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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
My printer is modifying the part to make it stronger as the direct copies failed early Once I get one I will make it available for testing
 

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I spent some quality time with the flaps on both cars this weekend. On Punisher one of the springs that helps articulation was off at one end. Twenty minutes later it was back in place. Then I cycled the top several times and noiced that the cable only partially opens the flap. On both our cars the flaps open about 25 degrees then the top structure comes into contact with the inside edge of the flap and pushes it vertical. I had assumed the cable performed this action but clearly this is not the case. I’m not liking watching the metal frame sliding along the flap pushing on it. I feel the need for a better solution
 

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There is a different material co-molded on the edge of the flap. I wondered what its purpse is, and your description explains it.
 
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There is a different material co-molded on the edge of the flap. I wondered what its purpse is, and your description explains it.
Yes - it feels like a stiff urethane which would have pretty good abrasion resistance. A teflon tape would give good lubricity but I don't think it would wear well.
 

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I spent some quality time with the flaps on both cars this weekend. On Punisher one of the springs that helps articulation was off at one end. Twenty minutes later it was back in place. Then I cycled the top several times and noiced that the cable only partially opens the flap. On both our cars the flaps open about 25 degrees then the top structure comes into contact with the inside edge of the flap and pushes it vertical. I had assumed the cable performed this action but clearly this is not the case. I’m not liking watching the metal frame sliding along the flap pushing on it. I feel the need for a better solution
Give this a thought. It might help the partial opening problem. If you redesign the metal part as shown, it would decrease the distance between (c) and (d). Doing so would increase the amount of flap opening without increasing the distance amount of cable pull. Maybe even enough to open the flap completely. (haven't done the math) In looking at the flap on the car, it doesn't appear that shortening this piece somewhat would interfere with the cable attachment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Interesting. We are in the process of modifying that part to hopefully eliiminate early failure of printed units. Easy to move the attachment point up as you show.
 

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I understand the desire to eliminate contact, but it is important to not get too close to end-of-travel conditions that could stress the cable and the attachment points.
 

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I understand the desire to eliminate contact, but it is important to not get too close to end-of-travel conditions that could stress the cable and the attachment points.
^ this. Methinks there is a reason the original designers did this . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
The cable has plenty of length. The mod described above is not going to affect the cable travel, just shorten the radius arm for the actuator so it gets a bit more travel.
 

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^ this. Methinks there is a reason the original designers did this . . .
Yep. I always like to give the original designer the benefit of the doubt, and make sure that I understand what they were doing/not doing before I make changes.

In this case I think the reasoning is the same as the decision to use the spring to close the door rather than open it: Mainly the avoidance of the need for precise adjustment.

Certainly some increase in travel is safely possible, but you never want the cable to pull against any kind of hard stop. So it is all a matter of degree.
 

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Good to see progress on this part.

This "Teflon", or "Urethane" you speak of, on my car was damaged/torn/cut slightly. I removed it, and replaced it with Female Velcro, and this now seems to be Cushioning the Flap better than the other Original Material that was installed on there from the factory.

My Tulip Flaps also react in the same Lackadaisical fashion when raising the top, and I am concerned that the Tops Frame will push the bottom of the Flap a bit too hard as well. I asked others on here about the cable seeming to be too lose, and was told to "Bend The Bracket that the cable was attached to", but haven't attempted this yet.
 

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Good to see progress on this part.

This "Teflon", or "Urethane" you speak of, on my car was damaged/torn/cut slightly. I removed it, and replaced it with Female Velcro, and this now seems to be Cushioning the Flap better than the other Original Material that was installed on there from the factory.

My Tulip Flaps also react in the same Lackadaisical fashion when raising the top, and I am concerned that the Tops Frame will push the bottom of the Flap a bit too hard as well. I asked others on here about the cable seeming to be too lose, and was told to "Bend The Bracket that the cable was attached to", but haven't attempted this yet.
Yes. If you bend the bracket down you can take the excessive slack out and the flap will open a little farther. Mine are bent just far enough to take the slack out but not so far that the cable is taut. You can tell if the bracket is bent too far down because the flap won't close all the way.
 

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There is a benefit I think you guys missed from @joybill44 's suggestion to decrease the length of the arm.

It is going to make it stronger.

If someone can provide me the length of the cable travel, the height of the original tab, the approximate angle or percentage the flap gets opened to from the cable movement alone I can do some quick number crunching and get you the exact height the tab would need to be to say open the flap up 80% or 90%. This way the original design is still functioning as it should as far as the top frame pushing the flap open so adjustment doesn't have to be spot on perfect. The tab gets increased in strength because it is shorter. The stress being put on the door when the frame comes into contact with it will be reduced by an exponential amount.

The lower the angle of the door the greater the lateral force is being applied to the door by the frame. I mentioned earlier about the problem occurring because of the lock rod clip breaking. I don't believe that s the case. I believe the lock rod clip may be breaking because the cable over time gets some slack in it from stretch the flap comes into contact with the frame at too low an angle and the lateral forces exceed the strength of the hinge which breaks it. Because the hinge is now broken the flap is no longer going to move as it should and that results in the lock rod clip breaking.

I have worked on quite a few old vehicles, much older then the Kappas and it is rare to come across one of those lock rod clips broken.

By increasing the maximum angle this gives a much larger error window on the bottom end which is what cable slack is going to be in.
 

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IDK if anyone has tried to do this yet. I sent an e-mail off to the heritage center and asked them if they can supply me with the original CAD files of the car. Or if they know who I should contact to ask for them. I explained to them that the cars are collectors items and that there is a large number of enthusiasts wanting to keep the cars in top shape. I said because of age and UV plastic components are starting to fail and with no replacement parts we are having to spend a lot of time and also a lot of money having replacement parts reverse engineered. If we had the original drawings of the car that would reduce the amount of time and dollars needed to get a new part made.

I added this statement at the end
If this request can be fulfilled, you would renew faith of the GM brand for a whole lot of folks.
 

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I looked at it from their point of view. What would they have to gain from providing the drawings. Nothing really. That last statement turns that nothing into possible future $$'s made from vehicle purchases. This gives them a reason to do it and the reason being possible additional sales is something they like to hear.
 

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ks - I like your approach pulling upon the "good faith" element of potential future sales but I fear it may fall upon deaf ears - couple of reasons.

GM lead the charge in the early 90's to prostitute the supply base. The suppliers were told if that they bore the burden and expense of design, development, and tooling, they would be rewarded with rich contracts. Once the suppliers did that, they were told they "must" reduce their prices in spite of higher costs. Ford and Chrysler started to follow in suit.

What we ended up with is a lot of tooling that was owned by suppliers to the car companies that were left with unpaid debt. (They paid for the tooling, the car companies didn't.) In many cases, these suppliers actually generated the 3D CAD data that was used. GM would likely have a copy of that data. Would they share it free? Maybe.

Or maybe not. I could see where a supplier might claim intellectual property rights to the data that they generated.

Tough nut to crack. Then again, that's why we're here and this thread continues.

I think we'll get there. The observation that decreasing the length of the arm decreases the force is important.
 

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I highly doubt that GM would allow a supplier have rights to the CAD drawings. If the supplier had the rights and also the molds there is nothing to stop them from making new parts. in order for that not to happen the rights to the molds and the files would be GM's as I am sure they are. GM designed the car the manufacturer made the molds and tooling at their expense but GM owns it.

Think about it this way. Say you had a contract with make part X for Pontiac and at your expense you did up all of the tooling needed to make the part. The Pontiac goes bankrupt and you don't get one penny of that contract and are out millions of dollars because of the tooling. If you had the rights to the CAD files and all of the tooling wouldn't you sell them to recover at least some of your money?? Damned right you would. That never happened when Pontiac went out of business. That means GM is the one that has the rights to those things.
 

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Now if you remember I believe it was Delorean that was going to buy the plant and the rights for the Kappas from GM... that all fell through but it is GM that has those things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
I need to look at a new flap from stock. Both our cars flaps have been preped and painted so they dont have any wear surface on the edge.

I suspect we have already exceded the design life of the car at 14 plus years. But all good suggestions and helpful.
 
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