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T-Top Installation. by Lunatic
Started on: 05-11-2014 01:41 PM
Replies: 8 (836 views)
Last post by: Lunatic on 05-13-2014 05:36 AM
Lunatic
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Report this Post05-11-2014 01:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for LunaticClick Here to Email LunaticSend a Private Message to LunaticEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
In this build thread, I'll take you through the steps of installing a T-Top roof in your Fiero. Actually, my Fiero!

Here's a few notes before we begin.
-This is not an official "how to" manual but rather my version of doing a T-Top conversion.
-I'll be installing a T-Top roof into my 84.
-I will use RTV black silicone, PL Premium bonding adhesive, seam sealer and Avinox brand fasteners to secure it all together.
-I picked up an 87 space frame that had the T-Top option. Therefore, I will be reusing most of the components from that car.

Anyhow,on to the show.

Here's the unsuspecting donor. I just cut the roof off at the "A" and "B" pillars after removing the glass.




After removal, you'll have to separate the components.








Take your measurements. Note: This cut is actually curved!




Cut the roof off the recipient.










Do a test fit.






Paint the freshly cut metal to prevent rust.


Actually, paint all brackets and braces to prevent rust.


I used PL Premium as a bonding agent on the "H" frame. It's not seen here but there was also silicone applied to any area's that might allow water penetration.
Here, the reinforcing header is glued and riveted prior to installing the "H" frame.


"H" frame glued.




"H" frame secured with Avinox rivets.




















This is a real easy conversion to do and it only took a few hours to get to this point. Minimal hand tools are required. I have the advantage here because I have an air-powered tool that allows me install 1/4" rivets easily.


That's all for now. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. More documentation, and yes, pictures to follow. I'll address the missing weather strip installation.

[This message has been edited by Lunatic (edited 11-16-2014).]

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jscott1
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Report this Post05-11-2014 06:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nice!

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.

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katatak
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Report this Post05-11-2014 06:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for katatakSend a Private Message to katatakEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nice - love that rivet gun!
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zmcdonal
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Report this Post05-11-2014 08:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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.

[This message has been edited by zmcdonal (edited 05-11-2014).]

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Alex4mula
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Report this Post05-11-2014 09:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Alex4mulaClick Here to Email Alex4mulaSend a Private Message to Alex4mulaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I really admire everyone who takes this project in a Fiero.
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Boostdreamer
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Report this Post05-11-2014 10:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BoostdreamerClick Here to Email BoostdreamerSend a Private Message to BoostdreamerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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!!
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Lunatic
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Report this Post05-12-2014 05:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for LunaticClick Here to Email LunaticSend a Private Message to LunaticEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:

Nice!

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.


 
quote
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!


 
quote
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".


 
quote
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.


 
quote
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).]

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josef644
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Report this Post05-12-2014 08:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for josef644Click Here to Email josef644Send a Private Message to josef644Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Do you have a picture of the windshield reinforcement piece in place before you install the 'H'?
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Lunatic
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Report this Post05-13-2014 05:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for LunaticClick Here to Email LunaticSend a Private Message to LunaticEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by josef644:

Do you have a picture of the windshield reinforcement piece in place before you install the 'H'?


I did take a picture of that during the installation. However, it's difficult to see clearly. I think it's because I painted it all black and it blended into the background making it difficult for the camera to capture. Sorry pal.
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