Pontiac Firebird 1967-2002 - Holy T-Tops Batman!!




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jRaskell
09-13-2003, 11:29 PM
I had a very freaky first day experience with my new TA this morning. I had the driver side T-Top go flying off while I was cruising down the Highway! Amazingly enough, it landed in the grass median and escaped with only minor scratches and some dirt and grass to clean off it, but that thing must have sailed a good 30-40 feet up into the air. The rear portion of the T-bar roof has a minor scratch running along it as well. Gave me quite the shock when it happened.

Now, I am 100% sure it was securely latched. I had taken them off yesterday afternoon, and I put the back on last night, latched them completely, and gave them both a very solid tug to check. The one thing I hadn't done was lock them. Those latches take a good amount of force to open and close as well. When I recovered the flyaway T-Top, the latch was fully opened though.

I will now make sure the latches are ALWAYS locked, but has anyone had or heard of this problem before? Is locking them enough? I really don't want to have to worry about losing a T-Top again. I doubt I will be so lucky in retrieving it if there is a next time. This is a bit of a concern for me.


NightHawk
09-13-2003, 11:49 PM
It's not all that uncommon. I'm not sure what causes it to happen or if there's any way to keep it from happening :secret:

Smoke_Ford
09-13-2003, 11:53 PM
Your frame could be slightly bent causing the T-top to not sit perfectly.


98_1LE
09-14-2003, 12:10 AM
I can't imaging the car flexing enough for the T-top to come out. I had my drivers side top blow out years ago, and the passenger side was not latched either :eek: I am betting that somehow it was left unlatched.

jrp
09-14-2003, 01:16 AM
LOL, been there done that.

i had my driver side T-top fly off while doing 110mph and it landed on the side of the road unscathed :eek2:. the plastic got a little road rash but the glass was perfect.

i had forgot to lock them after i had washed my car. lesson learned.

trackbird
09-14-2003, 01:35 AM
I just lost one at 80 mph. And, even worse, an S10 blazer found it. Damage was $1724 to the Blazer. I was sure mine was latched as well. But, I guess it wasn't. I'm sure I unlatched it as I put my lunchbox in the car and then decided not to take the tops out. I had the ac on and the windows up and at 80 mph it just blasted off....landed 1/4 mile behind me in the middle of the interstate and on another vehicle. Just my luck.

It sucks, I've been there. Be glad it didn't get destroyed (like mine).

The worst part is that I've never had a wreck (28 tickets, no wrecks other than 1 motorcycle...totalled). I had an accident free discount (and had earned a "free accident" credit, after 9 years accident free you get a "free pass") and since my car attacked another car with part of its self, it was considered an accident (I hit a car by remote control?).

Anyway...keep 'em latched!!!

SLO_POK
09-14-2003, 12:20 PM
This also has happened to me, except Midas unlatched them to lift it in the air. I was doing 70mph on an on ramp and the passenger side T-Top went flying off. I looked for an hour and a half, with no luck. Only to come back to my car with a dead battery, a state trooper shinning a flash light in my car and it was raining. Midas was nice enough to buy another t-top for me.

jRaskell
09-14-2003, 06:51 PM
Well, hopefully lesson learned. I'm going to do my best to make sure I keep them locked. And I'll reiterate again and again, I am 100% certain I latched both sides fully. This is the FIRST car I've owned with T-Tops, and Friday night was the FIRST time I've ever taken them off and put them back on. And you may think that means I could easily have messed up when putting them back on, however that act of putting them on, checking the fit, and giving them a solid tug to make sure they were sturdily locked in place is still vividly in my mind. I even remember wondering if I should lock them, but figured it would not be a problem because the latches required such a firm push to lock in place.

Again, I am 100% sure they were properly latched into place. From now on though, I will always be 100% sure they are firmly latched into place AND locked. If this ever happens again, it will not be by a mistake on my part.

Jorday
09-14-2003, 07:44 PM
Yah, had a t top fly off my car on the freeway and wasn't able to find it. This was a long time ago on my old WS6.

trackbird
09-14-2003, 10:38 PM
Yah, had a t top fly off my car on the freeway and wasn't able to find it. This was a long time ago on my old WS6.



I wish I had simply lost mine instead of having someone else find it with their hood.....

PendragonZ
09-15-2003, 07:07 AM
I could have sworn I've seen this post about a year
ago. Even the wording looks like that old post.

Guess it happens often.

cudaeh
09-15-2003, 07:58 AM
i had that probablem with a third gen i had... it was pushing upwerds of 475hors but yeah body bends a little and pops em right out... under the a piller there is the seat for the t-top pin, make shure that is adusted correctly you sould be able to find the info you need in a hains or chiltons manual..
i was luckey enough to reach up and grabb my top before it came compleetly off... but its somthing to keep in mind next time you role up on a t top car... maby behind them is not the safest place to be. :)

jRaskell
09-15-2003, 12:10 PM
if flex is the potential cause, then I think I need to bump the subframe connectors up the priority list. So, after the front brakes are taken care of, it's strut tower brace and subframe connectors. I'm planning on going LG Motorsports. I like what I've seen on their website and the prices are acceptable if the items are as good as they appear to be.

Smoke_Ford
09-15-2003, 12:22 PM
Subframe connectors will help ensure that they stay on.

deviate42
09-15-2003, 12:33 PM
Subframe connectors will help ensure that they stay on.



how? How can body flex be that bad on the freeway?!?

I dont understand how it came off. When you went to go pick up back up, was the handle opened or closed? I really think you just didnt secure it properly

jRaskell
09-15-2003, 12:52 PM
At this point the only possibility that makes even a little sense, and it still doesn't seem that plausible, is while driving the car pressure on the pins through body flex and/or plain old vibration worked the handle back open to send it flying off.

The handle was fully opened when I retrieved it. The handle does not open or close easily, takes a good tug. Again, I am absolutely positive it was properly latched. Just take that as a fact, cause it is. I would bet the car itself on it. Here is a pic of driver side with door open. That pic was taken two hours before the T-Top flew off. It WAS fully and properly latched. Now they are also securely locked.

http://home.comcast.net/~jraskell/driver_interior.jpg

I had every intention of installing subframe connectors anyways, and strut tower brace was at the top of the list behind the brakes, I'm just bumping up the priority even on the chance it will help prevent this in the future.

HOGGER
09-15-2003, 05:08 PM
Wow I had no idea this was that common of a problem. I've never locked mine, but I will now. :emb:

SloWhite
09-18-2003, 01:39 PM
This happened to Jay Johnson at SLP day in Ennis this year while making a 9.8X ET run. 3/4 of the way down the track the passenger side T-Top went sailing up. There is a video of it over on Ls1.com.

Ackattack1
09-18-2003, 03:51 PM
Are you sure a passenger wasn't messing with it? I just can't see them flying off just going down the highway. I've owned an LS1 f-body for over 3 years and have never locked mine, and never had a problem with them.

sunsetz28
09-19-2003, 03:06 PM
This also has happened to me, except Midas unlatched them to lift it in the air. I was doing 70mph on an on ramp and the passenger side T-Top went flying off. I looked for an hour and a half, with no luck. Only to come back to my car with a dead battery, a state trooper shinning a flash light in my car and it was raining. Midas was nice enough to buy another t-top for me.



Why would they need to unlatch them to lift it? I've never done that with mine. I also never lock mine should I be doing this? Nice avatar by the way. :cool:

B-MAN
09-19-2003, 03:17 PM
I had this problem once, but I forgot to push the latch all the way. I never lock my t-tops,and I do travel at high speeds.
In my opinion I think the car is warped whether caused by an accident or power to the drive train
hopefully it because you car has a sh-- load of power, but in any case it's time for sub-frame connectors, strut tower brace torque arm and shock absorbers

SSmokinz
09-30-2007, 08:02 PM
I just lost mine gettin on the highway at about 125mph and somehow found it unharmed in the grass. Just got a little dirty but got really lucky.

lastcall190
09-30-2007, 08:59 PM
Unbelievable resurrection.

_JB_
10-03-2007, 12:07 AM
holy crap, yeah it is. But for future references, check out http://www.ls2.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=222038

Mullet
10-03-2007, 06:35 AM
This happened to Jay Johnson at SLP day in Ennis this year while making a 9.8X ET run. 3/4 of the way down the track the passenger side T-Top went sailing up. There is a video of it over on Ls1.com.

YES! I was there and saw that. It launched, hung in the air for awhile, then came down with a big CRASH!

I also remember the one guy who went sideways and recovered. I am sure he had to change his shorts on that one.

DannoWS6
10-03-2007, 07:23 AM
It happened to Nautilus on the Eastern section this year.

http://lsx.streetfire.net/video/e36f5631-36d4-4cb7-9b10-9941018328d9.htm

I've been driving my car for 6 yrs and I have never locked my t-top, probably not a bad idea to do it though.

chrisdacarnut
10-03-2007, 03:49 PM
My driver's side t top flew off while I was doing 55mph down the highway. It shattered, come to find out I had just left work and I left my windows down to keep the car cool inside and a jackass decided it would be funny to unlatch it.

lastcall190
10-03-2007, 04:45 PM
Not only do I NOT ever lock mine, but I remember reading a thread a while back of someone who locked his and it wouldn't unlock :lol:

-J

Rawr256
10-03-2007, 06:32 PM
Not only do I NOT ever lock mine, but I remember reading a thread a while back of someone who locked his and it wouldn't unlock :lol:

-J

You have no idea how pissed I would be on a sunny day to have that happen to me! :lol:

YOOFORMULA
10-03-2007, 10:34 PM
I almost lost one on the hwy but caught it as it was coming up. Turns out someone at my job unlatched it when the window was down. In the 9 years I have owned my car I have NEVER not latched the top although I never lock them as the key is a pain in the ass to get out. I now tug them like 10 times while driving to make sure...nervous habit.

xXSilencerXx
10-12-2007, 10:52 PM
I've never locked mine. I did drive on the highway to school and back with my drivers side unlatched though. I had unlatched it to show my buddy how the T-tops shades went in and forgot to latch when I put it back. Talking bout dodging a bullet. I do 80 almost the whole way down the interstate.