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Old 02-22-2013, 04:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadofax View Post
I have no idea who Chip Wright is, but as long as he is in some way associated with fabbing stuff for cars, not just a guy who owns a bandsaw and lives in Asheville ,
No he doesn't own a bandsaw, He'll be using his torch to cut.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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^ Cutting magnezium with a torch is not going to work too good
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeff465 View Post
^ Cutting magnezium with a torch is not going to work too good


magnesium
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GM Accessories incl. race pedals, rocker panel clear protective tape, console storage bag, and soft targa top.

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Old 02-23-2013, 06:57 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff465 View Post
^ Cutting magnezium with a torch is not going to work too good
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadofax View Post


magnesium
I know, I was being a smart asssss
Bert
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:23 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by little_sob View Post
Sounds like a small, but special!.. market ... for a T-top design! Or maybe something else... Keep the ideas coming and I'll follow up with you all when I have a design.

Ever seen a beautiful cedar canoe? or handcrafted kayak in wood and fiberglass? Some use no nails or metal at all but only wood dowels, mortise & tenon and age-old woodworking methods to craft something not only a work of art, but functional and light weight as well. That's my intent I guess.

In spruce or redwood I could craft a frame with some center supports, like ribs of a whale... boat? You get the idea. Collapsible. Maybe a t-top type with halves? Anything is possible. Solid panels? Clear or smoky tinted black? Plastic vac-forming is a snap! Carbon-fiber even? or fiberglass? Paint-able?

For my needs I'm going to pursue a one-piece canvas top with the smallest lightest frame I can engineer. Then? Who knows..

In any case I mentioned my Buddy in Mpls. He would be the profession in this! lol ... Built his business for over 30 years now starting in his garage and working for auto auctions repairing cigarette burns etc... He now works almost exclusively on Show-cars, classics and custom cars because he can! He is an artist in Leather, vinyl and canvas!

premieruph.com I'm not sure of the rules here posting links but this is not an ad, but a close friend of mine that restores convertible tops and can make any car a show car. If you want a bit of fun check out his gallery! Or google him Brian at premier upholstery in Rogers MN. Twin Cities Area.

To the moderators here if you need to remove the link please do I get it...
Thanks folks!
SteveO
You can count me in on buying one if it can ever make it to production! That is exactly what I would love to have. I thought about doing the fab work myself, but the job is consuming WAY too much of my time these days.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:52 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I know, I was being a smart asssss
Bert
Ah, and I just thought it was another crazy Canadian spelling, eh?
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'09 Solstice GXP Coupe #492, Mysterious, Auto, 5901 miles.
GMPP tune
DDM Venom Brace
DDM 3/8 Performance backbone
DDM Probeam
DDM Catch can, Tclamps and fender trim kit.
GM Accessories incl. race pedals, rocker panel clear protective tape, console storage bag, and soft targa top.

'95 Bronco, owned 18yrs, totally custom on 37's, my DD
http://www.supermotors.net/registry/628
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Great thought on the stow-able "split-top"... NOT t-top.. I mean if you don't really need the center rib why have it right? Be nice to see a really well done custom top... Paint to match!
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:15 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SolNut View Post
I met Chip Wright in Asheville and he has a spare top and is working on splitting it.
Ok before I start I will say that the top piece I cut was a test fit top I was able to get before they were destroyed by GM. I had mixed feelings and cringed at the thought of cutting it and would have never done this with the original top as my factory top replacement order has still never been sent so here goes.

I do have a sawzall, band saw and a hacksaw but none were going to work to well. I actually used a hydro cutter to make nice clean lines (needle thin) all the way through. The top is made out of Pot Metal and had to make 2 runs to get the gaps right to fit the seal between the pieces. I cut the top into 3 sections so I could keep the center lock in the middle to seat the center & future t-top conversion. So now for all the issues encountered so far:

When I cut the center out there is absolutely no support for the top so the center sags down. Fix was to mount plates on the outer edge pieces with the correct bend to replicate the curve top shape.

Next was the issue with matching up the 3 pieces to align when locked down as well as keep the center piece from pushing up in the front. The fix I did was to have 4 aluminum L bars curved to the top shape and bolted to the inside channels with 3 exposed to slide into the center piece. This was the hardest part to align and took a lot of trial and error.

Next was to seal the 3 pieces to make it water tight. I have been playing with different seals and I think I have found the right one, just working on test fitting and concept.

I have had so much going on that I have let the project sit for some time but when there is no replacement for me to start over I am taking my time & hope to start back on it in the spring to finish up the following:

Working on the center piece to be a T-Top, just have to get a front latching system worked out but have that figured out.

Working on a 3nd gen support bar to go into the channels

Work on latches to keep all 3 pieces together once assembled

Here are some Pics:


Pontiac Solstice Picture | Solstice Photos | Solstice Pictures - Message

Pontiac Solstice Picture | Solstice Photos | Solstice Pictures - Message
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:23 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Chip, thanks for the update w/pics!!!

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Old 02-26-2013, 10:14 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Looks like a fun project... thanks for posting. Be great to see your final version. I've got a million ideas on this. My first cut will be a hopefully ne and improved soft-top, but the more I read and think of this the more I'm intrigued with the idea of making a split-top/hard-top!

Good luck with your efforts
SteveO
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:00 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by pursuit View Post
Ok before I start I will say that the top piece I cut was a test fit top I was able to get before they were destroyed by GM. I had mixed feelings and cringed at the thought of cutting it and would have never done this with the original top as my factory top replacement order has still never been sent so here goes.

I do have a sawzall, band saw and a hacksaw but none were going to work to well. I actually used a hydro cutter to make nice clean lines (needle thin) all the way through. The top is made out of Pot Metal and had to make 2 runs to get the gaps right to fit the seal between the pieces. I cut the top into 3 sections so I could keep the center lock in the middle to seat the center & future t-top conversion. So now for all the issues encountered so far:

When I cut the center out there is absolutely no support for the top so the center sags down. Fix was to mount plates on the outer edge pieces with the correct bend to replicate the curve top shape.

Next was the issue with matching up the 3 pieces to align when locked down as well as keep the center piece from pushing up in the front. The fix I did was to have 4 aluminum L bars curved to the top shape and bolted to the inside channels with 3 exposed to slide into the center piece. This was the hardest part to align and took a lot of trial and error.

Next was to seal the 3 pieces to make it water tight. I have been playing with different seals and I think I have found the right one, just working on test fitting and concept.

I have had so much going on that I have let the project sit for some time but when there is no replacement for me to start over I am taking my time & hope to start back on it in the spring to finish up the following:

Working on the center piece to be a T-Top, just have to get a front latching system worked out but have that figured out.

Working on a 3nd gen support bar to go into the channels

Work on latches to keep all 3 pieces together once assembled

Here are some Pics:


Pontiac Solstice Picture | Solstice Photos | Solstice Pictures - Message

Pontiac Solstice Picture | Solstice Photos | Solstice Pictures - Message
What is the second pic you've posted, that isn't the 3 pc top on the car is it?

I forgot about the center latch, that does pose a bit of a problem with a 2 piecer. I still think there is a solution there though, without having to go to 3 pieces.
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'09 Solstice GXP Coupe #492, Mysterious, Auto, 5901 miles.
GMPP tune
DDM Venom Brace
DDM 3/8 Performance backbone
DDM Probeam
DDM Catch can, Tclamps and fender trim kit.
GM Accessories incl. race pedals, rocker panel clear protective tape, console storage bag, and soft targa top.

'95 Bronco, owned 18yrs, totally custom on 37's, my DD
http://www.supermotors.net/registry/628
'11 Subaru Forrester, wifes DD.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:11 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Yes, the 2nd pic is the 3 pieces all together on the car.

The 2 section design would be much easier to accomplish a clean fit w/o having to do all the internal bracing & alignment's but I wanted to go after a T-top and full roof design in 1.
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Car #2 2009 G8 GT MGM,SPORT,Premium

Car #3 2009 Solstice GXP Coupe #445 Cool, Ebony, AC,6 Disc Monsoon, Premium, Chrome Wheels, Sport Pedals, CC Mud Guards
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:23 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by pursuit View Post
Yes, the 2nd pic is the 3 pieces all together on the car.

The 2 section design would be much easier to accomplish a clean fit w/o having to do all the internal bracing & alignment's but I wanted to go after a T-top and full roof design in 1.
That looks really good so far. The camera angle isn't great at showing where the cut lines are (or should I say the camera angle must help hide them), but if it looks this clean from other angles that is coming along super nice.

so with the t top theme, is your idea to hard bolt that center piece then, it will NOT come out with your finished product, i.e. its just a matter of removing the 2 pieces on each side for storing?

I'd like to see a pic of just the center rib still in place to see how the overall look of the car is.

I guess you wouldn't want to damage your existing hardtop if you have one on order and still have received nothing. Seems like if you come up with something it's still a matter of a company producing your design since most of us probably aren't going to be cutting our factory targa.

Has anyone tried to fit their targa onto another coupe? Just wondering if the coupe production was tight enough tolerance that any top would fit any other coupe.
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'09 Solstice GXP Coupe #492, Mysterious, Auto, 5901 miles.
GMPP tune
DDM Venom Brace
DDM 3/8 Performance backbone
DDM Probeam
DDM Catch can, Tclamps and fender trim kit.
GM Accessories incl. race pedals, rocker panel clear protective tape, console storage bag, and soft targa top.

'95 Bronco, owned 18yrs, totally custom on 37's, my DD
http://www.supermotors.net/registry/628
'11 Subaru Forrester, wifes DD.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:33 AM   #29 (permalink)
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My thought on the T-top design is to have that removable as well, I still want to be able to use the original top. The seams are tight but once I finish adding in the whether stripping there will be black lines running down the 2 sections. I will see if I can get you a pic this weekend of just the center section.
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Car #2 2009 G8 GT MGM,SPORT,Premium

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Old 02-27-2013, 08:35 AM   #30 (permalink)
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The top is made out of Pot Metal
Interesting, I had always assumed the top was sheet molded compound.
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