Major GTX1 Surgery...


Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
288
Suburban Detroit
More Photos

Any more updates on the missing roof??? :banana
We'll get some posted this week.
Too, busy to photograph anything this past week.

Thanks for watching!
 

Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
288
Suburban Detroit
Doors

Kip-

I sold my GT not long after I bought it, and the impracticality of the doors and the lack of luggage space were two of the main reasons.

I see that someone else now offers a functional solution for the luggage space.

I don't want a removable top, but I suppose I could modify a GT(with major surgery) to remove the tops of the doors, modify the roof to mimic a GTX1 top (although fixed in place), and then use this new sealing solution you are developing?
I had not thought of that, but it is completely feasible.
We'd have to model a couple of seal details, but it could be done.

See how this all works out and we'll go from there.
 

Kirby Vieira

GT Owner/B.o.D
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Sep 22, 2005
1,768
Atlanta
Your attention to detail on even the smallest details is inspiring. :cheers
 

Piana

GT Owner
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Jul 12, 2006
302
Northern California
Sweeeeet!
 

Shelby#18

GTX1 Owner/Moderator
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Dec 15, 2006
1,621
Nev./So. Cal./Minn.
Keep it up Kip! I can't wait to see the final product. :thumbsup
 

Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
288
Suburban Detroit
GTX1 surgery

Kip, you look sooooo serious. It's good to see your face. When are you coming west again? Would love to meet for lunch or dinner again.

Sounds like a fun and worthwhile project Have Fun!!!
Serious? Nah, I guess I was caught in a moment of concentration.

Count on lunch or dinner, the next time I am out there.
Should be soon!

Cheers
Kip
 

Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
288
Suburban Detroit
GTX1 Surgery

It just seems so darn scary.... how do you manage......
Scary? t's not so bad.
I just put on a Journey CD and pretend it is a Camaro...
 
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Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
288
Suburban Detroit
More GTX1 Major Surgery

Here's an update on the hardtop;

There have been two things that have been pretty difficult with this project;
1) figuring out a sealing system to design and fab.
2) figuring out the best way to locate and latch the roof.

The first post covered some of the early work on the sealing.
This post will cover the locating and latching problem.

I have a general rule I try to follow on these things. Focus your attention on your unique problems, not the ones someone else has already solved. Hinges, latches, etc. all fall in that category. Some other much larger company has probably invested a ton of money in validating and tooling a solution you can use. In this case, I had to find a latching system that lent itself to the unique constraints of the GTX1.

I investigated quite a few different vehicles, bought latches to review, etc. and then had a bit of a revelation. The GTX1 targa is pretty much just a GenIII Corvette T-top turned sideways. I bought a set of latches and guide pins and some convertible guide pins, too. This affords me a whole system of parts that have been validated for a similar application and are readily off the shelf.

The other big task was to come up with a system of integrating these parts into the GT and allowing for any potential build variation of the GTX1s.

The really critical part is the header latch receiver. These have to be made unique to the GTX1. Lucky enough, the header casting has a few locator holes that were part of the original fixturing. I have repurposed these master locators as riv-nut locations that my latch receivers will mount to. It gives us a datum point that is the same on all subsequent GTX1s.
Here's a top view of the latch receiver mock ups.
Notice it integrates the Corvette receiver bushing.

Here's a view from inside the car.
These steel mock-ups will be turning into casting paterns to have the production ones produced in cast aluminum. I spent the better part of a week fabricating about three sets of these things before I was happy with this solution.....


Once the receivers are in place, the associated guide pin and latch must be located on the roof side. Here we see the mock up of the guide pin and latch locations on the roof pattern.


For the other side of the roof, I am using the Corvette T-top guide pins and receivers. This was a really cool 'happy accident'. The Corvette part looks like it was designed specifically for the GTX1!

I had to made brackets that allowed for the load path to go into the structural bulk head, rather than take the easy route and have it mount to the composite exterior panel. The bulkheads of the GTX1s were all CNC aluminum. This gives a repeatable datum at the back of the car, which should work as well as the header casting, to provide some repeatiability with fixturing. These new brackets allow for adjustment in 3 planes to provide for any variation of the exterior panel relative to the frame.

Here you can see all of the components located on the roof pattern for mock-up. We use a lot of MDF and body filler at this stage. It allows for a stable surface that we can mount the hardware to. By mocking things up like this, we can validate the installation and function of the guide pins and latches.

Next step is to mock up the seal planes. After this we can make the rear window and then tool up the roof!
Here is the roof pattern on the car.


More to come!
 
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Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
288
Suburban Detroit
GTX1 Surgery

Nice work Kip. I assume it's for a hardtop. :cheers

Hey Kirby

Yep, that is the plan.
I've had some requests for soft tops, but I'll have to ensure we protect Steve Hemstock's interests. He's been working on his for a while and I don't want to interfere with his progress.
 

Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
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Feb 23, 2007
288
Suburban Detroit
GTX1 Roof

Can I be on the list for a hardtop? Black with silver stripe. Will your top fit on all the gtx1's? Or does it have to be custom fitted? I live in Malibu California.
Thanks,
Jeff
First of all, thanks to you guys (Chip, Triheart, Kirby) for the compliments.
This one is a lot of work!

Chip, I am definately making Austin.
However, we will have to stretch the Rally into Monday.
There is no way I am going to be in Austin and miss Dale Watson playing at the Continental Club.

Malibu - definately, we can add you to the list.

The top will work on all GTX1s.
However; there is more to it than just the roof.

In order to get the roof to seal, the door caps need revision (see the earlier part of the thread).
Also, until I see how much car-to-car variation there is, I can't say that we won't have to make some adjustments to the roof to have it fit a particular car. Ideally, we'd have access to the car to fit the caps and fit the roof.

Once this roof is finished, we will make a second one to fit on another car or two. We can then see what variation exists and how to address.

Thanks!
 

Shelby#18

GTX1 Owner/Moderator
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Dec 15, 2006
1,621
Nev./So. Cal./Minn.
Kip,

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. A lot of good info exchanged regarding this top. I look forward to your comments with your visit to my car at Rich's. If you need to call me while your there with Rich, please do.
 

Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
288
Suburban Detroit
Thanks everyone

I want to thank everyone for the kind comments on the project.

Thanks, so much KJSlider.
We are indeed getting a great response to the roof project.
So far, we've got 5 cars scheduled for roofs with another one we are going to try to coordinate overseas.

While I have been here at the Rally, I've had my guys focused on making all the bits for us to assemble into roofs, when I get back.

With the success we've enjoyed on the roof project, it looks like we will be doing some GTX1 conversions, as well.

We have also had some interest in putting the GTX1 clamshell treatment on a coupe with the new roofline we created. It would require modification of the doors, to make them like a 'normal' door and thus easier to get in and out of.

Thanks again, to everyone.
I really appreciate everyone following the thread and offering their support.

We'll do another 'in-progress' thread on the next big project.

Cheers from Austin!
Kip
 

malibu

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Oct 12, 2006
47
Hi Kip,
My GTX1 is available to you in the so calif area. I also had a convt top made for my car. A top shop in Cathedral City Ca. did the work. My cell 310 892-7043.

Jeff
 

Kingman

GT Owner
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Aug 11, 2006
4,071
Surf City, USA
Hey Kip.....what the hell is the deal???


:bored




I don't see ANYWHERE....to buy one of those Ewing T-Shirts :biggrin
 

Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
288
Suburban Detroit
GTX1 Sugery

Hey Kip.....what the hell is the deal???


:bored




I don't see ANYWHERE....to buy one of those Ewing T-Shirts :biggrin
BUY?! Dude, this is why you must come to the Rallys!!!
I GAVE away a ton of them at the Las Vegas Rally.

Actually, I am getting a bunch more made.
We'll offer them through the web site.
 

Kirby Vieira

GT Owner/B.o.D
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 22, 2005
1,768
Atlanta
Thank you for your continuing wonderful insight into your project. It also provides an understanding of why "the top" was always the Achilles Heel of the GTX1. :cheers
 

Kirby Vieira

GT Owner/B.o.D
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 22, 2005
1,768
Atlanta
That is spectacular and brilliant work. Thanks for the update. :cheers
 

centerpunch

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Sep 16, 2005
737
OH/NC
I had not thought of that, but it is completely feasible.
We'd have to model a couple of seal details, but it could be done.
Oh sh**. Then I'd be out of excuses.
 
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Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
288
Suburban Detroit
Gtx1

Oh sh**. Then I'd be out of excuses.
Sounds good to me!
 
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Kingman

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Aug 11, 2006
4,071
Surf City, USA
BUY?! Dude, this is why you must come to the Rallys!!!
I GAVE away a ton of them at the Las Vegas Rally.

Actually, I am getting a bunch more made.
We'll offer them through the web site.
I don't live the life of leisure you do buddy! :lol

They sure look cool.