'76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

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'76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by DaveFury on Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:36 pm

Hello All,

I just joined today, what a great forum! I have a question for the body guys. Does anyone know, on a '76 Cutlass if the opera window and rear window panels are the same on a Brougham car as a full vinyl or hard top roof car? The reason I ask is that I want to permanently remove the Brougham top, paint the roof, and use the hardtop chrome opera window and back window moldings.  My friend removed his Landau top on a '79 Grand Am (G-body) and found out after the fact that the sheet metal around the windows was more recessed and would not accept the standard hard top window trim. Any help would be great. My high school sweetheart will be going under the knife this winter w/ new paint so I want to make sure before I start removing the vinyl top.

Thanks,

Dave F.
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by Mcarlo77 on Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:47 am

Welcome to the site, Dave!

I hesitate to address this as I've never done this kind of swap...but, I've been around these cars and pulling parts for many years and have never heard of such a thing as the sheet metal being recessed on vinyl vs non-vinyl cars.  Think you're giving GM way too much credit to suggest they would make such accommodations on their assembly line.  

People remove their vinyl tops on our gen of cars all the time and reuse the moldings.  With that said, your opera window moldings might be a little loose as the channel might be a little wider to allow for the added thickness of the vinyl.  But, would think it easy enough to go around and gently pinch the channel together to make them fit tighter.

As for the back window, the moldings are the same as far as I've ever known.  I see cars all the time in the salvage yards with stainless moldings on both vinyl and non-vinyl cars.  Matter of fact, I have stainless back window moldings I removed from a '76 Malibu w/Landau top and they are the same width as on my non-vinyl top '75 Laguna (.870"). They, of course, mount on clips attached to the window channel.   Hopefully, others who have actually done this will chime in to confirm.

I can't answer as to why your friend had fitment problems on his G-body as I don't know how their moldings are attached.  But again, I find it hard to believe GM would make accommodations on their cars' sheet metal to fit vinyl vs non-vinyl cars.
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by cutlassguy on Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:40 am

Welcome to the site Dave,

I own a 76 Cutlass Supreme, born with full vinyl roof now a painted hard top. I reused all the window trim including the plastic opera window trim. Just as Mcarlo77 mentioned, the opera trim was a loose fit afterwards. Not much you can do with it. I originally put a little clear silicone in all corners to keep it from moving around. I ended up taking it off a few years ago due to deterioration of the plastic and never put it back on.
Post some pics of your car when you get a chance.
Eric
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by DaveFury on Sun Oct 04, 2015 4:21 pm

Thanks for the welcomes and the info. You guys are awesome. I'll start removing the top next weekend. Is the back glass stainless trim readily available? It has the textured one on it right now. I suppose I can have it smoothed and chromed if necc. Below is the '76 I had in high school back in '83. I just found a clean '76 w/ the same maroon interior as my original (which is mint, by the way), just the wrong exterior color and the Brougham (puffy) top. Need to do some straightening and get it painted black over the winter. I'll start a post in projects when I begin.

Dave W.

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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by cutlassguy on Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:24 pm

Nice set -up, Looks awesome I like the cragars and air shocks? in the back for the 80's ride. I sourced window trim back in 1998 when I redone my 76, so its been a while since I've had to look for parts. I can tell you I live in Canada and still had to go to the U.S for decent parts. I remember getting a rear bumper along with the rear window trim from Western Automotive Sheet Metal in Oregon. I didn't try to strip the vinyl off the original trim.
Looking forward to the new pics, keep us updated on the progress we all like pictures here.
Eric
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by DaveFury on Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:45 pm

cutlassguy wrote:Nice set -up, Looks awesome I like the cragars and air shocks? in the back for the 80's ride. I sourced window trim back in 1998 when I redone my 76, so its been a while since I've had to look for parts. I can tell you I live in Canada and still had to go to the U.S for decent parts. I remember getting a rear bumper along with the rear window trim from Western Automotive Sheet Metal in Oregon. I didn't try to strip the vinyl off the original trim.
Looking forward to the new pics, keep us updated on the progress we all like pictures here.
Eric

Thanks Cutlassguy. Gonna go w/ the Cragar SS and the air shocks for the current build as well. Gives it the '80s look.

Dave W.
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by cutlassguy on Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:04 pm

I can't wait to see it, I had the body done on my 76 back in 98 . Started a family shortly after and didn't do much to it until last summer. I also went with Cragars, air shocks etc as well. I owned 3 of these cars over the years, I finally held on to this one.
Good to have you here, so many great guys here. Chevy guys and Olds guys get along under one forum.Its a great place here.
Eric
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by Mcarlo77 on Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:13 pm

I can try and help with the stainless back window moldings. As I understand it, they are kind of hard to come by. But, I've found maybe three sets over the past year for other guys...so, I'll see what I can find if interested.
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by DaveFury on Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:12 pm

Mcarlo77 wrote:I can try and help with the stainless back window moldings.  As I understand it, they are kind of hard to come by.  But, I've found maybe three sets over the past year for other guys...so, I'll see what I can find if interested.

That would be great if you don't mind. The bone yards around here have crushed everything older than a '95. Let me know if you have any luck.

Thanks! Thumbs up

Dave W.
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by cutlassguy on Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:46 pm

Dave, have you joined up with Classic Olds or 73-77 Olds forums? I'm sure someone will have trim if Mcarlo77 can't get you hooked up.
Good luck with your search
Eric
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by DaveFury on Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:36 pm

cutlassguy wrote:Dave, have you joined up with Classic Olds or 73-77 Olds forums? I'm sure someone will have trim if Mcarlo77 can't get you hooked up.
Good luck with your search
Eric  

No, I haven't, but thanks for the info. I'll check out those sites as well.

Dave W.
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by DaveFury on Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:24 pm

Here's a pic of the new one:

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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by ant7377 on Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:57 am

Those 78-80 Pontiacs at least had different opera windows for gp and Im sure Grand Am. My friend has a 79 GP he took the top off and the window is recessed he took the vinyl top trim and painted it the same color of the car. If you look at pic of 79 GP s you will aee the difference. Our cars this is not the case.
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by DaveFury on Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:34 am

ant7377 wrote:Those 78-80 Pontiacs at least had different opera windows for gp and Im sure Grand Am. My friend has a 79 GP he took the top off and the window is recessed he took the vinyl top trim and painted it the same color of the car. If you look at pic of 79 GP s you will aee the difference. Our cars this is not the case.

ant7377,

Well that explains it. Good to know that this is not the case with our cars.

Thanks,

Dave W.
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by DaveFury on Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:40 am

DaveFury wrote:
Mcarlo77 wrote:I can try and help with the stainless back window moldings.  As I understand it, they are kind of hard to come by.  But, I've found maybe three sets over the past year for other guys...so, I'll see what I can find if interested.

That would be great if you don't mind.  The bone yards around here have crushed everything older than a '95. Let me know if you have any luck.

Thanks!  Thumbs up

Dave W.

Hi Mcarlo77,

Just wanted to let you know that I just purchased a set of rear stainless trim on E-bay so stop the search for me if you have begun already,

Thanks,

Dave W
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by knightfan26917 on Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:24 pm

Hey Dave,

WELCOME! Looks like a great Cutlass.


Cort Smile www.oldcarsstronghearts.com
pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve | 1979 Caprice Classic (awaiting new owner)
"I could never get enough" __ Eddy Raven __ 'I Could Use Another You'
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

Post by DaveFury on Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:19 pm

knightfan26917 wrote:Hey Dave,

WELCOME!  Looks like a great Cutlass.


Cort Smile www.oldcarsstronghearts.com
pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve | 1979 Caprice Classic (awaiting new owner)
"I could never get enough" __ Eddy Raven __ 'I Could Use Another You'

Thanks!

Dave W.
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Re: '76 Cutlass Brougham top removal

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