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Old 02-10-2021, 09:32 AM   #1
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New Member, Z-Art Question

Good day, all.

I was eight years old when Porsche put its 914 concept on display. I had to wait a half century, but I finally own a Porsche, a 1999 Boxster 986 Tiptronic, 85,000 miles, very good condition, bought it from a guy with a small collection and a very nice back story linking him to Formula One.

It is almost exactly the car I have waited for all these years, and I just grin every time I walk into the garage.

My question: I will be installing the Z-Art Cayman-style hardtop. Has anyone here installed one, then installed a sunroof?

And yes, I know just how insane it sounds to take a convertible, install a hardtop and then install a sunroof. But this is about lust and aesthetics, not reason. If it was about reason, I'd drive a 15-year-old Honda Accord.

This is about giving that eight-year-old boy exactly the gift he's waited 50 years for.

Appreciate any and all input in helping make this project happen.

Best to all of you, and be well.

Michael.

p.s. Tried to upload a pic, but board kept rejecting it. The last error message said I was wearing white shoes after Labor Day. Sigh ...

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Old 02-10-2021, 10:38 AM   #2
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Start here: Z-top thread

Search the forum for zeintop. There's a ton of info.

The link above will keep you entertained for hours. It's the best z-top build I've seen.
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:37 PM   #3
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Good day, all.

I was eight years old when Porsche put its 914 concept on display. I had to wait a half century, but I finally own a Porsche, a 1999 Boxster 986 Tiptronic, 85,000 miles, very good condition, bought it from a guy with a small collection and a very nice back story linking him to Formula One.

It is almost exactly the car I have waited for all these years, and I just grin every time I walk into the garage.

My question: I will be installing the Z-Art Cayman-style hardtop. Has anyone here installed one, then installed a sunroof?

And yes, I know just how insane it sounds to take a convertible, install a hardtop and then install a sunroof. But this is about lust and aesthetics, not reason. If it was about reason, I'd drive a 15-year-old Honda Accord.

This is about giving that eight-year-old boy exactly the gift he's waited 50 years for.

Appreciate any and all input in helping make this project happen.

Best to all of you, and be well.

Michael.

p.s. Tried to upload a pic, but board kept rejecting it. The last error message said I was wearing white shoes after Labor Day. Sigh ...

I love the idea. Not for me, but I still love it.

So, if you don't already own a Z-top then you don't know there is a padded section in the middle of them. I think its there just to break up what would be just a big sploch of exterior colored paint. Regardless of why there is a section of padded carpet on the inside it would make a perfect place for a moon roof.


If you wanted it to be just a moon roof that doesn't open that is easy as pie. Get a glass roof from a car at a junkyard and cut a hole. Use some urethane to seal it in and put the OEM trim strip from the donor car to make it look sharp. If you have the trim from the junkyard car and the moonroof glass is urethaned in strong you'll never know it wasn't factory.

Just a thought but eclipses are plentiful in the junkyards and lots of them had moon roofs. Seems about the right size too.


A movable top or removable top would be a VERY daunting task. I don't even know where to begin making that happen. Your cuts would have to be super precise. And I don't imagine it would be any easier to get it to seal at speed (don't know about you but I paid for the whole speedometer I wanna use it).
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Old 02-10-2021, 08:40 PM   #4
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A removable sunroof would actually be easy. This was a common item to install in custom 70's vans. It consisted of a trim ring with cam levers in the rear to tilt open and pins for removal of the glass. An RV dealer should have something available.
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:06 PM   #5
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A removable sunroof would actually be easy. This was a common item to install in custom 70's vans. It consisted of a trim ring with cam levers in the rear to tilt open and pins for removal of the glass. An RV dealer should have something available.
Yeah, but it would be flat; the Z-top is quite bubbly.
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Old 02-11-2021, 06:18 AM   #6
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p.s. Tried to upload a pic, but board kept rejecting it. The last error message said I was wearing white shoes after Labor Day. Sigh ...
Sorry I have nothing to add to the sunroof topic, but the site has a 5mb limit for siggy pics. Check the size of you photo and 'shrink' it if necessary.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:48 AM   #7
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Thank you all. The curvature of the top was exactly my area of concern and why I'd asked if anyone had actually cut one in. If anyone has an image of the inside of the Z-Art top without the leather upgrade, I'd love to see it. Also, if anyone knows the actual thickness of the fiberglass in the roof above the seats, that would be helpful, too.

Was not thinking anything retractable - WAY too complicated! But I did remember the removable moon roofs of my youth, and they still are available. I was thinking something like this:

https://www.dkhardware.com/sfc-18-x-28-newport-sunroof-dual-with-contour-and-with-molded-trim-ring-solar-high-performan-np1828b6hd-product-22510.html

... but was unsure if the installation would fit with the curvature of the roof.

The Eclipse idea is brilliant. I've also got another idea for a removable panel, but I think I'll have to wait until the unit actually arrives to figure out how to accomplish what I'm shooting for.

Anyway, not like I'm going to suffer by hauling around in a convertible for a few months ...

And that phrase, "I paid for the whole speedometer and I wanna use it" is going into heavy rotation in my lexicon.



I keep telling the city they need to remove that light post because it ruins my vehicle photographs, but they just get mad ...
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:53 AM   #8
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Start here: Z-top thread

Search the forum for zeintop. There's a ton of info.

The link above will keep you entertained for hours. It's the best z-top build I've seen.
I have lurked on that thread for months. That car is so gorgeous that it even convinced my wife that a Porsche would be a good idea. That gentleman's work was detailed and meticulous and the finished product was amazing.
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Old 02-12-2021, 08:55 AM   #9
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Heres a pic of the inside.
Just my 2 cents though. You really dont want to do this. It will just look tacky and ruin your top. They arent made to be cut.

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Old 02-13-2021, 09:03 AM   #10
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Thanks for the pic - and the advice. I'll keep an open mind until I can get a good look at whatever arrives off the slow boat from China. And there's a shop near me that specializes in sunroof installs. I'll see what they have to say there.

If I've learned nothing, it's that listening to expert advice is usually a pretty good idea. On the other hand, some of the best moments of my life have come shortly after saying, eh, what's the worst that can happen?

Appreciate the input. Gonna take the car for a spin today ...
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Old 02-13-2021, 11:17 AM   #11
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Once you get it you'll see what I mean. The fiberglass on the middle of the roof and hatch is not thick, double walled but thin. I think cutting a big hole would effect the structure integrity. They flex some anyway without a hole. If you need anything once you get it just let me know.
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Old 02-13-2021, 08:06 PM   #12
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Thanks for the pic - and the advice. I'll keep an open mind until I can get a good look at whatever arrives off the slow boat from China. And there's a shop near me that specializes in sunroof installs. I'll see what they have to say there.

If I've learned nothing, it's that listening to expert advice is usually a pretty good idea. On the other hand, some of the best moments of my life have come shortly after saying, eh, what's the worst that can happen?

Appreciate the input. Gonna take the car for a spin today ...
Keep the bits they cut out. Worst case scenario you have to glass them back in. If you glass it well it should be mostly unnoticeable.

Glass the outside from the inside first so any "lumpy" will be inside the two panes of fiberglass. Then glass the interior; any lumpy glass buildup can be covered with a headliner.
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Old 02-14-2021, 02:40 AM   #13
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Idea seems cool. You have to cut through the outer and inner shell. Not sure about the rigidity.
The curved z-art roof is very prominent, so everything but a seamless super smooth transition might not look too fancy.
Or if you are not planning to have such a surgical built precission, just install a hipster roof rack on top. Will distract the attention.

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Old 02-14-2021, 10:55 PM   #14
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Keep the bits they cut out. Worst case scenario you have to glass them back in. If you glass it well it should be mostly unnoticeable.

Glass the outside from the inside first so any "lumpy" will be inside the two panes of fiberglass. Then glass the interior; any lumpy glass buildup can be covered with a headliner.
I road race motorcycles, so I've got a little experience with fiberglass repair ...

But yeah, that's part of what I was thinking, that if I keep the pieces that are cut out, they can always be 'glassed back in. If the job is out of my league, I know a guy who's been doing fiberglass boat repair for a few decades now. I try to always have a backup plan or a plan to revert back to the original state.

Will have to look at the top when I get it to check for rigidity, curvature of roof, etc. What is it they say - no plan survives first contact with the enemy? If the removable panel doesn't appear feasible, there's always the idea of pulling a mold from the roof, using the mold to do a Lexan panoramic panel and figuring out a way of installing that. But we'll see what we're working with first.

And JB, seriously - I really don't think of red as a Porsche color, but yours is the nicest red one that I've seen since the Herrmann and Attwood one from 1970.

p.s. Anyone, your experience with the Wurth wheel paint? I have a couple of scuffs that I'd like to fix ...
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:02 PM   #15
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Idea seems cool. You have to cut through the outer and inner shell. Not sure about the rigidity.
The curved z-art roof is very prominent, so everything but a seamless super smooth transition might not look too fancy.
Or if you are not planning to have such a surgical built precission, just install a hipster roof rack on top. Will distract the attention.

I feel that the factory should hunt down and confiscate any Porsche two-seater with a hipster roof rack ...

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Old 02-15-2021, 07:24 AM   #16
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Anyone, your experience with the Wurth wheel paint? I have a couple of scuffs that I'd like to fix ...
I bought 2 cans, looks like a match but both cans were defective because of a recall they had several years ago. The seller woudnt replace the cans, but did refund my money, so make sure you dont get any old cans.
Thanks for the compliment. I've gone green temporary.

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Old 02-15-2021, 07:39 AM   #17
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I road race motorcycles, so I've got a little experience with fiberglass repair ...

But yeah, that's part of what I was thinking, that if I keep the pieces that are cut out, they can always be 'glassed back in. If the job is out of my league, I know a guy who's been doing fiberglass boat repair for a few decades now. I try to always have a backup plan or a plan to revert back to the original state.

Will have to look at the top when I get it to check for rigidity, curvature of roof, etc. What is it they say - no plan survives first contact with the enemy? If the removable panel doesn't appear feasible, there's always the idea of pulling a mold from the roof, using the mold to do a Lexan panoramic panel and figuring out a way of installing that. But we'll see what we're working with first.

And JB, seriously - I really don't think of red as a Porsche color, but yours is the nicest red one that I've seen since the Herrmann and Attwood one from 1970.

p.s. Anyone, your experience with the Wurth wheel paint? I have a couple of scuffs that I'd like to fix ...
AHRMA? Recently I've got the inklin to try out flat tracking. My buddies dad did it back in the 70s and 80s, but I figure it might be terrifying enough for me.

You seem like you got more experience than me on glass. I just lived aboard a boat for a few years. That'll teach anybody how to "make it work", but make it pretty is a different story that I never read. lol
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Old 02-15-2021, 11:26 AM   #18
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I bought 2 cans, looks like a match but both cans were defective because of a recall they had several years ago. The seller woudnt replace the cans, but did refund my money, so make sure you dont get any old cans.
Thanks for the compliment. I've gone green temporary.

The red looked great... best yet I've seen.

The green has been growing on me. You nailed the wrap. The car looks great, JB.
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Old 02-15-2021, 06:15 PM   #19
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AHRMA? Recently I've got the inklin to try out flat tracking. My buddies dad did it back in the 70s and 80s, but I figure it might be terrifying enough for me.

You seem like you got more experience than me on glass. I just lived aboard a boat for a few years. That'll teach anybody how to "make it work", but make it pretty is a different story that I never read. lol
I can do racer-quality glass that gets the bike to the next race - it looks good when I'm on the track and you're in the stands! But that's enough to give me an idea of what's possible.

I've done AHRMA a few times (my one and only "National"-level podium on a nasty custom Single) but I usually race WERA West. And it's funny how everyone has different fear triggers. Flat track, like motocross, looks terrifying to me. Knee-down at 120 mph in Turn Eight at Willow, though - no problem ...
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Old 02-15-2021, 06:17 PM   #20
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That's a wrap? Very nice ...

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