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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dont like them personally, but I'm looking at some cars with t-tops for a drag car. Is there an issue with body twist, etc with t-tops? Will a cage still be able to be installed?
 

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I can speak for 82-92 f bodies.... t top cars are very weak. Subframes and a 6pt roll bar (at the least) are the only way to stiffen them up. I know the 93 and later years were stiffer from better construction practices by the factory... but still need help.

I like t tops for cruisers like my old T/A but anything looking to hook I want and prefer a hardtop and a set of subframes.
 

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I used to race a 78 Trans Am with T Tops. I had subframe connectors on it and that was it for stability. The car 60'd 1.62s on average and after about 4-5yrs, it started developing a "bow" in the roof behind the t tops. I am sure a 6pt cage would have helped a lot.

My Vette is also T Top BUT its a full frame car, so far I am not seeing any twisting or developing any cracks in the body but I do know that the inside of my car is starting to squeek and rattle like a SOB.....it gets worse after every trip to the track. I can even hear my dash starting to creek/squeek etc....its never really done this before starting to race it, even with 144k miles on it....This does have me concerned because I dont want my car to become a squeeky, rattling, creeking POS....

If you are building a full on drag car, you will have a full cage, sub frames etc etc so I doubt you will have any issues....It will be plenty safe once the cage goes in...
 

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G-body T-Top cars are generally avoided for high-HP usage of any kind.

Just would not put the $$$$ in a t-top car for track usage, if any other choices were available.
 

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I dont like them personally, but I'm looking at some cars with t-tops for a drag car. Is there an issue with body twist, etc with t-tops? Will a cage still be able to be installed?
Drag race a mid 80's camaro T-top a few times and you'll need duct tape to keep the water out when you wash it. Yeah, they twist , the more they hook, the worse they twist. You can fix it all with a good cage. :thumbsup:
Or are we talking twin turbo grand national? :D
 

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Vince,if you are talking about a 78-88 G body,I would avoid it if I had a choice.There are a few guys that gone fast with some turbo Buicks that had t-tops,but again I would avoid it and its not the norm. If you get a G body regardless,there are some bolt on braces that work very well. Like the X braces that go behind the rear seat and the front frame bar that ties both sides together.All bolt on,easy stuff.There is also an extra body mount in the #5 position that only came on the GNX that can also be installed on any G body. Its located in front of the rearend on the drivers side. All these little extras really firm up the car,t-tops or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, talking mid 80's G-body. Kinda figured it was a bad platform. I had 2 1985 F-bodies, and they twisted so bad just pulling onto my driveway that I thought a T-top would pop off!
 

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I have popped out back windows in late 70's camaros and firebirds with subfame connectors. My 79 z28 with subframe connectors ran low 12's and after 3 trips down the strip the passenger door would not open, the t-tops leaked horribly. Bad idea. The g bodys seem to be a little better to the 12's range but get twisted and start to leak in the lower 11's. I also live in the rust belt so no perfect arizona cars here.
 

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I know it's the wrong brand, but my Capri with t-tops has made dozens of runs, although in the low 15's, with no ill effects. It has has subframe connectors for most of its life. Still no wrinkes at the top of the rear fenders. Foxes can easily be braced to hold up, but if I was starting from scratch, I would not pic a t top car.

Had a 74 Firebird with t tops and loved it, but it was quite flexible, chassis-wise.

Absolutely second the advise to add subframes or similar bracing and cage if you do it.
 

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I dont like them personally, but I'm looking at some cars with t-tops for a drag car. Is there an issue with body twist, etc with t-tops? Will a cage still be able to be installed?
No issues that I'am aware of great idea to use them. Those long over night drives no need to pull over to use sexton :D
 

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Yeah, talking mid 80's G-body. Kinda figured it was a bad platform. I had 2 1985 F-bodies, and they twisted so bad just pulling onto my driveway that I thought a T-top would pop off!
FWIW,I have an 87 Grand National w/t-tops.
I have all of the braces and extra body mount like I mentioned.Car is suprisingly tight and no rattles. It is however,just a high 12 second ride at best.I know your goal is far,far quicker than that and I would steer away from a t-top car with that in mind :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
FWIW,I have an 87 Grand National w/t-tops.
I have all of the braces and extra body mount like I mentioned.Car is suprisingly tight and no rattles. It is however,just a high 12 second ride at best.I know your goal is far,far quicker than that and I would steer away from a t-top car with that in mind :thumbsup:
I agree Chris. Was wondering if the G-bodies were a little stronger. Its a shame cause I found a Monte SS with a new crate motor and trans for 1000.00. But really, its not appropriate for what I'm looking to do.
 

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I agree Chris. Was wondering if the G-bodies were a little stronger. Its a shame cause I found a Monte SS with a new crate motor and trans for 1000.00. But really, its not appropriate for what I'm looking to do.
What do you have up your sleeve? you planning on building something REAL fast? like a full on drag car fast? I would definitely stick to a solid roof car if you are thinking 9s or faster. Either that or put like a 10/12pt cage in it right from the start. I have seen plenty of 9 sec GNs with T-Tops....but I bet they leaked like sieve...just like mine do.

I'm curious to see what you have up your sleeve.:yes:
 

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my friend has gone 10.58 @ 130 with 1.42 60ft in an 02 ws6 with t tops.
it has subframe connectors, tq arm, panhard bar, all that chassis stuff. no issues with anything.

aaron
 

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Huh, some of these replies really perplex me. Here is my bracket car:







I raced it for 3 years with no cage, the owner before me raced it and played on the street with it for 15 years.

I put a cage and back halfed the car in 2003.


And my T-top car which is apperently not for racing is getting a n/a 598 dropped in to run the 8.50 index class.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I guess I should revists t-top cars lol!!!

Thanks Rick.
 

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:yes: :thumbsup:

Nice ride Rick...impressive ET!!
Thanks, it's only run 9.7x's to date with a 383 sbc, i'm in the process of doing a 25.5 update to the chassis and putting the 598 in.


Just remember Vince, once you put a bar or cage in the car, the body is just along for the ride. And if this is the G body your talking about for the combo you mentioned to me, you will not have to worry about twisting anything, the combo in question will be very friendly on parts and chassis. Good luck, post pics when you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah Rick, this is regarding my "Fri night special".

Thing is, looking at all these G-bodies, you can get something that needs work for 1000-2000.00. Your looking at a minimal of a paint job, and were not even talking about body work. On the other hand, you can find these "grandma" cars for 3500-4500 that are like mint, something like this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Buic...5806304?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item27b8e602e0

But from a financial standpoint, definitely easier to get into the 1000.00 car and move along as the budget allows.
 
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