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Lightbulb Budget Targa Top - Super lite

I just finished up a really cool project, I will post more of a write up here later, I really don't have a lot of time now but here are the basics;

A.) Materials

1 Sheet of 3/16", 32" x 46" Lexan
16 1/4" Screw post
4 3/4" Screw post
4 3/8" Screw post
2 2" Screw post
One original Targa top folding frame and seals

Clamps
Drill
Screwdriver

B.) Prep

Remove old top
Drill out Rivets
Clean glue off everything

C.) Template

Create a template from cardboard leave about 1/2"
Once you get it right cut the template out from the lexan using a jig saw.

D.) Drill and attach

I will edit this later as I had to do this many times and lots of trial and error. You have clamp it in place and then work from the center to the outer edges making adjustments.

E.) More pictures later



This is my second top, I have a folding one as well, I initially intended to cover it with vinyl but the clear has that "Ace" feel to it and really works well. I used the original seals as well and have driven it at speed in the rain and am proud to report that it seals completely.

Last edited by snbush67; 08-11-2009 at 08:56 PM..
Old 08-11-2009, 08:44 PM
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I'd like to see more pictures.
I bet tinted lexan would be cool too.
I have a Saratoga top that I like alot.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:17 PM
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That is kinda' cool - I definitely give you credit for innovating. Just a couple of quick questions:

Doesn't curved glass form uh... a lens? Magnifying glass effect potentially? I remember seeing a thread on a motorcycle forum where someone custom-made a windscreen (also curved lexan) and it did this, melting the guy's instrument cluster.

Lexan scratches up pretty easily - what to do about that?

Does lexan do anything to shield against UV? I wonder about that. Then again, I suppose if the car is parked inside a lot maybe it doesn't matter.

Very cool though. Interesting thought - almost like the "new" targas look.

Maybe you could rig up a snap-on type of liner that goes on the inside to help with UV/prying eyes. A boat canvas place could probably do that.

I think the fasteners should be not visible. Maybe countersink them/flush fill with epoxy and just do an opaque/black band around the perimeter of the top about 2"-3" wide? Plus this would give a place to grab onto without leaving grubby hand prints on the lexan.

Damn cool idea though.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:19 PM
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Thanks for sharing this project. It looks great! I'm looking forward to reading more about it.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:22 PM
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I was told by the supplier that tint has a different expansion rate then lexan so the tint will split after exposure.

Jeff,

I really haven't noticed a magnification effect but I will keep an eye on it, I hadn't considered that, thanks for the heads up!

"I think the fasteners should be not visible. Maybe countersink them/flush fill with epoxy and just do an opaque/black band around the perimeter of the top about 2"-3" wide? Plus this would give a place to grab onto without leaving grubby hand prints on the lexan."

I originally planned on covering the whole thing, But I like the idea of using a band around the edge to cover the screws and to keep the bugger prints off.

I don't think there is enough material to properly countersink the screws, it would take some finesse, I used 3/16th so I could cold-form it, the thicker piece is 1/4" and I don't think I could have bent it. This top weighs less than the stock top.

Thanks for the comments, the longest part in the whole process was getting the template perfect.

Shane
Old 08-11-2009, 09:34 PM
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WOW, very impressive !!! About a month ago I fabricated a shrouding to perfectly fit an aftermarket intercooler to my 930 tail, so I can relate to the "trial and error" part of your project . . . VERY nice work !!!

R
Old 08-11-2009, 09:35 PM
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I meant tinted lexan, (which you can buy) not window film tinting.
That and black fasteners would be sweet.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:43 PM
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Wowzer.... can you point me to a source for the tinted lexan? I havnt been able to find one.

Curved glass worked out for these guys...

Old 08-11-2009, 09:50 PM
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True - I know there are other curved "bubble" forms so it probably depends a lot on the specifics and radius of curvature, etc. I just remember seeing the "after" pictures of that one guy who made the curved windscreen and - MAN! Just one of those "unintended consequences" things.

I suspect given how shallow the curve is on a targa roof it's probably a non-issue, but just something to think about.

This is a super cool idea that's got a lot of potential for those of us wanting a nice custom touch...
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:58 PM
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Some kind of metal strip around the outside edge would make a nice accent too - just thinking out loud. This is a captivating idea and I keep coming back to this thread to look at it...
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:59 PM
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Cool

P-O-P, thanks I'll keep an eye on it....

P.S. Lexan = 63$
Hardware = 30$
Look on Shane's face when he returns to his smoldering car being hosed down by the Fire Department = Priceless

Whats in your wallet? (can I say that?...legally?)
Old 08-11-2009, 10:02 PM
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Arrow More Pictures









Stock folding top = 22 lbs.

This Top = 17 lbs.

Difference = 5 lbs or 25% weight savings.
Old 08-11-2009, 10:46 PM
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Do you have inserts to block the sun?
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:56 PM
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Darn sexy . I like it a lot!
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:38 PM
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That looks pretty awesome actually, nice job.

Id love to see some pics out in the sunlight
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:43 PM
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Amazing. I'd pay you to make me one if I had a targa.
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:31 AM
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very nice. i have always wanted some sort of hard top for my car. more pics please.

something else i have always wanted was something made out of a cloth with maybe just some rods on the sides that was very easy and quick to put up to keep the sun out while the top is off and i am not in the car. i expect something by monday morning.
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:01 AM
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Excellent idea! I'd love to have one of those!!
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:32 AM
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Thanks for sharing this great idea. I have a second targa top that has a lot of corrosion in the center panels. The frame is good. I know what I am going to do with it now.
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:40 AM
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Wowzer.... can you point me to a source for the tinted lexan?

Here's one source for the Lexan: http://www.mcmaster.com/#polycarbonate-sheets/=35ltid
There's a few options, translucent bronze, gray, white. Also Opaque black, Clear w/ mirror finish. Could make for some interesting looking Targa tops.

3/16x4x4 sheet transl. bronze is $106, not too badly priced...
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Last edited by wowzer911; 08-12-2009 at 05:02 AM..
Old 08-12-2009, 04:56 AM
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