Reprinted with permission of author.

Replacing T-Top P-Seals

Most Fiero T-Tops are starting to show their age by a breakdown of the little "felt" dust seal (referred to as the P-seal) which runs along the front and rear of the glass panels. The purpose of this P-seal is to keep the dust out of the outer part of the tops and to fill the void between the glass and the roof structure. With time and weathering, the outer clotch tends to split exposing the inner orange silicon bead which then starts to flop around. Since this P-seal is not part of the water seal system, it will not interfere with the integrity of the roof.

In addition to the P-seals, the plastic end caps into which secures the locking pins from the roof panels often have to be replaced. If the roof leaks and the seals look good, the problem is probably one of these caps not holding the roof securely. Unfortunately, all of the plastic now comes in a bluish-gray color and you have to paint them. For the 1988 Fieros, the interior paint codes are:

Medium Beechwood PPG Paint code: 26249 - UCV 2-1289
Medium Dark Gray PPG Paint code: 33873 - UCV 2-1048

Either of these paints may have to be top-coated with a low gloss clear spray. PPG code: UCV-69.

Removal & Replacement Procedure

To remove the old P-seals, first you ahve to drill out (4) 1/8" black pop rivets, (2) per side on each end of the seal. The P-seal is then just glued on by self adhesive strips. Just pull the seal off. It may be best to use a blow heater like a hair dyer or, as I use, a paint remover gun. Get as much of the adhesive off this way. Then carefully work at getting the rest off. I used lacquer thinner and a dull putty knife. This is a long, slow process but one that's worth the effort if you prize your car.

When installing the new seal, first find and mark the center of the seal. I attached a piece of masking tape to the felt and marked the tape. Remove a piece of the release paper, about 3 to 4" each side of the center crack in the roof. With the seal in place, fold back a corner of the short piece of the release paper and roll it off. Then press the seal into place securing the adhesive backing. This technique helps insure that the seal can be slipped into the center crack of the T-frame. Then continue to secure the P-seal on both sides of the center.

You'll notice that the seal strip is longer than needed. But, at the edges of the roof where the seal ends, there is an opening which the excess seal can be tucked into. You should be able to form the end of the seal to hide this hole from view. This is where craftsmanship take over.

Tip: When you install the P-seal, leave it a bit high. When you're all finished, install and latch the glass in place. The new P-seal should sit a bit higher than the glass. Place a small piece of wood on the raised seal and tap it lightly with a hammer. This will "set" the seal so that it fills the gap between the window and frame. It also makes the finished installation look "professional". (I got this tip from the installer at Farmont Skylite.)

As for the rivets, the guy at Farmont Skylite told me to drill a new hole but I found that the aluminum in the seal was soft enough that, if I knew the approximate location of the old hole, I could easily find the old hole with an awl. Punch it out then re-drill the same hole. This works very well.

Good luck. If you run into a problem, give me a call and I'll do my best to help.
Ray Paulk Pontiac Fiero T-Top Registry (508) 634-3511

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