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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all-
Been visiting this great site for a while... but this is my first post.

I'm well underway on my project, and I've reached a cross-road on which I'd appreciate some input ("BEFORE" I start [not "IF" I start] cutting/removing).:D

Long post... so TWO questions first (then, if anyone cares, followed by why I ask):

1. Is there intended structural function of the pkg. tray support beam... beyond supporting the tray tin -and- being a curtain rod?

2. Has there been any experienced body-strength issues caused by removing sheet metal from roof... like from what would've been necessary to install an aftermarket pop-up glass sunroof?

My gut-feeling is that these areas are not too critical & I should fire-up the plasma cutter... but the cumulative effect on strength (if any) with removal (to the body-frame) is truly a mystery to me.

---- that's it... here's the "why"... ---

The interior-rear will be "opened up" (everything above fuel tank will be finished off as great area). Sooo... the window package tray support is in my way... but not for too much longer!

Also, the center of roof will be cut/removed over seats, & replaced with a removable -or- slide back fabric cover. Here I could lose a little lateral body support as well.

The roof opening will not involve pillars, jams or cross-frame above windows... and will be cased-in with tubing attached at remaining stub ends of cross supports... returning some of the roof strength. A roll/show bar will be fitted into my new-style rear compartment and bolted into floor... I COULD tie/bracket roll bar uprights to side body (at former attach area of pkg. tray support) & probably add/exceed what initially was lost.... BUT a custom roll bar made for custom interior will be the last thing available to make/install... and side bracket addition/placement would mean undoing something already done.

Advance thanks!
Dan
 

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Just a quick thought at the end of work. Rear window tray? I believe w/o that in a roll-over, it body could have a sissors effect where they meet the tray Like ths: > :) < to this: >:mad:<. Don't have time to draw. My 2c's on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Like ths: > :) < to this: >:mad:<.
Old Hippie- FUNNY! - I like you already! At least open roof will allow my severed head to be thrown clear and unharmed from wreckage!
 

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OrangPeEL, I would suggest you get in touch with J. J. Wheatley at DESTEC, he does frequent this site. He built a beautiful Aero GT some years ago, and probably has some insight in what it would take to maintain structual integrity in the project you have in mind.

Ron
 

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Have you considered putting in a rollbar, for that extra feeling of security, not to mention the stiffness it can add to the chassis?
There are some kits available, or you can have one custom built to fit your needs.
There have been numerous rollbar chats here at gt.com.
My personal experience with GT's is limited to the one we call Speedway GT, being built for high bank asphalt circle track racing. What was a pretty junky GT is now a bunch of rollcage piping to which the original outer skin attaches to make it appear to be an Opel.
What I discovered in this process is that the GT is an amazingly well-built, sturdy little car!
To hack up that engineering will no doubt weaken the car, but adding a rollcage will fix it, plus some!
Lots of your new friends at gt.com will be happy to help you, believe me, ask questions and you will get answers, pictures, drawings, and more!!
 

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Cutting the roof, just the thin sheet metal part, is no differet than any other sunroof install. IT IS when you do cut the beams and such. this is explained when you buy the Targa kit form Gil, or LENK tuning. The frame of the GT has to be strenghtened BEFORE the roof frame is cut, but, seeing as how you're not cutting those, and there are several GT's running around that have had a glass flip up sunroof installed, you can do it. But, there is no manufacturer right now with a glass roof panel that small and curved for the GT. As for the rear package shelf, I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for input (and not trying to change my mind ... [I wouldn't have listened anyway]). Doesn't sound like it'll spontaneously "fold-up" when I open a door, so COOL... this is definitely doable!

Clarifying- a glass sunroof isn't happening... just a similar (but bigger) cut to the roof. I'm glad to hear some pop-tops have been installed. A canvas lid is my ticket (did it years ago on a Baja VW... looks right+no leaks+BIG air = FUN!) :cool:

Rollbar will be installed... weather or not I utilize the uprights to restore/add rigidity to body between rear qrtr.wndws is still kinda TBA. Since pkg.tray rmvl. hasn't? been done (for street) yet, I guess there's no wrong way... just a long way... & the latter probably being best.


Unrelated Quasi-Wisdom: Toyota Paseo seats are similar sized to GT, are George Jetson/Recaro-styled, can be lowered/bracketed to use GT sliders & look awesome when MOUNTED in the car! BUT, if drivers/passengers near the 6ft tall mark, the ONLY proper transplant for this "wonderful find" is in the dumpster at work.:mad:
 

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rear shelf

On the GT I had prior to the current one I ditched the rear shelf and never did put it back. I just finished off the rear behind where it had been and left it at that. It was great for tossing stuff into! I'd have already done it to the GT I currently have if I wasn't trying to get rid of it and the interior wasn't so nice.

I'm not sure how I'd feel about both cutting the hole and ditching the shelf. That's a fair amount of metal to remove with nothing structural going in in it's place.

BTW, which sunroof are you planning on using? The GT roof has a lot of curve to it and may be hard to get a good fit in. I'm planning on one of these for my Kadett sport coupe next fall:

http://store.yahoo.com/streetbeatcustoms/slidragtop351.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
oldopelguy-

Ahhhh yesss... then it (pkg.tray rmvl.) HAS been done. THANKS!Removed tank to replace lines (this is where it started for me)... and I gaze lustfully at ALL that potential CubcFt! No way will I focus resto-mod efforts on covering it back up.

The sliders you are looking at would be slick- cost is about 25% LOWER than what I recall researching (15 years ago!) when I cut the Beetle. I didn't buy one.

For the GT, I'm leaning towards expanding experience on my trial-by-fire Beetle top... but this time case-in the hole so I have something to attach peripheral headliner to. Snaps along sides/back, slide-in rope channel to secure front. On Beetle, my upholsterer turned me on to a neat heavy canvas-feel weather fabric that was black (match interior color) on one side & tan (options available) on other. Bend up cut-edges about 1/4" at 45 (makes a seal lip), cap with edge guard, & stretch top over hole.

With this setup, I'll be able to match hole-cut radii at front w/curve of windshield. I'm more concerned w/that than existing curvature of roof in-between main frame channels. Probably all materials + upholstery work will cost about $200 & some time (I don't sew... YET). Snaps definitely aren't as cool/convenient as a slider, but I'm scared of the universal fit and extra parts that allow it to function right. But, that's just ME! ... and I DO like the slider idea!

-Dan
 

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pick-up bed stuff

If you're not planning on a slider, take a look around at some of the newer pick-up bed covers. They are using some pretty slick mounting systems these days, much cleaner than snaps. At a minimum, get a couple of the "suppot rails" meant to go across the bed and hold the bed cover up; cut to length, curve right, and let them keep tension on the top while making it curve the way it's supposed to.

One of my friend's has a bed cover made out of waterproof trampoline material. It's Very stong and looks great, with no flapping around even when partially open.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I cut it... big hole top.

Made a headliner, but still need a lid (it WILL be tonneau style).
Interior & rollbar is laying loose for now as I figure how I'll finish it off...
...not ready for full reveal yet (in 2 weeks I think it'll be rolling).
Can hardly wait! The view of my garage ceiling is getting kinda old!
 

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OPEL-LESS!!!
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looking good, i really like it.
 

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Pathologic Opeler
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amen opel brothers

it is looking goood.
 

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Hey, I live in Portland. I would love to come by and take a look. Email me if this is possible.
Not to pat myself on the back but I am excellent at picking problems from machines. (cars are just machines after all). I can give you my 2c as to where you may get problems in the future.

Looks real good so far though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
closure...

WAY behind schedule... but I've finally got "closure" on this thread and the hole I cut in roof! Here's the product...

[edit-add] ...I think/hope pics to follow... something seems different... and... :eek:
 

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Cutting The Top Off

I did not do the work on my car my self "OPELSPYDER" aka Keith did all the handy work. He knows alot about the subject and did a wonderful job on this car. (Then I bought it from him) It has lots of under body supports to hold it all together. My point is, if a roof is needed... I have not missed it. I would think that cutting in a sunroof would be fine.
Keep us posted with pictures. Sounds like a fun project.

Enjoy,
Dallas
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Drawing exhaust fumes forward, over rear window?

My GT open-roof project (thought I was done) has thrown me a curve... exhaust fumes (slight) in cabin when moving 5~35mph. Only happens when the top is OFF, and door glass is partially/fully down. No problems with top OFF and windows UP. No problems with top is ON (door glass up or down). I believe these fumes are entering over rear of sunroof opening (opposed to in thru grommets & gaskets). GT has a front air dam... (I may be towing extra GT poop along behind me).

Not a targa top, but opening area is similar... I'm wondering if targa owners experience this? and/or could one of those euro-style spoilers (across top of back window) move low-pressure pocket rearward... or scrape that backdraft away from roof?

Input appreciated!

-Dan
 

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Exhaust fumes

I had the same problem with my Opel GT. I put in a sunroof and exhaust would come in. I found absolutely no place where the exhaust was entering but I also noticed the there was more exhaust when I was towing my small trailer. I had openings on the side markers in the rear and always believed they were the culprit.
I add that the exhaust came in when towing whether or not I had the sunroof open.
I wonder if the Opel design is so touchy that the slightest modification to the contours will create a backflow of exhaust.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm
 

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did you happen to finally cut the rear package tray out of the gt? if so how did that go? any weaknesses noticed in the body? or maybe just making a roll bar going around the rear window would help compensate for any body weakness if any...

adam
 
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