I installed a C&C kit in my fiero over the winter and purchased a set of reproduction end caps. I found they are still very brittle and already broke both driver side ones just trying to lock the top in place, tried lots of adjusting but they still are just a terrible design. I seen this post from 2003 from a fellow member that made brass inserts that look to be way better and stronger. I showed the pictures to my buddy with a machine shop and said no problem on making them, other than brass isn't cheap these days. So later this week we're going to try to mill them out of aluminum stock and see how to best make them work.
Just curious if other members would be interested if I make these?
They would be designed almost exactly like jelly2m8 did and mount the same.
Well it looks like I got quite a list going for these. Going to get my car over the the shop before the end of the week to get the first prototype set done. Once I'm sure on exact dimensions and happy with the fit and finish I will get pricing figured out for making more sets. The cost of aluminum rod stock isn't too bad, its just that each one of these will be hand made so I'm curious how long it will take to cut each set of 4.
So we made a few different sizes of these aluminum bushings till I was happy with the fit. They are cut from 6061 aluminum stock. Pictures show the size we decided on, the center hole is drilled just a tad bit larger than the t-top pin for a nice snog fit so there is no movement. The whole part is 1 1/4 " in diameter so lots of space to drill rivet holes for mounting. I'm going to pick up 4 of them tomorrow and hopefully install this weekend so I can decide if I need to do any changes. Then I'll figure out pricing to sell sets. They will need to be trimmed a bit to mount and holes drilled for rivets but should be pretty self explanatory.
I'm prob in for a set also. But I have a few questions. Does this part fit behind the end caps on the frame side of the car? Does the plastic cap fit over this bushing to provide a more secure location for the TTOP pins to slide into? I'm trying to understand the need, I get that the plastic is old, dry and crack's, but the plastic is just a cover over a hole already isn't it. I have not taken off the end caps on mine, so I don't know what is behind them.
Most of the guys with t-tops know what I am trying to accomplish, some may not need this fix because you were lucky enough to have perfectly aligned t-tops and your caps are solid and hold well. I on the other hand installed my kit myself and while I took extra steps to do it better than C&C you can only do so good with used parts and reproduction trim caps. I found out the hard way that if your not paying attention to delicately lock your tops in place that its quite easy to bust the crap out of the trim caps. I'm used to having f-bodys that have very durable t-top setups that you can throw them on without paying much attention.
My fix is as shown in the pictures below, I customized aluminum bushings to do the same thing as the plastic, but will last forever and never break to rattle. Install of these takes about 1 hour per side. Carefully drill out the center of your caps for it to pass through and then sand off the excess. You can see that my rear cap never quite lined up correctly after the t-top conversion, so this modification helped a ton.