|Originally posted by jscott1:|
You did two things I wish I had done and that's 1) using adhesive and seam sealer, and 2) an air powered riveter.
The seam sealer would definitely cut down on creaks, which for me are not horrendous, but could be better. And my arms were quite tired from the manual 1/4" riveter.
Nice write up.
When I disassembled the original T-Top roof (from the parts car), I noticed that C&C used silicone (as well as rivets) to secure the "H" frame. I wasn't too happy about that.
I thought for sure they would've used something a lot stronger, and better suited since it's structural after all. My choice, PL Premium. An excellent bonding agent. That rivet gun
that I use sure makes short work of all those rivets! Simple pull on the trigger, and voila. No sore arms/hands. I feel your pain though, I've put in my share by hand. Creaks are
hit and miss. I have a 98 Formula Firebird that has the T-Top option from factory, and it's silent. However it's nowhere as old as the Fiero and technology in stamping, etc has
better evolved since the Fiero.
I see that you've also gone down this road, installing a T-Top into your car. You too have a great write up.
|Originally posted by katatak:|
Nice - love that rivet gun!
Thank you. And yes, that preumatic riveter is very nice, and pricey! It has a counter on it showing just over 31,000 strokes!
|Originally posted by zmcdonal:|
You don't need to brace anything before cutting the roof section off? I thought I saw in other ttop installation threads that they put temporary supports from the A pillar to the B pillar.
Very cool! I'd love to have ttops, if my car didn't live outside all the time, that's just not a good gamble.
The Fiero space frame is a intricate part. Many formed panels, braces, gussets and several welds make it rigid and torsionally stiff. The tunnel is large and I believe it to aid in the integrity.
I didn't see the need to brace the "A" and "B" pillars before cutting. My car is already old being an 84 model and having over 200,000 KM on the odometer. If it was soft underneath, I wouldn't
have done this conversion. It doesn't fold it half like others have said. I actually walked inside of mine during the install. My doors close fine and the gaps appear to be the same. And yes,
you can flex the windshield pillars a little after the cut. But after the header is installed, and the "H" frame goes in, there's a wee little bit of movement. Nothing serious and remember,
once I install a new windshield, with new urethane, it'll be a little better.
If you're well-prepared, you can most certainly do this conversion in a weekend. Even if your car "lives outside".
|Originally posted by Alex4mula:|
I really admire everyone who takes this project in a Fiero.
Thanks. I have two things on my side.
1) I worked at a van customizing shop many years ago. Once you cut the roof off of a brand new van, that guilt feeling goes away. It's only steel. It can
be cut, bent, formed, quite easily.
2) I now work at steel fab shop where I have access to some very cool stuff. Like a CNC laser cutter, CNC brake, etc.
So if something went wrong during my conversion, I could repair it quite easily.
|Originally posted by Boostdreamer:|
I went to look at a t-top Fiero the other day. Guy said it was a nice car and he just wanted it gone. Wanted $1000 for it. I was INCREDIBLY disappointed when I got there. The T-top conversion obviously was not done by professionals. The roof didn't flow from the front to the back. The t-top sat lower than the window frames front and rear. Really crappy.
The moral of the story is, a t-top will not increase the value or the appearance of your car if you don't know what you're doing. In that case, leave it alone!
Back to the build! ...And good luck!!
I'm sorry to hear of your disappointment in said Fiero. I too have seen first hand, shabby workmanship. There are a lot of hacks out there who think they can do it all, but can't.
I also agree. If you don't know what you're doing, leave it alone. Or find someone close to you that can help you out. There are many great and talented people on Pennock's.
Thanks for the kind words.
[This message has been edited by Lunatic (edited 05-13-2014).]