Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: 1988 Formula - Automoda Convertible Conversion Pics (Dial-Up Beware)

  1. #1
    Senior Member LZeitgeist's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    106

    1988 Formula - Automoda Convertible Conversion Pics (Dial-Up Beware)

    This is an original Automoda Conversion Kit purchased from V8 Archie (who got it from eBay about three years ago), and installed by Rob, Kris and Archie at Archie's shop in Illinois. I wasn't fond of the Automoda underframing, so I had a custom reinforcement job done at a racing shop in Tennessee with the help of John Watson in Tennga, Georgia.

    I wanted very much for this to appear as though it was done by Pontiac themselves (not to fool anybody, but for my own satisfaction), so I've even gone so far as to purchase required items like the third brake light and the lighted rear-view mirror from a 1988 Pontiac Sunbird convertible, since if the factory had built this Fiero this way in 1988, those are the parts that would have been available for them to use. I removed the rocker switches from the lighted rear-view mirror, filled the holes and rewired it to utilize the original Fiero maplight switches in the cut-down upper console I modified to fit. I also rewired the circuit from the four light (two dome lights and two maplights) system to a two light system (each maplight in the mirror comes on separately when the appropriate button is pressed, but when the door is opened or dashlight dimmer switch is activated, both maplights come on in conjunction with the under-dash courtesy lights).

    I used hex-mesh that duplicated the look, style and size of the mesh in the dash defroster vents to fill the Automoda decklid grilles, and I created room inside the seat headrests for the 4"x6" B-pillar speakers to fit in behind the fabric. I also cross-wired the rear speakers to provide better stereo effect against the output of the front speakers. The headrests are non-perforated (but still quite adequately acoustically transparent) so they appear completely stock in appearance.

    Getting it to be as '1988 Pontiac OEM Believable' as possible was always my goal.

    I feel this style of convertible top fits the design of the Fiero perfectly, and I believe it to have been designed after a couple different Ferrari soft tops. I imagine it would look right at home on a 348/355 kit as well.

    Here you go...


























    Patrick W. Heinske -- LZeitgeist@aol.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    870

    Re: 1988 Formula - Automoda Convertible Conversion Pics (Dial-Up Beware)

    that is an excellent looking top. You have reached your goal of a factory fit and finish. What would have to happen to duplicate this?

  3. #3

    Re: 1988 Formula - Automoda Convertible Conversion Pics (Dial-Up Beware)

    Very Nice!!!Why does the top go past the door? Do you have to roll you windows down to get out when its up? Can you post pics of the inside of the top and the underside of the targa top? Does the targa fold up? Is it noisy and how does the latch mechanism work for the targa? thanks It is awesome best covert top for fiero i have seen. -Austin

  4. #4

    Re: 1988 Formula - Automoda Convertible Conversion Pics (Dial-Up Beware)

    Look at a stock Fiero.. The quarter window also goes past the door... The top had to be made to fit the car...

    Plans are already underway to reproduce this top...

    http://www.fiero-performance.com/misc/songman355a.gif      Fiero-Performance.com      [url=http://www.fiero-performance.com/coastrun/]2nd Annual California Coast Run[/url

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    372

    Re: 1988 Formula - Automoda Convertible Conversion Pics (Dial-Up Beware)

    That is SWEET!!!

    that's exactly what i want my top to look like.

    i know F355Spider has build his own top like that and i can't
    wait to see it. i'm hoping i can talk him into making one for
    my car. hint...hint...

    tom.s

  6. #6
    Senior Member LZeitgeist's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    106

    Re: 1988 Formula - Automoda Convertible Conversion Pics (Dial-Up Beware)

    Quote Originally Posted by Modena
    that is an excellent looking top.* You have reached your goal of a factory fit and finish.* What would have to happen to duplicate this?
    Thank you, very much - I consider that the highest compliment.

    As far as duplication, that's not my forte - better men than I would have to try it. I imagine the easiest way would be to locate another original Automoda kit and disassemble it for reproduction, but doing the disassembly and reproduction would be the easy half of that task - production on these kits ended around 1992, and I believe there were only about 60 or so of them made before (so I've heard) 'Fiero Phil' Huff coaxed the designer to move his equipment and operation from Illinois to California into Phil's shop, then locked the doors and attempted to take over the business himself. (If this information is incorrect, I shall stand corrected, but given the sources I've heard this information from, I see little reason to question its validity.)


    Quote Originally Posted by The Sicilian Jr.
    Very Nice!!!Why does the top go past the door? Do you have to roll you windows down to get out when its up? Can you post pics of the inside of the top and the underside of the targa top? Does the targa fold up? Is it noisy and how does the latch mechanism work for the targa? thanks It is awesome best covert top for fiero i have seen. -Austin
    The top goes past the door (as Songman showed) in order to meet the trailing edge of the door glass in the same spot that the factory B-pillars do. The doors/windows/hinges/etc. are stock and unmodified - in fact, most of the original window rubber is still utilized by transferring both it and the mounting tracks onto the roof panels. Operation of the doors/windows/etc. is exactly the same as the stock Fiero.

    I have more pics that I plan to put into a build thread, but I don't have them consolidated/cropped/etc. yet.

    The two roof panels are 1/8" aluminum panel attached to a welded steel frame. The panels are then covered with fabric to match the soft portions of the top. The window molding is attached to a faceted box constructed along the outboard edge of each roof panel. They don't fold - they overlap in the center and are handled just like T-tops.

    The roof panels are held in with four cam-lock bolts per panel, two at the windshield header and two at the top of the rear roof section.

    Upon initial installation, various parts of the roof mechanism were quite noisy, but tracking down the various rattles and some trial and error at silencing them made *much* improvement. Windnoise is virtually nonexistant, except for the rear edges of the door glass, which has been quite vexing to discover just the right molding that provides both a good seal and does not bind the glass when rolling the windows up with the doors shut.

    Thanks very much for the kind words. ::smile::
    Patrick W. Heinske -- LZeitgeist@aol.com

  7. #7

    Re: 1988 Formula - Automoda Convertible Conversion Pics (Dial-Up Beware)

    Wow - was trying to locate a targa type of top and came across this thread. It sure would be great to see someone make this for the AD355 cars. Has anyone done a Traga type top for these cars?
    Allen

  8. #8
    Senior Member pavo_rodddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Same state as Gotham
    Posts
    818

    Re: 1988 Formula - Automoda Convertible Conversion Pics (Dial-Up Beware)

    Hi all,

    Is the targa portion of the top collapsible....??
    Me, I sell engines, the cars are free.&nbsp; I need something to crate the engines in.... Enzo Ferrari......<br />Today they are called garage&#039;s, yesterday, they were stable&#039;s.&nbsp; Eric Jacobsen...

  9. #9
    Senior Member LZeitgeist's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    106

    Re: 1988 Formula - Automoda Convertible Conversion Pics (Dial-Up Beware)

    Quote Originally Posted by pavo_rodddy
    Hi all,

    Is the targa portion of the top collapsible....??
    The targa section is made of two rigid metal panels (steel frame on the inside, aluminum panel on top) covered by fabric matching the rear section of the roof. They overlap in the middle and go in/come out like T-tops. I currently store them in the rear trunk, but am hoping to rig something up to be able to transport them in the front compartment.
    Patrick W. Heinske -- LZeitgeist@aol.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member superstang460's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1,590

    Re: 1988 Formula - Automoda Convertible Conversion Pics (Dial-Up Beware)

    Patrick,
    Could you send me some pics of your chassis reinforcements? John told me they were very good and effective. Thanks for your time.

    Bob

    superstang460@yahoo.com
    5 out of 4 people are not good at fractions

Similar Threads

  1. My countach build (dial up beware)!!!
    By turbo355 in forum Build Diaries
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 12-20-2009, 08:22 AM
  2. Replies: 19
    Last Post: 08-10-2009, 01:18 AM
  3. My daughter must love me :) DIAL UP BEWARE
    By kermit in forum General Kitcar Chat
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-25-2006, 06:05 AM
  4. automoda convertible top look alike found, and????
    By pavo_rodddy in forum General Kitcar Chat
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-17-2006, 10:59 PM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-18-2003, 11:42 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •