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Old 01-19-2011, 05:16 PM   #181
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it seems so far back. I mean that's a huge b-pillar. modern designs almost have no b pillar anymore--it's been minimized to the point of invisibility.

the thick B pillar just makes the top look heavy
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:03 PM   #182
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This fastback kicks ***. But like y8s mentioned, I'm curious to see how much thinner you can get those b-pillars. This Kammback has awesome trapeziums..




And maybe a spoiler running below the deck lid like Simpson Design, I saw that in your prototype rendering. Even as is, this is the best looking Miata roof I've ever seen.


http://www.simpsondesign.net/italia/italia_demo08.jpg

Last edited by Import Al; 01-20-2011 at 03:12 AM. Reason: link
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:42 PM   #183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
it seems so far back. I mean that's a huge b-pillar. modern designs almost have no b pillar anymore--it's been minimized to the point of invisibility.

the thick B pillar just makes the top look heavy
Modern b-pillars supporting a fiberglass detachable top, latches, hinges for a hatch and still maintaining a thin enough cross sectional fiberglass thickness to keep it "slim" externally while maximizing rollbar space internally? This is not a steel roof unibody car.

Believe me I prefer an "invisible" b-pillar as well and had them in my early renders. But the reality is eliminating the oem "step" behind the window and developing a good sealing system was a priority. Tapering the "step" out of the top already thinned the area out. A steel reinforcement would probably be necessary. I can work on making it thinner, but there is a limit. Look at the OEM hardtop. That is thicker and also internally reinforced which cuts into rollbar space and headroom. I've been looking at ways to "fake" it, but they really dont look any better. I guess I can keep at it.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:45 PM   #184
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And maybe a spoiler running below the deck lid like Simpson Design.

Yes, I agree with this 100%. Such a spoiler would completely fix the issues with the back corners as well. We will have a spoiler like this available eventually and it will be designed using CFD. When the top is done I am having it 3d scanned for this purpose. Shhh, I wasn't going to say anything about it yet
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:58 PM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jj_warhorse View Post
Modern b-pillars supporting a fiberglass detachable top, latches, hinges for a hatch and still maintaining a thin enough cross sectional fiberglass thickness to keep it "slim" externally while maximizing rollbar space internally? This is not a steel roof unibody car.
You make a good point. Perspective of actually building the thing!

I guess the oem hardtop isn't that thick either. And you can't really go that thick with foam/honeycomb cores. And bias wound carbon tubing is probably outside the cost scope.

The OEMS put the glass over the structure and paint it black on the inside, right?
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:50 AM   #186
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You make a good point. Perspective of actually building the thing!

I guess the oem hardtop isn't that thick either. And you can't really go that thick with foam/honeycomb cores. And bias wound carbon tubing is probably outside the cost scope.

The OEMS put the glass over the structure and paint it black on the inside, right?
If we were doing this with dry CFRP and foam it would be easier and harder/more expensive at the same time. I just dont have the capacity to do it "right" with carbon yet, and I dont believe in fake carbon woven glass with cheap resin etc. I have an excellent contact in the composites world I've talked to quite a bit who does navy contract, americas cup yachts, and designed the process and plant for aston martins body panels. If I had the capital for cnc'd nickel plated molds, ovens etc and thought people would pay 6k for a top we could do these out of carbon with integrated carbon rollbars and make them so stiff they would handle a roll over no problem and stiffen the entire car while weighing around 35lbs. Thats just not going to happen at this point. Who knows, maybe someday I'll do a handful but I doubt it.

Yup, you are right about the OEMS doing it over the structure. That is how I have been thinking about doing it too. The fglass guys are pretty opposed to it from a strength and simplicity standpoint. It may change, but its not a priority.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:58 AM   #187
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The Simpson Design hard top has very thin b-pillars, although not supporting a full hatch and whatnos, I'd really be interested in seeing how the inside of this top was constructed...



I think the b-pillar can be reinforced with foamcore to allow it to be narrow enough to appease a lot of the comments about the b-pillar thickness. I'm all about some trim to blend the windows together.

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Old 01-20-2011, 02:01 PM   #188
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Did the Simpson top ever actually make it into production?
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:02 PM   #189
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:26 PM   #190
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Just as well. I am not feeling that Simpson top design, though as already mentioned, the small b-pillar design is good.
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:27 PM   #191
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Knowing SD, it would have been like $4000 anyway.
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:46 PM   #192
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The cowl hood SD made was probably the only body part I liked.

I'm still using one of their short throw shifters. I'm sure those have to be pretty far and few by now.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:56 PM   #193
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any updates?
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:05 PM   #194
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All of the progress is currently being spread out over different aspects right now, so I wont have any dramatic update pics to show for a while. The top is off the car and we're working on the interior frame and mounting points. That was worked on all day today actually (saturday). Once we establish this we can start seeing how far we can realistically slim down the b-pillar before we settle on a side window shape. The spoiler is being shaped to be smaller and slimmer and hang off the back edge of the deck similar to the simpson shown above, but of course it will still be 1-piece with overhangs that hug the top down to the rear fenders. I think this change alone will be a big improvement. The rear corners are also being blended in better. Once we have the production molds, the "prototype" you see will start getting hacked on and tweaked to do the NA version.
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:47 PM   #195
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FYI, Just found this with the simpson top:
http://mx5unleashed.com/shop-store.html

Dopp, you were pretty close on pricing
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:51 PM   #196
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the simpson top looks ugly.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:32 PM   #197
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You know...I like the Simpson top in a funky kinda way...kinda like the BMW Z3 coupe funky kinda ugly way. I think if the SD top ditched the funny lines on the back along the bottom and rounded the corners on the back window, it would have looked a TON better.....and with nicely tinted out windows. The vents could be kinda functional at letting high pressure air (window down) out? The design was almost right. I liek it from the side though.
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:34 AM   #198
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I agree about the Z3 coupe style. The side profile does look pretty cool. If I didn't like driving around with the top down so much this would've been something I would've wanted on my car.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:24 AM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Joker View Post
I agree about the Z3 coupe style. The side profile does look pretty cool. If I didn't like driving around with the top down so much this would've been something I would've wanted on my car.
Intro post noob before i eviscerate you and **** on your ****
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:27 PM   #200
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First production mold is done for the main exterior shell. We're hoping to have the first 1-2 "real" tops done in a few weeks. Bpillar has been slimmed down to about 4.5 in. Going thinner without making it truly "invisible" makes it look worse and really throws the side/1/4 window/roof lines off. 4-5 in is the sweet spot for aesthetics and practicality.
It looks like initially we can produce about 4 tops per week. We can double that easily if needed. They will be serial numbered and documented for quality control purposes. I will handle this personally. I'd like to take a 10% deposit to reserve the customers place in line and serial number. I will require the balance once top is ready to get boxed and shipped. It is our hope and intention to keep this time to 30 days or less. I would guess we're about 4-6 weeks from accepting orders. Obviously first will come lots of pictures and details. Initially we will take paypal and cashiers checks. Thats about all I can think of at the moment.
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