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Hey all, I've been lurking for a while and noticed several people mention that they don't think the top could be operated from inside with one hand.

I know of several Pontiac trunks that will open either 1/2 way or all the way with the push of a button. If this one is clam shelled then it is also going to have to be well balanced so you can shut it from both sides without trouble. I acutally think the engineering time to solve that could be significant.

So, I'm thinking that the trunk hinges must be well balanced and even counter weighted so the effort required to close the trunk is minimal. That would make it easier to solve the problem of closing it from one side or the other.

So you push a button to pop the trunk 12-18 inches, release a couple of levers along the windshield, fold the top back and into the trunk, twist around to grab the trunk and pull it shut.

Yes it does cost a bit more to put in the remote trunk release, but if you have to get out of the car to open the top then I bet every piece of journalism about the car will mention it as a detriment and a reason to not buy it.

I know it's all speculation about the top, but I wondered if this sounded plausible to anyone else.

Tim
 

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Its an interesting idea. I have no idea how they really plan attacking this problem. It may be one reason little has been seen about the top to this point. However, I would predict too much in the way of fancy engineering or equipment in the rear decklid due to the base price of this car.

There are some ways around it. The trunk lid could have a spring under it (as a hood would) to push it up a little if you pull a mechanical trunk release. Then a gas strut could raise it up some. That would be one easier solution going along with what you are thinking. The problem would be to allow it to open fully for cargo when you wanted, but only open enough to swallow the top and close it from the inside.

I am not sure I see a cheap and easy way out of having to get out for this job. Its possible the top may have to be manipulated from outside too, if the flying buttresses would need to be disconnected (if they even end up in production) or other peculiarities that could arise.

I am sure GM will try to make it as quick and painless as possible within the constraints of their proposed price structure, but I do not see any miracles on the horizon.

However, if they can make it work without getting out, I will be very pleased!

PS, welcome to the forum!!
 

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The Corvette convertible cover opens to the rear. The tops until the C5(?) had two 'pegs' at the rear corners that had to be manually pushed down into the cover to latch. So there was no way to put the top up from inside. But it could be put down if everything was adjusted just right.

But (disclaimer starts: I haven't played with the newer ones and am talking through my hat here. :disclaimer ends) with the newest model the top has some kind of a cantilever action to hold down the back edge.

If the Solstice were to use a similar arrangement, I'm thinking it might be possible (although awkward) to operate the top without getting out...
 

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If you look at the top of the w/shield in this pic:


(was actually looking for a better shot at it, but can't find such) you'll see what looks like a central latch-pin, with two smaller guides (probably alignment pin holes) at the outside. It would be ridiculous to have three latches, and if they are using two latches, a center guide pin is unnecessary. So, my conclusion is there is a central latch only.

As far as operating top from inside, I highly doubt it - if the England mule pictures are even close to accurate and the back wings actually exist - in this picture you can see there are what appear to be two holes in the decklid. I'm guessing that this is some latching mechanism for the wings/butresses, which leads me to believe you're gonna have to get out of the car to operate the top.

'Course, I could be wrong...
 

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Question:

wouldn't the fact the wings/butresses latch-on on top of the paint have some impact on the paint job?
 

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solsticeman said:
.... It would be ridiculous to have three latches, and if they are using two latches, a center guide pin is unnecessary. So, my conclusion is there is a central latch only.

...
It's been over 20 years ago, but I thought that my 66 E-type had three latches, and I have a fuzzy memory of that resulting in a tighter weather seal between the top and the windshield. That top was a very easy up and down affair.
 

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A Jag??? I hardly think that's the best example of a leak-resistant top... :jester

JK, actually I really liked the looks of the older e-types. Didn't know they had three latches. If so, in today's day and age I'd think that 3 latches would be redundant. Imagine having to make sure all three were properly error-proofed - if just one were not properly latched and heaven-forbid there were ever a top failure... the liability consequences would bury the Solstice.
 

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RODEO said:
Question:

wouldn't the fact the wings/butresses latch-on on top of the paint have some impact on the paint job?
If they put a good liner on the bottom of the butress it shouldn't cause too much trouble. If you want, you can always get 3M clear bra material and line that section with it.
 

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RODEO said:
Question:

wouldn't the fact the wings/butresses latch-on on top of the paint have some impact on the paint job?
Good point, if the butresses aren't tight and flap some at speed, there may be swirl marks on the decklid after a while. Hopefully they'll get the top sorted out sometime soon and we'll finally get some details on its operation.

-Stephen M
 

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If the top where to touch and potentially rub the finish, they likely would have a solution to prevent paint damage from the start. Either a non abrasive finish on the underside of the buttress, or some of that 3M clear stuff over the paint from the factory. I wouldn’t expect them to flap either. They would likely be taught enough with snapping them down, or contain some sort of frame inside of them to help stiffen them up in the wind. The last thing you want on a convertible is some loose fabric flapping in the wind right over your shoulder. It would drive you insane!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I hadn't really considered the buttresses. I knew they were on the Enland mules but those tops are obviously not even close to final, so I hadn't really considered them representative of the final product. However seeing the latch location on the rear deck points toward that part of it being accurate. In which case you will have to get out and go around the car to both sides to get it loose before tucking it away.

I also realized that was very unlikely that they would put a lot of engineering dollars into getting the top operation one handed, but if they've already got the trunk working similar to what my Grand Prix did... well then it might not take much more effort.

Oh well, top will probably just stay in the trunk most of the time on mine anyway. :)
 

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solsticeman said:
you'll see what looks like a central latch-pin, with two smaller guides (probably alignment pin holes) at the outside. It would be ridiculous to have three latches, and if they are using two latches, a center guide pin is unnecessary. So, my conclusion is there is a central latch only.

..
or perhaps a center lever that will lock the center and two guide pins for a three point connection to the windshield with a single lever?
 

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Stephen M said:
Hopefully they'll get the top sorted out sometime soon and we'll finally get some details on its operation. -Stephen M
NO DOUBT!!! :agree I'm Going Crazy :crazy
 

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I'd guess you would not have to go to the opposite side to "unlatch" the buttresses - if GM were smart, they would be spring loaded and unlatch with the release of the trunk.

But, I bet you have to go to the other side to "latch" it when you are putting your top back up. Which begs the question...

Does one have to unlatch the buttresses just to get into the trunk? If so, does this mean I have to go around to the other side every time I get into the trunk (as small as it is) and reclose it? Or can the decklid be operated without the operation of the buttresses...?

...hmmm. I guess we shall see, sometime. Hopefully, before we actually take delivery of ours :D
 

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So are we thinking the top would look like the fiero fastback and the Honda Del Sol? If so there would be a vertical rear window. I would like that especially if there were a power rear glass window, and the top was somehow seperate. The rear window is the one thing I worry about without having seen the top.
 

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solsticeman said:
As far as operating top from inside, I highly doubt it - if the England mule pictures are even close to accurate and the back wings actually exist - in this picture you can see there are what appear to be two holes in the decklid. I'm guessing that this is some latching mechanism for the wings/butresses, which leads me to believe you're gonna have to get out of the car to operate the top.

'Course, I could be wrong...

solsticeman, I think your right.
 

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the test mule photos from the auto press earlier this year showed 'prototypes' with that architecture- looked like a nearly vertical window across the back and sloping sides of cloth on to make a better profile from the side.
 

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waiting said:
So are we thinking the top would look like the fiero fastback and the Honda Del Sol? If so there would be a vertical rear window. I would like that especially if there were a power rear glass window, and the top was somehow seperate. The rear window is the one thing I worry about without having seen the top.
The test mule photos resembled something closer to a Del Sol or a Fiero notchback (see my avatar) than a Fiero fastback. Nothing that long or drawn out, and certainly no side windows in them. I’ll see if I can dig up a good pic of the top on the test mules.


edit: This isn't a great picture, but so far its the best I have seen.



Here is another, not real clear but you can get a little bit of an idea.

 

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will the trunk lid clear the top and side butresses? i'd think it would need to if the trunk is going to open with the top up.
 

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timnrach said:
Hey all, I've been lurking for a while and noticed several people mention that they don't think the top could be operated from inside with one hand.
I don't see how you could open the top from inside the car, unless you have very good flexibility and upper-body strength.
 
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