Author Topic: Factory T Top Installation  (Read 419 times)

roadking77

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Factory T Top Installation
« on: March 12, 2019, 07:23:39 PM »
I guess I should call it 'hatch roof' instead. I was thinking about the installation of these and realized I don't know how it was done. Were these installed at the gm assembly line, or were they shipped off to a hurst facility to be done? Same deal with the Fishers, I assume they were installed at the factory. Before or after paint was done?
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Grand73Am

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 08:36:20 PM »
For the Hursts, hardtop cars were shipped to a Hurst facility. That would have been after the paint was done. The cars were probably finished cars when they were sent to Hurst. The roof was cut and the hatch assemblies installed. The hatches were the last work done to the cars.

Fishers were completely different. Fisher body designed a new roof specifically for t-top cars for the 78 model year. They were late finishing it, so it didn't show up until around Feb 1978. So, the Fisher roof was a factory stamped panel, with the openings, and channels already made into it. A Fisher t-top body was made to be a t-top car body to begin with, so it was not a conversion done to the car later, like the Hursts were. So, like the rest of the Firebird bodies, it started off as a bare metal body, and then was painted. Then some assembly was done at Fisher Body, and the rest of the assembly at the GM assembly plant. 

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roadking77

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 10:42:26 AM »
Thanks
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firebirdparts

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2019, 11:02:30 AM »
many years ago, we posted some photos of what the cars actually look like.  At Hurst in Brighton, MI, they did some aggressive cutting on the inside to get those u-shaped bars in.

http://firebirdtransamparts.com/techinfo/ttops/junkhurst.htm
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Maxthe222

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 04:37:23 PM »
I just read that article about the hatch designs on your website, you mentioned that the Hurst had better structural rigidity over the fisher? Can you explain that a bit better? Something about the fisher roofs caving in??
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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 04:37:23 PM »

FormTA

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 05:17:56 PM »
I am curious too. I always thought that was from people sitting on the roof.
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Aus78Formula

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2019, 05:35:07 PM »
They will flex at the weakest point which also happens to be where the chassis rigidity ends. And from people pretending they are Indy drivers in a parade.

Surprised that in 40+ years there hasn't been an aftermarket something produced as a roof insert or brace that is hidden under standard headlining and takes up the more rigid areas to be more solid. Fisher tried adding deeper pressings for the inner roof structure but obviously that wasn't enough, or transferred the flex further along. Even the hardtops flex and crack at the B-pillar corner. Subframe connectors fix most of that issue but it doesn't make the roof any stronger.

Flipped Hurst roof cut......careful with those sun visors that you don't buckle the roof!

http://www.2040-parts.com/_content/items/images/27/230727/008.jpg

« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 05:46:59 PM by Aus78Formula »

Maxthe222

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 05:58:27 PM »
So what you're trying to tell me is I should not sit on the roof of the car?
Tell me i've got other options...
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula ???

Maxthe222

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 11:36:38 PM »
I'm ordering them as we speak, lucky I've mostly only had models up there
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firebirdparts

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2019, 08:33:12 AM »
It's just an observation.  The Hurst cars have no floors because the tops leak, but you never ever see one with the roof caved in.  The Fishers, it's common to have the roof caved in.  Could be fat girls, or it could just be gravity.  I don't know.  The roof is in compression just from holding the car up.

The Hurst tops have 2 advantages structurally.  They're smaller, and that is probably the most important one.  What's left between the panels on a Hurst car is like triple the strength of what's left between fishers.  The second is that they kept the inside roof panel intact and pinched a steel bar between the inner and outer roofs as a spacer.  As a result, they actually have pretty good buckling resistance, considering the overall cheesiness of the design.

Looking at the differences, it seems like to me that a fat girl would have the same effect on either car.  I suppose the Hursts are small enough that they are hard to sit on.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 08:34:55 AM by firebirdparts »
I want to be like Paul Kenny when I grow up
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1977 Y82 4-speed (red interior)
1978 Skybird 350
1978 Redbird 305
1979 Redbird 301 4-speed
1992 Lincoln Mark VII LSC/SE (red)
1970 Datsun Pickup
1953 Chevy pickup (converted 4x4)
1988 T-bird Turbo Coupe

roadking77

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 02:31:15 PM »
On a related note, I posted this awhile ago not sure if anybody read it. Dick Chrysler was president of Hurst when they were doing TTops. The company was sold and he went on to start Cars n Concepts.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
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82 Firebird - Sold
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'39-BSA Gold Star
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'52-Ariel Red Hunter
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Grand73Am

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2019, 10:34:16 PM »
The Fishers do have extra reinforcement metal built into the roof. I have 3 Fisher t-top cars, and none of them have caved-in roofs, nor does one belonging to a friend of mine. So, while apparently some have been bent, I haven't seen that problem personally. 
Steve F.

Maxthe222

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2019, 03:07:50 AM »
This brings up a good point, since I plan on sitting on that roof extensively, are there any reinforcement pieces or anything I could do at home in the backyard to put along the pillars to support the roof? Aside from something like a rollcage that occupies a lot of space.
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula ???

Aus78Formula

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2019, 03:17:44 AM »
You could perhaps...not sit on the roof, like any other car.

Maxthe222

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2019, 04:55:48 AM »
Where's the fun in that?
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula ???

Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2019, 04:55:48 AM »



T/A Daddy

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2019, 10:50:16 AM »
or just lean -- depending on your size! ( and gender maybe)! :lol:

https://youtu.be/JcvbzE7r7DM

I don't have that problem on mine - no T-Tops  :sad:

Aus78Formula

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Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2019, 07:38:52 PM »
It doesn't matter how strong the inner structure is, the thin roof skin doesn't change. It possibly even helps with flexing without damage from driving.

Quote:
"or just lean -- depending on your size! ( and gender maybe)! :lol:

Seeing as she failed to work out how to sit on a car seat, she's just as likely to end up on the roof.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 07:40:55 PM by Aus78Formula »

Re: Factory T Top Installation
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2019, 07:38:52 PM »
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