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Thread: Fiero structural integrity--t-tops to targa?

  1. #1

    Fiero structural integrity--t-tops to targa?

    Recently I saw an ad for a Mera that had targa top instead of t-tops? I haven't been able to find any more info on this conversion, has anybody here ever taken a Fiero-based car from t-tops to targa?

    I'd think the targa would have to be customed made, esp. to get the needed waterproofing/sealing, but my main concern before embarking on this job is the structural integrity of the roof (and entire car body). Does the Fiero need that "bar" section across the middle to maintain structural integrity in a roll-over, or is the passenger compartment protected by strong beams in the windshield posts and rear? Likewise, without that middle connection is the car more likely to buckle if hit from the side?

    I know Mera's weren't chopped or stretched, but does anyone know why this wouldn't work without major reenforcement of the frame/passenger compartment (like a roll bar...)?

    Rams Ruul!

  2. #2

    Re: Fiero structural integrity--t-tops to targa?

    would it not be easier to just put the bar under the actual roof, whatever it may be? it may defeat the purpose, but at least you can safely roll your car off the road (like anyone whould try )
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  3. #3
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    Re: Fiero structural integrity--t-tops to targa?

    It will be the same bracing needed to make a convertible.

  4. #4

    Re: Fiero structural integrity--t-tops to targa?

    Check out this thread here for the way Archie is bracing the new Roadster he is building. In my opinion, this is the way that a Fiero should be braced to cut the top off. It appears to be much stronger than the conventional X-brace that people have used so far, plus, you don't have to have that big ugly framework under your car costing you clearance...

    http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/054448.html
    http://www.fiero-performance.com/misc/songman355a.gif&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Fiero-Performance.com&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; [url=http://www.fiero-performance.com/coastrun/]2nd Annual California Coast Run[/url

  5. #5
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    Re: Fiero structural integrity--t-tops to targa?

    I like the way F355Spider did his.

    Song, how is Scott bracing your car?

    thanks,
    toms...

  6. #6
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    Re: Fiero structural integrity--t-tops to targa?

    Thanks Tom it was a lot less trouble than all that heavy steel plate. I noticed when they cut the top it gaped about a half inch oopps. One important part not done yet is capping off the rear door jam when you cut it. I donít see the point in the center console plate the part that moves the most is behind the doors. I wish I had a way to make a video of me teeter tottering my car on jack stands to show everyone.

  7. #7

    Re: Fiero structural integrity--t-tops to targa?

    Archie did the steel around the center console area because he wants to stop flex, not only lengthwise but wdth too... The side supports will stop the car from bending in the middle, but the center supports will stop it from twisting.

    I guess I am not sure who you are talking about where the car sand 1/2". Archie car, with 3 grown men jumping in it, only moved less than 1/16".
    http://www.fiero-performance.com/misc/songman355a.gif&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Fiero-Performance.com&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; [url=http://www.fiero-performance.com/coastrun/]2nd Annual California Coast Run[/url

  8. #8
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    Re: Fiero structural integrity--t-tops to targa?

    Look at the picture you will see the gap that popped open when they cut it and I will still say all that plate there is overkill most of your flex is behind the doors the tank area is already braced from the factory unless you do a flat floor conversion. All you have to do is connect the rear to the front frame sections cap of the pillar behind the door and brace the rear pillar so it will not balloon in and out. Iíve done this I know have you? Iíve seen Archieís work and I bought his kit you cannot convince me of nothing he does.

  9. #9

    Re: Fiero structural integrity--t-tops to targa?

    No, I have not done it.. But I do think there is more than one way to do something. Archie admits that his way is overkill but it only adds about 100 pounds to the car overall. He did overkill on the Stinger too and the guy that bought it was glad he did when he hit the suicide doors backwards and could have ruined the custom work...

    I'm no expert, and I know that Archie is not the end-all of Fiero customization either.. But I do see merit in overkill from time to time... And I don't like X-frames under the car. I guess this is why I am paying someone to do mine instead of doing it myself.
    http://www.fiero-performance.com/misc/songman355a.gif&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Fiero-Performance.com&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; [url=http://www.fiero-performance.com/coastrun/]2nd Annual California Coast Run[/url

  10. #10
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Fiero structural integrity--t-tops to targa?

    I looked at the photo on Archieís site too and once he cut the top, it looked like he had a Ĺ inch gap there. I have been dealing with this problem for years. The movement is behind the rear firewall. It is nice to see him put the reinforcement inside the rocker panel but it will not keep the back end from acting like John Kerry (flip - flop for those who haven't received the word). You need to cap the "B" pillar and run a brace from the rear top of the frame to the reinforcement in the rocker panel. If not it will be a loose goose. The metal along the center console is not necessary either.

    Another method I have seen is to run a 2 X 2 inch length of tubing from the front cross member to the engine cradle. Then weld or bolt the tubing in place. This forms a ladder frame under the Fiero like someone would use if they were building a 23 T Bucket street rod. If you bolt in the tubing you can still remove the engine out of the bottom of the car, otherwise, it has to be removed out of the top since the engine cradle will be welded solid into the new frame members.

    Dave
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

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