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Is it possible to convert a hardtop into a convertible?
I would like to find out where to add structural support to compensate for the lack of rigidness because of the removal of the hardtop, and the most effective way to do this. Is there are any kits or specific hardware I would need? What type of modifications would be required?
March 13, 2008
Hmmmm, a challenge. What kind of car? Unibody or full frame and do you have an example to look at or take photos of?
August 23, 2008
Yes it is possible, but very labor intensive. I believe American Streetrodder did an artticle on it. You need to find out if the car you are working on ever came in a convert., then compare wieght of your hard top to the wieght of the convert, if the convert is heavier, than the frames are different, and you need to modifyand strengthen your hard top. If you car Didn't come in a convert. then you need to be ready to customize somthing to retrofit on to your car. It would require lots of welding and autobody working skills to pull it off. If you have a lot of really skilled friends and everyone is exited about this project, and will stick it out thendo it. BUT I really want you to think about this long and hard, before attempting. I used to work as an Apprentice (yes really) in a custom auto shop, before I became a mechanic, and after reading this article, I no longer think that this sounds like much fun to do. It is what I would call a very advanced custom job even if the manufacturer made a convertible option for that year and model. There is not enough room to go into mcuh more detail. If you insist that you must go through with this, and have the skills or the money available to you. Google it, read up at the library, know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
sources: Me, Myself, & I
January 27, 2010
Hi, me again, I found that American Rodder issue that I was reffering to. It is " Feburary 1993 No. 45." I reviewed that article again and I must be getting old. Because it really did a jod job of expaining how to do the top part of the conversion. And it does seem rather easy, but did not explain what you would nee to do to reinforce the frame. You should be able to research the differnces with google. Hope this helps.
January 28, 2010
I did some more research, and low and behold, I was wrong again. A 1969 cadillac devile convertible is a little lighter than the hard top version. So that is not an accurate way to tell whether or not your given frame needs reinforcing. I still stand by the research into comparing frames of simmilar or same manufacturer of the given car you are going to modifiy. What is the year and model of your vehicle?
February 1, 2010