T Top Restoration, New SS Panels, Weatherstripping and Pics, Video Of The Process.

GNVYUS 1

Well-Known Member
I'm gonna do this in real time with pictures and videos. This isn't for the faint of heart, this sounds like $5k to fix it, replace and paint like a show car and better than factory.

Ever since I got this GN in 1997 it had issues at the car wash, little water down the a pillar. I did the weatherstripping in the 2000 era and it was not much better.

I am in the final stages of finishing the car, I saved the T Tops for last thinking it was gonna be straight forwards, swap rusted panels, old weatherstripping and all good..NOPE!!!

Here's post 1 of a bunch, I just talked to the body shop and this thing is worse than we thought. I gave the ok for a full restoration, it's gonna be rough but considering I'm not ever selling it, I'm all in.

I got the G Body parts kit, $600

I am painting all trim and SS t top panels body paint. This way when the tops are off it'll match and color flip in the light.

They will need to cut out the area at the top of the windshield. They will sand the middle t top area and rear area along with down the doors.

I'll need a new windshield due to the t top front being roached and it'll probably snap but it's a little peppered anyways, maybe $400.

They'll paint all the window trim area.
I'm already doing the lower cowl and window trim body color.

Here's the video I got before they cut anything out, pretty much stage 2 right now.

Shop is Custom Classics in Island Lake IL, 60042.
You can judge for yourself and when finished trust that someone can do a great job. But they might not want to do another one after mine. LOL
 

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Danster

Senior Member
I had mine done as well a few years back by a local shop. They did an excellent job. I still need to finish it with the same G-body kit you have. Hopefully in th next few months I can get this done. Been too long already.
 

GNVYUS 1

Well-Known Member
Some more pics

They will chop off the top of the windshield this coming week, then blend the new SS piece into the factory windshield frame.

I'm matching all t top pieces and trim with the car color, maybe even paint the outside edge of the t top themselves. I'll post back.
 

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rag231

Well-Known Member
I had to replace the pax side a-pillar because the bottom of it was rusted out also. The driver’s side was perfect. If I had to do it all over again I would have replaced the header panel like you are doing.
 

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GNVYUS 1

Well-Known Member
Ya I'm having them spray the door handles and part of that was so they can take off the door panels and see inside the doors and A pillar. I'm hoping to not hear any bad news Monday.

I'll have other posts on all trim and windshield cowl restoration.
 

rag231

Well-Known Member
Chances are if you had rust holes like that in your ttop area, the water has to go somewhere. Sun visor screws or down one of the a-pillars. At the bottom of the pillar GM installed a black foam and on my car that foam blocked any kind of drainage. Hopefully your body shop didn't pass that kind info to you.
 

GNVYUS 1

Well-Known Member
They've currently cut out the windshield top in the front and they are into the rear rail where they'll be chopping out small areas in the corners vs taking out the whole thing.

I'll ask them about the foam at the bottom of the a arms.
 

GNVYUS 1

Well-Known Member
Mine didn't have any foam at the button, now I wonder if the foam was there in all T Top GNs from the factory and mine was taken out or is the foam added in certain builds from X factory etc, so many questions? Haha

Hopefully the end of this week I get it back, re-appaised and then sit for 3 full months all nice and finally restored. Lame!!
 

GNVYUS 1

Well-Known Member
Getting closer and probably this Friday, but something they found.

Water ran down the driver side A pillar, then onto the floor and would dampen the carpet padding. They're gonna clean up the little rust build up and spread a coating to help stop it from rusting further. Water gremlin is never suspect considering garaged, rarely driven in the rain from 1997 on and only car washed.
 

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GNVYUS 1

Well-Known Member
Getting closer, I did other things like window and trunk trim, door handles etc but maybe Friday it'll be ready.
 

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GNVYUS 1

Well-Known Member
Cars done, I had other items included in my work so the bill isn't exactly what this would cost if it were just T Tops. I'll post more pics of T Tops off later after I get the car in my possession Monday.

Here's a jist of what was extra...

They took out the seats to protect them from the cutting, welding etc.
Had to fix rust on floorboards from water running down pillars from those giant holes in the t top front panel.
I got a new windshield $300
They had to detail the car at 4 hours (engine, interior and outside).

I had them paint everything from T Top panels, windshield pillars, windshield lower cowl to even the side area on the T Tops themselves so the car matched.

You're probably looking at a bill of at least $7k to buy the G Body panels $800 and then body shop labor at $95 hour, to completely restore them and match body paint. Took like 4 weeks (holiday week in there really 3.5) which these days is great. 👍

BTW, Spoolfool Carbon Bumpers, Goodmark Header Panel and Glasstek Fiberglass Hood (hood has an issue I'll talk about in the body shop section).

Getting re-appraised and I think I'm finally done. LOL
 

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GNVYUS 1

Well-Known Member
Pics of the t top edges painted and rear trim panel that runs down the door. I also did the front windshield cowl since the windshield was coming out.

I'll create a thread on t top weatherstripping but the G Body kit weatherstripping has a small 1/2" gap about 3 inches from the windshield.
 

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Thank you for the update. You said you aren't planning to ever sell So I don't feel blasphemous asking this. Did you consider moving to a solid roof?
 

LANDAU LIMITED

Active Member
Why do people ask that?? Did anyone ever say "did you ever consider removing your convertible top and replacing it with a hard top? " How about a moon roof? What's more work replacing the whole roof or just fixing the T tops? I own a T top car and a convertible. Just one of my pet peeves...sorry, just my karen rant for today.
 

GNVYUS 1

Well-Known Member
No, I like the T Tops better visually, they're cool when they're off too IMO even though I rarely took them off. But for sure a hard top would've been cheaper, no doubt.

That's gonna change now because I restored them to mint condition and the original T Top bags were so flimsy I never took them off because I was just worried about breaking them doing any hard hits.

This TTop bag looks legit, unfortunately it's never in stock. I'll definitely drive more with them off after the restoration and getting that bag. $122


I bought a Domino's pizza bag hoping it would fit, it's a bit short, would've been a funny thing to see in the trunk at car shows. LOL
 

longball

I fought the lawn...
Hello GNVYUS1 :)

Good job on the T-Top restoration ! Reminds me of mine! Of course,many said to put a hard top on - it would be easier, cheaper, and stronger.
They were right - but I wanted to keep the T-Tops, so you know the rest of the story :) The T-Top Bags you linked to look pretty nice - looking forward to your post about them!

7-15-2011 119.jpg
 

GNVYUS 1

Well-Known Member
Feel your pain there, my rear rail wasn't that bad though damn!!

Got the bags but they're on back order.
I'll post back after I get them with the t tops in them too. Though IL winter weather isn't the best for this I'll see if on a 35 degree day I can bust it out.
 
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