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C4 Targa Soft Top lightweight and folding

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Old 04-26-2017, 11:12 AM   #1  
The Designer
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Default C4 Targa Soft Top lightweight and folding

New member as of April 22 , 2017
The Designer
This forum never ceases to amaze me with the information and knowledge " Not Google Junk that you have to sift through "
I love Corvettes . Through the years I have had 1975 Coupe "T-Top" . Tops were pretty easy to install.
1985 Coupe "20 years ago top was heavy, but I could put it on alone.
Now Retired "Aerospace engineer/designer " and much older, I needed a project to keep me busy and out of my wife's hair.
Recently purchased again a 1985 coupe "Barn Find" without a Targa top. Found a top on craigslist and realized I can't put it on alone.
I looked for soft tops on the Internet but couldn't find anything that would serve my purpose.
So I decided to design my own " In the new member section I quoted, as a joke, " how hard could it be ??!! "
This is why I found your discussion on the C4 targa tops very informative. Never understood these 8 mm bolts?
Where are the latches ?
I just ASSumed the C4 Coupe would be on a convertible chassis.
Knowing the problem of Vibration Existed , and still manufactured them??
Back to my original post in the new member section, I am designing and manufacturing a personal " light weight , folding convertible top " Will now be a lot stronger.
Many Thanks to the CF members.
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:59 PM   #2  
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I am designing and manufacturing a personal " light weight , folding convertible top "
If you mean a light weight targa top, I might be interested. There are some available, but they are expen$ive.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:55 PM   #3  
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I own such a top. The foldable top is from Vettop called a Day-Tripper. Purchased in 1998. It folds in half, has convertible top fabric and bolts to the existing C4 top locations, and has OEM window weather-strip. Problem with the top is when I drive 65mph, wind will whistle through the center of the top and if it leaks air then it will leak water.
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:17 AM   #4  
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Default C4 Targa Soft Top lightweight and falling

Just realized you have the top everyone says existed years ago. I could never find info on it. You mentioned that the header leaks at 65 mph. I knew that would be a possible problem, trying to keep the header profile thin between the two mounting points. I am now reinforcing that section ,Thanks
I have a ton of questions: Construction,

Frame material, Type hinge , Header seal,
Side window seal " you said OEM" ( I was trying to avoid that price ), Rear seal , Side tension cables , Top material "Haartz" ?, Side pads, Folded size, Weight , How did it store in the trunk , How much space was left , At 65 mph : Noise, Ballooning of fabric , Vibration, At higher speeds what would happen ? Finally : How did it look like GM made it ? Price?
A lot of questions yes, you are my only connection to the past.

My Proto type Specs :
Frame: Aluminum 6061 flat bar stock
Weight: Approx 10 to 12 lbs
Folded size : 14" x 44" X4" high
Top mat'l: Haartz
Side pads
Side tension cables
Weatherstripping : Header, Rear and Sides



Thanks in advance
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Old 04-28-2017, 02:28 PM   #5  
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Sorry, cannot get more specific on how it was designed. Was not cheap, $475 from Corvette Central. After I found out it leaked air going down the Interstate I didn't use it much. Never seen rain. Another flaw is the front mounting positions. The main adjusting hardware for the 2 bolts (by the visors) is incased in a plastic frame and if the plastic breaks then new adjustment will be impossible. So right now I have no problems attaching the top to the windshield frame to my car. Will I use the top again, I doubt it but makes a great back-up top.
My C4 was a part time DD from 1995 to 2007 where I purchase a 2007 C6. Trade in on my 88 was so low I kept it. Now I am driving a 2015 C7 and my 35th C4 is slowly being restored (needs new paint) which I am in the process of doing all the prep work myself, this coming fall and winter.

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Old 04-28-2017, 02:30 PM   #6  
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I'll take a few pics when I get back home on Sunday and post them for you.
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:22 PM   #7  
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There is also the fox rain coat soft top. I have one. I haven't installed it yet on my Vette because I need to repair it first (it was damaged in shipping from the guy I bought it from). But the same general principle.

https://www.ecklers.com/corvette/cor...-121896-1.html

Last edited by daverulz; 04-28-2017 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 04-28-2017, 07:08 PM   #8  
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Default C4 Targa Soft Top

Thanks for getting back to me. Love your C4 absolutely beautiful, side pipes 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. I have a long way to go before mine looks like yours. I got sidetracked for a year with this Soft Targa Top build.
It would be great if you could send pictures of your top I need to know what it looked like

My Soft Targa Top that I designed and built looks as if General Motors manufactured it as an option . That was the plan from the beginning because I couldn't find anything on the Internet .
As we speak I am reinforcing the front header Per your suggestion about water leakage.
Regarding the front mounting bolts my top has a floating attachment system that uses the C4 existing bolts . Right now my top fits '84, '85 and early '86 ( first mounting configuration ) and can be easily adaptable for the other two later configurations
Looking forward to seeing the pictures .
Also send pictures of the C7
All input is greatly appreciated
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Old 04-28-2017, 07:32 PM   #9  
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Default C4 Targa Soft Top

Thanks for the info on the "Rain Coat "
Nice top .
I wanted something that I could leave on and take off easily so I would never have to use the heavy targa top.
This is the main reason why I decided to build this .
Almost complete
Thanks Again
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:05 PM   #10  
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Here are the photos of the Vette Top









OEM weatherstripping



center hinge

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Old 05-01-2017, 07:12 PM   #11  
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Default C4 Targa Soft Top

HAD2HAV2
Thanks for the photos, exactly what I was looking for.
I see the mounting points, in the Plastic Header, are deteriorated and further use , like you said , wouldn't be possible to install properly.
Passenger side is really bad.
Vibration will cause this type of damage.
All and all it looks like a nice top, I can see why you purchased it.
$475 wasn't bad back in 1998 for the design and construction of it.
It's too bad that it didn't hold up.
My design is different and soon as I can figure how to post pictures on CF I'll show you my top.
Thanks again for your time and photos.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:08 PM   #12  
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If your design does not use Velcro that would be a huge plus. I'm interested to see what yuo come up with!
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:29 PM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Designer View Post
HAD2HAV2
Thanks for the photos, exactly what I was looking for.
I see the mounting points, in the Plastic Header, are deteriorated and further use , like you said , wouldn't be possible to install properly.
Passenger side is really bad.
Vibration will cause this type of damage.
All and all it looks like a nice top, I can see why you purchased it.
$475 wasn't bad back in 1998 for the design and construction of it.
It's too bad that it didn't hold up.
My design is different and soon as I can figure how to post pictures on CF I'll show you my top.
Thanks again for your time and photos.
The Designer
The makers of this top relied on too much thin plastic. This top is a good idea but needs better materials.
Interested on what you can come up with.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:40 PM   #14  
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Default C4 Targa Soft Top

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85 Stalker View Post
If your design does not use Velcro that would be a huge plus. I'm interested to see what yuo come up with!
Thanks for the interest.
No Velcro was used in my Top.
It looks, and folds back, just like a standard convertible top. Has Weatherstripping (not OEM) at the header, rear frame, side windows and all are adjustable.
Thanks to HAD2HAV2 suggestions and photos . I am in the process of finalizing the prototype and soon will be posting photos.
Thanks again
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:50 PM   #15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Designer View Post
Thanks for the interest.
No Velcro was used in my Top.
It looks, and folds back, just like a standard convertible top. Has Weatherstripping (not OEM) at the header, rear frame, side windows and all are adjustable.
Thanks to HAD2HAV2 suggestions and photos . I am in the process of finalizing the prototype and soon will be posting photos.
Thanks again
THe Designer
Hope the copy writers don't come after my azz.
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Old 05-31-2018, 08:36 PM   #16  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daverulz View Post
There is also the fox rain coat soft top. I have one. I haven't installed it yet on my Vette because I need to repair it first (it was damaged in shipping from the guy I bought it from). But the same general principle.

https://www.ecklers.com/corvette/cor...-121896-1.html
I found the same thing that most Vette owners don't know that Motor City out of MI. has one that fit a 2016 corvette and that is my car. So I ordered it and it will be here sometime next week. I think some of these Rain coat soft tops that say 1989 to 1996 are the same item, no sure, but I know it has a guarantee that it will fit mine. I found it through Canada and they sent me to Motor City. just for FYI.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:51 PM   #17  
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Didn't realize they offered the fox raincoat to fit newer Vets interesting
As I said in my post earlier I wanted something that I could leave on and replace the heavy hardtop
Soon will be posting photos of the top I designed
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:37 PM   #18  
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C4 Targa Soft Top
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:43 PM   #19  
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To Remove Top:<br/>Disconnect (2) front mounting bolts and fold back.<br/>At the rear are (2) *****, that replace the ratchet tool. Turn ***** CCW 6 to 8 turns and remove top.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:02 PM   #20  
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Folded top stores neatly in back, utilizing existing brackets, secured with straps.<br/><br/><br/>
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