Convertible Trunk and Top Fabrication Videos for the 240Z-280Z
$25 per DVD (you need both titles)
Fabricating a top for the 240-280Z has been a 9 year learning experience for us. The first cars we did were great-except we did not plan for a top. The trunk was too long to accommodate a folding-back top. A convertible top should lay back easily, preferably as easily as a Miata's top. We eventually reshaped the trunk to accommodate a stock TR-7 top frame's dimensions. This was the perfect solution. Sheetmetal work was easy, compared to making a top fit in an impossibly small area behind the seats.
ZTherapy (formerly Datsun Z Convertibles of Merced, CA) tops start off as a
stock TR-7 frame. To this we weld on bracketry to accept "L"
shaped American car weatherstripping that wraps around the window edge. We
keep the stainless steel window surround in place where it meets the windshield,
to provide tension and guidance. We also add a second tension roller to
the door to further push the window in. The weatherstripping bracketry
also forms the shape of the top as it transitions from the windshield header
The top header (the top frame metal that meets the windshield) is a clamshell design. Look at the TR-7 piece. It has a lower area that meets the weatherstripping, and the upper piece makes the top curve transition.
To make the top lay flat on the strut towers, cut 2" out of the strut tower sheetmetal. Then slice out 2" of the strut tube, below the spring perch. This keep the ride height the same, and does not alter the spring rate. By lowering the strut tower, the top lays flat and flush with the trunk lid. Some cars need adjustment with a sledge to flatten down the wheelwell where it meets the top frame.
No convertible would be complete without a tonneau cover. This is a
marine-grade vinyl covering for the cockpit that snaps in place. It saves
the top from wear, and is more convenient than putting the top up at every stop.
ZTherapy tonneaus have a zipper down the middle, so the driver's side can be
open. The hot Z heater will keep you warm in this configuration on the
coldest mornings. If the tonneau is padded correctly, it can double as a
boot cover to cover the top when it is stowed.
Please do not call for info-it's all in the tape. I get 3-4 hrs a day worth of phone calls about this top design. I never get any work done! Buy the tape, and I will show you how to do it!...Scott