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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had started a thread in the want ad section looking for Smoothline parts and it has kinda evolved into an (in my opinion) interetsing and possibly useful to someone else down the road type conversation.
(Premptive thank you's to ChopTop, JohnWR and KG and everyone else for your help in the other thread).

So I though i would restart a thread here detailing any part numbers or any other challenges in case someone needs this information in the future.

I'll start by saying I acquired a used Smoothline LeMans Hardtop for the Solstice. It was covered in the black Haartz Vinyl option originally and had a headliner made of a very scratchy rug like material.

-The rear window (plexi on this one) was cracked and almost all the seals had failed or were on there way.

-All the mounting hardware was missing.

-Lastly the mounting system for the rear portion had been (unbeknownst to me) removed.

Here are some "as is" pictures:
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Over time I am going to add in more photos to better illustrate the challenges. I will also add part numbers when i find something that fits as a replacement.

I'll start with the front "J-Hook" and tightening knob as well as the front guidepins from the OEM soft top.
I should have all the various hardware bits in this weekend to at least resolve the missing hardware on the front edge...

**Edit / Update, appranetly my packages will arrive later than expected so I should have all the hardware "next" week now.. Still gonna futz around and post some photos and part numbers this weekend hopefully.
 

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Ignorant question: Is the rear mounting hardware really necessary? I've had my ragtop fly up when not properly secured. Shouldn't that be impossible with this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ignorant question: Is the rear mounting hardware really necessary? I've had my ragtop fly up when not properly secured. Shouldn't that be impossible with this?
Legit question as without having one in front of you it is hard to know.
The front hardware works the same as the soft top so two guide pins and one j-hook grabbing the same place as the center lever on the soft top.
So there is only one point holding it on at all.
And nothing holding it “down” or preventing lateral movement without tying down the rear.

additionally I think clamping it down in the back will create a much better fit for the rubber seals along the bottom edge which I am sure is what was originally intended.
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got the guide pins in and they were definitely NOS.
Still in the GM bags but the threads were filled with what I thought were some type of dried thread dope.
Couldn’t tell the size or thread that well even on my bolt and nut size board. (One of my favorite tools)
Musical instrument Musical instrument accessory Audio equipment Electronic instrument Font
Landed on 7/16”-20 and ordered some weld nuts.
While waiting for them to arrive I finally used my brain and wire wheeled the threads clean. I was wrong, once the threads were clean the guide pins ended up being M10-1.5s.
Got very lucky and actually found the last pair of M10-1.5 nuts at Home Depot buried in the back of a parts bin.
Picked up some stainless steel 1/2 fender washers and got the pins in place.

getting in behind the fiberglass mold to get the washer and nut on the backside meant pulling the glued down headliner material back.

gonna test for the top today and get the guide pins lined up.

here are the guide pins after I cleaned them:

Material property Font Rectangle Electric blue Plastic



M10 Nuts

Liquid Font Packaging and labeling Electronics accessory Transparency



here is the liner pulled back to expose the mounting area. Notice the missing section of fiberglass on the passenger side:

Tints and shades Wood Pattern Close-up Metal



Versus the drivers side:
Automotive tire Gas Rim Bumper Automotive wheel system


Here is the pin installed:

Automotive tire Wood Bumper Road surface Automotive exterior


hard to tell from the photo but the pin sits just back from the front edge, similar to the soft top. Haven’t had a chance to test fit it yet but it looks really close and I have room for adjustment.

the guide pin takes a 13mm wrench:

Kitchen utensil Tool Metalworking hand tool Wood Gas



and the m10 nut for the back took a 17mm wrench:


Sports equipment Road surface Grey Wood Floor



I had to put a little 3M two sided tape between the nut and the rear washer as there was no way to get your hand in the back and hold both a loose nut and washer in place while screwing in the guidepin from the front. I reused the existing bent washer for the front edge as it already fit nicely.




Automotive tire Silver Grey Wood Household hardware
 

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Legit question as without having one in front of you it is hard to know.
The front hardware works the same as the soft top so two guide pins and one j-hook grabbing the same place as the center lever on the soft top.
So there is only one point holding it on at all.
And nothing holding it “down” or preventing lateral movement without tying down the rear.

additionally I think clamping it down in the back will create a much better fit for the rubber seals along the bottom edge which I am sure is what was originally intended.
I get all that, but if the top is firmly secured, and you're going forward, which, if you're at high enough speed to create lift, I hope you are, how would the air get underneath it?
 

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I get all that, but if the top is firmly secured, and you're going forward, which, if you're at high enough speed to create lift, I hope you are, how would the air get underneath it?
It is not just air getting underneath it that matters. Side drafts, cornering forces, and even bumps in the road would move it out of position. Even if it didn't come completely off, the small movements would damage the surface of the car. Besides the issue he mentioned with getting the seal to conform.

There is no way that I would drive the car with the top only secured by the front bolt.
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes lateral forces no bueno without a tie down.

So spent the last 4 hours futzing around with it.

got the top pins aligned (or close enough:
Tire Automotive tire Tool Bicycle part Finger
Tire Bicycle tire Wheel Automotive tire Bicycle fork
Tape measure Wood Automotive tire Tool Line
Tape measure Office ruler Wood Font Gas
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ended up moving them both inwards an 1/8” after the above measurement
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dropped the window in to see how it looked tightened down on the front with the guide pins in.
Car Wheel Tire Vehicle Land vehicle
Automotive parking light Vehicle Motor vehicle Hood Automotive tire
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Then took photos with the window out to check where I was going to drill…
Vehicle Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tire Car
Land vehicle Tire Vehicle Wheel Automotive lighting
Vehicle Automotive lighting Car Hood Automotive tire
Water Grille Vehicle Automotive lighting Hood
Automotive tire Hood Sleeve Automotive design Grey
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Then screwed up my courage and removed the hidden plastic tree pin from the fold of the rear quarter panel trim and drilled a 3/16” hole.

found some 3/16” 5” long toggle bolts,cut off the head and ranthem down into the holes.
The space on the underside is so tiny I could barely even get a picture and was just able to get a cap nut on that end.

Finger Automotive tire Material property Denim Electric blue
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Tire Automotive exterior
Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive lighting
Vehicle Car Motor vehicle White Automotive tire
Car Hood Automotive lighting Vehicle Motor vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Put some duct tape on the flap stubs on the hardtop and put it back on the car.
the threaded rod left nice marks on the duct tape to drill once I removed the top again…

Sleeve Luggage and bags Automotive design Wood Grey
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
As I suspected the 3/16” rods are too thin though it did work as I was able to tighten the top down.

problem right now is that the tulip panel is fiberglass or plastic so it really doesn’t have any strength as I am cranking the nut from the top the cap nut is starting to pull through the tulip from the underneath.

pulled it all apart and am going to do some thinking on it.

i “may” have to drill through the little black cup and get a long rod that can go all the way down through that next.
Black cup under my drill spot:
Finger Automotive tire Material property Denim Electric blue


gonna go at it again sometime soon after I have had some time to ponder next steps.

I am almost there mechanically though.

Once I have all that done, gonna take her to a pro and have it recovered and re-lined inside and out, and replace all the seals.

will ask him about glass, though I get the feeling I’ll be stuck with plastic for the rear window :(
 

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don't tie that top down to the tulip panel. The tulip panel will rip right off. You need to get into the metal structure of the body. The thing you ar going to have a problem with using the threaded rod like you want is having to take the rod out if you want to take the hard top off. Leaving the pin there will look like doo doo. It is going to be a royal pain to take the off and to put it back on.

The other issue I can see happening is if you have to go down pretty far before getting to some solid metal to attach to. The attachment point is going to be so far down that you may end up with lateral movement of the top. The threaded rod is going to make the attachment point on the car have a serious mechanical disadvantage. You will have to tighten the top down pretty damned good and that may cause in and of it's self.

The shorter the threaded rod from the top to the attachment point in the car the better. I think where you have thought about putting the rod is a good place to do it but what you might want to do is take the tulip panel off and see if you can make bracket that you can screw the rod into the threaded hole you screw the rod into would be just below the hole you drilled in the tulip panel. That is about as close as you would be able to get with the mounting point and you would be able to keep the diameter rod you used in the test.

I have not pulled the tulip panel so I do not know what is down under it. But I suspect where you are drilling through there is not going to be a whole hell of a lot except open space.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Actually been thinking along the same lines.
Thanks for the input KG.

I am beginning to form a plan :)
 

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2008 Solstice, 2.4L 5 Speed, Dark Gray with a good looking dude behind the wheel. (My Son)
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I'm a bit confused about this. How does one access the trunk with this top? Appears to not accessible without removing that hardtop.

Rams
 

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I'm a bit confused about this. How does one access the trunk with this top? Appears to not accessible without removing that hardtop.

Rams
You are correct, and not confused at all, apparently. There is no trunk access with the top in place.
 
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