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...
~ 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:
- 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
- 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
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).]