If the car frame isn't cross braced, pull the top and take a drive to
assess ride and handling. Then decide on how and where you'll use the
car with the panel removed. There's consensus here that a 30 mph
boulevard cruise is the most aggressive we get with an un-braced &
topless C4. Dad holds it down to 25 mph and even then expresses panic
and distain! (:-)
When either car goes on a weekend trip my wife and I travel with the
panel on the car. At destination the luggage comes out and, weather
permitting, the panel gets snapped into the cargo area. I occasionally
commute with the panel off--stowed in the cargo area.
Keep the rear hatch & weatherstrip lubed. I chewed up the strip on the
C4 on one weekend trip by failing this basic of C4 maintenance.
Since you manually handle the top when on the road or during a cruise,
there's not much reason for having a hoist to handle it at home unless
it's a disability issue.
My wife sewed a nylon sack for each car. This keeps dust off the extra
top when it's stored on the wall in the garage. She also made a quilted
pocket pad to place on each top when its stowed in the car. This
protects it from the inevitable camera case or shopping bag that gets
tossed in the rear. (My bride shops.) The quilted cloth folds up more
compactly than do the commercial vinyl sacks & pads. Also, cloth
doesn't 'gas-out' on a warm day to stink up the car or put haze on the
'89 Hookercar '02 e-blu 6-spd coupe
As always a well thought out answer PJ, just one omission. When you replace
the panel do it on a level spot and pay attention to the toqure
specification. This replacement effort may be the last time you will ever
have it off.
Dad - Shiver me timbers as they say on the wooder corvettes.
I may not have been clear on my question. I have a 1993 convertible. It
has, as an option, the full removable hardtop from the factory. I do not
have a coupe with targa tops. My previous Vette was my 1986 convertible
Indy Pace Car Edition. I didn't have extra bracing or the removable hardtop
for it and I never had a "flex" problem. I'm leaning toward the rolling
Sorry for the round-about and sorry to drag you through the foibles of
targa owners. The convertible frames were braced from the factory --
It's aftermarket for the coupes.
I agree on the rolling rack if you've got floor space. I tried overhead
storage with an MGA hardtop and still have scars from bumping my head on
it when the car was out of the garage. You'll do far less 'muscling' of
the top with the rack.
'89 Hookercar '02 e-blu coupe
I had a hard top for my 72....sold it because I never used it once I
started using the car only in the summer... BUT I just had it
suspended from the ceiling on pulleys... out of the way ... which was
important for me..... Honestly I did not even cover it...just let it
Actually was thinking about buying a hardtop for my newly acquired C5
BUT...the cost was more then I was willing to pay, I would not be
using it much if at all, and storing it would again take up too much
64 72 & 98 Converts, 76 & 79 Coupes
The rolling rack could requires many more "touches", with removal (I take it
that you won't always have help) with something from above, maybe moving the
car to get the rack under the lid, then moving the rolling rack and top and
returning the car to its parking spot. The more you move things around the
greater the chance for new scratches/bumps!
If you lift and store with pulleys that's it, you get to walk away........
and the top is pretty safe "up there" as long as you have enough room
I had a 65 and took the top on and off quite a bit depending on what I was
doing, weather, etc. I loved my home grown lift in the rafters. Worked for
Old & in the way...., or somebody so disguised, wrote the following at
or about 5/1/2006 11:12 AM:
Homemade and handy works for me with the hardtop for my '94 convertible.
While I usually have help or will wait until I do, I have, on two
separate occasions, removed and replaced the top solo. No way that's
going to happen without the overhead storage routine.
As one or two others have mentioned, the headroom is a problem but once
you've got that licked, overhead's the best way to go in my opinion.
No wasted floor space and it's going to be really difficult for anything
that could damage the top to make contact with it "up there."
Excellent point on making sure it's level.
First topless affair was a night-time trip to watch July 4th fireworks.
Twas a black-a**ed night and I entered a climbing, curving freeway
viaduct at "around" 65 mph. Hit a very wavy stretch of concrete--which
I'd crossed hundreds of times in my 911 with and without the roof. I'd
only had the C4 for a week and wasn't absolutely sure about all things
mechanical. Instant impression was that I'd lost a wheel or that the
steering linkage had broken & I trailed throttle. After the second
gyration I realized that things were cyclic and that we weren't going to
die--right away. Definitely a 'D' ticket ride.
Lesson: Soft ride option and unbraced roof-off ain't a good combo!
'89 Hookercar '02 e-blu coupe
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