4th gen targa top conversion (in progress, updated often)


666_speed
11-10-2006, 02:31 PM
I've put t-tops in my Camaro, now it's time for a targa top :grinyes: I'm going to custom make the top out of fiberglass. Every bit of this is custom, so please do not ask for tips/help, because I don't have a clue what I'm doing to be honest.

The best Idea I could come up with to make the top the perfect shape with the correct contour, bends, and size was to make an exact copy of my t-tops. I laid a plastic bag over the t-tops while in the car and then laid the fiberglass cloth as my first layer. I used fiberglass cloth because it is thinner than the mat and is easier to work with shaping.

http://img54.imageshack.us/img54/4688/1er4.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Next I mixed the resin and hardener to apply the first coat. The first layer should be a thin layer of resin and hardener, but I didn't know this at the time and put it on too thick. The first layer needs to be thin and dry quickly, then put a thicker coat on top of that to reinforce it.

http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/5508/2wetlq2.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

After that dried I put a layer of the fiberglass mat on top of the fiberglass cloth. The mat is thicker and will make the top a lot more sturdy and durable.

http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/9132/3layertwowt5.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/9296/4layertwobl9.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Then, using a lot more hardener and resin, wet that layer down and allow it to dry.

http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/7205/5layertwooutsidedryingpp0.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

There is my car parked outside allowing the 2nd layer to dry. The warmer the weather the better it is for drying.

I'll update with more when I get more done.

1986Z28
11-10-2006, 03:17 PM
looks good so far

Blackcrow64
11-10-2006, 04:39 PM
Oooooo I can't wait to see the finished product!

I'm sure it'll turn out awesome. I like how your going about doing it so far. lol :thumbsup:

666_speed
11-10-2006, 06:58 PM
Thanks, I don't have a clue what I'm doing really. It's all based on a guess, I cannot find a writeup anywhere on how to do this. I don't forsee any major problems, but then again.....

Blackcrow64
11-10-2006, 07:13 PM
Really it won't be much harder than the t-top conversion. The only real difference is everything will be one piece and you'll have your two t-top latches still. :2cents:

666_speed
11-10-2006, 07:44 PM
It doesn't look hard. I have a good game plan, my real concern now is how I want to finish the roof piece. I cannot decide if I want it thicker or a thinner piece. I'm afraid if it's thin it will break but if it's too thick it will crack. I've decided I'm going to sand it down, bondo it a thin layer (for added support) then primer and paint. I hate bondo, but this time I think I'm going to resort to using it.

Just got to wait for it to finish drying tonight. Tomorrow I'll decide if it needs another layer of fiberglass and do this if necessary. I may just load up on 2-3 layers of fiberglass and leave out the bondo. Suggestions?

Blackcrow64
11-10-2006, 08:10 PM
I would skip out on the bondo and just do a few layers of fiberglass. With the curve of your roofline and a few layers it should be more than strong enough and you shouldn't have to worry about it cracking. If anything, I would think the bondo would crack or flake off first...

Trust me, I've played with fiberglass before and its some pretty durable stuff when theres a few curves in it. lol We tested a piece for durability once by jumping on it and i tell ya what it never cracked from it. Then again, maybe we had too much hardner in it. lol

666_speed
11-10-2006, 08:18 PM
Fiberglass > Me

Thanks for your help! How many layers of the fiberglass cloth do you think would be sufficient? Sorry for all the stupid questions, but I'm learning too.

Blackcrow64
11-10-2006, 10:01 PM
Its all good man, I've never done anything like that either but I have a few experiences with it and many more to come. lol

Well, we made a gauge cluster with ours and I was surprised how strong it was with just one layer... But you will be having yours facing against the elements and not to mention the wonderful f-body's body flex... I would think you would be fine with about 3 layers. Sand your top layer smooth, prime, paint and clear coat. :thumbsup:

Oh yeah, I just remembered... Have you already given it some type of underbody frame besides the typical subframe connectors? Its gonna need some type of frame rails welded to it or your cars gonna split in half as soon as you eliminate your T bar... That would kind of suck so I figured I better bring it into consideration tonight. lol

**EDIT**
Another thing I just thought of. You may want to consider putting a hoop on it while your doing all this. If I was doing all that I would feel safer with one at least. :2cents:

Mr. Luos
11-10-2006, 10:07 PM
You sir have much more balls than I.

I can't wait to see the outcome of this.

666_speed
11-10-2006, 11:26 PM
You don't think that subframe connectors and a strut tower brace will hold it? What else do you think it would need, exactly? A hoop?

Mr. Luos
11-10-2006, 11:33 PM
Subframes will be fine.
Strut tower brace will do nothing.

666_speed
11-10-2006, 11:34 PM
Wouldn't it keep it from twisting upon acceleration and turns? I know it won't do much for the initial cut.

Mr. Luos
11-10-2006, 11:40 PM
I still say the strut tower brace is a worthless mod.

Blackcrow64
11-10-2006, 11:46 PM
The hoop is more of a safety thing in the event of a rollover. Although I'm sure you drive safe enough that it shouldn't matter. :rolleyes:

Do you really think the subframe connectors will be enough for him to do that? I would think it to not be enough support from axle to axle... Then again, now that I think about it. Do the convertibles run a different subframe for support?

666_speed
11-10-2006, 11:46 PM
I'll go without it at first then and see. Thanks, I know absolutley nothing about this stuff. I've never done anything dealing with anything like that. I've never had SFC's on any car I've owned :/

EDIT: Is there much benefit to be had from going with a 3 point set of SFC's as opposed to the regular ones?

Mr. Luos
11-10-2006, 11:54 PM
Not really.

92zcamaroperson
11-12-2006, 04:07 PM
depends on who you talk to on whether a 3 point is better. Not saying I know but i do know that i get a mixed answer everytime i look into it. I would look into the differences in the subframes between a convertable and regular cars. You should find some answers there. I think a hoop would be good too. But if you do that i would go ahead and put in a decent low profile 6 point cage. Something to go along the doors to provide more rigidity. Just my thoughts though. I dont neccessarily like cages in street cars but there are ways of doing it that wont cause too many problems

666_speed
11-12-2006, 05:41 PM
It's a v6, I'm trying my best to stray away from a cage. I personally like the look tha a cage gives a car, but don't want one for this car.

92zcamaroperson
11-12-2006, 08:26 PM
thats why i say low profile. Some designs can be hidden. Im not talking about some excessive cage.

666_speed
11-12-2006, 08:29 PM
I like visible cages but I will not put a cage in this car as long as it is a v6. If it was an ls1 car or something, I would definately consider it.

88camaroproject
11-13-2006, 11:57 AM
use like 3 layers of fiberglass mat and i would suggest sanding that real good then using bondo to get it all super smoothe. and you usually have to gelcoat fiberglass so it dosnt get eaten alive by the sun. but i guess a few layers of paint would do the trick, butwhen you bondo it use the nice fiberglass basd grenn bondo body filler, it wont absorb water or pop/crack out. its a lot better then working with the normal bondo. but with bondo you get a real smooth finish, its hard to sand fiberglass mat to a smooth finish and almost impossible.

666_speed
11-20-2006, 07:18 PM
Only update, SFC's arrived today, will be next week before I have time to install them and have possibly decided on a new route to make the roof panel.

666_speed
01-14-2007, 07:38 PM
I know this is very late but I don't want this thread to die. I've been extremely busy with life and a lot of unexpected things have came up. KSP was late on my background investigation which in turn got me disqualified from the ISP hiring process. I've been brought back into the process and have had to make some trips to Indiana and am getting things prepared for academy in less than 3 weeks. Sorry to leave everyone in the dark for so long, it's been stressful to say the least. If I take this opportunity with the state police this project will hold off for 8-9 months :/ If I pass on this opportunity I hope to go through with this in 2-3 months.


There's your long over due update.

Blackcrow64
01-16-2007, 02:30 AM
I know this is very late but I don't want this thread to die. I've been extremely busy with life and a lot of unexpected things have came up. KSP was late on my background investigation which in turn got me disqualified from the ISP hiring process. I've been brought back into the process and have had to make some trips to Indiana and am getting things prepared for academy in less than 3 weeks. Sorry to leave everyone in the dark for so long, it's been stressful to say the least. If I take this opportunity with the state police this project will hold off for 8-9 months :/ If I pass on this opportunity I hope to go through with this in 2-3 months.


There's your long over due update.
Its all good man, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Career before cars... Good luck with it. :)

1986Z28
01-16-2007, 12:46 PM
Career before cars...you crazy? the onyl reason im working is for my car

Blackcrow64
01-16-2007, 04:15 PM
you crazy? the onyl reason im working is for my car
lol Oh trust me, the only reason I work my crappy job is for my car too. But, I wish I could be working a job that I actually enjoy... You can work on cars with the money from any job. But it makes for a much happier life to be doing something you enjoy. :2cents:

ikeyballz
01-24-2007, 02:16 AM
agreed.

family>friends>career>car

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