClick Here to Email blackramsSend a Private Message to blackramsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
All I'm gonna say is, I have owned and babied an 88 CJB Formula for years. The only reason it stayed as stock as humanly possible to keep it was because it's a CJB. Love driving it but as my knees get older, it gets driven out of the garage less.

Getting older sucks. Some day, some one else will want it more than I do.

Rams
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Report this Post07-28-2018 01:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for qwikgtaClick Here to Email qwikgtaSend a Private Message to qwikgtaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The reality is that a good looking, low mileage, well maintained GT w/out T-Tops is always going to be worth more than a average condition GT w/ T-Tops. In my opinion, they only add about $1K to the value of the car. The funny thing is that after you own a T-Top car you realize they suck. They leak and squeak and the flex is crazy. You should see how much my car will flex when I lift the front or rear w/ a floor jack. If you plan to modify the car you should not start with a T-Top.

Rob
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hyperv6
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Report this Post07-31-2018 04:07 PM 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 qwikgta:

The reality is that a good looking, low mileage, well maintained GT w/out T-Tops is always going to be worth more than a average condition GT w/ T-Tops. In my opinion, they only add about $1K to the value of the car. The funny thing is that after you own a T-Top car you realize they suck. They leak and squeak and the flex is crazy. You should see how much my car will flex when I lift the front or rear w/ a floor jack. If you plan to modify the car you should not start with a T-Top.

Rob


Well it just depends on who you are and what you want.

I have had my T tops since 1987 and I would have it no other way. Mine car has more flex like most T tops of that era but it does not leak and it drives fine.

Would I make it a full time track car no but that is not T tops are for.

While speaking for yourself that T tops are not worth it others like my self speak differently for ourselves.

A good t top generally will generate a bump in price. Not a ton but generally more . In poor shape not so much but that is to be expected.

I can tell you the flex is much less than the Mustang Convertible of the era and about the same as the Trans Am t top
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