Don't know maybe this has been covered. Someone just recently said that the
removable top adds regiddity to the frame. My question. As I drive almost
exclusively with the tinted top, which is lighter and thinner therefore not
as strong as the solid top, does my frame flex more with that top than the
solid top? I would think that flexing, besides being a detriment to
handling, also speeds up the damage to the frame. After all they retire
commercial jets due to wearing out of the structural members etc.
Should I put the solid top back on?
Thanks for your thoughts, Wade in NW Florida
From a structural life viewpoint, I think it's more a case of roof
panel or no roof panel. The plastic insert in the 'solid' top might not
offer much more stiffness than does the 'glass' panel. On the other
side of the coin, I do notice more top 'flexing sounds' with the 'glass'
top on the car. (this is even with a frame brace). I choose tops based
on the weather and how I want to the car to look -- strictly a "vanity
Take the top off and maneuver the car a bit--or drive down a road with a
little wave in the surface or pour the coal to it on a banked track.
Good lesson in frame flex and short period handling response --
particularly with the 'soft ride' suspension.
The convertibles had a frame brace and some of us have added it to our
coupe. Good article in Corvette Fever a couple of months ago. Eckler's
and Mid-America both sell those braces. It's made the C4 'driveable'
with the top off. Dad tells a C4 handling story and may take exception
to this statement - >>:-0
I'd not worry about frame failure; although C4s definitely 'loosen up'
as they age. Dad might observe that, "Jello doesn't develop fatigue
Enjoy the car & don't sweat fatigue -- add a frame brace if you're
It flexes when you have the top OUT, you still have the top frame bolted
in place. Commercial jets are aluminum, which will crack after repeated
flexing, sometimes catastrophically. You have a steel frame, on the
other hand the C6 ZO6 has an aluminum frame so you are unlikely to see
an engineer condone removing it's top with an after market chop job.
Wade Herod wrote:
I have a C4 - 92 Coupe and I take the top off alot when its cooler. Yes
there is definite "Cowl Shake" vibrations without the top.
Be careful handling the top, don't grab the front of it by the thin
framing or it will break off !
It was just a thought. I didn't seriously believe that the frame would fall
apart. I have more concern with where I have to drive to get to the highway
than frame flex would contribute to failure. I have to drive a quarter mile
on a dirt road to get to the highway. And when it gets washboardy I end up
going about 3 miles an hour till I'm through the 50 yards or so of
washboard. Its about time they grade again anyway. :). But the pluses
outway the negatives. I have about a 3 mile flat straightaway just over the
hill from my farm to let the vette feel its legs. And its not too
Thanks to all
Wade in NW Florida
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